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30-May-2019 08:13

Useful microcomputers did not exist at that time, and modems were both expensive and slow.Community Memory therefore ran on a mainframe computer and was accessed through terminals located in several San Francisco Bay Area neighborhoods.

Internal modems could be software controlled to perform both outbound and inbound calls, but external modems had only the data pins to communicate with the host system.

One particularly influential example was PLATO, which had thousands of users by the late 1970s, many of whom used the messaging and chat room features of the system in the same way that would become common on BBSes.