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Monday, January 30, 2023

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Don’t throw away your Minitel: this box gives it a second life

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If you were born in the 70s/80s, then you probably have fond memories of the Minitel. Indeed, it was in 1982 that the Minitel was launched on the market, with production then reserved for three manufacturers, namely: Matra, Philips and Alcatel. Very quickly, the Minitel moved into many homes in France, and saw its range of features explode. 3615 Batman, 3615 Asterix, 3615 Dorothée, 3615 TF1, 3615 Santa Claus, 3615 Hangman, 3615 3 Swiss, 3615 M6… Enough to make more than one parent shudder when they receive the France Telecom bill.

The Minitel back in 2022!

In 2022, the Minitel has obviously become a collector’s item, and if some reuse the shell to make a small video game console, others will be able to connect their relic… to the Internet. Indeed, the Multiplié company has developed a small box, aimed at resuscitating the precious Minitel. Its name: the MiniMit.

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The object in question contains an electronic card which connects to a WiFi network on one side and to the DIN socket of the Minitel on the other. In this way, it is possible to create a bridge between old new technologies and new ones, and provide access to a panel of services such as the legendary 3615 ULLA (in the form of a chatbot using the Eliza program developed in the 1960s by Joseph Weizenbaum ) via the Club des Poètes.

If my majority of the archives have disappeared, Pascale Moise and Cécile Adam, two pioneers of the Minitel took care to redevelop some parts of the emblematic services, by carrying out an important work of digital archeology. In addition to 3615 ULLA, you can also access a weather service, horoscopes, Tarot, the Le Monde platform or even play Hangman and Couples Parfaits… all directly from your old Minitel.

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Against 75 euros, it is therefore possible now to get your hands on this small MiniMit box. Be careful however, if Multiplié is responsible for marketing the accessory, the Minitel is not provided, and it will therefore be necessary to search in its attic or even to search for the precious object on an online sales site to dive back into the years. 80.

According to Multiplied: “With your help, MiniMit could be the starting point for a major operation to reconstruct France’s digital heritage!” The project has just been put online on the Ulule platform, and currently has just under a hundred presales out of a target of 500. Note that the first 150 buyers can opt for a formula including a Christmas telephone card (telecard).

Source: Presse-Citron

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