Dis-content and Conflict

Von Meister spent money as though he were building General Motors.

—Jack Taub, investor who took over The Source in 1980

As 1979 dawned, the mainstream and trade press had yet to take The Source and MicroNET (recently renamed the CompuServe Information Service, or CIS) seriously. Each was regarded as a limited system serving a niche market. The press would almost completely ignore equally important developments in computer communications that year.

But publications such as The Economist and Business Week were quite taken by a new French Videotex service called Minitel, initiated in 1975 as Telematique. Perhaps it was the exotic flavor that came with something from far away, but the media seemed to expect ...

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