• Please review our updated Terms and Rules here

Found an NIC (New Internet Computer)

Bungo Pony

Moderator
Staff member
Joined
Mar 31, 2008
Messages
616
Location
Winnipeg
Rescued this machine from the recycler about a week ago. It's an interesting machine. It's about the size of a cheapo DVD player, but it's got integrated audio, video, ethernet, and USB. These machines came out in the year 2000 and were a total flop. Around 40-50,000 were sold at a price of $199 each.

There is no (real) hard drive in the machine except for a 4MB Flash ROM. The machine was designed to run off a Linux live CD (which was in the drive - YAY!) The only software that loads up is a copy of Netscape. That's all this machine was designed for - to run Netscape to access the internet. I suppose it's a pre-cursor to ChromeOS.

So I've been having fun with this little machine. I've tossed in a couple other live Linux CDs and they run 100%. Perhaps if I get bored, I could install DOS on the 4MB flash drive. Regardless, it's a neat little machine. Too bad it's not expandable, because it would make a cool DVD player replacement in my living room.
 

Chuck(G)

25k Member
Joined
Jan 11, 2007
Messages
39,382
Location
Pacific Northwest, USA
I remember those--about 5 years ago, the local recycler had a big pile of them for $5 the each. I thought about adapting one as a mail server by adding a USB pen drive, but decided against it and decided to pick up a bunch of new Farallon routers for $5 the each also. The routers are still being used as network hubs; I don't think the same would be true of NIC had I picked one up.

Speaking of limited-use PCs, what was the PC being sold with an internet account back around 2000 for $99? The gimmick was to sign up for basic email and net access and you get a free computer. A few people noticed that you could cancel your service at any time and did just that. There were a few hacks for adding an IDE hard drive, since the interface was present in the system. I wonder if the same is true of your NIC.

Edit: It certainly is true that you can add a hard drive to the NIC.
 
Last edited:

mark66j

Experienced Member
Joined
Apr 12, 2010
Messages
192
Location
Arlington, MA, USA
Speaking of limited-use PCs, what was the PC being sold with an internet account back around 2000 for $99? The gimmick was to sign up for basic email and net access and you get a free computer. A few people noticed that you could cancel your service at any time and did just that. There were a few hacks for adding an IDE hard drive, since the interface was present in the system. I wonder if the same is true of your NIC.

You may mean the I-Opener, but there was also the Virgin Webplayer. I have a Webplayer that I was playing around with a bit but didn't get very far with. The 3Com Audrey also came with a conection deal, but it was more expensive. The I-Opener became very popular with Linux hackers because it was fairly easy to turn it into a full-function machine.
 

Agent Orange

Veteran Member
Joined
Sep 24, 2008
Messages
6,140
Location
SE MI
I remember those--about 5 years ago, the local recycler had a big pile of them for $5 the each. I thought about adapting one as a mail server by adding a USB pen drive, but decided against it and decided to pick up a bunch of new Farallon routers for $5 the each also. The routers are still being used as network hubs; I don't think the same would be true of NIC had I picked one up.

Speaking of limited-use PCs, what was the PC being sold with an internet account back around 2000 for $99? The gimmick was to sign up for basic email and net access and you get a free computer. A few people noticed that you could cancel your service at any time and did just that. There were a few hacks for adding an IDE hard drive, since the interface was present in the system. I wonder if the same is true of your NIC.

Edit: It certainly is true that you can add a hard drive to the NIC.
I bought one for my father-in-law a few years back. It was $99.00 and it was marketed by Microsoft. You'd run a telco hook-up to it and attach it to your tv and browse away. It never made it out of the box, still setting on a shelf in the closet. Oh well, I tried.
 
Last edited:

NeXT

Veteran Member
Joined
Oct 22, 2008
Messages
6,869
Location
Kamloops, BC, Canada
You referrinf to the MSN TV box?
Gosh, I remember when WebTV was still around. There was so much usefulness you could make out of an INT-W200 but nobody ever bothered to mess with it.
 
Top