INTRODUCTIONBarra_rosso_vivoF2D3.gif (2505 byte)

The great love between Television and the Computer, from a purely theoretical fact, is becoming reality.

The intruments that dominate our manner of producing information are joining forces to become one -- something that is capable of exploiting to a maximum the capability of the two means: on one hand the capillarity and wide diffusion of television which, becauseof its simplicity in application, is now indispensable for every family, and on the other hand the power of the computer which the great speed of retrieving it, opens up and amplifies performace and prospects.

So far many have opposed the merging of these two means for reasons of interest.

In fact, whoever owns TV networks holds also great power to sway public opinion.

Evidence of this is found in the bitter diputes that developed in Italy between political power and TV power.

For years information and political power had reached a tacit agreement for sharing and connivance; now, with entrepeneurs who own TV networks entering on politics, the pre -- esisting equilibrium so painfuilly resched has receiving a stunning blow.

However, such a turn was inevitable, and it cannot be stopped because in these past decades technology has taken long strides both from the technological standpoint of the new hardware and because of the growth and diffusion of the software.

Indeed, it is enough that a human being whatsoever conceive and write a program on the computer and in a very short time it will become the patrimony of all mankind and it can be used anywhere in the world, thanks to the ease of copying and duplicating the information.

Another revolutionary aspect is the possibility of codifying any sort of information:

-- manuscripts

-- drawings

-- photographs

-- sounds

-- films

Into a single and universal language that is the elementary language of the electric impulses zero and one, that is, the binary language. Without entering into the technical details, this fact allows us to deal with any of the aforesaid kinds of information as if they were all of the same sort and thus could be filed in the same manner to be retrieved later at any time though sophisticated research criteria.

Why is it then that "this marriage mustn't be done " between television and computer beyond technical problems?

The main reasons are two:

- the holder of tv power does not want to lose the supremacy of information that allows him to manage and direct public opinion.

- Television rests on advertsing which now the spectators are obliged to suffer, but with the new technologies it will be hard to retain this situation as the TV spectator will become a TV protagonist who can choose what he wants to see.

But why is there so much talk of the new means of making television? What are the advantages and the new opportunities for the user?

Let us try to give plain answers in the next chapter.