Back when Methuselah was still in short trousers I had an idea. It happens now and then. I had been reading, in Byte magazine, about a system used in France called Minitel. Homes were given little terminals that were attached to the home phone line. They replaced the printed telephone directory but people were finding new things that could be bolted on to deliver other services too.

At the time I was working for the advertising agency Ogilvy & Mather. I was training people throughout the company how to use a computer, at that time this included telling people what a mouse was and how to use one. One of my trainees was Pierre, who was going to be handling the new IBM account in Europe. I mentioned to him that there was a new Minitel like system available worldwide. Not as advanced as Minitel but showing some promise. I had access to it from home but our work network wasn’t connected to it. I suggested that he look into the possibility of using it for advertising.

I wonder whether anything came of that?