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Teleputers
The word ‘Teleputer’ was coined by Michael Aldrich to describe a multi-functional home computer/television/networked computer terminal that he invented in 1980. It needed a name. There had been nothing like it before.

When publicly shown the product was greeted with astonishment perhaps because it projected a vision of the future home information system that 20 years or more later has become the standard in first world countries. The Teleputer was not a laboratory experiment. It was a real working system that was manufactured, sold and used for a number of years.

This section includes some case studies where Teleputers were in use. These uses were invariably business-related rather than at-home computing. Users developed their own application software and generally connected their Teleputers over telephone lines to a corporate ROCC minicomputer. The General Motors story is online shopping done by Teleputer. SEEBOARD used the Teleputers as in-store online shopping terminals. Teleputers were widely used for Executive Information Systems [EIS]. EIS was a step along the way towards the Search Engines of the internet era. If you wanted information from your database in the 1980s, you generally had to write your own search or query program.

In the 1980s ROCC traded extensively throughout Eastern Europe in what was known as the Soviet Bloc. A manufacturing plant in Poland produced some ROCC systems under licence, while ROCC sold other systems directly in Hungary, the then Czecho-Slovakia and the USSR. For the latter market the Teleputers used a Cyrillic character set. They were the first Russian colour PCs.

One of the first big Soviet orders for Teleputers was for the Siberian Gas Pipeline project of 1981/1982 where 247 Teleputers were used as management workstations. It is intended that the Eastern European projects will be covered in a later section of the Archive.

 
 

     

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© Michael Aldrich 2011