Personal Computer Museum, Canada's Videogame Museum


Northern Telecom

Release Date: 12/1/1988
Manufacturer: Northern Telecom
Donated By: Ken Shipman & Jim Appleby
Alex was the name of an interactive videotext information service offered by Bell Canada from 1988 to 1994.

The Alextel terminal rented to customers was a NAPLPS terminal with a standard modem for use on regular phone lines. The service could also be accessed with a personal computer with the appropriate terminal software.

Using the service could cost as much as $0.30 CAD per minute, and many users terminated their subscription upon receiving their first invoice.

The advent of the World Wide Web contributed to making this service obsolete. On 1994-04-29, Bell Canada sent a letter to its customers announcing that the service would be terminated on 1994-06-03. In that letter, Mr. T.E. Graham, then Director of Business Planning for Bell Advanced Communications, stated that "Quite simply, the ALEX network is not the right vehicle, nor the appropriate technology, at this time to deliver the information goods needed in our fast-paced society."

The Alextel terminal is reportedly usable as a dumb terminal for VT100 emulation.

From Wikipedia


This computer is currently interactive in the Museum.

User Comments
Sherwood on Friday, February 05, 2016
I now have an Alextel thanks to the post I did a while ago :)
sherwood on Tuesday, January 26, 2016
If anyone has an Alextel that they no longer want, I am very interested. Being a recently retired Bell employee, I now have the time to search for one. My email =
Marc Goodman on Friday, October 10, 2014
I have one of these terminals (they were given away by the Toronto Free Net in exchange for a modest donation). Forgot all about it until I needed to clean out my storage locker in anticipation of a move. Anyone interested in this device is welcome to contact me at near the end of October 2014. If my memory serves me correctly it was actually a lot of fun to use as an email machine on a dial-up connection with TFN.
Maury Markowitz on Friday, November 08, 2013
Was Alex NAPLPS? I don't recall any graphics when I saw the system. I was under the impression it was a pure clone of Minitel.
kassem saleh on Monday, February 04, 2013
I worked on the percursor of ALEX. It was a system called inet 2000 from 1985, then Bell took the decision to start ALEX using the same software we worked on for iNet 2000 unfortunately we were not involved in the terminal design and we were as developers then disappointed with the usability and cosmetics of the terminal. short-lived because of bad usability engineering back then btw were about 30 developers and 300 marketing and other OVERHEAD
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