Saturday, September 03, 2005

The Move to Online with QuantumLink

In late 1985 I was contacted by QuantumLink and asked to be involved with their new online service they were developing for Commodore C-64 users. The service was going to be launched around January 1986 and they wanted my help. Apparently the folks at Commodore had given QuantumLink my name and contact info along with their recommendation. I was asked to participate in a Meet the Press area, answering questions for Commodore users. I quickly agreed and helped test out features of the new system before it went live while building up some initial areas, helping with uploads to the file libraries and more. So I was there online when Q-Link initially went live in January of 1986 and stayed there almost to the end.

Once the service was live, my area quickly evolved into more of a news service and was eventually renamed the New Product Information area that was managed and run entirely by myself. I was posting industry news, press releases and technical information besides answering questions of all sorts. With my connections at Commodore, and many other companies throughout the Commodore market, I became a funnel for information between users and many of these companies. The only problem was that all the articles and postings had to be hand typed online over a dialup connection at very slow speeds. It was so time consuming it wasn't funny!

Besides the news service, I was also participating in monthly gatherings in Q-Link's People Connection Auditorium, many with the help of Jim Oldfield of the Midnite Software Gazette or me helping him with his auditorium events. We actually got so proficient with running these group discussions that we didn't even need a sysop to assist us most of the time. We handled the question queue ourselves and kept the meetings running smoothly from month to month.

Originally the Q-Link area started with mostly C64 related information and expanded over time to include the C128, Amiga and even the PC10/IBM clones eventually. Somewhere along the way I started cataloging product and company information from the news service into a massive database covering the entire Commodore market. That information eventually concentrated on just the Amiga system and Commodore used a lot of that information in their Amiga Resources for Educators that was published twice in 1989. Commodore Canada also published a similar reference book using my data about the same time.

With all the work on Q-Link, Commodore asked me to write an Inside QuantumLink column for their magazine covering tips, tricks, news of new features, etc. The column started in January of 1987 and appeared in 34 issues before it stopped publication in October of 1989.

With the success of the news area on Q-Link, and since I was already starting to cover the IBM clone market, QuantumLink asked me to provide a similar service on PC-Link when it started in January of 1989. For a short while the same news was being posted on both services and then America Online was born and my news service was moved there as well in January of 1991.... but more about that later!

The Q-Link days were probably the most fun of everything I've done throughout the years. I met a lot of interesting people and had a lot of fun doing what I was doing. At one point I was told that my area on Q-Link accounted for more than 1% of the total monthly usage for all of Q-Link! That was supposedly a pretty remarkable feat in those days. In many cases I was posting news and press releases months before they appeared in the magazines so my area did become pretty popular. There was even an article published in one of the Commodore publications about myself and Jim Butterfield that covered my background and early involvement in the Commodore market. If there's any interest I still have a copy of that early article and would be more than happy to include a copy of it here.


  • Did you know Q-Link it working again? It is still being worked on.

    The easy way to get on it with a Windows PC is with a emulator and use this link:


    It will unzip and make a folder. Click on that folder then dubble click on qlink.bat it will auto start up and when it says press F1 press F1 and it will connect. If this is your first time on the new Q-Link it will ask for a name.

    You can use a real C=64 too. But need a RS232 to Ethernet some way and there are ways to do that.

    With the post you did here maybe you have some info. That can help bring Q-Link back how it was.

    There is a board with lots of info. About this on it at:


    -Raymond Day

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 12:54 PM  

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