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Last updated at 1:52 pm UTC on 16 January 2006

What is Squeakidon?

The name "Squeakidon" is a toung-in-cheek tribute to the long departed Canadian teletext system known as Telidon.

Squeakidon is essentially a teletext-like system that is controlled by an X10 MP3 Remote. Basically, what it does is it displays various tidbits of news, weather and whatever on an ordinary television.

How? Well, I use quite a bit of X10 hardware. I purchased the "Entertainment Anywhere" package, which contains a wireless video sender/receiver that allows me to broadcast from the second head of my Matrox G400 to my televison out in my living room. Using the MP3 Remote and my X10 Driver for Squeak I've been able to create a system that mimics the teletext systems of yore.

The Details

Squeakidon consists of two parts: the Squeak-based front-end that displays the data, and the UNIX-based back end that acquires the data.

The front-end is a Morphic application that reproduces a typical text-based teletext system. It is very simple–it simple accesses pages that are provided by the back-end. The pages can be accessed sequentially or directly by the MP3 Remote.

The back-end consists of a series of 'distillers'. The distillers are custom shell scripts (using good old SED and AWK) that access certain web pages and re-format the data for television display. The distillers are run as CRON jobs every hour or so, updating the corresponding Squeakidon pages.

Finally, I've added some MP3 controlling capability to Squeakidon. Under Linux, I've provided the capability to remotely control XMMS from the MP3 Remote. Combined with Squeakidon, you can select playlists and streaming MP3 channels right from your living room television.

For God's Sake, Why???

Well, as strange as it seems, I've always been fascinated with teletext systems. Even though in North America teletext was a colossal failure, I still thought it was a pretty cool concept. My only exposure to the world of teletext was through the various documentaries about Telidon, the Canadian teletext system. I had the pleasure of trying Telidon one day at Science North in Sudbury, Ontario and it made an impression on me.

Teletext strikes me as a concept that was ahead of it's time, a prototype of the web that was to come. Squeakidon is my way of paying homage to that dream. :)

Where's the Code?

Ok, be patient! I'm still hacking out some last-minute additions. If you want it right this minute, email me and I'll be happy to provide it. Right now I don't consider it 'finished' enough to release officially though...but it works quite well!

Contact kgf@golden.net with any complaints/comments.