[ Retro Scan of the Week ] James Bond on CompuServe

September 15th, 2008 by Benj Edwards

Compuserve T-Shirts - CompuServe Magazine 1995The Man with the Golden Gun

I spent more hours on CompuServe in the early 1990s than I probably should have — considering it cost something like $4.80 (US) an hour. But of all the commercial online services at the time, CompuServe’s combination of history (it had been running since 1969), depth, and variety blew the others out of the water. I scanned this particular ad from CompuServe Magazine, which — believe it or not — was one of my favorite magazines back then. Ah, the good ‘ole days.

I’m guessing that CompuServe actually found a member named “James Bond” and got him to pose for this advertisement. He may look harmless, but that gun is filled with instant death acid; it’s one of Q’s new toys.

[ From CompuServe Magazine, September 1995 ]

Discussion topic of the week: Did you ever use a commercial online service such as CompuServe, Prodigy, AOL, Delphi, or Q-Link? Share your memories and your favorites below.

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11 Responses to “[ Retro Scan of the Week ] James Bond on CompuServe”

  1. Layne Says:

    I’m a tightwad when it comes to money (especially considering that during the hey-day, I was also a teen). I used my free months as often as possible: Prodigy was easy to get free months for, AOL a few months, even a month or two of CompuServe. But, before services went flat-rate for SLIP, I pretty much stuck to the local (free) bulletin boards, most of them running PCBoard.


  2. Kitsunexus Says:

    He looks like some criminal dude I seen on TV once. ???

  3. Esteban Says:

    If they had “To Catch a Predator” back in 1989, I’m pretty sure that Mr. Bond would’ve been on it — and not as the host, if you get my drift.

  4. Anachostic Says:

    I had to call long-distance to access Compuserve. I became addicted to chat (CB, they called it). Chat at 300 baud, long-distance, would be considered insane. And insanity was proven when the phone bill came to my parents: $300 – in 1980’s dollars. That was pretty bad, but the next month’s billing cycle had already started. The next month, and the last month I spent on Compuserve, cost $600 in long-distance charges. I still don’t know what the Compuserve charges were.

    Yet one more reason I won’t have kids.

  5. Jason L Says:

    I was on Compuserve starting back in 1985 using a Mattel Aquarius! Ha! That was fun. I remember the “CB simulator” chat room, I actually chatted with my 5th grade Computer teacher on Compuserve over the Thanksgiving holiday. It was sooo cool! 😉 I can remember playing HangMan and a MMORPG in glorious ASCII graphics.

    Later I moved up to the COCO III. In fact, someone has somehow gotten ahold of old Compuserve group posts, and put them online. I can actually find some of my old posts here: http://www.textfiles.com/messages/ALANWESTON/1991/CIS10_23.txt

    I remember back in 1985, Compuserve was something like $12.00 per hour during prime hours, and $6.00 during off prime. Nasty! However, I at least had a local access number.

    Good times indeed.

  6. Ben Says:

    Hahaha, I remember this ad. I think I might actually still have the same magazine it’s scanned from. I actaully wanted to get that shirt (and the mug), but at the time I was lucky to even be able to afford the 9.95/mo.
    I still pay them the 9.95/mo, if for no other reason (theres not much left to Compu$erve anymore) so I can keep my email address- it’s impossible to get @example.com anymore, and it looks a lot more professional on a resume than IwIllPWnU346563@examplefreemailthateveryonehas.com

    … and I can still use the old numerical adress, too, which really throws people off! 😉

  7. Ben Says:

    ^^^ that should have said yourrealname@example.com above

  8. JustJimi Says:

    Ah, yes, I remember using CompuServe in the mid ’80s on my CoCo 2. I recall it being more like $30/hour during business h ours…insane!!! I also recall connecting to it through 3rd party sevices like Telenet and Tymnet(?) All through my blazing 300 baud modem. It seemed like such an AMAZING accomplishment just to get everything to work….

  9. Michael A. Banks Says:

    Let us not forget PC-Link (aka Plink), BIX, and PC Pursuit (low-cost access to SprintNet so we could dial BBSs around the country cheaper).

    Plus AppleLink Personal Edition (immediate predecessor to AOL, after Q-Link), The Source, etc., etc. And in the U.K. CIX, Prestel, and more. There’s a book titled On the Way to the Web that covers all these and more.

  10. Benj Edwards Says:

    Would you happen to be the author of that book, Mike? 🙂

  11. Cody Says:

    I can’t believe this was ever fashionable? I can forgive most stuff, but … seriously? Who were they trying to attract here? Did some guys want to look like this? Were some women attracted to guys like this?

    I just don’t get it.

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