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Ceefax is 35 Years old today!

first memories (September 2009)

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IS
Inspector Sands

We've had what was NTL Digital since 2000 and I can't say I never noticed Teletext appearing on ITV and Channel 4, was this on Telewest by chance? Digital Teletext used to be available via NTL Interactive, although I can't say whether it still is.


Yes I was in a Telewest area.

I've just raked out a remote that works with my telly and there is currently a full Ceefax and Teletext service on BBC1/ITV/C4... although BBC1 is carrying BBC2's Ceefax and BBC2 is showing nothing

Quote:

One thing I do notice flicking through on Virgin is that a lot of channels including the BBC's do carry p888 for subtitles, even though the digital version is available. One flaw with Digital Cable, it's been around 10 years now and they still haven't sorted the Text button out on the remotes.


Mine produces a message telling me to press Home or Guide and then go to Interactive

They've never really found a use for the 'help' button either
Last edited by Inspector Sands on 24 September 2009 9:37pm
SP
Steve in Pudsey
Back then there seemed to be all sorts of strange pages to find:


And the alarm clock page!
IS
Inspector Sands
Back then there seemed to be all sorts of strange pages to find:


Have you discovered p159?
JO
Joe
http://www.ceefax.tv/txtmaster.php?page=159&subpage=1&channel=bbc1&search_string=159&fontsize=2
RU
russnet Founding member
Inspector Sands posted:
Reg The Octopus, that's it! Very Happy god knows why they decided on that particular creature for a character, it can't be the easiest to produce with teletext's limited graphics!

I always thought Telecred was a rubbish name


Reg was the first casualty to go in the Fun and Games section prior to the 1989 relaunch. That particular section got updated every Saturday morning and it was always great to go through that first thing in the morning waiting for Going Live! to come on the other side.

As for teletext cartoons, I always liked ORACLE's Barneys Bunch.
RU
russnet Founding member
Random Test pages can still be found on BBC Digital Text. Try tapping in 9173 and see the delights you get there.

As for my memories going onwards from the 80s...

Seeing the World clock on ORACLE being sponsored by British Airways and seeing the different timezones.
Debbies Diary on ORACLE (Not forgetting Joshs)
The missing seconds before midnight - For some reason on ORACLE when the time got to 23:59/56, there was no 57,58,59 seconds. It would pause at 56 seconds then start a fresh at midnight.
The regional variations on ORACLE when the top line abbreviating the region so Anglia was called ANG, Central was CEN, Granada was GRA and Thames/LWT was LON
Televox on 777
DE
denton
I really missed Oracle when it went. I won 50 once in an Oracle quiz.
DV
DVB Cornwall
Don't forget Telesoftware for the BBC Micro using the horrendously expensive adaptor.
(I still cringe at spending 399 on a Model B machine)
RU
russnet Founding member
I really missed Oracle when it went. I won 50 once in an Oracle quiz.


Yeah, Oracle was class. I was really gutted (as a 15 year old) when that went at the end of 1992. Teletext never really lived up to my expectations and there's me thinking Oracle was a bunch of Optional Reception of Announcements by Code Line Electronics Very Happy and Ceefax was just a crafty play on words of See Facts Very Happy
IS
Inspector Sands

Televox on 777


Televox was an interesting idea but didn't seem to catch on.

It worked using the time-page, AKA Alarm Clock functionality of teletext TV sets. Page 777 was mostly a black screen but if you watched carefully you could see pages flash up briefly. The idea was that you phoned an 0898 number and that gave you a 4-digit number to type into the time-page bit of p777 (on most sets you pressed 'Time' and you got a flashing 00:00:00 in the top right). Televox didn't broadcast the time but these numbers instead so when your set received the time which matched your number a page stayed on your screen. You then used the phone to choose what you wanted to see - I can't remember if this was by pressing keys or saying numbers
ST
Stuart
Ceefax was just a crafty play on words of See Facts Very Happy

You jest, of course. We all know that.

Surely CEEFAX was just an accidentally succesful title. I believe ORACLE tried a backronym, that didn't work for them.
BH
Bvsh Hovse

Televox on 777


I can't remember if this was by pressing keys or saying numbers


IIRC when you phoned in it asked you 'How do you say one' etc. working through the numbers and commands. It was always a bit hit and miss at the learning, so you were usually better off just pressing the phone key so it learnt the DTMF tone. The learning process also meant you had spent about a pound before you got into the service properly.

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