From: Ward Griffiths and/or Lisa Rogers <>
Date: Wed Jun 11 15:54:06 1997

On Wed, 11 Jun 1997, Roger Merchberger wrote:

> >A little confusion. CompuServe had VidTex, which was a simple
> >protocol to automatically transmit and display graphics. (mono,
> >RLE encoded)
> >
> >VideoText was something else...
> Ah, yes, but "VideoTex" was something else, as well. There was a VideoTex
> machine based on the CoCo1 from Radio Shack, and the name of the first
> telecommunications package for the Color Computer was also called VideoTex
> (still have my copy...)

"VideoTex" was the name of all of the products we sold to connect to
CompuSlave. The terminal, the CoCo ROMPak, the tape and disk programs
for Mod 1/2/3/4 and for Apple ][. It was essentially a no-brainer
VT-52 emulator with the ability to display the in-line low resolution
graphics that CompuSlave sent. On the CoCo (as on the VideoTex
terminal), it wasn't too bad. The graphics was aesthetically very
deficient on the mono systems. The terms "VideoTex" and VidTex" were
interchangeable -- the filename of the software was "VIDTEX".

> One of the original (intended) uses for the standalone VideoTex was as an
> affordable machine for farmers to get up-to-the-minute weather and crop
> reports, IIRC. I'm also not sure, but CompuServe might have had a hand in
> the project, prolly as the online connection to try to make this thing a
> reality, and that might explain the similar names between the machine and
> the protocol. Keep in mind that CompuSlurp back in those days was a
> text-only online service, and that the weather reports (again, IIRC) were
> supposed to include graphical data...

"AgriStar" was a totally different setup, that we didn't get much call
for at my RSCC in downtown Los Angeles. I never saw it in action, but
it was much more than weather reports. CompuSlave was not involved,
to the best of my recollection. But by the time AgriStar became a
product, almost all of my attention and learning curve were dedicated
to the Model 16 series and Xenix. (As much of it continues to this
date, as I have a Tandy 6000 even yet, as well as AT&T 7300s running
their Unix variant by Convergent Technologies, SCO Xenix Unix and
OpenServer, AT&T SysV/386, Solaris and several packagings of Linux --
at work all I have is AIX and Solaris).
Ward Griffiths
"America is at that awkward stage.  It's too late to work within 
the system, but too early to shoot the bastards." --Claire Wolfe
Received on Wed Jun 11 1997 - 15:54:06 BST

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