; ) Be Dope archive *  icon tarot *  qJLG * haiku
interviews *  bookstore *  newsletter

visit mikepop.net for more info about Mike Popovic

22 February, 1.50pm pst
Microsoft Leaks Compaq's Leak to Be Dope

BE DOPE NEWS (BDN) Last week's widely reported leak from Compaq to Microsoft was confirmed almost immediately by Be Dope sympathizers inside Microsoft corporate headquarters. Over the weekend, Be Dope has worked with a trusted source from Redmond and several other sources to piece together facts about the alleged "Compaq-Be Internet Appliance".

Our Microsoft source did in fact get a look at some of the material "inadvertently" forwarded to Microsoft - but unfortunately was not able to keep a copy. The source worked with Be Dope artist Dave MacLachlan and other Be Dope informants to recreate from memory the prototype sketches he saw:

BeOS Internet Appliance Concept Drawing

(click on drawing for larger image)

As we can see from the above image, it looks like the proposed device is not limited to an Internet Appliance - but a versatile Internet/Set-top/Gaming/Entertainment solution. While many of te details were confirmed by independent sources, some remain in question - including the modem port, which is believed to have been replaced by a combination modem/ethernet/cable modem port. USB was also incorporated into the "expansion port" area in later designs.

"With the gameports, DVD player and collection of ports available, you not only have an Internet Appliance, but a complete entertainment appliance that is ready to merge the worlds of computing, the Internet, movies and gaming," said a source close to Be, Inc. Menlo Park headquarters.

Not shown in the above sketches is the viewing/input environments.

"Later sketches show the slide-out 'butterfly' style keyboard/cursor device," said our Menlo Park source. "However it should be noted that Be and Compaq were also working heavily with voice input and control."

Which leaves viewing as the last - and most intriguing - piece of the puzzle. For months, Be Dope has been hearing bits and pieces of information that would point to some sort of holographic projection viewing technology. With the Internet Appliance angle, the context for this type of technology seems suddenly obvious. When asked about it, our Menlo Park source said, "that falls under the Transmeta area, so I can not really talk about it at all."

This would tie in to information that this machine's innards are made up (at least in part) of Nuon and Transmeta chips. Add in Steve Sakoman's (Be, Inc. VP of Engineering) past ties to the Nintendo 64 project, a cube mysteriously labeled "Linus" located in Be headquaters and large shipments of DVD movies, game consols and game carts from Fry's to Be, Inc. in the past two months, and it seems Be and Compaq might have been cooking up something that truly upset key Microsoft personnel.

When contacted about this, a Be, Inc. spokesperson cited their policy not to comment on rumors. But he sounded really excited when he said it.

More on this as it develops.


New Stories
New stories by the author of Be Dope can be found at Segfault.org

e Villa Celebration
Did you know all of Be Dope's e Villa stories are available via one handy page?

Be Dope Merchandise
These remaining tshirts are sure to be a collector's item someday. Buy now.

Home | qJLG | Icon Tarot | Story Archive | Interviews | Bookstore | Newsletter | About | Advertise | Contact