(Quebec) If Quebec missed the title of intelligent city, in 2014, the digital industry is a tourist attraction for many years. These are humble beginnings that have created 8000 to 10,000 technology jobs in the greater Quebec City area.
Guy Boucher (left cabinet with a game in hand) and David Weiser (wearing overalls) are among the artisans of the digital universe of Quebec. The photo was taken in 1994 while Megatoon had just launched his game Wallobee Jack, which was a worldwide success, because it was distributed by the time a giant WordPerfect.
In 1982, François Taschereau launched accounting software Fortune 1000, told this week Carl-Frederic De Celles, president of iXmédia, at a conference in Digital Space Expo Québec. “Quebec is a digital city for a long time,” he said.
The businessman who founded iXmédia, specializes in creating websites, it was 20 years ago, knows the history of digital Quebec for having lived and observed long ago.
He recalled that the Gabrielle-Roy Library opened the first repository to Canada in 1985, before the Internet is accessible to the entire population. The public institution lent software and games.
In 1985, it was also the birth of the Club Macintosh de Québec, the largest French club in America and the seventh largest in the world, since it had more than 2,500 members in the early 90s.
“There was no Internet at that time,” he recalls him who was one of the directors of the manager of the club and Mac Synapse bulletin board. “Users of computers founded clubs to share their knowledge and tricks”, either around the Apple products or PC with DOS operating system and the Windows start Microsoft.
He presented on the screen the first email received by Université Laval and Marc Blanchet, June 2, 1988, confirming that the educational institution now had an IP (Internet Protocol) separate.
It was the time of 14.4 and 28.8 K modems occupying the phone line to download messages that are consulted frequently offline. This was also the time the first browsers like Netscape 1.0 Turbo and Gopher. The 80 and 90 were far from the voice recognition Siri, Google Now and Cortana, optical fiber and wireless connections.
“With message boards that connectaient them worldwide, we already had all the premises networks and games among multiple users in network,” he continues almost wistfully. “People were exchanging news, documents. There was even chat. Facebook and others have invented nothing “, they refined the concept.
In 1992, the first pirates are emerging, including the NPC group. Two years later, the first Internet provider was emerging. It was to LLC “Freedom Liberté Chérie”. Then there were others such as the Internet Zone, which still exists Oricom before TELUS (globetrotter.net), Videotron and Bell are hitting the market.
He remembers the first high-speed link to iXmédia 64k. Today, the quick link is hundreds of times faster for the same monthly cost as in 1995. That year, the company conceived the first of Municipal Affairs Ministry’s website for about $ 5,000.
In December 1996, The Sun became the first newspaper in Quebec to broadcast news on the web in an interactive format at a time when competition was broadcasting the pages of their newspapers in PDF format rather static and difficult to see.
And in 2006, ZAP Québec born to share wireless Internet connections from establishments in Quebec City and several traders who spread their canvas on almost the entire city.
In a flashback to the world of software, Frederick Carl De Celles, CEO of iXmédia recalls the first Typing Pal created by Marc Boutet, then high school student in Sainte-Foy. There will be many versions around the world, in schools and homes to learn to type with a keyboard.
He founded De Marque today in the digital book industry. He sold his software Druid Computers, druids who concocted the support tool writing Antidote.
Fortune 1000 François Taschereau evolved into Acomba and Acceo when he sold his business. But the businessman, who had launched the karaoke Tune 1000, has also invested in the start of the first game studio in Quebec City and Quebec, probably the first in Canada: Megatoon in 1992.
The game Wallobee Jack was a worldwide success, because it was distributed by the time a giant WordPerfect. The company must distribute at least a Quebec software to get the contract with the Government of Quebec for its office software, says Mr De Celles.
At Megatoon he had names like Guy Boucher (today Sarbakan), David and Ron Weiser (now at Black Tie Venture) and some others who made their debut as Dee Brown, the founder of Beenox now Chocolates in Favorites, Steve Couture, CEO founder of the Frima which acquired Hummagade and Volta. Besides the many other craftsmen who still make their mark in the industry today.
Then there was the first Copernic search multiengine, the Bouchard family with Martin’s head, who gave birth to the 4Degrés data center with associates as Louis Tetu, founder of Taleo and Recruitsoft before the center passed into the hands of Videotron. Alumni Copernicus, as Albert Dang Vu, founded Mirego. Several other successful companies come from the genius and labor of precursors.
Today, there are four major video game studios and many small that generate at least 1,200 jobs. And special effects specialists known worldwide working on projects like Game of Thrones or Transformers.
All this without counting all the innovations that develop in the Technology Park and even in the basement of a house Orsainville as was the case with CGI. Silent technology magazine we can not pass AtoutMicro published for nearly 20 years or news programs on animated by François Taddei technology on the community channel Telemag 24 that can be found even on YouTube.
“Who would have thought that the digital world Québec born of accounting software?” Concludes Mr. De Celles by announcing that he should write a book on the subject a few years. A paper or digital book? He did not elaborate.