Tag Archives: 1980s

Works by Ikko Tanaka, early 1980’s. via Design Reviewed.

The Hubot robot, 1983. A 50 kilo robot with speech synthesis, radio, a built-in Atari 2600 and many other features. Not sure if the graphics are textmode, but it looks like it? via

Jupiter Ace, a British computer from 1982. It used Forth instead of BASIC and it could display more text characters on the screen than most of its competitors (64×48 compared to the more common 40×24). It used the same font as ZX Spectrum.

Clips from the game カンニング大作戦, released by Hudson for the MZ-80 in the early 1980’s. More posts from the game here.

Very brutal pinball! Pinball King by Mike Shaw, an MZ-700 game published by Kuma in the 1980s, I suppose. via MZ Sharpworks

Prextend was an improvement of the graphics on Prestel. Colours and font size could now be changed without including an empty character (just like with Minitel/Antiope). via

Picture Prestel was an experimental feature of the videotex service Prestel. It was demonstrated in 1980, while Prestel was already struggling to attract users. Meanwhile, videotex inventions with better graphics started to emerge. Telidon and NAPLPS had vector graphics, Minitel had better textmode graphics, and CAPTAIN had photographics.

Picture Prestel was never really meant to be implemented, at least not until the end of the 80s.

Images from here and here (a great video explainer).

The Japanese emoticon, (^_^), was published by Yasushi Wakabayashi in June 1986 on ASCIInet. The user binbou was using the (‾_‾) emoticon around the same time. Japanese emoticons are also called kaomoji. More info here and here.

:-) and :-( were first made on a computer by Scott E. Fahlman in 1982. Some say they date back as long as 1862 or 1648. Also see the PLATO emoticons/emojis from the 1970s, and the Polish vertical emoticons from 1881.

More emoticon-posts here.

Update, June 2024: There is a text credited to Takeshi Kitano, 1970, that includes emoticons, but it was apparently a joke from 2009.

Genesis Storytime picture

Genesis StoryTime picture #2

Genesis StoryTime was a videotex storybook that was broadcast in Canada and USA, 1983-1990. The Telidon graphics were converted to video and broadcast like a regular TV-channel, usually without sound. Images and video from Tedium.

Munhwa Broadcasting (MBC) in Korea launched their teletext service 15 September, 1988 according to this news clip. It might have been based on the Japanese JTES teletext standard (textmode, vector, and pixel graphics) but not sure. Btw, the Korean term for teletext is 문자 다중 방송.