August 22nd, 2001 - I've decided to give these old pages a new home. The content is old, but perhaps it is still useful.

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NOTE: Opinions expressed here are mine and mine only. So there.
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Last Update: Friday, August 31, 2001 8:03 PM

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Hello once again, and welcome to my Roots of Non-Evil page. Since all things should not be negative, this page is in response to my Roots of All Evil page which is much less positive than this page will attempt to be.

Below you will find my former Non-Evil, WebTV, which is still very cool, but since Microsoft has apparently purchased the WebTV network, I'm not so sure I like WebTV anymore. So, let's move on to a new Non-Evil.

Allow me to point you in the direction of some very interesting drink products:

All and all, I find my beginning collection of "alternative drink products" to be fairly diverse. There are a few others I'd like to check out, and I invite those interested to explore the links found at the Wet Planet Beverages site, which contains Jolt, Blu Botol, K2O, and two others I haven't found yet. Also worth checking into are some of the contests to win product and promotional items found on these sights. Good luck, and let me know if you find anything else interesting.

WebTV Praise Page!

A WebTV Home Page exists to explain what I am rambling about....

Rarely do I see something so impressive that I have to immediately go out and rave about it on my website. Well, okay, maybe that does happen from time to time, but this one is different. Well, okay, maybe it's not different, but it sure is NEAT...

I found out our local CompUSA had the WebTV unit on display, so I went down to take a look. And what a look it was!

For those of you who don't know, WebTV is a "standard" for delivering the World Wide Web to television sets. The custom hardware involves a 100mhz RISC processor, custom graphics and sound, 33.6 modem, and upgradeable on-board system memory so the software will never be out of date. If you are reading this, you obviously already have some access to the WEB, so why would you be interested in a WebTV box? The same reason I am...maybe.

I have another computer I use and enjoy, and my PC laptop seems to be used for nothing other than e-mail and web surfing. For playing games, I have a game console that blows away anything I've ever seen on a Pentium. With that said, it turns out this $300 WebTV box can surf the web (as well as handling e-mail) FASTER and BETTER than my 486DX4/75mhz laptop which has 20 megs of RAM, Windows 95 and the latest and greatest deluxe version of Netscape.

I played with the WebTV and walked through it's samples. As soon as I clicked on something using the wireless remote control, it dialed into the server. The graphics are beautiful! Once connected, it had some built in sights but I wanted to go see things I was used to seeing and see how well this thing stacked up. After finding out how to display the on-screen keyboard, I was soon on my way.

Side note: The on-screen keyboard is a pain! Try entering a long URL one character at a time. Ugh. However, you can buy a $79 wireless keyboard made just for the unit, or buy a cheap PS/2 PC keyboard and plug that in (which is what I would do).

My site pulled up and looked GREAT! Pictures, links, background images, graphics, all in place! Even my MIDI file played sounding way-better than the ESS688 audio chip in my laptop's CD-ROM drive. Even on a 14" color TV using standard RF hookup, it was mostly readable. I imagine the Super VHS output must be VERY good. I navigated around and all went very well and fast. When a MIDI is playing, and you go to the next site, the song "fades" rather than cutting abruptly. As graphics load in, they "fade" in - really slick. The entire interface is amazing in both looks and ease of use.

Side note: I visited my Virtual Disneyland Main Street site and it was more fluid than on Netscape. I checked out the official Disneyland site with it's large graphics and image maps. Worked GREAT! The WebTV specs claim it supports "most" Netscape and I.E. 3.0 extensions, but I did find a few things it didn't currently like (such as Apple QuickTime VR). Oh well - what it does do it does do well! All the tables, tags, borders, animated GIFs, music, etc., came through fine!

Now, if you already have a PC and aren't on the web, maybe investing in one of these for the whole family to use in the livingroom on the big screen might be a better choice. You subscribe to the WebTV network and get multiple e-mail accounts and unlimited access time. Even better than a desktop PC, the WebTV box can silently dial into the network periodically and check for e-mail, then light up on the front panel to let you know it's time to check! Cool.

I most certainly will be adding one of these to my gadget collection in the near future (I already have a VideoGuide, which is another GREAT TV toy). I think surfing the web from the comfort of my livingroom is going to be much nicer than sitting in front of a PC screen at a desk.

Go check one out. It's way-cool... Pity the network is now owned by one of the two evil empires.

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