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Interview: Jean-Louis Gassée - Part 1

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Posted by:Ryan on Monday, 08 Jan, 2001 @ 1:34 AM

Since BeGroovy began, one of our top goals has been an interview with the man himself, Jean-Louis Gassée. Thanks to the efforts of Scar, such an interview was arranged and conducted december 12th 2000, when Myself, Scar, and JLG sat down for a few hours to chat about the year 2000 for Be, Inc, as well as what the future may hold. Its gone through the system, and here it (finally) is. Have a blast. :)

My text is in bold, Scar is in Green, and JLG is indented. Note that due to communications troubles, Scar dropped out of the interview halfway through. The second half of the interview will be posted soon… keep checking back. Update: The second half is now posted starting on page 5 of this interview.

Nutcase: Welcome JLG. Thanks for joining us.

Scar: Good morning JLG, its great to have you here.

JLG: Thanks for having me!

Nutcase: Just a brief introduction before we begin…. My name is Ryan Abrams, and I run BeGroovy.com. I am studying Mass Communications at Florida State University. Scar is a new reporter for us, based in New Zealand. He has been helping out on this interview, and in fact arranged it initially. Care to introduce yourself Scar?

Scar: Sure. My name is Marty Pine and I am an internet developer based in Wellington New Zealand.

Nutcase: Great! I think we all know who you are JLG. For those who don’t, Jean-Louis Gassee is the CEO of Be, Inc. Makers of BeIA and BeOS. There is one more thing to say before we get started, so let me get it out of the way….

Statements contained in this interview that are not historical facts are
“forward-looking statements” including without limitation statements regarding
the demand for, future market penetration and market acceptance of BeIA and
BeOS, the shipment dates of Be’s products, and the future operating results of
Be Incorporated. Actual events or results may differ materially as a result of
risks facing Be Incorporated or actual results differing from the assumptions
underlying such statements. Such risks and assumptions include, but are not
limited to, risks related to competition, market acceptance and market
penetration of Be’s products, ability to establish and maintain strategic
relationships, the benefit of Be’s products to OEM and Internet appliance
manufacturers. the continued availability of third party BeOS applications and
drivers, and the ability to establish and maintain strategic publishing
relationships. All forward-looking statements are expressly qualified in their
entirety by the “Risk Factors” and other cautionary statements included in Be
Incorporated’s Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31,
1999, and other public filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

…Now that thats done we can get on with the questions. :)

JLG: Yes, let’s not feed the lawyers…

Nutcase: Since Be began trading on July 20th, 1999, the company has become very quiet, and very much a different Be, at least from the outside. It has now been approximately a year and a half, so the first thing we want to know is, What’s going on? How has the last year and half been? Help us get back up to speed on Be, Inc.

JLG: What’s going on is we’re working very hard, actually many engineers will take a very short Xmas break, and, yes, we still have much to do and much to prove. The Internet Appliance space is very _promising_ and it’s still in the early stage of its life. The encouraging part is we see appliances introduced almost every week. The space hasn’t “settled”, which is bad news good news. The bad news part is there is no general agreement yet as to what we mean by IA. The good news is this is a good time for a player such as ourselves to gain a leading position if we do a good job on both technical and business issues. To me, the era of “everything connected” is probably as or more important as the invention of the telephone
this is a momentous shift and we’re thrilled to be there.

Nutcase: Definitely. Since it has been a while since we chatted. In order to make sure we cover everything, we have laid out the interview in a rather uniqe fashion moving from topic to topic in what seems a good order. We want to come back to some of the points raised in you first answer, but I would like to go to a question scar had regarding the IPO last July… it will let us take this as a chronological tour through the last year+ of partial-silence from Be. Fill in as many holes as we can. So here is scar…

Scar: The IPO coincided with Judge Jacksons’ findings of fact. This, combined with a rumor of Red Hat takeover, pushed share prices through the roof. What effect has the overinflated opening prices had on investors giving the current price of shares?

JLG: Can’t really say. As a private person, I don’t understand the stock market, seriously, as the CEO of Be, I have a policy not to comment on the price of our shares or on the state of the market.

Nutcase: Fair enough. At least no one can say we didnt ask. :) Of course, i dont understand the market either. :) Moving on to another topic….. Obviously the main event of the past year… the one that overshadows all the others.. is the Focus Shift. I would like to take some time to go over that, and see if we can all understand it a bit better. When did you first notice this new market? At what point did you decide to risk it all in order to pursue the IA market, and for what reasons?

JLG: We first noticed the new market a while ago when we did some work with a number of industry players who wanted to explore home applications, no-PC devices. Then we looked at QNX and we thought I’d be fun to try a put together a small footprint version of our technology. Then we saw an opportunity to ride the waves of broadband and multimedia, we saw interest, serious one in a number of olayers such as Compaq, National Semi, FIC and many others. Some are disclosed, others may or may not happen. In any event, we saw an opportunity where MS couldn’t play the games they play in the PC market and where we could become a mainstream player.

Scar: Define small footprint. With new features like IMAP and any others you care to tell us about, the footprint must be growing. What is your upper bound on flash memory space?

Nutcase: how big IS BeIA?

JLG: As to the upper bound, hard to say. It looks like we have a serious size/performance advantage today when compared to our competitors, especially if you look at our having a complete solution, browser, Real etc… Now, as we all know, memory prices may vary. Right now, flash is at a premium, who knows what it will do in the future and what users will react to.

Nutcase: heading back to the focus shift for a minute… When you announced the focus shift, it obviously had an impact on every aspect of Be. I would like to discuss that impact starting from inside and working out. How did Be employees take the focus shift? It seems that around that time most of the known public faces of Be left the company, which gave many people a bad feeling. Was that focus shift related, and how much of a change did it take internally to get on track with the new goal? How long did that change take?

JLG: Well, yes, it was a difficult decision and some great contributors disagreed. Some left with our good wishes, some stayed because they saw an opportunity to make a difference in an emerging market. The founders are here, Steve Sakoman and I, and early players such as Cyril are here. Others such as Benoit have left, I see Benoit all the time, he wanted to pursue a management career and had an opportunity we couldn’t match, I’m not about to complain about the free market.

Nutcase: The free market is a great thing. Its nice to have this chance to understand what happened, because many in the community were left uninformed… moving on with the impact of the focus shift, Once you had the company in working order on its new goals, the next question is how the investors took the focus shift. Is it safe to assume that most, if not all, of the large investors were for the focus shift? I am not sure if you can comment openly about your investors, but if you could give us a feel for the general mood…

JLG: Good question. Investors look at the future, with a profit motive. Less trivial is the time frame, when do they expect a return, how high. In general, I feel our investors have been very patient, they seem to support the direction and the management team.

Nutcase: Good answer. The final impact, and the one probably of most interest to BeGroovy readers, is the community impact. Was the impact of the focus shift on the BeOS community factored into your decision? Did the community react as expected? Better? Worse?

JLG: The BeOS community was clearly and rightly concerned. If we focus the company on BeIA, it raises all sorts of questions regarding resources, the future of BeOS. We can say what we want, our actions are what people watch. When we say BeOS is an important part of our future, time will help us demonstrate what we mean.

Scar: Was it difficult for Be to remain silent as required by your IPO, Investors, and stiff competition? Was there as major an internal culture change as there appeared to be to outsiders?

JLG: Actually, we forget that for five years we didn’t say a word, we worked in silence. Now, we have to speak some and keep some private, it’s a little more difficult but I’m impressed by the care and discipline Be-ers demonstrate.

Nutcase: The silence seems more deafening from the outside then it did i suppose. It probably comes down to the fact that beIA is the focus. Before people interpreted silence as “we are working hard on beos”… now it is seen as “we arent working on beos at all. go away”. But as you said previously, your actions will answer that.

Another community wound that i would like to talk about is the handling of the shift. Since you announced the shift, There has been quite a bit of criticism regarding the way it was handled. People say that you sent the wrong messages in the wording of your announcement, and didn’t use the grace needed to help the community accept the new focus. Do you agree with that criticism? Is there anything you would change in the way the shift was handled?

JLG: I feel terrible about that, I don’t know have we’ve let that happen but I accept responsibility for the wounded feelings. We didn’t intend it, but that’s no excuse.

Nutcase: Thanks for taking the time to go over some of that with us. Sorry about bringing up past wounds, but it has been a while, and we owe it to our readers to cover everything.

Nutcase: An upside to the focus shift, dispite the turmoil, is BeIA itself. As much as we have heard about BeIA via press releases, etc, I dont think the community is very aware of what it is, or what it does. I would like to take some time to discuss BeIA, so we can gain a greater understanding of it.

First off, Lets discuss your portion of the appliance. The software. What is BeIA? What features does it have, besides the obvious web browser. Why should we be excited about it?

JLG: There are a number of perspectives on BeIA, please bear with me as I zero on mine for a moment.

As a user, I’ve used BeOS as a Net Appliance for a while, a convenient, fast, simple way to mail and browse, write columns. Many “experienced” users just _know_ a PC is a terrible device for simple tasks. PCs will always be around for PowerPoint, Photoshop and other demanding applications. But simple(r) applications are better served by simple(r), always there, always on tools.

As it happens, that perspective is also shared by the other end of the spectrum, the opposite of pc-philes like yours truly, the pc-phobes. These users just want to mail and browse, get info and entertainment.

That’s one part. My other reasons to be excited are on the technical and business sides. On the technical side, we can apply our technology and experience to an emerging world where all the objects of our life will have some kind of Net connection. This raises all sorts of technical issues we’re working on with our software and hardware partners. One misunderstanding is seeing appliances as sub-PCs, that gets you a CE-like worldview. There are all sorts of interesting issues on the server side that don’t really exist with PCs, for instance.

On the business side, we deal with rather fascinating companies, existing players in the PC business as well as consumer electronics giants, retailers, ISPs, telecommunications companies, Taiwanese industrialists…

Nutcase: One view of IAs is essentially a “dumb terminal” is this accurate? What role will/can the IA fulfill?

JLG: Yes, that’s a view shared by some, I realize that. On the other hand, imagine a home entertainment appliance, streaming audio and video to other devices in the house, getting conent from the Web or your CD/DVD collection, that’s the kind of “dumb” I like.

Nutcase: Doesnt sound too dumb to me. :) To get back to the business side of things, How does BeIA differ from it’s competitors? Is it purely a matter of features, or is the unique design philosophy of BeOS an actual benefit to BeIA as well? If I was creating an IA, why would I choose BeIA, from a (forgive me) small unproven company, as opposed to Microsofts offering, or embedded linux, which is guaranteed to be there and is free from licensing costs?

JLG: Great question. Let me start with MS.

In terms of performance, we do better than CE on a number of counts, multimedia, speed, footprint… More importantly, we have a complete solution, the client side with great management, security, upgradability and recovery features. Then we have the integration tools and services. Then we have the server side Management and Administration Platform and… we’ll give you _even_ more control over your future than MS.

As for embedded Linux, it depends on the kind of appliances you want to build. Cobalt does great Network Appliances with Linux. On the other hand, if small footprint and a complete soultion are what you want, we have it. Lastly, Linux is free, but the rest, such as Real, isn’t.

Nutcase: Sounds good… just to dig into your answer a bit, could you tell us more about the various BeIA features you mentioned? integration tools, security, recovery, and MAP all caught my attention. What can you tell us about them? Any details?

JLG: Certainly. I’ll use one example. You’re an ISP and you’re remotely updating the client software on a BeIA appliance. The connection breaks in the middle of the switchover. BeIA reverts to a small “safe” partition, calls mom and restarts the process.

Nutcase: Sounds great. While everyone knows of internet appliances, they are often presented in one of two examples. The first is relatively absurd… The internet toaster. The second is much more conventional.. the webpad. We are all familiar with those basic examples. With BeIA, there are hints of more unique uses, such as the Aura audio system. What examples of IA’s can you give us that we may not have heard of?

JLG: That’s a dangerous question. Some of the juiciest applications will combine the benefits of a tablet with 802.11b connectivity with some of the media streaming features you can see in Aura.

Nutcase: hehe. dangerous questions are what make this fun JLG. :)

JLG: Dangerous but legitimate, the interest is appreciated.

Nutcase: You mentioned a server side management and administration platform. Does that mean there is a BeIA Server/hub? If so, is it BeOS based? Will users be able to serve their IAs from BeOS?

JLG: It looks to us we have to make it easiest for our business partners to deploy appliances. We’ll want to run on whatever their servers use.

Nutcase: Why will BeIA succeed where others (the itoaster, etc) have failed? What will allow BeIA devices to avoid the same pitfalls?

JLG: Best is to assume appliances will succeed when “deployers” have a) the infrastructure, b) the customer service capability and, c) a clear way to make money either selling the device or using the device to sell services, content, products, or all of the above.

Scar: Many countries lack the bandwidth to cheaply support broadband internet connection. Lag is therefore a major issue. Will IAs (streaming media etc) still be viable in that environment? IF not, what other applications will/can IAs serve?

JLG: I think we can safely assume broadband is gaining acceptance rather rapidly in US and Europe. In any event, see at the beginning, there is room for simple everyday Net use where the PC may or may not satisfy _some_ users.

Nutcase: Ok JLG.. I think BeIA is sounding really quite nice. :) After your explanations i am sure that anyone who has seen a palm pilot can see the future. It sounds like you guys are right there leading the race towards it. As such, i would like to move towards beos for a while…

Nutcase: When BeIA was announced, BeOS became the “development OS” for the BeIA platform. This obviously left a bad taste in the mouth of people supporting and using BeOS as the media-os or a GPOS. Would you say that BeOS’s status as a development OS would limit its use as a GPOS? Should non-beia developer BeOS users be worried?

JLG: Fair question. In large part, the answer is out of our hands. Look at today’s PCs and try to buy a PC from Dell, HP with both Windows and Linux factory installed. You can’t. You can get Linux in some places, mostly WinMe, but not both. The reason is MS plays a clever game. To use a boot loader, if you’re a Windows licensee, you must use the MS loader. Then, if you read the MS Boot Manager license, you can only use it to load MS OSs, DOS, WindowsXX, Windows 2000. Otherwise you lose your Windows license. This explains why you cannot buy a dual boot Windows and a competing OS loaded at the factory.

If and when the DOJ wins their case for good and winning means Dell or Compaq can install competing OS at the factory, MS will have to compete on merits. Today, they abuse their monopoly.

Back to us, I’d love to see BeOS, free, loaded by key players at the factory. In the mean time, we make it available for download, as you know.

Nutcase: That is definately a problem… in fact, recent screenshots of Whistler show the taskbar using the same method for handling running apps that Deskbar has since its creation. Another side to the previous question is in relation to people that are willing to install os’s… power users… A large portion of the community is still spreading the beos “gospel”, and sizeing onto any opportunity… for example, things such as the black & white fund and opengl will give us a large advantage in gaming (despite the lack of games) - many are hoping to create a strong gaming community…. With BeIA being as strong as it seems, the convergence could help bring users to BeOS… perhaps included with the IA as the pc-companion.

The main point is this:

An OS is only really useful if its development is continued. Will BeOS continue to be developed as an OS? Or will it just be kept up to speed with BeIA as a development platform?

JLG: From my perspective, much hinges on our ability to prove ourselves as a viable company. As a developer, I’d want to bet on a company that’s going to Be around. So, still from my standpoint, a key factor is our ability to make BeIA a mainstream player. My behavior demonstrates what my belief is. When the perception matches my belief, it will be much easier for developers.

Nutcase: So that leads to another question i had.. you seem to touch on it above… You mention developers wanting a company that will be around. Do you mean in a target platform way? In a development platform way? Are you saying that if BeIA is a success and Be is shown to be a viable company, you are going to continue BeOS development?

JLG: I understand the concern. I think one could see a scenario where we succeed with BeIA and decide to “drop” BeOS. I’m not sure I can put a probability on such scenario. As for the difference between a target platform and a development platform, I think it is a very valid question. From my perspective at this stage of the game, it’s hard to quantify the differences, but I recognize it’s a valid question we’ll need to re-visit over time.

Nutcase: From a user standpoint, your answer does not instill much confidence into the community. I realize you can’t state specific things, but this answer is going to provide fuel to people claiming the death of BeOS. As such, i have a few questions to follow up. I will just ask them all at once, because they all go together….

Is there a current view of dropping BeOS when possible, or is the current view to maintain it? If, for some reason, BeOS was dropped, would there be any effort to open source enough of it that independent developers could fill in the gaps and have a working OS, or is it too reliant on licensed code or BeIA code?

JLG: Those are very legitimate concerns. You say “From a user standpoint, your answer does not instill much confidence into the community.”

Now, if you were the CEO of Be, Inc., what should you say?

Nutcase: It depends on what i meant. You obviously have concerns or issues that you can’t state. But i wouldn’t be doing my job if i didn’t pursue the question as far as possible. That said, it is apparent that the future is either unclear or unfavorable. Which is fine. It is a valid answer. Not the answer that would make people happy, but it is a valid answer.

JLG: Sorry, allow me to press you.

Nutcase: Press me?

JLG: Please state for the record what you think I should say.

Nutcase: If you would bet on the BeOS being dropped, you should say “It will just be a development platform” or you should say Nothing. If you are planning to continue support for the OS, you should state that you are committed to BeOS as the development platform for BeIA, and will continue developing along those lines.

JLG: We’ve said the second part. Let me add just one thing… We’ve made BeOS supporters unhappy, I realize that and I apologize. As a result of our change in focus, there is a certain distrust in the air. Hopefully, over time, the sentiment will change, but we’ll need to work our way back.

Nutcase: BONE and OpenGL are great starts, JLG. Thank you for taking the time to clarify what is pretty much THE key issue in the community. Do you have time for a few more, less speculative questions before we wrap this up?

JLG: With pleasure.

Nutcase: A big rumor being heard around the community is of a new full release of BeOS.. commonly referred to as R6. In fact, Jean Calmon said to c’t (a German Computer mag) reporters that “(…) although BeOS can’t compete with the other operating systems in the desktop market there will be BeOS Release 6.0 with a newer version of Opera and the new BeOS network environment ‘BONE’ which is currently in beta-testing. Is this true? What else can BeOS users look forward to in the near future?

JLG: I’ll ask my old friend Jean Calmon what he meant. For myself, I’d rather not comment, realizing fully my position might add to the stock of rumors.

Nutcase: Fair enough. No interview with you would be complete without asking for new details about BeOS and BeIA. :)

Nutcase: One final community issue I would like to bring up is BeOS developer support, to get our readers the answers. Then i have a few happier questions for you. :)

Be (relatively) recently dropped the old developer support program for BeOS developers. many third party developers have commented on the lack of support from Be Inc. Many have turned from the BeOS platform to development for other OSs. What, if anything, does Be Inc plan to do to entice (and keep) developers?

JLG: I’ll be both apologetic and grateful of situations where we do less than we should are brought to my attention. We can’t afford unresolved support issues.

Nutcase: Ok. Very valid reasoning. I know that several of your engineers hang out on BeShare/IRC and help out when they can, but this question kept popping up.

Moving along… When you started Be Inc, did you imagine that in the year 2000 you would be on the verge of becoming a major player in a market that will change the face of computing the world over?

JLG: Steve and I started Be on the assumption current OS were becoming obese and fragile, we thought a clean start would generate better performance, reliability, footprint, great multimedia.

So far, so good.

What we didn’t see was the new target, Internet Appliances. But that’s fine, many technologies find their application in places the progenitors didn’t see at first.

Nutcase: Based on the quick shift to IA’s and the market position you are in, I would say that you did a pretty good job predicting IA requirements, even if you didn’t see them. Is there anything in Be’s past you would change if you could?

JLG: Plenty, I had no experience as an entrepreneur, didn’t know how to raise money, how to keep the story focused on the needs of investors, just to name one change. Overall, it continues to be a character building experience and a gratifying one when I see the quality of people who support the effort inside and outside. Also, I’ve been impressed with the quality of people at the SEC, believe it or not…

Nutcase: You have built something great. You built a better mousetrap, twice. Maybe this second time the world will catch on. :) I want to thank you for your time, and wrap up with three tiny nagging questions….

Nutcase: First off, would you be willing to do a follow up to this? Say, answering the top 10 questions from our readers as posted in the comments of the interview?

JLG: Certainly, we know the rules and limitations.

Nutcase: Of course… our moderators will pick out 10 based on their quality, and the likelihood of being answerable. :)

Secondly, Do you read BeGroovy? Do you have any thoughts about the new version? :)

JLG: I don’t read it every day but my colleagues often suggest I look up a particularly… groovy item.
I like the design, clean and useable, I’m not crazy about some of the “busy” sites. Needless to say the content is serious fun…

Nutcase: :)

Finally, the one question that EVERYONE is wondering about… the clincher.. With all the excitement surrounding BeIA these days,

How are your nipples?

JLG: Let me put it this way, I’m very pleased with what the team here is doing.

Nutcase: Thank you VERY much for taking so much time out of your day to chat with us. You mentioned a healing process above… rebuilding trust. I think this is a great step, and we all appreciate it.

JLG: Before I sign off, let me say my thanks for the support, much appreciated. These are “dynamic” times, we all realize this and we’re working hard to justify the hopes many have placed on us.

Happy Holidays!

Nutcase: Thanks! You Too!

61 Responses to “Interview: Jean-Louis Gassée - Part 1”

  1. georges Says:


    BeGroovy scoops every other BeOS site with the one and only JLG interview.
    Nice work Nutcase and Scar.

    (I like how you spilt it up into two sections… for more page views perhaps?? :P P)


  2. IAmWhoIHam Says:

    In Response To Delija @ 01/08/2001 06:03:52 AM

    “What interests us all”?

    I am interested in BeIA *AND* BeOS, so the interview was great.

  3. IAmWhoIHam Says:

    In Response To MC Spanky @ 01/08/2001 10:01:29 AM

    Re: But when will we get another BeOS release?

    Ummm, no if JLG says I can’t tell you, it simply means he can’t tell us. That’s all.

    I’m so sick of people assuming the worst all the time.

  4. ynop Says:

    Great interview

    Well .. good interview so far.

    I can’t wait for the second part.

  5. Mike Says:

    The interview

    Finally some legitimate info!!

  6. Babylon Says:

    A good Interview for the community

    I thought the questions were very good.

    Don’t make us wait too long for the second part…:)

  7. El-Al Says:

    [No Subject]

    Whoooooo! The SCOOP!!!

    Nice one Groovers, I enjoyed it thus far!

  8. PieterPan Says:


    Wow guys, this is great news, I never thought the community would hear such a personal response from JGL, absolutely groovy! (I was reading the text with his raspy voice in my head :-) How about an interview on BeOS radio, perhaps?

    I am really starting to think that this IA stuff will save Be, inc so that they can work jointly on BeOS and BeIA once the BeIA orders settle a bit. Then they can get some more money for more BeOS engineers ;-)

    Now for that “To Be Continued”, Scar and Nutcase, you know I hate that… wink wink nudge nudge.

    Bring on Part II,

    Thanks for the awesome interview!


  9. PieterPan Says:

    In Response To PieterPan @ 01/08/2001 04:30:53 AM


    You can see that we have quite a few hardcore BeGroovy Refreshers. I was just checking in real quick, honestly, I have not been refreshing every hour ;) .


  10. Ed Says:

    Just a quote

    JLG: “When we say BeOS is an important part of our future, time will help us demonstrate what we mean.”
    That says all.

  11. PieterPan Says:

    In Response To Ed @ 01/08/2001 04:34:50 AM

    Re: Just a quote

    Yeah, they’re just a little busy :)

    Ah heck, we’re all used to being patient with em, as long as it’ll be good, I can wait!


  12. dave_sn Says:

    In Response To Ed @ 01/08/2001 04:34:50 AM

    Re: Just a quote

    Nice interview, but too little about BeOS. I hope it’ll be more in the future.

  13. Pirx Says:

    In Response To Ed @ 01/08/2001 04:34:50 AM

    Re: Just a quote

    I sure hope so…..

  14. Pirx Says:

    In Response To Ed @ 01/08/2001 04:34:50 AM

    Re: Just a quote

    I sure hope so…..

  15. Delija Says:

    Darn! They stopped at the sausy bit.

    Just like TV - you reach the interesting bit, and then a commercial break disrupts the flow. Nothing new as far as IA’s are concerned (not that I care about them anyway), cannot wait until they cover what actually interests us all. And the most important question is - Opera 4 / Java / Open GL - will they all be included with Dano? (and dont say ‘I danno’)

  16. MC Spanky Says:

    But when will we get another BeOS release?

    The BeIA news is great, but when can we expect another release of the BeOS? Even if JLG says “I can’t tell you,” that at least means it’s not imminent.

  17. Nutcase Says:

    In Response To MC Spanky @ 01/08/2001 10:01:29 AM

    Re: But when will we get another BeOS release?

    Part 2 is on it’s way “Real Soon Now”(tm)

  18. Nimdok Says:


    Great interview! I appreciate that you didn’t just stick to Rosie-ODonnell buttery nice shit.

    Dying dying dying for part 2! What has it been? 12 months since news about BeOS?? :)

  19. Torsion Says:


    Good, I’m glad I’m not the only one who was left with blueballs at the end of this interview.

    Good interview so far, We Want Part Deux!

  20. zaaj Says:

    In Response To Torsion @ 01/08/2001 2:45:10 PM

    Re: Blueballs

    Oh yeah, Nutcase gave us a quick injection of some BeOS heroin but we have to wait for the rest. Damn! Great interview though, very interesting read.


  21. Rich Lewine Says:


    Fabulous interview with JLG! We got real information
    from an unimpeachable source. . .and it sounds like BeOS
    is going to be around for a while.

    Let’s get to Part II!

    Nice job guys!


  22. Ruprect Says:

    BeNews linkto

    Ok, this is petty, but BeNews posted a link to BeGroovy’s interview, right? That’s cool, but they’ve got the BG1.0 icon still. AHHHH!

    Nutcase, do you have a small icon yet?

  23. LeftTurn Says:

    Good scoop!

    Good scoop guys. This is an excellent interview. Just don’t tease us with the second part. Pleeeaassee put it up ASAP :)

  24. spar Says:

    In Response To Nutcase @ 01/08/2001 10:13:05 AM

    Re: But when will we get another BeOS release?

    Why did you break it up?

  25. Nutcase Says:

    In Response To basstoon @ 01/09/2001 06:35:18 AM

    Re: I think that this was nasty

    sorry you think so. I think of it as good natured teasing, and stretching out big news so we dont have long dry periods. to each their own.

  26. Deej Says:

    In Response To Marcel @ 01/09/2001 05:31:30 AM

    Re: Can an HD standart be connected to BeAI?

    Yes, but that would be up to a manufacturer/company building the device to do. So yes, it is possible, depending upon how the company sets up their IA. Doesn’t the Sony device have some sort of external Zip connected through USB or something? Plus, any device with an external compact flash slot should be able to support an IBM MicroDrive, as expensive as those are.

  27. Nutcase Says:

    In Response To spar @ 01/09/2001 00:02:11 AM

    Re: But when will we get another BeOS release?

    as an experiment… i never have before, and wanted to see how it would go.

    Besides, i love teasing everyone. :P

  28. Marcel Says:

    Can an HD standart be connected to BeAI?

    After reading the stuf about BeAI en the eVil la
    I’m wondering if connecting an HD to BeAI is standart.

    Certainly with low bandwith connections a HD to cache sites or audio would be real handy.
    Most devices have USB so it should be possible.

    This isn’t as strange a question as it might seem,
    because one of the main things the X-box is said about to revolutionise is having an HD.
    If a console, witch is nothing more than a gaming appliance, is revolutionising the bisness just by having a HD what could is do for a real appliance?

    I think it commes down to exstencibility of appliances for end users. Not only plug and play with the instalation but also with the use. In other word I plug in a HD over USB and it gets automaticly used to cache audio/video sites etc.

    Is there any word on this kind of technologie or other extensions?

  29. basstoon Says:

    I think that this was nasty

    This is nasty way to make your site more popular. I can’t be here often than that.
    I will forgive you only if there is some pending announce from Be or this part of interview waiting for something to happen.
    We feel like hungry children and you put us on the torture with this juicy info.
    That was nasty.

  30. Rurpect Says:

    In Response To Nutcase @ 01/09/2001 00:20:09 AM

    Part Deux

    Ryan, I think this was a *good* decision. Promotes repeat readers, anticipation, better editing, more even pacing, etc. Very good.

    Kuddos guys on an excellent, well-researched interview. My god!

    On the logistics of it, how exactly did you set this up? Was it a live chat between all of you? I would think that could be difficult.

  31. Scar Says:

    In Response To Nutcase @ 01/09/2001 12:09:55 AM

    Re: I think that this was nasty

    good call nc. I was also thinking that it would let the impact of what JLG was saying to you all sink in before reading on, instead of skimming through the whole thing but not really understanding what was said (and what wasn’t ;) )

  32. Brent P. Newhall Says:

    In Response To basstoon @ 01/09/2001 06:35:18 AM

    Re: I think that this was nasty

    Ummmmm…that wasn’t funny, I’m afraid.

    Good scoop, Nutcase! Keep on at it.

  33. Capt. Jean-Luc Pikachu Says:


    I can’t believe the best part is in the second part… (BeOS specific stuff, to hell with BeIA until they have wireless webpads running it.)

    Baby Jesus will cry if the second part isn’t posted soon.

  34. Basstoon Says:

    In Response To Nutcase @ 01/09/2001 12:09:55 AM

    OK :o )

    I’m glad that you are there. I respect your opinion, and I like your site…
    I am new to BeOS community and “long dry periods” is something that scares me. Do you think that second part will be just in time after 6 months?

    BTW “Information wants to be free!”

  35. LeftTurn Says:

    In Response To Marcel @ 01/09/2001 05:31:30 AM

    Re: Can an HD standart be connected to BeAI?

    Well, I don’t know any specifics, but I can see a hard drive being beneficial to any of these new appliances. Rather than USB though I’d rather see it as firewire (IEEE1394). But then again, I’m sure Apple charges a hefty licensing fee which is too bad. I believe firewire is a better transfer port than USB, but that is my humble opinion.

  36. Jason Gortician Says:

    In Response To Capt. Jean-Luc Pikachu @ 01/09/2001 6:29:27 PM

    Yesssssssss Re: noooooooooo…

    Very good work, guys. Please consider letting me correct the typos, however…

    Thanks for the news,

  37. Buck Says:

    Why do you believe it?

    I guess they’re still negotiating the so-called ’second’ part with the official Be. What to tell and what not to tell. The JLG thing is quite suspicious alone. I hope it’s all true and not just a silly joke for BeOS fans.

  38. Nutcase Says:

    In Response To Basstoon @ 01/09/2001 8:34:41 PM

    Re: OK :o )

    Long dry periods happen rather frequently… i would expect the second half within a week. (i am just as excited about posting it as you.. waiting is killing me. :P )

    BTW - Information dont want shit. Its an abstract. YOU want information to be free. :P

  39. Nutcase Says:

    In Response To Buck @ 01/10/2001 09:54:40 AM

    Re: Why do you believe it?

    It is most definately legit… and we arent really negotiating much.. i am just reproofreading the thing 80 times based on the feedback from the first part. :P

  40. B Says:

    In Response To Nutcase @ 01/10/2001 11:48:44 AM

    Re: Why do you believe it?

    I will forgive any spelling errors, just as long as I get to read it before I wear my fingers down to the bone checking this website every 5 minutes!

  41. Francis Parsons Says:

    In Response To Nutcase @ 01/10/2001 11:47:08 AM

    Re: OK :o )

    This suspense is too much! Maybe I’m being negative, but there must be *some* kind of bomb in the second half to account for this delay. Obviously you (and JLG) already know that fans (like me) are going to be fixating on every single word in his replies.

    One possible reason behind the wait is that if it’s disappointing, it’s a good idea to give readers time to absorb the meaning of what was posted in the first half (especially the legal disclaimer!!). If it was *positive* news, perhaps it’s meant to keep people from getting so exited that they start pestering Be when there’s no guarantees on when or if they can deliver - dispite the disclaimers.

    Or maybe it’s just good for traffic at BeGroovy.

    On the other hand, perhaps it’s just too early for Be to release anything even speculative/conditional because this is such a critical time for them - maybe this means there’s more things to be unveiled soon (oops, reading to much into this!). Maybe Be has really been dying to say something, and this is the soonest they’ve been able to? So soon, that it’s *still* too early?

    This is torture, you realize, but thanks for your efforts in bringing one of the most important stories in a long, long, time!

  42. georges Says:

    In Response To LeftTurn @ 01/09/2001 8:38:40 PM

    Re: Can an HD standart be connected to BeAI?

    I doubt they charge fees. It’s an open standard, isn’t it?

  43. CyberChicken Says:

    In Response To Torsion @ 01/08/2001 2:45:10 PM

    Re: Blueballs

    Disgusting! You guys really wanna suck this guy off…

  44. Nik Edge Says:

    In Response To Rurpect @ 01/09/2001 1:57:00 PM

    Re: Part Deux

    I agree, an excellant idea….keeps the punters on their toes (me included).

  45. Torsion Says:

    In Response To El-Al @ 01/11/2001 09:08:17 AM

    Re: dum-te-dum…..te-dum…………..

    Me too. I want the article, now. You’ve got people out here in the Be community buying multiple copies of BeOS-only software in order to show as much support as they can, and you’re holding out on them? That’s cheap.

  46. El-Al Says:


    hmm……how soon is “Real Soon Now”?

    I thought part two might have been along a bit sooner than this

  47. B Says:

    In Response To El-Al @ 01/11/2001 09:08:17 AM

    Re: dum-te-dum…..te-dum…………..

    I agree…”real soon” is a term you use when you’re talkin’ to your buddies, and you say, “I’ll be over real soon”…as in a few minutes, or an hour or two, or maybe even a day or two…but a more appropriate term for this kind of wait would have been, “In the not too distant future”…”some time from now”…”when I get around to it”…but hopefully we’ll still be able to avoid such phrases as “someday, hopefully”…”before the end of the world”…or “when hell freezes over”…

  48. Scar Says:

    In Response To B @ 01/11/2001 10:52:58 AM

    Re: dum-te-dum…..te-dum…………..

    My advice to you is to wait patiently, read the first part again and stop harrassing nutcase. He’ll post it when he’s good and ready. Abusing him about it isn’t going to help any. Just chill out!


  49. B Says:

    In Response To Scar @ 01/11/2001 2:13:14 PM

    Re: dum-te-dum…..te-dum…………..

    Yes dad……

  50. Scar Says:

    In Response To B @ 01/11/2001 4:17:39 PM

    Re: dum-te-dum…..te-dum…………..


  51. Little Says:


    Judging from the amount hype this second part was given, I found there was hardly any real info on R6 or anything remotely about BeOS. The rest of the interview was great, but I was quite disappointed at the part for which I was waiting the most.

    Regardless, thank you very much JLG.

  52. Little Grey Says:

    No real info on BeOS

    Judging from the amount hype this second part was given, I found there was hardly any real info on R6 or anything remotely about BeOS. The rest of the interview was great, but I was quite disappointed at the part for which I was waiting the most.

    Regardless, thank you very much JLG.

  53. Tasslehoff Says:

    Nice interview, no news.

    You know, it’s a nice read and it’s good to see JLG taking the time to talk with the community. But, as is expected with no forward looking statements, the answers weren’t too exciting. Every interesting question has to be evaded and we end up with lots of “valid question” and “valid answer”.
    I guess with the CES announcements out, there’d be much more to talk about now. Unfortunately the interview was held in Be’s quiet period before the show in december.

    Some questions I’m still interested in:
    - When the focus shift was announced it was stated that BeIA is a subset of BeOS, that they share the same code tree and thus improvements in one system will eventually be implemented in the other one. Is this still true? Give us an example.

    - Are all non-coding resources completely focused on BeIA or are you still in active negotiations with software companies to port/develop for the BeOS?

  54. Jeff Flowers Says:

    Afraid To Say It?

    Come on, JLG! Be is simply hiding. Apple and MS are traded companies and they announce their OS intentions all of the time without problems.

    No, I believe that if Be intended to continue BeOS developement and support, they would have stated it already. Not doing so is hurting both BeOS and the BeOS community.

    I sincerely hope I am in error about this but that is how I see it.

    Jeff “Praying I’m Wrong” Flowers

  55. Delija Says:

    2 words…

    Beating around the bush.
    No wait, thats four…

    …all we want to know is…are we wasting our time with BeOS? I’m a geek and I couldn’t care less about IAs. If BeIA lets BeInc work in the red (financially), will it continue maintaining BeOS ™ so that whiz bang new technologies become a part of the system allowing application developers to utilise these new technologies?

  56. Anonymous Says:

    3 more ?s

    1) Are there current plans to _ever_ release BONE? Not asking for a date or anything.

    2) Are there current plans to _ever_ release the newer OpenGL stuff? Again, not looking for a specific date.

    3) Are there current plans to _ever_ release an OS patch/upgrade/new version?

    I’m not looking for dates, I just want to know if there are _current_ plans to do these things. I write “current” so someone could answer “currently, yes” while still providing an out later on (”well, plans changed”). I’m pretty happy with BeOS as it is now. I’d be happier still if I didn’t have to hear all these rumors about an even better OS just waiting to be released.

  57. Reddog Says:

    In Response To Little Grey @ 01/15/2001 03:39:59 AM

    Re: No real info on BeOS

    Yes, it’s amazing how little of substance was actually said. It would have been nice if JLG could have expounded on BeGroovy’s comments instead of giving the equivilant of a grunt.

  58. Reddog Says:

    In Response To Little Grey @ 01/15/2001 03:39:59 AM

    Re: No real info on BeOS

    Yes, it’s amazing how little of substance was actually said. It would have been nice if JLG could have expounded on BeGroovy’s comments instead of giving the equivilant of a grunt.

  59. A past BeOS user Says:

    In Response To MC Spanky @ 01/08/2001 10:01:29 AM

    Re: But when will we get another BeOS release?

    Great interview by Nutcase with JLG. Sadly all my questions of these past months were answered.

    BeOS6 - maybe, Moho2.2 - maybe, MacOSX - March 24. Bye Bye BeOS, I don’t want to know about you anymore. I’ve found maybe not as good an OS, but one that is supported by real developers with real applications. Not pipedreams and hollow promises which never eventuate. BONE, OpenGL, BeOS6, not in my lifetime and I’m only 24.

  60. an angry beos user Says:

    In Response To A past BeOS user @ 01/16/2001 9:44:17 PM

    Re: But when will we get another BeOS release?

    Moho2.2 arrived so it’s not a maybe. but I agree R6 now looks very much a pipedream while macosX and Windows2001 are certain realities. I too will be leaving Beos5 for greener pastures. Be you have wasted my time. Don’t ever ask me to use Beos again as you promise a lot but deliver nothing.

  61. Henderson John Says:

    Perceptions do not limit reality.

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