By Sam Ormes, Senior Editor, Sormes@aol.com
Let's face reality....there is one universal online service and its name is America Online! Now that it has swallowed CompuServe, it will become even more overwhelmingly universal.
Only problem is...you can't get there from here! Despite the fact that Steve Case, the founder and CEO of AOL, got his start by creating Q-Link which was an early online service specializing in Commodores and Amigas, he has excluded us from AOL. Many Amigans have strong negative feelings about Case......understandably.
I wasn't around in the Q-Link days and I don't bear that emotional baggage. When I inherited an old Macintosh last November, I decided to give AOL a try. After some years on Genie (a totally text-based service) which has (had) a strong Amiga presence, the graphical AOL experience was life-changing!
Although AOL has no Amiga forums as does CompuServe, I spend maybe 70% of my time online there involved in Amiga matters. This includes reading the Amiga newsgroups, reading all our wonderful sites such as AWD, Fishwrap, amiCrawler, etc. and especially chatting online real-time with fellow Amigans about Amigas. E-mail with my friends is a snap on AOL and that often includes exchanging Amiga graphics as attached files.
Obviously I like AOL. What I do not like is having to access it exclusively on another platform, and now I am finally getting to the point I wanted to make. The time has come..... with AOL absorbing CompuServe and its Amiga areas, and with a major player like Gateway owning our Amiga..... for America Online to be made available to Amigans everywhere!
I hereby challenge our new friends in South Dakota to use their clout to make this happen....to get this exclusion ended and bring their new baby closer to the mainstream in this new era of online communications. Let's make "Back for the future" a meaningful slogan.