MSN premiered in 1995 and shipped with Windows 95 as an initiative to try and get some of the market share that AOL had recently gained. At the time, there were many national internet serivce providers who targeted the new Windows platform. Many services were packed-in, and many met with limited success. The most notable flop was WOW (World of Windows, as I recall), a service by the makers of CompuServe.

The original MSN interface was dark and Encarta like in its setup. They tried for desktop integration of the Internet, which, to this day, has not happened entirely. Most recently, the interface has been cleaned up and trimmed down into MSN Explorer, an easier to use, almost OS X Aqua like program. It includes and leverages heavily the MSN Passport system.
Recently caught giving 400 U.S. dollars to anyone who will sign a contract for a few (3) years at 21.95 a month.

MSN isn't a horrible ISP in my experience. (My girlfriend uses it.) They have a reasonably consistant uptime, and I've never heard of people having trouble using it to do standard Internet stuff like e-mail and newsgroups and web browsing. The only bad thing about it is that they install Outlook Express as the e-mail proggie. I don't know if other OS's can connect to the network (it's just a standard dial-up networking connection in Windows). I think I will try to get them to work.

Of course, I wouldn't use it, I mean, I get connected for free or through aDSL.

Update: yerricde has connected to MSN using Red Hat Linux's dialer program.

The first incarnation of MSN was available right there on your Windows 95 CD. This is assuming that you were cool enough to have the CD version of Microsoft Windows, otherwise it was hidden somewhere on those 35 installation floppies. I actually used this version for my first ever internet access. It was a very strange interface, and I never did exactly figure out what it had to offer over the standard Windows dial up networking and Internet Explorer.

For a long time MSN had been offering several large rebates for signing up for lengthy contracts for their service. You could even get a $400 rebate if you submit to three years of their service. I believe Compuserve was the first ISP to use this tactic, but MSN quickly jumped on the bandwagon. Here is how it worked, you simply went into any retailer that they were partnered with, Best Buy worked if you were in the United States, and then picked out a whole bunch of merchandise. You then went up to the cashier, and fill out some paperwork that signs you up for an account, and then you would get $400 subtracted from your bill. Many stores used false advertising on their high ticket items by including this "discount" in the advertised purchase price of nearly everything they sell. Check an old Best Buy advertisement for a good example.

MSN is decent as an ISP as long as you don't install their software. I used to use MSN, (my roommate got the $400 rebate). I have successfully accessed the internet with my MSN account from Linux, Free BSD and BeOS.

I cannot stress not using the MSN cd enough. The software on the MSN cd will totally hork your computer over. Well, its fine as long as you are not on, (or never try to be on), any kind of network. You will find your computer attempting to "dial up" to access your local network, and it won't stop trying to autolaunch the MSN dialer no matter what you do.

Today the MSN software has a distinct look that reminds me of what AOL for Macintosh would look like. It comes bundled with Windows Messenger and MSN Explorer. This version provides a very "AOL-like" experience, moreso than any of their previous versions.

The Dane County Regional Airport (MSN) is located at 4000 International Lane in Madison, WI.

Including the Air Guard (Truax Field is used by the Air National Guard's 115th Fighter Wing), the airport occupies 4000 acres, employees 4500 people and has 110 buildings. Including the commuter gate (A1), there are 10 gates in the terminal.

Truax Field is named after LTJG Myron Truax, USNR of Texas. As a WW II fighter pilot he was decorated for extraordinary heroism in the Pacific Theater during 1945. He was awarded two Navy Crosses for shooting down over six enemy planes and a Distinguished Flying Cross for flying 20 missions. He died in Fairfax, Virginia on Nov 23, 1984.

Within the atrium of the airport is an assortment of historical planes on display. Most striking is the Corbel Super Ace that is suspended from the glass ceiling of the atrium. This aircraft was built the Madison chapter of the Experimental Aircraft Association from 1930's plans and is perfect in every respect - except for the lack of an engine. This is one of the two Super Aces in the nation.

Madison is a very 'green' town (and not just politically) with reasonable populations of birds and deer. Around the perimeter of the airport is a fence with intent to keep animals out of the airport (deer hitting car is bad, deer hitting airplane taking off or landing is really bad). When rare birds are found in the area, care is taken to capture and relocate the birds (in 2001, an arctic Snowy Owl decided the airport was a good home).

Realizing that Madison is not one of the warmer spots in the winter, and Wisconsin taking care in management of waterways (Starkweather Creek is very close to the airfield) the fluid for de-icing aircraft (Ethylene glycol) is drained to a plastic lined storage pond where it breaks down within 20 days.

Map of the runways

18     21     ^
|     /       |
|\   /        N 
| \ /        W E
|  X          S
| / \
|/   \
|     \
|      31

18/36 - 9,005 feet
 3/21 - 7,200 feet
13/31 - 5,846 feet

Runway 18/36 is the preferred runway with takeoffs and landings to the north, minimizing noise above populated cities.

In standard tradition, there is a golf course in the path for the airport. "The Bridges" is an 18 hole golf course. (There is a golf course in the landing path of Moffet Field. Minneapolis bucks the trend with a cemetery.)

Primary destinations from MSN include:

Nostop flights to:

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