Saturday will mark the end of its 30-year run.
Some Minitel history here.
Some Chicago Boyz know each other from student days at the University of Chicago. Others are Chicago boys in spirit. The blog name is also intended as a good-humored gesture of admiration for distinguished Chicago School economists and fellow travelers.
2 thoughts on “Adieu to the Minitel”
A government’s stunted, pathetic idea of what the Internet was supposed to be.
Commercialization of the Internet didn’t take place until the late 1980s/early 1990s. For the World Wide Web, public availability was announced in 1991, but WWW did not really take off until the Mosaic browser was introduced in 1993.
Minitel was field-tested in Brittany in 1978 and rolled out nationwide in France in 1982. I think a better point of comparison than the Internet would be the proprietary consumer-oriented text oriented systems such as America OnLine (1983), Compuserve (1978, for the consumer service), General Electric’s GENIE (1985), Prodigy (1984), etc. NONE of these services has exactly covered itself with glory in the transition to the Internet age, and most have not survived at all.
I don’t know a whole lot about Minitel, but my impression is that it compares very favorably with services such as the above, and was head and shoulders above anything done by the US monopolies and pseudo-monopolies (USPS, AT&T) comparable to the French PTT.
Comments are closed.