Thursday, January 29, 2009

Early Internet: A 1981 TV Report on 'Telepapers'

Imagine sitting down at home with your morning coffee, then turning on your computer to read the day's newspaper. "It's not as far-fetched as it may seem,'' San Francisco TV station KRON reported in 1981.
"This is only the first step in newspapers by computer,'' correspondent Steve Newman told viewers. "Engineers now predict the day will come when we get all our newspapers and magazines by home computer. But that's a few years off."

There were 2,000 to 3,000 San Francisco area homes with computers at the time. The experimental network linked eight "telepapers'' to a database housed in Columbus, Ohio. Readers like way-early adopter Richard Halloran of San Francisco could access text, but no photographs, comics or -- significantly -- advertisements.

The participating papers were the two in San Francisco, the Examiner and the Chronicle, plus The New York Times, The Columbus Dispatch, The New York Times, The Virginian-Pilot, The Washington Post, Los Angeles Times and the Minneapolis Star Tribune.

Hat tip: GannettBlog Sphere: Related Content

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