Up to: What future do we want?



The real ``computer revolution'' hasn't happened yet, because people don't yet use computers in their daily lives. When most people have home computer terminals with access to all the world's public information, it will revolutionize the way we conduct our personal business, the way we learn new skills, the way we read, the way information is published and sold, the conduct of political and other controversy, and how we decide what to buy.

The technology for information utilities serving home computer terminals is already here and cheap enough and will get much cheaper, but the organizational problems of creating new public utilities are formidable.

This paper treats the services that can be offered, why people will want them, why they are important socially, the relevant technology and its costs, some social problems associated with the new technology - especially the problem of minimizing monopoly, and some relevant experience and experiments at Stanford University.


There has been a scientific and technological ``computer revolution'', but it hasn't much affected daily life except to improve living standards by making goods and services with less labor.

The prevalent belief that technology is changing the world faster and faster, and people can't adapt to it - is wrong. In fact, the inventions brought into use since World War II such as TV, jet travel and the pill have affected daily life much less than those adopted between 1890 and 1920 such as electric lights, piped-in gas, telephones, automobiles, and mechanical refrigeration affected the life of that time. For most people, computers, nuclear energy, lasers, and DNA are just names in the news, because no-one cares whether his electric bill was prepared by a typist or a computer or whether the light goes on because of burning coal or fissioning uranium.

Since people take health and prosperity as only their just deserts, maybe the lack of technological innovation in daily life contributes to the anti-technological intellectual fads. This lack is temporary, because cheap information processing will lead to many more popular inventions than those discussed in this paper.

Since World War II, the technology of transforming information has become ever cheaper and more powerful. It will keep getting cheaper - if only because the technology of integrated circuits is far from using up the engineering possibilities offered by the science on which it is based. The advance in the qualitative possibilities of transforming information is also large, but progress requires continued conceptual advance.

Computer technology now makes possible new services that will give us new significant new options in our daily lives.

Within the twenty years and beginning within the next five, the home computer terminal will revolutionize the way we conduct our personal business as much as the automobile revolutionized the way we get around. It will also revolutionize the way information is distributed in our society, and this will have substantial effects on politics and education.

The terminal itself will be rather like those already in use by computer programmers, airline and other reservation clerks, etc. consisting of a typewriter keyboard and a display for text and pictures. The revolution will come not from the terminals themselves but from the information services provided by the computers to which the terminals are connected and by the access to nation-wide sources of information.

The purpose of this paper is to outline the services that can be provided, identify some of the important effects, describe the necessary technology, and identify the areas in which institutional changes will be forced by the technology. (By forced, I mean that institutions not making the changes will go out of business unless new ways of doing business are made illegal).


Visionaries have often envisaged homes equipped with information terminals each consisting of a typewriter keyboard and a screen capable of displaying one or more pages of print and pictures. The terminal would be connected by the telephone system to a time-shared computer which in turn has access to files containing all books, magazines, newspapers, catalogs, airline schedules, much all government and commercial information subject to the Freedom of Information Act and the like, together with any information the citizen himself wishes to keep, e.g. his correspondence, bills paid, medical records, insurance policies, and serial numbers of personal property.

Through the terminal the subscriber can get any information he wants, can buy and sell, can communicate with persons and institutions, can receive and pay his bills and taxes, and process information in other useful ways.


We can start with ordinary reading. To get a newspaper or book, I type its name or number and the first page appears. The most obvious benefits are:

  1. I can get any document instantly. Since the desire to read a particular book or article is often fleeting, much more will be read if access is guaranteed and immediate.

  2. My house isn't full of paper to be sorted and put on shelves and dusted or put in the trash. Trees aren't cut down, and air pollution doesn't result from burning the stuff.

    Some immediately apparent disadvantages are:

  3. The expense. I'll deal with this later.

  4. I can't read in bed. The book-size portable terminal will come later. A household may require several terminals, and until the book-terminal is available, we will probably have to compromise with ecological sin and provide a printer.

    There are two other immediate negative reactions:

  5. The average citizen is a TV fan and doesn't read anyway. In the first place, a home terminal system doesn't need more than a small minority of the population as subscribers to be economical, so if you read, you will benefit whether he does or not. Secondly, after I have described all the bells and whistles, you will see that even the TV fan will be tempted, and you - oh socially conscious reader - may even want to coerce him into buying one or coerce the government into giving him one for free.

  6. How can you think of one more convenience and comfort when the world will come to an end in ten years unless menaces A, B, and C are dealt with immediately? In the first place, I don't think the world is about to come to an end or even that it is getting worse. In the second place, you will see that the new information system will make the public more responsive to the careful reasoning of you good guys and more immune to the blatant propaganda of those bad guys.

In order to see some of the social effects of the new information system, suppose that all book and newspaper information were so distributed. What changes would occur?

At present, a newspaper, magazine or book is a package produced by a large organization. With the information utility, the physical production and distribution disappears, allowing a much smaller organization to put out the same packages of text and pictures. Moreover, the user does not face a one shot decision to buy Time or Newsweek. He will be able to read the ``cover'' or table of contents of each, read such items as strike his fancy, and the system will bill him for what he reads from each source. In fact, since the cost of keeping a file of information in the computer and making it publicly available will be small, even a high school student could compete with the New Yorker if he could write well enough and if word of mouth and mention by reviewers brought him to public attention. What, then, is a magazine in the information utility?

A magazine is an organization that puts out a list of material it has edited and recommends to its readers. It helps its authors produce material that it thinks will suit the readers, and it has a financial arrangement with them about splitting the proceeds. It may or may not have its own computer, and it is unlikely that it would be profitable for it to own the disk files from which the ``issues'' are accessed by readers. More likely, it would rent space on public utility disk files and pay the utility to bill its readers.

There can be a wide variety of magazines with different standards of writing and editing and different budgets for carrying out these activities. However, they will be equally accessible to readers, and an expensive editorial organization will be profitable only if it can produce a package that a large group of people prefers to the bare output of the writers. The price of reading a package will be set by the publishers.

Famous authors may not need publishers because their loyal readers will have the system find their stuff automatically.

A common complaint about newspapers from readers and reporters alike is their shallowness. This comes from the editorial necessity of producing a general interest package every day. The new form of publication will permit a reporter specializing in a country or a topic to produce articles as long as he pleases so long as he also produces the short items for the casual reader. The 2New York Times correspondent in Constantinople will be able to fully satisfy the fans of Byzantine politics, and there needn't be more than a few hundred of them to pay his salary.

A reader may feel that he needs help in finding his way through the totality of literature available to him. People will be eager to make a living providing it. A bookstore or library is a program that shows the ``covers'' of publications. Reviewers will produce lists for him and make money when he reads their lists or by kickbacks from the publishers. Reading advisers under some catchier name will offer to generate lists just for him according to a profile of his interests. A more exotic possibility is that programs may be written to identify writings that were liked by a large percentage of the few science fiction fans who have read them and bring them to the attention of a much larger science fiction public. If a fraction of the science fiction fans were willing to look at a random sample of the ``slush pile'' of new writing, then the system could function without any official editors at all. Presumably people who thought they could tell writers how to write better would offer their services directly to the writers.

Advertising in the sense of something that can force itself on the attention of a reader will disappear because it will be too easy to read via a program that screens out undesirable material. However, people will still want to know what is for sale and will still want to see the seller's story about why they should buy it. Probably, Time will still be able to get money from advertisers; many people will still want to know what is advertised in Time, but those who don't want to know will be able to avoid it automatically.

Another effect is the possibility of frequent revisions of articles and books. An author can take into account new facts or other people's criticisms, and the revision will take effect immediately. This raises 1984ish possibilities, so it must be provided that old versions remain available. Those who suspect the whole system will keep their own copies of favorite material in their private files, on microfilm, or even on paper.

Public controversy can be carried out more expeditiously than at present. If I read something that seems controversial, I can ask the system if anyone has filed a reply. This, together with an author's ability to revise his original statement, will lead people to converge on considered positions more quickly than at present even if they do not come to actual agreement.

This ability to answer immediately and make that answer available immediately to any reader of the original statement will improve both politics and journalism. The controversial style of both public figures and journalists is profoundly corrupted by their present ability to hit-and-run. (Everyone notices how much more reasonable politicians are in small groups within which dissent can be expressed). When they know their readers will be able to see an answer from the target of their criticism they will have to put their arguments in ways that will withstand criticism rather than merely in ways that have the most immediate effect.

Freedom of information can be made more effective. The Freedom of Information Act requires that certain government records be available to the public. However, economics dictates that this information is available in reading rooms usually in Washington. So far, the main beneficiaries of the act have been organizations that can afford full time researchers to dig out the information and legal staffs experienced in putting judicial spokes in administrative wheels. If all public information has to be kept in publically accessible computer systems, then the information will be nationally available. Even before home terminals become widespread, rather small organizations and libraries will be able to afford computer terminals and small amounts of long distance connect time. Therefore, we advocate that it should be required immediately that public information be stored in remotely accessible computer systems. Organizations will be able to acquire suitable terminals in months while it will take a few years for the government agencies to implement putting the information in computer systems.

The financial aspect of writing would presumably be as follows: a piece of written material has a price for reading it. (This price may be zero for amateur writing, political propaganda, advertising, and for scientific journals). The reader's account is debited and the account to which the material belongs is automatically credited. The reader will have the system balk at what he considers overpriced material.

To summarize: the information utility will promote intellectual competition by reducing the price of entry, will permit readers to be selective, and will allow authors to revise material until they are satisfied that it withstands criticism as well as it ever will. This should make intellectual life more interesting.

The object of these remarks is not to make a precise prediction of what will happen but rather to show that the new technology will support a much wider variety of institutional arrangements than presently exists.

Effects on commerce and bureaucracy

The new information system will have a profound effect on buying and selling. Sellers of movies, groceries, automobiles, plumbing services and cures for baldness will find it advantageous to list their wares in the information system together with current prices and availability. The user can place an order through the system as he can by telephone, but he can do much more:

  1. If bills are ``mailed'' through the information system and saved away in the user's private files, when he is ready to pay, they can be presented one at a time and he can type Y or N according to whether he wants to pay the bill now and the money will be transferred immediately to the payee, and all necessary records will be kept.

  2. He can deal with federal, state, local and business bureaucracies through his terminal. Thus he can get the rules governing dog licenses, fill out the forms, and pay for the license through the terminal. Incidentally, instead of putting the same information on dozens of forms each year, he can have common pieces of information like his address entered automatically; i.e. when the automated questionaire says ADDRESS, he types OK, and his program transmits the address, and when the questionaire transmits ``MOTHER'S MAIDEN NAME'', he types NO, and his program transmits ``None of your business!''.

  3. He can call on someone's program to scan the sellers of sports cars and propose what it considers the best deal. This program might even negotiate with programs representing the sellers.

  4. He can tell the system whether last year's cure for baldness worked and a get a summary of the opinions of those who bothered to record their opinions of the cure he contemplates trying now.

  5. He can make an airplane or hotel reservation by interacting with a program the airline or hotel reservation company has written to tell him what is available. He need not suffer the delays you now get when you call an airline or travel agent at peak hours.

  6. Individual design and construction services can be offered through the system although this requires the development of computer controlled manufacturing techniques for various types of article. The idea is that automated design programs can produce designs for articles meeting individual specifications. Either by himself or in consultation with an expert, an individual would use the system to produce a design and display how it would look and possibly how it would perform. Candidates for individual design include clothing, furniture, boats, electronic equipment, houses, and even cars. The system would then produce the instructions for controlling machine tools, fabric cutters, and also printed instructions for the hand parts of the operation. In general, it should be possible to make single objects at little more cost than present mass produced objects. In some cases, there would even be savings, because mass production requires estimates of demand that are often wrong resulting in inventories that are expensive to sell or even have to be sold at a loss; the cost of this is made up by a general increase in prices.

Many more useful services can be offered through the new information system and again the system is conducive to competition. Writing and storing a program and announcing its availability can be a very low capital operation, and the system can collect whatever price has been set for its use.

Services that can be offered soon

We could go on listing services that would come to be offered in a fully developed system, but now we shall list some services to smaller groups of users that are cheaper to provide and which will help get the system started.

  1. Calculation and facilities for writing, running, and debugging computer programs. This doesn't interest the general public much, but it is the present bread and butter of the time- sharing service bureaus that will grow into the new information system. At present, these service bureaus offer very convenient way of doing small scientific and engineering calculations, but do not offer reasonable prices for big computations, and are only beginning to offer useful services to business firms.

  2. Messages. The cost of mail service is going steadily up and its quality is going steadily down. Already a letter costs more to send than a local telephone call. The ability to send a written message that will be seen the next time a user sits down at his computer terminal has proved very convenient to users of the Defense Department sponsored ARPA net. Already, if I type ``MAIL MINSKY\$\%MIT-AI When are you coming to California next?'', the message ``When are you coming to California next?'' will be received by Minsky at M.I.T. the next time he uses his terminal.

  3. Editing. Anyone who writes (writers, journalists, scientists, advertising men, engineers and students) will benefit from using an editor program. It allows easy revision, can be made to check spelling, grammar, and punctuation, and will produce justified or other forms of elegant output and also indexes. This paper was edited on the computer including the specification of printing in several type fonts. The document is stored on disk at the Stanford Artificial Intelligence Laboratory, and any user of the ARPA net can access the latest version using the name HOTER.ESS[W76,JMC]@SU-AI.

  4. Filing. Keeping personal files in the computer has great advantages, but some of them must await the ability to enter other people's documents without retyping them. If they have been prepared in a computer readable form, it is easy, but someday a suitable page reader will be available.

  5. Education. Computer aided instruction (CAI) has advanced to the point that a number of courses or aids to traditional courses have been developed and have been shown to be useful. The main obstacle to the widespread use of CAI is economic, but new developments in display technology and communications give a reasonable probability of cost-effective systems within this decade. There is no special problem in having these systems available in the home as well as at school. This would be aided by standardizing course writing languages. Again, we should try to stimulate competition by encouraging the offering of courses in particular subjects independent of the schools.

The development of information utilities is probably inevitable (unless it is forbidden by law) as soon as costs come down to the point where it is profitable for time-sharing service bureaus to offer services to individuals. However, favorable policies will bring this about sooner and will make the effects better.

Between us and the home information system lie a number of problems, some in developing suitable low cost terminals, some in programming technology of time-sharing, some in the economics and politics of communication systems, and some in the attitude of the public and government towards innovation. In the following sections we shall discuss these problems.



The quality and price of display consoles is rapidly improving. At present, one can add a display console with keyboard to our laboratory system for about $500, and to add another port on the system so that the number of consoles active at one time is increased by one costs about $1000. A reasonable display console that can be located at the end of a telephone line now costs about $3,000. These consoles are adequate for any of the services mentioned in the previous sections, although for reading purposes, it would be desirable to be able to display more than 35 typed lines at a time.

In my opinion, the cost of a display terminal adequate for extensive reading that can be located at the end of a telephone line will be in the $500 to $1000 range by 1980 even without a market of the size of the potential home terminal market. The business, engineering, science, and government markets will be large enough and price sensitive enough to bring this about.


Facilities for digital communications are growing rapidly but in a disorderly way because of the multiplicity of requirements of the different applications. Thus credit verification requires very low cost short communications with turn around times of seconds. Other uses require very low cost per bit but can stand delays of minutes and hence are candidates for low performance store and forward systems. Terminal systems need long holding times, short response times, and much higher transmission rates from computer to user than in the other direction.

The speeds of transmission over present unconditioned voice grade circuits are lower than one would like for reading. 1200 bits per second takes 20 seconds to transmit a typed page and four times that for a page of a dictionary. 9600 bits per second is obtained over conditioned voice grade lines, and this may be adequate. Another posibility is the transmission technology planned for the Picturephone service, but the cost of this service for long holding times is not clear. The most economical system might be a specially designed store and forward system configured to give fast turn around for short messages.

Computer technology

Computer technology can now offer the services required for the home terminal at a reasonable cost, provided computer configurations are optimized for the purpose, provided reasonable load factors can be obtained, and provided there are reasonable economies of scale. Unfortunately, IBM computers are organized in such a way that time sharing is very expensive because of their interrupt structure, their expensive terminal multiplexors, and their dedication to the archaic half duplex method of communication, and their giant, inefficient and almost unchangable operating systems. The other major computer manufacturers such as CDC, General Electric, and Univac are not in much better shape since they offer for time-sharing, machines that were optimized for other purposes. Smaller companies like DEC are in a somewhat better position. However, none of these difficulties are permanent, and better organized computers may be expected once the factors in computer design that make for good cost-performance in time sharing become clearer to the manufacturers. (The non-technical reader is warned that the above views are most likely controversial).

Present magnetic disk storage units are cost-effective for information utilities serving home terminals. A cheap imitation of the IBM 3330/11 disk costs about $16.00 at the margin for storing a book using two-to-one information compression. This is fine for personal files and for libraries provided we can make one on-line copy replace several paper copies. This is still rather expensive for private copies of books.

Disk files are continuing to increase in cost-effectiveness, and much larger storage media are being promoted.

Computer programming

The basic technology of time-sharing is reasonably well developed, and cost-effective systems have been written, but there is still a lot of chasing of will-o'-the-wisps, and bad time-sharing systems are often produced by otherwise competent organizations. The costs of the programming to offer the services mentioned in the first part of this paper can be much reduced by further advances in programming such as:

  1. The interactive and file reference aspects of programming languages and time-sharing systems need to be standardized so that an interactive system written in one system can be used in another that uses different hardware and a different time sharing system. Without this it will be very expensive for new user services to get large markets unless some particular time sharing system gets a monopoly.

  2. A system needs to be developed for representing text in a computer that will include the full variety of alphabets, type fonts and character sizes and also be adaptable to diagrams, drawings and photographs. The consoles also have to be adapted to this variety of styles. This is an ultimate requirement; much can be done with texts that are just regarded as sequences of latin letters.

  3. The biggest task, however, is the application programming itself.

Commercial organization

Fortunately, time-sharing services are not a natural monopoly. Communication is cheap enough for teletype based time-sharing so that with local multiplexors, time-sharing bureaus can compete all over the United States. In principal, it should be possible to have world wide competition. The major developments that may reduce competition are (i) if the terminals are supplied by the information utility and cannot be used with that utility's competitors; and (ii) if the utility only allows its subscribers to use its own programs and data files. Therefore, the users should own their own terminals, and the ownership of programs performing services should be separate from the ownership of the service bureaus themselves. It is important to have enough compatibility between different time-sharing systems so that the owner of a service program can provide it on a number of machines. It is also important that important files be accessible and modifiable with suitable protections by actions initiated on other machines than the one that maintains the file.

Needs for research and development

The hardware required for home consoles will be too expensive for extensive systems for probably another five years. In the meantime, research and development should be undertaken in the following areas:

  • Standardization of the interfaces of time-sharing systems and their languages.

  • Experimentation with services. At present, it is very difficult to get support for development of generally useful services unless either it can be claimed that disaster will result from failure to support the activity or that the supporting organization will itself make a profit. This political fact is one of the reasons for the concentration on military technology in the recent past.

  • Research aimed at devising ways of co-ordinating the great variety of time-sharing services into a mutually communicating network. Neither sufficient understanding nor sufficient political or commercial force is available to cause the development of time-sharing services to proceed according to a unified plan. Nevertheless, computers are flexible enough so that originally incompatible systems can be made to communicate and use each other's services. Experiments with the ARPA network that provides communication among Defense Department sponsored research computers are providing useful information.

    Social issues

  • Government created monopoly - most likely inadvertent. If government regulations remain as they are in May 1976, home terminals can develop in a freely competitive manner. The famous Carterphone decision and its extensions permitting connection of arbitrary devices meeting non-interference standards to the telephone system is exactly what is required for home terminals. However, there are several dangers. First the new communication companies want to get a share of the data communication business from AT&T, and this may well take the form of separating a share of the present market legally, and prescribing who may offer what services. Since home terminal services don't exist yet, it may turn out that no-one is allowed to offer the communications they require. Second, some planners have a limited view of what services are possible, and want to provide them through a system based on CATV which has the side effect of making home terminals a local monopoly of the CATV operator. Thirdly, there are proposals (New York Times editorial of April , 1976), to make electronic mail a monopoly of the Postal Service. This is the most pernicious of all, because it requires splitting off a service analogous to present mail service and preventing anyone except the assigned monopolist from offering any service that includes it.

    Not everyone will agree with the picture of home terminal services given in this paper, but I hope we can agree that this and similar ideas shouldn't be precluded by creating new monopolies.

    1. Who will get it first? I think it must be accepted that the first subscribers of information utilities will be well-to-do people with particular inclinations in that direction. Fortunately, a telephone based system doesn't need a large fraction of the households in an area as subscribers in order to make money. Moreover, the costs of the services in a mature technology will be low enough so that after the rich have paid the start-up costs, everyone at an economic level to afford a car will also be able to afford home terminal service.

    2. Privacy and security. It is easy to have fantasies about the government or other large organizations establishing a dictatorship through their access to everyone's personal data and people doing each other in with information gained from computerized spying. In my opinion, the source of dictatorship isn't information but a monopoly on force and the will to use it. In time-sharing systems in which security measures have been installed only in response to actual misuse, rather little has been required.

      However, much higher degrees of privacy and security can be achieved with computerized systems than with manual information systems. People can encrypt their private information, each use of a file containing personal data can be recorded in the file, and the systems that ensure all this can be subject to audit by any organization concerned with protecting privacy.

    3. Who will convert the existing literature? Some writings are have current copyrights, and some are in the public domain. It would seem that copyright owners should have the option of converting their property and owning the result. Material in the public domain could either be converted by the government or by whoever thinks the public will pay to look at what he chooses to convert. I will confess a preference for a systematic project to convert everything.

    4. What about unauthorized copying? It is very difficult even today to prevent unauthorized copying of very high priced material. Below a certain level of price, it is cheaper to pay the price of access each time a document is read than to pay the storage cost of maintaining a copy. Eventually the cost of storage compared to the socially desirable rewards of authorship may get so small that storing unauthorized copies may become profitable. The limiting situation is one in which authors have to be paid like scientists for their work in producing the material after which the results are freely distributed. I think this day should be postponed as long as possible but not at the cost of snooping in people's private files or preventing home terminals.

    5. Banking today combines two functions: The first is recording who has what money and transferring it on properly authenticated demand, and the second end is borrowing money and prudently relending it at higher interest. The first function may well be a natural monopoly in an electronic system and the second definitely is not. Therefore it may become necessary to separate these functions. Once they are separated, the competition in borrowing and relending money can become more effectively nationwide. Legislative action will be necessary to separate these two functions.


    The Stanford Artificial Intelligence Laboratory has had a time-sharing computer system since 1965. Since 1971 we have had keyboard and display terminals in all offices including those of secretaries and our business manager; this is still rather uncommon, because most organizations are committed to unnecessarily expensive technologies. Since 1972 our computer has been part of the ARPA Network that connects about 60 laboratories and other installations supported by the Defense Department.

    The main use of the Laboratory's computer system is research programming in artificial intelligence which is not what most citizens will use their home terminals for. However, we also use it for writing, editing and storing reports, for exchanging messages, and as an aid in administering our project and facilities, and some of this experience is relevant to home terminal use. Here are some of our conclusions:

    1. Office and home use of computers will depend decisively on convenience, and a terminal in each office is an absolute necessity.

    2. Inexperience in typing is a psychological hazard for people contemplating using a computer, but it is not a practical barrier even for people who have never touched a typewriter.

    3. The human engineering of the time-sharing system and especially the editor program very important if the facilities are to be used casually by non-computer people. Having an adequate small set of commands is very important, but additional commands for expert use are fine provided beginners and casual users don't have to learn them. It is especially important to keep down the number of concepts that have to be learned. Having done all this, we find that temporary secretaries filling in while the regular secretaries are on vacation can use the editor to prepare documents with help from regular secretaries.

    4. The ARPA net has a facility for sending messages to users of the same or other computers on the net. The user is notified of his message immediately if he is logged into his terminal and the next time he logs in otherwise. The time required to send a message is about 10 seconds plus the time required to type it. It is not clear why, but the written message system is often preferred to the telephone, to visiting the other person's office or to written notes. Maybe the reason is that each of the other procedures may be frustrating, while sending the computer message is always completed promptly, even though the recipient won't get it unless he logs in. I receive about 100 messages per month.

    5. We have an experimental news service using the national news wires of the Associated Press and the New York Times news services.

      A user can type an expression like ''kissinger-moscow'' and be told that there are 10 stories containing the word ``Kissinger'' and not containing the word ``Moscow'' in today's news. The user can then look at whatever stories he wants to. The service is popular in times of crisis, but the computer is heavily loaded, so the waits between stories are often unacceptably long. Experience with the service emphasizes the shallowness of a news coverage in which reporters file only stories likely to be chosen for a limited news space that must contain only items judged to be of general interest.

    6. We also have two novels stored on disk, and it is quite feasible to read them on the terminals. The quality is about like bad pulp paper, and two novels is not much of a library. In compensation, the computer remembers your place.

    I welcome comments. Send them to jmc@cs.stanford.edu.

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