Very rare Alextel early computer or videotext system, one of the Internet's and social networking's first incarnations.
The Alextel was invented by Bell Northern Telecom and tested in Montreal starting in December 1988 where it had an enthusiastic reaction. It went into wider production, but soon after was eclipsed by the development of the World Wide Web. Bell announced the end of the service in 1994. It was originally available either for rent or purchase.
Examples of this device are now housed in technology museums like the French Musee de l'Informatique and PCMuseum. Part of the reason it was tested in the Quebec market was it's bilingual capability, with an "accents" button and diacritic character options on the keyboard. There is also a separate piece to overlay the set of 6 unlabelled buttons on the keyboard, for either English or French.
The original cost, up to 30 cents a minute when online, also drove people to give up on the system!
From Wikipedia:"The Alex terminal ... had a CRT display, attached keyboard, and a 1200 bit/s modem for use on regular phone lines. In 1991 proprietary software was released for IBM PCs that allowed computer users to access the network ... The Alextel terminal is reportedly usable as a dumb terminal for VT100 emulation."
Note that the phone rests on an insertable holder so is detachable. The keyboard folds up against the screen for compactness. There is a regular, and a more advanced features instruction book.
As noted about condition, connecting the device with the power cord proved difficult, but am unsure why. The cord is in great condition, and seems like the right one, but it is loose -- maybe it's a feature not a bug? Other than that it is in great condition, with no scratches, marks or dings, it seems like new.
Comes in original box with all the original packaging. The box has traces of its history, e.g., it was made in Montreal, was one of 4 units bought by a business or institution, and it was sent on 03-18-1992. Includes main device, phone holder, phone, cords for the phone and power cord, the keyboard overlay label, French and English instructions and advanced instructions, and a small yellow paper envelope that seems never opened (don't know what it contains). Serial numbers etc. include: TCP7013-2 ; mod. no. NT9G52AJ ; prod. no. NNTM000119 ; ser. no. 140000378. Please don't hesitate to ask any questions about this vintage device!