Justin Case
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I've noticed a lot of folks here besides me who have a C64 microbadge: mb

And then earlier today I was playing games on Yucata.de and something made me think of my earliest days of playing games online, when I was very active on the old Quantum Link network -- can it really be 25 years ago?!?

I later moved nearly all of my online playtime to the serious gaming at LeisureLINC (which became the USAToday network), where I honed my skills in postal time limit games to become a very strong chess and backgammon player and an expert in Othello, but I've never lost my fondness for those earliest days on Q-Link.

I joined in early 1987, as I recall, which was several years before the World Wide Web even came into existence. There weren't nearly so many people who even had computers in the home back then, and going online was a fascinating adventure.

Almost every night after dinner, I would relax from the stress of my long hours on the road by logging in to Q-Link, where I would meet with other folks to play chess, checkers, backgammon, Othello, and even bridge, all live with graphic screens and in-game chat. We had chat rooms, email, and instant messaging (one of the nearly lost footnotes to internet history is that it was the members on Quantum Link who made emoticons commonplace and even invented many of them). There was an extensive library of downloadable software and music (much of which I still have in my archives), and there was even a news area.

So how about it, folks -- does anyone else here have grey hair and fond memories of Q-Link or LeisureLINC?


meeple



[edit for timeframe clarity]

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Michael Edwards
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Nope, but I played a lot of Red Baron on the ImagiNation Network/Sierra Network. Had not yet really gone on-line with the C-64, so it was all local play.
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Chris B
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I guess I'm younger, my first real online gaming experience was with MUDs and MUSHs during college.

Then came the Warcraft Ladder using Kali.
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David Hinson
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North Carolina
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Hi Justin. I remember LeisureLINC quite well. I used to work there as a nights and weekends system operator. It was around '87 and I was a college student. The entire service ran on a Honeywell DPS 6 mainframe and a 400 MB Winchester drive the size of a washing machine. The backend was hand-coded assembly and the excellent PC client was the work of a single developer using MS BASIC. Since you had a Commodore you would've used the Commodore LINCware client. I don't remember being connected to Q-Link it was primarily a Tymnet service with a few 2400 dialups but Q-Link might have been connected to Tymnet. Those were the bad old days when there were only dozens of somewhat interconnected, slow and expensive subscription "nets" and BBSes. Chess was their big draw of course and I spent many a night on the job getting slaughtered by USCF rated masters who were simultaneously playing as many people as they could.

I went on to become a software developer and in recent years have returned to online game work and looking back at LeisureLINC it was a great little operation and way ahead of its time. It worked because they were a nimble little bunch of technical geniuses who approached online gaming as a serious business. If that team had continued to grow as an online game company I have little doubt they would be a major force in online entertainment today. But at that time there was no Internet as we know it today it was years before AOL even and online connectivity was a premium service. They were swayed by opportunities in delivering more lucrative online content and understandably so and that spelled the end of the gaming venture.

Thanks for the memory.
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Great Googly Moogly it's
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SybotCB wrote:
I guess I'm younger, my first real online gaming experience was with MUDs and MUSHs during college.

Then came the Warcraft Ladder using Kali.

What MUDs? I played Genesis and Angalon. Mostly Genesis.
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Justin Case
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dhinson wrote:
I remember LeisureLINC quite well. I used to work there as a nights and weekends system operator.

....

Thanks for the memory.

You're welcome, but thank you for contributing to the discussion!

I'm so sorry that I haven't seen your comments until now, but I have been inactive on BGG for most of the year; I hope you're subscribed to this thread to see this.

Your note sure brought back some memories for me too, and we may have even spoken before. Because I happened to be in the same city, and was a very active member as well as being one of the first members, I was given the direct access phone number, and I would call now and then if there was a service problem. There was an operator that I used to chat with now and then too, when things in the "engine room" were running smoothly.

But who was the hot little blonde gal who used to work there, and was often the public face of LeisureLINC? I'm having a brain cramp and don't remember her name.... LeisureLINC had a table to advertise and seek new members at the big "Land of the Sky" chess tournament in Asheville one year, and she was there to work. Oh my, those poor chess geeks were all over that table. I'm fairly sure that she came to one of the much smaller local tournaments too.

My favorite memory of her was one night when there was some sort of special occasion -- New Years Eve? LeisureLINC's first birthday? Something festive.... But a bunch of us were chatting online, and she got tanked up and started typing out the dialog from an entire Mighty Mouse cartoon that she knew by heart from repeated viewings as a kid.

We had several chats going, and periodically interspersed between our lines of text would pop up things like "Save me, Mighty Mouse! Save me!" It was just too funny, and even though I knew it had to be coming, when she typed "Heeere I come to save the daaaaay!!", I was nearly weeping with laughter.

laugh


Thanks so much for taking time to add to the thread, it's been fun to read your memories and share mine that were renewed.

cool


[mini edits for spelling and missing word]
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David Hinson
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Hello Justin. Now you'll have to pardon my belated response. This is the first time I've signed into BGG since I wrote that last message! I know the young lady you're referring to. I don't want to mention her name but she maintains this facebook page which you'll probably find nostalgic https://www.facebook.com/leisurelinc/. I'm sure she'd love to hear from you.

Cheers
 
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Justin Case
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dhinson wrote:
I know the young lady you're referring to. I don't want to mention her name but she maintains this facebook page which you'll probably find nostalgic https://www.facebook.com/leisurelinc/. I'm sure she'd love to hear from you.
That's her!!

I'm an antifacebookite, so I can't interact with that page, but I can look at most of it -- what a trip down memory lane!

One of the memories on that page is that I played in the online world record simul against GM Bisguier, and wow did he ever tromp me into the mud.

I still have my C64 LINC software and other goodies around here someplace, and hundreds of pages of printed game records from all the chess, checkers, and Othello games I played there.

Geekmail coming, in case I can catch you on another visit soon.



 
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