"Après 30 ans d’existence, le Minitel s’apprête à tirer sa révérence. Les plus jeunes ne verront même pas de quoi il est question, mais ceux qui étaient au collège ou au lycée dans les années 90 s’en rappelleront peut-être pour avoir recherché dessus leurs résultats aux examens du brevet ou du bac. Le Minitel, ou l’ancêtre d’internet ! Invention 100 % française, le 1er réseau dans l’histoire des télécommunications à permettre la “connexion de terminaux permettant la visualisation de données informatiques” disparaîtra le 30 Juin 2012, et avec lui la machine à l’origine du fameux “36-15″. Définitivement la fin d’une époque.
After 30 years of existence, the Minitel is preparing to take its final bow. The youngest will not even see what it is about, but those who were in college or high school in the 90s will remember perhaps have looked over their test scores. The Minitel, or the ancestor of the Internet ! 100% French invention, the first network in the history of telecommunications to allow ”terminal connection to visualization of computer data” will draw his bow on June 30, 2012, and with it the machine behind the famous “36 - 15 “. Definitely the end of an era."
(Vincent Laserson, 31 May 2012, De Jeunes Gens Modernes)
"The brochures selected here (just a fraction of the Museum's holdings in this area) show some of the more important technologies, companies, and applications in computing from 1948 to 1988. This covers the period from mechanical and relay-based computers to those based on the microprocessor - a remarkable transition that occurred over only 25 years. We hope you enjoy browsing through these historical documents."
(Computer History Museum)
"There now are 7 million 'Minitels' in France. They provide access to one in every five French households -- and to any French post office patron and to workers in most French offices -- to over 26,000 on-line services, ranging from computer dating and home banking and shopping to government services and library catalogs. The original 'Minitel' was a little plastic TTY terminal with a slide-out keyboard, connected to a normal telephone line using a special 'V23 bis' standard. These little 'boxes', as they still are called, were distributed for free with normal telephone service by the government-owned France Telecom, beginning in 1982. Since then other hardware models have developed, now including sophisticated desktop computer versions and even a laptop. Free, and freely-copiable, Minitel terminal emulation software also has been distributed globally by France Telecom for years now, so that to the established plant of 7 million 'Minitels' actually have been added several million additional access points. Commercial providers also have added to the total with enhanced emulation programs."
Jack Kessler (1995). "Is There Digital Life Outside of the "US ASCII" Internet? A Challenge or Convergence?" D-Lib Magazine, December 1995