Thursday, March 26, 2009

The Ghost of CompuServe haunts the web

During a recent address book transfer I came across a CompuServe email address.

I'd forgotten about CompuServe. They were giants once. I had a CompuServe address in the 80s of course. I used their services on amber DOS terminals, with DOS and OS/2 character mode clients, and I think even with some form of Windows and Mac Classic GUI terminal.

That was around the type of Telenet and Tymnet and Fidonet and GENie and BIX and BBS services and the first version of Apple's many online services -- the one that became the basis for AOL (Mac only at first).

There's more, but it's a long, long time ago. Longer in experiences than mere years.

So I tried and I was redirect to -

Yes, Netscape. Where the Search is "enhanced by Google" and there's an awkwardly formatted portal. The page is "Copyright © 2009 CompuServe Interactive Services, Inc". There's an "about" link (emphases mine) ...

CompuServe Interactive Services provides complete and comprehensive products and access for Internet online users at home, in the workplace and around the globe. With the launch of CompuServe 7.0 in 2001, CompuServe reached a new milestone by making the gathering of information and exploring the Internet faster, easier and more convenient than ever before for its worldwide membership. Since its acquisition by AOL in 1998, CompuServe has continued to enhance its core service to meet the needs of one of the fastest-growing segments of the Internet: value-driven adults going online for the first time.

An Internet Pioneer

Founded in 1969 as a computer time-sharing service, Columbus, Ohio-based CompuServe drove the initial emergence of the online service industry. In 1979, CompuServe became the first service to offer electronic mail capabilities and technical support to personal computer users. CompuServe broke new ground again in 1980 as the first online service to offer real-time chat online with its CB Simulator. By 1982, the company had formed its Network Services Division to provide wide-area networking capabilities to corporate clients.

CompuServe also led the interactive services industry overseas, entering the international arena in Japan in 1986 with Fujitsu and Nisso Iwai, developing a Japanese-language version of CompuServe called NIFTYSERVE. In 1989, the company expanded into Europe where it grew to be a leading Internet service provider.

A Key Brand

Since February 1998, CompuServe has been a wholly owned subsidiary of America Online, Inc. As part of the AOL Web Properties group, CompuServe plays an important role by providing Internet connectivity for value-minded consumers seeking both a dependable connection to the Internet and all the features and power of an online service.

The Ghost of CompuServe lives in the Ghost of Netscape within the still living corpse of AOL.

For a young world, the Net has a lot of ghosts.

1 comment:

Julia said...

I was a Compuserve sysop and later a wizopon several tech forums. My closest friends are still people I met on Compuserve. It was an amazing experience.