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Subject : Welcome!
Greetings to all who are now a  member of this
mailing list.  I think I'll start us of by reposting a message that I
recently sent to the alt.internet.appliances newsgroup.  You may or may not
find it interesting. :)

Message Follows:


     I was wondering if anyone out there who may have stumbled upon this
newsgroup uses either the Newcom Webpal or the Daewoo inet.top.box (aka
net.top.box aka set.top.box aka Dbox ... and believe it or not the list of
aliases go on!)  I'd like to know because I own both of these (don't ask)
and have noticed that the perspective companies that produced each of them
seem to be "waning" on their interest in the product.  For example, neither
of the software for each of the boxes support SSL or Javascript. 

     Knowing that each box is based on technology licensed from Teknema
(http://www.teknema.com), and being aware that Teknema just released an
upgrade to their own box that supports SSL & Javascript (as well as various
other bug fixes), it rather irks me that neither of my boxes are being

     Now, this is not the same situation as WebTV, where customers post
hundreds of thousands of messages whining "where's our upgrade" etc etc.
WebTV is still actively support their boxes, and with the it's just a
question of "when," not "if." (They also charge a monthly fee *even* if you
use your own ISP, hence my departure from their service).

     Green Technologies (http://www.greentech.com) released  the net.top.box
(manufactured by Daewoo) in the US about two years ago. Their product
(much to their dismay) is today showing up in mass quantities for auction
on eBay (http://www.ebay.com).  A call to their Customer Support line & an
e-mail to Tech Support both confirmed  that they no longer support the box
and literally want to wash their hands clean of it.  So, sights must be set
all the way to Korea, where Daewoo Electronics releases their own versions
of the software.

     Unfortunately, Daewoo is going through government forced
"restructuring" (referred to as "The Big Deal"), so the techs involved with
improving and releasing the software are more or less fearing for their
future.  Perhaps if we Daewoo  owners (you know who you are, don't be shy)
e-mailed the company and showed  our support for the product, they wouldn't
forget about us like Green Tech has done.

     Now, in terms of the Newcom (http://www.newcominc.com) Webpal, the
jury is still out on future upgrades.  A call to their Tech Support line
reveals that the company *is* still actively supporting the product and
would be releasing future upgrades; however, my e-mail to their support
dept. produced a reply that stated they could not "confirm or deny" if
their software engineers would be releasing any future upgrades.

     SO, I'd say for Daewoo vs. Webpal, the Webpal's chances seem higher. 
One interesting tidbit is that each respective box has a default homepage
that loads when you log on to the internet. While the Daewoo *used* to log
onto Green Technologies home page.  The last upgrade they released
*changed* that homepage to http://www.yahoo.com, meaning (in my opinion)
"go off and explore ....and don't expect any more upgrades!"  The Webpal,
even after it's latest release, *still* takes the user to their default
home page (http://www.nci-web-pal.com).  ; Hopefully, that's a good sign for
Webpal users.

    In the meantime, what can we users do?  I suggest e-mailing whichever
company manufactured your product and letting them know you are still an
active user and would appreciate support/upgrades.

For Daewoo:


Let them know you are a user in the USA and would look forward to any
future NTSC/English upgrades they could offer.

For Newcom:


Let them know you would be most appreciative that they continue to release
software updates as well.

     All in all, though, I'd say that the Teknema Internet Box is the best
bet of the three.  They came up with the technology and still offer support
and upgrades (they just released one last Friday Feb 5, 1999!).  If I could
do it over, I'd have saved my money and bought Teknema instead of the other
two.  But hey, they were a practically a steal.  And now I know why!  It's
not so bad, though, if you are using the current software release for each
of them, you can still do basic e-mail and web browsing.  Just don't expect
to securely buy anything over the internet!

Your e-mail on this topic is most welcomed.

William Woods

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