Back in Chapter 16, Maxine meets Lester at a “disused techies’ saloon” called Eternal September (pg 174). The term originates from the days of Usenet back in 1993. For much of the 80’s and early 90’s, access to this proto-internet forum was limited to college campuses. As a result, every September Freshman would log into Usenet for the first time. Much like Freshman today, they had little disregard to the agreed upon rules of the network they were using and took some time to get used to the etiquette of the service. This was an example of a large established userbase having new users integrate into the already established rules of conduct.
In September of 1993, AOL began to offer its customers access to Usenet. The large influx of new users quickly overwhelmed the established userbase. It was a never-ending onslaught of Freshmen to the site and as a result, Usenet’s existing social norms were completely overwhelmed and the service began to decline in popularity. It was the September that never ended, the Eternal September.