Monday, 9 April 2012

Latest: Last two grabs incorrectly dated; Ceefax technical page

Well, I thought that the post-1991 Ceefax pages were going to be completely boring but there is a single test page in the carousel at page 595:

What does this all mean?

On deeper investigation, the recent BBC grab and the YTV ORACLE grab are from 1992, despite the 15 September being a Saturday in 1990.  Unbelievably, the headers are consistently reading the wrong date, both on the Ceefax and ORACLE grabs - the news items point to September 1992, so it's either the 5th, 12th, 19 or 26th September.  It's definitely a Saturday as the TV Guide confirms this.  My guess, from the news, is that it's the 5th.

I need to find older recordings to go at.  I seem to remember that Ceefax was full of music reviews, puzzles, telesoftware and quizzes, and was much more magazine-like in feel; I'd love to see it again.


  1. If you are after more old tapes, try sticking a wanted ad on the local freegle/freecycle groups. I've seen them offered at regular intervals, so you should have no problems finding them.

    I'm intending to have a go at this side of things too. Have bought a suitable TV card; just picked up a refurb video player (actually a combo vhs/dvd-recorder, so will be useful for other things too) and will go grab a little P4 machine to put it all in soon, when I get a chance. I can then set it all up in the spare room... I've got some tapes that date from the 1980s, so should hopefully have some interesting stuff on them!

    Now, if only it was as easy to find a complete copy of Prestel as it seems it is teletext

  2. Cheers Rob, I'll check Freecycle out.

    If you can't be bothered to build another computer for it, you can try Wubi from here:

    It doesn't require any partitions setting up, it just uses a hardfile. At boot time you choose which OS to boot to. I use this for capturing the data and a VM running under Windows for processing it.

    I guess the only way of accessing old Prestel pages is by seeing if there are archives of the original pages held by the original content providers :-(

  3. Rooting through tapes I already have, I've found a good quality BBC2 example with Telesoftware from 1987 that I'll post soon.