Steven Bellovin’s work in progress (full TOC below) is past the half way point and an interesting read. From the (presently) most recent post, about B-News:
People would have preferred a real ARPANET connection but that was rarely feasible and never something that a student could set up: ARPANET connections were restricted to places that had research contracts with DARPA. The gateway at Berkeley was, eventually, bidirectional for both Usenet and email; this enabled Usenet-style communication between the networks.
It is, in fact, unclear if the gateway was technically permissible.
With the growth in the number of sites came more newsgroups and more articles. This made the limitations of the A-news user interface painfully apparent. Mary designed a new scheme; a high school student, Matt Glickman, implemented what became B-news. There were many improvements.
The most important change was the ability to read articles by newsgroup, and to read them out of order. By contrast, A-news presented articles in order of arrival, and only stored the high-water mark of continuous articles read.
B-news also introduced control messages. As noted, these were unauthenticated; mischief could and did result.
There was also control message support for mapping the network, which did not work as well as we expected.
Here’s the projected TOC:
Here is the table of contents, actual and projected, for this series.
(You might remember him as the writer of Firewalls and Internet Security: Repelling the Wily Hacker)