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Rick Murray

Aug 22, 2003, 5:36:44 AM8/22/03
Hello everybody!

Do you have a Ground Control or Octopus Systems teletext receiver?
Do you have a different (i.e. Morley) receiver with IIC connection?

If so, my !Teletext software may be of use to you.

Unlike Paul Skirrow's Teletext+, my software does not do lots of
things automatically - it uses a powerful script system which may
seem more complicated, however once set up it works beautifully and
is flexible.

Here's what happens when I load my !Teletext software, with the box
switched on and the satellite receiver tuned to the German MTV...

* Teletext checks my clock. If it is more than five seconds out,
it will ask if I want to update my clock. I always use the same
channel so I know the clock will be consistant.
Teletext will also update my DST setting for me, provided the
broadcaster is transmitting a fully valid TSDP (MTV does, CNN
does not - ironic huh?) and that the broadcaster and your
computer are all set to the same timezone. My computer is set to
TimeZone +1:0 (Europe "CET"), so this all works nicely.

* Teletext then sees that I have a script called "!startup", and it
asks me if I want to run this. Obviously, I click on OK. :-)

* Teletext enters Script Mode. A little window appears on the lower
left to keep me informed as to what the script is doing. Because
the teletext service is inherently slow (especially CNN!), this
can take a while. No worries - I fire up !Zap and do some work on

* Meanwhile, the script does:
If it is a Monday, or I have held down ALT, then the script
will fetch page 303 from MTV. This is "what is on this
week". It's all in German, but, you know, I can read things
like "Donnerstag" and "Avril Lavigne"...
It is smart enough to notice that, for some reason, MTV
broadcasts each frame twice - 303.1 303.1 303.2 303.2 etc.

It'll ask me to select CNBC on my satellite decoder. This is
because all the channels are set to one UHF band - so I have
to change channels by hand.
It'll then fetch both frames of p182 and p183. The second
frame of each is the guest list for Jay Leno and Conan

It'll ask me to select CNN. Then it'll fetch p101 (news
index), p102-110 (news pages), p130 (entertainment index),
p178 (quote-of-the-day), p701 (business index), p463 (local
weather [look for Nantes]) and p470 (three-day forecast for
Paris, on frame 2).
If it's a weekend, it'll fetch p131-140 which are the
entertainment pages, and the "Top 20" in a selected country.

* Quelques minutes apres... Ovation Pro loads, if it wasn't
already loaded, and a nicely formatted set of teletext frames
appears - looking more or less identical to how I'd see them in
the teletext viewer, only without the mosiac characters, and in
Corpus instead of SAA5050 style. Oh, and 'flashing' is shown in

* If I decide I'd like to save a frame, such as the latest theories
on how north-east US blacked out in nine seconds (time to point
Google at comp.risks, I think!), then all of the pages fetched
are right there in the cache file so that can be recalled

Does this sound useful to you? Is this the kind of thing you wished
teletext could do for you? Well, maybe my software can help!

Other things...

* The script interpreter handles floating point numbers. An
example script will fetch Euro / Pound / US $ / Aus $ values
and create a listing, from 5 euro to 100 euro (in 5 euro
increments) giving cross-conversion to the other three
currencies. It's quick, simple, and useful.

* Teletext supports flashing text, resizable viewer...
...all the things you'd expect of useful teletext software!

* There is an optional 'hack' to work around broadcasters who
unwisely (IMHO) use Level2 features that are, by their very
nature, incompatible with Level1. A good example here is the
various index pages on RTL II's teletext service. A lot of
the frame appears as blank white. This is because they set a
white background and then set black text. However black text
is not recognised by Level1 so the text is unaltered (ie, it
remains white!).

* Also available is an UNOFFICIAL 32bit teletext driver. This
was produced by simply removing any flag preservation. Two
extra SWIs have been inserted (details on the download page).
This module APPEARS to work under RISC OS 3.70; and it is
hoped it will work natively on an Iyonix. Let me know if you
use this, how it gets on.
I'll repeat - this is an unofficial modification to the
existing teletext module, so if it screws up, the blame is
entirely mine - and nothing whatsoever to do with Colin

That URL again...

The latest version, v1.53, is not currently available due to a bad
on the floppy disc (funny, it was okay on my RiscPC!). There is not
between it and the previous version. Check back in a week, there may
be an
EVEN LATER version. :-)

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