found by Peter Hammersly via TechCrunch which manages to botch the story by claiming it was about the Internet when it was a P2P modem connection over the phone lines.




  1. Miguel says:

    What a magnificent bit of personal computer history!

    You should consider creating a category just for these posts, and have more of them!

  2. R. Hastings says:

    Actually, the daily paper in Ottumwa, Iowa, did this in the late 70s. I remember buying a copy of their how-to when I was editing a weekly in Northern Cal but the boss didn’t think anyone would want to get their news on a computer.

  3. LinusVP says:

    Ottumwa, Iowa? Home of Corporal Radar O’reilly!

    John, this was so interesting. Thanks!

  4. Cephus says:

    Actually, I remember when that was happening, back in the 300 baud days and the acoustic coupler modems. It’s amazing how spoiled we’ve become today, my jaw dropped open when they said “2 hours to receive the entire newspaper” when today, we get upset if it takes 5 seconds.

  5. George Lucas says:

    So this means that the newspapers have had 28 years to adjust to electronic editions, but they still fail….

  6. amodedoma says:

    Oh yeah, Radio Shacks with accoustic coupler modems, text spittin’ out so fast you could hardly keep up with it. I’d say they were jumping the gun a little – a few years off, but the vision was there. Got me all nostalgic, went and dug out my old Radio Shack trs-80 model 100, put the batteries in and switched it on, yep, almost 30 years later and it still works. They sure don’t make em like that anymore.

  7. Ron Larson says:

    Wow… what a flash back. Trash 80’s. Acoustic Modems. Feathered hairdoos.

    Notice the reporter said that he had to call a Columbus Ohio number? That means that Compuserv was hosting these papers.

    My brother-in-law used to brag to the grandparents about how he was on the Internet chatting to people all over the country before anyone else. I have to roll my eyes, because what he was on was Compuserv, a private dial-up network. Not the Internet at all. But the grandparents don’t know the diff and are duly impressed by this idiot’s technical prowess.

  8. Ron Larson says:

    Wow… what a flash back. Trash 80’s. Acoustic Modems. Feathered hairdoos.

    Notice the reporter said that he had to call a Columbus Ohio number? That means that Compuserv was hosting these papers.

    My brother-in-law used to brag to the grandparents about how he was on the Internet chatting to people all over the country before anyone else. I have to roll my eyes, because what he was on was Compuserv, a private dial-up network. Not the Internet at all. But the grandparents don’t know the diff and are duly impressed by this idiot’s technical prowess.

  9. FRAGaLOT says:

    p2p modem?

    You mean they were dialing up a BBS.

  10. FRAGaLOT says:

    wow at the end of the video she says it costs $5 per hour, and takes about two hours to read it all. Damn $5 an hour at 300 baud! That’s expensive even by today’s standards with data plans that’s 1000x faster.

    Except for Verizon.

  11. Steve says:

    Wait ’til George H.W. Bush sees this.

  12. Cool! A Radio Shack TRS-80 (Model 1 I think) … I had one of those ….

  13. Paddy-O says:

    Great one John. More stories like this would be great. Forgot about 300 baud rate modems.

  14. SparkyOne says:

    I used a Bell 103 Modem in ’81 and many of the connections, including the AT&T owned DEC PDP-11 I was programming on supported 75 and 150 baud versions as well. Talk about slow…

  15. noname says:

    Oh how prescient this report was.

    Some of the comments I found most interesting were:

    “This is an experiment”

    “We are not in it to make money”

    “Engineers now predict the day will come when we will get all our newspapers by home computers”

    “This fellow is not worried about being out of a job.”

    I get the impression many news papers are still running this experiment with little idea what how this effects the quality of their reporting.

    Personally I prefer news accuracy and meaning over sheer convenience. Unfortunately it seems the public is claimering less for reporting accuracy (subscription based home delivery) and settling for speed and convenience (internet).


0

Bad Behavior has blocked 5608 access attempts in the last 7 days.