Community Memory

Community MemoryEarly networked computing pioneers Lee Felsenstein, Efrem Lipkin and Mark Szpakowski open the first public Community Memory terminal at Leopold’s Records in Berkeley, California. With read-only access for free (and a 25-cent charge to add information to the database, which is maintained on a SDS 940 mainframe at TransAmerica Corporation and accessed via 110 baud acoustic modem), the intention is to computerize the popular push-pin-powered public notice board. Other terminals are eventually made available at various locations, but the SDS 940 proves to be inadequate, and this first iteration of the Community Memory Project will eventually be deactivated in January 1975. Some computer historians regard this as the first computer bulletin board system, although it was accessible only by being physically present at one of the provided nodes. The first dial-up BBS will not appear until 1978.