Watts (chipotle) wrote,

The future of online news, in 1981

(From TechCrunch, via the New York Times’ Opinionator blog.)

This brings me a certain level of nostalgia: the customer reading the paper online is using a TRS-80 Model I, the first computer that I owned. While this is being treated more like a whimsical joke than a glimpse of futures past, it’s worth noting that this really does have some insight into the way newspapers and the online world went. In a few years, we really could get the whole paper delivered online and more—and all the crazy futurists saying that “print is dead” may, judging by the health of the newspaper industry, not be all that crazy. (I don’t think books are going anywhere, but periodicals of all stripes are being increasingly challenged.)

Nerd Note: whoever put this on Youtube captioned it “1981 primitive Internet report,” which tells us that, uh, that person wasn’t using computers in 1981. Consumers didn’t have access to the Internet then, primitive or otherwise; instead we had private networks like CompuServe, the one actually being demonstrated here.

Tags: internet

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