"One of the two men behind Usenet, Jim Ellis, has died
aged 45. He died at his home in Pennsylvania yesterday morning
after losing his battle with non-Hodgkins lymphoma.
Jim, together with fellow Duke University graduate Tom Truscott,
came up with concept of Usenet - basically linking two computers
together to share information - in 1979, predating the Web by 10
years. Steve Bellovin then wrote the first program, with Steve
Daniel contributing to the first widely used version.
In 1980, it consisted of just two sites - one at Duke University
and another in the University of North Carolina. However it became
extremely popular very quickly as a means of sharing information
across the globe and before the arrival of the Web was the largest
decentralised store of information ever known."