Fun find - Northern Telecom Displayphone

From: Kevin Stumpf/Nostalgic Technophile/Unusual Systems <>
Date: Sat Aug 19 22:39:51 2000

The Alex was Canada's/Northern Tel's response to France's Minitel system. It
was introduced much later than the Displayphones and was more like a
terminal than a telephone with a screen/CRT.

The Displayphone has a permenantly exposed (about) 5" screen, beside it is a
regular telephone handset, the QWERTY keyboard is in a drawer beneath the
entire unit.

AT&T, ITT, Canon all had similar products for the executive who needed
access to on-line systems without sacrificing desktop space. These were the
first attempts at convergence. Now the Northern Telecom Meridian Version 1
was very special since it was a like a client/X-terminal with a built-in

The original Meridian product had Lotus Notes-type features. It was too far
ahead of the market, so the inventory was bulldozed under in a land fill
near Ottawa, Ontario in the 1980s. Displayphones are simply terminals and
telephones in the same box so you can still easily find them.

Kevin Stumpf - The Nostalgic Technophile - Unusual Systems - 519.744.2900 EST/EDT (GMT - 5)

----- Original Message -----
From: Brian Mahoney <>
To: <>
Sent: Saturday, August 19, 2000 9:05 PM
Subject: Re: Fun find - Northern Telecom Displayphone

> Just wondering if this is something like the Alex unit that I have. Also
> Nortern Telecom with a ten inch display (approx.) Flipdown keyboard in
> Any Canadians will recognize the Alex name, from the ill-fated interactive
> phone-info net of the early '80's. All features of my Alex still work,
> of course for the online stuff.
> What are the dimensions of your display unit?
> --
> (_8^(I)
Received on Sat Aug 19 2000 - 22:39:51 BST

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