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CompuServe launches the first Internet access service for everyone

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On September 24, 1979, the era of the Internet for all began. It was 1979, a long time ago. On that day, a company that had been created in the United States in 1969 (the year of the historic first connection between a computer network, Arpanet, from which the Internet would later be born), makes an astonishing move.

He was called Compu-Serve and was founded in Ohio as a subsidiary of an insurance company. In 1969, not only was there no Internet, but there were still no personal computers either. Compu-Serve initially had to provide support to the technological infrastructure of the parent company and explore the nascent market of time-sharing, of the time-sharing of the few, large computers of the time.

But in the 1970s, everything changed. In 1975 she was born Microsoft, in 1976 Apple, the “nascent market” was no longer that of mainframes to be shared, but of personal computers. Meanwhile, the Arpanet network was becoming the Internet and began to populate. And we come to the “amazing move” of CompuServe (which in the meantime had eliminated the hyphen). On September 24, it launches this service to connect not only companies, but also individuals to the Internet. Become the first Internet Service Provider. According to Wired, in 1979, “when personal computers still seemed like a crazy idea to most people,” it was a “risky” move, but it quickly proved to be a winner. The service was initially called MicroNET and was sold through the network of Radioshack stores and had an immediate success to the point that already in 1980 it was renamed CompuServe Information Service, it began to put online some editions of American newspapers, the stock quotes and the weather; but the favorite thing was the first tool to chat in real time with anyone. In short, there were already social networks in our destiny.

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youtube: Internet in the late 1970s

Wired then found the campaign that CompuServe launched in 1983 to support the service: they could see each other a man and a woman, in their forties, filmed from a computer screen in a dressing gown in the living room, she with a glass of wine, he winking, and under the sentence: “Last night we exchanged a letter with mom, then we had a party with 11 people in 9 different states and in the end we only had to wash one glass “. That of the lady, you imagine.


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