|Steve Punter is probably best known for creating the
Punter Protocol which is actually a set of specifications and software that was used to transfer
files from computer to computer over telephone lines, prior to the widespread use of the Internet.
The original specification became known as the PET Transfer Protocol (PTP). It was developed
around 1981. Steve had an acoustic coupler modem connected to the PET and also created an electronic
bulletin board system (BBS) called PETBBS which may be the only PET BBS program
ever written. He further refined his protocol when the Commodore 64 came out and although it was not the most
robust protocol ever created, it became quite popular because of Steve's decision to release the source code into
the public domain. The C1 protocol was a great improvement over his original attempt and because of the free
distribution, many other bulletin board systems and terminal programs included the protocol
as a choice. It failed to take off on other computer platforms however, and remained largely a Commodore only
choice. Interestingly, Punter himself always referred to the protocol as C1 but others dubbed it various things such as
Punter Protocol and similar variants.
Steve also created Wordpro, a professional word processing package originally available on the
PET and later ported to the Commodore 64.
Steve visited the Personal Computer Museum in December 2007 and donated several posters, books, magazines and
even his original Buscard (ironically from competitor Batteries Included)
Did you know?
Steve Punter and Sylvia Gallus ran the official TPUG (Toronto PET User Group) BBS for many years.
Steve still develops software today and spends most of his time with C# .NET and Java, including mobile phone applications. He is always
interested in learning about the latest development tools and was a pioneer in mapping out cell phone
coverage in Southern Ontario.
Steve can be seen interviewed on the excellent DVD set of the BBS Documentary.