Set-top boxes (was The new Amigas)

From: Larry Groebe <>
Date: Mon Mar 8 17:39:46 1999

> On 8 Mar 1999, Eric Smith wrote:
>>Why wouldn't you count CD32? If they do a new set-top, and it fails, and
> OK, let's say we made up a chronological list of every set-top box ever
> made. Now, we scratch off the CD-32. What other famous ones are left and
> what number from first was the CD-32? I think this may be more impervious
> to your semantic games :)
> Anyway, I guess it depends on how you define set-top (two can play
> this...). Isn't a C-64 or Apple ][ a set-top box? Is a Sega Genesis a
> set-top? What exactly must a set-top be able to do that these three can't?
> --Max Eskin (

A CD32 IS a set-top box, I think, by today's current definition. Said term
wasn't around when the CD32 was. But this WAS there era, was it not, of the
CD-Interactive? That also might qualify. Also Apple's abortive "Pippen"
would qualify as a proto-set-top device (and something I wouldn't mind

I always thought of a "set-top" box as having several qualities: It was
coming out of the stereo-system/VCR/video game consumer orientation. Which
means, among other things, that the remote control comes first and the
keyboard is an option. You as user are some distance from the device, not
seated in front stabbing at buttons. (Commodores and Apples get disqualified
for this reason.)

Second, there's some sense of not "turning it on and watching it boot" which
has come to pervade computers.
Received on Mon Mar 08 1999 - 17:39:46 GMT

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