Youtube-- SolidarityTV1985
April 19, 2007 6:14 PM   Subscribe

A tale of the Polish resistance, radio astronomers, and the nearly 25 year-old ZX Spectrum computer (youtube; some links open with nice music)(via, previously)
posted by acro (18 comments total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
"That same evening right after 8:00 PM I saw the Solidarity TV logo on my own television screen. I was bursting with pride, but I also felt very uneasy. And with good reason, since around midnight four plainclothesmen and a uniformed policeman knocked on my door."
posted by acro at 6:18 PM on April 19, 2007

okay, but that second link makes my eyes beed...
posted by spish at 6:22 PM on April 19, 2007

The lime green, yellow and turquoise background isn't great, but the music is catchy...
posted by acro at 6:30 PM on April 19, 2007

This is awesome. Thanks.
posted by four panels at 6:32 PM on April 19, 2007

Solidarity in the news
posted by acro at 6:49 PM on April 19, 2007

On Tuesday, prosecutors filed charges against Jaruzelski, 84, for illegally imposing the martial law, which they said was a 'communist crime' punishable by up 10 years in prison.
posted by acro at 6:51 PM on April 19, 2007

I'm a video engineer (well, part of the time) and I don't get how they did that. I understand the frame sync part, but how is their little 7W signal overlaying on the modulated main signal to produce the white graphical overlay?

Well, hopefully this'll get posted to Slashdot soon enough and someone will explain it. Along with 400 comments from pimply post-adolescents stating the stupid and obvious ...
posted by intermod at 6:57 PM on April 19, 2007

I understand something like this was done for the max headrom stunt that was pulled on PBS years ago (weak signal hijacking the stations own broadcast). IANAE
posted by IronLizard at 7:03 PM on April 19, 2007

Wow. Sheesh. Thank you. And wow.
posted by motty at 7:09 PM on April 19, 2007

Maybe I just don't understand electronic engineering all that well, but I'm pretty sure this isn't the same tech as the Max Headroom stunt. This appears to be exploiting the specific refresh rates of the television, whereas the Max Headroom incident was a video camera or VCR attached to a microwave transmitter that overpowered WGN's official signal and used WGN equipment to rebroadcast.
posted by Pope Guilty at 7:37 PM on April 19, 2007

Along with 400 comments from pimply post-adolescents stating the stupid and obvious ...

Not a one of which will know who this "Solidarity" person is...
posted by Pope Guilty at 7:37 PM on April 19, 2007

Great story. Don't mess with radio astronomers. YEAH!
posted by gergtreble at 8:19 PM on April 19, 2007


From Arco's link:
'I fought for a democratic state, a state that can come to terms with its past but is not bent on score-settling,' Walesa said in an interview for Italian daily Corriere della Sera.
Perhaps one day we'll be forunate to have a man like that President of our own country.
posted by maxwelton at 8:41 PM on April 19, 2007

My reading of the first link is that they built the equivalent of a gen-lock that was synced to the broadcast frames. By disrupting the broadcast for fractions of a frame, a simple image can be overlayed over the signal.
I imagine this would be fairly difficult to trace, I wonder how they got caught. On the other hand, the list of suspects would probably be fairly small.
posted by AndrewStephens at 8:59 PM on April 19, 2007

Wait a minute. You're telling me the revolution was televised?
posted by dhartung at 9:01 PM on April 19, 2007

Yeah, but they never even made it to the end of the first season.
posted by nebulawindphone at 6:26 AM on April 20, 2007

Macej Ceglowski is one of a select few men who will forever spark fires in this man's loins.
posted by blasdelf at 7:28 AM on April 20, 2007

Oooh, that's clever. That's very clever.

I think what they're doing is emitting tiny pulses of interference at exactly the right times to build up crude text overlaid on the main TV image. It doesn't take very much power - you're not creating a whole TV picture, just a tiny fraction of one - and you don't have to overwhelm the picture to change it. And if you're transmitting much close to the receivers than the main transmitter is, you can get away with watts when the main transmitter is blasting out hundreds of kilowatts. If you've watched analogue TV somewhere in a poor signal area, you'll know that light switches, thermostats, badly suppressed car engines and lots of other things can put patterns of snow over what you're watching; this is the same idea, but with the snow precisely timed. Veh cool indeed, and I want to steal it.

Much harder to do now. You can still put static on a digital signal, but that'll nuke the checksum and the receiver will just throw away the whole frame - or quietly fix the bad data in some way. Static is dying, and with it a whole level of our interface with the unseen world.
posted by Devonian at 9:14 AM on April 20, 2007 [2 favorites]

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