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bless 'em all
28th June 2012, 12:31
Le internet caput! (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-18610692)

I heard a tale back in my BT days that this was based on Prestel, and the BT rep who sold the thing to France retired off the bonus he got for the sale.

SupremeSpod
28th June 2012, 12:34
Minitel was great!

Sysman
28th June 2012, 13:42
But unlike Prestel, everyone could afford Minitel.


Apart from ease of use, two other factors ensured Minitel's success. First was that it was distributed free of charge by the then state-owned France Telecom (or its predecessor the PTT).

This meant that even the poorest of households contained a set, subsidised by the taxpayer.

By late 1984 or so France Telecom were able to scrap the Paris telephone directories and give everyone a Minitel instead. By saving print and distribution costs and moving to charging for Minitel directory enquiries they saved quite a chunk of money to offset the Minitel costs.

Sysman in "when I moved into my first apartment in Paris, the stack of telephone directories provided a comfortable seat" mode.

Sysman
28th June 2012, 13:45
P.S. I once asked about the cost of Prestel in Dixons / wherever and the salesman told me to forget it as I couldn't afford it.

I pressed him on the matter, and decided that though I could afford it, it was a rip off.

The_Equalizer
28th June 2012, 14:41
My Dad got Prestel for our BBC B. It had this coupler that you plugged the handset of the phone into. I remember it clearly as you used to be able to down load games and the cost was the price of the call. On serveral occasions there was a hickup on the phoneline which would make a mess of the download and you were therefore charged for something you didn't receive properly. The loss of pocket money was most painful.

DodgyAgent
28th June 2012, 15:07
My Son got Prestel for our BBC B. It had this coupler that you plugged the handset of the phone into. I remember it clearly as you used to be able to down load games and the cost was the price of the call. On serveral occasions there was a hickup on the phoneline which would make a mess of the download and you were therefore charged for something you didn't receive properly. The loss of pocket money was most painful.

FTFY

Paddy
28th June 2012, 16:13
I had a Prestel setup at home using a green screen and modem on a 286. There were two gateways via Prestel, I forget the names. Booked airline seats and there was FA security for data.

Doggy Styles
28th June 2012, 21:48
I worked on Prestel.

It was based on GEC computers, and programmed in Babbage.

AtW
28th June 2012, 21:50
Was it better than FIDOnet?

Doggy Styles
28th June 2012, 21:59
Was it better than FIDOnet?I don't know. I do know that the processing was quick and Babbage was pretty cool.