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Article Archive - 27 April to 1 May, 1998

24 April, 2.51pm edt

BeOS Solves Mystery Of The Loch Ness Monster
The mystery of Scotland's famous "Loch Ness Monster" was finally solved Thursday night when it was discovered that what was thought to be an ancient creature of the deep inhabiting the lake was, in fact, Howard Zerchowitz, originally from New York City.

The fabled legend of "Nessie" began to unravel when a postal employee told the tale of a "strange delivery" he had made earlier in the day - a small package addressed simply to "Loch Ness, Northern Shore, Next to the Large Rock."

Word spread to a group of Nessie enthusiasts who soon staged an impromptu stakeout of the appointed area. As detailed by the postal employee, a small package was sitting next to a large rock on the northern shore.

Soon after midnight, they were rewarded for their efforts as they witnessed a large, dark shape moving underwater towards the northern shore. With video cameras recording, they thought they had hit the jackpot when a large, prehistoric-looking creature emerged from the water.

Then, the hatch opened.

From out of the top of the "monster" climbed Zerchowitz, who scrambled to shore and grabbed the package.

The Nessie watchers were shocked, but recovered in time to grab Zerchowitz before he could make it back inside "Nessie" - which turned out to be a surplus United States Navy WWII shallow water submarine.

Inside the mystery package was a copy of BeOS R3 PPC. Soon, the rest of the story fell into place.

"I wanted to get away from the crowds, from the maniacs, from the noise," recalled Zerchowitz, referring to his native New York City. "I thought a trip to look for the Loch Ness Monster would be a pleasant diversion."

Zerchowitz enjoyed the 1983 trip so much, he decided to make his home in Loch Ness - literally.

"It was perfect. I got the submarine at an auction, built the "Nessie" shell around it and established my home in a vast network of underground caverns beneath the lake," said Zerchowitz. "When I was bored I would simply fire up the sub and 'buzz' the natives."

Zerchowitz then established a microwave link to the Internet to keep up to date on world events, and interact with people from a safe distance.

"I downloaded PR2 and got hooked on the power of Be," admitted Zerchowitz. "This was the downfall of my entire setup. Normally, I would wait for a moonless, fog-enshrouded night to attempt a land pickup. But my surveillance cameras noted the delivery of the package from Be, and I just could not wait."

A full moon and cloudless sky enabled the Nessie hunters to spot Zerchowitz with no difficulty.

Zerchowitz now plans to work with the Walt Disney company in designing a "Nessie" theme park to be built on Loch Ness that will feature lots of rides and high-quality Nessie-related merchandise.

Zerchowitz stunned the world even further by revealing that soon after he moved into the underwater caves, he did battle with a large, prehistoric being. He implores all Nessie enthusiasts not to abandon their belief that at one time, a great creature did in fact roam the lake.

"The creature was huge, graceful, primal and in fact delicious when grilled up with a nice mango chutney sauce," Zerchowitz added.

23 April, 2.05pm edt
Steve Jobs Leading Secret Life as BeOS Developer
Intrigued by the report that a large number of BeOS R3 PPC discs were being delivered to One Infinite Loop, Cupertino, California, Be Dope reporters have uncovered a secret organization of Be enthusiasts inside Apple headquarters that goes all the way to the top and includes Steve Jobs himself.

Although Apple itself did not choose Be as the basis for its next generation operating system, the BeOS left a deep impact on many individuals. This includes none other than Steve Jobs, Apple Chairman and "interim" CEO.

According to reliable sources, Jobs (using a pseudonym) is a registered BeOS developer and has many popular programs on the BeWare portion of Be's website.

"It's not uncommon that Jobs will pull one of us into his office for his opinion on a piece or software for the BeOS," said one Apple employee. "We'll share our comments while he furiously takes notes."

A spokesman for Apple denied any knowledge of the rumor, although he commented "it certainly would explain all that whooping and hollering we hear when he has locked himself into his office. It certainly sounds like someone working with an operating system that is far ahead of its time."

22 April, 11.10am edt
New Be Dope Interview
This week, Be Dope interviews Be Inc.'s Michael Alderete.

BeOS Powerful Query Ability Changes Lives
The BeOS packs a lot of power and speed into the Find command - allowing searches on almost any criteria - name, date, etc. - as well as extra attributes depending on what kind of object you're searching.

Several undocumented improvements to the Find command in BeOS R3 have the BeOS going above and beyond the duties of an operating system to drastically improve - and in some cases radically change - people's lives.

"I was running late for work because I could not find my car keys," wrote in on Be user, "My wife, who was at the computer, jokingly used the Find command to search for 'keys'. Imagine our surprise when a list was returned of all of our keys - house keys, skate keys, garage keys - any key we had in the house! It reported the car keys as 'behind the refrigerator', so I rescued them from where they had fallen and made it to work on time."

Other users have used the new Find features to find lost socks, dry cleaning tickets and phone numbers.

One Be user used the BeOS Find to locate her lost cat, Mittens, who had been missing for days.

"I was so relieved when Be reported that Mittens was locked in the neighbor's garage. They had left for vacation a few days before, so Mittens must have snuck into their garage while they were packing. Without the BeOS, poor Mittens might have starved to death," said Eliza Frothwig, choking back her tears.

Others report of reusing queries to improve their work environments:

"Reusing queries has saved me lots of time. I have several saved queries on my desktop. When I right-click them, the real-time results of the query are shown in the context submenu. I have a query named for all the documents associated with my current projects, so I no longer misplace anything. By far, the most useful query is the one named 'Boss' that lets me know exactly where in the building the Boss is at anytime," emailed one Be user.

Be engineers are rumored to be expanding the abilities of the Find command further for R5 so it will respond to queries such as "Find some peace and quiet" or "Find my sanity".

21 April, 10.05pm edt
More Evidence Supporting BeOS N64 Port
Further evidence supporting last week's rumors of the BeOS Nintendo 64 port has surfaced on Be Inc.'s own website:
Steve Sakoman
Vice President, Engineering

Mr. Sakoman, a co-founder of Be, came to the Company from Apple Computer... [snip] Mr. Sakoman has also worked at Silicon Graphics where he was the Director of the Consumer Products & Technologies Group, which included the Nintendo 64 project...
(src: http://www.be.com/aboutbe/company.html)
Obviously, Mr. Sakoman's intimate knowledge of the Nintendo 64 would ease the technical burden of porting the BeOS to the N64, and would help explain the speed with which last week's source code control initial checkin was achieved.
21 April, 12.20pm edt
Bill Gates Switches To BeOS After Win98 Comdex Crash
As seen in this CNN QuickTime movie, Bill Gates met the "Blue Screen of Death" during a demo of Windows 98 at Comdex yesterday. What is less widely known is that after the crash Gates then switched to the BeOS for the remainder of the demo.

"I'm going to choose my BeOS partition this time," Gates said as the demo machine rebooted, "I know for sure that won't crash."

Gates then implored the audience to use its imagination for the rest of the demo.

"OK, just imagine we are on the Windows 98 desktop here, with some folders and icons. And we'll pretend this Tracker thingy is the Start Bar. Ok, now I will launch some movies. Hmmm, just pretend they didn't launch quite as quickly as that and you'll have a pretty good idea of the performance of Windows 98," Gates explained to the crowd.

Gates continued to show word processing, image editing and Internet applications, stressing that "If I was running Windows 98 it would be something like this, just not as fast."

"And of course Windows 98 might crash a bit more often. But that is to be expected once in a very rare while. Except with the BeOS," Gates added.

20 April, 2.10pm edt
Work on DOS/Windows Runtime Environment Stalled
Work on a DOS/Windows runtime environment for the BeOS - which would allow users to run DOS and DOS-based operating systems, such as Windows95, within a Be window - has been facing its biggest challenge ever: apathy.

"At first, it seemed creating a program that allowed users to run Windows95 in a Be window was a natural moneymaker," said one developer, "but as I explored Be further, the thought 'ah, why bother' would cross my mind more and more often."

"The market research indicates support just isn't there," said another company developing BeOS software. "The greatest demand for such a product occurs just before and in the few days following installation of the BeOS. After that, interest plummets faster than a coconut-carrying swallow."

"When I first installed Be, I thought I would be booting back to Windows all the time, so running Windows in a Be window appealed to me," wrote a new Be user in a usergroup. "But now that I've been running Be for a while, I rarely think of using Windows. In fact, I'm probably going to reformat my DOS partition for Be soon."

This development does not surprise most analysts, even thought there is tremendous interest in SheepShaver, a MacOS runtime environment for the PPC version of Be.

"One thing Windows has never inspired in its users is passion," said John C. Dvorak. "Windows is like the staircase located next to escalators in shopping malls and airports. Although the stairs are a familiar tool, most people will take the more efficient escalator, especially when carrying a heavy load. No one takes the stairs for nostalgia's sake."

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