With the cybernetic revolution raging across the world, other digital technologies evolved to support it rather than forming an identity of their own. Given that cybernetics was expected to eventually replace all human-computer interaction, investment into other methods was rare.

By the 2020s, the Datanet existed but primarily for the machine and its programmer. Gigastreams flowed from node to node, carrying terabytes of data between mainframes, robots, and microcomputers. The signals they carried formed the unconscious backbone of society, underground and mostly out of sight.

Between the gigastreams, there existed a space for the human users. The vast majority would be using specialized applications to access electronic conferences, entertainment downloads, interactive encyclopedias, and similar use cases.

The few that ventured further into the machine-facing cyberspace were specialists: cyberneticists, programmers, tinkerers, digital archeologists. It wouldn’t be until the first teleindexer — the PAL, from Maple Cybernetic — that the Datanet would be placed into the human palm, fundamentally changing daily life one more time.

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