Making old data visible, easily!!
Many years ago I was heavily involved in the viewdata industry - working for Micronet 800 and then producing software for other Prestel ISPs, running my own viewdata BBS, etc. I therefore accumulated rather a lot of viewdata pages, and managed to recover these from an old backup a few years ago.
As part of a separate project, Vewdata.org.uk I wanted to display these images. As they were saved using a BBC Micro, I loaded them up in a BBC Micro Emulator, under Windows, took a screen capture, pasted that into Photo Editor, cropped it, saved it out as a GIF, and finally uploaded it to the web server. I then had to add the image to whichever gallery it belonged in. As you can guess, this is fairly labour intensive, and gave rather variable results.
Being a firm believer in "let the computer" do the work, I started this side project to condense all this into as little work as possible. What I wanted to acheive was to reduce the steps to: 1. Upload original saved screen file to the web server. 2. End.
I think this has now achieved this, and more so! There are currently two scripts in the suite - vl.php (viewdata lister) will scan a given directory and construct a web page bsaed on the files it finds. vv.php is used as an image source for each file, and this reads the files and constructs a PNG or animated GIF, as appropriate, and returns it to the client.
As a side-benefit of having the original save file available, it's also possible to provide a text-only version of the frames! I hope this will make things more search-engine friendly.
You can find the files here.
At the time of writing, you can find a sample page here that shows the results that can be acheived for a random selection of pages from Prestel, Teletext and some LAN based services.
Please add any comments or suggestions below.