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Old 07-06-2009, 08:54 PM   #1
terrie
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Default Bye-bye Compuserve's ISP Service...

A couple of interesting articles/blogs on the demise of Compuserve's ISP service from a thread in Compuserve's Classic Support forum...the comments are nice to read...

Ars Technica

Basexblog

Dvorakblog

Terrie

Last edited by terrie; 07-07-2009 at 12:56 PM.
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Old 07-07-2009, 10:17 AM   #2
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Shame on us for not composing a CompuServe obituary here. Who knew the service better than we did?

I joined CompuServe, the Source, and the WELL (developed by Stewart Brand, creator of the Whole Earth Catalog) when I got my first modem for my Apple II (300 baud), in 1982. I loved the WELL, but it was under-powered (and I was very ignorant of on-line arcana and using it then called for technical prowess), and after that like the Source best, mainly because people told me that CompuServe was only for TRS-80 techno-nerds. But CIS grew rapidly, and more and more of my friends migrated there. It eventually acquired the Source (1988, maybe?), so I had two CIS memberships. Held on to both, too; found the spare useful sometimes when I wanted to go incognito.

One appeal of CIS was the Apple forum (called MAUG: Microcomputer Apple User Group), founded by Neil Shapiro. When PCs became popular, there was also a PC forum (very quickly several of them, and MAUG also sprouted specialty sub-forums). MAUG is where I was warned off buying a used Apple Lisa in 1983 because Apple was about to release a clever WYSIWYG computer for an affordable price. The Mac was born in 1984, and I got one that March, my very own 128K all-in-one computer with a 9-inch (diagonal) screen. Still have it, in fact.

CompuServe cost money. $6/hour for 300 baud, $12/hour for higher speeds. When I got the Mac I got a 600/1200 BPS external modem I became a serious CompuServe junky, especially when the free Navigator (an off-line reader for the Mac) was released. (I wish I could remember the name of the developer, who deserves enormous credit for producing what was, I am pretty sure, the first CompuServe OLR on any platform; TapCIS and OzCIS for Windows came later).

The first CompuServe hangout for designer, typesetter, and writer types was the Microsoft Word forum, probably around 1985 or so. Dave Saunders, who sometimes pops up here, was one of those regulars. Our little crowd leapt to the new Aldus forum when it was formed (1986 or ’87?) — its amiable sysop, Zak Williamson (not sure if he was the first or second sysop; both were great), allowed ranging discussion of design, typesetting, and even competitive DTP products. Shortly after that, Adobe set up a forum as well, but it was stricter, more marketing/support oriented. That was all right — we joined that one too.

Finally, in December 1989, Thom Hartmann recruited Brad Walrod (our first WizOp), Laura (now) Haggarty, me, and half a dozen others whose names elude me right now (mea culpa) to create the DTP Forum on CompuServe. It was the right time — the forum was wild at times. We had weekly chats, many of them conceived and run by ace-moderator (later WizOp) Don Arnoldy. Some of us still remember the Font Wars (around the time Windows 3.1 came out with a slew of TrueType fonts included), the platform wars in general, the DTP wars (PageMaker, QuarkXPress, and a little Ready,Set,Go! thrown in for good measure), the early days of Photoshop and its competitor from Letraset (another shame on me for not remembering its name), and on and on.

During much of the 1990s CompuServe was the place for public discussion of technical and specialized topics. It was notable even then for the civility of discourse (in comparison to the growing crowd of ASCII lists on the internet).

Two events marked CompuServe’s downturn: creation of the World Wide Web in 1995 and acquisition in 1998 by AOL (actually some complicated transaction involving WorldCom that ended up with CIS in the hands of its most active enemy, AOL. Actually, to many of us, it seemed that it was the resistance of owner H&R Block to modernize in the face of the web that brought CompuServe down, but no matter what, the decline began when companies started to move tech support forums to the web.

CIS attempted its own web version beginning in 2002 (? not sure of the date). We continued there but saw the writing on the wall, and in 2004 moved to our own web site, which is where we are.

I have seen comments elsewhere saying that the CIS forums are all gone. Some still remain under the Netscape rubric. Cooks and Garden forums are still there, for example, along with a handful of others.

Whew. I am long-winded today! Anyone else?

   
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Old 07-07-2009, 11:59 AM   #3
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Quote:
I have seen comments elsewhere saying that the CIS forums are all gone. Some still remain under the Netscape rubric. Cooks and Garden forums are still there, for example, along with a handful of others.
I still hang out in about 10 of the old CIS forums. Most notably the Photography, Diabetics Support and Linux forums. Most of the news articles I have seen make it sound as if everything including the forums is gone, which is NOT the case.

   
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Old 07-07-2009, 12:24 PM   #4
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Thanks for that history...nice to read...

I think I joined Compuserve in 1991 or 1992. I started with both Compuserve and AOL memberships and it was when I discovered the Horses forum on Compuserve a few days after logging in for the first time that clinched my decision to use Compuserve over AOL--Compuserve's threading made all the difference!

There was a discussion in the Horses forum about the dearth of good equine clipart and one of the forum members and I (along with a local artist friend of mine) decided we could create better clipart so my local friend and I spent a few afternoons drawing clipart and I postal mailed our drawings to my forum friend (in TX) because I didn't own a scanner and she did. She scanned our drawings and then emailed them to me.

Somewhere along the line, I had acquired CorelDraw 3 and not having a single clue about what I was doing, I created two equine clipart packages--one of English Riding images and one of Western images--and eventually using my Compuserve OurWorld pages, I created my first webpages to sell our clipart which we sent out on floppy disks...'-}}

I just recently sold a copy of both packages to someone in Canada (on CD/DVD now)--marketed via LTL Images (for Lynne Terrie Lynne) on my own domain (OurWorld was more than a bit limiting but a good place to start).

I'd heard about Photoshop and wanting to understand more about what I was doing, I found Compuserve's Adobe, Corel and DTP forums and it was from those forums that I began that classic slippery slide upgrading (kicking and screaming all the way) from Win3.1 to Win95, getting my first version of Photoshop (4), buying new computer systems, finally acquiring a flatbed scanner, a graphics tablet, PageMaker, upgrading Photoshop versions along the way and moving to InDesign and it was the fourms members that generously helped me along the way--Bruce Frazer was incredibly generous with his time--allowing me to gain knowledge and experience enough to be invited to sysop for the Publishing Production forum (a consolidated forum when Adobe, Corel and other dtp/imaging software companies left Compuserve).

That's my history...'-}}

Terrie

PS: I've mod'd the thread title just a tad to indicate that it's the ISP service that's been shut down...

Last edited by terrie; 07-07-2009 at 12:48 PM.
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Old 07-08-2009, 03:03 PM   #5
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This will take you to the Compuserve Forum Center with its alpha listing of Compuserve Forums.

http://webcenters.netscape.compuserve.com/forum_center/default.jsp

I know, it says Netscape there but everything is in a state of flux so if you have shortcuts to any of the forums they may not work since it seems the old numeric IDs have today finally stopped working to access the forums.

All one has to do if you want to is to go to AIM.com and get a free AIM name with password and then you can use that to log in to the Compuserve Forums -- at the moment it looks as if a Compusrve labeled (it used to say AOL!) log in page comes up every time and that perhaps there is no cookie or whatever to keep you logged in even when you close your browser as used to happen.

   
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Old 07-08-2009, 06:30 PM   #6
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Thank you for that. (And I am sorry I forget to mention that your forum[s] are still alive, even thriving.)

I lost the ability to use my old CIS ID on the new/web CIS a long time ago. I just signed up with AOL, as you suggest, and trundled along.

   
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Old 07-08-2009, 06:48 PM   #7
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Glad to know that worked.

Everyone is blogging etc about Compuserve has been closed down by AOL (although some say CS2000 still exists, as I believe it did as a method) and only occasionally does one see that what died was CIS as an ISP -- I've been going in to CIS through my RoadRunner ISP account for ages.

   
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Old 07-08-2009, 07:27 PM   #8
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Quote:
hugh: I know, it says Netscape there but everything is in a state of flux so if you have shortcuts to any of the forums they may not work since it seems the old numeric IDs have today finally stopped working to access the forums.
Yes but interestingly enough, it appears that they set up an autogen id system because when I went to community.compuserve.com (easy to remember and so I use it all the time--in Netscape 7.2, I just need to type in "co" and since I don't have any other url's that begin that way, the autofill is it), I wasn't paying close attention other than to see a different logo and it wasn't until I'd posted a reply in a thread that I realized I wasn't my usual Classic numeric self...'-}}

I had set up a new screen name a number of weeks ago, but this autogen'd id is easier to use since it will be keyed off of my alpha email addy (it wasn't until I logged out and logged in again that I realized it was using that address...ugh!) I don't have to type anything in the login screen...

CNN also has some interesting history on Compuserve...

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Old 07-09-2009, 08:09 AM   #9
Hugh Wyn Griffith
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Quote:
Originally Posted by terrie View Post
Yes but interestingly enough, it appears that they set up an autogen id system because when I went to community.compuserve.com (easy to remember and so I use it all the time--in Netscape 7.2, I just need to type in "co" and since I don't have any other url's that begin that way, the autofill is it), I wasn't paying close attention other than to see a different logo and it wasn't until I'd posted a reply in a thread that I realized I wasn't my usual Classic numeric self...'-}}

I had set up a new screen name a number of weeks ago, but this autogen'd id is easier to use since it will be keyed off of my alpha email addy (it wasn't until I logged out and logged in again that I realized it was using that address...ugh!) I don't have to type anything in the login screen...

CNN also has some interesting history on Compuserve...

Terrie
I don't fully follow you but I think what you are seeing might be related to your browser or its settings -- autofill is an option on IE under Tools.

It might explain a host of logins we are seeing on PCIS with garbage-like alphanumeric IDs but I don't get any suggestions when I follow your route and action.

   
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Old 07-09-2009, 08:10 AM   #10
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KT --

I just posted a reply to Terrie and said it would go through moderation -- have I been naughty or have you caught an AOL bug?

Funny -- this has appeared direct .....

   
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