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Article Archive - 6 April to 10 April, 1998

10 April, 3.07pm est

Primitive Volcanic Gods Choose BeOS Over Windows
On some isolated islands in the region of the world known as the "Ring of Fire" for its massive volcanic activity, time seems to stand still. Societies there often are at the same level of technology and culture as their great-great-grandparents. Not so for the Aletnu tribe, which has adopted advances in technology while retaining its cultural heritage.

"Yes, it is true in the past that our tribe, along with others, would throw young virgin girls into active volcanoes to appease the Gods that live within them," said B'nila Varuna, Chief of the Aletnu tribe. "I am proud to say that the Aletnu tribe abandoned such outmoded thinking as far back as the 1950s."

A group of Aletnu researchers in the late 1940s begin experimenting with other objects in attempts to appease the Volcano Gods.

"It was groundbreaking work, but we were driven. More and more people resented throwing perfectly healthy nubile young women into the volcanoes, and a substitute had to be found" recalls one of the researchers. "There were of course many failures before any success. At one point, several Gods seemed pleased with a mix of blenders, Playboy magazines and cheese sandwiches, but Zamplatlu, stubborn God that he is, showed his displeasure by dousing a nearby village with a coating of toxic volcanic ash."

The breakthrough came in the 1950s after several televisions were thrown into a volcano on the verge of erupting and engulfing the town below in molten lava. Immediately, the volcanic activity subsided, indicating the pleasure of the Gods with the sacrifice.

Since then, a dedicated team of Aletnu tribesman have followed technological trends and adapted them to appeasing their Gods.

Eventually the Gods would demand new sacrifices, which until recently, has mostly included personal computers running the Windows operating system.

"Windows was popular among people, and at first it seemed the Gods were happy with the sacrifice," said Chief Varuna, recalling several incidence of hurling desktop and laptop systems into the fiery abyss.

However, the task of appeasing the volcano Gods using Windows soon became a full-time hassle. It got to the point where tribal elders began collecting names of young virgins among the tribe, in case they had to return to the old ways to appease their vengeful gods of fire and destruction.

"In the old days, you would toss a virgin into the fire and not even have to think about a fiery rain of death from above for at least two weeks," said one tribesman. "Now, just days after tossing a Pentium 300Mhz system into a volcano, I find myself trudging back up the mountain to update the sacrifice."

Return visits on an almost daily basis involved the ritual sacrifice of additional memory, software and peripherals.

"Sometimes you just had to give up and toss an entire new system in and hope it was configured correctly this time," said one tribe member.

"The cost, both in terms of raw hardware and the lost time of my people, was becoming too much. Young virgin girls were beginning to seem like a small price to pay," Chief Varuna reported.

Then, the tribe discovered the BeOS.

"We were impressed, and could only hope the Gods would feel as we did," the Chief said.

Results were immediate and astounding. After tossing several systems running the BeOS into the volcanoes on a small test island, volcanic activity came to a standstill. The BeOS was soon adopted on other islands and the result was the same.

"I tossed a BeOS system into a volcano two months ago, and I haven't had to return to offer another sacrifice since," one tribe member reported.

"I'm responsible for appeasing the Gods who live in this chain of volcanoes, and now I simply sacrifice one BeOS computer, whereas it took three or four Windows machines to appease all the Gods simultaneously," said another.

In a celebration last week, Chief Varuna named the entire Be team honorary tribe members.

"I would like to thank those responsible for bringing stability and order back to our way of life," Chief Varuna proclaimed. "It is a comfort to know our women will not once again be tossed to their fiery death, leaving them to their natural tasks of working in the fields, cooking our feasts and bearing our children. Progress is wonderful!"

9 April, 1.07pm est
Be Inc. Commandos Take Sony Headquarters By Storm
In a daring pre-dawn raid, Be Inc. Commandos infiltrated and took command of the headquarters of Sony Music, a division of Sony, Inc. Their target: the massive CD reproduction facility.

Hit by a demand far beyond what was projected in even the most optimistic scenarios, Be Inc. is producing BeOS R3 CDs at an astounding rate in its attempts to keep up with orders. However, even contracting with every CD production house in the state of California was not enough to keep up with the demand.

"Drastic measures must be taken. You know who you are, and you know what you must do," said an internal Be Inc. email obtained by Be Dope.

"We received a call inquiring about renting part or all CD reproduction facilities," said Sony executive Jonathan Allevison, "we told them that was, of course, impossible. The caller then hung up, but not without an ominous sounding 'hmmmmmmmm' first."

Sometime after 2am, just after the cleaning crew had gone home, a Channel 7 news helicopter reported stolen earlier that evening landed on the roof of Sony Music headquarters, which included the CD reproduction facilities. Several unknown people quickly disabled the computer security at the roof entrance to the building and entered. Security tapes show most were dressed in all black and one was dressed in a tank top, khaki hiking shorts, jackboots, a backpack, and a matched pair of Smith and Wesson 9mm modified semiautomatic handguns.

Soon after, production on all music CD stopped, and the entire system was refitted to reproduce BeOS R3 CDs.

"Not only did they bypass the computer security," said a Sony technician, "they quickly rewrote some algorithms so the machines would work more efficiently. Whoever they were, they sure knew what they were doing when it came to computers."

By 6.30am several hundred thousand BeOS R3 CDs had been pressed and loaded onto the helicopter.

Their one mistake: they forgot to remove the original BeOS CD from the copier.

Curious Sony employees reviewed the previous night's security tape after finding the BeOS CD left in the duplicator.

After meeting with Be Inc.'s CEO Jean-Louis Gassée, Sony decided not to press charges and settled instead for "an exchange of technology". Several sources report Sony officials leaving Be Inc. headquarters wearing Be t-shirts with copies of the BeOS R3 CD in hand.

8 April, 11.30am est
New Be Dope Interview
This week Be Dope interviews Be's Dominic Giampaolo.

Mir Space Station: BeOS Inside
NASA astronaut Andrew Thomas knew that Monday's six hour space walk would occupy Russian cosmonauts Talgat Musabayev and Nikolai Budarin for more than enough time to carry out a clandestine mission for NASA while he was aboard Russian space station Mir: installing the BeOS on the space station's computers.

"Everyone at NASA agreed that the BeOS could alleviate many of the problems plaguing the space station for the past year," said Thomas. "But getting authorization to do anything on Mir is a nightmare."

While the cosmonauts were trying to finish installing a support beam for a damaged solar panel on the Spektr module, Thomas began the BeOS installation process. For the most part, it was trouble-free.

"I had to replace the video card, but that was the only glitch," Thomas said.

Upon return, the cosmonauts were first angered at the unauthorized upgrade, but soon relented as Thomas performed a spectacular demo. The space station now required less energy to perform its tasks. Additionally, life support functions ran more efficiently than ever.

"Of course we were upset at first, but soon the air was fresher, the lights brighter and control systems no longer stopped working every few hours," Musabayev reported.

Using the BeOS, the cosmonauts soon automated what used to be time-consuming manual tasks, leaving them more time for scientific research.

"Every morning, I used to wake up wondering what sort of crisis would need to be averted," said Budarin. "Now I simply wake up and enjoy watching the Earth rise."

7 April, 11.59am est
Dilbert Adopts BeOS
Dilbert, the cubicle-hanging comic strip known world-wide for its painfully accurate portrayal of life in the modern office, will once again ride the "bleeding edge" of technology by running a storyline featuring the BeOS.

"Dilbert, the character, is the ultimate geek," said strip creator Scott Adams "and so it is only natural he adopt the most powerful and sexiest technology available. This obviously includes the BeOS."

The storyline will show Dilbert frustrated by the ever-increasing impossible demands of his boss and the inability of his current OS to handle the load. Dilbert gives up computers and tires his hand at suburban yak farming (which provides a wealth of comedic opportunities for Dogbert).

All seems lost when Dilbert is rescued by The World's Smartest Garbage Man, who shows Dilbert the BeOS, which ignites Dilbert's techno-lust once again. He sets the yaks free and returns to his geek lifestyle.

"I've been using the BeOS for some time now, so it was only a matter of time before it became part of the Dilbert universe," said Adams.

6 April, 11.42am est
Elvis Presley Returns To Write BeWare
Elvis Presley, one-time "King of Rock and Roll" and officially pronounced dead in 1977, stunned the world by coming out of a self-imposed period of isolation and secrecy. His stated reason: to develop for the BeOS.

"Let's face it, by the 1970s my music career was a joke," Presley said at a press conference on Sunday. "The Vegas shows, the sequined jumpsuits - things were just totally out of control. I knew it was time to ditch everything and start over."

According to Presley, faking his death as the only way to get away from the fans and media and focus on music again. He moved to a small island off the coast of Canada, switched to a vegetarian diet and concentrated on his true love - creating music. After seeing a demo of music on an Atari 800 computer, he soon became obsessed with computer-generated music.

"The possibilities were just endless," said Presley. "I again saw an opportunity to be an innovator in the world of music."

Working in secrecy, Presley studied advanced mathematics and electrical engineering, building equipment when nothing available suited his needs. His algorithms, published under various pseudonymns, were soon adopted by many working in the field of computers and music.

Although unknown to all but a few, Presley's musical scores graced a fair amount of movies and videogames throughout the late eighties and early nineties. Soon, however, Presley once again became restless.

"There simply was not an operating system available that could merge my advanced pattern-recognition algorithms with my sound generation and output routines in real time," Presley explained. "I was working on a program that would translate the fractal patterns found in the natural world (waves on a beach, trees swaying in the wind, etc.) into complex multi-instrumental scores, but I had run up against a wall as far as computational power was concerned."

Everyting changed with the BeOS.

"I've been following Be since the beginning. I registered as a developer (#267) and began exploring the possibilities immediately," said Presley. "The BeOS is now at the point where my creativity is enhanced rather than crippled by the current state of computer technology."

Presley decided to come out of hiding in order to collaborate with others programmers and musicians on his latest project.

"I am now sixty-eight years old," said Presley, "I have no time for all this hiding and seclusion nonsense. I have to get out there, meet the people in the Be community and find programmers I can work with to once again change the way people think about music."

"Expect some of my programs to be up on BeWare shortly," Presley added.

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