By Harry McCracken | Saturday, July 4, 2009 at 3:40 pm
Folks are noticing that CompuServe Classic–the most direct descendant of the online service that debuted in 1979–discontinued service at the end of last month. (As far as I know, Robert Anthony was the first blogger to pick up on this, and he has written an eloquent elegy.) The sort-of-recent CompuServe 2000 service is soldiering on, and CompuServe remains a cheapo ISP and low-rent Web portal. But if you ever had one of those weird and archaic numeric CompuServe IDs, it’s a sad moment–even though you, like me, probably thought that CompuServe Classic died eons ago.
(My CompuServe ID was 74352,1314–I think. I haven’t used it since 1998 or so, and was always more of a BIX man.)
It’s a pretty ignominious passing for a once mighty service, and it’s not even clear that everyone at CompuServe has noticed–its site still lets you download CompuServe Classic software that’s now apparently useless. After the jump, a few CompuServe ads that date from the era when it was a great big deal.
This one taunts AOL for its reputation for producing busy signals, and dates from before AOL bought CompuServe: