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How a Grandmother Pioneered a Home Shopping Revolution

samzenpus posted about a year ago | from the old-school dept.

The Internet 94

eionmac writes in with a story about the humble beginnings of an industry that is worth over $186.1 billion in the UK alone. "Grandmother Jane Snowball, 72, sat down in an armchair in her Gateshead home in May 1984, picked up a television remote control and used it to order the groceries from her local supermarket. She was part of a council initiative to help the elderly. What she - and everyone else with her at the time - didn't realise was that her simple shopping list was arguably the world's first home online shop. With her remote control she used a piece of computer technology called Videotex. It sent the order down her phone line to the local Tesco - the goods were then packaged and delivered to her door. Mrs Snowball never saw a computer - her television linked her to the shop. 'What we effectively did was to take a domestic TV in a home and turn it into a computer terminal,' says Michael Aldrich, the man behind the technology for the system. 'That was the big leap.'"

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Online shopping (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44865301)

Fuck her.

Re:Online shopping (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44865909)

Not my cup of tea but I can see how you would be attracted to all of those wrinkles in her skin. The silvery hair that glistens in the midnight light of the full moon as you walk down to the lake. You take her in your arms so that you can hold her gently, oh her teeth slip out and you know it's time. Her gums feel ever so soft and her jaw creeks softly along with the crickets in the night. Soon you lie down she holds nothing back years of experience and the knowledge that there may not be more ahead give her the uncontrollable desire to go where no one you have touch has gone before. No care just call extenuating bliss. You glide into the night and she caresses you. You wake in the morning dawn the red glow flows across your entangled skin and you stare blissfully across the lake as the sun shimmers and trees blow in the wind.

Seems not so bad really.

Re:Online shopping (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44866369)

nice...!

Re:Online shopping (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44867405)

Fuck her.

You will need a big bottle of lube and there is a strong possibility that you will also need a shovel. That being said, if she's still around she may like a bit of attention south of the border, so to speak.

She was using PRESTEL (2)

mjwalshe (1680392) | about a year ago | (#44865339)

And for fucks sake PRESTEL was far more than a dumb Videotext information service.

Re:She was using PRESTEL (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44865381)

But why do the shops take dollars instead of pounds?

Re:She was using PRESTEL (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | about a year ago | (#44865409)

I think the sum was simply converted to dollars, because this is an American website, and yes that means USA, based deal with it.

Also the USD is the world's trade currency.

Re:She was using PRESTEL (1)

TechyImmigrant (175943) | about a year ago | (#44865475)

With an uplink speed of 75bps.

Re:She was using PRESTEL (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44865747)

Whenever I look at the source code of a modern web site, I get a feeling that web design should require a license which is not given to anyone who can't make a working shopping system with 75bps upstream and at most 384kbps downstream (I'm generous with the bandwidth because pictures are not optional).

Re:She was using PRESTEL (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44866009)

Whenever I look at the source code of a modern web site, I get a feeling that web design should require a license which is not given to anyone who can't make a working shopping system with 75bps upstream and at most 384kbps downstream (I'm generous with the bandwidth because pictures are not optional).

Apparently you add in the quality of work to the definition of "working." Any shopping system out today could still work with those constraints. It would just take longer on some sites than on others.

Re:She was using PRESTEL (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44866085)

On most sites, you'd run into timeouts long before anything useful could happen. But yes, I implied a marketable responsiveness.

Re:She was using PRESTEL (1)

John Guilt (464909) | about a year ago | (#44867631)

I think the point was not that it should actually run at those speeds, but rather that of bloat avoidance, that it should be well- (and sparely-) enough coded that it could do so, and so run superbly well with more modern data rates.

Re:She was using PRESTEL (1)

adolf (21054) | about a year ago | (#44869047)

Bah.

The web is slower today than it ever was.

It's not bloat, but merely progress.

Re:She was using PRESTEL (1)

mpe (36238) | about a year ago | (#44866443)

With an uplink speed of 75bps.

Asymetric data links were around long before "broadband". Someone realised that they could add this onto a 1200 baud half duplex modem.

Re:She was using PRESTEL (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44865523)

There was an experimental deployment of a viewdata system in South Florida in the late 1970's to early 1980's. With similar capabilities. Viewdata Corporation of America. Owned by Knight Ridder (news paper company).

Re:She was using PRESTEL (1)

Tuidjy (321055) | about a year ago | (#44866449)

You could buy stuff on-line using France's Minitel long before '84. Definitely by '82, possibly earlier. A friend of mine living in Bretagne had been telling me about it for a few years before it came to Alsace.

You needed a credit card, and preventing kids from shopping for porn was already a problem.

Re:She was using PRESTEL (1)

mjwalshe (1680392) | about a year ago | (#44866847)

And you could certainty do some types of online transaction of PRESTEL at that time and that had been going for a while interesting that the Article makes ZERO mention of Samuel Fedida and all the work done At Martelsham and latterly at PRESTEL.

What about Minitel? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44866347)

Limited deployment in 78, full deployment in 82.
Allowed you to buy all kinds of things (train tickets to porn) in a secure way. Generated higher revenue than the internet into the 90s.
And because the French are the best at one thing: In 1986 French university students coordinated a national strike using Minitel

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Minitel

slow news day I guess (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44865355)

This story isn't even news!

Tomorrow, a comparison between carrier pigeons and fiber optics!

(no, we don't need you to link to that joke RFC here)

Re:slow news day I guess (0)

Samantha Wright (1324923) | about a year ago | (#44865839)

Did you know the first person to Pioneer the Web Revolution wasn't Tim Berners-Lee? It was the person he first showed it to. That's what it means to be a True Pioneer. This article told me so! What a Pioneer.

Re:slow news day I guess (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44866387)

Actually it was the first person who said "That looks great Tim, keep working on it."

The first person he actually showed it to said "That's a bunch of rubbish you wanker, stop wasting your time with this hippy nonsense and make something work in binary like real men!"

And that person was a young Bill Gates.

Re:slow news day I guess (1)

Russ1642 (1087959) | about a year ago | (#44865851)

More like "The first lines drawn with sticks in the dirt by neanderthals lead directly to the Comic Sans font"

Re:slow news day I guess (1)

camperdave (969942) | about a year ago | (#44867091)

This story isn't even news!

I'll say. People have been shopping at home since at least a century or more. It's just that these days it's done by website rather than by catalog and postal service.

ALMOST there (1)

i kan reed (749298) | about a year ago | (#44865403)

I have an available online grocery store, but it's a local affair that can't afford decent software for their site, which makes searching/sorting/filtering down to what you want difficult. I can tell it needs a big-money push.

Re:ALMOST there (1)

MrEricSir (398214) | about a year ago | (#44865577)

Would Google [google.com] count as "big money"?

Re:ALMOST there (1)

i kan reed (749298) | about a year ago | (#44865659)

Like amazon, they're starting in a big west-coast city as an experiment. I'm an eastcoaster.

Re:ALMOST there (1)

MightyYar (622222) | about a year ago | (#44866269)

Fresh Direct? It's NY-Centered, but they do other states now.

Re:ALMOST there (1)

CastrTroy (595695) | about a year ago | (#44866721)

This is a big problem in general. Most local/independent businesses have little-to-no online presence. It doesn't really need a big money push. Just someone to develop some half decent service where the retailer doesn't have to manage a website. There's a couple offerings out there, but probably nothing that is geared towards grocery delivery .It wouldn't take a huge amount of cash or time to get a service online that would give them the basics. Especially for the players in this industry who already have a system that has most of the features.

Next Steps (2)

fldsofglry (2754803) | about a year ago | (#44865427)

Next steps:
1) Claim as prior art
2) Sue google, amazon, and every other ecommerce retailer out there
3) Make a gazillion dollars
4) Sit at home watching tv, surfing the net, and spending money online

Grandmother Jane Snowball's first shopping list (4, Funny)

JoeyRox (2711699) | about a year ago | (#44865435)

2 bottles of red wine
1 can of whip cream
4 extra large cucumbers
1 can Crisco cooking grease
1 box Trojan condoms
1 package of Marlboro Lights

Re:Grandmother Jane Snowball's first shopping list (0)

Bigbutt (65939) | about a year ago | (#44865547)

Condoms? What was she afraid of? Pickles??

[John]

Re:Grandmother Jane Snowball's first shopping list (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44866103)

The condoms help it slide better. Haven't you seen the movies?

Re:Grandmother Jane Snowball's first shopping list (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44865579)

None of which were available in Gateshead in 1984.

More likely:

2 bottles of Stout
1 can tuna (for the cat)
1 bag potatoes
1 tub of lard (to cook the potatoes)
1 tin corned beef
1 pack golden virginia loose tobacco

Re:Grandmother Jane Snowball's first shopping list (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44865687)

How does corned beef keep you from getting spotted dick?

Re:Grandmother Jane Snowball's first shopping list (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44866087)

If she had been in the USA:

2 bottles of Budweiser
1 can of catfood (for herself)
10 bags of potato chips
1 tub of mayonaise (to dip the chips)
1 tin of butter cookies
1 box of Virginia Slims

Re:Grandmother Jane Snowball's first shopping list (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44866343)

you are dating yourself!

Re:Grandmother Jane Snowball's first shopping list (1)

Zero__Kelvin (151819) | about a year ago | (#44867875)

Hey! He finally got a date!

Re:Grandmother Jane Snowball's first shopping list (1)

wonkey_monkey (2592601) | about a year ago | (#44870677)

You forgot the hairnet.

Was it really the Grandmother (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44865457)

Would this be like saying that I pioneered a home computing revolution because I bought an Apple ][?

I'm pretty sure this story should be about Michael Aldrich, not one of his users.

Re:Was it really the Grandmother (0)

TechyImmigrant (175943) | about a year ago | (#44865487)

I used to have an Apple ][. I recently upgraded to an Apple //e.

Re:Was it really the Grandmother (1)

marcello_dl (667940) | about a year ago | (#44865683)

where do you live, what version of locksmith you got? can you mail me a recent one? KTHXBYE

Re:Was it really the Grandmother (1)

sjames (1099) | about a year ago | (#44865997)

If you were the first person to use a home computer, you would be *PART* of the revolution, sure.

Re:Was it really the Grandmother (1)

mjwalshe (1680392) | about a year ago | (#44866867)

who I have never heard about (I worked for prestel back in the day) - and shall we say has a very gushing wikepeida page.

The first and last time (1)

themushroom (197365) | about a year ago | (#44865481)

...anyone got their grandmother to shop online. :)

Re:The first and last time (2)

CanHasDIY (1672858) | about a year ago | (#44865563)

...anyone got their grandmother to shop online. :)

That joke made sense 20 years ago; not so much today. Even old-school, Luddite-esque hillbillies like my dad (who is a grandfather almost a dozen times over) use Amazon to buy shit in 2013.

Namely fishing lures.

Re:The first and last time (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44865853)

Dude, Luddite? Come on, you stupid f-in liberals at some have to use some different terms. And what kind of classy guy makes fun of his own father?

As for the article, at one time kids I used to order groceries on this thing called a rotary phone and they would listen and delivery said groceries. I was an f-ing pioneer and never even knew it. And I did it before this bitch, bitches.

Re:The first and last time (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44865937)

English! It's not what you think.

Re:The first and last time (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44865987)

Yo mama!

Was this story related to Amway?

Re:The first and last time (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44871063)

use Amazon to buy shit

Why are some people so obsessed with buying shit? After all, shit is something every living person produces themselves from time to time. And frankly, I'm more concerned with getting rid of shit than with getting any. I'd certainly not buy it.

But thinking of it ... maybe I should sell it. There seems to be a market. ;-)

Minitel a few years older (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44865543)

France had Minitel a few years before since 1978 already.

Re:Minitel a few years older (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44866055)

France was late at the computing revolution: there are no French computers from the '50s and I think only one (private, non-gov) from the '60s.

When they started the industry in the '70s, they immediately took the forefront in networking: Minitel, military GSM (RITA/MITRA, sold to US Army and others - the battery was a backpack of its own).

That was again the cause for a slow roll-out of the internet & www: they didn't need it as much.

Re:Minitel a few years older (1)

DrXym (126579) | about a year ago | (#44866241)

That may be (or not) but the fact is that by the time this granny was using her pilot system in the UK, minitel was being handed like candy to pretty much any phone subscriber in France.

She never saw the computer? (1)

infernalC (51228) | about a year ago | (#44865555)

That's about the silliest thing I've heard today. A television screen, even in 1984, was probably a computer monitor. Granted it was NTSC, but around that time most televisions were switched over to digital tuners (which are computers).

I mean, I'm a computer programmer, and I spend my day working in Visual Studio, vim, and NetBeans (depending on what I'm doing). By that logic, I never see a computer either, at least not the one I'm working on. I spend most of my day in an RDP session on a retired tradeshow 27" iMac. I have to touch xcode once in a while, but I mostly keep it for the real estate.

Re:She never saw the computer? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44865679)

The digital tuners still output an analog signal. The only thing computer like about the digital tuners was the channel number display.

Re:She never saw the computer? (4, Informative)

BasilBrush (643681) | about a year ago | (#44865685)

That's about the silliest thing I've heard today. A television screen, even in 1984, was probably a computer monitor. Granted it was NTSC, but around that time most televisions were switched over to digital tuners (which are computers).

Not even close. This was the UK, so the system was PAL, not NTSC. And in 1984, televisions (as this was) were fare more analogue than digital. For sure it was a TV with teletext, and a modem, so there was some digital element in there, but certainly more analogue TV than computer monitor. Teletext was very much a technology to display text on a PAL analogue TV.

Re:She never saw the computer? (1)

91degrees (207121) | about a year ago | (#44866235)

Sounds like this was Prestel. Not quite sure exactly how that worked, but presumably the terminal device was a computer.

Of course, the actual work was done by a bank of servers buried in the vaults of British Telecom somewhere. The prestel hardware would have been just a dumb terminal adaptor

Re:She never saw the computer? (1)

gl4ss (559668) | about a year ago | (#44866555)

she never saw the computer because they didn't say that the device that called the order in was a computer nor did they say that the output she saw on the screen was computer generated.

computer monitors up until 2000's were all just as analog as tv's.. heck, more analog since the tv's that included a teletext viewer had computers(not very fancy of course) built into them(to generate the teletext view), usually the micro controlled other stuff too like what the tuner was tuned into, brightness controls and what have you.

definitely more fancy than the piece of shit nec multisync I had for a while in the '90s.

a tv is by definition pretty much what counts as a "computer monitor" but only with _added_ circuitry.

why wouldn't you call a tv with teletext and a friggin modem a computer? at the very least call it a computer terminal.

anyhow that family that's stuck in 1986 can finally order some grub without worrying if the callcenter guy at the other end understood him.

Re:She never saw the computer? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44871107)

I wouldn't call a computer terminal a computer either. A computer is a device made for executing arbitrary code. The 1986 TV may be computer-controlled (that is, its inner workings are controlled by a computer), but it is not a computer (you cannot run arbitrary programs on it). That's an important difference.

Re:She never saw the computer? (1)

BasilBrush (643681) | about a year ago | (#44885917)

Anyone who was using microcomputers of the time was very aware of the difference between a TV and a computer monitor.

Teletext it was done with logic chips. No CPU. Logic chips don't make it a computer.

As to Prestel, mostly it was via separate boxes, that would output UHF to a TV, working exactly as if the signal was coming from a TV aerial.

Re:She never saw the computer? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44868313)

It would be more accurate to say that most TV's in Britain had a digital overlay technology.. so yes, they had a small computer built in to enable teletext. In N.America we had teletext capabilities as well but they weren't legislated as a standard so were never used anywhere near as much as in Britain. In Britain and probably much of Europe they could look up news, weather, vacation deals, used items for sale etc etc... much of what we use the internet for today.. but back in 1984!
The other big advantage was they didn't have all the useless unreadable small text in the car and pharmaceutical ads zipping by.. they just referred to a teletext page!

As far as the tuners.. I don't think they were mainly digital for a while longer. Digital != computer. Heck computer != digital.. there are analogue Computers and now quantum computers too.

Re:She never saw the computer? (1)

K. S. Kyosuke (729550) | about a year ago | (#44865803)

A television screen, even in 1984, was probably a computer monitor.

With a hidden camera.

Re:She never saw the computer? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44866139)

even in 1984, was probably a computer monitor

No. In 1984 the only displays you found in homes were traditional CRTs with analog tuners. Computers, consoles, cable boxes, etc. output analog signals fed to a television via the antenna pickup using coax or a pair of wires. Digital TV tuners were not found in homes and didn't appear among consumers until the early 90's.

Re:She never saw the computer? (1)

Alioth (221270) | about a year ago | (#44866367)

To be pedantic, it would have been a PAL television (625 vertical lines) since it was the UK. It's likely the Prestel set wasn't built into the TV, it's a lot more likely this was a set top box, but the reporter didn't know how Prestel and other Videotex services were typically used back then. The TV may have been full of vacuum tubes (we call them "valves" here).

My first computer was connected to a TV. In the mid-late 80s, I had a modem for it - but we always had cast off TVs from TV rental places since my grandfather was a TV engineer. So my computer screen (just a standard TV) was full of valves and there was nothing remotely digital about it. It took about a minute and a half to warm up. In 1987 though I was buying games by download via Micronet 800 - which was doing much of what Steam does now except for DRM.

Re:She never saw the computer? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44867501)

So my computer screen (just a standard TV) was full of valves

Are you sure? The introduction of colour TV in the UK post-dates the use of transistors in consumer electronics. I'm not aware that any colour TV in the UK ever used valves.

So you might have had a really, really old black and white TV. Or there were no valves and it was the CRT itself that took time to warm up.

Re:She never saw the computer? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44873123)

Early colour TV's in the UK certainly did use valves. My family's first set was bought around 1970 and was used until the early 80's, used valves, and I'm sure that many others did too. Ours was replaced by a transistor set in the early 80's, though I continued to use it for a while with my ZX Spectrum until it broke.

Re:She never saw the computer? (1)

BasilBrush (643681) | about a year ago | (#44885793)

Are you sure? The introduction of colour TV in the UK post-dates the use of transistors in consumer electronics. I'm not aware that any colour TV in the UK ever used valves.

Oh for sure most or all TVs of the early 1980s had valves. My brother's job at the time was a TV repair man, who's main job was visiting homes, replacing valves. Sometimes it'd be burned out boards, but mostly it was replacing valves.

fat fingers (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44865565)

she ended a loaf of bread
a container of Milk
and a stick of buddah.

The twist is ... (1)

paxprobellum (2521464) | about a year ago | (#44865629)

Everything is a 'computer'...

Re:The twist is ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44865767)

the sonic screwdriver doesn't just have ONE computer... it has 13.

1 click(er) check out (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44865833)

Now being sued by Amazon for 1 click checkout!

Simpson cat (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44865887)

I think it's awesome that the grandmother's last name was Snowball. Perfect.

Re:Simpson cat (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44869139)

I sure hope Mrs. Snowball goes to heaven...she wouldn't have much of a change in the other place.

And that was 1984? (1)

bickerdyke (670000) | about a year ago | (#44866007)

Some Granny managed to order groceries online and have them delivered to her place. - And that's something that Amazon and conventional supermarkets are still working on.

Re:And that was 1984? (1)

istartedi (132515) | about a year ago | (#44866197)

They're not working on it. They're just re-inventing it. It used to be that it wasn't that uncommon for local markets to deliver, for customers that wanted to pay for delivery. This was probably even more common when there was one car per family and only the husband drove it. They're just working on a more efficient, less personal version of picking up the phone and asking Sam the Butcher if his boy can deliver some beef. Remember It's a Wonderful Life? Yeah, it's a movie; but the boy delivering drugs was probably a pretty realistic scenario. Oh, and remember milk men? So. Amazon et. al., will re-invent all of that in some newer form if the economics are there. With times being tough, we might see more one-car families and/or extended families where you have somebody at home to accept deliveries. If anything will make delivery more common, it's those kinds of demographic shifts back towards something that doesn't require everybody to be really busy away from home and/or to have their own personal auto.

Re:And that was 1984? (1)

bickerdyke (670000) | about a year ago | (#44866689)

With times being tough, we might see more one-car families and/or extended families where you have somebody at home to accept deliveries. If anything will make delivery more common, it's those kinds of demographic shifts back towards something that doesn't require everybody to be really busy away from home and/or to have their own personal auto.

I think that's the problem here. I'm already struggling to pick up my Amazon parcels from the post office when the post office tries to deliver them during usual office hours (named because I'm usually at the office and NOT at home...)

Re:And that was 1984? (1)

mjwalshe (1680392) | about a year ago | (#44866875)

Not in the Uk its not :-)

Re:And that was 1984? (1)

Gavagai80 (1275204) | about a year ago | (#44867911)

What they're working on is making it profitable enough to bother.

Trend I hope dies soon: inflated importance (0)

sootman (158191) | about a year ago | (#44866359)

For fuck's sake, the grandmother had exactly NOTHING to do with it. There was tons of engineering behind it that made it happen. All the grandmother did was happen to be the first user. She didn't pioneer a DAMN THING.

Next week on Bullshit Modern Journalism: How a Snail that Got Run Over by the Wright Brothers' Airplane on the Runway at Kitty Hawk Ushered in the Era of Modern Aviation.

PS: Dan Brown, I loved (I'll admit it) your first four books, but I thought The Lost Symbol was only OK, and I gave up reading Inferno after just a few chapters. I didn't discover how "The coo of a single dove had changed everything," despite the fact that you mentioned it fifty-eleven times in the first nine pages.

Re:Trend I hope dies soon: inflated importance (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44867193)

I too, am totally sick of this type of grand-standing headline-ism. Like all the stories about some 5 year old starting their own business, never mentioning their parents/mentors. So sad the low-information citizens don't really think analytically / critically about anything anymore.

Startups need to learn from this (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44866429)

And stop offering the same thing that existed in 1984 as "innovation"... sure, it's much better but no groundbreaking ideas are added.

Remember me this : i-Opener ... in 1998 (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44866911)

Best appliance ever, with keyboard pizza key ;)

http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:2008-04-25_Netpliance_i-Opener_pizza_key.jpg

"The i-Opener was a low-cost internet appliance produced by Netpliance (now known as TippingPoint) between the years 1999 and 2002. The hardware, cheaply available, became popular among collectors who modified the appliance to run as a normal PC." source : http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/I-Opener

Grandma Snowball (2)

GodfatherofSoul (174979) | about a year ago | (#44866999)

That's one google search I dare not try.

Question: Did they have one-click ordering? (2)

TwineLogic (1679802) | about a year ago | (#44867243)

"Just curious." I mean: I hope they had prior art of every amazon patent, right down to the color orange.

Minitel? (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44867247)

"What she - and everyone else with her [in May 1984] - didn't realise was that her simple shopping list was arguably the world's first home online shop. With her remote control she used a piece of computer technology [...]"

...that had been in use in France since 1978 (at a national scale since 1982).

Maybe that's why people "didn't realise it was the world's first home online shop". Because they'd actually bothered to check, unlike whoever wrote this article.

Yep... (1)

Travis Repine (2861521) | about a year ago | (#44867641)

And this grandma has been buying useless shit since then, one package at a time. Those dentures she bought really do come handy for her though!

So, Where Do We Get A Grandmother Pioneering?? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44867945)

You have a group of tech innovators developing all the components of a system, including enlisting Tesco's cooperation and task-assignment to employees, and the equipment being put into the hand of a 72 year-old woman, with instructions what and how to do. Not even the PR exaggerating is "pioneering".
Hey, how about we make a case that Jesus Christ pioneered the "Iron Cross", made famous by gymnasts and olympic competitors in ages then yet to come!...

council inititive (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44867981)

The service was provided by the Social Services department of Gateshead MBC based on PRESTEL for housebound OAPs in the borough. The council data processing department (this was pre IT) hosted all the hardware but I'm not convinced that TESCO did the fulfilment. A local bus company at the time used a similar set-up to take bookings for their Newcastle-London Clipper service. I worked on both so this posting brought back some memories of my mainframe days.

One Click (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44868175)

I bet she purchased with "One Click"

doh!

Sorry (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44868599)

Well if Futurama taught me one thing it would be to never trust old ladies because they're fucking evil.

Hopefully for the greater good (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44870523)

And, hopefully, invalidate a shitload of patents that trolls are currently chasing.

And yet, now (1)

s0nicfreak (615390) | about a year ago | (#44887623)

groceries are probably the only thing where it is less efficient to buy online and have delivered than to go to a store.
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