CompuServe - so long

Discussion in 'Hangar Talk' started by Matthew, Jul 5, 2009.

  1. Matthew

    Matthew Touchdown! Greaser!

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    http://www.basexblog.com/2009/07/03/compuserve-requiem/

    I got started in about '86? Can't remember for sure.

    I still have the 286 and 300Baud modem in a box somewhere in the basement.

    Someday I ought to fire it up and look at the stuff I still have loaded on the hard drive.

    I think I was on Prodigy for a while, too.

    Times have changed.
     
    Last edited: Jul 5, 2009
  2. SCCutler

    SCCutler Administrator Management Council Member PoA Supporter

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    Prodigy was my first (public) "online" experience. I used a rudimentary form of "email" in my company (Bell & Howell), running on PDP-11s.
     
  3. Matthew

    Matthew Touchdown! Greaser!

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    ahh, PDP-11s. I used to program those things.

    Kids these days have things called "operating systems".
     
  4. gprellwitz

    gprellwitz Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Wow!
    I was 76474,2121 on Compuserve. I also had a school account (who's location was of the form !ihnp4!gargoyle!sphinx, can anyone name the school?), a GEnie account, and a BIX account!
     
  5. Matthew

    Matthew Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Now I'll have to search the archives to find my old user-id.
     
  6. Ghery

    Ghery Final Approach

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    Never was on CompuServe, but Prodigy? I remember that one. And I was a beta tester for Rev 2 of the Mac software for AOHell. After what Rev 4 of the windows sw did to a machine of mine I haven't loaded their virus on any machine I cared about.

    E-mail dates back to VMS on a VAX 11/780. Totally within that computer center, however. Wider based e-mail was new to me when I joined Tandem Computers in October 1983. And Tandem had a great system with three classes of e-mail. 1st class was company business, limited distribution list. 2nd class was company business, might even go company wide. 3rd class was the bulletin board. Meeting notices for employee organizations, items for sale, you name it. Each had its own inbox on your terminal (hey, this was before PCs became popular). Haven't seen anything like it since.
     
  7. silver-eagle

    silver-eagle En-Route

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    The company I worked for supplied me a dialup device so while not online for the company, I used a bunch of dialup bulletin boards. After I brought home my first PC, I started with Prodigy; the first service I paid for. Around the same time, I had set up a Compuserve account for a doctor's office (on a Rainbow) and frequently got mail from them addressed to Dr John. Amazing how far that title went.
    I did get to play with several PDP's. One of them attached to a B&H microfiche machine. The company also had several VAX and Ultrix machines for "online" work. They used the machines for teaching and for submitting batch work to the IBM system.
    BITNET, ARPANET, gopher, finger, telnet, rlogin, VT100, IBM3101, acoustical coupler modems, teletypes, 110, 300, 1200, 2400 BAUD, etc. Technology speeding along and some just refusing to die.
     
  8. Trapper John

    Trapper John Ejection Handle Pulled

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    I have (not so fond) memories of writing Fortran 77 programs on the 11/780 with a rudimentary line editor and crossing my fingers while the complier would try to decipher what I was doing. I got lots of the dreaded "symbolic stack dump follows" message on that setup...but it was a giant step ahead of keying punch cards and submitting decks of cards to the data center.

    Trapper John
     
  9. wbarnhill

    wbarnhill Final Approach

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    We had Prodigy at home, and our school used CompuServe to trade email with students from other schools. Memories... :D
     
  10. Lance F

    Lance F Pattern Altitude

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    71137,1777
     
  11. Capt. Geoffrey Thorpe

    Capt. Geoffrey Thorpe Final Approach PoA Supporter

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  12. write-stuff

    write-stuff En-Route

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    Yeah, I remember CompuServe. I was on back in the late 80s and thought I was really connected. Ugh, what an awful text-based user interface it had!
     
  13. wsuffa

    wsuffa Touchdown! Greaser!

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    74636,1360.

    I do miss the days of EaasySABRE.... very powerful if you knew what you were doing, and LOTS of options that the dumb web interfaces don't have.
     
  14. SkyHog

    SkyHog Touchdown! Greaser!

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    76133,1410 here. I can't belive I remember that number.

    Compuserve was basically aol once they were bought out. AOL is lame. Good riddance, compuserve.
     
  15. Matthew

    Matthew Touchdown! Greaser!

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    I guess my CompuServe ID is long since gone into the memory hole.

    I did like the forums, though, there was some good information on a few things I was looking for. I used to use a couple of local BBSs, but they were more of a curiosity back then than anything else.

    Once AOL took over I kept my CompuServe account active even though AOL wanted us to change over. I can't remember how many AOL CDs I'd get in the mail, along with half the US population. Finally gave CS up and went with DSL when AOL began to put CS on life support.
     
  16. SteveW

    SteveW Pre-Flight

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    72050,1572 -- and continued getting junk mail all the way up to the point of convincing the Pakistani that, "Yes, I DO want to cancel my account and NOT add additional features!" <== one of the reasons to quit -- outsourced Customer "Service"
    Had the same prob with Earthlink
     
  17. SkyHog

    SkyHog Touchdown! Greaser!

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    My most memorable memory:

    The ActionGames forum and the Doom ladders. Good god did I have a lot of fun (and rack up a ton of long distance charges) playing Doom through those ladders.

    I was even "internet famous" back then, as some of the levels I created for Doom and eventually Hexen were commonly played. I was the first person to successfully create a series of levels in hub format for Hexen. People loved me. LOL.
     
  18. Matthew

    Matthew Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Yeah - I remember talking to someone named MaryAnn and someone else named Steve. Somehow, though, they sounded like Apu on the Simpsons. I had a heckuva time spelling my street name for them, "Stagecoach". How hard is that? Oh, yeah. Unless you're American, you've never hear of it.

    Didn't somebody get famous for recording a call to AOL when he was trying to cancel the service, but the customer rep kept trying to push an extension to his subscription?
     
  19. SkyHog

    SkyHog Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Yes. And it was an embarrassment to AOL, and in my opinion, led to the end of about 3000 American jobs when all the AOL call centers in America shut down.

    Not that it was anyone's fault except AOL's, but still. Bad times for America.
     
  20. SkyHog

    SkyHog Touchdown! Greaser!

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  21. wsuffa

    wsuffa Touchdown! Greaser!

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    AvSIG....
     
  22. Cap'n Jack

    Cap'n Jack Final Approach

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    I stayed with them until AOL killed all the dial-up near me (after AOL bought them out) and they became a long distance call. This was shortly before DSL and cable became available in southern NJ.

    AOL also killed the useful databases- I essentially did my MBA on Business Database+. It was much faster than using the library and cheaper than photocopies.
     
  23. SteveW

    SteveW Pre-Flight

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    Yes, one of the first to go -- but they still exist and thrive as an independent site.
    Now online as "aero-farm.com"

    Another thing to try to get me NOT to quit -- they offered service continuation for only $4.49/month if I interfaced using broadband!
     
  24. wsuffa

    wsuffa Touchdown! Greaser!

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    The only reason I held on to it for a while was the international local access numbers. In Paris? Local access number. Geneva? Local. London? Same.

    I dumped them not too long after AOhell took them over - which was about the time that hotel "high speed" internet access became ubiquitous. I still maintain an inexpensive pre-paid dialup access account that works worldwide, but it's been about 3 years since I had to use it.
     
  25. AuntPeggy

    AuntPeggy Final Approach

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    I used local bulletin boards initially. Had one myself located in the laundry room of my house, on a Mac. I used The Source (from Reader's Digest I think) before I heard of CompuServe and got live feeds from it of the news from Iran when Carter sent in helicopters to rescue the Embassy hostages.

    Then I went to work for Prodigy while it was still called Trintex. Became Prodigy when it went live nationally. Hello all of you former Prodigy users! I ran the RS testing labs for the "Reception System" (browser equivalent), which I began to call the "Retail Software" to make it clear to people what the RS meant.

    Never used AOL except to try to trouble-shoot my kid's installation.
     
  26. mikea

    mikea Touchdown! Greaser!

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    I dropped up to $600 one month on Compserve and didn't have a computer. I used a typwriter and lots of paper.

    I was a Prodigy charter member /beta tester. Never realized I had an account with a great deal.
     
  27. rpadula

    rpadula En-Route PoA Supporter

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    LOL, Lance. As soon as I read yours, mine immediately came tumbling out of the recesses of my mind: 76167,2542. I have not thought about that for years! Guess it's a good thing for an engineer to have a knack for numbers. :smile:
     
  28. SCCutler

    SCCutler Administrator Management Council Member PoA Supporter

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    To this day, I can still recall the username and psw for my firstest computer account at the U of Texas; you had to have the username on the first card in the deck and the psw on the second one, followed by a compiler ID card (MNF Fortran, in this instance) and the program stack. Good times.

    This was 1977. I am OLD!
     
  29. AuntPeggy

    AuntPeggy Final Approach

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    I don't remember your name, but my memory for names is about as long as a pencil eraser. Do you remember Jean Hacker? She took over the Beta group after I left.
     
  30. Maverick

    Maverick Line Up and Wait

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    Compuserve was my introduction to the online world. I'm pretty good with numbers but all I remember about my address now is that it start with a 7.
     
  31. mikea

    mikea Touchdown! Greaser!

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    I was Charter member because Prodigy came to our (Osborne) user group and handed out accounts. It was like $9 a month for unlimited access.

    I set up my step-daughter who was the one was going whole hog with it ... and we eventually found out that there were prevert predators online even in those early days.
     
  32. Ghery

    Ghery Final Approach

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    Here, let me help you feel better. I started programming in FORTRAN in 1969 on a computer at Washington State University. 8 years ahead of you there. :D Of course, I was in high school at the time, but...
     
  33. mikea

    mikea Touchdown! Greaser!

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    I started programming in FORTRAN on a Chicago Public School mainframe (using punch cards - only the teacher's pet got to use the printing terminal) in high school 1968.

    My brilliant work:
    Code:
    DOUBLE PRECISION PI
    PI = 22/7
    WRITE PI
    FORMAT "PI = " 99.9999999999999999999999
    
    The other mainframe. The first one ran the schools. Now that I think about it they had prod and dev/test systems.
     
    Last edited: Jul 7, 2009
  34. tlglenn

    tlglenn Line Up and Wait

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    I think I was 70244,174. I was sad when saabre access was discontinued.
     
  35. Skip Miller

    Skip Miller En-Route PoA Supporter

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    Fortran in 1966. The college had an IBM 1620. Punchcard IO, lights and switches on the console panel, 8k of ram (the ferrite ring and wire kind) and the big deal: a hard disk. Each disk had about 6 platters in one tower assembly. They were removable and for the life of me I don't know how they avoided head crashes from dust... The hard drive held the fortran compiler, all other program/data I/O was by punch cards.
     
  36. Ghery

    Ghery Final Approach

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    Ah, yes. punch cards. We had the choice. Go to the basement of the school and log on using our dial-up teletype and access the university's IBM System 360/67 using CRBE (Conversational Remote Batch Entry system) or go over on campus to the computer center and use their teletype machines or punch cards. The 360/67 was the first time share version of the 360. A trivia question card deck at WESCON 1983 claimed that the 360/67 was a machine that never saw the light of day, but my first boss at Tandem Computers had used one at Stanford and I used one at WSU, so that trivia deck was wrong.

    Now, if you want a painful way to run FORTRAN programs, try the digital half of an EIA (I think) analog/digital hybrid we had in the EE department at WSU in the early 1970s. Limited memory. Mass storage was paper tape (thank goodness for the optical reader). Load a tape with the editor. Create your source code. Punch paper tape when you thought it was ready. Load compiler on paper tape followed by source code tape. Punch opject code tape. Load run-time tape followed by object code tape. If you didn't make any mistakes, the program ran. You had to be desperate. Turnaround on the mainframe (360/67) had to be really long and the lines for keypunches in the department had to be long, otherwise it wasn't worth the pain. As an undergraduate I was one of a handful of people who ever touched the digital half of that machine. I don't know of anybody who used it as an analog/digital hybrid. And I took a semester long class on programming the analog half. Haven't touched an analog computer since. :D
     
  37. Matthew

    Matthew Touchdown! Greaser!

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    I remember writing a Fortran program in High School, maybe '77 or '78. It was only 20 or so lines long so I didn't have too many punch cards.
     
  38. Ghery

    Ghery Final Approach

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    That's a short one. I maintained and updated one years ago that ran about 5000 lines of code. And I would have gotten SPICE up and running on Tandem systems except that our software people wouldn't add extentions to the compiler, simple things like REAL*8! I thought that was part of the language and not an extention. The Tandem compiler was the first one I ran into that didn't support it. SPICE is written in FORTRAN.
     
  39. wsuffa

    wsuffa Touchdown! Greaser!

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    I think I had to throw it out, but for a long time I had the card deck for the original Adventure game..... VM/CMS.
     
  40. silver-eagle

    silver-eagle En-Route

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    ~John
    In '74, I subscribed to Creative Computing. Using the sample BASIC programs, I rewrote them in FORTRAN, COBOL and PL/I. Some didn't translate well to an IBM 370 DOS system. Being the operator, alone and offshift, I interacted with them using the system console. Later I learned, just stealing the console logs didn't necessarily protect my late night adventures.
    I had card decks from many of them for years. Some made their way onto source library repositories where they still rest today.
     
    Last edited: Jul 9, 2009