Digital Archaeology: Codex (Floppy Disk) #8 (part 1)

If I’m counting right, this is the eighth 5.25″ disk I have documented the contents of so far (see the last one here). All of them so far are from a batch I picked up at a thrift store a number of years ago. As I have been digging through these disks, it has become obvious that at least some of them were once owned by someone named Connie A. Buys who used to run the “Close Encounters” Special Interest Group (SIG) on Delphi in the mid 1980s.

My understanding is that a SIG, as it relates to Delphi, consisted of forums, live chat and files to download centered around a particular topic or theme. In this case, “Close Encounters” was about relationships and sex, particularly as it related to the online world of the day. Everything was text based from whatever terminal program you used to dial in to Delphi’s servers. Many of these disks have forum messages, e-mails and chat session logs. All of this is pre-internet stuff and I don’t know if there are any archives in existence today of what was on Delphi in the 1980s. In any case, much of this stuff would have been private at the time and some of it is quite personal.

This contents of this disk (descriptively labeled “File Disk”) will be split up into multiple posts since it contains a number of documents, some of which are pretty long. This first document (ARNE.DOC) is a series of e-mails questioning whether or not one of the participants in the SIG is of the appropriate age (i.e. 18+). Like most of the other documents, this one appears to be a raw terminal log so e-mails appear in the order read which isn’t always necessarily chronological and it includes commands and other editing artifacts.


ARNIE.DOC

#11 14-OCT-1985 19:47:26 MAIL

From: BOS1A::CABUYS “CONNIE”
To: ARNE,@MGRS.DIS,CABUYS
Subj: Close Encounters SIG & Age Restriction

Hello Arne,

It has come to my attention that there is some question about how old you are.

One of the membership requirements we have in Close Encounters sig is that
one must be 18 years old or older.

This information has been included in many areas of the sig, including the
non-member message and new-member messages available to you when you first
accessed this sig. It is a formal part of my contract with Delphi that I
must enforce to the best of my ability.

This information is also available to you in the Announcements> Membership
section of the sig for review at any time and other such notices calling
*all* sig members attention to this have been posted to be read automatically
upon entry to the sig.

Just in case you missed it, tho, I would like to quote as follows:

“Membership in ‘Close Encounters’ is restricted to persons who are at least
18 years of age or older…Although it’s difficult to verify age via this
medium, anyone found to have violated the age requirement will be denied
access to the sig at the discretion of the sig managers.”

Other sig members have indicated that you are 17. If this is the case, then
I will have to remove you from the membership. If this is not the case, and
you can verify it by honestly telling me your age, then you can remain. If
you feel insulted that we are going to such great pains about this, then
perhaps Close Encounters is not really the sig for you.

Please reply to this message by Wednesday, October 16, before 11 PM EST or I
will have no choice but to take the necessary action.

Thank you.

-Connie A. Buys, Sig Manager
-John Yerger, Asst. Manager
-Joey, SysOp

MAIL>

#12 14-OCT-1985 20:38:01 MAIL

From: BOS1A::ARNE
To: CABUYS
Subj: arne

Dear Ms. Ca Bus ys,
It has come to my attention that there is some question about my age.
For the record, I am 28. S Naturally, th since this information is not being
imparted to you by one of your cronies from years gone by, I don’t expect
you to belive it.
eve it.
Arne

MAIL> read 18

#18 15-OCT-1985 08:22:50 MAIL

From: BOS1A::ARNE
To: CABUYS
Subj: beinf g ornery

Well, connie, looks like i’m in the process of being canned for rom the sig…
guess you’re just doin’ your job….would “We’ll always have Parie s s” be
laying in t on a bit too thick?
arne

MAIL> read 19

#19 15-OCT-1985 10:17:45 MAIL

From: BOS1A::JOHNWG
To: JOEY,JOHNMYSELF,CABUYS
Subj: Could you please give me an explanation of this? Thanks, John

From: BOS1A::SERVICE 14-OCT-1985 13:28
To: JOHNWG
Subj: I think ARNE didn’t like being excluded from Close Encounters..

From: BOS1A::ARNE 13-OCT-1985 00:04
To: SERVICE
Subj: Close Enc SIG

Dear Service,
When I started using Delphi heavily about a month ago, several people
warned me in no uncertain terms about how cliquish the place was. I thought
they had an axe to grind for some other telecom service, so I just let it
pass.
Tonight the SIG managers of Close Encounters proved to me the hard way
that I was mistaken.
After joining the scheduled conf, the sysops started asking about my age
which never seemed to be a prob with any lem any other time in that SIG. When I
started joking about remembering World War I, they mde ade some rather Gestapo-
like comments about owing them straight answers, then promptly barred me
from the conference.
I had offered to call the SIG mgr and convince him voice-to-voice of
my age but the option of siml ply excluding someone who wasn’t a SIG mgr
himself (or one of ther= ir older cronies) was apparently so much easier.
Later I learned that the mgr’s traded quips about how strange I was
and not fit material for their SIG anyway.
When the heavi y usage I (and heavy bills) of September and October fall
back to the little-or-no-usage of the pro evious months, this first-hand
demonstration of cliquishness and cronie y-in sm in the Close Encounters group
is the reason why.

Very truly yours,
Arne

P.S. I/ ‘m not yet quick enough to know how to send copies of this to
other users, so i but if you wig sh to send copies to JOEY, JOHNMYSELF, and
CABUT YS, I would appreciate it.

MAIL> read 1

#1 15-OCT-1985 18:28:37 NEWMAIL

From: BOS1A::CABUYS “CONNIE”
To: ARNE,JOHNMYSELF,JOEY,CABUYS
Subj: age question

Arne,

I honestly have no reason to *not* believe you about your age. I was simply
trying to clear up a misunderstanding before it got out of hand, but it appears
I was too late to do that.

I see no reason, now that you have answered my question, to bar you from the
sig and conferences. I do regret and apologize for any inconvenience this may
have caused you, and very much regret that such circumstances have caused you
to have a bad opinion of us. Please do understand that I was doing what I
felt was necessary as Sig Manager in accordance with the terms of my contract
with Delphi.

If you wish to discuss this any further, please do call me collect at
(904)-388-2531. I do wish I had been on line at the origination of all this
problem because I would have accepted your offer at the time about making the
call.

-Connie A. Buys, Sig Manager

MAIL>

#1 15-OCT-1985 18:33:06 NEWMAIL

From: BOS1A::CABUYS “CONNIE”
To: @MGRS,CABUYS
Subj: The Question of Age

It’s true that we are having kids show up in the sig. And it’s true that we
are having adults show up who are offended when asked their age.

From this date on, I will personally handle any question about age. Until I
can handle it, if I’m unavailable at the time of its occurrence, then the
member is to be treated as any other member of the sig.

Remember the users are paying our way here. We must not be harsh, or appear
offensive or unkind to them and they require handling with kid gloves. This
sig is young yet but has a good potential if we cultivate it carefully

Thank you both co-operation and understanding it this.

-Connie

MAIL> list arne.doc

#11 14-OCT-1985 19:47:26 MAIL

From: BOS1A::CABUYS “CONNIE”
To: ARNE,@MGRS.DIS,CABUYS
Subj: Close Encounters SIG & Age Restriction

Hello Arne,

It has come to my attention that there is some question about how old you are.

One of the membership requirements we have in Close Encounters sig is that
one must be 18 years old or older.

This information has been included in many areas of the sig, including the
non-member message and new-member messages available to you when you first
accessed this sig. It is a formal part of my contract with Delphi that I
must enforce to the best of my ability.

This information is also available to you in the Announcements> Membership
section of the sig for review at any time and other such notices calling
*all* sig members attention to this have been posted to be read automatically
upon entry to the sig.

Just in case you missed it, tho, I would like to quote as follows:

“Membership in ‘Close Encounters’ is restricted to persons who are at least
18 years of age or older…Although it’s difficult to verify age via this
medium, anyone found to have violated the age requirement will be denied
access to the sig at the discretion of the sig managers.”

Other sig members have indicated that you are 17. If this is the case, then
I will have to remove you from the membership. If this is not the case, and
you can verify it by honestly telling me your age, then you can remain. If
you feel insulted that we are going to such great pains about this, then
perhaps Close Encounters is not really the sig for you.

Please reply to this message by Wednesday, October 16, before 11 PM EST or I
will have no choice but to take the necessary action.

Thank you.

-Connie A. Buys, Sig Manager
-John Yerger, Asst. Manager
-Joey, SysOp

MAIL>

#12 14-OCT-1985 20:38:01 MAIL

From: BOS1A::ARNE
To: CABUYS
Subj: arne

Dear Ms. Ca Bus ys,
It has come to my attention that there is some question about my age.
For the record, I am 28. S Naturally, th since this information is not being
imparted to you by one of your cronies from years gone by, I don’t expect
you to belive it.
eve it.
Arne

MAIL> read 18

#18 15-OCT-1985 08:22:50 MAIL

From: BOS1A::ARNE
To: CABUYS
Subj: beinf g ornery

Well, connie, looks like i’m in the process of being canned for rom the sig…
guess you’re just doin’ your job….would “We’ll always have Parie s s” be
laying in t on a bit too thick?
arne

MAIL> read 19

#19 15-OCT-1985 10:17:45 MAIL

From: BOS1A::JOHNWG
To: JOEY,JOHNMYSELF,CABUYS
Subj: Could you please give me an explanation of this? Thanks, John

From: BOS1A::SERVICE 14-OCT-1985 13:28
To: JOHNWG
Subj: I think ARNE didn’t like being excluded from Close Encounters..

From: BOS1A::ARNE 13-OCT-1985 00:04
To: SERVICE
Subj: Close Enc SIG

Dear Service,
When I started using Delphi heavily about a month ago, several people
warned me in no uncertain terms about how cliquish the place was. I thought
they had an axe to grind for some other telecom service, so I just let it
pass.
Tonight the SIG managers of Close Encounters proved to me the hard way
that I was mistaken.
After joining the scheduled conf, the sysops started asking about my age
which never seemed to be a prob with any lem any other time in that SIG. When I
started joking about remembering World War I, they mde ade some rather Gestapo-
like comments about owing them straight answers, then promptly barred me
from the conference.
I had offered to call the SIG mgr and convince him voice-to-voice of
my age but the option of siml ply excluding someone who wasn’t a SIG mgr
himself (or one of ther= ir older cronies) was apparently so much easier.
Later I learned that the mgr’s traded quips about how strange I was
and not fit material for their SIG anyway.
When the heavi y usage I (and heavy bills) of September and October fall
back to the little-or-no-usage of the pro evious months, this first-hand
demonstration of cliquishness and cronie y-in sm in the Close Encounters group
is the reason why.

Very truly yours,
Arne

P.S. I/ ‘m not yet quick enough to know how to send copies of this to
other users, so i but if you wig sh to send copies to JOEY, JOHNMYSELF, and
CABUT YS, I would appreciate it.

MAIL> read 1

#1 15-OCT-1985 18:28:37 NEWMAIL

From: BOS1A::CABUYS “CONNIE”
To: ARNE,JOHNMYSELF,JOEY,CABUYS
Subj: age question

Arne,

I honestly have no reason to *not* believe you about your age. I was simply
trying to clear up a misunderstanding before it got out of hand, but it appears
I was too late to do that.

I see no reason, now that you have answered my question, to bar you from the
sig and conferences. I do regret and apologize for any inconvenience this may
have caused you, and very much regret that such circumstances have caused you
to have a bad opinion of us. Please do understand that I was doing what I
felt was necessary as Sig Manager in accordance with the terms of my contract
with Delphi.

If you wish to discuss this any further, please do call me collect at
(904)-388-2531. I do wish I had been on line at the origination of all this
problem because I would have accepted your offer at the time about making the
call.

-Connie A. Buys, Sig Manager

MAIL>

#1 15-OCT-1985 18:33:06 NEWMAIL

From: BOS1A::CABUYS “CONNIE”
To: @MGRS,CABUYS
Subj: The Question of Age

It’s true that we are having kids show up in the sig. And it’s true that we
are having adults show up who are offended when asked their age.

From this date on, I will personally handle any question about age. Until I
can handle it, if I’m unavailable at the time of its occurrence, then the
member is to be treated as any other member of the sig.

Remember the users are paying our way here. We must not be harsh, or appear
offensive or unkind to them and they require handling with kid gloves. This
sig is young yet but has a good potential if we cultivate it carefully

Thank you both co-operation and understanding it this.

-Connie

MAIL>
Dear Mr. Gibney;

During the early portion of our scheduled conference this past
saturday, Arne joined us. It had been brought to our attention that
he might not be over 18, a provision of membership as set forth in our
rules and the contract we hold with Delphi, and I thought to enquire.
He became evasive and refused to state his age directly. Tiglon, one
of our members was the only person who stated that he was ‘old enough
to vote’ but by this time he had already impressed me and several
others that perhaps he should not be at our conference. I then set up
a closed version of the conference until he left.

I have included in this letter, a partial transcript of that
conference covering Arne’s arrival to my setting up the new conference.
I have deleted only the control characters (^M, ^H, ^G) and the extra
lines of input. (I run with echo set so my lines appear twice – the
duplicate lines are deleted). Sen messages have been kept in as well.

As you know, we do have a specified age limit of 18 and while we
recognize that we really connot verify that, it is our policy to
check if there are conflicting reports of an individuals age.
Otherwise, we question no one about their age preferring to
rely on their own honesty.

Also, a stipulation in the contract states that it is up to the
sig managers to enforce this age restriction. Had Arne been direct
I would have accepted that and let it be. However, he chose to remain
‘mysterious’, making ‘smart’ remarks about world wars, being way too
young to run for president and the like. While he did offer to talk on
the phone, he wanted a number to call ‘collect’. Had he considered
having me call him, I might have done so, however, I refuse to give
out my non-published number for ‘collect’ calls. Also, in his case,
I probably would not give him my number under any conditions.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
partial transcript of conference 10-12-85
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

** ARNE just joined CLE – CENTERFOLD (4 members now) **
JOEY> Hi Arne
.Marti> Hi Arne!!
ARNE> hi, hi, hi
.Myself> lo, lo, lo
.Marti> Arne can be the centerfold…
.Marti> boy…I’m gonna like this magazine
.Myself> think he’s too young 4 tht.
ARNE> smile when you say that!
.Marti> how young?
ARNE> how young am i?
/w arne
There is no information on file for ARNE.
.Myself> right
.Marti> yes, arene
ARNE> who cares?
.Marti> arne
.Myself> I do
JOEY> I do
.Myself> and I am in charge here.
ARNE> then i’m just your age or slightly older!
ARNE> and a shameless liar
.Myself> right , now if u pls – correct age
JOEY> (gasp) No profile on Arne.
ARNE> er, um, heh, heh, heh
.Myself> I know that already
JOEY>> I think he is a kid, also.
/s joey I understand he does
ILLUSION>> any idea how old he is?
/s joey I understand he does not meet the age limit
/s illusion too young – forget the actual number
ARNE> w’all ah dew ‘member th’ Great War — fought in that one, by golly!
.Marti> Arne likes to be mysterious
JOEY>> Might want to check Clydeturbo too if he shows up.
ARNE> war to end ’em all, we liked to call it
.Marti> cute Arne
JOEY> Straight answers sure are nice.
.Myself> arne, I am afraid that you will not be allowed to remain. and I can
keep u out easily
ARNE> why????????
.Marti> what is the age limit?
.Marti> 18?
.Myself> because we have an age limit restriction which I understand u do not
meet –
.Myself> and its in my contract to enforce same.
ARNE> i’m well over 18, as aren’t we all
.Myself> I have heard several reliable sources indicate otherwise.
.Marti> [gulp]
ARNE> if i were running for president i would be considered far too young
.Myself> yes marti
ARNE> that give you enuff clues
JOEY> We don’t need clues.
ARNE> what, then do you need, hmmmmmmmmmmmmmm?
.Marti> Are you under 18 Arne?
.Myself> your correct – no lie – age
ARNE> no, but if you’ll make enough suggestions that i am…
.Myself> [and a letter from the Pope if u want to get smart abt it]
ARNE> …we might get along REAL well
/w
GROUP LIST: 21:23:49
1) CLE – CENTERFOLD
Myself, JOEY, Marti, ARNE
– idle
AVAILABLE LIST: () = in conf
(ARNE), (JOHNMYSELF), (JOEY), (ILLUSION)
—— [4 in this area]
ARNE> so what’s going on — we sit around and cross-examine each other?
.Myself> not really –
JOEY> No, we talk straight.
ARNE> seig heil!
.Myself> we are going to have a discussion aft 9:30
.Myself> if anyone [else] shows up
.Marti> is connie cming?
.Myself> behave yourself and I might be induced to forget your not over 18
JOEY> Connie will be here.
.Myself> I hope so
ARNE> yeah, yeah, yeah a sexy talk about naughty mags — whats the big deal
JOEY> Rod won’t be, though.
.Myself> no deal – big or otherwise.
/w
ARNE> then why the cross-examination

GROUP LIST: 21:25:39
1) CLE – CENTERFOLD
Myself, JOEY, Marti, ARNE
– idle
AVAILABLE LIST: () = in conf
(ARNE), (JOHNMYSELF), (JOEY), (ILLUSION)
—— [4 in this area]
JOEY> Personally, I’m not ashamed of my age.
.Myself> mainly becasue of u sir
.Marti> Arne…we just want to make sure you’re not a kid..
ARNE> personally your age is your business
.Myself> in this case, your age is my business.
.Marti> This is a somehwat special Sig.
.Myself> I have a sig to run, and the age limit is built into it for a variety o
f reasons
ARNE> ok, give me a phone number i can call collect…
.Myself> I made sure that with my partner, we would have that in to avoid
.Myself> potential trouble
ARNE> i’ll talk to you and convince you i’m old enuff to vote
JOEY>> This guy’s a smart ass!
.Myself> sorry, my phone bills are too high for collect calls
/s joey I will switch to a private group – stby
ARNE> then it cant be that important
** Tiggy just joined CLE – CENTERFOLD (5 members now) **
/t cle – sex mags & why read them
.Tiggy> right on time!
.Marti> Hi Tig!!!!
.Tiggy> marti!! hi!
JOEY> Hi Tig!
ARNE> hey, tiggy, tells these cretins i’m old enuff to vote
.Tiggy> john and joey hi!
.Tiggy> he is old enough guys
.Marti> cretins?
** <=== incognito 2) .Myself> ** PRIVATE group **

**********end of transcript**********

It is just possible that this matter could have been handled
a bit better and we would be willing to meet with Arne to discuss
this sig, and our rules and why we have them. However, I if he cannot
conduct himself consistant with the age he expects us to accept him as,
it is in the best interest of our membership not to allow him in.

Please note that our action involved only the conference itself. No
action has [yet] been taken to restrict access to the sig forum or
data bases as we are giving the benefit of the doubt as to his correct
age.

Respectfully; JOohn ohn P. Yerger.
Close Encounters Sig.

WS> dir##

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