Computers: End of the Ride

Severing the ARPANET

No computer system made a more tempting target for WarGames-style mischief than ARPANET, a Defense Department network linking 5,000 subscribers to 318 giant computers in the U.S. Operated by the Advanced Research Projects Agency to give key civilian researchers access to military computers, ARPANET could also be reached over telephone lines by anyone with a home terminal and the proper phone number. Hundreds of "tourists" have roamed through the system, many of them teen-agers who rode it like a magic carpet to computerland. The network's lines have been used for Dungeons & Dragons duels and its electronic mail...

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