That Minitel sound you hear in the TF1 video above, those under 30 can’t know it. First introduced as an electronic reference book, this device quickly became indispensable. With its services, its games, its pink messaging services, it was heaven for 80s teenagers discovering computers. Today the Internet has abandoned the Minitel – it disappeared in June 2012 – but some digital archaeologists, as they define themselves, have invented “Minimit”, a box that connects your old device to the Internet. “We stick in the old minitel, which we saved or which we are going to buy, and hop, turn it on and find ourselves in the 80s“, explains TF1 its creator Olivier Mevel from the technology objects publisher Multiplié.
Cecile and Pascal, who also testify in the report at the beginning of this article, have been running Minitel servers for years. Always passionate, they try to retrieve old newspaper pages or astrological websites from oblivion.
All these nostalgic people today dream of finding, restoring and centralizing some of the 26,000 Minitel servers that existed at the time. Because if some kept their old screen, little content was saved. It’s like holding an old camera and throwing away the negatives. This is a digital heritage that may be sleeping somewhere.