Bextel > Introduction

Introduction


In June 1986 the London Borough of Bexley installed at its Central Reference Library a Private Videotex System (PVS) which was then launched as a public service in August 1986. This superseded the Library's small Prestel database, which had been in existence since 1979; but was then curtailed to a few pages retained for online user registration.

The October 1983 Prestel Directory lists Bexley's online site so:
Bextel - Bexley London Borough... 42014

Local information for Bexley London
Borough. Leisure; Shopping; Newsfile;
Facts & Figures; Borough Services;
Health Authority Services; Public
Utilities; Brief information on screen.
Full enquiry service on mailbox no.




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Bextel.html An interesting document about the service, with a fair amount of detail on how it was provided, and the equipment used.

Unfortunately LB Bexley have nothing left, not even any documentation.
I regret that, as you may not be surprised to hear, there is nothing now remaining pertaining to BexTel. We have checked thoroughly at the Central Library where the system was based, and no documentation exists at all.

The then Reference Librarian, Peter Marshall, was responsible for installation and management of the BexTel PVS at the Central Library in the 1980s. The system used a telephone link to a text database; it was a very early mode of electronic online information service.

The technology was out of date shortly after it was used and has long since been superseded by Internet technology.Peter published an article on VINE to promote it, which can be obtained from Emerald (a commercial publisher of business and management research) online at a cost of £13.00 plus postage and VAT via this link - http://www.emeraldinsight.com/Insight/viewContentItem.do;jsessionid=538DC982DC64D413170C6C57837F223F?contentType=Article&contentId=1668520

I am sorry that we are unable to be of more help.

I think that the article referred to is the same as linked above, which came courtesy of Google!

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0) { $row = mysql_fetch_assoc($result); if ($row['grace'] == 0) { $error_message.=$COM_LANG['not_allowed'] . "
"; } } if ($_REQUEST['disc_name'] == '') { $error_message.=$_REQUEST['r_disc_name'] . "
"; } if ($_REQUEST['disc_body'] == '') { $error_message.=$_REQUEST['r_disc_body'] . "
"; } if ($_REQUEST['disc_email'] != '') { if (!smcom_is_email($_REQUEST['disc_email'])) { $error_message.="Invalid email address" . "
"; } } return $error_message; } function smcom_flood_protection($INPUT) { global $comments_db_link, $COM_CONF, $COM_LANG; $result = mysql_query("select time from {$COM_CONF['dbmaintable']} where ip='{$_SERVER['REMOTE_ADDR']}' AND (UNIX_TIMESTAMP( NOW( ) ) - UNIX_TIMESTAMP( time )) < {$COM_CONF['anti_flood_pause']}", $comments_db_link); if (mysql_num_rows($result)>0) { $error_message="Flood detected"; return $error_message; } $result = mysql_query("select ID from {$COM_CONF['dbmaintable']} where text='{$INPUT['disc_body']}' AND author='{$INPUT['disc_name']}' AND href='{$INPUT['href']}'", $comments_db_link); if (mysql_num_rows($result)>0) { $error_message="Flood detected"; return $error_message; } return ""; } function smcom_spam_check($email, $name, $url, $text, $path_to_page, $ip) { global $COM_CONF, $comments_db_link; if (strlen($text) < 10) return 1; // ROB 2013-02-27 lots of 2 character spam $try = 0; while (!$valid && $try <= 3) { // Initialize and verify API key $akismet = new Akismet($COM_CONF['site_url'], $COM_CONF['akismet_apikey']); $result = $akismet->isKeyValid(); // Possible values: 'valid', 'invalid', 'no connect' if ($result != 'valid') { if (($result == 'invalid')) { // Invalid key return 2; } else { // Could not connect to the Akismet server $try++; } } else { $valid = 1; } } if (!$valid) { return 3; // Could not connect to the Akismet server } // Pass comment info to the class $akismet->setCommentAuthorEmail($email); $akismet->setCommentAuthor($name); $akismet->setCommentAuthorURL($url); $akismet->setCommentContent($text); $akismet->setUserIP($ip); $akismet->setPermalink($COM_CONF['site_url'] . $path_to_page); $akismet->setCommentType('Comment'); $try = 0; while ($try <= 3) { // Check the comment for spam $result = $akismet->isCommentSpam(); // Possible values: 'false' (not spam), 'true' (spam), 'no connect' if ($result != 'false') { if ($result == 'true') { // The comment is spam return 1; } else { // Could not connect to the Akismet server $try++; } } else { return 0; } } return 3; // Could not connect to the Akismet server } function smcom_add() { global $comments_db_link, $COM_CONF, $COM_LANG; foreach ($_REQUEST as $key => $value) { if ($key == 'disc_body') { $comment_text=stripslashes($value); } $_REQUEST[$key] = str_replace('<', '<', $_REQUEST[$key]); $_REQUEST[$key] = str_replace('>', '>', $_REQUEST[$key]); if (get_magic_quotes_gpc()) { $_REQUEST[$key] = stripslashes($_REQUEST[$key]); } $_REQUEST[$key] = mysql_escape_string($_REQUEST[$key]); } $_REQUEST['href'] = str_replace('%2F', '/', $_REQUEST['href']); $_REQUEST['href'] = str_replace('%3F', '?', $_REQUEST['href']); $_REQUEST['href'] = str_replace('%26', '&', $_REQUEST['href']); $_REQUEST['href'] = str_replace('%3D', '=', $_REQUEST['href']); if ($_REQUEST['dont_show_email'] != '') { $dont_show="1"; } else { $dont_show="0"; } $error_message = smcom_check_for_errors(); $error_message .= smcom_flood_protection($_REQUEST); if ($COM_CONF['ckeck_for_spam']) { if (!$error_message) { $spam_check_result = smcom_spam_check($_REQUEST['disc_email'], $_REQUEST['disc_name'], "", $comment_text, $_REQUEST['href'], ""); if ($spam_check_result == 1) { $error_message .= "
Your comment suspected as spam."; mysql_query("INSERT INTO {$COM_CONF['dbjunktable']} VALUES (NULL, NOW(), '{$_REQUEST['href']}', '{$_REQUEST['disc_body']}', '{$_REQUEST['disc_name']}', '{$_REQUEST['disc_email']}', '$dont_show', '{$_SERVER['REMOTE_ADDR']}')", $comments_db_link); if ($COM_CONF['autoban']) { $ip = mysql_escape_string($_SERVER['REMOTE_ADDR']); $result = mysql_query("SELECT ip,grace FROM {$COM_CONF['dbbannedipstable']} WHERE ip='$ip'", $comments_db_link); if (mysql_num_rows($result)>0) { $row = mysql_fetch_assoc($result); $grace = $row['grace'] - 1; if ($grace < 0) { $grace = 0; } $result = mysql_query("UPDATE {$COM_CONF['dbbannedipstable']} SET grace='$grace' WHERE ip='$ip'", $comments_db_link); $error_message .= "
You will not be allowed to post any more comments. If you suspect an error, please contact the website administrator."; } else { $result = mysql_query("INSERT INTO {$COM_CONF['dbbannedipstable']} (ID,ip,grace) VALUES (NULL,'$ip','{$COM_CONF['bangrace']}')", $comments_db_link); } } } if ($spam_check_result == 2) { $error_message .= "
Invalid WordPress API key"; } if ($spam_check_result == 3) { $error_message .= "
Could not connect to the Akismet server"; } } } if ($error_message) { print "The following errors occured:
$error_message

Please get back and try again."; return 0; } mysql_query("INSERT INTO {$COM_CONF['dbmaintable']} VALUES (NULL, NOW(), '{$_REQUEST['href']}', '{$_REQUEST['disc_body']}', '{$_REQUEST['disc_name']}', '{$_REQUEST['disc_email']}', '$dont_show', '{$_SERVER['REMOTE_ADDR']}')", $comments_db_link); if ($_REQUEST['email_me'] != '' && $_REQUEST['disc_email'] != '') { $result = mysql_query("select COUNT(*) from {$COM_CONF['dbemailstable']} where href='{$_REQUEST['href']}' AND email='{$_REQUEST['disc_email']}'", $comments_db_link); list ($count) = mysql_fetch_row($result); if ($count == 0) { $hash=md5($email . $COM_CONF['copy_random_seed']); mysql_query("INSERT INTO {$COM_CONF['dbemailstable']} VALUES (NULL, '{$_REQUEST['disc_email']}', '{$_REQUEST['href']}', '$hash')", $comments_db_link); } } if ($COM_CONF['email_admin']) { smcom_notify_admin($_REQUEST['href'], $_REQUEST['disc_name'], $_REQUEST['disc_email'], $comment_text, "{$_SERVER['REMOTE_ADDR']}, {$_SERVER['HTTP_USER_AGENT']}"); } smcom_notify_users($_REQUEST['href'], $_REQUEST['disc_name'], $_REQUEST['disc_email']); header("HTTP/1.1 302"); header("Location: {$COM_CONF['site_url']}{$_REQUEST['href']}"); print "Click here to get back."; } function smcom_notify_admin($href, $name, $email, $text, $ip) { global $comments_db_link, $COM_CONF, $COM_LANG; $headers = "From: Comments <{$COM_CONF['email_from']}>\r\n"; $text_of_message=" {$COM_LANG['email_new_comment']} {$COM_CONF['site_url']}$href {$COM_LANG['email_from']}: $name <$email> $text $ip "; mail($COM_CONF['email_admin'], "{$COM_LANG['email_new_comment']} $href", $text_of_message, $headers); } function smcom_notify_users($href, $name, $email_from) { global $comments_db_link, $COM_CONF, $COM_LANG; $headers = "From: Comments <{$COM_CONF['email_from']}>\n"; $result=mysql_query("select email, hash from {$COM_CONF['dbemailstable']} where href='$href'", $comments_db_link); while (list($email, $hash) = mysql_fetch_row($result)) { if ($email != $email_from) { $text_of_message=" {$COM_LANG['email_new_comment']} {$COM_CONF['site_url']}$href {$COM_LANG['email_from']}: $name {$COM_LANG['email_to_unsubscribe']} {$COM_CONF['site_url']}{$COM_CONF['script_url']}?action=unsub&page=$href&id=$hash "; mail($email, "{$COM_LANG['email_new_comment']} $href",$text_of_message, $headers); } } } function smcom_unsub() { global $comments_db_link, $COM_CONF, $COM_LANG; $id=mysql_escape_string($_REQUEST['id']); $href=mysql_escape_string($_REQUEST['page']); mysql_query("delete from {$COM_CONF['dbemailstable']} where href='$href' AND hash='$id'", $comments_db_link); if (mysql_affected_rows() > 0) { print "{$COM_LANG['unsubscribed']}"; } else { print "{$COM_LANG['not_unsubscribed']}"; } } function smcom_view() { global $comments_db_link, $COM_CONF, $COM_LANG; $request_uri = mysql_escape_string($_SERVER['REQUEST_URI']); $result = mysql_query("select time, text, author, email, dont_show_email from {$COM_CONF['dbmaintable']} where href='$request_uri' order by time {$COM_CONF['sort_order']}", $comments_db_link); $comments_count=0; $time=$text=$author=$email=$dont_show_email=array(); while (list($time[$comments_count], $text[$comments_count], $author[$comments_count], $email[$comments_count], $dont_show_email[$comments_count])=mysql_fetch_array($result)) { $text[$comments_count] = wordwrap($text[$comments_count], 75, "\n", 1); $time[$comments_count] = smcom_format_date($time[$comments_count]); $comments_count++; } require("{$COM_CONF['full_path']}/templates/{$COM_CONF['template']}.php"); } function smcom_format_date($date) { global $COM_LANG; $year = substr($date, 0, 4); $month = intval(substr($date, 5, 2)) - 1; $day = substr($date, 8, 2); $hour = substr($date, 11, 2); $min = substr($date, 14, 2); return "$day {$COM_LANG['months'][$month]} $year, $hour:$min"; } function smcom_is_email($Addr) { $p = '/^}~+(\.}~+)*'; $p.= '@([-a-z0-9]+\.)+([a-z]{2,3}'; $p.= '|info|arpa|aero|coop|name|museum)$/ix'; return preg_match($p, $Addr); } ?>