History

Return With Us Now to the Thrilling Days of Yesteryear!

|


I suppose one could do this sort of thing all day. But it did make me smile, when cleaning out some old clip files recently, to find this story from a March 1993 (my clip doesn't include the full date) front page of the New York Times, headlined "Turning the Desktop PC Into a Talk Radio Medium." Some excerpts:

Within a few weeks, a Virginia-based entrepreneur plans to begin broadcasting a weekly 30-minute radio talk show on Internet [no definite article in original], the global computer network that links together more than 10 million scientists, academics, engineers and high-tech industry executives.

Listening to such a program via computer instead of radio might seem merely a digital curiosity. But many computer scientists and telecommunications experts believe it signals the first step in a transformation in which national and even global computer networks will fiercely compete with–or even replace–traditional television and radio networks that broadcast over the air or transmit by cable…..

When the new program, to be called "Internet Talk Radio," make [sic] its debut, Internet users will be able to obtain it as a file of computer data, just as they might "download" from the network a research report, data about a scientific experiment or any of thousands of other data files…..

"We're not all going to start listening to radio on our computers yet," said Paul Saffo…."But…it's proof that the era of mass media is past."

…Initially the new digital radio program will be targeted at the programmers and technically minded researchers who spend their days sitting in front of advanced computers writing or manipulating software and who have the high-speed connections to Internet that permit listening to the program in "real time" as it is received….

It sort of read to me like something I'd expect to find in one of the Onion's historical books mocking the conventions, style, and concerns of a given era's news. I especially loved the quote marks around "download" and "real time." I wonder how long it took the Times to lose that convention? They have lost that convention, haven't they?