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Retro paradox?

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Reply 40 of 53, by amadeus777999

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Jo22 wrote on 2021-07-26, 05:20:
Hello everyone. […]
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Hello everyone.

Isn't it strange how the further we diverge from the past,
the more our knowledge increases about the past?

I'm thinking about this phenomenon for a while.
I think I heard about in on the web once, too.
It's not just nostalgia or pop culture, no.

Instead of slowly forgetting about details of, say, tube technology or old computers,
todays knowledge of the old, it seems, actually steadily increases with temporal distance.

I think that's neat, but how/why is that so?
There are likely less people that deal with older technology now
than in the old days when said technology was current.

Comments welcome! ^^

Best regards,
Jo22

We live in an age where we have ample access to the past - compare that to a layman of the 1500's... if you weren't highly educated you would be left with an old carrot to study. Having access to archives/knowledge was a privilege.
We can now pick and choose and it's in some cases obvious that things were more fun in the, not too distant, past. Today's world is a bit bleak, controlled, virtualized and sterile.

Reply 41 of 53, by FiIosofia

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Jo22 wrote on 2021-07-26, 05:20:
Isn't it strange how the further we diverge from the past, the more our knowledge increases about the past? (...) Instead of s […]
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Isn't it strange how the further we diverge from the past,
the more our knowledge increases about the past?
(...)
Instead of slowly forgetting about details of, say, tube technology or old computers,
todays knowledge of the old, it seems, actually steadily increases with temporal distance.

I think that's neat, but how/why is that so?
(...)

I'm not sure this qualifies as a paradox, because it is expected to exist more stuff to be known while what we consider past is constantly growing. It is nevertheless an interesting phenomenon.

However the knowledge about the old is more widespread especialy technology wise. Forums like this where restricted to local before mainstream internet. There are more people participating and it is easier to share and obtain knowledge, and determine if the knowledege is valid:
1 - the further we diverge from the past, the more of the past is there to be known.
2- internet.

Last edited by FiIosofia on 2021-08-05, 12:37. Edited 1 time in total.

BGWG as in Boogie Woogie.

Reply 42 of 53, by SteveC

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Teletext/Ceefax was a huge thing in the UK - a nice way to get the news, sports, find a holiday, play games even (Bamboozle)! It lasted until 2012 before being shut down!

On Twitter this guy https://twitter.com/grim_fandango often restores Teletext pages from recorded TV 😀

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Reply 43 of 53, by BitWrangler

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That was a shame really. A few times when I was in the UK, yet during internet era, when there was no connection available, I managed to find something useful on a teletext capable TV.

Unicorn herding operations are proceeding, but all the totes of hens teeth and barrels of rocking horse poop give them plenty of hiding spots.

Reply 44 of 53, by 386SX

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I also think teletext TVs function was/is a nice "old internet like" idea even if I never understood technically why it was/is that slow! Considering the amount of data that a common TV MPEG2 576i/1080i standard DVB-T has to decode, I always thought the whole teletext data could be downloaded like offline in seconds once the channel is set.

Reply 45 of 53, by BitWrangler

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Basically it was 70s tech released at dawn of 80s, and was the bottom 5 lines of an otherwise analog TV picture, that only had a few pages cached in a tiny amount of memory, so with a few hundred pages and a cache miss, you had to wait for the page you wanted to swing by again on those 5 lines so it could catch it and display it. Sometimes it worked out that you barely noticed it when it cached sequential pages and you read one then went onto next. Other times, ask for a less popular page "out of the blue" as it were and it could take a while.

Unicorn herding operations are proceeding, but all the totes of hens teeth and barrels of rocking horse poop give them plenty of hiding spots.

Reply 46 of 53, by 386SX

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Thanks. I thought that the passage to "digital" DVB-T decoders would have solved this and instead it probably had the same specs. Still I always liked those old style text only basic communications that I didn't know back in those years like late 80's or early 90's. Back in my days I didn't have internet until probably the latest K6-2 and my first modem was a 56K external one on parallel port, so internet was already quite modern and cheap beside the phone bill and the busy calls at every connection. 😀

Reply 47 of 53, by Big Pink

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BitWrangler wrote on 2021-08-04, 16:55:

That was a shame really. A few times when I was in the UK, yet during internet era, when there was no connection available, I managed to find something useful on a teletext capable TV.

Indeed, I recall checking Ceefax on September 11th 2001 because all the news sites were timing out.

I have huge nostalgia for Pages from Ceefax when I'd wake up early on a Saturday morning to watch CBBC in the early 90s and programmes hadn't started yet. Loved the music and those Level 2 teletext graphics https://youtu.be/enqFa3-LysQ?t=649

I thought IBM was born with the world

Reply 48 of 53, by appiah4

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Teletext was fairly big in Turkey as well, I used to follow news, check weather forecasts, read up on football match results and I remember them being pretty useful for keeping track of the TV schedule.

Retronautics: A digital gallery of my retro computers, hardware and projects.

Reply 49 of 53, by digistorm

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In the Netherlands it is also sometimes used for subtitles, as it supports transparency. It works because teletext can be updated “live” and the subtitles are on page 888 that is sent multiple times instead of in order.

Reply 50 of 53, by Jo22

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SteveC wrote on 2021-08-04, 12:39:

Teletext/Ceefax was a huge thing in the UK - a nice way to get the news, sports, find a holiday, play games even (Bamboozle)! It lasted until 2012 before being shut down!

On Twitter this guy https://twitter.com/grim_fandango often restores Teletext pages from recorded TV 😀

Oh, I didn't know it lasted so long. I'm sorry for spreading misinformation then.
Some source on the web said 90s, so I copied that.

By the way, juding by watching YT tech channles like Techmoan, there's apparently a lot of interesting stuff that has a British background.
I honestly wish to express my great respect for your fellow countrymen and the people involved in those inventions. 👍

BBC and companies like Acorn did a good job at inventing visionary stuff, I think. Like the ARM architecture, to name a lasting example..
Or the early Archimedes computer, which was on par with the Amiga in terms of features. Heck, its succesor even had i486 CPU cards later on. 😁

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VK5AZrg3ZD8

There also were good and notable British software houses, like Ocean, Acclaim, Level 9 Computing, Virgin Interactive,
Psygnosis, Magnetic Scrolls, Rare (Rareware), Rainbird Software, Firebird Software, U.S. Gold .. just to name a few.

Also, it seems many protoype stage things that the BBC and other companies invented were later recycled in some way or another.
That Prestel standard, for example. It was a relative of Ceefax and became the base (loosley defined) for these CEPT glyphs used by Videotex (no t) systems.
("This layout was later formalised in the 1981 CEPT videotex standard as the CEPT3 profile", Wikipedia)

Speaking of Videotext (with t).. The system was very interesting. It stored information in the invisble lines at the end (or top ?) of the TV picture.
People with good VCRs even preserved some of these pages on video cassettes (unintentionally). 😉

So with a bit of tinkering and spending some effort, it is possible to still read these pages from the 80s/90s.
Quality systems like Video 2000 or Betamax had a higher chance of storing pages properly so that they can be retrieved still.

VHS is/was too low quality, sadly. SH-VHS, more likely. Well, that's how it is in most cases.
If a very good VCRs and excellent VHS tapes were used, there's a chance forr recovery even via VHS.
Anyway, maybe post processing can help restoring the Videotext data (aka Teletext, Ceefax, , too..

Succesful recoveries from VHS:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KPhPIvljed4
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6PamSyYQOTI

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eBfZEJs5rlc
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wdbnQP-gFIo

And Betamax:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NdON1h7YZgg

Ceefax Trailer (BBC):
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_bbYlmWnxmc

Other systems:

Antiope (early French rival of our World System Teletext/WST):
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Antiope_(teletext)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IiitM_zeVKk
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VpJWUflUoAc

Telidon (Candadian Teletext):
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vjMUe7hkwRs
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2nJGQmHCh_E
Edit: My bad. Telidon was an on-line service, a bit like Minitel.
Edit2: Drat! It was both, actually. 😅 https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Telidon

Oracle (British Ceefax rival):
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J2XYscbAXdo
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u3vo99VXLmg

USA/Japan: I looked, but haven't found meaningful footage.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CHhjxYkuUlI

There are even projects out there that aim to bring Videotext and Videotex back..

Here's a project that uses a Raspberry Pi's CVBS (Composite) output to generate Ceefax pages and other Teletext pages.
Just connect your Ceefax-capable TV via Composite (PAL, NTSC) and browse the pages like in the good old days. Yay! 😁
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PQLhmKh1qI4
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G39IF8Ul9oU

This one is a recreation of the Bildschirmtext central computer.
It allows an old BTX terminal or C64+BTX module to dial-in.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P5IV-WPKzVI

Here's the same for Minitel.
https://archive.fosdem.org/2020/schedule/even … viving_minitel/

Also interesting:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_teletext_services
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/World_System_Teletext

PS: There was "Channel Videodat, a curiosity from Germany.It transmitted lots of shareware/freeware etc. for PCs via TV channel.
A modem (demodulator, actually) would then retrieve the data from video. Also, a GUI was available in which the user could select the stuff he she/wanted to receive.
Cons: The user had to wait until the program was sent.

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In what to one race is no time at all, another race can rise and fall..." - The Minstrel

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Reply 51 of 53, by Caluser2000

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My Jetson air car I put a deposit down on hasn't arrived yet....

Did you know ACORN consulted with IBM when developing their Risc stuff?

We had Teletext.

There's a glitch in the matrix.
A founding member of the 286 appreciation society.
Apparently 32-bit is dead and nobody likes P4s.
Of course, as always, I'm open to correction...😉

Reply 52 of 53, by SteveC

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Jo22 wrote on 2021-08-05, 04:40:

(loads of interesting stuff)

I just wanted to say I love the passion and effort in your posts 😀

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