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Old May 20th, 2009, 07:21 AM
John Francis John Francis is offline
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 16
Default TAPCIS: It's Over

On Monday at 1:00 PM EDT, the plug was pulled on CompuServe Classic's e-mail service. Beginning then, TAPCIS (and other e-mail software) could no longer connect with compuserve.com. So the end of the TAPCIS era, about a (human) generation long, has really come.

"Migrating" to the new e-mail system has been marked by confusion, some failures (none of them permanent that I know of), and the discovery of some bugs, but for most of us it's worked. One reason for the confusion is that it sometimes took many hours for users' e-mails residing at compuserve.com to be moved to the new servers at csi.com, and the users believed the new system wasn't working. But this bottleneck appears to have passed, and most complaints now are being easily resolved.

I got through the transition with no problems at all worth mentioning, and if anyone has questions about it and doesn't want to sift through the immense stack of threads in the CompuServe Classic Support Forum, I'll be happy to answer them.

The outcome is that POP3 and now IMAP e-mail is up and running without needing to change my reply-to e-mail address; all I needed to provide is a new user ID, which now is the complete e-mail address, not just the part before the @, and a new password, for which I was fortunately able to select my original CompuServe login password - no problem remembering that! As far as the world outside knows, neither my e-mail address or anything else has changed. And as far as I'm concerned, handling e-mail hasn't changed much either. With one bug-related problem mentioned later.

CompuServe now additionally provides a Webmail UI for the migrated accounts. This has given people more problems. In the first place, those who had created a personal name alias in NEWMAIL found that this was now their unchangeable e-mail address, the older one based on the PPN not being allowed. Quite arbitrary as those who had no alias kept their PPN-based addresses. Several users have posted that they would have preferred the PPN-based address if given a choice. This means any e-mail composed and sent from CIS Webmail will have a reply-to address of alias@compuserve.com. It will also have a random advertisement appended to the message text, enough in itself to discourage me from using the Webview at all.

Another problem with Webview is a dumb spam filter that traps legit e-mails along with some but not all of the spam, and presently can't be turned off. Moreover, any message in the spam folder can't be seen and retrieved with a POP3 client. To get it off the server and into my e-mail client, I must first go into Webmail, move the mail from the spam folder to the in-box, and only *then* download via POP3. This is cumbersome and easy to forget, and I'm not alone in wanting to turn CompuServe's spam filter off so everything goes into the in-box, for me to deal with in my own way. But the spam filter control won't stick in the Off position, flipping back to Medium. This is obviously not working as designed, and we hope the Powers will fix it immediately.

Once that's done, I don't anticipate using the Webview at all, as Mail2Web is much faster on its feet and provides as much functionality as I need when away from a computer running Thunderbird. The free version, which I use, appends an advertisement for itself, but that's OK, I recommend it anyway. Presently Mail2Web doesn't recognize the new systems' servers at csi.com and can't be used until it does; soon, I hope.

That's about it so far concerning the e-mail changeover. CompuServe is also shutting down its ISP service, on or after June 30, and when that happens my old login, with the PPN and original password, probably won't work. Easy enough to recover access with a new, AOL-style "screen name" and password, but I'm sentimental about the login that's served me for nearly 24 years now, not to mention that 24 years older, I may have a little problem remembering the new one. <grin> CIS's owners, AOL, aren't as sentimental as I am; in the forums, even the CompuServe logo has been replaced with Netscape. But at least they haven't shut it down, and if I sometimes have to explain what this "compuserve" in my e-mail address is, I'm always happy to do that. Try and stop me!
John Francis
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