Our Friend the Computer

Minitel (Pre-Internet Networks)

March 01, 2022 Our Friend the Computer Season 1 Episode 3
Our Friend the Computer
Minitel (Pre-Internet Networks)
Show Notes

After some hobby chat, Camila tells Ana about the French videotex network ‘Minitel’. Launched in the early 80s, it was the most successful version of an online service before the World Wide Web. While other similar networks struggled, this episode looks at how the specifics of Minitel allowed it to become integrated into everyday life and what happened when France began adopting the Internet.

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Main research for the episode was done by Camila. Ana with the audio editing.
Music by Nelson Guay (SoundCloud: fluxlinkages)

- Amougou, Jules, and James S. Larson. “Comparing Implementation of Internet Diffusion in the United States and France: Policies, Beliefs, and Institutions.” Policy Research 25, no. 6 (2008): 563-578.
- Arceneaux, Noah. Review of Minitel: Welcome to the Internet, by Julien Mailland and Kevin Driscoll. Journalism History 44, no. 1 (Spring 2018).
- Benghozi, Pierre-Jean, and Christian Licoppe. “Technological National Learning: From Minitel to Internet.” In The Global Internet Economy, edited by Bruce Kogut, 153-189. MIT Press, 2003.
- Cats-Baril, William L., and Tawfik Jelassi. “The French Videotex System Minitel: A Successful Implementation of a National Information Technology Infrastructure.” MIS Quarterly 18, no.1 (March 1994): 1-20.
- Chrisafis, Angelique. “France says farewell to the Minitel – the little box that connected a country.” The Guardian, June 29, 2012.
- Kessler, Jack. “Electronic Networks: A View from Europe.” Bulletin of the American Society for Information Science (April/May 1994): 26-27.
- Mailland, Julien. “Minitel, the Open Network Before the Internet.” The Atlantic, June 16, 2017.
- Mailland, Julien, and Kevin Driscoll. “Minitel: The Online World France Built Before the Web.”  IEEE Spectrum, June 20, 2017. https://spectrum.ieee.org/minitel-the-online-world-france-built-before-the-web
- Schofield, Hugh. “Minitel: The rise and fall of the France-wide web.” BBC News, June 28, 2012.