1973 The Community Memory Project


Community Memory was the first public computerized bulletin board system. Established in 1973 in Berkeley, California, it used an SDS 940 timesharing system in San Francisco connected via a 110 baud link to a teleprinter at a record store in Berkeley to let users enter and retrieve messages. Individuals could place messages in the computer and then look through the memory for a specific notice.

Community Memory was created by Efrem Lipkin, Mark Szpakowski, and Lee Felsenstein, acting as The Community Memory Project within the Resource One computer center at Project One in San Francisco.


The first Community Memory terminal, an ASR-33 teletype, at Leopold’s Records, Berkeley, CA, 1973. Photo taken by and for the Community Memory Project, first published in the Resource One Newsletter, April 1974, and originally posted to the web in 1995 by Mark Szpakowski at www.well.com/~szpak/cm/

Community Memory (CM) in its first phase (1973–1975) was an experiment to see how people would react to using a computer to exchange information. At that time few people had any direct contact with computers. CM was conceived as a tool to help strengthen the Berkeley community. Their brochure states that “strong, free, non-hierarchical channels of communication–whether by computer and modem, pen and ink, telephone, or face-to-face–are the front line of reclaiming and revitalizing our communities.”

jason scott photo A Community Memory terminal (ca. 1970). Photo: Jason Scott

The creators and founders of Community Memory shared the values of northern California counter-culture of the 1960s, which included the celebration of free speech and the anti-war movement. They were also supporters of ecological, low cost, decentralized, and user-friendly technology. (from Wikipedia)


Hackers: Heroes of the Computer Revolution (Chapters 1 and 2)  txt


see also http://www.atariarchives.org/bcc1/showpage.php?page=100

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