Back then it was called Apple Link, a project commissioned by Apple Computer and a company called Quantum Computer Services to connect Apple II and Macintosh computers.
The beta test was dubbed “Samuel” and for Schober, a teenage fan of BBSes (bulletin board systems), it was an intriguing opportunity.
Reggie Fairchild, product manager for AOL 4.0, shared this little story on Quora: It worked. As a gawky kid entering high school, chat rooms were a haven from the awkwardness of real human interaction.
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I talked with Joe Schober, the longest-running employee at AOL and its current chief architect.
His relationship with the company started in 1988, before it was America Online.
All of your interactions online are constrained by the people you already know.” (MORE: Chatroulette 2.0?
Napster Founders Launch Airtime Video Chat) So far, Airtime hasn’t exactly been a hit.
“In the ‘80s, if you had a 2400 baud modem you were pretty hot stuff,” says Schober. People talk about their cellphones being slow now; a slow cellphone might be 256k or 512k, so if you think about something being 100 times slower than that, it’s ridiculous.