Meaning of VIEWDATA in English

noun Also written Viewdata (Science and Technology) A system allowing for a normal television set to be linked to a computer database and for information to be passed in both directions between the two, making use of a telephone line as the communication link. Etymology: Formed by compounding: the system allows the user to view alphabetic characters and other computer data which could not normally be displayed on a television screen. History and Usage: The first experiments with viewdata were carried out in the mid seventies. Towards the end of the decade, the British Post Office tried unsuccessfully to register the name as a trade mark for its telephone service providing this facility; this explains to some degree why it is often written with a capital initial (since people suppose it to be a trade mark). After choosing instead the name Prestel, the Post Office promoted the word viewdata as a general term for this kind of data display (competing with teletext, for which see tele-). Telematics regards its entry as timely because of the rise in such dissemination systems as viewdata and teletext. Computerworld 23 May 1983, p. id-14 Last week British Telecom took over Micronet, the six year old micro-orientated user group on its Prestel viewdata service. Guardian 27 July 1989, p. 25

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