MSNTV, WebTV, Interactive Television, Set Top Appliance, LBB, Little Black Box, Inexpensive Internet Access, Computer Phobia, Virus Free WWW, Easy To Use 'Net, Table Art, Audioscope Art, Basic HTML, Why Computers Hate Us, Internet For: The Disabled, Elderly, Poor "Just when u think yer life is hard, along comes MSNTV to remind u: it could b WORSE! :)" ~~Rogi

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Saturday, January 27, 2007

TV or PC? 

You're reading http://msntv.blogspot.com

tv or pc?


I'm very lucky. I have access to a WebTV PM+ and several computers,
including a mac powerbook. Our house is wired with DSL (mostly to keep
down the bickering about who gets to be online NOW!).
So, when I get frustrated with trying to surf on an antique browser, I
just reach for a computer, while the WebTV's online, and do what I need
to do.

I believe WebTV, in its current form, can't last much longer. Too many
sites are inaccessible now (I'm the one who can't write my blog from my
lbb & my webbie readers can't post comments, 'tho we can all read the
blog from LBBs).

Here's why we ol' school webbies hang on: community.

Have you ever tried to locate a MSN group? Their "search this site"
loads results that aren't groups! It's frustrating and aggrevating to
look for a topic (in my most recent searches, "Burning Man" & "WebTV")
and get thousands of irrelevent results! I still don't know if they have
any (of hundreds of thousands of groups) WebTV MSN Groups!
The internet is a lonely place. Oh, sure, there are millions of
websites. One day's worth of youtube would take an entire lifetime to

But WebTV had chats. We have, although they're officially "not supported
by MSN anymore" (1 800 GOWEBTV CSR), alt.discuss, what's left of it.
We found each other. We built communities together. We met and got
married in chat rooms. We taught each other html, javascript, php,
dhtml, CSS, Imaps, ming.

Now that many of us have moved on to computers, we've tried to establish
forums, chat groups, etc. But we're scattering to the winds. Old links
don't work. The alt.discuss.memorials.webtv newsgroup is full of grief.
I visit some of the forums. I frequently see posts that say, "I miss my

No, they miss our Family. They miss having people to answer questions,
support our struggles to learn how to optimize our online experiences.
They miss the corny esigs and the bad jokes.

On a computer, I'm completely responsible for everything the appliance
does. If I don't have good antivirus, if there's a sudden power surge or
static charge, if I open the wrong attachment, if I didn't install a
plug in or some soft- or hardware.... I could end up in big trouble.
It's my job to learn all that or pay someone who already knows it to do
it for me. It's lonely and frightening. It all sounds so foreign and

Some of us have real reasons why we won't learn all that and can't pay
someone to do it for us.

One thing I really love about WebTV is that it's accessible. Twenty +
bucks a month isn't chicken feed for some of us. But the appliance was
accessible and replaceable. And we didn't need to be techies. We took it
out of the box, plugged it in, and it walked us through.

We are and were taxi drivers, waitresses, disabled, elderly, janitors...
And we learned to build web pages, even ART web pages. We started
hosting businesses and became webmasters. We began broadcasting our own,
home grown media. The technology was accessible.

That's what those of us who've "moved on" miss about WebTV. WE are the
LBB. We miss ourselves and each other.

WebTV was a singular phenomenon. I don't think anything like it will
happen again, not in my life time, anyway.

I'm proud and humbled to have been here for most of it. I've made
lifetime friends. It's not the appliance; it's the community.

posted by Rogi  # 1/27/2007 10:52:00 AM
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