Italian Minitel 1B/Alcatel ADF 258 works as a serial terminal!

Hi everyone!

First of all - sorry for writing in English; my French isn’t that good :slight_smile:

After trying to get a Alcatel ADF 258 to work as a serial terminal for a while, I finally got it to work tonight and wrote an short article on how to wire the adapter (using the PL2303HX) and connect it to a Linux machine that I though might interest you: Minitel

Strangely, this model seems to have trouble displaying characters like _ or @ - which can be fixed by printing out ǎ once … anyways, it can even browse the web with Links/Lynx and play music with cmus, which is pretty cool ^^

Hi Felix and welcome by there …

I was quite curious about Italian terminals since a while but never had a chance to put the hand over one of those. I’ve been very interested by your link Alcatel (last edit 2002 !). From my understanding, there were (mostly ?) 2 kind of terminals and some « exceptions » :

  1. MSX-Like terminals made by Philips
  2. Minitel2-like terminals made by Alcatel as the ADF258
  3. Your link mentions a TTM90 … well, who built this « Alcatel clone » ? Thomson ? Matra ? Other ?
  4. Seen a strange picture of an ADF258T with an integrated phone on eBay.it - really too expansive !

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So far, it seems that ADF258 is functionnaly quite close to the Alcatel Terminatel 257 what can be found in the UK… It would be interesting to get a user manual in order to clarify functionalities.

  • 300 Bds from modem ? from DIN5 ?
  • 8 bits support for V23 ? In Prestel mode ? In Teletel mode ?

In all cases, we never had issues with DIN5 welds on regular Minitels … and I don’t see why you have issues in displaying _ or @ characters.

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I have one unit of the second model.

Nice … who built this ? Any details ?

It mentions Telic Alcatel as the manufacturer on the back :slight_smile:

Sadly I don’t have a user manual available … the unit shipped w/o original packaging etc. I’m not sure why the issue with characters persists, but I’ve just added a tmux shortcut for the fix and … it kind of works :woman_shrugging:

Here are some pictures from the original listing, maybe they can help :woman_shrugging::

Thanks for your pictures … As far as I can guess, this ADF258 from Alcatel is more or less like the Terminatel 257 foundable in the UK, a mix of CEPT2 (French Teletel with DRCS capabilities and probably including 80 columns support) & CEPT3 (UK - Prestel) … shall probably not have support for JPEG photo decoding. Removing the right cover (from the back), might show the presence of an option board.

In the other side, the TTM90 might be a Matra terminal whose capabilities are much more unclear as Matra was not selected to produce Minitel after the M1 (Matra M1b were built with Alcatel main boards) - only the very later M5 (laptop style) was also produced by Matra.