QLink was one of the hottest online hangouts. It was a very popular place to visit with friends or make new friends in the chat areas. You could even send instant messages to someone else online. There was a huge download area filled with files of all sorts. There was a classified section to buy and sell computer items and other things. You could schedule airline flights and check stocks and go shopping with your computer. This was all done with a Commodore 64! QLink was available only to Commodore users. There was special software that ran on the 64 to allow dialing out and logging into QLink. Well, the QLink owners soon had other ideas. They decided to begin catering to owners of PC's, commonly known at the time as IBM compatibles. In 1993, Steve Case shut down QLink as he needed the equipment to service the growing AOL, and the entire QLink file library went into never-never land. The new service for the PC users was known as America Online, or AOL for short. If it wasn't for all the Commodore users showing how well a dedicated online service could survive and be profitable, AOL never would have been created. The profits from QLink's Commodore customers was the financing AOL needed to get off the ground.
Now, Commodore users needed a place to go to. The GEnie online service was running and catered to all types of computers and their users. There was even a Commodore section. Special software wasn't required, you simply needed a normal terminal program to dial out with and to access GEnie. But there was also a special software program written just for Commodore users to access GEnie for those who didn't like the command type approach when using a terminal program.
GEnie struggled against the powerful AOL. AOL knew how to market itself. GEnie managed to hang on until the late 90's. For about the last couple of years, the Commodore area on GEnie was controlled by Creative Micro Designs. CMD's presence was a very good thing for Commodore users. In addition to Doug Cotton from CMD, there were many helpful and knowledgable Commodore users on GEnie who could help with just about any aspect of Commodore computing. The message bases were very busy and the file library was quite vast, but was never as big as QLink's.
Before GEnie pulled the plug like QLink did, the Commodore library on GEnie was completely downloaded over about a 2 week period and saved for future preservation. All the files are available here for your enjoyment.
In the table to the left, you can click on a link to go straight to any library section. They are arranged in alphabetical order. Here's the listing of each library as they existed on GEnie: