During the 1980s, CompuServe was the undisputed king of online communities. Founded in 1969 as Compu-Serv Network, Inc., the company got its start providing in-house computer processing support for Golden United Life Insurance, as well as by selling mainframe time-sharing. This of course was in the days when both computers were very big and very costly to own. Fast forward to the '80s, and CompuServe -- owned then by H&R Block -- began to experience tremendous growth. Their subscriber base jumped from 3,600 in 1980 to 60,000 by early 1984. By 1993 the service had more than 1.5 million subscribers, 90,000 of whom were in Europe. But the rise of competing services such as America Online and Prodigy ultimately spelled doom for this pioneer. AOL essentially bought CompuServe (alt
We've grown accustomed to machines taking over routine jobs that humans used to perform (think auto assembly, telephone operators, etc.). But now, the machines are even taking away our fun. Recently, researchers at Japan’s Ishikawa Oku Laboratory unveiled a robotic hand that is unbeatable at the time-honored game of rock-paper-scissors (Roshambo). That’s right, the friggin' machines have taken rock-paper-scissors away from us. And this is simply the latest example of artificial intelligence ruining our cherished games and acting like a giant buzzkill with circuits in the process. “What Is an Ass-Kicking?” In 2011, IBM’s Watson supercomputer appeared on Jeopardy! and wiped the floor with two of the show’s greatest champions, Ken Jennings and Brad Rutter. Even after missing
Alright, I'm probably stretching the definition of "vintage" pretty thin here. But here's the thing -- even though this magazine (found in a Best Western in Quakertown, PA just last year) was published in 1996, it sure seems like a lifetime ago. That's because even more than clothes or hairstyles, few things can almost instantly date a publication like images of current technology. Don't believe me? Well here's just a sampling of the pictures and ads scattered throughout the 1996 Best Western/AT&T Business Resource Guide, a publication for the modern executive on the go...into a time warp. (for fun slideshow action, click here) (more…)
You kids don't know how good you have it now, what with your PlayStations and your Xboxes. Back in my day, you had type stuff to play games! I speak of course about the ol' Commodore 64, one of the funnest computers ever. Oh sure, it did other things like home finances and such, but it basically became one of the early gaming systems. Well it seems the magic is back baby! A little outfit called Commodore Gaming is set to revive the classic moniker in conjunction with a new high-end gaming system. Granted, it seems this new company has no relation to the one that brought us such timeless gaming masterpieces as Maniac Mansion, Skate or Die!, and the Epyx Games series. But for one brief second, this news transported me back to the glory days of BASIC, floppy disks, and pirated ga...