Lektrogirl's Mac Cheaters Guide.

Yes - like you, I own a Mac. It is a tangerine IMac running OS9.2 that I bought in 1999. Basically all it can manage now is to send email, but even then if the attachment is too large it will crash. Last year I switched to a PC laptop - the freeware is great. Lucky for me, as all teletext editors are PC software only. We tried to find something for Mac lovers and the teletext world for you guys is a very dry one. As an alternative, Paul and I have come up with a kind of solution for Mac users who want to contribute to the Microtel project. Below you will find instructions on how to emulate a Cebra text teletext file using the image editor of your choice. Then, while Paul and I are in Rotterdam at the station, when we find the time we will have a go at "data entry" - pixel by pixel - and re-create the design using Cebra text. Ultimately Paul and I are very lazy people. There is a greater chance of us selecting your emulated piece for conversion if it is a simple design. So let's have a go:

The first thing to mention is wherever I include two images that look similar, one is the teletext file as if we were working on it in Cebra text. It will have all the grey "programming blocks." The other file without the "programming blocks" is how the file will appear on the television.

Okay, so the image on the left - with the "programming blocks" visible, is a text only file that counts out the "pixels" of a Cebra text file. It is really important to get clear in your mind the difference between what I refer to as A BLOCK and what I refer to as A PIXEL.
1 block = 6 pixels, portrait shaped.
1 block = one letter, punctuation mark or space.
1 block = space to insert 1 "programming block."

The other important thing to remember at all times when emulating teletext - THERE ARE ONLY 8 COLOURS! All the available colours are in the images above. White, Yellow, Cyan, Green, Blue, Magenta, Red and Black. No half tones, no transparencies. That's it.

I'm sorry that these images repeat some info from the last images - but if you are going to emulate a Cebra text file, you really have to get the idea straight that changing an action within a row will "cost" you one space.
[N.B. All teletext flashing is SIMULATION only created with an animated .gif. Exact flash times when broadcast are not known at this point.]

As I said previously, the more simple your design, the greater the chances that Big Pabs and I will convert it to teletext. However, on the left, you can see a breakdown of the different "pixel" combinations that make up each "block" that can be entered with the computer keyboard. As you can imagine, a really detailed block by block, pixel by pixel transcription of a design would be a real a-hole. But maybe you can come up with a cool concept like sending us a story, that we can type into Cebra text with all the programming blocks as text so we can read what we are doing. Then we can change all the text blocks to graphic blocks and your story will appear as secret code!

Cebra text does has a "draw a block/circle", "draw an outline of a block/circle" and "draw a line" option. There is no "freehand drawing pen tool" or "fill bucket" tool. Every mark in a Cebra text file is literally pixel by pixel.

Teletext is designed for sending text based information afterall. Apparently, when there is a lot of graphic information in files, they take longer to load and slow the whole teletext system down for viewers.
E v e n s l o w e r . . .

So check out what cool text features there are, and also how to create different background colours. You can use any mono spaced font you want, although the font we can use in Cebra text is the one you can see above.

Okay - so what next from here? We got two choices.

1] You can send us a 79 x 68 "pixel" bitmap and we will import the bitmap in the way I have explained in my Dummy Guide for importing bitmaps. However, even if your document is the exact number of pixels, Cebra text never import things 100% accurately. It does a pretty good job but a few pixels will be out. It does not import colours, just the shape. We need to add the colour "programming blocks" later. Make sure you leave space in your design for them. And it does not import text, just graphics.

For example, if you send us an image like this:

We can make it into a page like the one on the right very very easily.

2] Try emulating a Cebra text file that you would like us to data entry "block" by "block". You can send these two us in any format or any size BUT REMEMBER TO KEEP EVERYTHING WITHIN THE GRID. We will have a go at making into a teletext file - however no promises. We will do our best to recreate your work using Cebra text, but for some technical reason or other, we might have to make some slight changes. And if we don't manage to create your file in Cebra text, the Mac emulations will make a great collection on their own anyway and can still be included in the Microtel galleries and are a valid part of this project.

GOOD LUCK!! And dudes, next time Lektrolab promises that next time we get to work on a project this cool Mac and PC's will be able to work together - like ebony and ivory... that sit together in perfect harmony side by side on my piano keyboard... [thanks Michael Jackson and Paul McCartney for that point of reference in the incredible track "Ebony and Ivory" that came out decade before last.]

SEND SUBMISSIONS HERE vbi_microtel@lektrolab.com