Does your technology memory extend back to the 80s? If so, you may shed a nostalgic tear at the news that the last remnants of CompuServe have been shut down by its current owner, America Online. I spent many hours listening to the dialup modem make its bong-bong sounds connecting to a local CompuServe number so I could scroll through text screens of online forums and download little DOS utilities and games. It was a big deal when the first CompuServe software was released for Windows 3.1. Before the Internet was developed, my connection to the online world was defined by my CompuServe ID.
CompuServe has been dying slowly for many years. During the 90s it began to lose customers to America Online as people became attracted to AOL’s monthly subscription instead of CompuServe’s hourly charges. Ultimately a complicated deal was worked out in 1998 between CompuServe, Worldcom, and AOL which more or less resulted in AOL taking over CompuServe and halfheartedly continuing the brand name. It’s been tailing off since then until this week’s announcement.
Alas, poor CompuServe. We knew you well.