The Dreamcast Internet Guide

One of our unwritten rules here at the 'Yard is that no matter how small, insignificant or useless an item of Dreamcast-related paraphernalia should be, it will always be taken in and given a hot meal (usually gruel). Unless it takes the unholy form of another Dreamcast tissue box holder. Sorry - I did say I'd never mention that abomination ever again lest I have the taste slapped from my mouth by the hand of Zeus himself. So, with deity-administered happy slaps pending, allow me to introduce the newest addition to The Dreamcast Junkyard's outstanding library of (literal) literature: The Dreamcast Internet Guide.

Published by FKB Publishing in 1999, the Internet Guide does exactly what it says on the tin (cover) - it is a handy guide for any intrepid traveller who happens to have a desire to buy a ticket and take a ride on the information super-highway. Albeit, the information super-highway of the late 1990s...on a 33k dial-up modem.
As Sega was also marketing the Dreamcast as a cheap way of getting online back in those halcyon days of MySpace, it makes total sense that they would commission a publishing house to create a tome of this nature, and the book does indeed act like a sort of Yellow Pages for the internet n00b. The version featured in this post is actually a promotional copy and so large tracts of the full version's content is missing, but this is a good taster for what purchasers of the full retail copy could expect.

The first part of the book helpfully explains just what this new-fangled 'internet' thingy is all about, and then goes on to explain stuff like newsgroups, and how to save images to your VMU and turn them into a screen saver. Later sections go on to explain how the NSA are watching your every online move and could burst through your window at any moment with guns drawn. Of course, I jest. It's the FBI you should be worried about, not those amateurs at the NSA. Chortle.
Gonna eBay like it's 1999
I'm not totally clear on what the point of this promo edition of the guide is; maybe it was given away as a freebie with a magazine or some such. Either way, the screenshots offer a fascinating snapshot of how the internet used to look on either a Netscape Navigator-enabled Pentium P90, or a PAL Dreamcast rocking a fully BT-ed up version of Dreamarena. And for that, it holds a certain - if somewhat naive - charm. Well worth the 99p price I paid.

Edit: It's come to light that this promo edition was sent out to magazines for review purposes while the full version sold in shops for around £10.  The source of this information is pretty trustworthy - it comes from somebody involved in the production of the book!


DCgaga said...

I was one of the suckers who purchased the full edition, probably looked at it twice before deciding that it was probably more an efficient use of my time to actually, try this internet lark out for myself.

Tom Charnock said...

Haha! Sucker! No - I do remember seeing the full retail version in shops but I couldn't really justify buying it. I do recall buying a few issues of .net magazine though, just because I had a Dreamcast that I occasionally went online with!