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A term referring to the universal color and general design to all pre-yosemite G3 macintoshes, save a few (such as the AppleTV). This can be abbreviated by using B3 or B cubed. It was basically a statement comparing the creativity that was possible with computers with the uninspiring look of their cases.

Fortunately, Steve Jobs has done an excellent job in moving computing away from B3s with the revolutionary new designs of the G4, the G4 Cube, and the iMac. Because of this, in a few years this term may only be applied for its historical value.

Many people like beige.

Back when I was a reseller, a client called and asked if we had the new iMac in stock. This was when the desktop world was debating whether this new computer was pure genius or pure abomination. Anyways, I said, "yep, sure do".

She said "do you have it in beige?". I informed her that the iMac was only available in Bondi Blue and gently suggested that this was the whole idea of the iMac.

Oh no, she insisted, it was also available in good old beige, and anyway, she needed a new Mac and wouldn't have one of those ugly blue things in her house.

After some minutes of enquiry, she revealed that she'd seen a newspaper advertisement for the iMac with the headline "Sorry, no beige". This proved that it was available in beige, as the retailer that ran those ads was obviously sold out.

I don't think this is what Apple's ad agency had in mind when they created that headline!

She ended up buying a second hand LC630 or something, in fetching beige...

While I love the Mac, I trust my ass chip to Linux.

The point of the beige box is not too look cool and bursting with technological power. Quite the opposite. The beige box is deliberately non-threatening. It needs to look harmless so as not to frighten the vast majority of the intended user audience - people who have to use PCs, but don't really like them.

If you're a geek, go ahead and get your iMac or your SMP Wintel box in a matte black case. But your Mom probably prefers the nice beige system. It's not threatening, it doesn't clash with the decor.

Stereo systems are black because they're supposed to emit coolness. IMacs come in a rainbow to appeal to the artistes, the creative types who are the main market. And PC cases are beige to appeal to your boss, your Mom, and the nice but computer phobic checkout clerks.

"It's a beige alert." - Futurama, Brannigan Begin Again


Mea culpa: In the mid-'90s, the tyranny of beige finally began to crack, and 'powerful' computers began to become available in black plastic boxes. I got all 'alpha geek' and demanded one, which to my surprise I actually got ... but I didn't get to keep it long, because the marketroids decided to take it on their next dog and pony show and I never saw it again. Nowadays, of course, my Thinkpad is black, but it just ain't cool.

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