5" by 7" PC to be released; Mavis Beacon sues

April 21, 2002

This an old, sarcastic news post from when I was in college. I apologise.

If this computer were any more personal, it would be you. And that would be weird. SAN FRANCISCO, USA - OQO, Inc. has hired designers from Apple and IBM to design a 5” by 7” PC that runs Windows XP. This start-up plans to start selling them in the second half of 2002, and already has a prototype, which was shown at the WinHEC expo last week. It features a full-fledged copy of Windows XP, a gigahertz Transmeta processor, 256MB of RAM, and the same 10GB hard drive found in Apple’s iPod. Slated to be priced attractively, this is causing quite a stir among many in the computing world. Instead of a flip-up display like other notebooks, the Ultra Personal Computer has a built-in display that’s touch-sensitive, eliminating the keyboard and mouse.

While typing on such a small device is possible, the conventional Home Row typing method will undoubtedly not work. Mavis Beacon (of Mavis Beacon Teaches Typing fame) is hopping mad. “Suing is probably the only way she can get her revenge,” said our legal expert. “Her software is the leading typing software for Windows XP, and should be useful to all users of the operating system. Until now this was everybody, but who the hell has hands small enough to use home row across 6 inches?”

Another possibility would be to release another edition of the software, “Mavis Beacon Teaches Finger Pecking For Tiny PCs” but due to box sizes and the true definition of the word ‘tiny’, this plan is totally absurd. The question is also raised whether or not spelling things out on the screen would be true ‘typing’. “Keyboards make a little ‘type type type’ sound, but this would probably make more of a ‘peh peh peh’ sound,” noted the legal expert. “What this does is create copyright issues, as another company already owns software called ‘Mavis Beacon Teaches Pehing’, and is unwilling to give up the copyright.”

Another issue about the computer is screen resolution: it uses the same 640x480 size that was used by VGA monitors in the 80s and early 90s. That’s not even twice the width of the picture above, which is so bad that riots are already scheduled. “While you can’t really blame somebody for having a low screen resolution on a 6 inch screen, we plan on doing it anyway,” commented Josh Handel, a computer enthusiast who was already waiting in line to get one of these when it is released in a few months. When asked why he was waiting in line already, he said, “This way I can say, ‘I waited in line for months to get this and all I get is a crappy 640 by 480 screen? I want it half price!’”

The author of this article has made sure Altering Time displays at such a low resolution for the guy who is testing this PC.

© Allen Pike. See also Twitter and Steamclock.