[fa.teletext] Future Shock of videotext --> reading ability

teletext (06/19/82)

>From RI.SR@MIT-XX Sat Jun 19 13:14:06 1982
Very good point.  Also maybe everyone would learn to type, also
important for the widespread use of systems.  Also significant for kids,
and adults as well in fact--maybe access to bulletin boards and/or videotex
will/would teach people to use their curiosity to find things out from
other people, rather than stifling their curiosity as kids are taught to
do in school.  Traditionally kids get such excessive distinctions
drilled into them between thinking and so-called research--research is
looking in the encyclopedia and assumming a given subject is limited to
the explanations of the experts.  

Of course, these bright visions of the future depend, for the most part,
on the development of profitable applications.  The chicken and egg
problem as usual.

To Lauren's point about none of the experiements being commerical so far, I
think it is reasonable to begin that way as an attempt to get out of the
chicken and egg quandry.  AT&T for example never claimed their Coral
Gables experiment simulated imminent home use.  They were trying to find
out if anything at all would be desirable.  Now that they have some usage
research under their belts, they're getting into a
more realistic mode.  Their next experiment is going to cost money.  

By the way, people on this mailing list are likely to be aware of this already,
but June 28-30 there is a conference devoted to Videotex--Videotex
82--in New York at the Hilton.  This is a regular big time commercial
show with exhibits and sessions etc.  Among the exhibitors will be IBM,
which has just announced a videotex program, with a one-time license fee
of $10,000, for the Series/1.  The program is supposed to allow you to
use an IBM personal computer or an adapted tv or an unspecified (and
probably as yet nonexistent) "low cost videotex terminal" to send
messages etc. in a Prestel-like scheme.  IBM stressed in their
announcement that they aren't endorsing any particular protocol for the
long term, just starting with "what's available."  

teletext (06/19/82)

>From lauren@UCLA-Security Sat Jun 19 16:17:05 1982
I didn't say that none of the experiments have been commercial, I said
*most* have not.  The ones that *have* been have been the most
discouraging.  As I said before, only business users seem willing to
really pay for the data, and they're not all that happy with the sort
of material they have access to on these systems.  

I might add that to keep things "cheap", most systems have *very*
simple keyboards (useless for real typing) and of course the standard
videotext return path is 150 baud -- barely adequate for reasonable
typing.  (1200/300 would be a better, though more expensive, choice).

When people have to pay ANYTHING (per page) for videotext sorts of
data, it appears that usage falls off VERY rapidly.