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Article Archive - 18 May to 22 May, 1998

22 May, 10.00am edt

Still No Winners In Be Dope Contest
Be Dope's Russian Doll contest, where the object is to run and/or emulate as many operating systems as possible, one inside the other, still has no winner. However, just to prove it can be done, Be Inc.'s Mikol Ryon sent in this screen shot:

(click thumbnail for full image)

Of course, that particular combination of operating systems (in that order) is now out of the running, since it is proven it can be done.

Get the details on the contest and enter to win fabulous prizes provided by Be, Inc. Come on, is it really that difficult for this community of geeks?!

"Unofficial" Windows Management Tips
As a follow-up to yesterday's Tip of the Week regarding windows management, several Be Dope readers emailed their favorite Windows management tips:

"I find the best way to manage Windows is to wipe out the disk partition it lives on and replace it with a BeOS partition." - anonymous Frenchman

"Gather allies in computer and government circles, obtain internal documents and wait for the right moment to strike" - Marc Andreessen

"Coordinate an anti-trust investigation backed by several states." - Janet Reno

21 May, 2.40pm edt

Early BeOS Specs Auctioned For 14Mil
The earliest know sketches and specifications of what was to become the "BeOS" were sold for 14 million dollars at a charity auction in Los Angeles Wednesday night.

The framed collection of sketches and text, drawn on various cocktail napkins riddled with French wine stains, were made by Be Inc. CEO Jean-Louis Gassée. The hastily jotted phrases now form the core of the BeOS mantra: Symmetric Multiprocessing, Pervasive Multithreading, and Preemptive Multitasking, Protected Memory, Media OS.

Several sketches show aspects of the proposed graphical user interface, some of which remains in the current version of the BeOS. There are also sketches of the now rare BeBox.

"I remember that is was after about five bottles of wine, when this idea suddenly struck me," said Gassée. "I knew I had to get it on paper as soon as possible, because it was unlikely I would remember anything in the morning."

The napkins also contain prototype names for the revolutionary OS, all of which were rejected in favor of "BeOS". Early candidates included "BrieOS", "KickAssOS" and "MultiEverythingOS", as well as several others crossed out beyond recognition.

"I will proudly display this collection in my study," said the buyer, Charles Dennison III. "As the BeOS increases in power and popularity, this collection will have my associates oozing with envy. Of course the value can only go up."

After the auction, Gassée admitted some of the original sketches had been lost, because he had ran out of paper and began taking notes on various body parts. He was halfway through his shower the next morning before realizing his error.

20 May, 11.55am edt

Net Positive AI Revealed
Net Positive users everywhere are being pleasantly surprised by previously hidden artificial intelligence capabilities of the BeOS default web browser.

"I was surfing along and had barely begun to move my mouse towards a link to click it when Net Positive activated the link and followed it for me," reported one user.

"Lately, when I've launched Net Positive, it's gone directly to the pages I usually check in the morning, and when I return from lunch other favorite pages have been automatically loaded," said another bemused but happy user.

"While I am cruising the web, Net Positive will pop open a new window any time a site I'm interested in has new content," emailed one source.

When pressed with this evidence, Be's Scott Barta (Net Positive Engineer) admitted the current version of Net Positive has some "undocumented features".

"Net Positive contains some AI code that is programmed to learn and adapt to an individual's usage pattern," explained Barta. "Net Positive builds a neural net of information by analyzing where surfers go and how long they spend there. The reports now coming in show Net Positive is beginning to pick up on the patterns of heavy users of the programs, and adapt its behavior to work more effectively."

According to Barta, other things to look for are bookmarks that are spontaneously added by Net Positive.

"If Net Positive is left running while the BeOS is fairly idle yet connected to the Internet, it will seek out and bookmark web sites based on current favorites and surfing patterns," said Barta. "I was really bored with all the offerings of existing browsers and wanted to make something unique."

Net Positive users are urged to report any other "unusual" behaviors.

"And all the neural net info is stored in the file attributes of Net Positive," Barta added.

19 May, 10.22am edt

Be Model: Man or Mannequin?
A controversy is raging in Be mailing lists and user groups over this picture:

The point of contention: is the entity man or mannequin? Flesh or plastic?

"One look at the pale 'skin', angular lines, thin lips and the overall rigidity of the subject should make it obvious to anyone that the model cannot be living flesh," said one pro-mannequin supporter.

"Mannequin technology has advanced beyond such primitive models and has been manufacturing models more life-like than what is pictured for years," argued one participant. "To find a mannequin that lifeless these days, you have to really search out junkyards and ancient musty storage areas."

While several argue that the sunny climate of Menlo Park, California, would make it impossible to maintain such a pale complexion, many point out that programmers often do not go outside during the daylight hours, venturing away from their code only late at night for a snack from the corner convenience shop.

"They are working hard to build a superior operating system," one person pointed out. "They have no time to go outside and enjoy the sunshine like 'regular people' do."

Be Dope readers can register their vote: man or mannequin.

If you believe the model is alive and think you know exactly who the model is, be sure to tell us!

18 May, 4.25pm edt

Download Free Software From Be Dope
Introducing PopUp 1.0 from Dopeware. PopUp reminds you of important appointments and lets you focus your brain on more important things, like coding for the BeOS.

Paramount Sues BeOS Developer
Paramount Pictures today filed a lawsuit against BeOS developer Douglas Irving Repetto for copyright infringement.

The lawsuit claims Repetto's popular squiggy program violates copyrights established by Paramount during the run of the popular sitcom "Laverne & Shirley".

Squiggy (along with his roommate Lenny) was known for his tendency to get caught up in wacky situations, and is one of the most recognized faces from the series.

"We believe Repetto's program dilutes the value of the 'Squiggy' brand rightfully held by Paramount," said Jack Barrone, legal representative for Paramount Pictures.

"I see very little chance for the BeOS user to confuse squiggy the sound manipulation tool with Squiggly the dull-witted but lovable sitcom character," said Repetto in a prepared statement.

"Paramount receives lots of fan mail for Squiggy to this day. Any program or product using his name is damaging," said Barrone, "That is why Paramount is suing for seventy-four million dollars in damages."

David L. Lander, who originally portrayed Squiggy in the popular sitcom, was not available for comment.

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