LBB Fix-It

     The following are basic workarounds for WebTV users. If there is a problem with logging in, viewing, and/or navigating a website, these solutions usually work.

Viewing Problem Pages:
     There was a time when WebTV users could actually use or read articles on Wikipedia. However, this is no longer the case. The former may literally freeze the box and the latter's pages are impossible to read with the busy background (The LBB doesn't handle advanced CSS too well). May I suggest the following fixes?

     Skweezer is primarily for wireless mobile phones, but it works nicely with WebTV's older browser. Just enter the site's URL in the box and the page should be easy to navigate and read. Please note the site may lose some images but that's no big deal. Some specialized Wikipedias may take longer to load or not load at all, e.g. those for StarWars, Harry Potter, Land Before Time, etc.
     Another alternative is Cantoni Mobile. This page lists and links most frequently visited sites via a mobile phone – And a WebTV! Mobile versions of, Google, CNN, and other reference/informational sites are linked from this page. Several shopping sites, e.g., Amazon and Barnes & Noble are also linked.
    I've also found Skweezer helpful for posting to discussion forums, e.g. Boards2Go and Invisionfree. Again, images are lost as well as the usual bells 'n' whistles, but you can still read and reply to threads.

     Phonifier is another popular mobile application but works with WebTV. Unfortunately, the times I've tried to access Phonifier resulted in a "Service Unavailable." Most LBB'ers use this often and it works for them just fine, but I prefer Skweezer.

Yahoo Mail:
     Logging into, navigating, and reading Yahoo Mail is next to impossible with the LBB. It's the "New" interface, baby! There are a couple alternatives. You can log into Yahoo via their mobile access. It's pretty much barebones., but at least you can read and compose mail.
    Another, more involved, way to access and use Yahoo Mail is to force the service to revert to the "old" version – more like the original version, when it worked beautifully with WebTV. Follow these steps:

  1. Go to Yahoo Mail and login as usual.
  2. After your mail page loads, bring up your Go-To box and hit "Show Current." It should look like this, but with numbers instead of ___:
  3. Delete everything after the login?, then type in nojs=1. Click Go to Page.
  4. A page will come up with "javascript enabled browser needed" and a link to the Old Version. Click that.
  5. The old classic Yahoo Mail will come up. You may read, compose, and sort mail as usual.
    Please note that all Yahoo Mail features, such as Notepad and Options will not work. If you decide to change colors or signature, the next time you login may take you to the "New" mail page. Also, if you login to Yahoo Mail on a PC browser then again on a WebTV, the "New" mail page will load.

     Logging into Gmail with WebTV/MSNTV can be a challenge. Sometimes it works, most times it does not. Please note that Gmail has updated their standard mail view — complete with "themes" and customizable colors. This view will not work with slower, outdated set-top browsers. Here is a fix that might work:
     In the Go-to box type This should bring up the sign-in screen then redirect to the HTML-based mail view. As I stated earlier, it's a challenge; sometimes this fix will work, most times it's a crap shoot at best. Watch WebTV's "Getting Page" after logging in. If it says "Gmail" while loading, Good for You! The fix works. Otherwise, be patient. Often after entering username and password, one may be redirected repeatedly to the sign-in screen. Very frustrating. There are other "backdoor" ways to get into Gmail with the LBB but I'm still working on it.

Social Networking Sites
    MySpace or Facebook with a WebTV? Not a chance. However, you can access Twitter with the LBB. I've used this when on WebTV and it works. Please follow these tips:

Webmistress' Note:
95% of my Twitter time is via my PC or cell phone. I use WebTV only for quick updates or replies.

That's all I have for now. More tips and fixes will be posted later.

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