NFN Helpteam
Guide to User Problems
This guide collects answers developed by helpteam members to many NFN user questions.
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WebTV  
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Query: How does an NFN User set up WebTV? Can they use NFN?

The key item here is that the user already has webtv hooked up and is using
webtv's own browser, paying $24.95 month. 

My experience with a typical elderly  user was:

He hadn't read the Webtv instruction manual ("too thick, too much to go
through") He didn't know what some of the keys on the keyboard were for. He knew how to get to the homepage (there's a key that says home, hit it and it takes you to Webtv's homepage. 

I quickly scanned the instruction manual and found exactly what I was looking for, all in very straightforward terms.  WebTv is geared to the unsophisticated user. On the screen they clearly state you can use another browser, has to be both ppp and pap compliant, which NFN is.  And a setup screen has only a few blanks to change:  telephone number of browser, user id and password. Simple (for us).

So, in addition to just changing the 3 settings, the user asked me about a site he was trying to get on webtv and he couldn't.  Turns out he was using webtv's Search that shows up on Webtv's homepage to enter a url, so all he got were related terms.  (Incidentally, their search results do not show urls, just links) I gave him verbal instructions as he worked the keyboard.

There is a key called OPTIONS on the keyboard.  This key opens up a popup window with more "buttons" to press.  "GO TO" is one of them.  This is the equivalent of the Address Location in a browser.  But this popup window closes each time, so everytime you want a new location, you need to hit OPTIONS, unless you were accessing a favorite bookmarked.  Once I had the user type in the url in this window, he was able to find his hometown newspaper. (what else!)

WebTV also allows you to save your favorites--have to go through the OPTIONS.  Once you do, easy for the elderly to get to them again from the homepage.

There are differences in how pages appear on WebTV.  I found navigation frames that I new were on lefthand margins were on the top of the screen in webtv. So a disadvantage is that pages on webtv may not appear identical in format as they do on computer browsers.

The biggest thing is that people are led to believing what you see on the homepage is all you have to work with.  Webtv is rather a clever marketing product.  You can have email also and it allows you to bring in email from more than one email address.  So settings for email also need to be changed. Very straightforward.  Pop3, usual fill-ins from our Dial-up Networking instructions.

 DISADVANTAGE:  It doesn't allow you to change # dialup tries.  You can put same phone number in primary and secondary.  It will try each twice.  Then a popup window tells you to try again, so you have to click and retry, but only 4 tries.  And then you have to click again.  So you have to be there all the time until you connect.  This is probably a SIGNIFICANT REASON FOR PEOPLE NOT TO USE NFN with WebTV.

We should stress this to any potential users.

That's it.  Hope this helps anyone who gets a question and hasn't seen webtv.

Mary Ann

 

 ADDITIONAL THOUGHTS:

An option I highly recommend is to turn on the modem's speaker (off by  default, that helps the user know the connection is busy instead of waiting on the timed out screen. (It's in the manual)

Also there is a Goto button on the keyboard already, you don't need to bring up the options screen to get to it (it may be called "goto","url" or "goto url" although I beleive it is goto from experience."

If you would like me to help with writing a WebTV connection FAQ list, I would be most pleased to bring documentation to other platforms (than Win or Mac, which are allready covered) BTW, as soon as the I get my new computer at the beginning of next month, I will be writing a Linux Connection FAQ (First for the RedHat version, being the easiest one to configure, then other versions) The WebTV FAQ would also explain things like what the special keys do (only the important ones like goto, and mail), how to change your homepage and search from the WebTV excite.

Also, WebTV gives to website developers a "WebTV simulator" for Windows 95/98. It allows one without a WebTV box to design webpages that will look properly on a WebTV (It opens a window that looks just like a WebTV display) if you would like this, I can send it via email to you (it is under 1mb)

Let me know how I can assist you, either saturn@naples.net or 774-1534

 

 




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