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Black Is The New Beige 406

An anonymous submitter writes: "Spurred by Apple's innovations and the dangers of commoditization, computer makers are finally moving beyond beige. Rather than exploring diverse ideas, however, they have made a decision reminiscent of the fashionistas: black is the new beige (a NYTimes story)."
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Black Is The New Beige

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  • good cases (Score:5, Insightful)

    by cr@ckwhore ( 165454 ) on Friday April 19, 2002 @08:30AM (#3372617) Homepage
    If you're looking to go beyond the boring black and/or beige, here are a few nice case sources:

    • Once you go black you never go back!
    • If you want to see a really distinctive case, try here [].

      You can't buy one yet, but they seem to be coming.

      If you read regularly, this is redundant. Mod me down.
    • by Gary Yngve ( 416254 ) on Friday April 19, 2002 @08:45AM (#3372703)
      But don't the black ones have bigger disks? ;)
    • I am just waiting for case designs and all that to become mainstream.

      On the other hand, you do have wooden cases

      This guy made his own []

      I recall a company that specialized in wooden cases for everything from computers to PDAs. Some looked pretty good.

      here is a slash story from a few years back []

    • I use rackmount machines - I've always been looking for cool rackmount cases. You can find prebuilts with really nifty looking cases, but the normal rackmounts are really boring black or beige. I have no problems whatsoever with black cases, but they are generally really crappy textured enamel.

      Also, if anybody knows of any cool rackmount gadgets (either semiuseful, like a serial LCD scroller, or downward pointing lightbar to illuminate controls) or useless (blinkenlights), or cheap blank plates to dremel and insert your own stuff, that'd be cool too.


      • ... or downward pointing lightbar to illuminate controls)...

        Go to Musician's Friend [] and search for Racklight. You might also look for rackmount power conditioners - most of the good ones have lights as well.
        • Yeah - I should have pointed out the examples were real - I've seen it at Mars music. I was just using it as an example of a semiuseful item. (Essential for a rack on stage, or in a mixer pit (I'd imagine for a DJ too), but just semiuseful for a computer rack). I've seen the serial fed LCD panel too, and the blikenlights useless panel.

          I was just using them as examples - any other neat stuff you've seen /similar/ to the things I listed? Maybe a site full of such stuff? I wonder if Thinkgeek could sell enough racks to make it worthwhile?


  • And in the future, all RAM is going to come in a hypointelligent shade of the colour purple to complement the neon-red motherboard, the puke green power supply and the XP-ugly os on most computers. Now aren't you glad you didn't get a clear box?
  • by psxndc ( 105904 ) on Friday April 19, 2002 @08:33AM (#3372628) Journal
    Alienware [] And these machines kick @$$ (the $ are intentional, you'll pay for it)


    • Actually their pretty boxes are extremly flimsy, atleast the last one I saw (about a year ago.) They might have changed.
    • Arn't you going to mention where you read about it []?

      Yeah I read playboy for the articles too.

    • damn....those kick ass...

      well, I guess Apple finaly has a PC counterpart for price huh :-)
  • by ghostlibrary ( 450718 ) on Friday April 19, 2002 @08:33AM (#3372629) Homepage Journal
    That's okay, for a while White was the new Beige. Briefly, it looked like Purple might be the new Beige, and if you consult my young daughter, green-bug-shaped is her idea of the new Beige. No doubt barbie-Pink will be the new Beige for some subset of computing.

    And, in about six months, there will be a retro trend, and Beige will be heralded as the new Beige!

    Ah, fashion, you have arrived in the techie world!
  • NeXT (Score:4, Interesting)

    by selderrr ( 523988 ) on Friday April 19, 2002 @08:33AM (#3372631) Journal
    someone had to say it : Steve Jobs pushed black design for NeXT cubes, and Apple had a black Performa 6200 series along time ago.

    Although I consider black to be an advantage over beige since you don't see coffe or cola stains that much, I really doubt that a new color will boost PC sales all that much. If there's one thing that Apple does right, it's 'everything' : just changing colors won't do. The iMac was (and is again) a new formfactor, a new system, new bus (USB/firewire) new drives (slot loading iMacs)

    And anywhow, nothing beats a TiBook...
  • I'm managing a small network.. my boss ordered that every new system will be out of the EVO line from Compaq.. "stylisch black with a scent of silver". I'm allready bored by this fenomenon as i was with the beige outfits.. but anything beats the lollypop colors mixed with beige you see on the list of all those case manufacturers in an attempt to look a bit more fashionable...

  • Wait, so can I still wear white once the summer is over? I'm confused!
  • ... all the cases were huge things, usually powder-coated in dark brown or black "crackle-effect" stuff. Big chunky CP/M machines came on the market with black anodised aluminium front panels, big LED's and wood-effect outer cases. Now *they* were cool cases...
    • The 'cool' cases will soon be those that are reflective. You've seen the nice shiny aluminium ones, but how about anodized blue []? Frankly I think that this rocks... if only it came with a factory-installed side-window. If only I had money to buy it...
  • Give me transparent or brushed metal cases any day.
    • by Anonymous Coward on Friday April 19, 2002 @09:09AM (#3372811)
      It's sitting underneath your desk. I have more important things to do than say:

      "Hey, look at my fucking computer. Look at that shit right there. You see that, motherfucker? That's a sweet looking machine. It's sweet enough that I could fuck one of its ports in the back. And look at that fucking neon light in it! Bad ass! You see how I ran my cables right there? Fucking 'leet, ain't it? And look at this shit over here, that's a goddamn SCSI card, bitch. You see the little red light on the card? That shit actually came with it, those fuckers at Adaptec already slammed the card before I even got it! Hey, shitface, get back over here, I'm not done showing you my 'rig'. That right there is a fucking CD burner, ass-fucker. You see that? I can burn a CD so fucking fast it'd scare the fucking RIAA, man. And would you fucking look at this shit! Holy fucking shit! This is a fucking DVD-ROM drive. I can watch fucking *movies* and shit on this motherfucker. *MOVIES*! And look right here. This case has no fewer than fucking 10 fans! 10, motherfucker! It sounds like a goddamn freight train up in this motherfucker! Or a fucking plane taking off at the fucking airport! Hey, bitch, speaking of airport, let me show you my slammed fucking laptop, this damn this is choice..."
      • Well mine isnt sitting under my desk, its a full size tower, I also use it as a mouse pad (MS Intellipoint optical) and as part of my desk, so having something that is nice to look at is reasonable. Its not stuck in a server room, its not on a rack. Its part of my furniture. I have all my phone calls, tv, everything going trough it.
  • the article about the toolbox PC [] that the guy used some sort of vinyl color from an auto paint store. So the question become, why not change the color yourself? Case mods are case mods after all.
  • IBM (Score:4, Funny)

    by larien ( 5608 ) on Friday April 19, 2002 @08:36AM (#3372647) Homepage Journal
    As some of you might know, new IBM Unix servers are in black cases (along with black racks, black disk drawers etc). This even raised a comment in a meeting yesterday discussing an optical disk library:
    "It's a new library; it's even black"
    "That means it's new, does it?"
    "Oh, yes!"

    To be honest, I find the black better; we have a ton of older IBM kit and it just looks... well, old. The black looks more modern.

    Of course, the problem many of us will have with our PCs is a Frankenstein system as we have a beige case with black CD/floppy drives (or vice versa) as we upgrade. We're already having issues like that with some Sun Ultra 80s having black DVD drives (to match the Sunblades and servers).

    • Re:IBM (Score:2, Funny)

      by er0ck ( 267290 )
      Of course, the problem many of us will have with our PCs is a Frankenstein system as we have a beige case with black CD/floppy drives (or vice versa) as we upgrade. We're already having issues like that with some Sun Ultra 80s having black DVD drives (to match the Sunblades and servers).

      Kind of like the redneck pickup trucks with body panels from 3 other trucks? Maybe you should paint some of your stuff with grey automotive primer to finish off the look. :)
  • by SimplyCosmic ( 15296 ) on Friday April 19, 2002 @08:36AM (#3372650) Homepage
    Will we ever see easy to change CD-Rom drive front covers to match your beige/black computer?

    If anything the clash of drive covers with anything other than the "standard" colors has made the move to a rainbow of colors.

    Perhaps a non-mono-color design would help, with black as the base color in order to more easily match drives, but with other colors accenting the machine to keep it from being the same dull design as the beige boxes?
    • The Apple blue & white G3 towers solved this problem. The case had a hinged door in front of the CD drive, with a standard drive behind it. You could only see the beige when the tray was out.
    • Will we ever see easy to change CD-Rom drive front covers to match your beige/black computer?

      Most CD drives have this already, and have had it for, well, forever... and I've never seen a floppy drive without a removable front bezel, largely because some cases don't allow a bezel at all on the floppy.

      There are many cases with a door over all the bezels so that even if you have mismatching colors, you can just hide it.

      Finally, you might be amazed at just how well a black felt tipped pen works on a beige or white bezel.

      The best online place I've seen for black cases, accessories, and bezels is Directron []. They have decent prices and a pretty good record too. They have a large variety of color cases as well, along with aluminum, transparant, and random other stuff.
  • by Speare ( 84249 ) on Friday April 19, 2002 @08:37AM (#3372653) Homepage Journal

    PC Fashionistas exclaim, "Black is the new Beige!"

    I sure hope we're not going to read an article two weeks from now which explains some computing error, and how the new fashionable color is actually something one could describe as a dusty mint color.

    And please don't let them correct themselves again claiming that it's chic to use a sort of salmon/melon/peach color. I couldn't stand to boot up a computer of which the casing reminded me of tuna sashimi.

  • I don't know why the article doesn't mention it, but it seems obvious that the post 9/11 fashion craze is that working for the spook shops is cool and that therefore we're all going black with NeXT Cube Retro []. It's sort of like McCarthyesque 50's Retro but with that "Think Different" counter-culture 'tude.
  • by ZaneMcAuley ( 266747 ) on Friday April 19, 2002 @08:38AM (#3372660) Homepage Journal
    I took an old PC case I had and used some stone spray (with the rough stone particles in it) on it. It looked like granite afterwards, pretty cool. The case was heavy anyway, so it was quite fitting :D
  • Its amazing... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by ACK!! ( 10229 ) on Friday April 19, 2002 @08:40AM (#3372668) Journal
    Why can't computers companies get this fine point of consumerism right?

    Dell is a perfect example. I think that the Optiplex series make fine corporate desktops. Still the latest black case with a slightly odd front shape does not make it stylish in the least. In fact, in some ways they are actually uglier than the plain jane Optiplex GX110 I have in my cube.

    I don't care if its a cube or aluminum or has a winodw in the side or some combo. It seems that people like Compaq and Dell ought to have enough money to hire some industrial designers to come up with a nicier looking more functional case.

    ________________________________________________ __
    • Dell's new black cases are much better than the old GX1s and GXAs, for one simple reason: the sides are flat. My company mounts our computers in desks with suspended mounts below the desk. The new ones fit in and clamp tight very nicely. The old ones were never very secure. The design of the front is pretty lousy though. The front is rounded so the drives end up being somewhat recessed. You have to look really closely to see the difference between the zip and floppy drives, and the CD volume control is obscured. The black looks nice, but doesn't make up for bad design.
  • by MosesJones ( 55544 ) on Friday April 19, 2002 @08:41AM (#3372679) Homepage

    Yes folks its Cosmos "Desktop and Tower Outfits for the girl about town"

    Feb: Black is back, everything will be black for ever

    May: Beige is the new Black

    June: Curved monitors are the new Flat Screens

    July: Oooh look at the pretty iMac and "how to make your keyboard match your nail polish"

    Sept: Black is back

    November: The must have USB accessories of the season, can you use your USB security key as an earing.. ifs its the D&G one you can

    December: Your Colour Therapy Horoscope for the coming year, how the colour of your PC case can change your life.
  • by green pizza ( 159161 ) on Friday April 19, 2002 @08:41AM (#3372680) Homepage
    ...the original Apple II in 1977. Steve Jobs wanted a neutral color that would blend in to the average home.
  • Back in the days before the PC architecture became king, Radio Shack used to sell computers with SILVER CASES. I distinctly remember people taking sandpaper to the cases to get to the BLACK primer underneath.

    There was also a number of WHITE cases sold by the various clone manufacturers during the mid 1990's.

    The picture in the NY Times article shoes a person painting a PC case. Perhaps that's the way to go. Someone should offer HANDPAINTED PC cases to people. You could have themes endorsed by various celebrities and artists.
  • by GypC ( 7592 )
    Funny they didn't mention Dell, since they are one of the largest retailers. I don't think any of their stuff is beige anymore.
  • This is new, how? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by KC7GR ( 473279 ) on Friday April 19, 2002 @08:50AM (#3372725) Homepage Journal

    Black cases have been available for years from such companies as Antec [], Siliconrax [], and others for years. How is this different?

    There are also numerous industrial PC companies that are happy to provide cases in whatever color the buyer chooses. I guess I'm just having trouble seeing why this piece is newsworthy...?

  • Could we possibly adapt another purpose to pc cases? Perhaps:
    • a whiteboard surface for quick notes
    • a screen-like surface where the pattern is editable from the PC
    • furry carpet covers like seat covers for your car to protect the case over time
    • more computer desks with the pc built in
    • cases with a shape that can be adjusted. Maybe several small boxes that seperatly contain parts of the computer, connected by wires to form a string of beads type shape

      Any more ideas?

    • by liquidsin ( 398151 ) on Friday April 19, 2002 @08:58AM (#3372762) Homepage
      furry carpet covers like seat covers for your car to protect the case over time

      Yeah, that's what my athlon needs...a fur coat, just in case it gets a little cold.

    • No useful ones. But I would go for a pc case with a very 'pointy' surface, so that it would act as a sort of cat repellant. My cats love to lie down on top of my pc's. Maybe because they're warmer, maybe they go for the nice vibes. But anyway, all the hairs are not too good for the pc, and on one of my cases is a scanner, and it happens too often that they throw the scanner of the case :(
  • by Decimal ( 154606 ) on Friday April 19, 2002 @08:57AM (#3372757) Homepage Journal
    "I think Beige has the most RAM..." -- Dilbert's Boss

    Sorry, couldn't resist. :)
  • Best Cases (Score:3, Informative)

    by Apreche ( 239272 ) on Friday April 19, 2002 @08:58AM (#3372760) Homepage Journal
    In my opinion Coolermaster makes the best damn cases I've ever seen. Combine that with an enermax power supply and your in business. The Cooler Master ATC-210 is particularly awesome. You can buy them at a good price from monarch.
    http://www.xpcgear. com/powersupply.html
    http://www.monarchcomputer.c om
  • It's not black, and it's not beige, but it's damn sexy []
  • by Monofilament ( 512421 ) on Friday April 19, 2002 @08:59AM (#3372769) Homepage Journal
    Well, at first when i saw that people were starting to bring out Black cases I thought it was neat that there was variety. Now though if thats just going to be the new standard.. it kinda sucks.. Really I mean black.. you can't paint on that. One of the greatest things about beige is that its a perfect primer color. So maybe you're not artistic (like me), beige makes a great background for many a cool sticker. I personally have everything from rock bands to the infimous Dogbert "Out Out You demon's of stupidity" plastered on the side of my case (which by the way I know I wasn't the only one to invent the idea of making that into a sticker .. but I did come up with it on my own a few years ago.. literally like two minutes after I saw the comic).

    Anyway.. don't know exactly how black would fit into the whole sticker scheme.. probably wouldn't look right to me at least.

    Well who knows maybe in a few years the computer companies will steal the idea of the phone companies and start making designer shells for the PC with all kinds of pictures and all you gotta do is snap it on the side of the box.
  • by Jugalator ( 259273 ) on Friday April 19, 2002 @09:03AM (#3372787) Journal
    Back to the days of the ZX Spectrum, eh? :)
  • Who cares about black? I want computers that look like these []. May also have the benifit of being theft proof without a forklift, and plenty of room for the tank of liquid nitrogen to cool that over-clocked Athlon
  • Ugh. This reminds me of the horror stories I had back when I was home-delivering computers for CompUSSR...

    Horror Story 1: Delivered an HP something-or-other with 15" monitor to some 40 year old yuppie woman. She wants the thing setup on her roll-top desk. Only problem is that with the monitor setup, the roll-top wouldn't close. Rather than just leaving the roll-top open, though, or moving the computer to some other desk (of which she had plenty), we had to find her a monitor that would fit under that roll-top. We end up putting a floor model 15" that had a slightly different form, but was over a year older. All because the roll-top had to close.

    Horror Story 2: Another female yuppie comes in and drops 3 grand on the hottest piece of Compaq hardware in the place. Top of the line everything (at that time, forget the specs). She also gets a big-ass nice monitor, Laserjet, scanner, the whole nine yards. Home-Office setup to the max.

    I show up and start setting up this computer underneath the desk she wants her monitor/scanner/etc on, but no, it can't go under there. The tower has to be in that closet 8 feet away. And I want to be able to keep the door closed at all times too. Oh, and I want the speakers on these two little end-tables on opposite ends of the room. We end up drilling a fucking whole through the wall, running a big mass of extender cables underneath the carpet, and giving this ho a free pair of wireless speakers to accomodate her. And because we had to extend the video so far, a $500 monitor with hot-shit video card ends up looking like a color television from 1955. But that's OK, because the computer has to be in the closet out of site, instead of just underneath the computer desk which was designed to have a computer underneath it.
    • by No Such Agency ( 136681 ) <.moc.liamg. .ta. .yakcamba.> on Friday April 19, 2002 @09:49AM (#3373097)
      OK, yeah we all hate yuppies, and LUsers as well, but geez, who cares what these women (and yes, you seem to think their gender is relevant here) want to do with their _own property_? If they want to run 8 feet of video cable to their monitor, and you get paid to do it, where's the bad? These are mass-manufactured objects, it's not like a work of art is being shut away in that closet... And personally, if I had a roll top desk, I'd want it to close too. They're cool. Granted, the design pre-dates PC's, but if this lady wanted the two to work together, good for her. Don't be so judgmental, a contemptuous geek is not a pretty thing :-(
      • Exactly.

        And, of course, if he'd used cables worth a damn the video would've been fine. Not that CompUSA sells those kind of cables.

        The only nit is that the people really should've checked measurements and whatnot beforehand to make sure that things would work as expected in the location they wanted, but who here has ever bought something and discovered that it doesn't QUITE fit? Personally, I keep expecting Lowe's and Home Depot to tell me "No, sorry sir, you've returned/exchanged enough this year"
    • Horror Story 1: Delivered an HP something-or-other with 15" monitor to some 40 year old yuppie woman. She wants the thing setup on her roll-top desk. Only problem is that with the monitor setup, the roll-top wouldn't close. Rather than just leaving the roll-top open, though, or moving the computer to some other desk (of which she had plenty), we had to find her a monitor that would fit under that roll-top. We end up putting a floor model 15" that had a slightly different form, but was over a year older. All because the roll-top had to close.

      OK, sport, so what's wrong with wanting your roll-top desk to close? Seriously, this is an article thread about the death of ugly beige boxes which was brought on in part by the fact that people are using computers more in the home, but don't want to have something as hideous looking as your average PC there. Or, let's put it another way: geeks are quite well-known for their refusal to compromise on principle, and often get insults or abuse as their reward for this. Now, you may be unfamiliar with the idea or unsympathetic to the notion that most traditional computer monitors make really crummy additions to virtually every decor. But, of course, the first thing you do is insult and try to make fun of somebody who has a different idea. Forgive me if I'm just not very impressed.

      • OK, sport, so what's wrong with wanting your roll-top desk to close?

        If you want your roll-top desk to close,
        maybe you should just get a damn desk that's designed for a computer, and not try to stuff a CRT in a roll-top.

        If the computer is too ugly, put it in the basement, for god's sake! Don't send some $6.50 an hour kid back and forth to his store to swap components.
        He's getting paid for setting up your computer, not to be your fashion lackey.

        But, of course, the first thing you do is insult and try to make fun of somebody who has a different idea.

        Hey, if something that trivial causes so much hassle to me, I believe I have a right to bitch,
        whether you agree or not.

        C-X C-S
  • They make my computer look svelte and at least ten pounds lighter.
  • Black Apple ][ (Score:3, Interesting)

    by sunhou ( 238795 ) on Friday April 19, 2002 @09:15AM (#3372846)
    Back when I first started using computers in the early 80's, my middle school had some Apple ][+'s. But one of them was made by another company (I think it was HP?) It was black. (We always just called it the "black apple".)

    It had other cool stuff too, mainly it had an extra module covering the back, which had a volume knob on it among other things; the standard apple ][+'s had no volume knob. I always liked the black apple better than the beige apples.
  • Desktop cases (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Ouroboro ( 10725 ) <aaron_hoyt@yahoo. c o m> on Friday April 19, 2002 @09:20AM (#3372871) Homepage Journal
    What I want to know is... What the hell happened all of the desktop cases? It's getting hard to find a good looking case that is made to sit on it's side. I would like to include a pc as part of my home audio equipment, but I don't want to shell out a metric shitload of money for a decent case. This [] is probably the best looking one I have found so far, but the cheapest I can find it for is $225. I know I could just use a standard rack mounted case, but I wan't something that will match my other components.
  • NY reg (Score:2, Informative)

    by ryepup ( 522994 )
    user:slashdot314 pass:slashdot
  • by Chelloveck ( 14643 ) on Friday April 19, 2002 @09:27AM (#3372920) Homepage

    Look, guys... It's a computer. It's a tool, not an objet d'art. Shove it under your desk and forget about it already! Who cares what flippin' color it is? In a couple months it'll have that "accumulated dust" veneer anyway.

    Now, quit messing with those case mods and get back to something important. Like desktop themes.

  • I thought. (Score:2, Funny)

    by SLot ( 82781 )
    that Pink was the new Black?!?!!

    *must turn in goth membership card*
  • by dbretton ( 242493 ) on Friday April 19, 2002 @09:28AM (#3372942) Homepage
    Originally, the new PC color was TURQUOISE.

    However, after an extensive study, researches at the Fashion Dept. at John Hopkins University discovered a slight color-wheel miscalculation in their assessment of the Spring 2002 PC line.
    It turns out now, that Beige is the new black.

  • I think they got that backwards...

    Isn't beige the new black [] ??

  • sgi... (Score:2, Interesting)

    by bdcfan ( 574829 )
    I remember working on a teal blue Indy & purple Indigo2 at my old job in the mid-nineties. But sgi always did colored workstation cases way back in the 80's (check out the brown & red Iris Crimson & the Blue Indigo1). People used to always comment on how unique(they either loved 'em or laughed at 'em) our computers were. We were all designers, so aesthetics of the boxes were important to us. That's why we picked sgi---they had the coolest looking ones.
  • Who care what color the case is - The computer is in one of two states:

    1)It's under the desk, and you can't see it
    2)It's on top of the desk, and the cover is off

  • 2 Years ago I took apart my case, took it outside and spraypainted it black. I did the same with the drive bezels and the keyboard (but not the keys). There was a grey panel for the switches, leds, fan, etc. that was grey. I painted it a nice, slightly orange, yellow, the only other color I had at the time. After reassembling it, and replacing the Tux doll sitting on top, I was astonished at how well the colors/proportions/locations matched. I had inadvertantly created a computer that looked like Tux. I wish I had taken pictures. Unfortuneately, that computer is dead, replaced by a shiny heavy duty brushed aluminum vault from coolermaster. Various parts of "Tux" were scavenged to put a computer inside an aluminum briefcase. Oh well.

  • If you're wearing all black then it's Okey Dokey to button up that top button on your shirt!

    But be warned - wearing short pants that expose hairy calves is still considered gauche!

  • Black sucks (Score:2, Insightful)

    by hendridm ( 302246 )
    This is nice until I want to upgrade my brand new black machine. I go to Best Buy and pull the latest bargain drive off the shelf, put it in my box, and stare at my new black-and-beige creation, ugly as hell.

    I suppose I could always paint it, but I never had to do that before and I don't really want to now. I suppose I could switch to all external devices *sigh*.
  • Why not have heat-sensitve film on the outside of your case, sort of a mood ring for your pc? Or vinyl sheets like the ones on fast food resturant windows.(static?) You could then change the color as often as you want. Make the case modular with different color panels or hell, I would just go for an interchangeable front panel.

    Eventually everything'll be in a closet somewhere and you'll be wanting to get a new pair of wireless VR glasses..."I really like those new RayBans, the ones with the widescreen option. Do they come in tortise-shell?"

  • ...until women stopped looking for the "little black dress". Now they'll be shopping for the "little black box".
  • by asv108 ( 141455 )
    I think black boxen look great, but if you have a dust problem, you will end up cleaning your boxen every day. This problem is especially apparent if you have multiple boxen in a small confined area. My black Klipsch promedia speakers look filfy, 24 hours after cleaning them. Beige works well because it hides the dirt. It may not be pretty, but it sure is practical.
  • by oyenstikker ( 536040 ) <slashdot@sbyrn e . org> on Friday April 19, 2002 @10:47AM (#3373515) Homepage Journal
    If everyone used #000000 black, it would be fine. All black things would be black. But Dell's black is really dark grey, and someone else's black is really navy blue, and someone else's is a lighter dark grey. Looks almost as silly as having 4 drives that are 4 different shades of beige, none of which are the shade of the case.
  • Big Blue (Score:2, Funny)

    by finny ( 107762 )
    This article has an interesting sidebar [] in the paper edition regarding the Altair which chose "a classy powder blue exterior" instead of beige as the color for it's pc's.

    Best quote: "..the company chose blue because of the blue mainframe computers used by IBM, as if to suggest that the inexpensive, general-purpose Altair microcomputer was also a real computer"
  • by gelfling ( 6534 ) on Friday April 19, 2002 @11:06AM (#3373618) Homepage Journal
    Operation Infinite Loop!! paint yer server Camo. Let's see we have desert grey, desert blue, desert brown, brown, green, green brown, brown grey, granite, low contrast dusk, black grey, air superiority grey and sunday finest redneck gold
  • by johnrpenner ( 40054 ) on Friday April 19, 2002 @01:13PM (#3374484) Homepage

    --- Steve Jobs on Design ---

    Fortune Magazine: What has always distinguished the products of the
    companies you've led is the design aesthetic. Is your obsession with design
    an inborn instinct or what?

    Steve Jobs: We don't have good language to talk about this kind of thing.
    In most people's vocabularies, design means veneer. It's interior decorating.
    It's the fabric of the curtains and the sofa. But to me, nothing could be
    further from the meaning of design. Design is the fundamental soul of a
    man-made creation that ends up expressing itself in successive outer layers
    of the product or service. The iMac is not just the colour or translucence or
    the shape of the shell. The essence of the iMac is to be the finest possible
    consumer computer in which each element plays together.

    On our latest iMac, I was adamant that we get rid of the fan, because it is
    much more pleasant to work on a computer that doesn't drone all the time.
    That was not just "Steve's decision" to pull out the fan; it required an
    enormous engineering effort to figure out how to manage power better and do
    a better job of thermal conduction through the machine. That is the furthest
    thing from veneer. It was at the core of the product the day we started.

    This is what customers pay us for--to sweat all these details so it's easy
    and pleasant for them to use our computers. We're supposed to be really good
    at this. That doesn't mean we don't listen to customers, but it's hard for
    them to tell you what they want when they've never seen anything remotely
    like it.

    fortune - january 24, 2000 []

    john penner []

  • by johnrpenner ( 40054 ) on Friday April 19, 2002 @01:17PM (#3374520) Homepage

    ---| swoopy curves Are Not design |---

    Certainly, the PC industry has never revered design, preferring blocky
    beige boxes or, more recently, coloured go-faster curves devoid of real
    function. He's scornful of those who use 'swoopy shapes to look good,
    stuff that is so aggressively designed, just to catch the eye. I think
    that's arrogance, it's not done for the benefit of the user.'

    By contrast, he says, "you won't be able to find a single thing on an
    Apple that hasn't had thought put into it"...

    With the first iMac the goal wasn't to look different, but to build the
    best integrated consumer computer we could. If as a consequence the shape
    is different, then that's how it is. The thing is, it's very easy to be
    different, but very difficult to be better. That's what we have tried to
    do with the new iMac."

    (THE SHAPE OF THINGS TO COME, Interview with Jonathan Ive [],
    Charles Arthur talks to the designer of the iMac, January 14 2002)


    john penner []

  • by leighklotz ( 192300 ) on Friday April 19, 2002 @02:05PM (#3374865) Homepage

    When George Fisher, the outgoing president of Motorola went to Kodak to help lead their "digital revolution," he was asked by the press what lesson he was taking. He said roughly, "For a technologist it was humbling to realize that you could triple the sales of a pager just by offering it colors other than black."

    Unfortunately, the US Military disagrees []:

    Under the upcoming regulation only one electric device will be authorized for wear on the uniform in the performance of official duties. The device may be either a cell phone or pager -- not both. The device must be black and may not exceed 4 x 2 x 1 inches.

    So, while black may be the cool new color for computers, it's long since passe for pagers and cell phones, and in fact has become military-conservative.

  • Automotive Paint (Score:3, Interesting)

    by rchatterjee ( 211000 ) on Friday April 19, 2002 @04:30PM (#3375741) Homepage
    3Dcool [] makes some really cool looking modded cases using automotive paint but they're out of my price range :(.
  • I wish PC designers (as well as all consumer electronics designers) would experiment a little more with their designs.

    It used to be all large TVs were in a wood cabinet. They were generally beautiful. Then sometime in the late 80s there were all sort of experiments in design, and it took several years for the winner to emerge; today's black molded plastic standard that pretty much all of our TVs are.

    Around that same time, component stereo equipment switched from silver with the occasional wooden accents to the now standard black.

    And that seems to be the lifespan of consumer electronics design. Functional-experiment-functional-stylish-functual black. Every so often somebody will break from the heard, but will eventually come back to the standards.

Think of it! With VLSI we can pack 100 ENIACs in 1 sq. cm.!