Compuserve Trademarked the Word “Email” (Jan, 1983)

I’m guessing they figured it was unenforceable because they abandoned the trademark in 1984.

Last Night We Exchanged Letters With Mom, Then Had A Party For Eleven People In Nine Different States And Only Had To Wash One Glass…

That’s CompuServe, The Personal Communications Network For Every Computer Owner

And it doesn’t matter what kind of computer you own. You’ll use CompuServe’s Electronic Mail system (we call it Emailâ„¢) to compose, edit and send letters to friends or business associates. The system delivers any number of messages to other users anywhere in North America.

CompuServe’s multi-channel CB simulator brings distant friends together and gets new friendships started. You can even use a scrambler if you have a secret you don’t want to share. Special interest groups meet regularly to trade information on hardware, software and hobbies from photography to cooking and you can sell, swap and post personal notices on the bulletin board.

There’s all this and much more on the CompuServe Information Service. All you need is a computer, a modem, and CompuServe. CompuServe connects with almost any type or brand of personal computer or terminal and many communicating word processors. To receive an illustrated guide to CompuServe and learn how you can subscribe, contact or call: CompuServe

  1. Al Bear says: May 23, 20087:02 am

    Computers and CB’s don’t mix! And man, email! WOW! 😛

  2. Rick Auricchio says: May 23, 20089:55 am

    Trivia: That’s an Apple ][ keyboard.

  3. Blurgle says: May 23, 200810:20 am

    A scrambler?

  4. jayessell says: May 23, 200810:31 am

    Rick, have you seen my Apple //e videos at YouTube?………
    And the film I helped with……
    which starts with Apple ][ and //e graphics.

  5. fluffy says: May 23, 200810:31 am

    Once upon a time I had scanned much of the January 1983 issue of Creative Computing (just because they’re so funny in retrospect, especially the ones which gush about the realism of the graphics in football games and whatever), and this ad was one of them. Unfortunately, I don’t seem to have the scans anymore, but I really should go back and do it again.

  6. Neil Russell says: May 23, 200810:51 am

    I remember this ad very well. I wanted an Apple IIe something awful and considered a Franklin Ace at the time. Then Commodore cut their prices from $600 to $400 on that powerhouse C-64 and I got one of those.
    I was a member of Compuserve in 1989, someplace I still have the grey box they sent with the manual and the 5 1/4″ floppies. I had a blistering 1200 baud modem that set me back almost $150 for a PC XT I had built, no hard drive, just 2 floppies. After all a 20mb Seagate was $200.
    In addition to the service being brutally slow I had insult added to injury when I had to pay the $6 an hour fee for Compuserve’s 800 connection. We had no local number here in Statesboro, GA.
    And we gripe about gas prices! LOL

  7. Charlie says: May 23, 200811:45 am

    I remember getting a Compuserve account to use on my Apple IIc. I think it was about 1985. When you signed up they assigned you a password composed of two random words. I’m not sure why I remember it, but mine was ocean_befell. I always really liked that password.

  8. fluffy says: May 23, 200812:16 pm

    Word salad passwords are the best kind. I still remember my randomly-generated dialup password from some long-gone service, “bound-buggy-twig”

    They are both memorable and surprisingly secure.

  9. Al Bear says: May 23, 200812:17 pm

    ocean_befell! Ohhhh! Charlie, now I’m going to hax0rz your Compuserve account! 😉

    I knew folks in 1990 who had Prodigy and the fee was about $5.50/hr man, (and that’s 1990 dollars too) crazyness.

  10. Neil Russell says: May 23, 20081:08 pm

    I’d forgotten about the two word password, which I recall being a problem then as well!
    And you are correct Charlie, IIc not “e”. IIe was that little one with the monitor and drive built into the case, right?
    Speaking of the cost, when the local phone company finally offered dial up service here the had an “unlimited” plan for about $30 a month.
    I got a bill one month for about $175 and questioned it and was informed that I went over 100 hours.
    When I pointed out the “unlimited” part of the plan the woman at the desk replied; “Yes, it’s unlimited, you can use it all you want up to 100 hours a month”
    Slight misunderstanding of concept on their part. I switched to another server that popped up about that same time.

  11. Charlie says: May 23, 20081:15 pm

    Neil Russell: Actually, I don’t think they ever made an apple with a built in monitor. The IIc was basically a IIe with 128k of ram in a compact case with a handle.

  12. fluffy says: May 23, 20081:52 pm

    The keyboard in the photo is clearly an original Apple II, based on the color and only having left/right cursor keys (and no apple-logo keys).

    There is nothing in the photo to indicate that the monitor would be built in. Actually, the fact that the photo is taken from the vantage point of where the monitor would be is a pretty good sign that it DOESN’T have a built-in monitor.

  13. Neil Russell says: May 23, 20083:05 pm

    Charlie: You are right, what I was thinking of was the original Macintosh from about 1984. It had a little screen and a disk drive that was built into the case.
    I was immersed in my C-64 when they came out and didn’t surface again until the XT AT age began.
    I always did have a hankering for either an Apple Lisa or a Commodore Amiga.
    All of those are gone far away in the mists of computer histpry now though! 🙂

  14. Neil Russell says: May 23, 20083:05 pm

    History even

  15. jayessell says: May 23, 20087:49 pm

    //e = enhanced / enhance-able
    //c = compact / portable.
    It had the popular //e add-ons built-in.
    (Serial ports and an 80 column card with 64Kb extra ram for a total of 128Kb.)
    The //c also had a built in 5.25 floppy drive.
    Later versions were 3.5in floppies.1.4mb storage each!
    Enough for the operating system, AppleWorks and a fair amount of data.
    The //c ALMOST had a built in monitor.
    You could get an optional screw-on monochrome LCD display.
    Rent the movie 2010. That’s it on the beach with Roy Scheider.
    The movie ‘Explorers’ had it also. From IMDB:
    The computer Wolfgang uses to control the bubble and eventually the completed spacecraft is an Apple IIc, a computer released by Apple in April 1984 that sported a blazingly fast 1.4MHz processor and 128 kilobytes of RAM.

  16. Githyanki says: May 24, 20086:32 am

    Good place for all old computer info and pictures:

    Niel: My usual reply to BS like that is something like: “That’s OK, I don’t mind sending you unlimited amounts of money” and then send them the $30 as agreed. If they can convince a judge that unlimited actually ends at 100, then I will pay the rest.

  17. Neil Russell says: May 24, 20088:38 am

    Githyanki: I’m pretty sure someone pointed out the error of their ways, but the response by the phone company was to do away with the unlimited plan and replace it with a tiered system of time usage like cell phone companies use.
    That opened the door for several other companies to compete and offer true unlimited service and eventually TPC capitulated and offered unlimited dialup.
    Now that’s all in the past as both the phone companies offer DSL service, and the local cable company offers a high speed package too.
    Although way back when I inquired at the cable TV office if they were going to offer service and the desk person said “I think the phone company does the internet thing”.
    Oh how times change.

  18. K!P says: May 26, 20085:47 am

    @Neil russel,

    “Later versions were 3.5in floppies.1.4mb storage each!”

    whernt those 720 kb or something? 1.4 only arived with double density

  19. jayessell says: May 26, 20086:24 am

    That’s right! The //c Plus had Single -Sided 3.5in diskettes.
    800k! Plenty for ProDOS, AppleWorks and some data.
    I think the //c (later versions anyway) permitted an external 3.5 drive.…

  20. Rick Auricchio says: May 26, 200810:56 am

    Ah, jayessell, you’re making me remember my youth at Apple. I was the guy who modified the ROM from the ][ to the //e. See my pages at… .

    You’re correct that the photo shows an original Apple ][. I just looked for the extra “apple” key below the Z key.

    Original Apple ][ floppy drives were 5.25″ 110KB, up from the standard Shugart 88KB because Woz invented the 13-sector format vs. 10-sector (all in software!). Later, he was able to increase density to 16-sector 128KB.

    Apple ///, //e and //c used the same 16-sector floppy format (the //c had one built in).

    Original 3.5″ Sony floppies in the Mac and //gs were 400K, then double-sided 800k. Apple never used 720K MFM floppies like the PC did, but went right to the 1.4MB format. This was in 1988 with the Macintosh II.

    I wrote floppy drivers for almost a decade at Apple, from the Apple /// to the Macintosh IIfx. For the A/UX Unix system, not MacOS.

  21. MKremer says: May 26, 20083:44 pm

    That’s a later version A][+ (Apple][ Plus) image – the same narrow shift keys with an opaque power light cover level with the case.

    The A//e may have already been out during the run of that ad, but the image is of an older A][+.

  22. MKremer says: May 26, 20083:51 pm

    “Original Apple ][ floppy drives were 5.25″ 110KB, up from the standard Shugart 88KB because Woz invented the 13-sector format vs. 10-sector (all in software!). Later, he was able to increase density to 16-sector 128KB.”

    Woz was quite brilliant in reducing the floppy drive and controller chip count via software.

    What wasn’t as brilliant was the non-keyed floppy drive/controller card connection.
    (Although it was great for service dept. revenues – just stock lots of LS125 chips. 😉 )

  23. Rick Auricchio says: May 26, 20088:04 pm

    MK, you’re right about the A//e. It was shipping by then. I spoke at AppleFest in Boston in May 1983 about the ROM changes.

    I forgot about reversing the cable and blowing the LS125 chip. I probably did it a couple of times, but then there were plenty of spares in the lab.

    FYI, I was the one who discovered the DOS 3.2.1 fix (and made the fix) back in late 1979. We’d been trying to solve a two-drive I/O error problem, submitted by Paul Lutus, who was one of the few in the field with multiple drives. One day I was running his test, which copied files back and forth between drives. I heard the “off” drive make a seek sound.

    The drives were simply wired in parallel: we’d turn one off and start moving the head on the other. This always worked fine, because the “off” drive wouldn’t have any power to obey the seek. We opened my drives, and Woz found a big capacitor on the power board. Shugart had installed it without telling Apple. The cap was holding power for perhaps 100mSec, enough for the “off” drive to jump off track. Next I/O operation would fail.

    We added a delay prior to the seek; it was not a problem because the seek occurred while the spindle motor was speeding up anyway.

    About 1985, when the //gs was coming out, one of the engineers remembered the story. She had me dig out the memo Woz and I had written, so she could use it to argue against repeating the mistake. If I recall, though, the hardware design wasn’t susceptible to the problem.

  24. tia says: May 27, 20083:54 am
  25. jayessell says: May 27, 20084:39 am

    Here’s my //e erroneously labeled a ][ plus.
    I had recently upgraded.


  26. jayessell says: May 27, 20084:49 am

    Nice to hear from the Apple guy.
    I used to replace those floppy chips too!
    (Didn’t 2 or 3 chips need replacement when this occurred?)
    AND I changed the ROM set with the //e sticker over the lamp!

    Dang! I used the wrong photo link!…

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