The Commodore 64 Communications Modem was heralded as your key to
the Information technology revolution. The modem was promoted as
your means to connecting to computers all over the world to access
vast amounts of varied information.
Offered free with the purchase of the modem was one year's membership
to COMPUNET, which was the UK's best and most versatile service for
Commodore 64 owners. The service provided:-
General information on the latest Commodore hardware and software.
Technical hints and tips about all Commodore products.
Purchase of software which is transmitted over the telephone line
into your Commodore 64 for you to save to cassette or diskette.
Free software in many of the sections for you to download.
Electronic Mail - a secure person to person communication system.
Bulletin Board - for you to leave and receive messages from all
other COMPUNET users.
Other viewdata systems including Prestel.
The aim of COMPUNET was to provide high street services including
teleshopping, telebanking, the buying and selling of real estate,
insurance quotes and much more.
For the system to work the telephone needed to be fitted with a series
600 line jack socket.
To connect to COMPUNET the modem was plugged into the British Telecom
socket. Next the Commodore 64 was switched on and the word CONNECT
or (shift) C was entered after the ready prompt. The screen would
then prompt 'number' to which you enter the closest COMPUNET access
The border colour would then change to purple and after a short wait
a welcome message would appear. At this point you may be notified
that the account user status is exceeded and so the service is
currently full up and you would need to try again.
Next you would be asked to enter your ID and password. On entering
each you would need to press RETURN. The system would then say
LINKING and up to 8K is sent from the main COMPUNET computer into
the modem. The download takes around 90 seconds.
To avoid linking every time logged out, you could type CNSAVE at
the ready prompt after you left COMPUNET. This would save the software
to disk or cassette. Typing CNLOAD before logging in reloads the
After linking, a personal information screen would appear with the
DIRECTORY DUCKSHOOT. You then selected DIR to reveal the main
directory. To leave COMPUNET you simply typed LEAVE.
The BASIC package cost £7.50 per quarter. And included:-
Six hours free off-peak connect time ( at 1200/75 baud per quarter ).
Free use of the 12 main COMPUNET access points.
Electronic mailboxing at no charge.
The right to apply for a COMPUNET account which allowed you to buy
software, storage etc.