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Dear America: Letters Home from Vietnam   The Box: The History of Television

Aburt Founded the World's First Internet Service Provider?

Well, that part is strangely true. Back in the day, the only way anyone could get on the Internet was if you were at a research outfit, university, or in the government.

That seemed a bit of a shame, since there was so much cool stuff on the net. And I could see the writing on the wall that some large company might let people on for exorbitant amounts of money — Compuserve, or as it was disparagingly known, Compu$erve, used to charge gazillions of dollars an hour for what was then the largest BBS.

So around 1987 I was this computer science professor at the University of Denver, and we'd just had a bit of iron donated to use, a PDP 11/70. I thought it'd be cool to plug in a bunch of modems (I got them donated also), plug the other end into the department's net connection, and viola! anybody out in the public world could get on the Internet. was born.

My goal was to uphold the ideals of free access (donation funded) and free speech, ideals which amazingly enough it still stands for today.

But the bit about the "First Internet", that, of course is just a joke. Inspect the pages of the books scanned and you'll see it's errors like the word/abbreviation "Internat." or "interest" that Google's OCR software just typoed. :) :)