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Topic # 225723 2-Dec-2017 15:05
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For those of us that remember CompuServe, who literally created the first publically available online services and (when it arrived) internet access ... all the current CompuServe Forums will be closed on December 15th this year.  I understand that some Sysops/Forum Managers will migrate a few Forums onto another platform under another name.

 

Alongside this closure, the AIM instant messaging service will also cease operation on the same date.

 

I guess Verizon is having a bit of a clean out sealed

 

 


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  Reply # 1911998 2-Dec-2017 15:11
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Our first computer in 1994 came with disks for Compuserve. PC only had a 2400bps modem in it, can't remember what it cost but I know it involved a toll-call to Wellington to access it. Was hosted by Fujitsu if I remember correctly.


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  Reply # 1912000 2-Dec-2017 15:25
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     >Was hosted by Fujitsu if I remember correctly.<

 

Fujitsu Australia obtained the franchise to run CompuServe Pacific for the benefit of NZ, Australia, Singapore and ASEAN countries ... I at first ran monthly Member meetings in NZ (1995), and ended up as Operations Manager until Fujitsu shut it down around 2003.

 

 


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  Reply # 1912007 2-Dec-2017 16:45
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I'm having a nostalgic moment!  I used to live near Lake Tekapo and I had to dial into Christchurch to make a connection to Compuserve in California.  With a 14 kb modem connected to a telephone line that had only just gone off a party line (not a good look to use a party line for a modem connection).

 

I do recall when it was announced that Compuserve was enabling access to what we now know as the 'internet' and I had several early surfs (at great expense of toll calls) of the 'internet' which was then heralded as a university communication system open to non-university users. Compuserve was my first ISP.  I still remember neighbours gathered around my 486 pc looking at the World Wide Web and marveling at the fact that we had the "world" at our fingertips.

 

Thanks for triggering a few bits of grey matter that are still showing signs of life!




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  Reply # 1912024 2-Dec-2017 17:22
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Alister France ... now that is a name that rings a bell (sorry for the pun) from my time with CompuServe Pacific.

 

We had 5 'nodes' in NZ, based in Auckland, Hamilton, Wellington, Christchurch and Dunedin ... each node comprising a huge metal frame with anything from 30 to 60 5-port modems in racks. Five separate 0800 numbers got you access to a local node, and the call would be answered by the next available modem ... and we swapped them out every time the dial-up speed technology changed wink .... usually at between 2am and 4am !!  You don't want to know what our annual Telecom NZ bill was !!

 

Updated CompuServe software would arrive from the USA on a 3.5 inch floppy, which we then had to have copied, labelled, instructions written, and then posted out to every Member/subscriber .... around 35,000 at the height of popularity.

 

I think the monthly sub was about $17 for which you got 2 hours free, and then paid 9 cents per minute thereafter surprised

 

I also used to install foreign-language versions of the CompuServe software at Embassies and High Commissions because the CompuServe links were so secure, virtually a private network.  Was fun working out what the words in Dutch, German or Spanish meant, but fortunately the icons all looked the same. 

 

 


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  Reply # 1912065 2-Dec-2017 18:55
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I remember those days, and from an Oz perspective, at that time we paid $0.20 for a local call. So calling compuserve even without tolls got expensive.

 

 

 

 

 

(You can also imagine how much it cost to play Doom with a friend if you got disconnected a few times)


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  Reply # 1912066 2-Dec-2017 19:11
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Rickles: and then paid 9 cents per minute thereafter surprised

 

Still cheaper than the $10/hour that Voyager was charging in 1995!


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  Reply # 1912078 2-Dec-2017 20:00
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DjShadow:

 

Our first computer in 1994 came with disks for Compuserve. PC only had a 2400bps modem in it, can't remember what it cost but I know it involved a toll-call to Wellington to access it. Was hosted by Fujitsu if I remember correctly.

 

 

It was $50 / hour.....and you could access it cheaply via the x.25 packet network dial-up......(I think I have that right). 

Outrageously expensive for any Kiwi home user.....and soon completely outstripped by the Internet. But there were 2-3 years there where the NZ Internet was either a unix shell account on Actrix for $169 / year or the restricted access system in Auckland that was limited to 300 subscribers. I forget the name of it. Aahh! KC-BBS. That's it, I think. 

This was the golden age the FIDO Net BBS network (the relay backbone of which was run over the IBM network at night by Terry Bowden). Wellingtonians may remember "The Cave" run by Charlie Lear in the Hutt. It was a huge BBS for a home system....





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  Reply # 1912113 2-Dec-2017 21:21
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Yep!   I remember Compuserve.    I checked out what it would cost me per hour - I lived in the Wairarapa at that time, and it would have cost me about $20.00 an hour!   So I waited a while & signed up with Xtra at $5 or $6 an hour.

 

I also had a 2400 bps modem - the helpful pc sales person at Noel Leeming had told me it was a 24 k modem which had impressed me as I had heard about 14.4k modems!    I only discovered how slow it was when a web page with any graphic would take about 15 minutes to load.


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  Reply # 1912179 3-Dec-2017 08:49
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I remember CompuServe email used numbers to identify users only later did they allow the use of names, then cheaper email options came along. Bye Bye CompuServe.





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  Reply # 1912199 3-Dec-2017 10:27
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Ah, the good old CompuServe Flightsim forum. Very fond memories. I also recall the Hutt BBS for the odd pieces of FS pirated and freeware software lol




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  Reply # 1912215 3-Dec-2017 11:02
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     >I remember CompuServe email used numbers to identify users<

 

Yep, mine was 74774.1124  embarassed

 

The system arose out of the CiS internal Employee Number and Department Number set up .... and when subscribers started they simply assigned sequential numbers.

 

BTW, although the undersea cable went from NZ to Australia, and thence to Santa Clara in California, all lines terminated at CiS Headquarters in Columbus, Ohio.  I have pictures of the Control Room in those early days, and looked like the NASA space mission.

 

 


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  Reply # 1912244 3-Dec-2017 12:23
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When I first started travelling extensively as a field support engineer, often working in remote places, I would communicate to home base with hand written faxes and, when data transfers were absolutely necessary, try to dial in over international circuits back to the office modem in New Zealand. This would be an exercise in frustration at best as phone lines always seemed to hold up till the transfer is 90 - 99% complete before cutting out and forcing a restart from 0%. I had to try and instruct people how to break up large files (meaning those around 1MB or more) into smaller files that each stood some chance of passing through to completion. The hotels, at their grossly inflated international call rates, were earning enough from me to fund their next refurbishments.

Then I learned about CompuServe and it's worldwide network of dial-in nodes, and signed up with enthusiasm. That completely transformed how I was able communicate back to the office, making email more viable and only local or domestic toll calls were necessary to communicate back to NZ. As the years rolled by alternatives came up such as iPass Connect, having little coverage in the places I was travelling but improving over time, but never to a point where I felt compelled to change from CompuServe. As more time went past hotels started offering Internet though those early setups were never fast or easy, and came at a cost that still made dialling into Compuserve a usually the better choice. Even as CompuServe NZ was nearing its end there were still many hotels in the more remote places where dialling in was still the better, or only, alternative to hotel Internet.

When Compuserve NZ did end, I felt much the the same then I feel now about the demise of my Vodafone email account. Sure there were alternatives but I didn't really need the disruption of them abandoning me. I had never really gotten into the Compuserve forums but their email had become my central point of contact, and their network invaluable to me until hotel Internet services had developed to the point of usefulness and cost effectiveness. Of course for the past several years no one would even think of dialling in for internet access.

My relationship with Compuserve ended when they closed up in NZ, but hearing about them closing for good does bring back memories.

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  Reply # 1912245 3-Dec-2017 12:35
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I also remember Compuserve, but only vaguely. I mainly used other means to get on the early net. I started out with a 300 baud modem dialling into a local BBS, but then went to a 1200/75 baud modem to access a national service operated by our PTT provider. The pre-web global Internet was via a local university hack, the only public access at that time. This was sometime during the late 1980s. My memory tends to be very bad so maybe I have scrambled some things.

 

 

 

  





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  Reply # 1912246 3-Dec-2017 12:35
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What's up with Geekzone's timestamps? It's the 3rd today not the 2nd...

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