Talk:Prodigy (online service)

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Harold Goldes :What realy happened[edit]

I worked for (Trintex) Prodigy from 1986-1987 in systems programming. At the time the company was going through a transition. Both Sears and CBS were in trouble. CBS sold out, the partnership was restructured just prior to the service launch and it was renamed "Prodigy"... It was strictly a marketing thing. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 98.26.44.233 (talk) 03:47, 8 July 2008 (UTC)

Harold Goldes :Prodigy[edit]

This man sent me an email where I never forgot his name and what he told me. CBXH97A was his user id and appears to have been the senior technical writer for Prodigy in the early 90's at least.

What he told me, and expressed that he did also to others, is that his proper name is Harold Goldes :Prodigy, I will never forget the colon since I've never seen that before or since. He explained that it was he that Prodigy was named after.

If any of you could think back...I hope I'm not alone having had him reply to my board postings back in that day.

A long time ago, but I feel it had to be said.

In response: Harold Goldes was indeed a Prodigy employee and acted as an ombudsman on some of the forums. I'm sure he was being humorous with the :P attribution. The name change from Trintex to Prodigy was a matter of high marketing policy, taken very seriously by Prodigy's management (and costing a ton of money). —Preceding unsigned comment added by 67.86.91.198 (talk) 14:48, 31 March 2008 (UTC)

Cable Modem access[edit]

It looks like cable modems were not available until the mid 90s. They nullifies the claim of 1990 or 1991 cable modem access to prodigy.

In response: Cable modems were available at the time. Prodigy's initial cable model trials were based on experimentation with Zenith's cable modems. "By the mid-1980s, Zenith Cable Products (later known as Zenith Network Systems) was a leading supplier of set-top boxes to the cable industry and a pioneer in cable modem technologies. The 1990s saw this business evolve into a supplier of digital set-top boxes for wired and wireless networks. Zenith sold the network systems division in 2000." http://www.zenith.com/sub_about/about_corp_history.html —Preceding unsigned comment added by 67.86.91.198 (talk) 14:05, 31 March 2008 (UTC)

Identified possible original research which may also be wrong, you're correct[edit]

Early versions of Prodigy ran a propriety operating system that completely replaced your default system. The OS was completely self sufficient and was totally object oriented it was called TBOL ( Trintex Basic Object Language ). There was nothing platform independent about it. It ran on I8086/I286/I386 hardware. The system employed multiple layers of caching for graphic objects, including the local PC, nearby remote bunkers, running IBM Series I mini-computers, Central MainFrames, running IBM TPF ( Transaction Processing Facility, similar to AMR/Sabre), and finally IBM MVS running DB2. The network caching of graphics was new at the time and was pioneering. But the lion share of the graphics were shipped to the PC in a high level language (TBOL) that the local PC interpreted and displayed.

Prodigy was a major step forward in "what was possible". It was definitely "before it's time" with it's graphical UI. At the time Windows was a gleam in Bill Gate's eye. This is 1986, Windows was still sold as an add on to DOS.

I know, because I worked there, as a Systems Programmer, from 1986-1987.

Prodigy was anything but a major step forward. The Macintosh had already pioneered the graphical UI interface when it was released in 1984. AppleLink, the online support system that Apple set up in cooperation with GEISCO, had a graphical UI that was available by 1985 and that was leaps and bounds better than anything that Prodigy offered in the early years. Connect was an early startup in Cupertino which also had a graphic user interface on their widely advertised and promoted national online service, again far superior to Prodigy's interface. Part of the problem with Prodigy was that, unlike AOL and Connect, they focused on the PC rather than on PCs AND Macintoshes. As a result, the early adopters of the graphic user interface widely ignored Prodigy. But things were what they were; let's not make Prodigy out to have been a pioneering light in the online world. I was working for Apple at the time and recall a lot of chuckling about Prodigy's already-outdated approach when they went public with their interface. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 204.10.46.254 (talk) 19:55, 7 January 2011 (UTC)

RESPONSE:[edit]

Actually the above comment is NOT really correct. TBOL (Trintex Basic Object Language) was an interpretative language which was processed by the Reception System software. There was everything platform independent about it. The Reception System software was ISO OSI Model Layer 7 Application software which lived on top of the native operating systems, like MS-DOS on Intel platforms, or ProDOS for the Apple II. Because Trintex's architecture required event handling and some sort of multitasking, the Reception system implemented a dispatcher at the Application level. So while the Recpetion System may have "felt" like an operating system to some application developers, it was not an operating system. TBOL was not an operating system. It was not completely self-sufficient. It was object oriented in the sense that much of the data the Reception System interpreted was object-based.

The stuff about caching is largely correct....although the "IBM MVS running DB2" didn't participate in caching. TBOL did not wrap graphics. TBOL itself was wrapped in Program Data Objects as defined by the Data Object Architecture. Graphics were wrapped in Presentation Data Objects as defined by the Data Object Architecture.

And I know this because I was one of the original Systems Architects, was employed there from 1985 - 1997, wrote much of the original design specification, and for a time managed the Systems Architecture group as well as some development groups. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 69.126.179.119 (talk) 19:34, 22 October 2008 (UTC)

Identified possible original research which may also be wrong[edit]

I am tagging the following text as needing citations because even if true, it looks like original research in violation of Wikipedia:No original research:

"At a time when in the state of the art, distributed objects were handled by RPC equivalents (essentially remote function calls to well known servers in which final results were returned to the caller), Prodigy pioneered the concept of actually returning interpretable, "platform independent" objects to the caller for subsequent processing.[citation needed] This approach anticipated such things as Java applets and Javascript.[citation needed] A strong argument can be made that Prodigy pioneered true distributed object-oriented client-server implementations as well as incidental innovations such as the equivalent of HTML Frames, pre-fetch, etc.[citation needed]"

Also, I think it may be wrong. My understanding is that various aspects of OOP client-server interpretations were pioneered at other places like Xerox PARC (e.g. Smalltalk) and SRI's Augmentation Research Center. And the concept of frames goes all the way back to the earliest hypertext systems like NLS and ZOG. Plus Jeff Rulifson dealt with the issue of interpretable platform independent objects to be returned across the network in his concept of a "Decode Encode Language" published in RFC 5 back in 1969. So Prodigy was basically just implementing an idea which had already been bounced around in networking circles for over a decade and a half. --Coolcaesar 20:14, 28 October 2007 (UTC)

Fair use rationale for Image:PRODIGY.png[edit]

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Image:PRODIGY.png is being used on this article. I notice the image page specifies that the image is being used under fair use but there is no explanation or rationale as to why its use in this Wikipedia article constitutes fair use. In addition to the boilerplate fair use template, you must also write out on the image description page a specific explanation or rationale for why using this image in each article is consistent with fair use.

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BetacommandBot (talk) 20:10, 26 November 2007 (UTC)

"Prodigy pioneered the concept of Online Communities." simply not true[edit]

compuserve sigs were much earlier. there were also delphi round tables... every online service had them. given Coolcaesar's post above, the entire pioneering section is suspect.

Fair use rationale for Image:New Prodigy Logo (Ball).jpg[edit]

Nuvola apps important.svg

Image:New Prodigy Logo (Ball).jpg is being used on this article. I notice the image page specifies that the image is being used under fair use but there is no explanation or rationale as to why its use in this Wikipedia article constitutes fair use. In addition to the boilerplate fair use template, you must also write out on the image description page a specific explanation or rationale for why using this image in each article is consistent with fair use.

Please go to the image description page and edit it to include a fair use rationale. Using one of the templates at Wikipedia:Fair use rationale guideline is an easy way to insure that your image is in compliance with Wikipedia policy, but remember that you must complete the template. Do not simply insert a blank template on an image page.

If there is other fair use media, consider checking that you have specified the fair use rationale on the other images used on this page. Note that any fair use images lacking such an explanation can be deleted one week after being tagged, as described on criteria for speedy deletion. If you have any questions please ask them at the Media copyright questions page. Thank you.

BetacommandBot (talk) 21:26, 2 January 2008 (UTC)

Fair use rationale for Image:New Prodigy Logo.jpg[edit]

Nuvola apps important.svg

Image:New Prodigy Logo.jpg is being used on this article. I notice the image page specifies that the image is being used under fair use but there is no explanation or rationale as to why its use in this Wikipedia article constitutes fair use. In addition to the boilerplate fair use template, you must also write out on the image description page a specific explanation or rationale for why using this image in each article is consistent with fair use.

Please go to the image description page and edit it to include a fair use rationale. Using one of the templates at Wikipedia:Fair use rationale guideline is an easy way to insure that your image is in compliance with Wikipedia policy, but remember that you must complete the template. Do not simply insert a blank template on an image page.

If there is other fair use media, consider checking that you have specified the fair use rationale on the other images used on this page. Note that any fair use images lacking such an explanation can be deleted one week after being tagged, as described on criteria for speedy deletion. If you have any questions please ask them at the Media copyright questions page. Thank you.

BetacommandBot (talk) 21:26, 2 January 2008 (UTC)

Article Name[edit]

The name of the article would more appropriately be Prodigy (online service), as it was (and certainly primarily known) as an online service, rather than an ISP.

Fair use rationale for Image:Prodigy Advertisement.jpg[edit]

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Image:Prodigy Advertisement.jpg is being used on this article. I notice the image page specifies that the image is being used under fair use but there is no explanation or rationale as to why its use in this Wikipedia article constitutes fair use. In addition to the boilerplate fair use template, you must also write out on the image description page a specific explanation or rationale for why using this image in each article is consistent with fair use.

Please go to the image description page and edit it to include a fair use rationale. Using one of the templates at Wikipedia:Fair use rationale guideline is an easy way to ensure that your image is in compliance with Wikipedia policy, but remember that you must complete the template. Do not simply insert a blank template on an image page.

If there is other fair use media, consider checking that you have specified the fair use rationale on the other images used on this page. Note that any fair use images lacking such an explanation can be deleted one week after being tagged, as described on criteria for speedy deletion. If you have any questions please ask them at the Media copyright questions page. Thank you.

BetacommandBot (talk) 05:16, 18 February 2008 (UTC)

Timelines[edit]

There is no citation on the timeline for regional release vs. nationwide launch. I grew up in the Washington DC area and I was on Prodigy prior to the listed nationwide launch date of 6 September 1990. (I know this because I celebrated my 10th birthday (1/18/91) on GEnie, where my family had migrated after Prodigy started charging 25 cents per email.) Can there be any citation found for the nationwide launch schedule? We had been on Prodigy for a year or two before switching to GEnie in 1990. -Etoile (talk) 03:08, 3 April 2009 (UTC) (aka BFXT07B)

Downfall[edit]

Prodigy was frequently hurt by poor management decisions, such as offering unlimited chat and then eliminating it when they realized some people were spending 14 hours a day in chat, which resulted in significant numbers of users leaving the service.

I removed the above section, titled "Downfall". This appears to have been inserted by someone with an ax to grind. Having it in its own section gives it undo weight. It is far too small to have its own section. The problems Prodigy had are documented elsewhere in the article. If it is put back, it should be in the criticisms section, possibly with a citation. SlowJog (talk) 21:33, 28 May 2009 (UTC)

Baud rates in Mexico[edit]

The list of baud rates available in Mexico was recently changed ([1]). I found and added a source for the speeds as they originally stood, so I reverted the edit and added a citation. If someone has a source for the second set of numbers, then further investigation is needed. Still 5120 (the highest speed in the second set of numbers) seems unlikely, not being a power of 2 and all. Susfele (talk) 03:10, 17 June 2010 (UTC)

Failure?[edit]

The tone of this article implies that Prodigy is/was a failure. Was it? I see the sums invested, but I don't know what money it made- could this be displayed in the article?IceDragon64 (talk) 21:59, 29 December 2010 (UTC)

It could, but who knows where to begin looking? (As a user from 1993-present, I do have the feeling that any success Prodigy* had over Compuserve was short lived when AOL began rising to prominence.) Pakopako (talk) 21:17, 6 March 2011 (UTC)

Controversies[edit]

Some of the notorious controversies associated with Prodigy need to be mentioned, such as when Prodigy had no policy against expressing bigotry, but there was a very strict policy against calling another user a bigot (since this would have been defamatory against one specific individual or something), with the result that bigots could spout their hatemongering unimpeded, but anyone who challenged a bigot was likely to have their postings rejected.. The authorities at Prodigy refused to listen to anybody or tweak their policies until it blew up into a public scandal and the Anti-Defamation League got involved, so that it became another self-inflicted PR wound which Prodigy couldn't really afford. Here's what I can find about this right now with a quick search: http://www.adl.org/PresRele/ASUS_12/2365_12.asp , http://w2.eff.org/Misc/Publications/Mike_Godwin/prodigy_censorship_godwin.article http://archive.jta.org/article/1991/10/24/2874487/adl-charges-computer-service-with-condoning-antisemitism ... There was also the infamous Exodus of the Crosstitch Pattern Ladies, etc. etc. etc. AnonMoos (talk) 14:39, 21 January 2012 (UTC)

Message board rates[edit]

"Then, in the summer of 1993, it began charging hourly rates for several of its most popular features, including its most popular feature, the message boards—another policy that was later rescinded, but not before tens of thousands of members left the service."

Does anyone know when it was rescinded? I remember they changed it, they gave subscribers an option to pay $30 a month for 30 hours of bulletin board access, but when did they completely do away with charging for them, if they ever did? The snare (talk) 23:02, 7 February 2012 (UTC)

Used Prodigy mainly as a tech rep.[edit]

I was a service tech for them before AOL out paced Prodigy. Many people left the support group as Intel 80486 technology came online. The main tools to get users to use the service, were what is now Travelocity which then was a huge Apple user base, during it's conversion to a HTML interface. Was funny to get service calls as it was preloaded on certain (to be nameless from me) PC's that had Prodigy pre-installed at purchase.


67.161.220.46 (talk) 04:19, 20 February 2013 (UTC) DW (dwpstang@yahoo.com)

John Tummolo, really? Really?[edit]

John Tummolo, really??? This makes it sound like John was THE key contributor to Prodigy. Those are pretty tall claims (or implications)and I'd really like to see some facts to back that up, since it certainly doesn't jive with anything I remember. At all. Note that John wasn't an inventor on our patent applications. He certainly he wrote some code, since that was his job. But to stretch that into being THE key contributor or even A key contributor is a huge, huge, warp-in-space stretch. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 67.83.190.46 (talk) 20:35, 18 June 2014 (UTC)