Welcome, teletext fanatics! I'll just leave this here...

Friday, 27 April 2007



The more interactive cousin of Teletext, Minitel was an early computer system that, via telephone lines, could communicate with stores to buy products, access an online telephone book and even chat in much the same way as text messaging today. This was truly the Internet before its time, all in a similar encoding to teletext.

Left is a screenshot from the Minitel service that, visually, resembles the teletext service in the United Kingdom. Launched in 1982, about five years after teletext, it had the advantage of time and advancing of technology. The keyboard interface offers many more possibilities, though it seems from this screenshot the menus are controlled by numbers much like an electronic automated telephone service.

Much like 8-bit video games and the early Internet, the legacy of the Minitel system is largely kept alive today by the Internet. Below is a screenshot from the emulation version from minitel.fr.