Sunday, February 18, 2007

The telex is dead - STOP

The telex is dead in The Netherlands. On February 9th, 2007 the last 200 subscribers have been closed off last week. After 73 years subscriber telex service belongs to history. The sound of the thumping keys will not be heard any longer.

The telex wire service was introduced in 1933 in the Netherlands. Subscribers were able to link to each other directly by telephone line. Financial services, newspapers and companies made use of the service over the years. The texts were forwarded with a special typing machine, linked to the telephone network. The system was based on so-called Baudot-code. The code existed of 5 bits, which could form 32 combinations of letters, numbers and basic symbols. To be able to use all 26 letters and 10 numbers the telex used special keys such as SHIFT, CARRIAGE RETURN and LINEFEED; the telex did not use capitals.

The telex park grew after the second world war. From 1950 onwards the growth was even more greater as Dutch PTT developed TOR, Telex over Radio waves, which made telex connections possible with the USA. In order to serve the tlex park the Dutch PTT started a separate telex network.

The new technology has caught up with the telex technology, be it slowly. From 1950 the telex traffic doubled every five years. But by 1980 facsimile technology was introduced. The standard for the fax was introduced and by 1988 there were fiftythousand devices around in The Netherlands, producing 1.000 fax pages every week. From 1987 the telex subscriptions and subscriptions started a spiral downwards.

In the Netherlands the telex will be replaced by the Real Time Messenger (RTM), a computer which translates the texts to the telex format. In this way it is possible to read the telex messages in countries where telex is still functioning.

Blog Posting Number: 668


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