Often described as a Diversi-Dial Clone for Commodore 64s.
Steve Laisch has a lot of information to impart:
"Online - This was almost like DDial except a few differences:
1. It ran on a Commodore 64, not an Apple. 2. It got REAL slow sometimes.
Why? Because unlike DDial, Online used a diskdrive instead of RAM to store
everything. This was both an advantage and a disadvantage. In the case of a
power outage - everything was saved - in DDial it wasn't. You were at the
mercy of the power company. However when a bunch of people went for
email and such it may slow down the system. 3. Unlike the Apple IIE which
had slots for modems, the C64 version had a custom board. This board was
custom made. I don't remember what the costs were but it wasn't cheap."
"The only other information I can think of is the actual hardware board that
was used for connecting 6 modems to the c64 was $500. That is what was
charged for it. The only 2 Online Chat systems that were available in my
state of Illinois were "Magic Mirror" and "Black Magic". Magic Mirror died
first I think it lasted no longer than 89-90 at the latest. Black Magic
lasted a bit longer, say 93-94. I will see if I can find anything else
about it but I doubt it."
"I do have a faint remember also that while DDial was written in 6502 Assembler,
'Online' was written entirely in Forth."
"Also Online was "unhackable" - I'm pretty sure about that. In otherwords, in
DDial there was a command that allowed you to perform "POKES" to the system.
In other words, you could in theory write machine language programs with
"This allowed you to do things like crash the system or other illegal stuff.
One of the last hacks I remember is being able to turn your /P's off for
individual ports. So if someone poked the system write, they COULD see ALL
/P's that were being sent back and forth. Ofcourse, you had to becareful and
not respond to the /P's that were not intended for you :) One of the users
actually figured out that someone did this by faking a /P. You also had to
UNPOKE everything before you logged off the system otherwise the next user
that got on that port would have the same benefits. I think I can get you a
complete listing of the commands if you like them for DDial. Online didn't
have any poking capabilities as far as I know. I also know that Online did
not have networking capabilities. In DDial (and with DDials big brother
"STS") you could network the systems together so that you could have a whole
bunch of users online instead of the maximum 7. Online did not have that feature."