Further Links

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Below are links to WebTV-related sites that I think are worth checking out if you want more information or content from WebTV/MSN TV and/or its hacking scene. Note some of these sites may not be the most accurate or reputable:

  • "ulTRAX's WebTV Archives" (ulTRAX) - A WebTV/MSN TV hacking-oriented site. This site goes in-depth into the hacking scene itself and explains some key events that went down such as the Tricks break-in, the Demo/Flash accounts, etc. They also have a catalogue of service URLs and service page codes, and they tried to break the mold as well by covering more technical topics like IPs used by WebTV/MSN TV servers and generally possessing a more mature attitude with the topic of WebTV/MSN TV hacking. If you care, they also have live examples of WebTV/MSN TV hacking tools for those who want to mess around with them (or need them I guess). Sadly some links are broken but what's been preserved is worth checking out.
  • "WebTV/MSN TV Secret Pics" (MattMan69) - MattMan69's "WebTV MsnTV Secret Pics" site has been up since the WebTV hacking scene got started (circa 1998) and has the most information and content on the WebTV/MSN TV service's security and hacking scene covered thus far. Content includes but isn't limited to: older tricks used to exploit the security of the service, pictures from secret areas of the service, archived HTML codes for most service pages (which aren't intended to be original copies or document the service in detail, and to our knowledge, just offer snapshots of what parts of the service looked like or give some idea of how the service transported data), service URLs, and even some misc. stuff, such as a guide covering how those in the hacking scene used to sniff service traffic back in the day and some leaked MSNTV 2 beta stuff. Be wary that the site isn't the most organized or clear with some of the information it offers, and WebTV/MSN TV content it hosts might be inaccurate or documented poorly, with some cases of custom-made content not originally from WebTV/MSN TV being present in areas hosting official content. It's worth checking out if you want to see what WebTV/MSN TV hacking was like back in its prime and if you just want to get a basic idea of how WebTV/MSN TV worked internally.
  • Fun-Lover - This guy seems to offer a bunch of WebTV/MSN TV-related sections with content that isn't dead-set on being hacker-oriented, but is still worth looking at. WebTV/MSN TV GIFs, Page Builder templates, audioscopes (if you don't know what that is, it's essentially a WebTV/MSN TV-specific HTML tag that allows for audio visualization), screenshots from the service taken from various sources (some I've used for the service gallery pages on this wiki :)), hacks, custom home pages, and service page codes, just to name a few. They also have a giant collection of MIDIs and other sound files that I presume are also for WebTV/MSN TV use. If that still had a functioning service I'd recommend you all to get a box and dial in to this site for the ultimate experience, but I suppose using a vanilla WebTV Viewer or going on the site with your everyday browser isn't that big of a deal either.
  • Fadden.com Tech section - OK, now this is cool. Andy McFadden, a former WebTV employee who later went on to work on Android among other things, decided to share some stories from his experience working there on his own site. So far he has only published two articles on the subject, one about a pretty funny testing mishap and another about how the flash upgrade system was designed (and also acknowledges that the WebTV/MSN TV hacking scene existed and successfully broke into the Big Willie page. Nice I suppose). I definitely recommend reading both, they're interesting reads. I might consider adding information from the latter article onto the wiki in the future, but getting this wiki set up is already a big task in itself.
  • Ray Hill's "RIP WebTV" blog post - Another former WebTV employee's account of his time working at WebTV for customer service training and documentation, how WebTV started as a startup with genuine ambitions to make the Internet more accessible to the masses, with very kind and dedicated people behind it, and how the Microsoft acquisition showed that Microsoft had no clue what they were doing with WebTV and slowly turned it into a slightly more corporate, hostile environment. Also links to a working "virtual screenshot tool" used by WebTV customer service agents to follow along with users while troubleshooting issues.
  • Ray Hill's WebTV Archive - Various links to WebTV-related sites and other WebTV content, including internal tools and pages used by WebTV Networks.
  • ubergeek03/eMac's "WebTV Hacking Index" - eMac's old site (from when he used to go by ubergeek03 apparently). Sadly many links are broken but what has been archived is something to behold. It looks like eMac actually tried and went as far as documenting how many HTTP proxies for WebTV/MSN TV were available, all possible WTVP headers (which have been copied over to this wiki with more details), and some other small things. Even if it isn't the most cohesive or accurate, it's neat that some of this information has been preserved in some fashion. On his site's "Services" page, included with the downloads is a version of the "server emulator" he made. This appears to be similar to the one MattMan released many years after eMac did so himself, but it has more services implemented and appears to archive some official content from the WebTV/MSN TV service, such as images and even an (incomplete) set of flash ROM upgrades. Running the program is not advised though, as it seems to just remove itself and most of the service content, and adds a text file named "Sorry.txt" stating that the program was removed (this was done to only allow select people to use the program).