Decades ago, our ancestors would purchase or receive in the mail “magazines,” primitive information delivery devices printed on shiny paper. Most of these magazines featured advertisements for products and services. In 1994, an ad for Popular Mechanics promoted CompuServe, a service that you could dial into with your modem. One that connected you to news, sports, weather, shopping, information, and included sixty e-mail messages per month. Sixty!
For our readers who are using mobile devices or screen readers, here’s the text of the ad:
No matter what you’re into, you can get more out of CompuServe.
You can range widely over a wide list of services that will help you, entertain you, teach you, and challenge ou. Or delve deeply into your favorite topics, learning (or even teaching) more, meeting experts, and making friends with people who share your interests.
CompuServe lets you do everything from keeping in couch with our comunication services, to getting advice from online hardware and software experts. It’s the one computer information service you won’t outgrow.
But you will have a good time trying.
For a low one-time membership fee and $8.95 a month, you can use our most popular services as often as you like: news, sports, weather, shopping, reference materials, our electronic mail service of up to 60 messages a month, and more. Plus there’s a whole universe of other, extended options available at nominal additional charges. Your first month on CompuServe will be free, and we’ll give you a $25 usage credit to explore our extended services.
To buy a CompuServe Membership Kit, see your computer dealer.
We really don’t have much to add to this advertisement, but do have to question the part about CompuServe being an online service you won’t outgrow. Then we did some idle checking, and learned that CompuServe still exists. No, really. They were purchased by powerhouse competitor AOL in 1998, news that I probably missed because I was too busy a GeoCities Community Leader at the time. We can’t figure out where to join CompuServe, but its site is still there, looking like it stepped out of 1998 straight onto the screen of my MacBook. Some of its members really never did outgrow the service since 1994, after all.