Do you endeavor with a difficult dilemma, or ponder a posed problem you cannot perspicaciously pursue? Angling anxiously for advice? The Internet Oracle can help! Like all famous oracles, the Internet Oracle is omniscient, and will provide some answer to your question. In return, the Oracle may require that you perform a small service ...
Source: Internet Oracle

Does anyone out there remember / still participate in the Internet Oracle?

Update: I see the rest of what I'd tried writing here didn't make it into the post. Anyway, what I meant to say was that the Internet Oracle was one of my first brushes with the fact that there were people out there on that Internet.

I'd been dealing with FTP servers and Archie and reading Usenet archives, but I'd not yet logged on to IRC for the first time. I'd already had experience with chatting and message bases via dial-up BBSes, but this Internet thing was something altogether more. So, the Oracle was the first experience I had of sending something out into the void, and getting not an automated response but a wittily-crafted response from an obviously real person.

Archived Comments

  • I do remember, but it has been ages..

  • The Internet Oracle got me through many, many (okay, about fifteen) nights on the Very Late Shift at the computer helpdesk, back when I was a wee undergrad...

  • I'm actually still on the Oracle's mailing list. I loved it as an undergrad, came back about five years ago. There's no information anywhere on how to get off, though, so now that I have no time I end up just deleting the digests.

  • Ooohhhh... Haven't heart about Oracle for agges... The Internet Oracle is intended primarily as a cooperative effort for creative humor. Since its main purpose is just to let folks have fun, there are intentionally few rules. However, an etiquette has developed among its participants.

  • I remember being astonished and trying to puzzle out why people would contribute, until I tried it a few times myself. I also remember being a bit sad about not getting any immediate feedback (smiles, nods, applause -- the stuff that works on IRC, MUSHes, etc.)

  • Oh jeez, I've been subscribed to the mighty Oracle since about, ummm... 1989?

    Like most, however, I haven't taken time to read the digests very often over the last several years.

  • remember it: oh yes. loved it: oh yes.

    biff: [needs monospace font for max.laugh]

    The Usenet Oracle has pondered your question deeply. Your question was:

    Oh great oracle,

    what do you do with a supplicant who leaves his .sig at

    the end of his questions?

    -- And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

    } WHAT R U TALK1N' ABOUT MAN? SIGZ ROOL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! } } LATER MAN. } } BIFF. } } -- } BBBBBBBBBBBBB IIIIIIIII FFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFF } BBBBBBBBBBBBBB IIIIIIIII FFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFF } BBB BBB III FFF FFF } BBB BBB III FFF FFF } BBB BBB III FFF FFF } BBBBBBBBBBBBB III FFFFFFFFF FFFFFFFFF } BBBBBBBBBBBBBB III FFFFFFFFF FFFFFFFFF } BBB BBB III FFF FFF } BBB BBB III FFF FFF } BBB BBB III FFF FFF } BBBBBBBBBBBBB IIIIIIIII FFF FFF } BIFF@BIT.NET BBBBBBBBBBBB IIIIIIIII FFF FFF BIFF@PSUVM.PSU.EDU } BIFF@BIFFVM.BIT.NET BIFF+@ANDREW.CMU.EDU } B1FF@AOL.COM B1FF@DELPHI.COM B1FF@PRODIGY.COM B1FF@COMU$ERVE.COM } B1FF@NETCOM.COM B1FF@WORLD.STD.COM B1FF@MCS.COM } B1FF@B1FFNET.FIDONET.ORG B1FF@WELL.SF.CA.US } B1FF@ATHENA.MIT.EDU B1FF@CYBER.SELL.COM } BIFF@MSN.COM } } MY SIG /^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^\ WAITING } CAN BEAT !@@@@@@NUKULAR@@@@@@@@! 4 } UP YOUR ------------------------- ARMAGEDIN } SIG !@@@@@@@@BIFF@@@@@@@@@! IT"LL B } !!! --------! !--------/ AWESOME!!!! } ! ! } --------- THIS SPACE 4 RENT CALL BIFF } /\ ! ! HA HA FOOLED YOU!!! } ||| / \ } /-\ } /----/-------------------------------------------------------------\ } | BIFF|@|AOL.DELPHI.PRODIGY.COMPU$ERVE.NETCOM.WORLD.MSN.B1FF.EDU DUDE!> } -----/------------------------------------------------------------/ } -/ } |-| BANG THE FALSE METAL HEAD THAT DUZZN"T DRINK BEER!!! } \/// HOT METAL TUBS RULE IN A MAJOR WAY DUDEZ!!! } } __ __ ___ ___ } / /\ / /| / /| / /| / / } / / \ / // / // / // / /| } ** / **/ */ */ | } | / ** | |__ | } / / /| / /| | } / / \ / // / // | } **/ / */ */ / } | // ____ | | / } / / / /| | | / /| } / / / // / / / } **/ **/ / / */ } } BIFF@BIT.NET BIFF@PSUVM.PSU.EDU BIFF@BIFFVM.BIT.NET BIFF+@ANDREW.CMU.EDU } B1FF@AOL.COM B1FF@DELPHI.COM B1FF@PRODIGY.COM B1FF@COMU$ERVE.COM } B1FF@NETCOM.COM B1FF@WORLD.STD.COM B1FF@MCS.COM } B1FF@B1FFNET.FIDONET.ORG B1FF@WELL.SF.CA.US } B1FF@ATHENA.MIT.EDU B1FF@CYBER.SELL.COM } BIFF@MSN.COM } } K0M1NG S00N T0 THEATREZ NEER U!!!!!! } _ ______ ___ ___ ___ ___ } +. / ////__//__/ /__/ / / //// // } _/ / ___ . _ , ___/ / __ _ } , / /. / / . / __/ '/ / +. / / / / / _/ / / } / // | / / / / . , / / , . / / / / \ \ / /_ / /\ \ } /__/ /__/// * + // *, ,// // \ /__/// \ } } FEETUR1NG THE GRATE B1FF1NSK1 AS C4PTA1N B1FF!!!!!! } } B1FF 4RUOND TH4 W3RLD!!!!! } . } --|\ } P3RTH--> / \<--SIND3Y } \.--./ } v<---B1FFSM4NIA!!!!!!! } } __ () } /XXX\ } /XXXXXX_ <-- MT. B1FF1NGT0N } /X XXXX XX\ MT. K1BO (SHORT3R _ /XX\ _ } \/ _/ \ \ TH4N B1FF'Z) ----> _/X\ /XX XXX_/XXX\ } \ \/ _ \ \ / \/ _/ - - } / \/ \ _ __ / \// \ \ / __ } \ / \ _ //_ / // __/ \/ / } /______\/___ /__/_/____/ } /|\ } / | \ _ _ } / | \ \ V / } THE RO4D T0 B1FFN3SS!!!! / | \ | R00T | } / | \ | 666 | +---------+ } ALL MUST TR4V3L 1T / | \ \ _/ | B1FF | } / | \ V | R00LZ!! | } SUMD4Y!!!!!!!! / | \ | o +---------+ } / | \ | o } / | \ | |\/| .~ ~. } / | \ | /o=o'./ .' } / | | {o_, \ { } / | / . . ) \ } / |-` '-' \ } } | .( ( ).' } | '---.~ |