Compuserve (was Re: digital cameras)

From: Bill Pechter <>
Date: Thu Jul 15 11:16:50 1999

> Speaking of Compuserve, what is its history? I'd like to know how it came
> to be so popular for technical support bulletin boards. Many Macintosh
> products, for example, have a Compuserve keyword in the about: box that
> will take one to more info about the product.
> --Max Eskin (
> Ignorance is Impotence - Knowledge is Power

Well, here's a bit of "history..."

Compuserve started as MicroNet -- an after hours use of the additional
DEC-10 (36 bit) mainframe power of the timeshare operations of
a part of H&R Block (after 7pm). They used any kind of "PC" or terminal
access as long as it spoke ASCII. The supported the first the CIS-A
upload/download protocol, then CIS-B and later picked up support for other

They also used System Concepts DEC-10 clones and made their own
power supply upgrades for DEC KL10's.

They began to expand to full day operations (I think> in the early 80's -- but
the user cost was pretty high. PC support for hardware/drivers etc
was picking up on CompuServe -- but originally the main users were
early gamers, cb emulation (what's now called chat or conference rooms>
and stuff like that.

However, you could still get down to an OS level command prompt and
blow off the menus and store your own data on their disks for a fee.

In the 85-86 timeframe they began coming up with their own canned interface
which was kind of Turbo-Pascal IDE like with windows and such and later did
Windows/Mac/OS2 versions. However, they still supported tty stuff until
they pushed to the NT server hosted version they were developing.

That's when I dropped 'em.

I lived in the Vax/PDP11/CPM/OS2 groups until the push to windows and the
AOL takeover moved me from there to the Internet.


      Three things never anger: First, the one who runs your DEC,
      The one who does Field Service and the one who signs your check.
Received on Thu Jul 15 1999 - 11:16:50 BST

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