PC-Link was up until sometime last year – it’s headstone would probably say 1988 – 1994.

PC-Link was up until sometime last year – it’s headstone would
probably say 1988 – 1994.

Kenneth Udut
7/12/95

In article <x-MhQA…@delphi.com>,

Jeffrey L. Hayes <tv…@delphi.com> wrote:
> George Mcsweeney <George.M…@cocolib.hi.net> writes:
>
> >  Anybody know if the PC-link I have on my old Tandy 1000TL2  PC-Link”
> >although it looks rather old graphics wise, is it still a valid program at the
> >current “800” number it claims it will dial. We’re talking probably pre 1990
> >time-frame, but does anything called PC-Link compatible with that exist? Just
> >curious.
>
> PC-Link was a subsidiary of America Online.  AOL no longer supports PC-Link
> as an interface, but everything that was available through PC-Link is on
> AOL.  The TL/2 will need a video upgrade to use the DOS software.

PC-Link was up until sometime last year – it’s headstone would
probably say 1988 – 1994.

Uh oh, I feel a bit of nostalgia coming on.  Hope I don’t type for
too long, and I hope it ends up somewhat interesting…
1986 – Quantum Computer Services, Inc (QCS). starts Q-Link – an online
service for the Commadore 64.  It includes intense graphics,
fully taking advantage of its graphics and music and animation
capabilities.  You can play music through your computer
while online, and engage in online games with other people,
real-time chat, and some things very unique to the online world.

1987   QCS starts America OnLine – an online service for the Apple II.
The interface takes full advantage of the Geoworks GUI, which
is written by Berkeley Software.  Also takes full advantage of
the Apple II’s capabilities.

1988   QCS starts PC-Link – an online service for Tandy 1000 computers
running Personal Deskmate 2.  The service is bundled with computers
such as the Tandy 1000 HX and is hailed as revolutionary all
across the board.

With the advent of Deskmate 3, coupled with the release of the
Tandy 1000 SL and TL, PC-Link upgrades its software to work under
Deskmate 3.00.  It takes full advantage of the user interface,
providing message boxes for e-mail, using the F9! Alarm to notify
a user of an Instant Message or You Have New Mail, implimenting
HOTLINE mail direct to Tandy Corp. (answered within 1 – 3 days),
and a friendlier interface than anyone has ever seen to an
online service, outside of the luck America Online and Q-Link
users.  Within a year, the F9! Alarm to notify you of new
mail is changed to icons on the bottom of the screen – nothing
like anyone has ever seen before, outside of science fiction, for
an online service.
[I joined in November, 1989 w/300bps modem    –KU]

1989   QCS releases America Online for the Macintosh – the people at
QCS know what they want – and linking their online service to
familiar user interfaces is the keystone.  To transfer files,
there are no weird things to type in – merely click and drag
the icon of the file you want, and you will get the file.

1990   QCS upgrades PC-Link to the newest version of DeskMate – Ver. 3.03.
This is an amazing improvement, and the service continues to
change and grow.  The latest version of Deskmate is released
a year later, using version 3.05 of Deskmate as a base.

Every section on PC-Link is denoted by an icon.  When you enter
EASY SAABRE, for example, a picture of an airplane appears in
the right hand side of the screen, while the service loads up,
and PC-Link connects to the EASY SAABRE folks via terminal.

1990   NeverWinter Nights is out of beta test and runs on the PC.
Hoards upon hoards of people respond to advertisments in
Role-Playing magazines and join PC-Link simply to play
NeverWinter Nights, a multi-user, graphical, musical (for the
Tandy 1000 people) role playing game.

1992   QCS releases America Online for the PC, running under Geoworks.
While PC-Link has been available for the PC, sold separately
or available simply by calling QCS, Geoworks is an exciting
interface by Berkeley Software that helps QCS continue
their promise to Berkeley Software by releasing their online
service in the Geoworks GUI (the promise was: “If we (Berkeley)
finish the Geoworks version for the PC, will you put PC-Link or
America Online in that Interface?”.

Being able to have “multiple windows” available is an exciting
new development for PC users who go online, as they can respond
to multiple Instant Messages, push them to the side of the
screen, be looking at the file area while chatting with friends.

1992   PC-Link and America Online merge.  Oh, what a mess!  I won’t
begin to get into it.  Suffice it to say, that it was painful
and lots of blood was lost during the operation.

Merging together are: PC-Link        (Deskmate/Tandy 1000),
America Online (Geoworks/Apple II)
America Online (Mac OS/Macintosh)
America Online (Geoworks/IBM)

Q-Link remains alive and well, with over 60,000 subscribers,
but it does not merge with the four services.

Early
1993   Internet!  Oh-my-gosh!  Internet E-mail is available on PC-Link,
and all America Onlines.  There is an 8K limit for e-mail size,
with the exception of PC-Link, where they have a 27K limit.  It is
a software limitation.  This changes when software upgrades occur.

Mac and Apple people start complaining that there hasn’t been
an upgrade in their software for years.  It causes problems
for the Quantum Computer Services administration.

Later
1993   Quantum Computers Services, Inc. becomes America Online, Inc.

1994   America Online, Inc., releases America Online for Windows.
Popularity of America Online continues to increase.

Q-Link is shut down, after 8 or more years of operation.
PC-Link is shut down, after 6 or more years of operation.
Feel free to correct me – this just came out of my frenzied mind, and
dates often get screwed up.  This is just one, ancient 23 year old’s account
of the history of America Online, having lived through its early years.

And I won’t even bring up the PC-Link conventions!  Two times were enough
for a lifetime!


Kenneth Udut                                     ku…@ritz.mordor.com
LISTOWNER of MINI…@LS.CSBSJU.EDU – Personal Experiences of Ministry
LISTOWNER of Y-RI…@SJUVM.STJOHNS.EDU –  On the Rights of Kids/Teens
———————————————————————-
Permission Is Granted To Freely Distribute This Document In Any Format.
Q-Link remains alive and well, with over 60,000 subscribers,
but it does not merge with the four services.

Early
1993   Internet!  Oh-my-gosh!  Internet E-mail is available on PC-Link,
and all America Onlines.  There is an 8K limit for e-mail size,
with the exception of PC-Link, where they have a 27K limit.  It is
a software limitation.  This changes when software upgrades occur.

Mac and Apple people start complaining that there hasn’t been
an upgrade in their software for years.  It causes problems
for the Quantum Computer Services administration.

Later
1993   Quantum Computers Services, Inc. becomes America Online, Inc.

1994   America Online, Inc., releases America Online for Windows.
Popularity of America Online continues to increase.

Q-Link is shut down, after 8 or more years of operation.
PC-Link is shut down, after 6 or more years of operation.
Feel free to correct me – this just came out of my frenzied mind, and
dates often get screwed up.  This is just one, ancient 23 year old’s account
of the history of America Online, having lived through its early years.

And I won’t even bring up the PC-Link conventions!  Two times were enough
for a lifetime!


Kenneth Udut                                     ku…@ritz.mordor.com
LISTOWNER of MINI…@LS.CSBSJU.EDU – Personal Experiences of Ministry
LISTOWNER of Y-RI…@SJUVM.STJOHNS.EDU –  On the Rights of Kids/Teens
———————————————————————-
Permission Is Granted To Freely Distribute This Document In Any Format.

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