hundreds upon hundreds of tales to tell, all on a 40 × 24 character grid.
March 14, 2012 12:47 PM   Subscribe

Entries for the International Teletext Art Festival are currently being broadcast on teletext pages 525-545 of Finnish broadcaster YLE.

Click the outer arrows to navigate between pages, and the inner arrows to navigate within them.
posted by rollick (9 comments total) 12 users marked this as a favorite
It might look pretty clunky now, but as a teenager who didn't get online until 2005, teletext was a weird lifeline of communication.
posted by rollick at 12:49 PM on March 14, 2012

Teletext is amazing.
A digital standard for information that has been in use since 1974 and is still widely used. 40 years is an eternity in digital standards.
Especially for a technology that fills a similar need to the internet.
I often see people checking it for news. In a strange twist it's available on the internet ( and often checked there as well...

(1974 is the British start date. 1980 in other European countries)
posted by joost de vries at 1:13 PM on March 14, 2012 [2 favorites]

One of the weirdest uses of teletext was for chat rooms. In the narrow era where cell phones started to become common, and internet access wasn't in everyone's home, you could send a SMS to a certain number, and your message would show up on a scrolling teletext page, allowing you to chat with other users.

Of course, since your audience was basically anyone with a TV, it wasn't very private. And messages were heavily moderated - any identifying information, like last names, specific locations or telephone numbers were disallowed.
posted by ymgve at 1:38 PM on March 14, 2012 [1 favorite]

Actually, there's still at least one teletext chat active: RTL4, page 484.
posted by ymgve at 1:47 PM on March 14, 2012

This is pretty similar to ANSI art, but I'm not sure what character encoding teletext uses. posted by ysangkok at 2:15 PM on March 14, 2012 [1 favorite]

This is awesome and I love everything about this.

(except that I didn't read your instructions before clicking the link and then decided to give myself a lesson in Finnish rather than, you know, doing what was obvious)

My favorite, so far:

Deadmedia XIII

(This might be my favorite because it, weirdly, reminds me so much of the only Finnish person I've ever known. Why yes, he did like death metal, why do you ask?)
posted by MCMikeNamara at 2:24 PM on March 14, 2012

THEY STILL HAVE TELETEXT IN FINLAND? I am going there next month. I wonder if there;s time to change our hotel to one with Fastext.

Thanks to reading Digitiser, Megazine and Planet Sound regularly from the age of seven, I read about three times faster than most people.
posted by mippy at 5:13 AM on March 15, 2012

I once had a letter published on Digitiser, and Zombie Dave cussed me out. So proud.

Mr Biffo writes for children's TV shows nowadays.
posted by phl at 7:24 AM on March 16, 2012 [1 favorite]

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