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originated from a Bulletin Board System created by Gregory Scott Smith in San Antonio, Texas in March 1983.
It began as a dial-up system running on a single Apple II+ with a modem.
Shortly afterwards, it was ported to a Microsoft Xenix–based Tandy 6000 microcomputer and re-written in MBASIC, and then re-written again in C by programmer Jon Boede.
It was originally conceived as a pen-pal network for everyone.
There were no membership fees and the system operated on user donations.
In 1985 the system was relocated to Houston, Texas and operated on four dial-up lines.
The following year, two other systems were networked and allowed users in San Antonio, Texas and San Jose, California to join the "date-a-base".
In 1987 the software became available to franchise from the programmer, Jon Boede.
The number of local systems grew to about a dozen, and became funded by user subscriptions.
This business model allowed for each system to be moved into a commercial office environment for stability.