The Van Warren Interview
"3D: Be, Be There or Be Square"

I once heard a futurist say, "when there is a change of paradigm, everybody starts at zero".

So what's the best way to be a successful computer revolutionary?
Easy, just change the paradigm.  How?
By trojan horsing ourselves.
Be is playing a chess game with a potential gold mine of intellectual property, a functional OS.  But this is only valuable if played to take maximum advantage of openings:
So let's collect some openings:
1) Java is not yet fully defined
2) wearable computing is the next great frontier for positively outrageous technology
3) small companies move faster than big companies
4) people will only change OS if forced at gunpoint
               everyone wants to be part of something new
               everyone wants to be part of what is happening
5) Apple is in an undefined position between System8 and Rhapsody

But there is also a significant closing:
1) Microsoft CE is now in a better deployment position for wearable computing.

So how are we going to get someone who (thinks) they are perfectly happy with what they've got to go OUT OF THEIR WAY to switch to our product?

Well, a year ago, we couldn't have.  But now we can.  Apple has made a comedy of bad mistakes, Steve Jobs is has his hands full putting humpty dumpty together again.
and Bill Gates has made a slight move that I have seen: He pulled the java applets off his site.  Then Sun sued him.  This is foreshadowing of an extremely significant opportunity.  A subtle error in a grand game of chess.  Java is the only way to go.
Then Microsoft releases of of IE 4 locked up the desktop market airtight.
Then Sun is sues Microsoft.  Fine while they fight, Be progresses unhindered.

Radical Plan
Every engineer guarding their hunk of code, transforms a minimally functional subset to Java.  Networking (easy), Multimedia (okay), I/O (hard), chunk, chunk, chunk.
Leave the tough stuff as native code, move the easy stuff into objects.  Not the ugly gross impossible to maintain C++ objects, but the beautiful, simple, easy to maintain Java objects.  Now extend the desktop notion to a WorldView notion, and make everything run in three Dimensions using binocular, wearable stereo computing, that proudly provides a 3D Johnny Mnemonic Operating System,  call it "3D-Be".  Log into the globe, while you walk down the street..
Since 3D-Be runs in Java you get platform independence and internet compatibility for free.
Use the Rockwell or Sun Java chips and get great performance and Intel independence.
Provide all essential OS services, keep the OS part proprietary.
Provide top 10 apps as net based with open architecture.
Make 3D-Be - has a nice ring doesn't it? -  accessible to anyone, as a network app.
Build a clientele, a tele-clientele.

Offer the same OS as a machine resident frame based OS.
Slowly push the competition off the edge of the screen.
The browser pushes the desktop off the edge of the screen.
3D-Be pushes the browser off the edge of the screen.
Time frame 1 year.

What are you left with?

Bill Gates and Steve Jobs, standing there with their jaws wide open, wondering how the hell a team of 48 people pulled it off so fast.

------ Appendix: Liner Notes/Stream of Consciousness ------


1) protected system memory
2) multiprocessing
3) scriptable finder, down to the menu click
4) savable user context, down to the last mouse click
5) 3D worldView Johnny Mnemonic interface (no desktop)
6) insta-boot
7) full java with self test, timing and vividization

New hardware for the newly won teleclient.

A) backpack model.  Features:
 1) stereoscopic viewing via walkman soundglasses - Xybernaut style
 2) glove keyboard from VPL, with audio click feedback
 3) wrist mounted videocamera input
 4) superthin lip mike

B) briefcase megaTop.  Features:
 1) 21" high definition color corrected flat Nec display
 2) hinged to CPU slab
 3) hinged to keyboard
 4) hinged to pressure sensitive stylus pad w trackball
 2) Bose high fidelity speakers with optional earphones
 3) 500 MHz/10 gig/128 Meg ram/

C) the wall model.  Features:
 1) 4 foot by 3 foot flat wall mounted display
 2) infrared linked keyboard
 3) infrared linked joystick
 4) infrared linked netwok connection

wall units can be tiled and have removable edges for same.
please mildred, cover the house with them.

New application software: All net based applications.
Open architecture.  Can be contributed by anyone.
Students, professionals.
Excellence rises to the top.
As software improves, revised versions are pushed to
subscribing users for a subscription fee.  OS updates push too.

Everything is network based.

Example Deployment Apps:
justWrite: produces HTML documents of publication quality
justImage: photoshop like, but simpler.  includes ez compositing
justDraw: hire Mark Leather from SGI
justPaint: hire Leo Blume from hownow
justProject: hire Steve Gray from Delta productions
justBrowse: hire John Peterson from Adobe
justSecurity: hire Brian Beckman
justCADD: hire powerCadd team
justGIS: hire Jim Westervelt from Urbana
justProduce: hire Avid videoshop team
justCalendar: hire supercard team
justRelate: relational database
justServe: server software
justShop: automated transaction software.
justCount: spreadsheet software

The whole kaboodle is in java.

New hardware may choose the Rockwell Java Chip,
say 5 of them running full out, multithreaded.

The essence of the experience is the real time, three dimensional, Johnny Mnemonic computing experience.

i want my computer to whir buzz pop and vibrate just like a living thing.  i want everything it does to potentially make a sound or produce an image.  i want my computer to be alive!  i want to tell my computer, "go find out about hydrogen" and have it come back and let me pick and choose about hydrogen until I have the feeling.

i want a three dimensional, real time swirling view of my file space with things i care about big and things I don't care about small.
with things important near and things trivial far.

i want the user interface of my operating designed by they guy who did the login session for Johnny Mnemonic.  Except all that net stuff in the background has to be real. i want industrial light and magic under the hood.  i want my OS to be the visible V-8 engine.  i want to see every valve and every piston, if that is what i want.  otherwise i want to be able to turn it off.  if i touch something that is moving and say more, i want more detail.  if i touch something and say less, i want the detail to fade.  I want that for my local machine, i want that for my server, i want that for my world view.  I want to see the circulation of information in my system as a real time corporeal animation.  When I send info to the printer, i want to see the bits go there.  I want a mechanistic, electric experience.  As I use my computer I want it to get used to my priorities, without putting things I need once in a while too far out of the way.  i want a bird's eye view of the information superhighway.  i want real time trace route running in the background.  i want to know who i talked to today.  i want to know where they were and what the weather was like.  i want every event logged and i want to flag important ones.  i want my computer to be my telephone.  i want all my communication to be encrypted at 128 bits RSA with no back door.  i want my computer to be my television.  i want to sit on my bed at night and read any book in the library of congress on my computer at high resolution.  i want to rent a movie from the video store and see it on my computer, only i don't want to go to the video store.  i want to check on my kid's classroom with my computer.  i want my computer to be a pair of glasses that i wear with little walkman earphones and a little tiny microphone going to my lips.  and i want to be able to play football while wearing it.  when i take it off my friends will point at me and whisper, "he's offline", as in, "out of it".  i want the entire thomas register on my computer and i want to be able to get at any manufacturer of any part in real time and get a price and time to delivery in less than 5 seconds.

i want to buy rhino 3-D and have them do the finder, nettop and desktop.
i want to extend the desktop analogy to be the worldTop analogy.  i want to access food, commodity, information, museum and entertainment from my computer.  i want to buy and sell, to rock and roll.

i can walk down the street, hands free and see my worldTop through the stereoscopic images in my sunglasses.  i can also see the sidewalk and not get hit by a car, but if i do get hit by a car, i want my computer to call 911 and report my GPS location and send my heartrate and respiration.  i want all the data i have generated to be stored on a DVD library and put in the WorldView archive for inspection by current and future generations.

 i want to be able to suck in any document i ever created in the last 25 years, paper, Unix, Mac, Windoze, c programs, images, html, etc. MacLink style.

computers are about communication.  i want to see people in little picture frames.   i want to see everyone i supervise in a little window and i want them to be able to see me.  i also want to see what is on their screen at any given time.  if i click on their screen i want it to get big.  if i click on their picture i want it to get big.  when the picture is big, i want it in hi definition TV format. if they want to replace their image with an avatar, that's ok. i want them to have an avatar builder that is nice.

i want to survey the whole wide world of computer users and ask them what the top ten applications that they use are, and then ask each of the ten former mac clone makers to take responsibility to develop, maintain and sell one of the ten key applications.

the controlling idea is, take me on a drive through cyberspace.  i want my computer and screens to be indistinguishable from my car and steering wheel.  i want to spend my days working in cyberspace, but producing change in the real world that was first planned, financed, approved and executed in virtual reality.

 i can set the briefcase down on my desk, open up the panoramic 21" high definition color corrected screen and swing out the high fidelity Bose speakers and work on editing my latest high defintion television presentation for uplink to my employer. personal publishing meets personal production.
i want every idea that i can think of to become a three d working movie within 10 minutes like the red blob dodge commericial.  ram tough.

well we get the clone makers that are mad at apple to do the hardware.

we get the 4000 apple employees that amelio laid off

we build it around the rockwell java chip

we hire the team from corel that did corel office for java.

we have it out in time for Christmas.

Be there or Be square.

building a constituency

who are we picking up?

1) the Unix crew

2) the java crew

3) the student crew

4) the taligent crew and software

5) the people apple burned

6) the people microsoft ignored