R.I.P. – CompuServe 1969-2009


I have many fond memories of time spent on CompuServe in the late 1980s. For those of you not familiar with the service, CompuServe was like a mini-Internet before there was an Internet. CompuServe was the online place that the cool geeks hung out while AOL was for the neophytes unsure about the online world and wanting a graphical interface with training wheels. Sure the CompuServe online interface was crude (for a long time it was all text based) but there were discussion forums that seemed to attract only the most diehard enthusiasts thus ensuring the information exchanged was of high quality and absent of today’s crass commercialism. As of June 30, 2009 the old CompuServe forums and software are no more. There will be a CompuServe 2000 which is a newer iteration of the old CompuServe many of us dearly loved. Gone forever are the days of paying nearly $30/hour to access CompuServe on a 9600 baud modem. Farewell my friend.


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About the Author

Wayne Schulz
Wayne is a diehard Android user and consultant specializing in Sage 100 ERP Accounting Software. He lives in Glastonbury CT with his two children. When not helping them with their homework or pushing the latest school fundraiser off on his co-workers, he is active hiking and investigating all manner of technology.

7 Comments on "R.I.P. – CompuServe 1969-2009"

  1. Ah, yes, 73727,3215. Accessed with Telix on a 2400 baud modem, then later DOSCIM and a 9600 baud modem. Those were the days. “GO” jumps, premium services for $0.25 minute, forums, gateways, downloading utilities from PC Magazine via the CIS “B” protocol…wow. I haven’t thought about all that for a long time. I tried AOL back then, but went back to CIS until Earthlink came along.

    Sorry to see it go.

  2. Wow, that brings back memories of the old gray binder/boxes with CompuServe software. I wasted a lot of time in the Ultima game forums…but met a lot of interesting folks. It was an entertaining transition from simple usenets/BBSes back in the day.

  3. Talk about memories! Compuserve started in a 2nd floor office in Columbus, Ohio. I would take punch cards to them so that they could read them into my online account. Then, using a “dumb” terminal, with a phone cradle and printer, I could use a stat program to analyze survey data. That was in the early 70’s! They were a true pioneer and, in my opinion, a shining light in the techno haze for early-adopters of on-line “computering.”

  4. CompuServe you will be missed! When the world was going to AOL, it was a great alternative without all the commercialism of AOL. Ahhh, we miss the days of the modem — not!

  5. Joel McLaughlin | July 5, 2009 at 8:19 am |

    Compuserve wasn’t something I ever got into. I always hung out on the far cheaper local BBS’s. I actually paid to use a BBS called Computrek which was based on MajorBBS software. I couldn’t afford Compuserve. I wish I could but…

    The Internet was around back when Compuserve was out, but it was only in academic institutions or military installations. The web itself was a replacement for all of the text based services like shell accounts, IRC, Gopher…more. Text based services seem like a archaic method, but sometimes it’s a more efficient mode of communications. It’s ONLY the communication. No ads or anything to muck it up.

  6. Memories..? Hell, I was writing for them as late as last year! I had columns in the Computing Pro Forum on CompuServe that ran from 1999 to 2008! I am sad to see this go; but even sadder to say that my CIS ride dried up and left me hanging after such a long run…

  7. I did use Compuserve for a while, and tried out AOL very early (remember getting huge messages when they broke 100k members!), and even Apple’s eWorld! But I was mostly using Usenet and other text-based stuff.

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