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Quantum Link

Quantum Link (or Q-Link) was a nationwide online service for Commodore 64 and 128 personal computers that operated from November 5, 1985 to November 1, 1994. It was operated by Quantum Computer Services of Vienna, Virginia, which in October 1991 changed its name to America Online, and continues to operate its AOL service for IBM PCs today.

Just as later services would, Q-Link featured electronic mail, online chat (in its People Connection department), public domain file sharing libraries, online news, and instant messaging (using On Line Messages, or OLMs). Other noteworthy features included online multiplayer games like checkers, chess, backgammon, and hangman; casino games such as bingo, slot machines, and poker in RabbitJack's Casino; and an interactive graphical resort island called Club Caribe.

Club Caribe was developed with Lucasfilm Games and had an interface similar to Lucasfilm's Maniac Mansion, albeit simplified. Users controlled on-screen avatars that could chat with other users, carry and use objects and money (called tokens), and travel around the island one screenful at a time. It was a predecessor to today's MMORPGs.

Connections to Q-Link were typically made by modems with speeds from 300-2400 bit/s, with 1200 bit/s being the most common. The service was normally open weekday evenings and all day on weekends. Pricing was $99.95 per month, with additional fees of six centss per minute (later raised to eight) for so-called "plus" areas, which included most of the aforementioned services.

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