Nite-Owl: 25 Years Later

25 years ago this Friday night, I programmed my parents’ VCR to record the first hour of a television show that ran overnight on WFLD-TV channel 32.
It wasn’t so much a “show” as it was a “service.” Nite-Owl was the in-the-clear broadcast of a videotext service called Keyfax. I wrote about Keyfax/Nite-Owl in a blog posting in September of 2004.
Sometime in the early 1990s, I made a copy of this tape for someone on the Usenet newsgroups, and about two years ago I heard from a guy who saw that last blog posting and wanted to know if I was, in fact, the originator of a tape of which he’d received a copy. I was.
The person who emailed me was a guy named Rick who runs a page on YouTube called Fuzzy Memories. I sent him a clean DVD transcription of the Nite-Owl tape and he digitized it for the YouTube Generation. You can check out the real thing by clicking here. The videos have been viewed thousands of times and based on the comments on the site, many people remember the show, too.
I never could have imagined on that Tuesday night 25 years ago that what I recorded just for grins would be out there being viewed by thousands all over the world.