A company called Geoworks, then based in Berkeley, California, designed the first software for America Online. In 1986, Geoworks launched a graphical operating system that ran on the Commodore 64.
It's easy to get hooked.
Ask anybody who used to be on a party line. At first, a phone was just a sort of insurance policy, a hedge against disaster -- a fire, a medical emergency. Then it became a convenience. Then, people learned they could listen in on community gossip. Before long, it got easier and easier to stay on the line.
Eventually, the infrastructure got big enough, got sophisticated enough, to let everyone have a private phone line, to the general impoverishment of the rumor mill.
I remember very keenly the moment when I got my first deep glimpse into my father's life.
I was 17, not an age when most sons are in synch with their dads. We were eating dinner and talking about Viet Nam, my discomfort with the fact that I was, in all likelihood, about to get drafted.
Colorado is unusual in many respects, but not least is the way we make it easy for people to use our libraries. I've lived in states where crossing an invisible line meant that you suddenly had to fork over $100 a year to use a nearby library. And if you wanted to directly connect to your local library's computer, then the next library to it, that meant two phone calls, usually running two different telecommunication protocols.