Monday, April 02, 2007

France caters to market for the most simple of computers

The Minitel, a French government-sponsored minicomputer that was wired into 14 million French homes at its peak in the mid-1990s, had a limited service offering, a black-and-white screen and slow connection speeds that doomed it to near-extinction in the face of the Internet.
Now, a French Internet service provider, Neuf Cegetel, has taken inspiration from the Minitel to develop a computer based on a similar low-cost model, aimed at people who are unable or unwilling to buy a computer. In a gesture to high-technology enthusiasts, however, the Easyneuf system [translation: "easy 9"] uses the open-source software beloved by many engineers and programmers.

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