This is part of chapter 2 of a book written in 1980 about the micro-technology - think it's interesting - Some of it here and some of it not yet! The is called The Micro Revolution - by Peter Large
"Jane Babbage is striding along a Cornish tide line. But for her and and her terrier, the wintery beach is deserted. Jane
Her office is cupped in her hand. It looks like a cross between a pocket calculator and a walkie talkie. It is a computer, a TV set, a phone, a filing cabinet, a library, a typewriter, a teleprinter and a secretary. Through that little box she can talk to a reporter in Seoul; organise the morning video-conference of her fellow executives scattered around the UK; or dictate to a computer 4000 miles away, a memo that will be delivered to all her American staff within a minute.
Jane is a features editor on a new breed of newspaper; a specialist,twice daily, world journal. Hers is called Finance Today. It has no printing presses and no headquaters - unless you count the computer centre run by a few technicians, where the one master copy of each page is produced.
Finance Today looks much like a 1980 newspaper except of course that all the pictures are in colour. It is distributed direct to the home by Space satellite and / or fibre-optic cambles. (Fibre -optic cables - the use of light signals travelling along hair thin glass tubes - began to replace electric cables in the telephne networks in the early 1980's). The customer orders Finance Today by tapping a few keys on his home computer or simply by speaking to the machine. A facsmile copy then flops out of the laser printer attached to the computer. Simultaneously, his band balance is debited.
Newspapers serve specialised sectors of the global village because of the multitudinous sources of immediate information...
Many of the readers of Finance Today buy the whole paper, but on most days there is an article or two that might appeal to a wider audience. These are advertised on the TV news channels and the information networks, and people often buy just one page of an issue.
Jane's beach walk ends with a debate with the paper's design editor (who lives on the Isle of Man) about the layout of the current features pages. While Jane is strolling back to her cottage, the design editor is doodling with a light pencil on his computer screen, trying to find the ideal pattern for his firts page. Later, he will adjust on his screen the details of text, headlines and pictures; and when he is satisfied with the result, he will send his final instructions by landline to the computer centre in what remains of Birmingham. There are no editorial people at the centre, only a few engineers and a couple of computer programmers...
Back home, Jane is in the middle of a book on the conseqences of of the British decsion to close the Mint now that virtually all trasactions are cashless.
Few people are still prepared to bother with the discipline of a keyboard and dictate their letters and instructions to the machine and let it get on with them.
The small printer attached to the computer will reproduce each page in its final glossy form, ready for satellite transmission to her New York publisher. For her novel the publisher has no printing to organise, only distribution via the networks.
The implications for employment here are many - no need for offices / building labourers, band and newsagent staff etc etc.