Yesterday, David Brauer did in 1981. Here’s the video he posted along with the story:

The commenters on the story include people who actually participated in these services. It’s absolutely fascinating to read their input.

I immediately thought of Star Tribune Online, the paper’s proprietary launched in 1995. I got the service but never actually tried it but I keep the box in my office as a reminder of Internet time. Star Tribune Online did not last a full year before the paper decided to publish free on the Web, as that was clearly going to be the preferred venue.

I’ve been meaning to upload photos of the Star Tribune Online packaging but never go around to it. David’s story gives me an excuse (this was a quick job & the photos aren’t very good. I’ll try and get a clean scan later. ):

Star Tribune Online Box - Front
Star Tribune Online Box - Back
Star Tribune Online Box Inside Packaging