back to article Honeywell's Kitchen Computer remembered

The holiday season has returned to Silicon Valley! Bright and golden California summers have given way to a vivid fall landscape also bright and golden - but with a chance of rain. It's Thanksgiving in the state, and tots are already awaiting the arrival of Saint Nick, who's annual roll-out could mean a shiny iPhone if they've …

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Flame

Great idea ... for 1969

But in YOOL 2008 try to find a woman who can cook. Babes are too busy trying to de-bug you.

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Alert

In another 40 years

The Mac and the PC, iPod, etc are going to look equally as clunky and useless too.

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Silver badge

Somewhat strangely ...

I have an aging (1985) Wyse 30 hard-wired to a serial port on the server that archives my recipe database (amongst other stuff). It's mounted into a cupboard in my kitchen ... It's functional, but we almost never use it. The wife suggested just yesterday that we reclaim the space for food ...

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Alien

A design that must remind you of .......

Star Trek, what else?

Just imagine the discussion in the kitchen:

"I told you, you need to add 10000011110010100110 of 10001111111001001001, NOT 10001111111001001011 !!"

" Well, you should have bought me the the HEX upgrade, I would never confuse 8FE49 with 8FE4B"

Alien, because, well, Star Trek

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clueless...

desperately needed the invention of the VDU and keyboard...

fancy expecting people to perform their input using octal and manually toggling values in...

the thing was a process computer... suited only for controlling machinery or performing batch tasks...

I've just read the brochure... brought back bad memories of toggling in small programs into a Data General Nova... If there was a problem with the disc drive, I had to be able to perform diagnostics with programs I had to key in to move the head around when aligning it

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ZX80

When Sinclair launched the ZX80, I seem to recall adds that said it could be used to store recipes.

This always struck me as a fairly silly idea. Sure, in theory you could search through a recipe database to find one that matches the contents of your refrigerator, but given that they would need to be stored on tape, this would take ages to do. Also, typing in all your recipes would be a monumental task.

That said, I sometimes use the Internet to search for recipes. Not to match what is in my refrigerator, but if I want to cook something exotic that I can't find in any of my cookbooks.

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Paris Hilton

Cor

But just look at it though - it's awesome. A hollow fibreglass replica with a weight in the base would probably sell a few units to kitsch collectors, or at least it might have done a few years ago when everybody had loads of money.

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the time for the kitchen computer is here

my mum has one

a wall mounted all in one pc with a touch screen (2ghz celeron 512mb of ram and ubuntu 8.04)

if she needs a recipe she can just google it. the time is here

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Happy

Insane

Gloriously, unspeakably.......Insane !

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Paris Hilton

Anything newer ?

As I just remade the electric circuits at home I also installed R45 outlets in every room, including one in the kitchen.

So has anyone tips on an affordable touchscreen computer for the kitchen ?

Hackable systems welcome, Audrey computers maybe a bit too old, HP Touchsmart maybe a bit too expensive...I also have Wifi available, but WAP only.

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Anonymous Coward

Staggering

That is so monumentally bad, it's hilarious!!!

What on earth were they thinking?

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Boffin

What is wrong with having a kitchen computer?

I have one and it is a damn useful gadget.

I use a salvage-from-scrap laptop I bought from my old company when leaving for 25 quid. I spent 15 more quid for Microsoft Media remote. An hour to strip out the battery and the disk and make it diskless, An hour more to correctly set-up diskless debian, KDE and irexec, some garden wire to hang where a few "decorative plates" used to be and voila: the kitchen computer.

It has access to an excellent online database with recepies. Unfortunately the only one I found so far are in Bulgarian, but hey, it does the job - around 500+ recepies with easy navigation (greasy cooking finger on the touchpad compatible), no key entry necessary.

It also does the job of a "squeezebox boom" for a fraction of the price, it even plays movies off the house media system. It will probably do other stuff in the future as well (read barcodes and maintain fridge inventory will be one of them). All of that from the remote which is pretty kitchen-proof by the way, one Microsoft can do is hardware.

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Or

You could just put your laptop in the kitchen. Maybe with a bit of kitchen paper over the keyboard to avoid unfortunate and potentially very damaging splashage.

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Anonymous Coward

Von Neumann Marcus?

Seriously, WTF? I'm not sure what to make of this. Even as an attention-grabbing intentionally OTT luxury item it's a strange choice. It's not obviously luxurious enough to serve that purpose for your late-60s Joe Public. And as a joke it'd have gone similarly over his head (the joke being that regardless of price, this is ludicrously inappropriate and had to be verging on completely useless for its stated purpose).

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Gordon Blue!!!!

A sony-ericsson c905, Opera Mini, my home Wifi setup, www.bbc.co.uk/food and a hot frying pan.

Gordon Ramsey watch out.

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4 decades later....

http://opensource.sfsu.edu/node/579

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Boffin

Pre-VDU/keyboard computer

It might have sounded as a nice idea ... but I doubt any housewife would care on learning how to "program" this thing by flipping switches. Even typing out Hollerith punchcards seems more fun than this! Even in the 80's and 90's, many people didn't even know how to program their VCR's, and didn't even know how to set the clock! (Which led to all those jokes about VCR's flashing 12:00.)

If said computer had come with a nice screen and keyboard, it *might* have actually sold. But then, pricing for this gem was too high to begin with. Of course, it might have got more than zero sales ...

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Broken Links in Article

Check the first page of the article. It has two links back to previous articles. And these are broken as they have a bogus %22 on the end of them.

Trim the %22 and the linky works. :)

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Sweet...

That is a freakin' sweet looking computer, it's a shame they don't design cases like that any more.

Personally I've got a Mac G5 in my back room recipies can easily be viewed from the kitchen.

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Wow, @Anton Ivanov

Astonishing, I thought I was the only person so far gone they started fantasizing about a home stock control system, with barcode scanner no less. Truly, you have validated my insanity and will now shoulder some of the blame when it happens!

Also, @Ashley Pomeroy, it needn't just be a replica - let's face it, with modern hardware a fully working unit would cost about 5p more than a dummy one! Hours of fun, if only I had the space ...

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Anonymous Coward

@Michael H.F. Wilkinson

Made me larf out loud, absolutely brilliant.

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Cutting Edge Technology

It's the designer's integration of features useful in a kitchen that really impressed me. I'm talking about the built-in cutting board... though I'm not sure what happened if you washed it...

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Another installment, Yippee !!

Great Series,

More installments Please?

(note to Ed. how about some foreign computers , like vintage Soviet ones?)

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TRS menu storage

In the 1990's, Tandy/Radio Shack produced a small computer meant to handle all sorts of household tasks, including, yes, meal planning. With a mere 23 watt power supply and an energy efficient monitor, one was expected to leave it in sleep mode so that a mere tap of a key could bring up that delicious strawberry pasta recipe Mom had so thoughtfully e-mailed.

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Anonymous Coward

Other computer failures

Just have a look at http://www.iload.com

A miserable example of something that could be done quickly and easier with any standard computer floating around the house, even one that was decommissioned a year ago.

I doubt that any one has bought one of these (or will admit that they have).

Why do I know this? I was interviewed for the company about 2 years ago, and they predicted sales "through the roof" (or some such hype). The offer of salary was about 1/2 of what I was making at the time. Admittly they raised it, but not much. Lots of "bonus", but I suspected that they would need sales to get there. I was convinced by asking a relative how they put tunes on their iPod, and she replied that even her 5 year old daughter could do it. My conclusion: Why bother!

Oh, I think they put it in some high priced catalog as well.

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Silver badge

old home computers

> When Sinclair launched the ZX80, I seem to recall adds that said it could be used to store recipes.

I remember the same being said by the vendors about all of those early home computers, which always struck me too as very silly. Another supposed killer application was managing your address book, which was equally infeasible with these diskless things.

To the article author: any hope of giving the Oric-1 the "This old box" treatment? With its fabulously large 64k RAM memory it looked like a good buy in 1984 (cheaper than Commodore-64 at the time) so I went and got one, to find that the ROM was full of bugs, you could really access only 48K of the memory, and the graphics system was truly weird (colour attributes took space on the screen and affected the following pixels or characters). Oh and printing had random glitches unless you disabled interrupts... But it was certainly educational, a good introduction to the buggy world of IT.

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@Laurent_Z

Netpliance I-Opener

Works a treat along with WTWARE

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love it

Where can I get one? No need to be in working order, just in good shape and should possibly come with the little red chair seen in the brochure. Oh my, thank you for that priceless brochure! Far out, incredibly aesthetic!

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series

I'm really glad the series continues.

Recently i was thinking about it but since apparently it hasn't had an issue and i reinstalled my comp since then (read, flushed my bookmarks) i wasn't even sure i did not only dream it.

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Joke

Title needed why?

"Special Features: Built-in cutting board"

So what happens when the cutting board BSODs?

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Dom

Laugh all you want

I'm quite sure the Kitchen Computer met its sales target and provided useful PR.

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Paris Hilton

Bush co co.

Isn't one of the US Presidunce's family selling them to schools in the only state in the Uniun daft enough to accept them?

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Bronze badge
Paris Hilton

brings back the memories

Those were the days, my friend,

we thought they'd never end,

We'd sing and dance

forever and a day

ahhemmm ... getting back to the scheduled program ... that's gen-you-whine sixties US kitsch styling! (Apparently Nieman-Marcus thought "kitsch" an abbreviation for "kitchen") Back in those days, we were going to be spending Christmas on the Moon, and exploring Mars, and ... those wre the days ....

Where oh where are the flying cars? The ones with built-in nuclear reactors? And thousand-mph top speeds?

Where oh where are the robots? The rebels and the unthinking servants?

Gone with the wind, my friend, or at least, with the politicians' farts ...

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@MacroRodent

re oric 1.

yes and the display didnt really work well in PAL land, circles would come out as ellipses etc///

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Alien

But who on Earth... would ?..

"1969. Aliens are already here, but humanity isn't subjugated yet."

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