A look back at ZiffDavis’ greatest product: TechTV

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With all the love/hate going around MWN and the internet as a whole, for Ziff Davis, I thought it only fair to talk about the real tragedy in the mismanagement of Ziff Davis the company, the loss of TechTv. How many of you, back in the early 2000’s, watched these shows religiously? How many of you tuned in every week to see what crazy things Leo Laporte was going to say this time? How many of you stayed up WAY too late watching Anime Unleashed? I know I did most of these things and more.

So follow me as we take a turn down memory lane and remember some of the best times that TechTv gave us.

The Shows I miss

Call For Help

Ah, Call for Help. The show that proved nationally that the average American is as clueless about computers as king3vbo is about pussy. This was basically a live tech support call that all of us IT professionals deal with on a daily basis and yet, Leo Laporte and company kept it fresh and interesting. This wasn’t as much about learning new technology for me, as it was about laughing at the idiots that called onto the show. Martin Sargent was especially funny when he co-hosted. The following clip was from one of Call For Help’s Call-a-Thon, an 18-hour event. Enjoy, Morgan Webb looking like an idiot.

Screen Savers

The Screen Savers. It was cool, it was cheesy sometimes, but most of all, it made watching a show about technology fun, especially if you got the geek jokes that Leo and Patrick Norton made. This was, without a doubt, my favorite show on the network, as I think it was for many of you. The current version of this show on G4, Attack of the Show, is nowhere near the quality that Leo and Patrick gave it.

Why Martin Sargent stopped hosting Screen Savers

Speaking of Martin Sargent…

Unscrewed with Martin Sargent

Unscrewed was a show that focused on the humor of the Internet and technology. If it was still around today, it would be awesome how many jokes they could make from 2008 internet memes alone. It was hosted by Martin and co-hosted by Laura Swisher. While it had it’s moments, I think Martin Sargent was better on The Screen Savers where Patrick or Leo would balance his weird comments. Either way, it was still some good times.

Fresh Gear

This one was usually a coin toss on whether it was interesting or not. Fresh Gear was a show that looked at the latest technology and electronics and whether or not it was worth. Hosted by Jim Louderback and Sumi Das (so hot when I was a young teen). Sometimes they found some awesome gadgets, and sometimes they didn’t.

There were some other shows that I enjoyed watching such as X-play (it was known as Extended Play when I started watching it), Anime Unleashed, Big Thinkers, CyberCrime, Internet Tonight and others. Most of the shows they came out with were pretty neat at the time and for the beginner to average computer geek, were great sources of information and entertainment. The power user may not have found it as informative, but it was still a step in the right direction for all of geekdom.

I miss these shows. Comcast eventually bought out TechTv and merged it with G4 and besides X-Play, all the other shows have been canceled and most of the ones they were replaced with, suck. Suck donkey balls. Big hairy donkey balls.

And on a final note, I would just like to send out this little message to idiots at ZD.

Fuck you G4 for taking away my beloved Leo and Patrick on The Screen Savers and giving me this.

But thanks for this…

*Editors Note* Troll_mctroll pointed out on reddit.com that

Ziff-Davis didn’t mismanage TechTV because they never owned TechTV. When Ziff-Davis sold ZDTV to Paul Allen’s company (and the channel became TechTV), the programming was relatively the same. The channel wasn’t completely changed until Allen sold TechTV to Comcast.

He is technically right about this. ZDTV was sold to Paul Allen who renamed it TechTV until it was sold again to Comcast to merge with G4.

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