Date: Mon, May 25, 1998 From: email@example.com (Previews Team) To: firstname.lastname@example.org Subject: Welcome to the Blue Previews group Sender: email@example.com Reply to: firstname.lastname@example.org Dear New Previewers, Welcome to the WebTV Previews Program! You have been added to our Blue Previewing group since you contacted us within the past few months and expressed interest in the program. The Previews Program is a very important one. Our Previewers test new features and services before they are released to WebTV's subscriber base at large in order to ensure that they are as bug-free and as user-friendly as possible. As you test the new features we release, we ask that you provide us with feedback on these features--what works, what doesn't, what's confusing, etc. This feedback allows us to work with our engineers to create a high-quality upgrade. Within the next few days, we'll be sending you an email message that discusses in detail how the Previews program works, what your responsibilities as Previewers are, and what our responsibilities as your WebTV contacts are. When you receive this message, please read it carefully and completely. In the meantime, I encourage you to visit the Blue home page, where you'll find information on the features you're testing and the Previews program in general. You will also find a link to our Problem Report form, which we use to gather feedback from you. Please do not submit feedback to the Previews Department via email. The name and password you will need to access the Blue home page are blue and moon, respectively. We also encourage you to participate in the Blue newsgroup, a forum for all Blue Previewers where you can share opinions, ask for help, and compare experiences. Previewers using both WebTV Classic units and WebTV Plus units participate in this group, so not all information will necessarily apply to what you are testing. Please note that before we admitted you to the Previews Program, we asked you to sign an NDA, or Non-Disclosure Agreement. This agreement states that you will not demonstrate, mention, or discuss the features you are testing with anyone outside of the Blue group. This includes friends, coworkers, other WebTV users, and PC users. You may not post information about these new features to any newsgroup other than the Blue group or email non-Blue users about these features. Violation of your NDA is grounds for dismissal from the program. We look forward to working with you, and we think you'll enjoy participating in this program. If, at any time and for any reason, you decide you no longer wish to be a Previewer, simply contact us and we'll be happy to remove you. Happy testing! Sincerely, The Previews Team
BLUE HOMEPAGE: PLUS BOX NEW FEATURES
New Features Area (last update 5/28/98) TV World new features TV Listings TV Program Searching TV Favorites TV Planner VCR TV Sites Recent TV Channels TV Window Satellite Web World new features Videoflash/Spot Ads Cut/Copy/Paste Home page changes: Around Town and Custom Information Background Music Remote Mail Access Email Extras Ignore Command Enhanced IRC Chat TV Listings
You can now view TV Listings up to seven days in advance instead of just one day. It is now optional to remain tuned to a current channel while browsing TV Listings. To activate this options, go to TV Listings and click the checkbox to remain on the current channel. TV Program Searching TV Program search lets you easily find programs of interest. You can search by program title or category of program. Select TV listings and then choose the By Program or category link to search for your favorite programs. To search for a program by title, type all or part of the program's title or a description and then select Search. TV Favorites As you can see, TV Favorites is now a clickable link at the bottom of TV Home. The new TV Favorites format includes a scrolling list of selectable channels to which you can tune and display full-screen viewing. A button on the bottom of this panel toggles between Save Favorite and Remove Favorite. TV Planner The TV Planner lists reminders and scheduled recordings of TV Programs. To schedule a reminder or recording, choose a program in TV Listings that hasn't started yet. Then choose Record or Remind. The reminder displays one minute before the program airs. An appropriate message is composed and presented in an on-screen scrolling marquee in both TV Home and Web Home. VCR To set up your VCR, choose Settings from the TV home page and choose External Devices. You must connect an IR Blaster to the ir out jack on the back of your Plus unit and affix the emitter directly over the remote sensor on the VCR. Once you have set up your VCR, select VCR from the bottom of the TV Home page to display the VCR controller screen. With an IR Blaster connected, you can control your VCR. The VCR controller contains all the buttons needed to control your VCR. TV Sites Recent TV Crossover Links that display during programs are stored by title, URL, and date saved, and are accessible during and after a program by selecting TV Sites from the bottom of the TV Home page. This list will remain active between power cycles. To access recent crossover links, go to TV Sites choose the crossover link you wish to view. Recent TV Channels This feature displays a screen of your six most-recent viewed television programs. When you are in TV Home, press the recent button on the remote control or keyboard to display the six most-recent viewed television programs. TV Window The TV Window can still be enabled by choosing Options and then TV Window. It has been redesigned so that it does not block any content. To view the bottom of a page, use the scroll up/down buttons and you will be able to see all the content on that page. Satellite With Satellite compatibility, we are adding support for a variety of satellite dish maufacturers. To set up your satellite, choose settings from the TV Home page and choose External Devices. Follow the instructions for setting up your IR Blaster with your satellite. Videoflash/Spot Ads WebTV is also putting its VideoFlash Technology to use. During the connection process Plus viewers will see short video clips. The clips will not interfere with or delay the connection process. The green status bar will still be visible throughout. WebTV also will be including spot advertisements while a requested page is being loaded. Again, the load process will not be delayed for the advertisement. These will have a blue screen background. The status bar will be present throughout the loading process. Cut/Copy/Paste This feature will allow you to edit email messages and personal web pages and to copy text from one place to another. Basics While you can copy text from anywhere, you can only cut and paste in areas that allow text input--that is, email messages you write, your web page (if you have one), and pages with text input areas, such as registration forms and surveys. You can only use the keyboard to cut, copy, and paste text; you cannot use the remote to perform these functions. There are two ways of selecting the text you want to edit (cut, copy, or paste). If you want to select all of the text in a document, press and hold the Command (CMD) key and then press A. CMD-A will highlight all of the text in a document, ignoring images, icons, and other non-text data. You can also choose text to edit by using the Find function in Options. To do this, find the point in the document at which you want to start editing text, then make a note of either the first or last word in that text phrase. Hit the Options key and choose Find, then type in the word you noted. For example, if you wanted to copy the sentence, "Welcome to the Yellow Previewing Group," you'd hit Options, choose Find, and type in either "welcome" or "group" (without the quotes). The cursor will then move to the word you have chosen. Once you've selected the point at which you want to start editing text, you can then highlight as much text as you'd like. To highlight text, use the Shift key and an arrow key. Shift and the up or down arrow will highlight text one line at a time; Shift and the left or right arrow will highlight text one character at a time. To copy text, highlight the portion you want, press and hold the Command (CMD) key, and then press C. To cut text, highlight the portion you want, press and hold the Command (CMD) key, and then press X. To paste text, move the cursor to the point at which you want to insert the text, press and hold the Command (CMD) key, and then press V. You can delete portions of text from an email message you're writing or a web page you're editing by selecting the text and hitting the Delete key on the keyboard. We encourage you to use this feature as often as possible and to give us your feedback. Please submit any positive comments to the Yellow Newsgroup; please use the online Problem Submission form for problems and negative feedback. In addition, we will be creating a survey on Cut/Copy/Paste for you to complete. When this survey is ready next week, you'll be able to find it as a link off your previewing web site. Home page changes: Around Town and Custom Information 1. Around Town has been moved off of the Home Page. It can still be found under 'Community' which is on the Home Page sidebar. You will be able to access all of Around Town's features from this link. 2. There is a new section across the bottom of the Home Page, which allows you to choose customized information to be viewed on the Home Page. You can choose a variety of combinations in the following categories: news, sports, stocks, and weather. Click on the Custom Information bar on the home page to choose the kinds of info you're interested in. Background Music WebTV has added more than eighty new midi selections for background music. New categories include: Funk, Jazz, Pop, More Techno, Classical- Bach, Ragtime, and Keyboards. Check them out by going to Setup on the home page and choosing Music. Remote Mail Access You can now access remote mail accounts (ISP mail accounts) from your WebTV unit and read your mail from that account. To activate this feature, go to Mail, choose Settings, and then choose Remote. You will then need to enter your login and password that you have set up with your other email provider. You will also need the name of the POP3 server that processes your mail. If you do not know the name of the server, you will need to contact your other email provider. Once the remote feature is enabled, you will see a new option on the mail sidebar labeled Fetch. Hitting the Fetch button will signal the WebTV to go and check for mail on the other email account. You can also specify whether you want the email to remain on the remote server, or have it downloaded to your WebTV mail account. Note: You can access Hotmail from your WebTV, but they issue you a yearly charge. Please contact them for further information. Email Extras There's a new category under Settings in Mail called Extras. Extras allows you to choose to add a CC line to email messages, to attach the message you're responding to when you write a Reply, and to create storage folders for your Saved, Sent and Deleted mail. When you do select storage from the sidebar, your storage will be in the folder format seen currently in Favorites. The Clean Up feature in email now lists the email size as a percentage of available storage space rather than its actual size in bytes. Your WebTV Plus can now record sounds and take 'snapshots' or freeze video images. The 'Photo' feature is designed to freeze an image and convert that image into a jpeg attachment that can be sent via email. The Photo feature can take images from either the television or an external device such as a camcorder or VCR hooked in through the A/V inputs on the back of the WebTV Plus. To use the Photo feature, select 'Write' from the Mail List page. When the Write a Message screen appears, 'Photo' will be an option on the sidebar, choose it. You then have the ability to freeze the action on screen at the touch of a button. If you do not like the shot you took, you can try again as much as you like until you get the shot you want. When you have decided on a shot, choose attach to append it to your email. You can write your message before or after obtaining your snapshot. You can also remove the attachment at any time before actually sending the email. The 'Recording' feature is also accessed by selecting 'Write' from the Mail List page. The Recording feature can only sample from the audio inputs on the back of the WebTV Plus. Any source with an audio feed will work. You can sample roughly 20 seconds of audio. To do so, select 'Recording' from the sidebar of the Write a Message screen. To record choose 'Record' from the pop-up window. When you want to stop simply hit the 'Stop' button. You can then play back the recording and if satisfied attach it to your email. If you are unhappy with your sampled recording, simply hit 'Record' again and repeat the process until you have what you want. Ignore Command The "Ignore Command" is for use in IRC Chat sites such as Talk City. This command will allow you or any other user to "block out" a specific chat participant comments. Other users will be able to see this user's comments. Using This Feature. While in a Chat Session, select the user you wish to block out and type "/ignore" and the username of who you want ot block out. Example: /ignore baduser. Enhanced Chat Capabilities Before this the last update, WebTV Chat Users would often experience freezing as they chat. Our engineers have fixed this problem. We would like everyone to chat away to test this fix. If you run into any freezing, please report this through the Problem Report from right away.
BLUE HOME PAGE JUNE 98WebTV Previews: Blue Home Page Last Updated 6/05/98, 3:30 p.m. PST Blue Plus Previewers, welcome home. We have two new important surveys for you to complete. They are both about the new changes you have seen in email. The first survey asks you questions about photo and recording in email. The second survey asks you about the changes with the storage in email. Please complete these surveys as soon as possible as your feedback is integral in the development of these features. TV/VCR bug If your VCR is configured to come in via a VHF channel and you do not have a cable box or satellite box configured, when you go to the VCR controller page and return, the TV channel will not be properly restored. The workaround is to just hit channel up followed by channel down. We have a Focus Question for you. Some of you have been having problems when recording with your VCRs. It seems as though when you are recording on one channel, you are unable to watch television on any other channel. For example, if you are recording on channel 4, you can only watch channel 4 and all other channels appear fuzzy or snowy. If you are having this problem, please answer the following questions in a problem report form: IMPORTANT - this is independent of your WebTV. Please turn off your WebTV for this test and only use your VCR. 1. What is the make and model of your VCR? 2. When powering on your VCR (with your VCR remote or on your actual VCR), does it go into TV Mode or VCR Mode? There is usually some kind of indication on your VCR that tells you which mode you are in. 3. If you are playing a tape and you press the TV/VCR mode button on your VCR, does it change modes or stay frozen on whichever mode it was on? 4. If your VCR is recording and you press the TV/VCR mode button on your VCR, will it change modes or stay frozen on whichever mode it was on? Again, if you are experiencing this problem, please submit a problem report with these answers. Thanks for all your help. Survey Available On the sidebar of this page, you'll see a link to a survey. We've developed this survey to help us determine what kind of users make up our Previews groups and to see how similar or different you are from WebTV users as a whole. Please take a few moments to fill out this survey as soon as possible, as your answers are very important to us. Thanks for your cooperation. What's New? We have released a new service to everybody in the Blue Group. Please take a look at the New Features page to find out about this service. If there are any problems, use the Problem Report Form to notify us. As you may have noticed if you've been visiting the Blue newsgroup, this group now contains both Classic users and Plus users. We combined the two since you will eventually be testing many of the same features. What's Going On With the Previews Department? As you may recall the Previews Department has undergone some changes. We're still here, we're still human, and we're still looking out for you. What's different is the way in which we gather feedback from you. In order to make the Previewing process more streamlined and more effective, we ask that you no longer call us or email Previews to submit feedback. Instead, please use the online Problem Report form, which you'll find a link to on the sidebar of this page. When filling out the Problem Report form, please be sure to include as much detailed information as possible. This will allow us to troubleshoot more accurately and to provide our engineers with more specific data. Although the Previews Team may seem to be more hands-off now than we were before, we'll still be watching over every phase of your trial: we will post to the newsgroup, will read and take care of your Problem Reports, and will update the Blue home page on a regular basis. We're behind you every step of the way! Sincerely, The Previews Team BLUE PREVIEWS HOME PAGE JUNE 9 '98
WebTV Previews Blue Home Page Last Updated 06/09/98, 1:00 p.m. PST Blue Classic Previewers, welcome home. New Build Available You should have been offered an upgrade the last time you logged on. Please note that this upgrade (Build #1218) does not contain any new features. It contains a few bug fixes and some minor modifications to the software you're testing. These changes will not be visible to you; they are behind-the-scenes technical fixes that have been made to ensure that the software runs smoothly. For a more detailed explanation of builds, check out What's With These New Builds? below. If you have not already done so, please accept this upgrade the next time you log on. This will ensure that you're testing the most up-to-date version of your software. If you received an email with the Subject line "WebTV Fall Upgrade" after you accepted this upgrade, please disregard it. This message was sent in error and is not relevant to what you're testing. Sorry for any confusion. Survey Available We have an important new survey for you to complete. We would like your feedback on the changes with the storage in email. Please complete this survey as soon as possible as your feedback is integral in the development of these features. Don't forget On the sidebar of this page, you'll see a link to a survey. We've developed this survey to help us determine what kind of users make up our Previews groups and to see how similar or different you are from WebTV users as a whole. Please take a few moments to fill out this survey as soon as possible, as your answers are very important to us. Thanks for your cooperation. New Features To Test With the latest version of the release you're testing, we've added several new features. You can find information and instructions on these features on the New Features page. Please begin testing these features as soon as possible. Remember to submit your feedback via the Problem Report form. What's With These New Builds? As you may have noticed, things change pretty quickly around here. We're constantly upgrading our service, fixing bugs, and working to improve our features. The Previews process involves testing the changes we make, determining if they've accomplished what they're supposed to, and making more changes accordingly. Each time we make a batch of changes, we create what's referred to as a new build. That's a tech-speak way of saying that we've revised the software you're testing. These revisions generally don't contain new features; rather, they're made up of bug fixes and slight modifications to the features you already have. When we release a new build, we offer it to you as an upgrade. This may cause some confusion, since upgrades tend to suggest new features. Two rules of thumb here: first, please be aware that unless we specifically inform you that an upgrade will contain features above and beyond those you're already testing, the upgrade will contain only bug fixes and modifications. Second, please accept any new build that is offered to you. Doing so will ensure that you're testing the most current version of the software and that your feedback will be as accurate as possible. Again, whenever you see an upgrade offered to you, please accept it. What's New? Our latest software release has several new and exciting features, including Cut/Copy/Paste and a new IRC chat command. For information on these features, as well as instructions on how to use them, check out the New Features page. What's Going On With the Previews Department? As you may recall from the email we sent out a while back, the Previews Department has undergone some changes. We're still here, we're still human, and we're still looking out for you. What's different is the way in which we gather feedback from you. In order to make the Previewing process more streamlined and more effective, we ask that you no longer call us or email Previews to submit feedback. Instead, please use the online Problem Report form, which you'll find a link to on the sidebar of this page. When filling out the Problem Report form, please be sure to include as much detailed information as possible. This will allow us to troubleshoot more accurately and to provide our engineers with more specific data. Although the Previews Team may seem to be more hands-off now than we were before, we'll still be watching over every phase of your trial: we will post to the newsgroup, will read and take care of your Problem Reports, and will update the Blue home page on a regular basis. We're behind you every step of the way! Sincerely, The Previews Team
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