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Online! The Book by Wendy Taylor, Chris Pirillo, John C. Dvorak

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The Roots of Modern Email

Although early networking systems and the ARPANET had email systems, the roots of the commercial email we know today were first introduced to the public as proprietary services. If you wanted to send email to a friend, you both had to subscribe to the same service and use the same software. These were “dialup” systems. None of the systems were cross-connected systems with any reliability. There were no addresses as we see today (the @ sign wasn't heard of). The proprietary systems included: MCI Mail, EasyLink, Telecom Gold, One-to-One, and CompuServe.

Most people exchanged messages and information on bulletin board systems (BBSs), in forums, and directly by modem to modem. It wasn't that difficult to call a telephone ...

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