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The Internet is a global system of interconnected computer networks that serves billions of users worldwide. It is a network of networks that consists of millions of private and public, academic, business, and government networks of local to global scope that are linked by a broad array of electronic and optical networking technologies. The Internet carries a vast array of information resources and services, most notably the inter-linked hypertext documents of the World Wide Web (WWW) and the infrastructure to support electronic mail.

The internet made it easier and quicker for magicians to communicate and share information. No longer did magicians have to wait on monthly magazines to find out about the latest news or tricks. First by email, then by Bulletin Board Systems and finally by forums, wikis and other social network capabilities in the 2000s.


Usenet is one of the oldest computer network communications systems still in widespread use. It was conceived in 1979 and publicly established in 1980 at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and Duke University, over a decade before the World Wide Web was developed and the general public got access to the Internet.

The articles that users post to Usenet are organized into topical categories called newsgroups, which are themselves logically organized into hierarchies of subjects. For instance, sci.math and sci.physics are within the sci hierarchy, for science. When a user subscribes to a newsgroup, the news client software keeps track of which articles that user has read.

MicroMagicon (MMC)

MicroMagicon, Micro-computer Magic Conference (or Magicon) was created by Steve Burton and Martin Lewis as possibly the first on-line computer conference of magicians in 1986. It was a weekly "magic convention" on CompuServe. Burton hosted the conference under the name of "Daedalus", which happened every Tuesday night at 11:00 PM Eastern Standard Time. Membership was up to 120 by 1987 and their official online journal, started in 1988, was called Abracadata.[1] It has attracted the likes of Eugene Burger, Peter Samelson, and Penn & Teller.[2] Items you could find in the online library were an article on Erdnase by Burton; an after dinner speech for the magician by Gary Ouellet; a concise interpretation of the Tarot cards by Wayne Keyser; lists of dealers, magic magazines, and magicians; and an online version of Thaumaturgist by Jeff Busby (which contained stuff he couldn't fit into the print version.)

Attracting more then one hundred members. They stopped mainly due to the high fees being charged by CompuServe and the rumor that a new type of relatively cost-free internet was rolling out in 1990 called, The World Wide Web.[3]


Magic enthusiasts started posting on the newsgroup "alt.magic". Web-based archiving of Usenet posts began in 1985 at Deja News with a very large, searchable database. In 2001, this database was acquired by Google.

Alt.magic is still active but mostly filled with spam at

Penn and Teller's Mofo BBS

Penn and Teller had a dial-up computer system available in New York City called Mofo around 1986, with all kinds of cool stuff.


By the beginning of 1990 private forums started to be created. Early Internet forums could be described as a web version of a newsgroup or electronic mailing list (Usenet) allowing people to post messages and comment on other messages.

In 1990 Tim Berners-Lee created the first World Wide Web server and browser.

MAGIC! - The Global Magicians Network

Magic! was a private Bulletin Board System (BBS) strictly for magicians to engage in both private and double private chats. It brought hundreds of conjuring related aficionados together via the modem. Ran by the System Operator (Sysop) Dave Lichtman. participants grew to be around 1,000 and included Max Maven, T.A. Waters, Max Abrams, Pete Biro, Tommy Wonder, Tabby Crabb aka Tabman, Paul Kozak, David Williamson, Charlie Randall, Bill Wells, Frank Zak, Paul Cummins, Steve Bryant, Mac King, Wittus Witt, Jamy Ian Swiss, Ron Wilson, Gary Plants, Jim Sisti, Michael Ammar, Jeff Busby, Harry Blackstone, Jr., Geno Munari and Dante Larsen.

It ran from 1990 - 1997. Tabby Crabb put up an archive of the messages on the web at:!/


The Gopher system was released for distributing, searching, and retrieving documents over the Internet. WorldWideWeb, the world's first web browser was released.


SpiderNet was a free service to magicians by Richard Robinson. It contained a SAM On Line section for current SAM and SYM members and was moderated by Craig Dickson. The IBM International conference was available to IBM members and was moderated by Tabman Crabb. Spider Net has been granted permission to convert the materials originally published in Hocus Pocus magazine in the 1970's to electronic format to be made available as free downloads to Spider Net users.


In 1992 Charles Stack created the first online book store, Book Stacks Unlimited (aka


The introduction of the NCSA Mosaic web browser, one of the first graphical web browsers – led to an explosion in web use. Magic clubs and shops starting creating virtual sites.

Brad Burt's Magic BBS

Brad Burt's Magic BBS was up and running, which included online shopping.

Ring 2100

Ring 2100 was charted by IBM as the first virtual organization for that group. The list of the original charter members were: Max Abrams, Pete Biro Anthony Blake, Jerry Burton, Stephen Cabral, Tabby Crabb, Dave Knapp, David Lichtman, Jon Lucke, Stacey MacKenzie, David Luther, Glen McFerren, Geno Munari Jim Nagel, Charlie Randall, Keith Raygor, John Scanlan, Bruce Sandercock, Lee Thompson, David VanVranken, Bill Wells, Lesley V. J. Manning.

Ring 2100 was a subset of the MAGIC! membership, only MAGIC! members could participate. This became an issue when an IBM member got banned from the MAGIC! and thus was restricted from also participating in Ring 2100. That was one of the reasons they eventually broke away.

They are now close to 1,000 members.[4]


Shopping malls start to arrive on the Internet and you could start to order pizza online from Pizza Hut. Some radio stations started rebroadcasting their shows and the first banner ads appeared on in October (for the beverage Zima and AT&T). and

The original version of the current website produced by Dodd Vickers was first online in 1994 at an old school (pre-domain owning) address of "". It was hosted at that address because I was one of the founding partners in that ISP which was among the first in Atlanta to offer dial-up services and high speed dedicated connections for businesses.

It stayed that way until late 1996 when I registered the domain name but still managed to be recognized as one of the top 100 sites of the year by "The Net" magazine.

Today it is providing the latest news and interviews for the magic community


Microsoft responded with its browser Internet Explorer in 1995 (also heavily influenced by Mosaic), initiating the industry's first browser war. By now Magic shops started getting online.


Joe Steven's Greater Magic Network (GeMiNi) from Stevens Magic Emporium was introduced at the 1995 Desert Seminar in Las Vegas. The initial list consists of Bill Wells, T. A. Waters, Pete Biro, Tom Mullica, Mike Close, Karrell Fox, Carol Roy, Stephen Youell and Eric Brad.

GeMiNi had an impressive listing of members who were able to exchange information on various topics and addition to the BBS portion; there were new weekly columns from a variety of respected magic icons. Also included were convention reviews, product reviews, interviews, and chat sessions. GeMiNi’s operating budget was far in excess of the revenue’s that were brought in by the annual $20 membership dues but then, it was never launched to be a money-maker but a way to give something back to the industry that has provided SME success. After 5+ years of operation, the decision was made in 2001 to pull GeMiNi due to changes in the industry and take the energy and focus it in other areas of SME. Pat Hennessy was the system operator for GeMiNi.

Virtual Magic Shop

Virtual Magic Shop used to be located at "".

Bishop's magic shop

Bishop's magic shop released it's online catalog through America Online or via a disk by mail. This specially-produced catalog program takes the hassles out of buying magic. Simply choose items from the catalog with a "click of your mouse;" the program automatically keeps a running total of your order - and it even fills out the order form! EASY TO ORDER! With your modem and Visa, MasterCard, American Express or Discover card, you can order the latest tricks and books 24 HOURS a DAY - 7 DAYS a WEEK! Or use our convenient 24 hour phone and FAX order lines. PLUS! FREE ROUTINES INCLUDED

Robinson Wizard's

Robinson Wizard's Universal Electric wide-band web site brings you the best in magic on the Internet's World Wide Web -- typeset, full color and with digital movies and sound to download.

Located at the "" domain, it included:

  • "Magic Show", the first interactive magic magazine, has reviews, tricks, news, and exciting special features including a digital movie editorial.
  • "The All Magic Guide" included hot links to magic sites throughout the world.
  • And there was "The International Directory" of professional magicians complete with photos, biographies, and booking information.

The Little Egypt Gazette

In 1995, Steve Bryant launched a 40-page monthly web magazine for magicians called The Little Egypt Gazette. Although he retired the magazine in 1997, after 24 issues, he still maintains a monthly web column, Little Egypt Magic.


Ebay came online and magicians quickly starting selling magic books and equipment online.


Push and Multicasting, the predecessor to RSS and portals, were the hot technologies of year.

Genii Magazine

Genii Magazine started a web presence.

The Second Deal

In June of 1997, The Second Deal (TSD) was created and named by Mark Aspiazu[5] and Jason Alford was in charge of TSD when schedule conflicts took most of Mark's time. At one point, there were over 600 members. A decision was made to change TSD to a subscription-based page on November 1, 1998. In March of 1999, 20 close-up magicians from around the world gathered in New Orleans at the first annual TSD Convention.

Hocus Pocus Magic Online

Paul Gross, who had been operating his Hocus Pocus Magic shop since 1977, opened the Internet-based Hocus Pocus Magic Shop.


The Web had grown to an estimated size of 300 million pages. Portals were the hot technology. The US Postal Service started allowing stamps to be purchased and downloaded for printing and open source software comes of age.


MagicTalk "The Official Discussion Board for Magicians" Bryan Dean ran the Electronic Forum MagicTalk. Bryan closed MagicTalk in 2007 to pursue other interests, namely hypnotism. On June 1, 2009, Bryan re-opened MagicTalk with John Pyka.

Near the end of 1998 Bryan Dean was host starting in 1999 for a number of years Wayne Kawamoto took over around 2005.


Free computers were all the rage (as long as you sign a long term contract for Internet service). Online banking and stock trading were becoming popular as well as MP3 players.

The Learned Pig Project

The Learned Pig Project , free online repository of magical books and documents, was started by professional magician Marko in Panama City, Panama as a website with a few public-domain magic e-books. It grew to hosts more than 100 magic books, articles, videos, complete scripts of magical sketches and playlets, plus a lot more stuff, all free to members behind a password protected website. He also sent out an electronic magazine (e-zine) contained news and tricks starting with Vol. 1, No. 1 dated September 29, 1999. Due to security issues which he did not have time to deal with, he decided to close The Learned Pig Project on December 15, 2011.[6]

Magic New Zealand e-zine

The Magic New Zealand electronic newsletter edited by Alan Watson started providing news items, lectures, conventions, tours and television shows in November of 1999.


In 2000, Yahoo acquired, one of the most popular mailing list products at the time and merged the functionality with Yahoo Groups (which was launched in 1998).

Yahoo! Groups provided anyone to create a community with message boards, calendars and profiles. The allowed any magician to be a system administrator and many magic communities sprung up including very specialized ones such as the "Art of Astonishment" Yahoo Group

Art of Astonishment Group

The Art of Astonishment Group was a members only group is dedicated to discussing Paul "close-up kinda guy" Harris. You needed to own all 3 volumes of Art of Astonishment (or at least all of the books that make up AoA) to join this group. (

A routine from his "Art of Astonishment" series used to be periodically selected to review, discuss, provide variations, handling tips, etc. was founded by Chris Wasshuber with the idea to make hard to get magic books available in electronic form. later expanded to include gambling books, books on games and several other subject areas typically neglected by big book stores

Jon Racherbaumer Web Site

Jon Racherbaumer entered cyberspace with his own part free and part pay site. This website, comparatively speaking, is for magicians primarily interested in close-up and card magic.

Part of this site is password protected and a nominal fee is levied for maintenance purposes. Paid members have access to the sections named Tricks, Re: Views, Essays, Provenance, and Archive. The most valuable section is the Archive, which was stated to eventually feature a robust database comprised of sleights and subtleties, including complete manuscripts, and discounted e-books.


The Society of American magicians opens an email discussion group as one of the benefits of membership in April of 2000. It is moderated by Bruce Kalver, PNP along with an advisory team of S.A.M. executives: Andy Dallas, PNP, and Ed Thomas, PNP.[7]


Wikipedia, an online encyclopedia that anyone could edit, was released in January 2001 by Jimmy Wales and Larry Sanger using the concept and technology of a wiki pioneered by Ward Cunningham.

Genii Forum started

The Genii Magazine Forum was launched, allowing subscribers of Genii and anyone else to post messages.


Ellusionist was founded on January 1st, 2001 by Brad Christian as an online magic training environment, selling on-line videos. To date, over 60,000 members worldwide now participate in their discussion forums, making it one of the largest online magic forums on the net.


Steve Brooks started the MagicCafe "Magicians helping magicians" Forum in August, 2001.

Magic Lineage Project or Geniiology

Chris Wasshuber, interesting in documenting the lineage of magic principles and routines created the "Magic Lineage Project" He provided a form for allowing anyone to enter new entries. After a great start, it seemed to have lost traction after a year. It's still available with lots of great information for historians.


Blogs started to become popular.

Penguin Magic

To college students, Sean "Maxwell" Murphy and Acar Altinsel, formed Penguin Magic in June, 2002. Based on work they had just did for the Florida based "Magic Max" web site, they focused their attention exclusively on the web.

The moved headquarters from their apartment in Ann Arbor, Michigan to Las Vegas in 2003 and went on to become one of the largest retailers of magic worldwide.

The Magic Reference Pages was created by Doug Atkinson. It contained:

  • Magic References: Links to the various bibliographic reference pages for effects such as the Linking Rings, Color Changing Knives, and more. Each page provides a listing of Books, Videos/DVDs, and Products that reference the specific effect.
  • Magic Book Contents (Table of Contents, or TOC) Listings: Provides an index to hundreds of magic book table of contents listings. This will help you search for an effect in the books you own, or to browse the contents of a book before buying it.
  • Magic Links: links to many magic shops offering books and products related to the effects featured on this page.


The Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) starts taking tough action over distributing copyright music files over peer-to-peer networks suing hundreds of individuals.

Conjuring Arts Research Center

The Conjuring Arts Research Center (CARC), a not-for-profit organization dedicated to the preservation and interpretation of magic and its allied arts was created. Currently, Conjuring Arts functions primarily as a research library with of over 11,000 book and magazine titles, dating back to the 15th century. It was reated, in part, to encourage in-depth scholarship devoted to the subject, it has evolved into a resource for performers, historians, writers, collectors, producers of television and film projects, and the general public.

CARC provides an online database, a semi-annually published journal, and a performance component.


Social Networking sites, such as Facebook, are released.

Stevens Magic Emporium

After years of soliciting business via it's "Mag-a-logs" (magazine and catalog), launched it's web site. (

The Magic files

Cameron Roat created the The Magic files website mostly for documenting contents for magic related magazines. He also created the Open Genii Index for creating table of contents of all Genii Magazines. He eventually had a hard drive failure and all the work was lost except for what was recoverable using the "Wayback Machine" (Internet Archives).


The French magic reference site begins as Magie-bourgogne then becomes Artefake (

Searchable Magic Book Contents

Denis Behr created an online version of this database, which started with software that only worked when installed on a computer. It's a remarkable listing of magic books which can be browsed by many different categories.


MagicBooks ( forum was create by Jacky Kahan purpose to gather information about magic books. The idea came because a lot of books lack references. It's available to members only (but registration is free). In 2012 they redesigned the site and included new features.


The goal of is to bring to you the latest news and information from the world of magic.

Justin Young Editor-in-chief

Andrew Mayne Publisher

Magic Historian Wiki

One of the first magic related Wikis, Magic Historian was started by Paul Draper, Gary Darwin, Acar Altinsel, and Maxwell Murphy. It no longer exists but snapshots can be found in the WaybackMachine:



MagicPedia (this site) was released on September 29, 2007 and by 2015 it has grown to over 7,800 articles.[8]


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  1. Come a little closer By RICK JOHNSSON, Linking Ring, July, 1987
  2. Magic: High Time for Hi-tech, Inside Magic, July 1988