To Our Readers: Apr. 17, 1995

Anybody who has read TIME in its electronic edition on America Online and ventured into our computer message boards knows Tom Mandel. For the past 1 1/2 years, he has been our online host, greeting new visitors, starting new topics, steering the discussion, arbitrating the sometimes contentious debates and teaching us-readers and journalists alike-how computers can be used to forge new and unexpected bonds between people.

But the most important lesson Tom taught was the one that began last November, when he announced online that he had been diagnosed with inoperable lung cancer. In a typically understated message, Tom bravely declared...

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