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back to article CIX conferencing system is bought out – again

CIX, probably the oldest surviving online service in the UK, has a new owner, ICUK, which hopes to grow the system and attract new users. CIX - or the Compulink Information Exchange - started off in the pre-web days of the mid-1980s as a shareware distribution house's Fidonet bulletin board service, but the online community …

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Anonymous Coward

I remember it

In the days of dial-up, I was a "CiXen" as t was styled, relying on an offline reader (on my Amiga) to track the discussions.

unfortunately I let my email inbox build up to such a level I couldn't login. And then I moved to PCs and a yahoo online account and finally shut down my cix account.

It was a different way of doing things then, "kids today" etc.

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ITYM

A most excellent off line client AMEOL :-)

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Paris Hilton

Similar boat here.

I was using an Atari ST - with a 9600 modem (now I am on a 6-core AMD 3gig machine on a 50Meg service!).

After many years it was getting just too much spam in my email so I ended up going to Gmail.

I wonder if my account still works?

ttfn

How old was PH when I was CIXing I wonder? hmm around 4 years old - deity! I feel old :-(

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Happy

account still working?

There are 2 active accounts which might be yours, and one says you live(d) in South Ox...

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CIX Clan

There was even a CIX Counterstrike Clan, of which I was a member (No-Lifer [CIX]). Good times, great community. Good bunch of lads.

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The title is required, and must contain letters and/or digits.

and a loosely associated UT clan - Olde Phartes ...

[OP]Boot

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Holmes

What's this Ameol?

I used Network Telepathy, later called Powwow, and got my students to use it for their class discussions in 1993.

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Gimp

Bah

I was a Compuserve member. Here's a shout out to anyone who remembers user 100125,2643 :D

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Boffin

Oooh

CIX... That brings back some memories... Wonderful easy to use service and the world at your fingertips (sort of) on a Tandy 100 laptop and later a Mac IIcx...

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MUD

CIX was also the home of the Discworld mud in the early 90s - oh how I wasted many hours at university logged on to those servers!

fond memories.

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Discworld, MUD, and Pratchett

The Conference(s) are still there, but no postings for over half a decade. On the other hand Terry's own conference had several postings to it earlier this year!

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WTF?

Odd that you all talk about it in the past tense

It's not like it's gone away or something!

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Liam forgot to mention...

that previous Cixen included such luminaries as Douglas Adams and Terry Pratchet.

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Authors

Not only them, but also Charles Stross, and just about every leading IT, and some non-IT, journo of the '90s.

And me, of course.

GJC

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Pint

Hi!

et moi...

(Maybe this year... :-)

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Gwyn!

My dear chap, where've you been hiding? Still on the borders?

GJC

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top or bottom?

> bottom-quoted as the hypothetical deity intended.

See, now you're just trying to start an argument.

I do miss getting PQMFs for cheap hardware, though.

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I wish

I'd kept my old account. I gave up CIX reluctantly when we had a financial crisis and each household member had to make personal cuts. I had hoped that the OU cosy system would be a substitute, but while it was free it was like being alone in a multi-story car park, instead of pushing shoulder-tight through an oriental souk.

I wonder If I could persuade the last 4 posters to nntp:uk.rec.sheds to move onto cix?

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Got to be worth a try, Robert

It seems to me that CIX is the ideal home for small fragments of user populations around the place.

GJC

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Your wish may come true

There are 2 active accounts with your name attached, one with an address at 3 E.. Rd. Alternatively, find a friend with a free +4 account available.

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Gimp

Whereas...

... I wish Leslie all the luck with this, CIX had a problem in that the bigger it grew, the more unwieldy it became to use. Membership peaked at 15,000 or so, which isn't a lot by most standards, although they were *paying* customers which is worth noting.

I think the reason that people think of it in the past is that for many of us it is in the past.

(Icon in remembrance of the "sexuality" conference)

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Aahhhh, CIX! :)

Probably my fist computer-based contact with the outside world, back in the day when computers themselves were a novelty to me. Whilst at that time I had no choice but to use a character-based dumb terminal login, quite a few continued to do so even after PCs were put on our desks and Ameol became available. My employers never objected to the modem phone bill, as it was my prime source of technical help: a fantastic resource to one new to Unix and computers. I even recruited my successor through CIX!

I left CIX when I left the UK. Somehow, controversy over London's bus lanes and cyclists looses its appeal when one is 5,000 miles away, and the newly retired have to look to saving money. I still have Ameol, and its data from that time, archived on my hard disk. Wizards (.co.uk), another CIX community vendor, still host my domain and email.

CIX ran into problems when the succession of big-company buyouts began. None of them had a clue about the CIX community. That it has survived is a wonder, that the current buy-out is by a company headed by a long standing member is very good news indeed. I wish them all the best.

cix:cats, anyone? Only yesterday, I was remembering Valerie (of Harrow) and her family of a dozen or so. News of her death reached me back in those days soon after I had left CIX.

CIX is in the past for me --- but I'm happy to know that it still has a present, and, hopefuly, a healthy furure

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If a Wizards's customer ...

If you're a Wizards customer there may be ways of getting you back on CIX. Just ask them.

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Another ex-CIXen

Went to a CIX eyeball thingy once and Terry Pratchet was there. Seemed to be a lot of people around him, so I just sort of shrugged and moved off. I wonder what I would have done if I'd read any Diskworld stories at that time.

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Thanks for the mention, Liam

I think that's the first time TWIX has ever appeared in the press, anywhere.

GJC

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Another TWIXen speaks

Yes, well done Liam, and for the whole of the ICUK buys CIX write up. Along with Wendy Grossman's article you both did Leslie Costar of ICUK proud.

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Was / is CIX a kindof usenet before usenet?

Don't think I ever quite got onto using it, but from what I've read it sounds like a USENET system that pre-dates that, but perhaps without the spam and such?

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Usenet

The NNTP protocol, and therefore Usenet, pre-dates CIX by a couple of years, but the concept is similar, and as you say, CIX has no spam. It also has a much more sophisticated threading system, and a history of subsets of the users meeting face to face regularly, leading to a much more civil environment. Flame wars still happen, of course, but at least they're threaded properly.

GJC

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Anonymous Coward

It was/is

more like a local Usenet.

It had a gateway to USENET --- but, for a long time, it was read-only.

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Flame

Flame wars, and the great travelling fish pun thread

Quite, but not the plaice to discuss this.

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Coat

*&%^#7@¶&*!%^*&$%#¤#$!@¶#%9#$%^*¿*(&!!!

Greek modem on ttypq......

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Ah, who could forget such forums as crisps, nanites & jclayton.fans?

... for me, the golden days of cix were in the mid 90's.

A great mix of people too; at a time when "on-line" was wholly equated with "geeks", I met authors, techies, business people.... a genuinely diverse and interesting community.

And it's not just the like of Demon who started out with an idea and a discussion. As Mr Campbell of this parish may testify, at one time it seemed like all the active and emergent ISPs had a presence there.

Might have to go back and see what's changed... or just to look to see what's still in the archive!

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Pirate

@Stu

Ah, yes, there was a time when CIX was the place all the top techies from the UK ISPs went after work, to rant drunkenly about the money men, the sales teams, and the customers, whilst maintaining our best professional poker faces in our own official support conferences.

Damn, I miss those days :-)

You still out Cardiff way (and apologies if I've mis-remembered that, it was a while back)? We still have a big sort-of-but-not-quite CIX pissup at my place in August, if you're free?

GJC

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Pint

@GJC

Aylesbury, via Derby, Basildon, etc.

I've got a feeling you once gave me a tour of global and then on to my first Weatherspoons at putney bridge...

Pissup sounds good, thanks. I'll drop you a note.

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Happy

Ah, yes.

It was the other Stu who moved to Cardiff, I now remember. Do by all means drop me a line, we should organise a CIX survivors party.

GJC

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Good lord!

Anyone remember where they were the day we broke Cix?

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Pint

omg!

Dave Edwards? Leyland? Tell me its not true!

Mods, we may need an elreg:wibble

Stu (now back on cix)

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Boffin

Which time?

There were a few that I remember.

GJC

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Good Question..

Can't remember the bugger's name.. It was a cheap variation on a theme of JCF where a number of people allegedly had something like "add par all" locked in their outbasket, hence pushing the system beyond its top notch...

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Unhappy

CIX broke??

Yes, if that was the great back up failure well over 10 years ago.

RLdeSC

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I can tell you it's not true...

but you'll find out the truth eventually!

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Trollface

Big smiley time

Being on Cix for 20 years, the last few have felt rather sad as people left, died or just faded out. It's been an enormously useful and enjoyable meeting place on the whole, and now the place feels like it's party time.

Lots of old faces returning, and new blood starting to appear. ICUK have some very interesting plans and a fine reputation, and I for one am vastly relieved and quite excited by the prospects.

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