One of the first, and for a long time the largest, commercial information service. CompuServe was bought by AOL in 1998, but continues as a distinct service. For more information on Compuserve and other online services, see Part V.
Before the huge popularity of the Internet, computer users used to communicate via their modems using Bulletin Boards. These were (and still are) places that people could connect to, download files, leave messages for other users, and so on. Compuserve started life as a commercial Bulletin Board, and grew via a vast number of users into something resembling a miniature proprietary Internet. It was here that the ! Blue Ribbon software was uploaded to after the company was bought by ! Microsoft.
An on-line information provider that gives you some Internet access. It provides jots of forums, which are like newsgroups, including many that provide excellent technical support for a wide range of PC and Mac software. If your CompuServe account number is 7123.456, your Internet address is [email protected]
An online information service that provides information and communications capabilities, including Internet access. It is primarily known for its technical support forums for commercial hardware and software products and for being one of the first large commericial online services. CompuServe also operates various private network services.
An information service provider based in Columbus, Ohio, that hosts a large online user community (regarded as a prime source for technical support information, CompuServe is second only to the Internet in number of users).
Probably the best-known bulletin board system with over two million users. CompuServe was one of the earliest large systems not directly connected to the Internet to offer Internet mail access to its users. Recently, CompuServe has embraced the Internet by giving its users access to features like Usenet news.