I am trying to recall the name of a peripheral I use to have for my C64 in the 1980s. I believe it was called Exchange or X-Change. You hooked it up to your cable TV service and it would decode a signal that would allow you to capture wire news service. You connected it to the C64 via RS-232, I believe. I think it was a one time purchase, you bought the box and that was it. I want to say the box was made by somebody like Jerrold or another box manufactured from the 80s. Anyone remember this? I’d like to see if I can find anything online about it but haven’t had much luck and wonder if I have the name even right.

Edit/Update: I lived in the United States, Ohio at the time. I can't recall what cable company we used back then. The box didn't come from the cable company, I believe you had to order it and your cable company had to transmit the signal (anyone remember getting FM over cable, it was sort of like that) I want to say I purchased this in about 1986 or 1987, the box was the size of a cable box but was much lighter weight. I remember after I owned one, seeing a write up about the device in at least one Commodore magazine at the time. I later got an Amiga 500 and I think it worked with that too, but I am not 100% sure. Finally the software was similar to RSS where you could subscribe to different topics and the device would catch them and show them in a reader. I am having a hard time remembering if you had to have the computer always running to get stories throughout the day or just the device. It was just an odd device for the time and I recently recalled it and wanted to try to read up on it if I i could.

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    Mind to add coutnry and region you lived in at that time? Service offerings where quite different between like Italy, the UK or the US ... and again different on regions within. Not that mentioning the cable/telecom company would do harm. – Raffzahn Oct 11 at 10:11
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    Re: being an odd device for the time, it sounds exactly like a proprietary version of teletext*, with an aggregating reader. Searching for NABTS C64 doesn't reveal anything though. * en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Teletext – Tommy Oct 11 at 15:41
up vote 8 down vote accepted

It was called X*Press X*Change and was in operation from late 1986 until 1997. Participating cable providers would receive the data by satellite, then broadcast it on their networks. The service was available for the Apple II series, Amiga, Atari ST, C64/C128/Plus4, Macintosh, and MS-DOS. The Commodore version used a special cartridge while other versions connected through RS-232. The service provided news, sports, weather, stock ticker quotes and so on at 9600 baud. It was available in the USA and Canada. Here is an article in Compute! magazine (issue #78, Nov. 1986) about the service.

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    Yes! Thanks and thanks for the article link. I was going through old magazines on archive.org trying to find it. Did you happen to have one? – Michael Simmons Oct 11 at 21:53
  • No, I tried a few google searches until I found the answer at that atarimagazines.com link. I'm still looking for a photo of the C64 cartridge. – traal Oct 11 at 21:56
  • I am pretty sure my cable company didn't charge anything. I was a kid at the time and couldn't imagine my Mom paying for a monthly service. I remember having the device for a while. I could of sworn I had it with C-64, but after reading about it I am almost wondering if I used it just on my Amiga 500. – Michael Simmons Oct 11 at 21:59
  • We couldn't afford cable TV so a service like this wouldn't have been useful to us. I guess you could call it an ancestor of cable modems. – traal Oct 12 at 16:01

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