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Article Archive - 13 April to 18 April, 1998

18 April, 12.07am edt

First Step of Nintendo 64 Port?
This info was just leaked to Be Dope, straight from Be's source code control system (names changed to protect the innocent):

Change 21017 by [xxxxx]@slurpee on 1998/04/17 11:46:36

    initial checkin of nintendo 64 port
Affected files ...

... //depot/main/headers/kernel/OS.h#142 edit
... //depot/main/src/nukernel/arch/n64/cartdma.c#1 add
... //depot/main/src/nukernel/arch/n64/drvrlist.c#1 add
... //depot/main/src/nukernel/arch/n64/fslist.c#1 add
... //depot/main/src/nukernel/arch/n64/int.c#1 add
... //depot/main/src/nukernel/arch/n64/int.h#1 add
... //depot/main/src/nukernel/arch/n64/joystickport.h#1 add
... //depot/main/src/nukernel/arch/n64/mapio.h#1 add
... //depot/main/src/nukernel/arch/n64/modulelist.c#1 add
... //depot/main/src/nukernel/arch/n64/n64.h#1 add
... //depot/main/src/nukernel/arch/n64/platform.c#1 add
... //depot/main/src/nukernel/arch/n64/realityi.c#1 add
... //depot/main/src/nukernel/arch/n64/realityi.h#1 add
... //depot/main/src/nukernel/cpu/mips/boot.h#1 add
... //depot/main/src/nukernel/cpu/mips/bootdata.c#1 add
... //depot/main/src/nukernel/cpu/mips/cpu.c#1 add
... //depot/main/src/nukernel/cpu/mips/crash.c#1 add
... //depot/main/src/nukernel/cpu/mips/dbnub.c#1 add
... //depot/main/src/nukernel/cpu/mips/dbprocs.c#1 add
... //depot/main/src/nukernel/cpu/mips/dbstate.c#1 add
... //depot/main/src/nukernel/cpu/mips/dump_mips.c#1 add
... //depot/main/src/nukernel/cpu/mips/init_mips.c#1 add
... //depot/main/src/nukernel/cpu/mips/kr4300i.h#1 add
... //depot/main/src/nukernel/cpu/mips/mem.h#1 add
... //depot/main/src/nukernel/cpu/mips/mipsasm.c#1 add
... //depot/main/src/nukernel/cpu/mips/pmon_mips.c#1 add
... //depot/main/src/nukernel/cpu/mips/ram.h#1 add
... //depot/main/src/nukernel/cpu/mips/syscall.c#1 add
... //depot/main/src/nukernel/cpu/mips/systime.c#1 add
... //depot/main/src/nukernel/cpu/mips/thr_r4300i.c#1 add
... //depot/main/src/nukernel/cpu/mips/timer.c#1 add
... //depot/main/src/nukernel/cpu/mips/vm_r4300i.c#1 add

Enough said.

17 April, 18.10am edt
BeOS Will Be Ported To N64 Platform
A highly placed source from Be, Inc. contacted Be Dope last night to inform us of a decision to port the BeOS to the Nintendo 64. This follows the BeOS policy of being "processor-agnostic".

"According to this survey, the Nintendo 64 is the OS of choice for over one third of users," said the source. "Obviously we could not ignore such a large segment of the population. Since Windows has a mere 2% of the votes, we've put R4 on the back burner for now to focus our energies on the Nintendo version of the BeOS."

The BeOS will be contained in a single cartridge. A Nintendo 64 user will simply plug the cartridge in, turn on the Nintendo, and be using the BeOS within four seconds. Be will license existing technology that integrates a modem into the cartridge itself, allowing for Internet access. Several EPROMS will be used for re-usable local storage space.

"When we started to look at the idea, we realized how simple it would be," explained the source. "There are no install issues and no partitioning to worry about. The best part is the fact that all Nintendo 64 units use identical hardware. So once we get it working on one unit, there will be no compatibility issues to worry about. Much better than all that damn Intel hardware crap."

"The custom-designed Silicon Graphics MIPS CPU, the 250Mhz bus and Reality Engine Coprocessor [actually two separate processors - one for texturing, one for video, audio and polygons] all scream with promise for a Media OS."

Be engineers expect to have a working prototype within the week.

BeOS Performs Under "Extreme Conditions"
Thijs Stalenhoef donned his parka and headed for Tromsø, Norway to demonstrate the power of the BeOS performs even in an extreme environment.

According to Lasse Magnussen, most operating systems do not fare well in the cold-weather town of Tromsø, located well above the polar circle.

"Windows, for example, is like a large polar bear after eating too many seals - too bloated to perform or even move around effectively," Magnussen's email reported.

Thijs' demo of the BeOS was astounding, taking advantage of the hardware no matter what the temperature.

"We even left one machine running outside in sub-freezing temperatures for several hours. Even though one processor completely froze and was rendered useless, the BeOS simply shifted the load to the other processor without fail. That is the kind of performance you look for this far north," said Magnussen.

16 April, 12.45pm edt
Chelsea Brings BeOS To The White House
President Clinton is getting better at using the Internet, thanks to his daughter, Chelsea, a senior White House adviser said today. Chelsea shares the credit with the BeOS.

Home on spring break, Chelsea was incredulous that the President of one of the most powerful nations on earth was still using Windows, a "definite third-world operating system".

"My dad has enough to worry about when running the country - he shouldn't have to worry about his machine GPFing on him every half hour," Chelsea said.

She immediately went to work installing BeOS R3 on President Clinton's computer. Her father was impressed with the fifteen minute trouble-free installation.

"Just last week it took a team of technicians three days to get PowerPoint installed and working on this damn thing," President Clinton said.

Chelsea downloaded some BeWare and soon the President was surfing the Net and sending email. He could not believe the performance he was getting from the same hardware

"He was amazed at the speed and responsiveness of the system," recalled Chelsea, "he was definitely excited about the possibilities."

President Clinton reportedly stayed up all night downloading and running various applications available from the Be website.

Rumors have it that Chelsea regularly visits the headquarters of Be, Inc. in Menlo Park, CA. to talk tech with the Be engineers.

"She has come up with some great ideas and knows her stuff when it comes to computers," said one source inside Be headquarters.

A White House spokesperson had no comment on the rumor that President Clinton would soon be releasing an album based on his compositions made using squiggy.

15 April, 10.45am edt
New Interview on Be Dope
This week, Be Dope interviews Be's Web Diva, Melanie Walker.

Famous Gorilla Becomes BeOS User
Koko, the 26-year-old gorilla who startled the world a quarter century ago when she first began communicating with humans through the use of sign language, has once again amazed the world last week by requesting her computer be upgraded to the BeOS.

"Once again, Koko has forced us to re-examine her intelligence level," said Kevin Connelly, development director at The Gorilla Foundation. "The fact that she recognizes the advantages of multiple processor support, pervasive multitasking and OS code optimized for digital media shows a deeper level of comprehension and logic than we suspected."

The Gorilla Foundation obtained the BeOS R3 software over the weekend and were again surprised when Koko insisted on performing the installation herself.

"I simply read or signed the included instructions to Koko, and she had no trouble following them. In under twenty minutes the BeOS was up and running," said Connelly.

Reportedly, her favorite programs so far are squiggy and PowerPulsar.

A spokesperson for Be Inc. was happy, but not surprised, to hear the news.

"We designed the BeOS to be the most powerful OS around, no matter what your species," the spokesperson said. "We welcome humans, lowland gorillas, dolphins, parakeets, geckos - you name it."

Koko will participate in an online chat, April 27 at 4 p.m. PT.

14 April, 12.40pm edt
BeOS Targeted In Microsoft "Astroturf" Campaign
According to a now well-known story reported by the Los Angeles Times last week, "Microsoft Corp. has secretly been planning a massive media campaign designed to influence state investigators by creating the appearance of a groundswell of public support for the company." This type of fake "grass-roots" campaign has become known as an "Astroturf" campaign.

The campaign included the planting of articles, letters to the editor and opinion pieces to be commissioned by Microsoft's top media handlers but presented by local firms as spontaneous testimonials. The overall theme would present how wonderful it is to do business with Microsoft, and paint Microsoft as a technological innovator.

In documents obtained by Be Dope from the LA Times, we also see attacks aimed specifically at the BeOS.

A draft of a fake letter to the editor contained the quote "Would you really trust an operating system designed by a Frenchman? I'll stick to an OS driven by the vision of Bill Gates."

An editorial piece by a so-called "technology expert reads in part:

"Advanced features available today on the BeOS such as pervasive multitasking and protected memory will be available in three or four years for Windows users. Why not just wait it out?

The BeOS also counts symmetric multiprocessing (the ability to harness the power of one, two, four or more processors in a single system) as one of its 'features'. This whole multiple processor thing is just a fad. I say one processor ought to be enough for everybody."

Be Inc. CEO John-Louis Gassée offered no counter-attack to the spurious attacks.

"Microsoft is their own worst enemy. Every time they talk, I can almost feel people switching over to the BeOS," Gassée said.

13 April, 3.30pm edt
Note To Slashdot Readers
Those following the link from Slashdot please note that you can find the article mentioned, Primitive Volcanic Gods Choose BeOS Over Windows, in the article archive. Welcome and thanks for visiting! BeOS Originated In Message Implanted In Human Genes
A source close to the United States National Security Agency (NSA) reports that the origin of the BeOS was not the mind of imaginative Frenchman Jean-Louis Gassée, but instead was found by government scientists working to map the human genome.

The DNA found in genes provides the code and blueprints for life as we know it. It decides if you will have blue eyes or green, if you will be human or chimpanzee. The long strands of DNA contain lots of redundant code in case part of a gene is damaged.

The Human Genome Mapping Project is working to map exactly which genes are responsible for what. By isolating certain types of genes, scientist hope to find cures for cancer, multiple sclerosis and other diseases passed on through the genes.

Scientists believed that along with important information, human DNA also contained repeating sequences that were simply "noise"- they did not seem to contribute to the physical makeup of a human in any way. While working on the human genome project, several scientists began to notice a pattern in the so-called "noisy area". Unable to break this code themselves, they turned the information over to the government's master code-breakers - the NSA.

The NSA (seven times the size of the CIA) dedicates 80% of its resources to breaking and developing codes. Soon after receiving the data from the human genome project, NSA codebreakers made an astounding discovery.

"Basically, what they had were blueprints for designing an operating system of enormous power," our source revealed. "There was no actual code, no mention of hardware - but the raw mathematical techniques were there. They painted a picture of an operating system of far greater efficiency and power than any on earth today."

The NSA contacted Jean-Louis Gassée and struck a deal: Gassée would assemble a team to create the OS based on the blueprints found in the human gene for the government. In return, Gassée could market the OS to the general public. Reportedly, Gassée jumped at the chance.

"While it might seem the NSA was giving away the technology found in the human gene sequence, I assure you that is not the case," reported our source. "The OS described in the DNA is in fact simply the first step, the tool if you will, needed to decode the rest of the DNA sequences. The NSA is betting the information that the BeOS will help them find will contain the real payoffs."

"It could literally be anything - antigravity, fountain of youth, teleportation - speculation is running wild," our source reported.

The implications go beyond the technological to the philosophical - who could have implanted these messages, and why?

"Imagine you are an advanced race, and you want to leave a message for a race that won't develop for millions of years. Where do you write it down? And on what? Any physical objects will be long gone before the race can develop to the point where they can interpret them. One answer is to code the message inside the beings themselves, over and over again to guard against mutations and errors. When the race is advanced enough to begin studying the basic building blocks of life, they will also be ready for the information in the message. That's what we're seeing in the human gene," explained our source.

Be Inc. denied these rumors and related rumors that their latest round of funding was provided by the NSA.

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