[busyness] I spelled it "busyness" to avoid confusion with that unsavory word "business", even though it was derived from "busy" way back when they spoke Middle English.

[TICCIT] TICCIT (Time-shared Interactive Computer Controlled Information Television) was a multi-user CAI system developed in 1970. It had very cool features like video on demand (although a human in the computer room had to load the correct videotape for transmission to the user console), high-resolution color text and graphics, multiple levels of help including an advisor "agent" that would pop up and make suggestions, and a very sophisticated courseware authoring system. It ran on a Data General mini-computer that was less powerful than today's average cell phone, but it supported hundreds of simultaneous users. After undergoing periodic updates and metamorphoses to Apples, PCs, and finally Web pages, it's still in use at BYU, teaching English, Humanities, Foreign Languages, Physics, and more to thousands of students every semester. It goes to show that some of today's hottest ideas aren't as new as they seem. I started with TICCIT in 1979 as a Spanish courseware author, and when we parted company in 1987 I was the supervisor for all courseware production.

[programmable] Nowadays, a programmable remote is something that can read and store codes from other remotes. Back in the good old days, a programmable remote was like a programmable calculator. The remote control of the DiscoVision player had an entire set of commands and registers that could be used to write programs for controlling the player.

[CD-i] A friend of mine named Pat Call, who produced CD-i products for a while, made the astute observation that had Philips taped a $1,000 bill to every CD-i player they sold, they would have come out ahead. (Philips spent over half a billion dollars trying to sell CD-i.)

Jim Taylor
13 Jul 2009