Linked by Thom Holwerda on Thu 4th Jun 2009 18:34 UTC
Hardware, Embedded Systems A while ago, I made a list of my ten most beautiful computers, which ignited some heavy debate since Cray wasn't mentioned. Anyway, one of the items on the list was the Honeywell Kitchen Computer, the H316. This was a very basic and incredibly difficult to handle machine which was supposed to store and display recipes, but its most awesome feature was a built-in cutting board. Despite its ridiculousness, I think it's a beautiful piece of design, a pre-cursor to a type of computer everyone in the '50s thought we would have now (get it?). Well, the idea of a kitchen computer is supposed to make a comeback. Update: Eugenia just pointed me to a photo her husband took of the H316 at the Computer History Museum in California, as well as a product photo of Be, Inc.'s take on the kitchen computer.
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Don't count out Audrey!
by mabhatter on Thu 4th Jun 2009 20:16 UTC
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The H316 (I had to look up the old article!) was like a lunch counter from the Death Star!!!

The next best "kitchen" computer was the 3Com Audrey. It was about a decade ahead if it's time and got the lumps to prove it. At the time home wireless and fast internet were scarce so it wasn't that useful. It's form factor is perfect, but it needed more features to work... like all the things a netbook can do! I wonder if anybody's modded an Aspire One into that chassis and screen, it would rock.

There's a newer version of the same idea in the Verison "home base". Even the TV commercials show similar "Audrey" features. It connects to your POTS line to be a "visual voicemail" machine which is the one thing Audrey was always missing.

The time has definitely come for ubiquitous home computers that are simple and reliable, and don't need to worry about OS or even data backups, just like those Toasters that run BSD and can openers.

Of course I'm still holding out for the "whole touchscreen" LCARS PADD from ST:TNG also. The kitchen version would be sealed up and dishwasher safe!

Edited 2009-06-04 20:27 UTC

Reply Score: 2

RE: Don't count out Audrey!
by Tuishimi on Thu 4th Jun 2009 20:43 UTC in reply to "Don't count out Audrey!"
Tuishimi Member since:

LCARS... you are funny!

I would only do that if you could also invoke a voice interface by saying "COMPUTER!" ... and it would also have to have Majel Barrett's voice.

...or maybe that sexy voice from ST:TOS when the enterprise went back in time, ended up in Earth's atmosphere...

Reply Score: 2

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For recipes, browsing while doing other things...

In our new house, there isn't as good a spot for it as there was in our old house... so now she has a laptop and just takes it where ever she goes.

Reply Score: 2

Regarding Be's kitchen computer
by Eugenia on Thu 4th Jun 2009 20:49 UTC
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My husband, JBQ (now at Google), worked on that BeOS-based model with Benoit Schillings (now at Trolltech/Nokia) back then at Be, Inc. While it was a prototype, I think he's very proud of the work the two of them did in a very short amount of time.

Reply Score: 1

mabhatter Member since:

My husband, JBQ (now at Google), worked on that BeOS-based model with Benoit Schillings (now at Trolltech/Nokia) back then at Be, Inc. While it was a prototype, I think he's very proud of the work the two of them did in a very short amount of time.

Didn't that become the BeIA platform in the Sony evilla (thanks to the googles)

That was another early attempt at a low-power all-in-one subdesktop. [Internet Appliance] It wasn't until ATOM that the whole thing finally took off in the eeePCs.

Reply Score: 2

Ah, like Talkie Toaster
by boblowski on Thu 4th Jun 2009 20:52 UTC
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"... it has all the audio and video chips as well as codecs necessary to play audio and video."

Sorry, couldn't resist :-)

Reply Score: 1

Don't forget the iPod fridge
by jrlah on Thu 4th Jun 2009 20:58 UTC
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A real thing:

iPod is a more powerful computer than any of those historical attempts. This device does not double as a cutting board, but it can store milk and eggs (not to mention beer)...

P.S. I keep a first-generation Asus Eee in the kitchen. Perfect for recipes.

Reply Score: 1

RE: Don't forget the iPod fridge
by leos on Thu 4th Jun 2009 21:50 UTC in reply to "Don't forget the iPod fridge"
leos Member since:

Don't forget the touch netbook from Always Innovating.

It's magnetic so you can stick the whole thing on the fridge to get it out of the way.

Reply Score: 2

How about the one that already exists?
by DrillSgt on Thu 4th Jun 2009 23:25 UTC
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There already is a Kitchen Computer, and it is built into the refrigerator.

Reply Score: 2

by benjamin_m on Fri 5th Jun 2009 12:52 UTC
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When I first saw the HP Touchsmart, I thought "Kitchen PC". The interface may need some more polish, but a touchscreen iMac like computer with a TV tuner and media software is what I always thought of as a kitchen PC.

It even has a remote. It just needs a membrane keyboard.

I think the kitchen PC is here.

Reply Score: 2

Is it really kitchen computer?
by wawrzyn on Sat 6th Jun 2009 14:52 UTC
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Believe me or not, but for me it suits better to the toilet. Well... I mean the design today looks more like from modern toilet - something between cash-machine and sink. Very sophisticated connection.

But to be honest, I don't know why I have so much sentiment to this brand. For sure they are producing one of the best controllers on the market right now. Maybe they shouldn't experiment with the "kitchen tools" again?

But you know, there is a connection between cooking and computers, at least between cooking and software engineering. I have to agree with RMS ;-) And maybe this idea of kitchen computer is not so bad ;-) Lol.

Reply Score: 1

by solarcontrol on Sun 7th Jun 2009 15:47 UTC
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Do you REALLY need a computer for recipes?
Does ANYONE really use recipes that much (or even cook that much anymore)?

Internet "appliances" abound.
They're called "older computers with linux on them".

Stick one in a corner and voila!
Instant surfing/email/webradio.


Reply Score: 1