So far my archaeological expeditions have revealed ancient (well, 1980s anyway) porn, unidentifiable data, and an old word processor.
This magnetic volume contains media of a different kind. It has three articles from three different magazines, each broken out into several files. The articles all date from 1983 and all cover getting online and "meeting" people. Included is what must be some of the earliest discussions of cybersex. While all are from different magazines, two are by the same author and cover much of the same ground. The files are dated 1985, the disk label says "Magazine Reprints 8/03/85 and if I had to guess, based on context, they were downloaded (or captured) from CompuServe during that time.
Here's the first part of the first article:
COMPUSEX: REACH OUT AND TOUCH SOMEONE - Introduction
(Permission has been granted by Ziff-Davis Publishing Company to reprint this
article by Lindsy Van Gelder from the November issue of PC Magazine copyright
1983 by Ziff-Davis Publishing Company)
Last spring, I bought a modem and began computing in the fast lane. In fact, it
was so fast and racy that you could accurately describe my system's capability
as downright 1200 bawdy.
It all began innocently enough when I strolled into my local Radio Shack and
bought a membership in CompuServe, the information service that (for $5 an hour
during nonprime time) can hook you up to more than 800 different databases -
everything from the weather in East Africa to the latest price for gold futures.
The service's most popular section, however, is its live, on-line "CB"
simulation, in which crazed keyboard jockeys from coast to coast get together to
argue, gossip, joke, philosophize, and make singles-bar small talk. There are
bulletin boards around the country that offer similar realtime relating, but
none are as hugh or as geographically diverse as CompuServe.
It was CB that my two prepubescent daughters were itching to try. Within
minutes after logging on, they were dragooned into private talk mode by a fellow
who seemed delighted to be talking to CB'ers of the female persuasion. After a
cursory chat about their careers (he was an electronics engineer; the girls
described themselves as "students"), "Anthony" asked, "Are you ladies cute?"
Then he asked about the length and color of their hair. The kids found this
line of inquiry fascinating, and went on in detail about their shoulder- length
blonde and chestnut tresses. From there the "conversation" went something like
HE: Have you been introduced to compusex yet?
THEY: No we haven't, but introduce us.
HE: Just respond with what ever you feel like.
THEY: When does it start?
HE: I love you darling (long French kiss)
HE: (Caressing your hair)
THEY: I haven't washed it for ten weeks!
HE: (fondling your breasts)
THEY: Get the hell off!
HE: Don't like it, huh?
THEY: Anthony, we have a confession to make. You happen
to be talking to a twelve and nine year old kid!
We just are very sophisticated because we come from
Poor Anthony's come-on brought a new dimension to the concept of "touch typing."
But at the time, I assumed he was a lone CompuPervert, lookin' for love in all
the wrong databases. In the weeks and months that followed, however, I learned
that CompuSex - along with its less flashy but equally sought-after sibling,
compufriendship - is a staple out there in the global village. "Whoever would
have thought," as one of my CB pals, Changeup, typed one night during a bemused
discussion of the phenomenon, "that sexual technique would ever be dependent
I could not find the text of this article anywhere online (if anyone else finds it, please post a link). The best I could do was find scans of the original magazine on Internet Archive (scan of the first page above). I've posted the full text of the article here: http://www.megalextoria.com/wordpress/index.php/2017/08/10/compusex-reach-out-and-touch-someone/
Thanks for reading and check out some of my other recent retrocomputing posts below!
Atari 800XL (Computer Direct, 1985)
Picnic Paranoia (Atari 8-bit)
TRS-80 Model II
TRS-80 Model 4 (1984)
Digital Archaeology: Codex (Floppy Disk) #4
WarGames (PC, 1998)
Computer Gaming World (October 1988)
TRS-80 Model III
Digital Archaelology: Codex (Floppy Disk) #3