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Showing posts from June, 1983

Plumb - the BBS newsletter

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A decade before the Internet arrived, computer hobbyists used their telephone modems to log into computer networks like CompuServe and The Source. Both charged a monthly fee for access to electronic mail, discussion forums and software downloads.

But anyone with a couple modems and telephone lines and specialized software could create their only online service. The world of Bulletin Board Systems was fueled in part by people who wanted to collect and share pirated software.

If you didn't want to pay hundreds of dollars for Lotus 1-2-3 or WordPerfect, you could find a free copy posted on a BBS. Other bulletin boards were devoted to specific topics, like games, politics, sports or sex.

In 1983, I launched a newsletter called Plumb to share news about the BBS culture and new arrivals to the online world. I printed the eight-page issues using my Apple II+ computer and Epson dot-matrix printer. Subscriptions initially cost $20 a year.

Plumb got some good publicity in the computer pres…