“Seventeen storeys up in his fashionable North Beach apartment, Richard Halloran is calling a local number that will connect him to a computer in Columbus, Ohio.
“Meanwhile, across town, at this less than fashionable cubbyhole at the San Francisco Examiner, these editors are programming today’s copy of the paper into that same Ohio computer.
“When the telephone connection between these two terminals is made, the newest form of electronic journalism lights up Mr Halloran’s television.”
It is 1981, and the future has already arrived. Mr Halloran (“Owns home computer”) thinks it might be the answer. The newscasters are less sure. But it’s the guy at the Examiner who can see the way ahead most clearly. “We’re not in it to make money. We’re probably not going to lose a lot, but we aren’t going to make much either.”
That sounds about right.