More Tek Freak


Sharpen your number 2 pencils. It’s time to take the online user quiz.

1. Are your reading skills so poor that a page of text can only be comprehended if it’s portioned out in a sequence of sentence fragments separated by 15-second time delay intervals?

  • YES
  • NO

2. What’s more fun?

  • Waiting 40 minutes to watch 30 seconds of a 2" video playing at a rate of 6 frames per second.
  • Shoving a piece of broken glass in your eye.

3. How often does your television freeze up?

  • Almost every time I turn it on.
  • A television can freeze up?

4. Are you so bored by the immediacy of television that you eagerly await the delay that only unnecessary graphics and sound through a 28.8-baud dial up connection can bring?

  • YES
  • NO

5. Do you enjoy spending a lot of time online and not find what you’re looking for?

  • YES
  • NO

If you answered "A" to all of the above questions, please contact me immediately. I’m dying to meet MSN’s target market.

Do You Have the Patience to Enjoy the MSN Lineup?
by David Spark
Axcess, June, 1997

MSN...BORING!During the rebirth of the Microsoft Network in December 1996, Microsoft introduced a lineup of 22 web shows designed to revolutionize the way people perceive online entertainment. Unfortunately for MSN, this revolution has been more civil than global. In less than four months, MSN has gone through two programming seasons, introducing thirteen new programs and canceling seven.

Star Trek: Continuum

Although there are hundreds of "unofficial" Star Trek sites all over the web, MSN’s Continuum is the "official" site. Do you care? Microsoft wants you to. "Official" Star Trek sites don’t come cheap.

Hard Rock Live

Love rock ‘n roll, but don’t enjoy listening to it, then tune into the silence of "Hard Rock Live." Ironically, it’s the only MSN show that doesn’t have sound. Hope your favorite band is Better Than Ezra, because that’s your only choice. I guess I’d like them if I knew what they sounded like.

Entertainment Tonight

Don’t let Mary Hart’s voice send you into epileptic fits. Take safe haven with ET Online and learn that after 16 years of broadcasting journalistic excellence ET actually won an Emmy for "Outstanding Achievement in News and Documentary Title Sequences." Obviously someone was drunk.

Nelson's Place

Chat live with all the great supporting actors from the WB, UPN and Fox networks. If there’s a name on the schedule you recognize, congratulations, you’re one up on me.

Pen Pals

Are you between the ages 8 and 18 and a pathetic loner? Or are you a middle-aged pervert seeking to entrap a 13-year-old boy into your den of iniquity? Whether you’re looking for someone on the other side of the world to form a suicide pact, or in need of child pimping services, MSN’s Pen Pals is the programming of choice.


Get ready to lower your musical knowledge with the Rifff Arranger - the interactive music composer that randomly creates a tune that can’t be saved. Orchestrate a song just like a professional musician by haphazardly clicking on a variety of instruments. Why study music construction when you can just click on stuff with the Rifff Arranger?

On Parenting

Although MSN’s Star Trek show is "official," all advice given in "On Parenting" is completely unaccredited. Microsoft’s introductory disclaimer absolves them of any corporate liability should you choose to implement any of their suggestions. Hey, if Microsoft doesn’t support "On Parenting," why should you?

Who Says a Table of Contents Has to be Descriptive?


The online women’s magazine that redefines the term "table of contents." Select a quiz on pop culture and it takes you to a quiz on obsessive compulsive behavior. Very alternative.

Alright, if MSN doesn’t have content on this subject…

On Computers

Enjoy the thrill of searching though multiple levels of directories. Hope you don’t have any plans of finding anything specific.


The newspaper with attitude. Given that your attitude is that of a frosty cone. Why use words in a table of contents when you’ve got nonrepresentational icons? Kids today, they don’t need to read. Instead, sit back and flip through MINT at a highly irritating wait time of 20 seconds per page.

Check out the sex advice column for thought-provoking questions like, "Should I go down on my girlfriend?" Makes you wonder if somebody really sent these questions in or the "creative types" at MSN thought them up all by themselves.


Second City Naked News!

Topical humor delivered through streaming audio. What could possibly go wrong?

"Last night during the State of the Union Address, the President said that it’s… bring… about time. Well… he knows…. stick… foster kids… spanking. I’d like to see him pardon that."

Almost TV

Combine passive TV viewing with active online use and you’ve got Almost TV. Like the pointless drivel so eloquently displayed on MTV’s Yack Live, discuss your favorite television programs in real time with fellow couch potatoes. Currently on the schedule are Home Improvement(5/6/97), The A-Team(5/10/97) and Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman(5/17/97). A guaranteed huge success given that users pencil in a viewing of Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman at least one month in advance.

My suggested slogan for MSN’s next season:

"So much to see. So little to care about. So little to learn."

1997, David Spark

PC Computing
Internet Underground
Second City
Live Marketing
American Comedy Network
Yahoo! Internet Life
And the Rest...

Copyright 1995-2000, David Spark