Quoted: Au revoir, Minitel

“Computers are all right, too, but it’s not the same. I’m not very ‘Internet.'”

Yves Denais, a French farmer devoted to the Minitel, an online service/network in France that predates the Internet — and is being shut down Saturday. In the early 1980s, the “little French box” that let the French do things such as search a national phone registry, read newspapers, book vacations, check their bank accounts and more. The Guardian says the beige monitor/keyboard combo helped introduce “the first cybersex into people’s living rooms” and may have helped inspire Steve Jobs and the design of the first Macintosh. Now eclipsed by the Internet, the imminent death of Minitel is making the French nostalgic. “There’s a nostalgia for an era when French developed new ideas, took risks on ideas that didn’t just look to the U.S. or outside models, a time when we wanted to invent our own voice,” Valerie Schafer, co-author of the book “Minitel: France’s Digital Childhood,” told the Guardian.


Tags: , ,


Share this Post