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8. A History of Online Information Services: 1963 - 1976

posted Jun 12, 2013, 5:59 AM by Jeff Ogden   [ updated Jun 7, 2014, 9:47 AM ]
I was looking for information on AUTONOTE based on a mention in

A History of Online Information Services: 1963 - 1976

Charles Percy Bourne, Trudi Bellardo Hahn
The MIT Press

Chapter 3: Further Experimentation and Prototypes in Universities, Mid-1960s to Early 1970s page 92:

Chapter 3, page 92

and got this reply:

On Jun 12, 2013, at 12:49 AM, Mike Alexander wrote:

Yes, I remember it.  Karl Zinn's papers at the Bentley contain "Autonote User's Manual, July 20, 1971" in box 20.

I also found this in the User:Planning archives.  It only mentions Autonote in passing, but is interesting for other reasons:

Jan05/86 22:42
75:10) Karl Zinn: Confer has been used in dozens of different
classes in the last ten years.  The important difference this fall,
as pointed out by Maya (#9), was initiative of students along with
commitment of resources for undergraduate classes.
   Finally CRLT can recommend and support practical and widespread
use of this tool in which we have made (relatively) major
investments over the last 15 years.
- - - - -
Jan06/86 11:52
75:11) Christine Wendt: Fifteen?  But K4QQ:RP.CONFER wasn't even
born until   1975!
- - - - -
Jan18/86 15:08
75:12) Karl Zinn: Chris, my response to #11 is somewhat delayed by
long hours helping new classes get started with Confer this term.
(Anyone else volunteer to help out?)
   My interest in conferencing was ignited in '64 by a visit to Doug
Engelbart at SRI.  Anyone remember the big screen (video
projection) demo he did at FJCC in San Francisco a few years later?
   The "major investment" by CRLT began about '71 with Project
Extend's use of various facilities on MTS for communications among
community college users of MTS.  I'd have to check my notes to name
all the various things we tried.  (Anyone k now about Autonote?)
Mostly we adopted conventions for using shared files (relatively
cheap and easy) for mail and joint authoring.  I recall one of the
early proposals for Merit (back when it was MERIT, and really a
"research information triad") was done through such "conferencing"
   I didn't have time to find my notes on the history of MERIT,
MICIS, IUCIUC and the CRLT proposal to the state ('64, I think)
when Research News did an issue on Merit, but I know they are still
   Bob's contribution in 74-75 (and continuing through the present!)
was to make something reliable, economical, functional, easy-to-use
and responsive to the evolving needs and interests of users!  Bob
has given us "the Ferrari of computer conferencing." (Byte, Dec 85,

Finding that Byte article might be interesting.


[Byte Magazine, Vol. 10, No. 13, December 1985 is available at https://archive.org/stream/byte-magazine-1985-12/1985_12_BYTE_10-13_Computer_Conferencing#page/n140/mode/1up. -Jeff]