[ih] Internet-history Digest, Vol 10, Issue 1

Brian E Carpenter brian.e.carpenter at gmail.com
Sun Jul 5 19:39:22 PDT 2020

Craig, you've apparently overlooked that Minitel2020 (the highly
developed descendant of the original French Minitel) would perhaps
be offering an expensive connection-oriented feature know as Le Zoom,
whereby, for example, a whole family could book in advance to be
connected at the same time to Le Grandpère, who would decide which
of his descendants would speak next.


On 06-Jul-20 13:27, Craig Partridge via Internet-history wrote:
>> Can you imagine the word fighting the COVID-19
>> pandemic without the internet? If there were no internet, there could be
>> very little working from home, no online classes for students stuck at
>> home, no video communication with family and friends, much more
> loneliness,
>> no way to stop rumors and get scientific information to ordinary people,
>> etc.
> Just for fun, as alternative history is simply about fun, we probably can
> envision a world without the Internet.  The CCITT and ITU worked very hard
> to create one.
> So we'd have whatever the descendant of the videophone is.  I imagine we'd
> have three jacks in some wall outlets: voice, video, and data (cf. what
> they tried to do for ATM).  Your cable modem would be similar (indeed, it
> is now -- coax for video, phone jack for phone, Ethernet jack for data).
> Data service would be slow -- say 1.5Mbps and you'd pay a premium to
> originate video.
> Computers would have still gotten incredibly fast, so we'd have apps that
> combined the inputs from the three jacks on the computer to give us video
> conferencing with shared documents and such.
> I don't know what social media would look like.  My guess is YouTube
> doesn't exist (the conditions that enabled YouTube would not be present).
> Charges for videoconferencing would be high -- document sharing and joint
> editing would be expensive and you'd be much less efficient than you'd be
> in your regular office, which was wired with some sort of switched local
> data sharing network (think Netware -- which remember, was doing better
> than the Internet for part of the 1980s).
> Craig

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