Tuesday, March 20, 2007

TeleText is keeping me busy

It's been 13 days since my last post... way too long, I know. The only excuse I have is that I spent some time on an online application that can create TeleText pages. Although this is an old technology (the first specs date back to 1974), it is still being used in a lot of European countries, including my home country, Belgium.

A non-profit organization I do some volunteer IT work for is providing daily TeleText pages to the one of the national TV broadcast companies. The pages are produced with a very old, DOS-based editor. Lately this editor has caused issues, as it does not seem to work properly on the new PCs they were recently installed. Obviously, the application is no longer supported.

I felt compelled to create a more modern, online editor, but to my surprise, it was difficult to find a lot of technical information about TeleText on the internet. This is probably related to the fact that TeleText started long before there was an internet, so many documents probably exist, but only in paper format. Some of these are available online, but only for paying customers or only after you register. It feels awkward and, frankly, "last-century" behavior to keep technical specifications of an open standard hidden from the world, but it probably is an indication how much we take the internet, and information on it, for granted these days.

So I've been moving more slowly than I anticipated. Stay tuned for updates on this. And yes, I will submit another Office 2007 post this week. Promised!

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