CompuServe, the initial on-ramp to the information superhighway for a generation, has ceased to exist. AOL, the current owner of CompuServe, recently made the announcement.
Introduced in 1979, it was once the place to be for geeks and cool dudes alike. Before social networks, before Twitter and Facebook, before MySpace, before Google and Northern Sounds forums; there was Compuserve.
Compuserve was my first email (addresses resembled social security numbers), chat (CB simulator), first forum (MIDIforum), a source for news, and networking. I joined the MIDIforum in the 80's and was introduced to the wonderful world of MIDI. And ah, the days of dialup and 300-baud acoustic coupler modems (sigh).
CompuServe used to be the place to be on the Internet, but times have changed.
Sniff. CompuServe was my first experience with the cyberworld also.
It was fun back in those days, but I certainly won't miss all of the dropped connections that my awful dial-up, snail-slow modem provided frequently. I can still hear those modem tones in my mind, can't you?
Well, I sure do not lament the passing! I remember upgrading to 300 baud, which I thought was neat! It was expensive, not only if you exceeded your monthly allotted time, but in many cases, there was a surcharge on phone connections. Many people were shocked at phone bills of several hundred dollars because they got carried away with the craze! Compuserve was better than AOL, which was the slowest imaginable. And when you received spam, the slowness of the incoming messages added significantly to your allotted time usage!
Sometimes I marvel at the progress of technology, but sometimes I marvel at the slowness of change. In the sixties, I was using 2400 baud modems, and digital audio (including digital voice). Now digital audio seems so mod and high tech, but some of us retired ole fogies remember when it really was new and high tech.
edit: Why do I always spot the typos AFTER is have posted the message?
This thread's making me feel either a lot younger than I am, or just the babe-in-the-internet-woods that I am. I've only been using computers since around 2004, and have been consistently online via computer since around 2004. Before that I used Webtv - !
Compu What? Kidding--But never any direct dealing with it.
I look back at the Compuserve days with great fondness. I started using Compuserve around 1984 or 1985. It created a paradigm shift in my life. Thankfully when I joined Lotus Development I had free access as I moderated a programming group and so for the next 8 or so years I spent way too many hours on line. It is weird because the community back then was much different than what you find on the Internet today. Maybe that is just the product of a faulty memory, but it seems so. There was less of a `dark side', at least in the groups I participated in. I made several life long friends and weirdly enough think of times when we would collaboratively work on a program issue for 30 hours plus due to a huge deadline someone had. (Of course back then it *sucked*, but that is how life works, right? Lol!) I remember starting on a project on a Tuesday morning and not leaving the office until Wednesday evening one time. I think we took a 2 hour break at around 11:00 am on Wednesday because we were all falling asleep at the keyboard. However, we got the job done and that is what counted.
So, farewell Compuserve! You served us well for years and forged new paths that influenced the development of the Internet as we know it today. End of line.
We are the music makers, we are the dreamers of dreams …
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Wow. Compuserve. I was a user back in 1985. I also was begining to explore music software with Cakewalk and Passport Designs' Polywriter and MasterTracks Pro! I remember something called WindJammer (a sequencer) too. I was using a Korg Poly 800, some sort of Yamaha 4 operator synth (not a DX7) and a sampler from Ensoniq. What a long way we have come! Rest in peace Compuserve!
In theory there is no difference between theory and practice, but in practice there is.
Oh yeah, Compuserve. Those great modems, those great years where my system ran all night, maintaining a bulletin-board (pre-email). People from een "outerspace" called me and then I woke up, looking at the messages coming in on a very slow modem compared to today. When? I forgot, but it had to be around the mid eighties. My son and I, both were excited to be at the other end of that telephone line with somebody from the States.
A CompuServe store showed up in my neighborhood and I was ecstatic at the idea of having a computer store within walking distance. Then I went in to purchase a hard drive and was treated as dirt. Within a couple of months of its opening the general appearance of the store and its landscaping began to deteriorate - severely. Then came the security guards at the door. In itself not a new or unusual thing, but these guys would come close to providing a strip search if you tried to leave without a receipt - even if you didn't buy anything. One security guard said to me, "Just buy a coke or something so you have a receipt and we don't have to go through this." And heaven forbid if something broke and you tried to return it for repair or replacement.
And I would try to follow-up on their promises of new brand lines, software upgrades, etc. that they advertised with the result of being told things aren't set in concrete and that I should keep stopping by to check on current availability. That went on for a few months until I finally thanked them kindly and never went back.
RIP, CompuServe. RIP.
Hi Tom. Are you sure your not thinking of CompUSA or Computer City? I didn't like either of these stores... Compuserve was an online bulletin board: one of the first (1979) and by far the best, at least for techies....