Originally Published: Thursday, 18 May 2000 Author: Brian Richardson
Published to: enhance_articles_hardware/Hardware Articles Page: 1/1 - [Printable]

Error Between Keyboard & Chair

First it was keyboards and mice. Then came USB devices. Then came the X-Box. One always wonders what Microsoft will do next to get in on the PC hardware market. Well, I just discovered their next move -- and it involves leather.

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First it was keyboards and mice. Then came USB devices. Then came the X-Box. One always wonders what Microsoft will do next to get in on the PC hardware market. Well, I just discovered their next move -- and it involves leather.

Several weeks ago, I shared my vision of where most PC manufacturers are headed: computers that look more like personal appliances than the traditional "big beige box." Days after this article was posted, CNET posted a news story that was more disturbing than any of my PC prophecies.

Microsoft has teamed up with -- you may want to sit down for this -- La-Z-Boy to make the "e-cliner." No, I'm not kidding. Even my mind, responsible for such sinister pranks as an April Fool's company-wide e-mail that my company was merging with Microsoft and the lyrics to Darth Brooks' Star Wars country song "I've Got Friends With Alien Faces," could not devise such a sick joke against the computer industry.

While most of decorate our computers with the latest from Themes.org, now La-Z-Boy lets you decorate with your PC. Of course it's not a real PC ... it's a WebTV box. Good thing, since upgrades would be rather difficult after Uncle Earl falls asleep in the recliner after Sunday dinner ("Wake up Earl, I gotta move the cushion to get to the PCI slots").

But why fight progress. First the "PC in a fridge," then the "e-cliner." It's obvious I'm on the wrong end of the PC hardware business. I think it's high time we started an open source furniture project. We'll ship thousands to PC enthusiasts everywhere, ready to make their own crash-proof sofa, their very own LINUX Love Seat. I'm sure the first version will be the leather SlackSeat (a crate that includes the computer, some wood, a box of nails and a cow). A variety of chairs, stools, and tables will soon follow, all to make sure Microsoft doesn't gain a monopoly share in the embedded furniture market.

But I fear Intel will soon venture into the market -- after all, those Pentium III processors are bound to make nice seat warmers.

Links (follow them if you dare): The original CNET story

When not mystified by the lunacy of the modern computer industry, Brian Richardson makes sure the tiny bits of assembly code that get put in the little black chips on motherboard don't cause you to use large quantities of profanity. Brian has more farm animals than computers, and has no idea why.





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