The Null Device

Look Around You

Many years ago, I was playing with Fontographer and created a font named ModeSeven, based on the Teletext character set (and named after the BBC Micro screen mode using the Teletext chipset); it may be found here. A few weeks ago, I received an email from someone at TalkbackThames, a London-based TV production company, informing me that they had used the font on a DVD and asking for an address to send a complimentary copy of the disc in question.

As a consequence, today I received in the mail a copy of the DVD of the BBC Look Around You comedy series. This is a series of 9-minute segments parodying British educational TV programming from the 1970s (right down to vintage calculators used), only wildly inaccurate in a somewhat Pythonesque sense, with plenty of howlers and made-up words used. (For example, dissolving iron with acid creates a substance named "bumcivilian", whose creation removes all sound from the air for some seconds.) Somewhat amusing, though probably more so if you went to a British school in the 1970s. The disc also contains other features, such as an entire set of fake Ceefax (i.e., BBC Teletext) pages with news stories such as the scrapping of the trans-Atlantic British Rail route and the replacement of small-denomination coins with a dust worth a certain number of pence per gram, as well as Look Around You quizzes. (They seem to have used the DVD menu facility to recreate the teletext pages, and done so quite convincingly.)

(Where was my font used? In the optional DVD subtitles, which are designed to look like Teletext captions for the hearing impaired.)

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