bebox

Gone, baby, gone!

by Michael Alderete on 11/5/2007 · 6 comments

Free BeBoxes On Saturday I took 13 BeBoxes to the Vintage Computer Festival in Mountain View, with the intent of offering them to passers-by, getting them out of the house and into a good home.

I spent a bit of time creating a flyer to advertise them, and packed up a kit with stapler, tape, marker, etc., so that I could put them up in good places. Then I drove 45 minutes to the Computer History Museum, where the festival was taking place.

The second person who saw the flyer said, “OK, I’ll take them.” I hadn’t even posted it yet! After 10 minutes of transferring from my car to his truck, the BeBoxes had a new home, and better prospects for being refurbished and restored to their former, if not glory, at least functionality.

Rochelle hasn’t stopped smiling since I got back with an empty car. And I have to admit, with the CRAP efforts we’ve made in the last two months, it seems like we might recover the use of our third bedroom before the end of the year. That will make us both smile!

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The island of lost resolution

by Michael Alderete on 12/6/2003

Rochelle found the following snippet on her computer, dated at the end of last year:

“Crap Reduction and Abatement Program — While we have remained committed to the idea of having less stuff, we still have way too much crap. Michael has promised to get rid of his BeBox collection by January 17th (the one year anniversary of their arrival). I have promised to throw any remaining BeBoxes out the front window on January 18th. I have vowed that since Spring semester doesn’t start until February, I would dedicate a couple of weekends in January to weeding through the dressing room which, despite our good intentions, has reverted once again to the Island of Lost Crap.”

For the record, all three of these things will be on our resolutions list at the end of this year, too.

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A new hope

by Michael Alderete on 2/12/2003

I’ve written previously that, while I moved the BeBoxes out of the parlor, I have not actually moved them out of the house, the ultimate goal. So, while I technically avoided having my systems thrown out on the street, I haven’t finished the project. Indeed, Rochelle reminded me of this fact just this evening, and wondered if I was planning to keep them in my office for another year.

The good news is, I have another motivation for making progress. We’ve decided that we get to upgrade our computer displays to LCD screens. Rochelle’s is ordered, and should arrive early next week. Mine, though, remains on the Wish List, and will stay there until I’ve earned the money to buy it. By selling off the BeBoxes.

So hopefully, what fear could not accomplish, a little (a lot!) technolust will.

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BeBox extension Top 10

by Michael Alderete on 1/21/2003

Rochelle suggested that I should write up a Top 10 list of reasons why I should get an extension on my BeBox project, instead of her throwing them on the street. So here goes:

10. Technology’s complicated.
9. Fun with Gas #1
8. It’s the NFL playoffs, goddammit!
7. What BeBoxes? That’s a permanent art installation.
6. The cats distracted me with shiny things.
5. I’ve been drunk or hung over every weekend since I got them.
4. Hey! You tricked me!
3. Oh, yeah, right, I guess I need to work on those.
2. Because I wear the pants around here!
1. What about your projects?

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BeBox project update

by Michael Alderete on 1/21/2003

Back in October, Rochelle got me to publicly commit to finishing my BeBox refurb project, or terminate it. She cleverly suggested a deadline far in the future. The 17th of January, the anniversary of my buying the collection. I later modified that to be the weekend after the 17th, to give myself an extra two days.

Those last two days were this past weekend.

So, I’m not finished, and haven’t actually made a whole lot of progress. My Daily Home Improvements are primarily going to tasks to clear space for the BeBoxes in my office, so Rochelle can have her parlor back.

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The Final Deadline

by Michael Alderete on 10/22/2002

So, I’ve written about my collection of mostly defunct BeBoxes, and how I acquired them. My big plan was to refurbish those that could be made to run, and sell all but one on eBay. I should end up with substantially more cash than it cost to buy the lot.

Well, that was the theory.

The reality is more like, I’m working a lot, taking classes at night, and doing lots of things on my regular computer — Mac OS X on a dual 800MHz G4 with 512 megs of RAM is a lot more fun than BeOS Release 4.5 on a dual 66MHz BeBox with 32 megs of RAM. As JLG used to say, fast hardware covers a lot of sins.

In other words, I’m not working on the BeBoxes. What’s worse, Rochelle is now tired (really, really tired) of the BeBox Graveyard that was our parlor.

So, tonight came the ultimatum: If I haven’t completed the refurb project by the one year anniversary of bringing them home, they go out on the street.

And when I agreed, she said “You have to put that in your blog right now!”

So, here it is, a public commitment to my wife. Ask me how I did on January 17, 2003.

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virtual (void)

by Michael Alderete on 1/29/2002

Since getting started on refurbishing all these BeBoxes, I’ve been listening to Baron’s “virtual (void)“ [MP3], over and over again.

For those who never saw a BeOS demo, “virtual (void)” was the song baked into one of the most compelling demo apps we had, a 3D audio mixer that never failed to get jaws to drop. Andy Grove himself said “I didn’t know a PC could do that” when he saw the BeOS demo.

At any rate, listening to this song, which I truly love, and which is so completely tied to Be in my mind, I’m reminded (over and over) how much fun it was to work there, and how much I enjoyed working with the other people who were having fun there, like Baron.

So, I named the first BeBox “Baron”. ‘Cause I still feel guilty for trying to take the files from him.

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That BeBox

by Michael Alderete on 1/26/2002

Oh, yeah. The best part is, the BeBox that I got working today is a dual-133MHz system. The other three (and any remaining systems I resuscitate) are all dual-66MHz machines.

So, this is a score, and puts me way ahead of the folks who bought the individual BeBoxes for $175!

Rochelle still wants me to get them out of our living room.

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Another BeBox

January 26, 2002

I tried another three BeBoxes today, and one was good.

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Number three

January 21, 2002

I got my third BeBox working today.

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What I bought

January 20, 2002

What I bought at the Be liquidation auction

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Liquidation of history

January 16, 2002

Today’s auction of Be Incorporated’s assets is the opportunity to purchase computing history. Unfortunately, the market said they were mostly evolutionary dead-ends.

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