Thanks to Elly for pointing this out — apparently, the end of the 1900′s also brought an end to the online service that just wouldn’t die. GEnie, the first online service I ever joined, was a text-based community that was right up there with AOL and Prodigy (and Delphi and Compuserve) in the early 90′s. In fact, if it weren’t for GEnie, my fellow Daily Pinger Paul and I wouldn’t have met. I was a regular on GEnie up through 1994 when I let my mom use it for e-mail (Internet e-mail on an Apple II isn’t easy). In some ways I miss the days of the smaller community we had on GEnie — it was much more intimate and civilized (usually) then most so-called communities on the Internet. One guy has even saved the final messages from one of these communities, the SFRT (Sci-Fi RoundTable).
Of course, I did make an acquaintance with a 16-year-old guy that turned out to be 50… but that’s another story for another day. -ram
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