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Bill Loguidice's picture

CompuServe breathes its last

It was with some surprise today that I learned of the demise of CompuServe Classic, aka CompuServe, which really began as a true online service in 1979, but started well before that. Why the surprise? Because like everyone else, I assumed it was already dead at the hands of the World Wide Web, or what is simply referred to today - though not entirely correctly - as the Internet. I have semi-fond memories of as late as roughly 1994 dabbling in text-only CompuServe on my Commodore Amiga 500 in my college dorm room, though I of course spent far more time on local free BBS systems, which is where I got my first exposure to Internet newsgroups (1994). It wouldn't be the only expensive pay-by-the-hour proprietary online service I would dabble in--later I would get into the impressive ImagiNation Network (INN)/The Sierra Network (TSN) and eventually AOL, before being one of the first 20,000 to give the @Home high speed cable Internet through Comcast a whirl. With a few minor deviations here and there, I haven't looked back since.

It's a bit sobering to think that without the WWW/Internet and the need for essentially all-you-can-surf-high-speed-access-for-one-low-price, if we'd still be mired in pay-by-the-hour-proprietary-hell and what that would have done to the computer industry (not to mention every business, and hell, everything else that relies on instant communication). It NEEDED the Internet to keep thriving, and now we have every day devices whose often primary purpose is simply getting us on the Web. Yes, sometimes things do happen for a reason, and natural evolution does play out its course of action properly. Goodbye, CompuServe, we won't miss you, but we certainly won't forget you and all the other services like you over the years...

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