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#1 rnc39560

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Posted 26 January 2019 - 08:51 PM

Just visited SAA, the first real amateur website. Lol!! So glad we have a friendly, nice place like Cloudy Nights for us all!! I didn't post, just read, but that was enough. I just happened to see it mentioned a couple of times, of what it USED to be. My curiosity was enough. Lol.. 


Edited by rnc39560, 26 January 2019 - 08:54 PM.

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#2 rmollise

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Posted 30 January 2019 - 09:56 AM

sci.astro.amateur wasn't/isn't a website, but a Usenet newsgroup. What brought it down? No moderation, and many ISPs dropping Usenet access.

 

I will say this: it was the first and in some ways greatest Internet amateur astronomy forum there every was--for nearly a decade. The pre-Internet Fidonet astronomy being a close second. Not that I don't love Astronomics' Cloudy Nights, but back in the 90s s.a.a. was new and was a revelation. wink.gif


Edited by rmollise, 30 January 2019 - 10:00 AM.

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#3 rnc39560

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Posted 30 January 2019 - 10:39 AM

sci.astro.amateur wasn't/isn't a website, but a Usenet newsgroup. What brought it down? No moderation, and many ISPs dropping Usenet access.

 

I will say this: it was the first and in some ways greatest Internet amateur astronomy forum there every was--for nearly a decade. The pre-Internet Fidonet astronomy being a close second. Not that I don't love Astronomics' Cloudy Nights, but back in the 90s s.a.a. was new and was a revelation. wink.gif

Hi Unc, yea I actually read your article before I visited. Very informative, and not much has changed. Maybe less trolling, but still just not good attitude with some from reading. I'm going to peek in now and then just to see. 



#4 KidOrion

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Posted 30 January 2019 - 05:01 PM

****END ZETATALK****


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#5 rmollise

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Posted 01 February 2019 - 09:47 AM

****END ZETATALK****

Yep, that sums it up right there. :lol:


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#6 Dave Mitsky

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Posted 01 February 2019 - 02:50 PM

I remember the early days of sci.astro.amateur.  There were many informative posts but as time went by toxic trolling became more and more common.

 

Dave Mitsky


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#7 rnc39560

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Posted 01 February 2019 - 03:17 PM

I had to look up Zeta Talk. Wow....Quite a bit I need to learn BEFORE my getting into the hobby.


Edited by rnc39560, 01 February 2019 - 03:19 PM.


#8 George N

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Posted 08 February 2019 - 10:38 AM

sci.astro.amateur wasn't/isn't a website, but a Usenet newsgroup. What brought it down? No moderation, and many ISPs dropping Usenet access.

 

I will say this: it was the first and in some ways greatest Internet amateur astronomy forum there every was--for nearly a decade. The pre-Internet Fidonet astronomy being a close second. Not that I don't love Astronomics' Cloudy Nights, but back in the 90s s.a.a. was new and was a revelation. wink.gif

I was a frequent reader - and sometimes poster - in both SAA and Fidonet. The latter had much better 'control' and moderation, but not the near universal reach of SAA.

 

Probably the best thing about SAA was that it was close to being "the only game in town" - unlike today when 'astro types' are spread across multiple platforms. SAA was a 'one source' to go to for information, while today you might need to look in several different locations to find the info you need.

 

The End came for me when all the ISPs in my area dropped Usenet after the guy who is the current Governor of New York made a big public deal - probably justified - related to lack of access control to a certain class of illigal images. Within weeks Usenet was 'gone'. I think the ISPs were just looking for an excuse to drop it.



#9 DaveB

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Posted 11 February 2019 - 01:40 PM

SAA didn't introduce me to the hobby, but it certainly guided me as I was deciding on my first "real" telescope, which ended up being a Meade Starfinder 10" equatorial. That scope served me well for many years.

 

There were a few trolls on there (I can't remember one guy's name in particular), but by and large it was a great forum. Surprising at least to me, the amateur forum was much more civil than the sci.astro forum. But even that paled in comparison to the wild west of alt.astro.

 

Of course, the whole Zeta posts did start to drag it down towards the end.


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#10 Dave Mitsky

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Posted 13 February 2019 - 04:24 AM

The description of "she who will not be named" as a free-range nutbar at RationalWiki is rather apropos.


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#11 rnc39560

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Posted 13 February 2019 - 08:57 PM

lol.gif funnypost.gif


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#12 bumm

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Posted 14 February 2019 - 09:54 AM

In it's heyday, SAA was the best amateur astronomy newsgroup in the world, bar none, and it was an important part of my life.  At one time, I was dealing with cancer, and if I didn't make it, my last post would have been to my friends in SAA.  I still have treasured friends I met in SAA that I never would have met otherwise.  The lack of moderation which led to it's collapse also made it an exciting, colorful, place to check into.  As varied and diverse as the history of astronomy, an incredible source of information and comradery, peppered through with a few weird cranks and trolls.  One crank that did genuine damage is one of the few people who are still in there.  He's not an evil man, and seems sincere, but he evidently figures astronomy took a wrong turn back during the time of Flamsteed, and he infested every thread with his arguments and lectures about the motions of the solar system.  He should have been aggressively ignored.  At least one troll I can remember was often genuinely funny in a sort of Andy Kaufmanesque way, but it was the bullies that really destroyed SAA.  They mercilessly tore into one of the well meaning, productive, members who was active in public sidewalk astronomy but may well have been a bit "special needs."  I think number of members (myself included) would have liked to have hunted this jerk down for legal action or a serious "discussion" if we could have, but they successfully hid behind the anonymity of the internet.

     Cloudy Nights has picked up the torch and run with it.  It's a wonderful group, but the moderation that makes it possible also sometimes make it feel like attending a Sunday School teacher's kid's birthday party.  Some things gained, some things lost.

                                                                                                                     Marty


Edited by bumm, 14 February 2019 - 09:59 AM.

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#13 rnc39560

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Posted 14 February 2019 - 01:16 PM

In it's heyday, SAA was the best amateur astronomy newsgroup in the world, bar none, and it was an important part of my life.  At one time, I was dealing with cancer, and if I didn't make it, my last post would have been to my friends in SAA.  I still have treasured friends I met in SAA that I never would have met otherwise.  The lack of moderation which led to it's collapse also made it an exciting, colorful, place to check into.  As varied and diverse as the history of astronomy, an incredible source of information and comradery, peppered through with a few weird cranks and trolls.  One crank that did genuine damage is one of the few people who are still in there.  He's not an evil man, and seems sincere, but he evidently figures astronomy took a wrong turn back during the time of Flamsteed, and he infested every thread with his arguments and lectures about the motions of the solar system.  He should have been aggressively ignored.  At least one troll I can remember was often genuinely funny in a sort of Andy Kaufmanesque way, but it was the bullies that really destroyed SAA.  They mercilessly tore into one of the well meaning, productive, members who was active in public sidewalk astronomy but may well have been a bit "special needs."  I think number of members (myself included) would have liked to have hunted this jerk down for legal action or a serious "discussion" if we could have, but they successfully hid behind the anonymity of the internet.

     Cloudy Nights has picked up the torch and run with it.  It's a wonderful group, but the moderation that makes it possible also sometimes make it feel like attending a Sunday School teacher's kid's birthday party.  Some things gained, some things lost.

                                                                                                                     Marty

Yeah, I read the guys posts you're talking about still being there. Interesting I must say! 




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