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(Messy Nessy Chic)   Starting in 1978 France had a internet precursor device called Minitel which, of course, went all Oo-La-La sexy-time   (messynessychic.com) divider line
    More: Cool, Jacques Chirac, France, World Wide Web, Minitel, French people, online services, Minitel's primary raison d, Telephone  
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1207 clicks; posted to STEM » on 10 Dec 2021 at 10:02 AM (23 weeks ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook



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2021-12-10 8:07:55 AM  
Fun fact: Minitel devices didn't have the @ sign on the keyboard as an easily usable character. Which meant that Internet email was difficult to use.
 
2021-12-10 8:26:35 AM  
That was really interesting!
 
2021-12-10 9:17:28 AM  

Joe USer: Fun fact: Minitel devices didn't have the @ sign on the keyboard as an easily usable character. Which meant that Internet email was difficult to use.


Wasn't the @ sign just a convention for the longest time, and other characters could be used? Or am I making stuff up in my head? lol
 
2021-12-10 9:39:51 AM  

SurfaceTension: Joe USer: Fun fact: Minitel devices didn't have the @ sign on the keyboard as an easily usable character. Which meant that Internet email was difficult to use.

Wasn't the @ sign just a convention for the longest time, and other characters could be used? Or am I making stuff up in my head? lol


Doubtful, at least not in 1994.
 
2021-12-10 9:49:52 AM  
y.yarn.coView Full Size


Oui Lana!!!
 
2021-12-10 9:51:41 AM  
The last big push for Minitel in the US was Aline, a chat server based in NY. The same company also ran a large magazine online service, also on Minitel.

A few years later, TV guide was about to launch their version of a Minitel based service, but it shut down before launch.

One of the main developers went on to write web services and actually created an early chat server with user icons and automatic emoticons about 2 years before they became commonplace.
 
2021-12-10 9:56:02 AM  
The UK had Teletext before Minitel, and Prestel at around the same time, but while millions had Teletext very few had Prestel.  Teletext was only switched off a few years ago.
 
2021-12-10 10:13:20 AM  
We in Canada had a similar thing in the early 80s called Teleguide (a.k.a. Telidon).  They were used for a variety of things; my local library had a Teleguide terminal that I liked to mess around with, and it could display simple graphics and text, and had a few useful things on it.  Malls had upright Teleguide terminals that were used to help mallgoers locate stores and other stuff in the general area -- many of those tended to have early touch screens, whereas the one at my library used a keyboard.
 
2021-12-10 10:16:47 AM  
Beeeeeee modem noises beeeeee OH beeeeBEEEEEeee BABY Beeeeeeeeeeeeee DON'T BeeeeEEEEEEeeeee STOP BEEEEeeeeeEEEEeeeeee NOW Beeeeeeeeeeee !
 
DVD
2021-12-10 10:21:28 AM  

KarmicDisaster: Beeeeeee modem noises beeeeee OH beeeeBEEEEEeee BABY Beeeeeeeeeeeeee DON'T BeeeeEEEEEEeeeee STOP BEEEEeeeeeEEEEeeeeee NOW Beeeeeeeeeeee !


____________________________

Fark is not your personal erot... oh never mind.
 
2021-12-10 10:35:15 AM  
Fark user imageView Full Size
 
2021-12-10 10:37:38 AM  
Even back then there were few actual women in the sexy chat rooms.
 
2021-12-10 11:09:22 AM  

Psychopusher: We in Canada had a similar thing in the early 80s called Teleguide (a.k.a. Telidon).  They were used for a variety of things; my local library had a Teleguide terminal that I liked to mess around with, and it could display simple graphics and text, and had a few useful things on it.  Malls had upright Teleguide terminals that were used to help mallgoers locate stores and other stuff in the general area -- many of those tended to have early touch screens, whereas the one at my library used a keyboard.


I remember playing with one of those. It wouldn't take me to a particular page, so I was trying to slide in from an adjacent page. Didn't work. Buggy as Windows1.0.
 
DVD
2021-12-10 11:17:01 AM  

bingethinker: Psychopusher: We in Canada had a similar thing in the early 80s called Teleguide (a.k.a. Telidon).  They were used for a variety of things; my local library had a Teleguide terminal that I liked to mess around with, and it could display simple graphics and text, and had a few useful things on it.  Malls had upright Teleguide terminals that were used to help mallgoers locate stores and other stuff in the general area -- many of those tended to have early touch screens, whereas the one at my library used a keyboard.

I remember playing with one of those. It wouldn't take me to a particular page, so I was trying to slide in from an adjacent page. Didn't work. Buggy as Windows1.0.


_______________________________________

But more polite about it, eh?
 
2021-12-10 11:23:24 AM  
That's a man, baby...

Fark user imageView Full Size
l
those hands.
 
2021-12-10 11:29:03 AM  

KarmicDisaster: Beeeeeee modem noises beeeeee OH beeeeBEEEEEeee BABY Beeeeeeeeeeeeee DON'T BeeeeEEEEEEeeeee STOP BEEEEeeeeeEEEEeeeeee NOW Beeeeeeeeeeee !


Yes! Yes! Ye....what the hell? Mom! You can't use the phone now! I'm on the computer!
 
2021-12-10 11:58:57 AM  
1994 WAS an important year in internet history per TFA. But that was not the year that Windows 95 came out. That was the year of "Internet in a Box" which I purchased at a computer store in Grand Central Station. Coincidentally, Windows 95 came out in August, 1995. Start me up!
 
2021-12-10 12:08:48 PM  

SurfaceTension: Joe USer: Fun fact: Minitel devices didn't have the @ sign on the keyboard as an easily usable character. Which meant that Internet email was difficult to use.

Wasn't the @ sign just a convention for the longest time, and other characters could be used? Or am I making stuff up in my head? lol


The first email addresses had '!' in them and you could specify the route your message would take.
 
2021-12-10 12:19:28 PM  

Psychopusher: We in Canada had a similar thing in the early 80s called Teleguide (a.k.a. Telidon).


I suspect that Telidon used the same nifty screen-addressing scheme as in the derived NAPLPS. Coordinates on the page were sent as fractions (0-1), so the most significant digits were always sent first, and the device could throw away any later bits which exceeded the resolution of the screen.
 
2021-12-10 12:21:17 PM  

TedCruz'sCrazyDad: SurfaceTension: Joe USer: Fun fact: Minitel devices didn't have the @ sign on the keyboard as an easily usable character. Which meant that Internet email was difficult to use.

Wasn't the @ sign just a convention for the longest time, and other characters could be used? Or am I making stuff up in my head? lol

The first email addresses had '!' in them and you could specify the route your message would take.


UUCP would let you route using a bang, all the way to a username:

upload.wikimedia.orgView Full Size


The user@host style came from ARPANET.  Now even UUCP uses it internally, I think.
 
2021-12-10 12:36:32 PM  

Carter Pewterschmidt: The UK had Teletext before Minitel, and Prestel at around the same time, but while millions had Teletext very few had Prestel.  Teletext was only switched off a few years ago.


Teletext was far less interactive than Minitel, though. It was really not interactive at all. You could not order train tickets, check your banking accounts, or get phones numbers, as well as tons of other services. I, for instance, got the results of my end-of-high-school exam.

I think it can not be overstated how ubiquitous the Minitel was. EVERYBODY had one. And yes, this ubiquitousness slowed three internet's acceptance at first. But France caught up real fast.
 
2021-12-10 12:49:25 PM  

Carter Pewterschmidt: The UK had Teletext before Minitel, and Prestel at around the same time, but while millions had Teletext very few had Prestel.  Teletext was only switched off a few years ago.


But I don't recall either having sexy time stuff, or maybe I just couldn't find it.
 
2021-12-10 12:50:11 PM  

SurfaceTension: Joe USer: Fun fact: Minitel devices didn't have the @ sign on the keyboard as an easily usable character. Which meant that Internet email was difficult to use.

Wasn't the @ sign just a convention for the longest time, and other characters could be used? Or am I making stuff up in my head? lol


The use of @ began with the first ARPANET email.

You might be thinking of uucp's "bang paths", where a ! was used between each hop on the path from sender to receiver, including before the final username? Other older/proprietary systems had their own formats too.
 
2021-12-10 1:11:01 PM  

Psychopusher: We in Canada had a similar thing in the early 80s called Teleguide (a.k.a. Telidon).  They were used for a variety of things; my local library had a Teleguide terminal that I liked to mess around with, and it could display simple graphics and text, and had a few useful things on it.  Malls had upright Teleguide terminals that were used to help mallgoers locate stores and other stuff in the general area -- many of those tended to have early touch screens, whereas the one at my library used a keyboard.


And here I was connecting to the Spence BBSes listed in the back of my local computer mag.
 
2021-12-10 1:13:31 PM  

HugeMistake: SurfaceTension: Joe USer: Fun fact: Minitel devices didn't have the @ sign on the keyboard as an easily usable character. Which meant that Internet email was difficult to use.

Wasn't the @ sign just a convention for the longest time, and other characters could be used? Or am I making stuff up in my head? lol

The use of @ began with the first ARPANET email.

You might be thinking of uucp's "bang paths", where a ! was used between each hop on the path from sender to receiver, including before the final username? Other older/proprietary systems had their own formats too.


That's probably it.
 
2021-12-10 1:54:58 PM  

Unsung_Hero: And here I was connecting to the Spence BBSes listed in the back of my local computer mag.


Ultimately that's part of what killed Telidon here.  I didn't start getting on BBSes 'til '85, but that's right around the time home computers were becoming more ubiquitous in homes, and their capabilities were outstripping what Telidon could do in many ways. (Telidon could still display graphics and such in what is basically an online connection, which BBSes couldn't do 'til at least the 90s with, for example, the InstantGraphics attempt on the Atari ST, which was a novelty for a bit but never really caught on.)
 
2021-12-10 3:13:50 PM  

padraig: Carter Pewterschmidt: The UK had Teletext before Minitel, and Prestel at around the same time, but while millions had Teletext very few had Prestel.  Teletext was only switched off a few years ago.

Teletext was far less interactive than Minitel, though. It was really not interactive at all. You could not order train tickets, check your banking accounts, or get phones numbers, as well as tons of other services. I, for instance, got the results of my end-of-high-school exam.

I think it can not be overstated how ubiquitous the Minitel was. EVERYBODY had one. And yes, this ubiquitousness slowed three internet's acceptance at first. But France caught up real fast.


Indeed. You got a Minitel instead of a phone book at no extra charge, and phone number lookups across the country were free!!

I think I hauled my last one back to France Telecom but I'm sure there are many gathering dust in attics.
 
2021-12-10 3:26:26 PM  

Eutychus: I think I hauled my last one back to France Telecom but I'm sure there are many gathering dust in attics.


For how many there were, it's funny how you don't actually find that many of them gathering dust among people's possessions. But I know there are several nice projects you can do with them. I saw someone once that used them as a terminal for a Raspberry Pi.
 
2021-12-10 3:59:45 PM  
The article only glances at the real reason France Telecom made these things.  Simply, their bean counters determined it would be cheaper to give everybody one of these things once than to print and deliver them a new phone book every year.  Revenue from added services was a welcome secondary benefit.
 
2021-12-10 5:45:06 PM  

padraig: Carter Pewterschmidt: The UK had Teletext before Minitel, and Prestel at around the same time, but while millions had Teletext very few had Prestel.  Teletext was only switched off a few years ago.

Teletext was far less interactive than Minitel, though. It was really not interactive at all. You could not order train tickets, check your banking accounts, or get phones numbers, as well as tons of other services. I, for instance, got the results of my end-of-high-school exam.

I think it can not be overstated how ubiquitous the Minitel was. EVERYBODY had one. And yes, this ubiquitousness slowed three internet's acceptance at first. But France caught up real fast.


Yep, Teletext was read only, as it were, but also years before Minitel. Prestel came out around the same time as Minitel, but you had to pay for it and it was a lot IIRC, so few people who bought them.

With hindsight it is a good thing that Minitel didn't take off in a big way and the internet and would wide web became the big player. Minitel, like Prestel, Teletext etc was managed, where the owner controlled what was and was not allowed. Had it grown to become an internet style service it would have been like AOL, where you used AOL Chat, AOL News, AOL market etc etc. Companies like Amazon, Twitter and even Fark would not have been allowed.
 
2021-12-10 7:12:22 PM  
Still kinda miss the old DDial days from the 1980s.
Was a veteran of Sofia Systems, DDial #39
 
2021-12-10 9:20:36 PM  
I remember reading about Minitel in the '80s and being quite envious of the French. In its time it was truly magnificent.
 
2021-12-10 10:41:51 PM  
Ah, how I long for the good old days of the Internet.

Fark user imageView Full Size
 
2021-12-10 11:22:08 PM  

WhippingBoi: Ah, how I long for the good old days of the Internet.

[Fark user image 194x319]


I can't say I ever saw ASCII porn as anything but a novelty, but I do remember 16-color dithered jpgs taking a minute to render on my screen.  And that's after downloading a multi-part message from Usenet, joining the messages, then running them through UUDecode.

Totally not worth the effort, though I do appreciate the work that went into scanning and distributing that stuff.  A friend and I bought a porn mag once specifically to try that with a hand scanner and never managed to get a good scan, never mind get around to UUEncoding, splitting and posting it.
 
2021-12-10 11:25:35 PM  
What's hilarious is how high school French class textbooks made a big deal about it as part of "learning culture" additions to the regular language lessons. But schools are broke so they haven't replaced textbooks in forever and you can probably still find French textbooks boasting about the fantastic technological advances of the Minitel here in the modern world.
 
2021-12-11 10:31:13 AM  
Any new technology not specifically designed for porn will quickly be used for porn.

Twice as quickly in France.
 
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