Use ESP32 to bring Minitel terminal back to life | Hacker Day

2021-12-13 19:40:28 By : Ms. Eva Wen

Most of us who are old enough may experience online services for the first time sometime in the 1990s, whether through Compuserve or the like or through an ISP. For our French readers, the online experience will appear earlier, because the forward-looking telecommunications environment has resulted in every family in the country getting a viewdata terminal. The so-called Minitel system was a huge success and was not finally closed until 2012. Many terminals survived and laid a good foundation for the project, [Louis H] adopted and enhanced one of them to use ESP32.

One of the special features of this project is that, unlike many other Minitel conversions, it does not involve tearing the terminal itself. Instead, the PCB plugs into the socket on the back of the device and simulates the line that the terminal talks to. It can then be used as an SSH terminal on WiFi, or as a serial terminal on the ESP32 itself, for example to run MicroPython firmware. If you can use the French AZERTY keyboard, there is no easier way to drag the viewdata terminal into the 2020s, as you can see in the video below the interruption.

Chez Hackaday, we love these nostalgic gems from the 1980s. In fact, we like this classic French public network so much that we have recommended it many times. For example, here is a similar project using Arduino.

I would love to mess up a minitel. This is such an interesting appearance. QWERTY is so rare, it's really too bad.

If you are looking for them, the Dutch Videotex/Viditel unit is QWERTY. Quite a lot of people are playing football (get a box...)

In the 1970s, I thought that today's digital TVs could use some appearances. Much better than the current advertising sub-channel.

Thank you for finding a way to update the classic package without breaking it.

I have a minitel 1B (the one with a color display and a "high resolution" screen) in my attic. As early as the early 90s, I used my hacker HP28S calculator as Minitel's VideoTex page recorder/player (and then billed by the second, and it's not cheap).

I work in the city that invented it, and work in the company that invented it :)

Please note that due to DIN6 instead of DIN5, us-videotel is not directly compatible with this far there has been no investigation on the wiring and usage.

Interestingly, I don't know these DIN6 connectors. But I want to know how can you say that it is not compatible if there is no investigation. In the worst case, a small adapter may do the job ;) If anyone has information on this, please provide it! !

The DIN6 on these items was discovered "recently" because they are hardly found in Europe. Generally speaking, your (very good, well-received but not yet tested) hack is 100% safe on the French terminal (99.999% of the total production, well-documented), but we (yet) have nothing about rare foreign countries Minitel's clues.

I created a small Minitel server written in Python. This server is used in conjunction with Asterisk telephone server and soft modem module.

Through ATA (Analog Phone Adapter), you can use the internal Minitel modem to connect to this server.

The source code can be found on my GitHub:

Yes, at least the homepage. I have already had a small chat at 3615 ULLA;)

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