Robert J. Sawyer

Hugo and Nebula Award-Winning Science Fiction Writer

CompuServe Classic: R.I.P.

by Rob - July 6th, 2009.
Filed under: Milestones.

I joined CompuServe sometime in 1987.

I used to be a sysop (system operator) of the WordStar Forum there, and I hung out a lot in the Science Fiction and Fantasy Forum (so much so that the command GO SAWYER at the CompuServe prompt would take people there).

On October 10, 1989 — almost 20 years ago — I was given a “sponsored account,” meaning I didn’t have to pay for my connect time (I remember one year prior to that my bill for CompuServe connect time was $700). It was a joy to be able to go anywhere and do anything on that service without getting charged — such was the online world back in the day.

I made my first online friends on CompuServe — including SF writers John E. Stith, Mike Resnick, Barbara Delaplace, and Roger MacBride Allen, and all sorts of WordStar users; many of them are still good friends to this day.

And now, it’s over: AOL, which acquired CompuServe some years ago, has finally shut down CompuServe Classic.

CompuServe was a very important part of my life from 1988 until the early 2000s. I made friends there, I learned things there, I did tons of online research there (using a service called Magazine Database Plus), I won awards there (the CompuServer Science Fiction and Fantasy Forum’s HOMer Award), I sold the one and only bit of shareware I ever wrote there (MICKEE: The Mouse Interface for the Control-Key Editing Environment, which gave mouse support to WordStar), I got my email there, I even hosted my webpage there for a while (with the ungainly address of, and (long before anyone had heard of blogging) I began this online journal there (with entries starting back in 1999 salvaged here).

R.I.P., CompuServe. You were good to me, and you mattered, and I will always remember you.

Visit The Robert J. Sawyer Web Site

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