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Dead medium: Canada's Telidon Network
From: jackr@intrepid.axess.com (Jack Ruttan)

Here is information I found out about Telidon, which is an obsolete, two-way version of the British Prestel system. It is from a book called GUTENBERG TWO, Godfrey & Parkhill eds. (Toronto: Press Porcepic Ltd. 1980)

From the glossary, pp. 220-221:

"TELETEXT: An inexpensive, one-way information delivery system designed for mass-market home and business use. It makes use of the spare signal carrying capacity in existing television channels (((my note: the "vertical blanking interval, that space you see when you misadjust the tv's vertical hold.))). It can present from 100 to 300 'pages' or TV. screens of information."

"VIDEOTEXT: an information delivery system that makes use of the telephone for two-way telecommunications. It may be linked into two-way cable T.V. or hybrid TV/telephone systems. Electronic mail is made possible by this system."

"VIEWDATA: An early name for videotex, and still used as the generic name for the British Prestel system."

British Teletext started in 1975.

The book used the term "Electronic Highway."

A small town called Elie, Manitoba, was to be the first in the world totally wired with fiber optic cable. Unfortunately, the book is not current enough to say if this actually took place. It also doesn't say when Telidon was abandoned, though I'm sure I saw it operating at Expo 86 in Vancouver. (very very slow screen refresh times, and graphics like some of those early Apple II computer games).

Jack Ruttan, Montreal