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There are some things you never really forget. I signed up with the Toronto Freenet near the end of 1994. This was around the time of the beginnings of the commercial internet as we know it -- a time when people could buy internet service from AOL for the fine sum of $30.00 a month for 10 hours or so.
The Toronto Freenet was the first, and I guess one of the only, truly free access services in Toronto. For the cost of a postage stamp, total sum of 43 cents at the time, you could mail in your user agreement and get your free account. I was ao 623?.
Then again, just the ability to run pine was never enough, as access to lynx was something that we'd have to pay money for (and something I couldn't, or wouldn't afford). My Toronto Freenet use ballooned at the not-so-coincidental collision of two events in my life: the first being the beginning of my addiction to the Text Based Game Moon Gate, and the second the event of Karl Knechtel and I, enterprising hackers, discovering how to get an open telnet session out of Toronto Freenet, bouncing through a few other freenets, one of which was Seflin Freenet (which began the saga known as Enchantment Under The Sea).
The Toronto Freenet is still around at torfree.net. Although it's no longer 416 780 2010, as much as that number still springs to mind. My only regret is never donating to their cause. Perhaps I should. Someday.