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AOL Shuts Down CompuServe 224

Posted by Soulskill
from the real-men-use-base-eight dept.
Oracle Goddess writes "After 30 years, CompuServe is all but dead, as AOL has pulled the plug on the once-great company. The original CompuServe service, first offered in 1979, provided its users with addresses such as 73402,3633 and was the first major online service. CompuServe users will be able to use their existing CompuServe Classic (as the service was renamed) addresses at no charge via a new e-mail system, but the software that the service was built on has been shut down. Tellingly, the current version of the service's client software, CompuServe for Windows NT 4.0.2, dates back to 1999."
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AOL Shuts Down CompuServe

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  • Wow this is a day... (Score:5, Informative)

    by SerpentMage (13390) <ChristianHGross@ ... o.ca minus punct> on Saturday July 04, 2009 @12:14PM (#28581143)

    I still remember my compuserve address... 70324,1777...

    I can't for the live of me remember my pins, or phone numbers, but this ancient email address I have remembered to this day...

    • by phil reed (626)
      76012,3621 here...
    • What's the "get off my lawn" equivalent for young->old

    • by samkass (174571)

      72127,3114

      I was also on GEnie, but ironically don't remember my login there.

      • Former CompuServe and GEnie. Alas, I don't remember my logins either.

      • I was D.DVORKIN1 on GEnie, since my father already had D.DVORKIN. Kept meaning to change it, since people were always mixing us up, and then of course it wasn't an issue any more.

        Alas, GEnie! (And "Genie" was never the same.) Really a great place to get an introduction to the online world. Those endless exchanges on the SFRT taught me a lot, and I think the level of the writing was higher there than in any other online forum I've ever seen. (Of course, the fact that it was the unofficial home of SFWA f

        • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

          by MtViewGuy (197597)

          I remember all those flame wars on CIS back in the day. And it's still going on, but this time with online forums like the system here on /. and on forums running software like pHpBB and vBulletin.

    • I still remember my compuserve address... 70324,1777...

      Hello, Christian Gross.

      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by flydpnkrtn (114575)

        Congratulations, you can Google! [barnesandnoble.com]... IIS 2... wow that was a while ago :)

        Apparently you can also read his email address in his username tag line! Great job...

        (I hope this post didn't come across too "assholish"... I'm just joking around)

        • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

          by maxume (22995)

          Nah, it came across with the proper level of assholish.

        • Nope not at all... More rather, I as well looked to see what was referenced to that address and thought wow THAT WAS A WHILE AGO...

          • Either way it's cool you co-authored a book on IIS back in the day

            My first post was directed at 'Frosty Piss' by the way... I just didn't get why he posted "Hi Christian Gross"

    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by BrittanyGites (871668)

      I wonder if Compuserve was running on DEC hardware with TOPS-10 I remember my University username was [201,108]. Never seen user id like that anywhere else.

      Anyone know ?

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by phil reed (626)

        I wonder if Compuserve was running on DEC hardware with TOPS-10

        Originally, yes. I believe they moved to VAX in later years, but kept the user IDs.

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by MaxiCat_42 (711203)

        Yep, Compuserve probably knew more about DECsystem-10s than DEC did. At one point
        they even designed their own power supply to replace the DEC one as it was much
        more efficient. They designed and built their own disk controllers to use cheaper
        (IBM) disks. They had a LOT of them!

        Phil.

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by a9db0 (31053)

      71052,3331

      Great. That I can remember, but I can't remember my ATM PIN!

      I still have the CS binder-in-a-book that came with my subscription, and my old OzWin (Anyone else remember that?) logs and email files around. Last email date: 1998.

      • by eihab (823648)

        71052,3331

        Great. That I can remember, but I can't remember my ATM PIN!

        Then change your ATM pin to the first, last or mid 4 digits...

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by rduke15 (721841)

        Yes, OzWin was great. My first "email program" and "news reader" of sorts.

        I must still have the OzWin files somewhere on some backup, but they don't seem to be on my notebook. Had always intended to convert them to mbox-like format, but have never done it.

        The great thing about Compuserve was that they had a dial-in number in just about any country in the world. It was expensive, but I could email in 1990 or so from Africa and Asia by dialing a local number.

        100111,3271

    • 72343,1545. RIP CompuServe. I miss ya.
    • by Doctor O (549663) on Saturday July 04, 2009 @02:29PM (#28582005) Homepage Journal

      Oh well, 100531,3420 here. Yup, we Europeans had different numbers, and back in the old days before Eternal September you could even tell the geographical area of someone just by his CIS ID.

      For all those who tagged this story "andnothingofvaluewaslost": Back in the day, you could only join CompuServe providing ID and using your real name. It's amazing how much nicer people behaved and how much more substance there was in the discussions. Because, you know, you didn't want your name associated with talking out of your ass. Much less flaming also, leave alone trolling. The trolls couldn't hold onto their accounts for long, because without ID they wouldn't get new ones. Oh, and for the same reasons there was no spam whatsoever.

      It was a great time. It went down the drain when German laws dictated that everybody had to be allowed in, using nicknames, and without proof of identity. Then came the trolls, the idiots, and Eternal September followed.

      I was a sysop, and even a wizop (Wizard Sysop, basically "root" of the forum), and have seen much of the shit which started when AOL took over. That basically killed the spirit. It's a real pity that I signed a pretty badass NDA, otherwise all that would make for a great book on how *not* to run an online service.

      *sigh*

      I feel old now. Being online used to be fun and fascinating and educational. Nowadays it's, well, shit.

    • ....it was taped to a label on the back of my social security card, which I kept laminated (oh the horror) in my wallet. I haven't even heard anyone mention compuserve in longer than it's been since I would dare keep my social security card in my wallet. Times do change.

    • by mrmeval (662166)

      I don't remember my ID. I was a long time subscriber and frequented the C64 area which was run by some user group. They got into some argument with Compuserve and removed all their content. I dumped Compuserve and never heard of user group again. I don't remember which service I picked up after that. I did at one time run a BBS in the DC Metro area that used a C64 and several drives. The BBS was written by a 15 yr old kid whose name escapes me. After I moved back to Indiana I frequented fidonet and then slo

  • Nothing new (Score:5, Informative)

    by YrWrstNtmr (564987) on Saturday July 04, 2009 @12:17PM (#28581163)
    AOL shut down Compuserv LONG ago, when they bought it. The only thing that remained was the name. The techy goodness that differentiated CS from the mass appeal of AOL was gone.
    They even dialed into the same modem bank, with exactly the same phone numbers.

    [hanging head] Yes, I had an AOL acct and a CS acct at the same time.
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by JohnHegarty (453016)

      Exactly , the Compuserve clients released by AOL were just re-branded version of the AOL software.

      Started with AOL 4.0 if i remember correctly.

    • Re:Nothing new (Score:5, Informative)

      by R.Mo_Robert (737913) on Saturday July 04, 2009 @12:42PM (#28581363)

      This article is wrong: AOL isn't shutting down the entirety of CompuServe.

      AOL simulatenously operated both CompuServe 2000 (the AOL-based network) and CompuServe Classic, as it came to be called. AOL isn't "pulling the plug" on the entire company as this summary says; they're merely shutting down the CompuServe Classic service, which they have hardly touched one bit in the last ten years anyway. There are no plans to shut down CompuServe 2000, and users have the option of migrating to this service.

      So, while your comment is mostly on the mark, it's important to note that AOL neither shut down CompuServe when they bought it (they operated Classic simultaneously with the new service for 10 years!), nor are they shutting down the service (CompuServe 2000) to which you refer.

      Also, this was announced in April, so it's hardly news, other than the June 30 shutdown date--which already happened.

  • Signed up in 1987 (Score:3, Interesting)

    by gcalvin (325380) on Saturday July 04, 2009 @12:17PM (#28581165) Homepage

    I don't remember my Account Number, but I signed up in 1987, shortly after I bought my Atari 1040ST and a 2400-baud modem. I got hooked on the CB Simulator, and spent myself into severe debt. Good times.

    • I signed up in 1983 or so, after I got my Atari 800 and 300-baud modem. The CB Simulator was fun. I still remember fondly that people back then typed complete sentences and words, not like the ch475p33k crap that passes for communication these days.

      Everyone complained about how expensive Compu$erve was, but we paid the price anyway. And we liked it that way.

      • by iroll (717924) on Saturday July 04, 2009 @12:46PM (#28581405) Homepage

        1997 called, they want their tired joke about everybody on the internets speaking "1337" back.

      • by gcalvin (325380)

        I signed up in 1983 or so, after I got my Atari 800 and 300-baud modem. The CB Simulator was fun. I still remember fondly that people back then typed complete sentences and words, not like the ch475p33k crap that passes for communication these days.

        Yes, and it was considered extremely rude to ask someone's age, sex or location, at least without spending a couple of weeks getting to know them. In fact, it was pretty easy to offend somebody by being too familiar too soon. Punishment for such offense was to be completely ignored, as if you didn't exist.

        • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

          by Anonymous Coward

          God you know how many people I've explained this to, to BLANK STARES?

          I never did the whole AOL/Compuserv/GENie/Prodigy thing (Too expensive and it was WELL before I could get a job.)

          But I did every local BBS I could get a local access # to, and was on chatting terms with 2 or 3 sysadmins, plus a few friends who boarded too.

          Anyways nobody who I associated with during that era passed out personal info unless we already knew each other.

          It wasn't until the late '90s when I was MU*ing online that people started

          • Re:Signed up in 1987 (Score:4, Informative)

            by IntlHarvester (11985) * on Saturday July 04, 2009 @02:05PM (#28581901) Journal

            That was the major difference between BBS culture and Usenet/Internet culture. On pre-september Usenet, everyone posted under their real names, their sigs often contained their job titles and phone numbers, and there was a sense of responsiblity because your account was closely tied to your real life.

            For the most part, web discussion boards follow the BBS tradition of using handles and discouraging the posting of personal information. However, that doesn't serve the needs of people who want network their real life as opposed to hanging out with a bunch of internet phoneys called "DarthMegaBlade666". So its natural that things like Facebook or LinkedIn appeared.

      • by Dogtanian (588974)

        The CB Simulator was fun. I still remember fondly that people back then typed complete sentences and words, not like the ch475p33k crap that passes for communication these days.

        FWIW, the illiterate drivel spewed by fucktards on YouTube comments and the like is the bastard offspring of years of txt mssging cntrctions (or at least strongly gives the impression of having come from there), compounded by not giving a toss.

        Though 13375p34k might appear superficially similar to the uninitiated, and probably overlaps it in some areas, it's not really the same thing. Unlike the thriving text-messaging-derived drivel, genuine (non-ironic) use of actual 13375p34k seems to have disappeared

  • The PITS (reward) (Score:5, Interesting)

    by wls (95790) on Saturday July 04, 2009 @12:20PM (#28581177) Homepage

    Does anyone remember playing the game "The PITS" on CompuServe? Or, even better, know if thesource survived?

    http://games.wwco.com/pits/

  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday July 04, 2009 @12:24PM (#28581209)

    Goodbye to what was once an incredibly innovative service...

    For any Slashdot readers who need to get a friend or relative off of CompuServe:

    Users who are running CompuServe 3 or 4 can export the address book using:
    http://www.connectedsw.com/Overview/57262

    Users who are running CompuServe 2000, 6 or 7 can export the address book and email using:
    http://www.connectedsw.com/Overview/57267

    • by pdcull (469825)
      I recently used a product called CS2OutlookExpress from CS2Exchange to import from WinCim, through Outlook Express, into Outlook 2003. It cost me $25 but worked great and now means that I have my ancient history available once again. Paul
      • by pdcull (469825)
        Oh, and 100242,1513 too by the way... I think I signed up around 1993. I remember taking my notebook to a bar inside what was then the most violent slum in Rio de Janeiro city, Santa Marta, to use their telephone to dial in... somehow the system worked enough for me to send and receive emails. And then worrying about whether the drug lords were wanting a computer or whether the police would steal it from me during a raid... .those were the days! Paul
    • is the $300-$400 monthly bills for all the time spent using the CB Simulator. That was addictive, but man those bills hurt.

  • RIP (Score:2, Interesting)

    by resfilter (960880)

    compuserve was the first thing i ever dialed with my first real computer, as it was the first actual service provider to have a local phone number in my area when i was a kid

    i was completely in awe of it when i first used it, it cost me a good chunk of my allowance, but i remember it made the local BBS systems, as well as some other service providers that eventually crept into my area seem like toys

    i used it for quite a long time even after everyone else had proper internet service (the internet took quite

  • Good Riddance (Score:5, Interesting)

    by SirLurksAlot (1169039) on Saturday July 04, 2009 @12:27PM (#28581243)

    Compuserve might've been great at one time, but it hasn't been for a much longer period. I used to do customer service for them back when they were offering a $400 rebate on new computers... as long as people signed up for a 2 year service agreement with them. I felt dirty every time I had to take a call from someone that had one of those rebates. Half the time the callers wanted to cancel their service because of how piss poor their dial-up connection was and it was my job to "remind" them about the terms which stated that they had to pay back the rebate PLUS a cancellation fee. I put remind in quotes because it was often the customer's first time hearing about the terms in the first place (Admittedly this was usually the sales person's fault, and usually not Compuserve's.). I remember one call in particular when a customer in Pennsylvania had purchased a computer with the rebate only to find out that they only had TWO dial-up numbers in the whole state available to them, neither of which was a local call for them. I had to tell this poor soul that they had accepted the terms of the rebate, received the $400, and if they cancelled they would owe Compuserve all that back, etc even though they couldn't even use the service. Now Compuserve was obviously not the only ISP that played the rebate game, but their participation left a bad taste in mouth and lowered my opinion of them greatly.

    • I used to work in the department that created the software that billed those rebate customers if they did happen to cancel early.

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by noidentity (188756)
      I remember them a long time ago. Around 1992 I got a Tandy 102 portable computer [8bit-micro.com] which included a 300 baud modem and a free trial for CompuServe (you can probably see where this is going...). Being able to download programs very slowly (the screen scrolling reduced the effective speed to well under 100 characters per second) was cool. Having my parents question me about a $50 bill a couple of months later wasn't. Needless to say, I wasn't a member very long.
    • by Machtyn (759119)
      Every dial-up service and PC mfg that pulled this trick made it to my "never-buy-from-them" list. Aren't all the dial-up services that tried this trick now dead or mostly dead?
    • by Skater (41976)

      For what it's worth, the CompuServe I (and many others here, obviously) remember was long before those types of deals came up. I distinctly remember my dad ordering airline tickets for our family to go to Florida online back in 1984 (using our PCjr wtih a 1200 baud Hayes Smartmodem...I still have the modem, actually), and I'm pretty certain it was through CompuServe's SABRE application/connection/whatever.

      We had CompuServe until about 1986, when we moved to a different part of the state, and we no longer h

  • by Meshach (578918) on Saturday July 04, 2009 @12:27PM (#28581247)
    The case of Cubby, Inc. v. CompuServe Inc. was one of the first of it kind and set an important precedent for online BBS. In that case CompuServe was sued because they hosted a BBS where defamatory content was posted. The court rules that although CompuServe provided the medium they were not responsible for the content (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cubby_v._CompuServe).
    • Cserve had a lot of firsts... the Human Sexuality forum was one... HSX-200, not that I'd know, *cough*... but most were computer-related, like the hubbub about copyrighting a file type (.GIF, where they'd licensed the Sperry LZW code to compress the image data better than .RLE or .MAC files) or online new content, like the local paper (Columbus Dispatch). Needed online weather radar graphics in 1987? Cserve had them (as did a few other places, Weather Underground maybe).

      As I've lived in the same area as C

  • Brings back memories (Score:5, Interesting)

    by HangingChad (677530) on Saturday July 04, 2009 @12:39PM (#28581341) Homepage

    Oddly ironic that Compuserve was around before AOL. Gah, I still remember the days when AOL users first flooded the net. They were rude, they were shrill and they were legion.

    The days you would actually still use a gopher server.

    We got our first internet connection from the local library.

    Some admins would actually block AOL users from their web servers.

    Exciting times.

  • I canceled my CS account after they overreacted to Bavarian censorship demands. See Risks issues 17.61, 17.62 and other sources

  • What? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by mqduck (232646) <[mqduck] [at] [mqduck.net]> on Saturday July 04, 2009 @12:52PM (#28581445)

    Allow me to be the first to say... Compuserve still existed?

  • It was still up ?! (Score:5, Interesting)

    by DiSKiLLeR (17651) on Saturday July 04, 2009 @12:53PM (#28581451) Homepage Journal

    Compuserve was shut down? It was still up!?

    Those of us who live outside of the US are vaguely aware of its existance...

  • I remember in mid 80's paying alaskanet? $6 an hour to get connected from Naknek AK instead of long distance charge & then paying another like $6 an hour for the compuserve, plus a monthly $25 or such to compuserve....

    all for 300 baud ... watching those characters come in..... just about as fast as you could read...

    • "all for 300 baud ... watching those characters come in..... just about as fast as you could read..."

      I'm not old enough to remember 300 baud, but I do remember trying to surf porn with a US Robotics 9600 baud modem...

      Back then you'd get line by excruciating line of erotic flesh and just about the time you were about to see a nipple, mom would come walking into the room. Game over. :(
  • Prodigy? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by porcupine8 (816071) on Saturday July 04, 2009 @01:12PM (#28581595) Journal
    Whatever happened to Prodigy? That was my first internet service. I remember my excitement at finding their ST:TNG message board... and chagrin at discovering that it was mostly full of middle-aged women having fantasies about Brent Spiner. I mean, I had a crush on Data and all, but at 14 I was definitely not interested in a 45-year-old actor in the same way these ladies were.
    • Whatever happened to Prodigy?

      According Wikipedia's article on Prodigy [wikipedia.org] they were bought out by SBC which in turn turned (back?) into AT&T. Prodigy.net actually redirects to my.att.net.

      it was mostly full of middle-aged women having fantasies about Brent Spiner

      Brent Spiner?! Everyone knows that Jonathan Frakes was the lady killer :-P

    • by dmarcov (461598) *

      I had a crush on Data and all, but at 14 I was definitely not interested in a 45-year-old actor in the same way these ladies were.

      "Ladies." Right.

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      Whatever happened to Prodigy?

      They had a pretty big hit in the 90s that got banned from MTV "Smack my Bitch Up." They're still recording as far as I know, but that was definitely their high point.

  • New email system? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by mr_lizard13 (882373) on Saturday July 04, 2009 @01:12PM (#28581607)

    CompuServe users will be able to use their existing CompuServe Classic (as the service was renamed) addresses at no charge via a new e-mail system

    That'll never catch on.

  • by Tom DBA (607149)

    Before all the tubes got connected business cards were full of email addresses. One had at least a Compuserve address, a Prodigy address, an AOL address, a company VAXMail address, a company VM/VMS address and perhaps a DARPA/ARPA address.

    All that is changed now.

    Now we list Company main telephone number, Company direct dial number, Company fax number, Home number, Company cell number and perhaps a Skype id.

  • I used to spend a fortune with them. I also used to go into Worlds Away through compuserve.

  • by Kurt Granroth (9052) on Saturday July 04, 2009 @02:22PM (#28581977)

    Compuserve was my first real foray into an online community and all the good and bad that comes with it. I was 16 and in High School when the Computer Programming teacher (BASIC on Apple II+ computers) signed up for a school account on Compuserve. This was years before I had even heard of the Internet. Since nobody in the school had the first clue what to do with this "Information Superhighway" thing, and I was the only geek around, the teacher just gave me the login info and let me do whatever I wanted on it.

    It didn't take me long to gravitate towards the various chat rooms. Those of you who grew up with the availability of the Internet and the like probably take it for granted that you can communicate with people all over the world (or nation, at least). Back when my only communication with the world at large was my pen pal, these simple chat rooms were mind-blowing!

    There was one little hitch. See, my nickname back then was "Granny" (play on my last name) and so I naturally used it as my handle in the chat room. I forget which room I joined but I hadn't been in there but a few seconds when I started getting a lot of people saying "hi" and asking where I was located and the like. Then somebody asked how old I was and I mentioned that I was 16.

    Well, right after I wrote that, I started getting a stream of Private Chat requests. We're talking a couple dozen requests in about 10 seconds. "Everybody is so friendly," I thought.

    But their questions were odd and very personal. "What do you look like?" "What color are your eyes?" "What are you wearing?" Eh? What am I wearing? What kind of weird question is that to ask.

    And then: "How big are your boobs?" "Do you have a boyfriend?" It went off the deep end after that.

    They thought I was a 16 year old girl! I thought that was so funny and told them so. And just like that, all of the Private Chats closed and all I was left with were a scattering of "Well why would you call yourself Granny if you weren't a girl?" messages.

    I signed on a few more times as Granny after that but found that I really couldn't go anywhere without a stream of sexual comments following me. I eventually had to change my nick just to be able to chat with people without them staring at my virtual chest.

    That was an eye-opener. Let me tell you, though, when the Internet happened years later and I heard women complaining about being effectively harassed online by a bunch of horny nerds... well, I knew exactly what they were talking about.

    Heh.

  • I was 71541,3346.... then I got 3 other accounts. Was seriously into multiplayer gaming, specifically MegaWars III and Island of Kesmai. Most of my college money went to pay the +CI$ bills...

  • Compuserve, I think,, would have survived much better in the Internet age than AOL, if AOL hadn't have bought them. AOL was more a forerunner of the advertising laden shlock that we have today, but Compuserve was a much more serious minded product and tended to have good information products and good forums. IF AOL would have kept up with Compuserve, investing millions into a computerserve web site, rather than -cough-, Time Warner, they could have been way out in front with the social stuff that was in C

  • But yes, I do remember well: using Red Ryder terminal software on my Mac Plus, 1985, to connect to CompuServe. Would work great until someone picked up an extension line, then...

    ^&($*$%&
    NO CARRIER

    Eventually they had a graphical front-end, which was faster, but not as pretty as their arch-rival, America Online.

    Ahh, such simpler times...

  • Ah, the bad old days of having to pay long-distance to connect, and premium hourly rates on top of that to access the interesting part of Compu$serve (in my case, the file downloads). 14.4 Kbps was king, and I could only be on the service for 30 minutes a week.

    • by MtViewGuy (197597)

      I was on CompuServe for many years--and in fact used TAPCIS 5.3 and 6.0 as "front end" programs to read forums offline.

      When I started, I used a 1200 bps modem; when I finally left at the end of 1999 I used a US Robotics V.90 modem to download messages at 28,800 bps (which was considered very fast for its day!).

  • by yerktoader (413167) on Saturday July 04, 2009 @02:50PM (#28582123) Homepage
    Compuserve, we barely knew thee...Cuz like, I could get offers to enlarge that certain part of the male body [cracked.com] from the rest of teh webs since the early 90's.

    So I guess you were better than AOL, who funny enough just put you out of your misery even though you were around longer. And I was never really into you, even more so once I found local BBS'. Especially ones with pirate software and Trade Wars [wikipedia.org]. To be honest I was only fascinated by what was possible with you, not what you actually offered. I should have been more open with you and told you.

    But you were great fun while you lasted, which in the eyes of most people who knew about you probably ended somewhere around 1985. I hope you weren't lonely in the end, because I had no idea you were on that respirator and life support. I TOTALLY would have come to see you if I knew...I mean, me and the free shell accounts at Arbornet have been getting it on all kindsa nasty style for years now, so I hope you don't curse me from intarwebs hell. I just found a part of teh 'tubes that, you know, I clicked with. It was never you, Compuserve. It was totally me.

    Rest In Peace, old friend.
  • No, really. Back then you got a "free" subscription to the service's print magazine with your membership, and one issue had information and comparisons for various free Unix-likes, and why the article's author thought you would like them.

    It had (IIRC) information about Linux 1.2 (then-new), either 386BSD or FreeBSD, and Mark Williams' Coherence. I thought the whole thing sounded really neat.

    Another issue had information about the Society for Creative Anachronism, which I also thought was pretty neat. Tel

  • R.I.P. (Score:2, Insightful)

    by gafisher (865473)
    Requiescat in Pace, CompuServe. AOL was a cruel suitor and an abusive partner. You deserved better. 76702,2040
  • by bwy (726112)

    Was never a Compuserve guy.... but was a member of Q-Link for a while... I know Q-Link pre-dated AOL, but it probably pre-dated Compuserve also?

  • by Haxx (314221)

    My first computer was a Radio Shack/Tandy Color Computer II, around 1980-81.

    My Second computer was a Commodore Vic 20, wich I used to connect to compuserve with a 300 baud modem around 1981-82. The one thing I remember most is that Compuserve modelled thier chat rooms after the CB Radio Scene. When AOL came around the chat rooms were much easier to navigate then Compuserve and they never recovered. I didnt spend much time on Compuserve in the '80s because they charged by the ho

  • For those of you who've forgotten, there were three circles.

    Compuserve was the highest circle. The most clueful of the CompuServe users might one day escape to the Internet. The rest were doomed to pay by the hour.

    AOL was the middle circle. The most clueful might one day escape to CompuServe. The rest were doomed to the short bus.

    Prodigy was the lowest level of Internet Hell. The most clueful Prodigy users... well it's not entirely clear that anyone ever actually used prodigy. Someone must have because

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