I wonder how many of today's readers remember the above dial-up screen? If you do that would mean that you, like me, and a few million others, were Little Black Boxers, webbers, webtv'ers! It was our little corner of the world. Oh, that marvelous set top box.
Dial-Up Analogue. Internet TV subscription service. WebTV. The peoples connection. Surf the web using your own television. No computer needed. Just a television tuned to channel 3 or 4 and your phone service.
Back down memory lane.
At it's peak WebTV --Which later became MSN TV-- had a few million customers. I think they had around two or three million subscribers when I joined. If you have that many paying customers, dropping 24 bucks a month per address then you are making money. Somewhere in the neighborhood of $50 - 70 million a month gross. But like all things analogue, it's days were numbered from it's very inception. Digital Satellite Transmission and Fiber-Optic Cabling had arrived, it was only a matter of time before all internet players went digital, along with TV's and Phones and computer data. But while it lasted, it was a connection that those of us who used it cherished.
Things you probably didn't know about WebTV / MSN TV.
Name one thing WebTV had before everybody else. The precursor to what we now call the cloud. Everything, all of its subscribers information and user files, was stored on servers in the ether world. You didn't have to worry about viruses, malware, trojans, or nothing. No computer firewalls needed on the user end. Nada.
Another thing WebTV had before everybody else was "The Personal Page" (Page Builder). This predated Black Planet pages, Myspace pages, Facebook pages and all the other come lately pages. I learned how to use HTML by building my own personal page from scratch. I named my page "The Daily Twirl". I had live webcams and everything, including midi music, on that joker. Ah yes, those were the days
The one thing WebTV administrators did that hurt us webbers was that they agreed to be bought out by Microsoft. From day one their mission was to take what they wanted, patents and things, and remove the tech as a threat. They kept it up and running, for years, but every supposed upgrade they made seemed like a downgrade. When they came out with the X-box people thought they would include WebTV in it, but they didn't. They made it PC friendly and left us out. When they discontinued the News Groups and Message Boards, the writing was on the wall, I, and countless others jettisoned for AOL PC Dial Up, and boards like "Black Voices".
This has been an Armchair Tech Review Flashback.
:::K7SP::: :::WebTvMaster!::: and that is where this signature also comes from. lol