Rest In Ceefax.

Seventeen years ago, the Internet never existed. Well, this is not entirely accurate, as the tool was a pretty common item amongst the minority; my brother himself owned a Personal Computer (PC), with a 56k modem internet dial-up, through the now defunct CompuServe. It was the kind of line which disconnected whenever the home phone was lifted off its resting place, and would take three hours to download a five second audio clip, waiting in vain to see if it was not a fake.

Nonetheless, 1995 was an age severely limited to curious computer nerds who - like my brother, grew up around a father who knew his onions when it came to technology. Even to them - much less the billions who remained ignorant to the oncoming biggest game changer since the Industrial Revolution, the super-fast world of global communication; where events of the world arrived in the blink of an eye from the moment they occurred, and everyone under the age of twenty-five takes as a given standard, was a mere pipe-dream.

Everywhere in life, information was out of date by the time they were presented to humanity; newspapers explained the events of yesterday, and news services carried specific minimal time slots on terrestrial television. A breaking news event in 1995 was a serious situation which grabbed your attention by sheer surprise; unlike now, where events as small as David Cameron farting in the Houses Of Parliament, seems to be one of a hundred daily 'breaking news' stories on 24 hour commercial news networks. Back then, if we wanted to know what was going on across Earth, we had to wait - perhaps learning a passive patience, lost on the copy and paste generation of modern society.

However, there was one exception, a service which provided rudimentary but instant information, at the touch of a television remote control button. It was known as Ceefax (Or Teletext; the lesser, somewhat crappy imitator of ITV - with stupid averts in-between pages, trying to sell football phone lines or sex chat.) And today - with the national switch-off of terrestrial television - as Britain converts to a digital life, it has finally been laid to the resting ground it once arrived from; joining the Spectrum ZX81 and the C5, in the land of silicone heaven.

Whenever I was in need of a burst of entertainment, a quick read, or some wacky story of the world, Ceefax never failed to enliven me. There was the quick fire question series of Bamboozle - which were always too pissing hard in my view. The comedy of Turner the Worm, page 303 for the football scores - hoping a number one would suddenly appear next to Barnet - which it hardly ever did. 102 for news, 160 for regional, 600 for the TV Guide, 500 for weather, 200 for the holidays which I could never afford to go on, and a whole army of a world pre-World-Wide-Web. It was, in essence, the forerunner to the internet. Kids today would naturally scoff at such a rudimentary tool, but I always appreciated Ceefax and Teletext. I was never spoiled with music, games, or the world at my fingers - but it taught me that all you need are the basics of a story, then you can figure out the rest yourself; a skill perhaps all lost in the age of an overload of presenting the world to humanity like we are all overgrown, slow learning infants.

So cheap, bog-standard, interactive set-up with the crappy night time music service, which ran as a test-card replacement on BBC One and BBC Two, and used to scare the living shit out of me, I wish you a fond farewell, and thank you for all the entertainment you have provided throughout the immature period of my young life. Truth is, like a lost childhood friend, I haven't bothered to visit you in about ten years, and while I loved you very much, your time has come, and sadly, gone... I never did complete a game of Bamboozle!

Goodbye Ceefax, Rest In Peace.