Probably the best form of expression ever created as a reult of the computer age. Before the internet and all your wizbang websites and weblogs there were BBSes and people, whoever wanted to really, would write text files and upload them to a BBS for others to enjoy. If you wrote something fantastic, it might be spread around to other BBSes, and your work would live on forever.

And the variety! From bomb building to credit card fraud, pagan rituals to angsty song lyrics. Surprisingly, there wasn't too much porn. I suppose people were still impressed with pictures of naked people at that point and didn't need novellas detailling the exploits of naughty coeds.

One can still read text files, even in this day and age. The Cult of the Dead Cow still actively creates text files and you can find a very complete archive of them at Hell, one could even write their own.

In Perl there is a file test operator, -T, to see if a file is a text file. A text file in this context means a plain file where the first part of the file seems to contain text, rather than binary data.

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