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This page was last updated on April 4, 1997.


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Search the posts, and browse the archives.

Wondering when the first e-mail message was sent, or how Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak went door to door selling devices that allowed for free phone calls, in 1972? Search and you may find the answer to your question.

Posts to this list are indexed and made available, creating a research tool for the online community on the history and origins of cyberspace. This is an evolving search mechanism, so functionality will be added as time passes.

However, posts from June 4, 1996 to July 8, 1996 will not turn up in your search, as they were distributed using a different listserver. To read those, browse the archives below on this page. We are working on merging the two together into one database.

Search Community Memory and browse archives from Tuesday, August 13, 1996 to the present day.

Wondering what COMMUNITY MEMORY is about?  The original announcement, and instructions explaining how to join the COMMUNITY MEMORY discussion list follow.

Community Memory archive of posts, from June 4, 1996 to August 15, 1996.

Posts from August 13, 1996, to the present day can be both searched and browsed here.

CM-ARCHIVE August 8 through August 15. [~248K]

CM-ARCHIVE August 1 through August 7. [~150K]

CM-ARCHIVE July 22 through July 31. [~250K]

CM-ARCHIVE July 16 through July 21. [~62K]

CM-ARCHIVE July 8 through July 15. [~81K]

CM-ARCHIVE July 1 through July 7. [~63K]

CM-ARCHIVE June 20 through June 30. [~83K]

CM-ARCHIVE June 14 through June 19. [~231K]

CM-ARCHIVE June 11 through June 13. [~165K]

CM-ARCHIVE June 4 through June 10. [~141K]

NEW LIST ANNOUNCEMENT: "Community Memory -- Discussion List on the History of Cyberspace."

Please repost widely.

Computer Professionals For Social Responsibility (CPSR) announces the creation of "Community Memory -- Discussion List on the History of Cyberspace," a moderated discussion list whose purpose is to explore the origins, history and development of computer networks, computer hardware, software, and computer science, and the environment collectively known as "cyberspace." Emphasis is placed on human factors -- on who knew whom, how ideas spread and originated.

This list is dedicated to the belief that awareness of history is an essential ingredient which can help us make reasoned decisions in the present and future. By exploring the history of cyberspace, topical issues we face today -- such as privacy concerns, equality of access to computing, hacking, computer literacy, intellectual property rights, funding long-term R&D -- are placed in a broader, historical context. A primary focus will be the evolution of ideas in computing and the use of computers.

Many of the people involved in the creation of important technologies and organizations are on-line and we ask them to consider joining this list. CPSR hopes to attract people who can provide first-hand accounts from a wide-range of experiences, going back to origins of digital computing in the 1940s to the present day. These include government-funded projects, academic programs and organizations, private enterprise, grass-roots organizations.

CPSR also invites anyone with a curiosity and interest in learning about the origins and history of cyberspace to subscribe.

This list is named Community Memory for two reasons. It wishes to store and record the memories of how this world of interconnected computers and people came to be -- discussing the history of cyberspace using the tools of cyberspace and, in a sense, drawing out the collective memory of 50 years of computing. The name also makes reference to the original Community Memory Project in San Francisco, created in the early 1970s, which may be the world's first grass-roots electronic bulletin board (whether this is true is an example of an appropriate discussion subject). This list will be archived and stored in a companion World Wide Web site, with information stored by topic. Archival material, in electronic format, is also welcome on the Web site. The URL is:

Given the breadth of this subject, Community Memory is moderated to insure topicality and focus. The degree to which this discussion list fulfills its mission depends entirely on its ability to attract people with primary-source information. It is difficult to judge what message flow will be like at this point. The moderator, David S. Bennahum (, welcomes questions.

To subscribe to "Community Memory -- Discussion List on the History of Cyberspace" please send a message to:

That reads:

subscribe cyhist

CPSR ( is a public-interest alliance of computer scientists and others interested in the impact of computer technology on society. As technical experts, CPSR members provide the public and policymakers with realistic assessments of the power, promise, and limitations of computer technology. As concerned citizens, we direct public attention to critical choices concerning the applications of computing and how those choices affect society.

Please Repost Widely

Please direct comments, bugs and questions to David S. Bennahum.

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