Nostalgic technologies article

Ian King IanK at
Mon May 18 17:06:21 CDT 2009

> -----Original Message-----
> From: cctalk-bounces at [mailto:cctalk-
> bounces at] On Behalf Of Ethan Dicks
> Sent: Monday, May 18, 2009 1:55 PM
> To: General Discussion: On-Topic and Off-Topic Posts
> Subject: Re: Nostalgic technologies article
> On Mon, May 18, 2009 at 4:34 PM, Mark Tapley <mtapley at> wrote:
> > Hello all,
> >        FYI&D, an article on MSN tech & gadgets describing "25
> Computer
> > products that refused to die".
> >
> >
> documentid=19017036&page=1
> Nice.
> .
> > Compuserve
> This section mentions "Wow" and calls it "a faux-AOL that the company
> shuttered within months of its 1996 release -- I can't believe that
> anyone misses it or is looking for it.".  I never used Wow, but when I
> was working at AOL/CompuServe in 2001, I worked directly with some
> folks who were part of the Wow launch a few years earlier.  Their
> comments were, um, uncharitable.  Apparently few people liked it,
> inside the company or out.  I still have a couple of Wow mousepads,
> the only useful remnant.
> The article also says "For those of us who were CompuServe users back
> when its user IDs consisted of lots of digits and a mysterious comma,
> it's a depressing fate."  I haven't memorized my old PPN, but I do
> have it in easy reach at home on the subscriber label of ancient
> copies of "Online" magazine.

And what were those mysterious IDs?  CompuServe was run on DEC PDP-10 systems, and these IDs were standard DEC user IDs!  In the format [group, user], this ID structure was used across many DEC OS products, including TOPS-10/20, RSX-11 and VMS.  It's a shame he didn't mention (or know?) that.... -- Ian 

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