The Périminitel from Telmi is a very interesting system using an original concept: it is a computer using the Minitel (French videotex terminal) as its display, keyboard and modem! In 1983, it was the first project of this nature.
The Périminitel itself is thus only a computer case with the mother board and the built-in floppy disk drives. You then have to connect your Minitel terminal to get the display and keyboard.
The display specifications are those of the Videotex: 40x25 characters and semi-graphics characters.
The system is programmed via a Basic language and controled by a special operating system called Alice, specificaly developped to work with the Minitel built-in modem. The computer can thus offer all kind of functions related to videotex browsing such as saving the pages to disk or memory. A printer can also be connected to print the different screens visited. But the Périminitel can also act as a Videotex server or a messaging system.
The Périminitel can of course also be used as a "normal" computer, running local applications. Telmi, for example, developped a program for Pharmacists: their Périminitel could send account information to their banks and to the Social Security center via the Minitel modem.
The main drawbacks are the limited specifications of the Videotex display compared to the price of the Périminitel, and the limited transfer rate of the Minitel built-in modem (1200 bauds).
Telmi only sold 200 Périminitels from July 1983 to January 1985.
We need more info about this computer ! If you designed, used, or have more info about this system,
please send us pictures or anything you might find useful.