A personal history of Clarinet (incl early usenet, VisiCorp, etc)

Brad Templeton tells his personal story of an early internet-first business (and perhaps the first)

I was sent down to Cambridge to visit Frankston and Bricklin and help them port VisiCalc to the Commodore, which was my big area of expertise. That in itself was heady stuff for a teen-ager, but the real life-redirecting moment came when Bob gave me an Arpanet account at MIT so we could interact by E-mail about the work on VisiCalc.

I was so intrigued by USENET (which also carried the older Arpanet mailing lists) that I worked to connect it to the University of Waterloo, in Ontario, where I was an undergrad during the regular school year. I started by downloading discussions from USENET and copying them up to the computers at the university using the X.25 networks.

2 years Later, during a summer at Personal Software – now in California and having changed its name to VisiCorp – I was given a more capable account in order to do software development on VisiPlot (a companion program) for the IBM-PC. The PC had not been released – indeed I was not even permitted to know what machine I was coding for – so I developed in C on a machine on the east coast, using an X.25 network known as Tymnet.

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