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Happy 40th Birthday, Teletext!

Teletext is a bit of a foreign concept here in the USA, but I well remember being intrigued by this technology back in my youth in Scotland. Teletext basically provided an information service on your TV set using similiar technology to the closed captioning features we are familiar with. It was a kind of prehistoric Internet, at least for us wide-eyed Europeans.
Ceefax, the world's first teletext service, was launched to the public in September 1974 at a time when television sets that used the service were so few and far between that the engineers - who were usually middle-aged bearded men - could send messages to their wives to tell them what time they would be home for tea, and no one would be any the wiser.
Today, it's quite easy to talk about the blocky graphics and primary colours of teletext in the past tense, as Ceefax was switched off during the switchover to digital television in 2012. However, it's still running in some European countries and its influence can still be felt throughout the internet enabled technology world.
The Inquirer

the BBC's "CEEFAX" service - live, on your TV!


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