[Newlug] Replacement suggestions for a WebTV?

Mike Schwartz mschw at athenet.net
Wed Feb 2 16:57:59 UTC 2011


    The Boxee looks interesting, but I don't see that it has a browser
capable of retrieving Hotmail, or any other email support.  However, it does
link to Facebook and Twitter.  I'm not sure how it does that if it doesn't
have a browser built in.

 

Thanks!

 

Mike

 

From: newlug-bounces at newlug.org [mailto:newlug-bounces at newlug.org] On Behalf
Of Brent
Sent: Wednesday, February 02, 2011 10:24 AM
To: newlug at newlug.org
Subject: Re: [Newlug] Replacement suggestions for a WebTV?

 

Have you looked at Boxee box, Roku or a Apple Tv box? I bet one of them
would have  a gmail type app or something similar.

 

-Brent

 

From: newlug-bounces at newlug.org [mailto:newlug-bounces at newlug.org] On Behalf
Of Mike Schwartz
Sent: Wednesday, February 02, 2011 9:46 AM
To: newlug at newlug.org
Subject: Re: [Newlug] Replacement suggestions for a WebTV?

 

     I will look into iPads.  I hadn't thought of that.  However, they both
need large screens, due to poor vision issues.  Even my large laptop screen
was too small for them to work on.

 

     Is there some way to connect the iPad to the large TV screens in their
livingrooms?  I'm not very familiar with iPads.   

 

     They have the WebTV boxes on top of their existing TV sets.  Then they
put the wireless keyboard on TV trays in their living rooms when they work.
I think a keyboard, preferably a wireless keyboard, will be a "must".  Can
the iPad be hooked to a TV (or a large computer monitor) and then operated
from a wireless keyboard?

 

     I don't think there is 3G coverage in their small town in Northern
Wisconsin.  They do have DSL service, and I could install a wi-fi router, if
necessary.

 

Mike

 

From: newlug-bounces at newlug.org [mailto:newlug-bounces at newlug.org] On Behalf
Of Nicholas Paul
Sent: Wednesday, February 02, 2011 9:23 AM
To: newlug at newlug.org
Subject: Re: [Newlug] Replacement suggestions for a WebTV?

 

I would say an iPad would work very well for them. They can connect through
3G and cheek email and eBay without issues. 

I know it's not linux, but the ease of use os amazing. 

 

-nick Paul


On Feb 2, 2011, at 8:24 AM, "Mike Schwartz" <mschw at athenet.net> wrote:

     My mother and uncle have Web TVs:

 

http://www.webtv.com/pc/

 

     These were great little boxes that hook to their TV sets and allowed
them to do web browsing and check their email very easily.  I never had to
worry about them getting a virus or crashing their systems, because the
operating system is in firmware.  There isn't any hard drive or file
storage.  Their email is stored on Microsoft's servers in Hotmail.

 

     Unfortunately, the firmware updates that MSNTV releases haven't kept
pace with the market.  The WEBTVs can no longer browse most shopping sites,
including E-bay, because the built-in browser doesn't meet E-bay's minimum
security requirements.  They can't open most email attachments because their
built-in Adobe Reader, youtube video codec and Powerpoint viewers are too
old.

 

     Both people are in their 80's, but neither one wants to learn how to
operate a PC, and I'm sure both would corrupt their units in no time.  They
live 200 miles away, so if I lost the ability to connect remotely into their
PC's, it would be a long drive for a service call.  

 

    Do any of you have any suggestion for a simple email and web browsing
system?

 

     I haven't seen any pre-built boxes that are good WEBTV replacements.  

 

    I was hoping that there would be a simple Linux distro on a DVD,
something like Knoppix, that would boot directly from the DVD and have a
desktop that is pre-set with just an email icon and a web browsing icon on
it.

 

     It might be an interesting project for one of our meetings to whip up
such an operating CD.  However, There might be too many variables involved,
such as different network cards and video cards on different PC's.

 

    I'd even be willing to purchase a single board "appliance" computer that
had a TV output jack on it and see if we could develop something for elderly
people to use.  Any suggestions along the line of hardware would be
welcomed.

 

Mike Schwartz

 

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