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Transmeta Unveiled in November? 111

terrified writes "This little blurb on Yahoo news this morning says that Linus is hinting at an announcement from Transmeta at the November Comdex in Las Vegas. " We need to set up some pools: When the secret will be revealed, and maybe some sort of pools for what the secret is. Transmeta employees who leak data to me will be given a cut if I win ;)
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Transmeta Unveiled in November?

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  • Why don't you hold a contest to see who can come up with the most interesting Transmeta product announcement. My Submission: Transmeta will announce a new fully automated, web accessible home yogurt maker. Funding was provided by Ron Popiel. Linus Torvalds was hired, not because of his computer expertise, but because of this little known fact: he is the world's foremost expert on small batch yogurt production. That's why he has time to work on Linux. They only need him to taste the yogurt.
  • I've been saying this for ages but nobody believes me.
  • Just as a general observation, did anyone else find it amusing to see just how strikingly different in nature Linus' day and evening jobs are?

    He got famous by starting a completely open project, in a very humble fashion, inviting anyone who felt like it to help turn it into something really useful. Everything in the spirit of cooperation and selflessly making things better for users everywhere. I think we can say he succeeded far beyond what he set out to do and that his work has affected the industry on the whole to no small degree.

    Now he's an anchor of one of the most secretive companies in this industry. He can't even say anything about what he's working on or what the company is going to do. We only know the company grabs patents to the left and to the right and we anticipate that it's going to make a big splash someday.

    Whether or not that is true remains to be seen, but hiring him was a good move by Transmeta. Legends are the only thing the company has, so far.
  • So when do they go public? :)
  • Even better is the line which says:

    !-- There are no tyops in this web page. --
  • So on one hand Linus has a vision [], where his focus was on designing Linux for appliances smaller than laptops rather than putting it on desktops, and on the other we have Amiga's Internet appliance plans [], not to mention their support for Linux [].

  • >> What do you want to do now TELL ME!
    >> > smell bill

    >> BILL GATES smell of POO!!!

    >> > shoot bill

    But would actually go like:

    > shoot bill

    With what?

    > with gun


    > shoot bill with gun

    Which gun: the pearl handled six shooter gun or the glossy black uzi gun?

    > the uzi


    > sht bill with glossy black uzi gun

    I don't understand sht

    > shot bill with glossy black uzi gun

    The glossy black uzi gun is not loaded

    and so on...

    :) :)

    -Dana (I miss Infocom!)
  • "There are no secret messages in the source code to this web page.
    There are no tyops in this web page."

    -a message in the source of Transmeta's site
  • by Anonymous Coward
    Besides, I think Slackware sounds better than 'Microsoft,' don't you?

    Of course, if we're talking anatomy, they both mean pretty much the same thing.

  • I don't know about that... I've had at least two good ideas in my lifetime.

  • by Anonymous Coward
    somehoe I doubt they will be able to live up the hype we have created for them.
  • that they are working on a new hardware platform aimed at server applications. Linus is there to write a highly optimized Linux kernel for this platform.

    I am not sure what benefits would come out of a new CPU design, however. Even if it can run different types of binaries, who cares? It is best to have a standard anyway, and if there is a standard, then the app you need is most likely going to be available for it. Maybe they just have some sort of breakthrough in CPU speed in the works, and everything else on the platform to go along with it...


  • I suppose it they are really developing something special, they might need to take awhile to get it right. Still, the scenery has been boring.
  • Can you say "this is not a typo" in french? I think the Magritte interpretation, if nothing else, at least gives me a little insight into someones sense of humor (if not necessarily any insight into the product...)
  • >are you for real .... do you work for them ....

    I'm for real, I'm an architecture junkie and sometimes chip monkey ..... no I don't work
    for them.

    He asked for entries in the pool for "what they will announce".

    My ideas are based on public stuff I've seen on the net, where the bleeding-edge-state-of-the-art is and what I know about the problems they may be trying to solve. I have no special knowledge from behind the transmeta non-reality zone

  • We're making all the hype. Transmeta is simply saying "We will not tell you what we do until our product is finished." And, in typical slashdot paranoid mentality, people seem to need to infer much more from that simple statement.

    I doubt Linus would work for a company that is planning to pull a fast one on investors...if he was looking to make a quick buck, he could have done so with Linux.

  • Transmeta and Linus is just a puppet figure in a greater scheme. Read this:

    "Torvalds and other people known to be involved with Transmeta, including Microsoft's co-founder Paul Allen and Chief Executive David Ditzel, have been careful not to reveal what the company is up to."


    "The combination of money from Microsoft's co-founder and know-how from Torvalds [...]"
    (From Roland Moller, Helsinki newsroom +358-9-680 50 242, fax +358-9-680 2284,

    Let me see if I can get this straight: Linus went to work in a company that is also funded by Microsoft people, that until today did nothing but let Linus compile kernel code every day so that he can churn out an operating system that is "a serious threat to Microsoft", the very same company whose employees are funding him...

    I think that Transmeta was set up by Paul Allen so that Linus could work on his Linux to artificially create competition to Microsoft, just so that they can claim they do have serious competition... (I doubt Paul Allen gave his money just to bet on both horses in this race.) Clever, if you ask me.

    Isn't it interesting that until Linus joined Transmeta, hardly anybody heard about Linux, and a year after he did that, we see Linux on practically every computer store's shelves?...

    Just food for thought.
  • I was there. It was yesterday and yes, Transmeta did come up several times... the first question out of the audience after Linus spoke was "what does Transmeta do?"
    Some crazy woman wanted to ask Linus something: She started talking about how information technology could be used for monitoring people and stealing their freedom. THEN she started claiming that in the '50's 3 million people had been implanted with a MICROCHIP (a microchip in the 50's!) and that just last week she spoke with a colonel who had refused a microchip. Then she furiously went on saying that soon all babies will be implanted and in the future it will be possible to remotely read anyone's thoughts with such a chip. At this point the audience was laughing their asses off. To this Linus simply replied, "well that was kind of an UFO talk, but.. I can' really reveal what Transmeta is doing (laughter from audience), but anyways, I think information technology will actually help people gain more freedom'
    Later on someone was talking about how technology can help us to talk to old or sick people who can no longer talk, to which Linus replied 'talking to the dead, you mean?'. Then one of the panelists said 'Now I REALLY want to know what Transmeta is doing'
  • by bergie ( 29834 ) on Thursday September 23, 1999 @05:47AM (#1665089) Homepage

    This is done in a bit of haste, sorry...

    No new revelations of the mysterious Transmeta

    Creator of the Linux Operating System, Linus Torvalds's employes creates some questions: Nobody knows what it does. Torvalds made one revelation to Tietoviikko today: He revealed when he will reveal what Transmeat does. The schedule for the announcement will be told in the Comdex trade show in mid-November.

    No further information on Torvald's mysterious employes has spread to public. Transmeta has been suspected for example to be working on a highly efficient microprocessor. Or some other groundbreaking program. Transmeta's homepage at [] doesn't offer too many hints - not even in the source code for the page, which points out that there are no revelations on Transmeta there.

    "My strongest guess is that Transmeta doesn't do anything", said Risto Siilasmaa, the CEO of information security company Data Fellows in the Information Society seminar held in Helsinki University on Wednesday. One possibility is that Transmeta's employees just hang around in their work place, and then sell the hyped-up company onwards for a good price.

    Philosopher Pekka Himanen, who also spoke at the Information Society seminary told that he has visited the front of Transmeta's office. The office building has darkened glasses and doesn't let visitors in.

    Linus Torvalds placed his words carefully in Thurday on Transmeta announcements. "I can only say now that we will announce the schedule for the announcement at Comdex, but this can also be subject to changes", Torvalds said cryptically.

    (Translated from http://www.tietoviikko.c om/cgi-bin/lueuutinen.cgi?id=45382 [])



  • by Urmane ( 2213 ) on Thursday September 23, 1999 @05:49AM (#1665090) Homepage
    Transmeta is actually a socioeconomic study, detailing the psychological, sociological, and economical/financial effects of secrecy, memes, alternative business practices, and venture capitalism.

    Their findings, scheduled to be released in November, reveal much about human interaction as it relates to the above factors, and is entitled, "Gullibility: We Can't Believe You Retards Fell For It!"


  • Another poster said something about a chip that can change its personality by downloading microcode. I think this a pretty good guess, but they might have taken it one step further.

    They might have come up with a chip (or chips) that can actually run multiple different microcode sets at the same time. The benefit here would be that the consumer wouldn't have to switch between different microcode and reboot machines everytime they wanted to use something else. They'd be able to run multiple OSs at the same time, ala VMWARE.

  • OK - here's my guess (from what little I have to go on)
    • A new CPU with a new ISA
      • fast as possible (of course)
      • probably risky
      • gotta be cheaper than Intel
      • designed for high instruction-level parallelism
      • threaded? (this one's more of a guess)
    • support for on-the-fly recompilation of x86 instructions into the new ISA
      • probably some MMU support
      • maybe some hardware help for x86 instruction decode
      • maybe something to collect stats on instruction usage
    • maybe some support for x86 instruction emulation
    • a meta-OS that hosts the recompilation stuff - it hosts other OSs (Windows for example)
    • maybe also a native Linux that can run x86 binaries directly mixed with native ones
  • Part of the Alpha chipset was named EV after Electric Vlastic (sp?), a phenomenon in which passing a large current through certain pickle made it glow an eerye green.

    I read this a long time ago, and I cant remember where, so it MUST be true :)
  • "But would you really opt to run Linux in an x86 emulation mode? Surely running it on the native instruction set/processor, or under an emulation of say Alpha would be much better."

    No, I would run it under the native instruction set. Transmeta has several compiler writers and of course linux to make a direct port very speedy.

    "This could also make the idea of vmware obsolete, imagine being able to save/restore the machine state to special areas of disk/memory. You could cycle through operating systems rather than terminals using alt + F key."

    With many operating systems you can do this already. Hardware and memory access are the only real problems.
  • Found in the HTML of Transmeta []'s website:

    [!-- There are no secret messages in the source code to this web page. --]
  • by Anonymous Coward
    I've also thought that Microsoft's logo floating in the cloads was reminiscent of Magritte

    Back in my college days sometimes everybody would just throw all the laundry in a big heap in the corner of the room. If you threw a blanket over the cloads it was kind of like a big beanbag chair (which was like free furniture). But, if you just dove in to the uncovered cloads heap, you'd end up half buried, floating in the cloads.
  • Hehe, what do you think they are announcing at Comdex? A product?? Geesh..

    Wouldn't it be hilarious if they went public before their product was disclosed?
  • trans- \Trans-\ [L. trans across, over.] A prefix, signifying over, beyond, through and through, on the other side, as in transalpine, beyond the Alps; transform, to form through and through, that is, anew, transfigure.

    meta -/me't*/ or /may't*/ or (Commonwealth) /mee't*/ A prefix meaning one level of description higher. If X is some concept then meta-X is data about, or processes operating on, X.

    both definitions from

    btw the name transmeta was almost supplanted by Interpseudo, Megareference, and PrestoChango!!!
  • Well, stop missing Infocom, and head over to

    There's probably a more comprehensive starting point, but this is the first URL that popped into my head. Check out the "community" link especially.

    (Just two weeks till the '99 I-F competition!
  • >``I think I can now tell you when I will be able to tell you,'' Linus said on the sidelines of a seminar.
    >``The company has considered saying something at Comdex, or at least saying when we will announce something.''

    So a better first sentence would have been, "I think I can now tell you when I will be able to tell you when I will be able to tell you."

  • congratulations you are the ONE MILLIONTH person to recognize the 'no secret messages' comment in the html for! you win one free amiga toaster using transmeta cpu running linux-transmeta(tm) jit compiling jini services to java bytecode and toasting bread also
  • This yogurt maker wil be able to turn out chicken flavoured yogurt, as well as pork, horse and beef flavoured yogurt. in 2 years they will have perfected the process to include fish
  • The multiple personality processor is not a new idea of course, although doing it as a microprocessor may be.

    The Burroughs B1700 (as I recall) was one such user-microprogrammable CPU, with standard microprograms to optimize the architecture for running ALGOL programs, or for COBOL programs, and so on. I seem to recall from the same era a nanoprogrammable machine -- the nanocode was horizontal (very wide instruction word) and that reprogrammed the architecture on which the (vertical) microprograms ran (which reprogrammed ... etc)).

    Doing all this on a microprocessor would be pretty neat (I'm trying to remember if Intel's iAPX 432 Ada chip had some of this capability). Being able to do it on the fly (at a context switch, say) from a micro- or nano-program cache would be doubly so.

    Whether applications (or even the kernel) could be compiled down to the microinstruction level would very much depend on the specific memory architecture - microprogram words might be a totally different size from the main memory and transferring data/code between the two different memories could be too much of a bottleneck to run the application that way. But it probably wouldn't be necessary: a really smart compiler will optimize the top level instruction set for the program and generate the appropriate microcode for that instruction set. (Some work was done on this on the micro/nano programmable machines of back in the late 70's - I haven't followed it since then.)

    Of course, for any such chip, being able to run native x86/PPC/you-name-it binaries would fall out as a natural given appropriate swappable microcode. Given techniques developed for Java machines like JIT, those binaries could even be recompiled on-the-fly into better microcode for improved performance over what the orginal chip would give. The trick comes in managing all this, which is where someone with operating system expertise comes in.
  • You wonder what Transmeta's product is?
    Well, it all started with the cyber've heard of them, right?

    Well, why stop, now Transmeta is one-upping it, and doing something previously unheard of...the cyber Penguin. Yes, it swims, it tries to fly (but fails), and it'll bite your hand off for a bit of herring...

    And the best feature of all, it has a special sound chip, which listens for incorrect pronounciations of Linux and will bite your butt (literally) and correct you.

    Something worth getting excited for? YOU BET!

    [this ad paid for by Clueless inc.]
  • They are building Knuth's MMIX chip
    and version 0.1 of NNIX to go with.

    How exciting!
  • Seems reasonable. As I mentioned above the idea of reloadable microcode machines goes back a long way, its just that nobody (AFAIK) has done a microprocessor that way. (They've come close -- there was a UCSD P-code chipset that used the same processor as the LSI-11 (PDP-11 architecture) but with a different microcode chip - suppose that microcode chip had been writeable?).

    Given a fairly vanilla RISC core and a lot of on-chip writeable memory for the microcode, you're there. Optimizing it, parallelizing it, and coming up with quick ways of swapping microcode (to a different architecture) make it better. Really fast ways of swapping microcode (say on a context switch) and something like just-in-time compiling of new microcode to optimize an application's code make it better yet, and all this is within the realm of current state of the art.

    You'd need a smart OS to manage it -- partly like VMware and partly like the way the Linux loader can invoke a JVM to run a Java class file (or the app of your choice to run the program types of your choice if you configure it).

    If this isn't what Transmeta is doing, somebody else ought to. It's just too cool.
  • > This could also make the idea of vmware obsolete, [...]

    No, not quite! Besides "emulating" the processor, you need a "monitor" to emulate all the other hardware that an OS would expect.

  • How do you mean? If you save the state of the hardware in the machine to memory it's just like a context switch, granted it's more complicated. If you have a machine with a large memory, you segment it up, eg firs 64Mb to Linux, second to *BSD etc.

    No matter what it looks like, there isn't a .sig here.
  • It would be great if the new transmeta CPU (if that's what it is) implemented some of the features of the transputer - specifiaclly its ability to scale extremely well. If this was combined with the ability to make the chip change personality...

    Imagine you have a board of these low cost CPU's with great message passing capabilities. Things like graphics accelerators could become obsolete. Instead you configure the current CPU to be extremely good at vector transformations, or bump mapping... For better performance you just add a couple of extra processors. It would allow all sorts of other hardware devices to be implemented on a single CPU in a large system - allocating as many processors as necessary - and optimising each one.

    No matter what it looks like, there isn't a .sig here.
  • This is probably just a publicity stunt by transmeta. They'll probably debut with their "vaporware" product in 2000.

    Though it would be nice to actually know what they are actually doing.
  • If you're going to run a pool, how about the "Nothing Will be Revealed" pool? I think that's the one I'd put my money in.
  • UBER LOGIC =1;
    Going by uber logic, Transmeta's incredible secrecy plus Linus gives me only one uber logical conclusion.

    The technology is going to change the world as we know it. (passe, cliche? sigh. only so many ways to say it. )

  • While I wonder what exactly it is that they do over there at transmeta I'm not going to enter into a pool or get too excited about it. Afterall they are just another company with some kind of product to push...can't be anything too terribly exciting there. The whole "we are top secret and we aren't telling you anything" is just a marketing gimick to raise attention. Guess what it worked! I'm even curious. Lets just hope whatever it is they do or make is as good as all the speculation makes it seem.

  • Publicity stunt?! Why would they do something like that? Transmeta has been 100% mum about their company from day 1. We've certainly all been very vocal on the matter....but they've shown very little interest in publicity stunts to the best of my knowledge.

    It's funny though. In the age of corporate memos leaking to the media, hype for everything from tacos to movies, Transmeta's (unintentionally?) pulled the greatest publicity stunt of all time: silence.

  • of course it is redundant I hit stop on the browser to fix a spelling mistake and didn't realize the first one posted ..sheesh
  • Well, I just went from "would like to go to COMDEX" to "would sell plasma to go to COMDEX"....
  • I gotta admit, I'm absolutely intrigued by this company refusing to hype its product. "Don't believe the hype!" Well, in this case, there isn't any. Everyone has their own ideas (although in all honesty there are some pretty good clues) and so what normally would be another ho-hum startup has got the entire techie world waiting with baited breath to find out what it is.

    'Course, we're not gonna find out in November, either. As Linus said, "The company has considered saying something at Comdex, or at least saying when we will announce something." (italics added - duh!)

    That said, if there are any Transmeta employees out there, please torment Rob with the most vague, ambiguous comments to increase his pain! :)
  • As much as I'd like to think Transmeta will be coming out with some drastically different way of thinking of processors, I can't help but wonder if all of the hype is simply that, just hype. They do benifit greatly from the publicity caused by the secrecy, and it provides pretty much 'free advertising' for them. When I see it, I will whole heartedly cheer them on, but, as the saying goes.. "SHOW ME the MONEY!!!!"
  • We need a Transmeta slashbox that tracks every change on
    Btw, it is interesting to note that the site runs Apache/1.1.1. It's a while since that version was released. I wonder what kernel version it is running..
  • The secret came out yesterday, as Representatives from transmeta unveiled the culmination of the past two years off effort: a pickle that glows green, yet is not radioactive nor toxic. The project was kept shrouded in secrecy because of the threat of Transmeta's space age glowing pickle technology becoming revealed to the public and other companies.
    "We wanted to corner the market on glowing pickles, and because of the kind of cutthroat competition in this field, Transmeta had to do everything it could to keep it's intellectual property safe," said CEO of Transmeta David Ditzel.
    Reached for comment at his home, Transmeta employee Linus Torvalds had this to say:
    "I didnt want to work on something that was directly related to Linux."
    The pickle technology developed at Transmeta is clean and amenable to mass production. With the release of this product, Transmeta establishes itself as one of the leading high tech pickle vendors.
    "From now on, when you say -glowing pickle-, the one thing that will come to mind is -transmeta-. They will corner the market with their extremely solid product," says market analyst Reddy Terwal.
    The glowing pickle product, incidentally, will be named "This product is not named yet".

    Seriously though folks, does _ANYONE_ know what the hell is going on in there? Do you think that just maybe, perchance, this great secrecy is a nice little PR move to get people excited?

    Remember the simpsons episode where "gabbo" came to springfield? The only ads they ran for him either went "Gabbo is COMING!!" or "gabbo.. Gabbo.. GABBO!!", about 3 second soundbytes. Somehow, it smells the same way for this whole Transmeta thing.

  • by Anonymous Coward
    I used to get excited about transmeta but now the "guess-what-we've-got" game is..well..*yawn* boring me to tears.
  • Hmmm, an uber-Merced chip with programmable schizophrenic uP emulations? I suppose it would make sense why Paul Allen would be a VC for them -- don't have to keep porting MS* code to different platforms.
  • by Bob Ince ( 79199 ) <`moc.ksedxod' `ta' `dna'> on Thursday September 23, 1999 @04:42AM (#1665130) Homepage

    My guess is they've been slaving away on the technology behind the next generation of gaming, a new breed of interactive fiction with incredible lifelike gameplay.

    Though shadowy contacts with Transmeta's sinister agents I have managed to obtain this transcript, which should hopefully convey some the raw excitement on offer.

    Transmeta Adventure
    An Interactive Next-Generation Gaming Experience
    by Linux Torwald and David Ditzy

    You are in a cave there is BILL GATES here!!!

    What do you want to do now TELL ME!
    > smell bill

    BILL GATES smell of POO!!!

    > shoot bill

    You shoot the BILL GATES with GUN! He disappears in a puff of smoke! Very good!

    (Your score has gone up by two points.)

    > release new software release beating windows

    Yes! You have won!! and You get yoghurt!

    (--end of transcript--)

    Apparently the full version will also feature a section where you have to get the treasure and successfully negotiate a maze of twisty little stock options, all alike. Personally I can't wait.

    (Look, none of us have a clue what's they're doing, so why not fill this article up with off-topic rubbish? Well that's my excuse and I'm sticking to it.)

  • queso says: * Linux 1.3.xx, 2.0.0 to 2.0.34

    doesn't give architecture, tho :)
  • Honestly, the last time I heard this much speculation, pointed silence, and rumer-mongering around Slashdot was....

    ....April Fools?

    Call me cynical, but I got played for a sap then, and I don't really intend to this time around.

    Transmeta may come out with something Really Cool - but until They say something official about it, it doesn't really affect me.
  • At least one member of Transmeta's hardware team used to work at DEC WRL, which issued that famous technical note on electric pickles []. Transmeta could have hired him for his pickle know-how, which when added to Linus' lutefisk background may give us another hint towards Transmeta's plan for world domination. ellbee
  • For anyone who hasn't, view source on Transmeta's page... I think there may be secret messages in the source code to the web page :-)

  • As I understand the term, "vaporware" is an announced but not (and possibly never to be) released product, publicized in order to "compete" with an existing product. The idea is to prevent buyers from purchasing the existing product while waiting (maybe forever) for the release of yours. To skip the usual anti-MS rhetoric, I consider Sony's PS2 and Nintendo's Dolphin projects to be vaporware competition to Sega's Dreamcast (even though I am holding out for PS2 myself).

    If Transmeta is vaporware, what existing product are they competing with? They aren't pre-empting sales of any existing product, because no one knows exactly what product Transmeta is supposed to be better than. Vaporware, no. Not hype either, because they aren't promoting whatever they're doing themselves, a wierd sort of anti-hype. What we're seeing (and generating for that matter) is "Buzz", all coming from outside sources who want to know what's going on.

  • .. to have Transmeta get all the Linux nerds frothing at the mouth to go to this year's Comdex.

    This is the best advertising stunt going - wish I had thought of it.

  • Oh comeon, your plasma is only worth a cookie or two, get real. If you were really serious you would sell one of your lungs for COMDEX.
  • Today the mysterious company known as Transmeta finally revealed its primary business as marketing. Other areas of expertise include making geeks crazy by thinking up cool names and not telling them what they mean.

    When asked what future projects they would be working on, a company spokseperson said "Our next initiative is named GorpoTron 3000, but I can't tell you what it does." []
  • If there is a pool put me down for $20. I'm wagering they will make a FGP (Field Gate Processor) that will run 6,000 times fater than a 500 PIII.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    I can just imagine the announcement being made by Linus and then him remarking as he pulls out his pair of MP5's that because he told us he must now kill us all, followed by much maniacal laughter of course!.
  • Windows 95's clouds were, well, just clouds.

    They redesigned them for Windows 98, and whenever I see them, I expect to see, in the centre, not the Windows logo, but Donald Duck.

  • ...they are simply making a very good attempt at the standard way of making a fortune in this day and age, as follows.

    You set up a company, keeping secret exactly what it is you are working on. You raise Venture Capital. You hype like mad [but see below...]. You raise more and more VC. You float the company in one way or another. You hype the price up an dup and up. You sell your stock. You announce "Oh shit. Our vapor product didn't work so we are abandoning it but we'll be back later". You then wait a little while, start up another company and continue the process - those who found the company make an absolute FORTUNE out of this. It's been done many times before, and it'll be done again.

    The only thing unique about Transmeta's approach is that they themselves do not publically hype, they just reply on Linus' devoted followers to do that for them - seems to have paid off bigtime, folks.

    No doubt this will be marked as flamebait or a troll...

  • Someone I know listened to Linus' talk
    in Helsinki a few days ago, and apparently
    someone asked him about NSA's implant chip
    that can be used to read peoples minds.

    Linus replied: "Well, I really can't talk about the things Transmeta does"
  • by Anonymous Coward
    Slashdot already had a preview [] of our product. It was posted to get reaction without there be criticism of our product. Now all the bugs are almost worded out and you can know!
  • A finnish IT-magazine Tietoviikko [] released some comments and speculations [] about Transmeta.

    Risto Siilasmaa (CEO of DataFellows []) commented the issue at the Information Society-seminar [] (which Linus Torvalds attended) in Helsinki on Wednesday: "My strongest guess is that Transmeta doesn't actually do anything."

    There is some speculation that Transmeta's employees just hang around at their office and sell the company for a good price after this fuzz. Finnish philosopher Pekka Himanen mentioned that he has actually been in front of Transmeta's office and stated that the office has darkened windows and no visitors are allowed there.

  • So, when is the 2.4 kernel cutover? I'll be curious if it is just before Comdex. Well, I guess it could mean three things:
    1) It's just a coincidence
    2) Transmeta's product will improve/enhance Linux significantly
    3) 2.4 Kernel will improve/enhance Transmeta's product significantly

    By the way, I'm impressed with the "This web page is not here yet!" simplicity of their web-page. As someone pointed out earlier, it is reminiscent of Magritte. I've also thought that Microsoft's logo floating in the cloads was reminiscent of Magritte; perhaps someone with artistic talent could paint the picture: All white background, Microsoft logo with the caption: "Ceci n'est pas un monopole". (similar to the original at this link [].)
  • It's funny though. In the age of corporate memos leaking to the media, hype for everything from tacos to movies, Transmeta's (unintentionally?) pulled the greatest publicity stunt of all time: silence.

    I think that's exactly what the original poster meant. Transmeta is an upstart company with some new idea in working.. perhaps a good idea. An announcement for their new project would hit the news with as much chance as any other technical announcement of being hot and discussed by many. Instead, they have Linus answering "I can't tell you it's a secret" to every interviewer asking him what he does for a living.. result: everybody knows transmeta before they even come out with a product in their hands. And what's more.. everybody is curious to see what Linus is been up to all this time. What better publicity could they possibly get?

    Nick Moraitakis

  • Yes, all will be revealed at comdex Las Vegas, Transmeta, Roswell, JFK, Luthor-King ...

    No matter what it looks like, there isn't a .sig here.
  • It is an entertaining enough thought that the company is just around to "create hype," IPO to ``big bucks,'' and then have the principals walk away.

    This would doubtless do a good job of popping the ``Internet Bubble,'' and could result in an overall market bloodbatch as people re-examined the non-existent value of other enterprises that have seen bloated valuations due to peoples' miscomprehension of the use of "e-Business."

    It would, however, be rather less fun for the principal participants, as it would be a downright fraud to issue an IPO to a thus-worthless company and then walk away with a bundle of dollars.

    The above interpretation of matters also would not survive the scrutiny required by an IPO. See RHAT 424B1 Filing [] and S1. []

    I'm still biased towards the material I wrote way back when on Transmeta; [] it seems nearer accurate than anything publicized before or since...

  • I think it will be a processor that can change it's personality by reloading microcode. If they do it right, I can imagine a processor that can support multiple personalities simultaneously. Imagine each process on the system running under a different personality by having multiple sets of microcode loaded and switching between them as processes are switched. One process could run linux or windows with a x86 microcode loaded while another could run MacOS with a 68K microcode loaded. Each of these processes would provide a virtual machine to run applications. On-chip cache memory densities have gotten to the point where I think this might be possible. It would be the ultimate in emulation.
  • of that Simpsons episode where Lisa found the angel artificat thing and all of Springfield thought the world was coming to an end and everything, but in the end it just turned out to be a hoax to get people hyped for the opening of some big mall....

    I woulnd't be surprised if Transmeta makes toilet paper or something like that...Anything with this much hype is bound to suck.

  • by Anonymous Coward
    The lunatic you are talking about is Rauni-Leena Luukkanen-Kilde. She is claiming for example that the US government has some aliens in its posession. Her books sell very well, I think.

    I think the seminar was great. It was great to see Linus and the CEO of Datafellows [] throw some opinions on oss vs. proprietary and a few other things. Linus was just repeating his view that over time the basic software will have enough features so that comsumers won't be willing to pay for new versions anymore. Then the competition will catch up and bring down prices evetually to the reproduction level which in the case of software available on the net is about zero. He also said that software companies can continue generating revenue by selling support services, tailoring business and creating new/better software for new needs. So nothing new there but a lot of media was there so good for them. Linus was also repeating his "Linus' law" which in my view is just the Maslow's hierarchy of needs in a new package.He said that the consumers, not technologists, will decide what technology will spread. Perhaps everything will be possible technologically at some point in time, but people will decide what kind of technology is needed.

    Siilasmaa was worried about the lower investments in information society in European Community vs. North America. This will lead to many problems in Europe. The investments in IT are rising 14 % pa in NA and 11 % in Europe.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    designed for high instruction-level parallelism
    3-instruction long VLIW

    probably some MMU support
    Sure! At least two virtual memory subsystems.

    maybe some support for x86 instruction emulation
    Sure, FPU, Lock prefix, Debug registers...

    a meta-OS that hosts the recompilation stuff
    Right again.

  • Could someone do a translation of the Finnish article please, Babelfish just isn't good enough!

    No matter what it looks like, there isn't a .sig here.
  • But would you really opt to run Linux in an x86 emulation mode? Surely running it on the native instruction set/processor, or under an emulation of say Alpha would be much better.

    This could also make the idea of vmware obsolete, imagine being able to save/restore the machine state to special areas of disk/memory. You could cycle through operating systems rather than terminals using alt + F key.

    No matter what it looks like, there isn't a .sig here.
  • Anything they come out with is already self hyped.. It like someone going to a room of little boys, telling them how COOL the widget in this box is, and setting it down. You didn't have to hype the yoyo in the box to have the whole room eventually want a look.. ;-P
  • by Mazzella! ( 16436 ) on Thursday September 23, 1999 @05:21AM (#1665173) Homepage
    If you want to go to comdex, first you have to register at Comdex's Website [] and use the priority code: LINUX (Cool, eh?!) This code will get you into "the exhibits, keynotes, and Millenium Perspectives; the SuperSession; and Sm@rt Solutions." for free... Still $595 for the Linux Business Solutions Expo, but, on Monday, Nov. 15, 6:30pm, Linus Torvalds is giving his keynote...

    Warning, if you don't already have a hotel to stay, be forwarned, the prices around town skyrocket when comdex is in town. Get a hotel room off the strip, like at a Station Hotel/Casio [], or a Boyd Hotel/Casino [] Good L
  • Somehow, I don't really think that ANYONE working at Transmeta would leak a secret for the amount of money they are probably going to make. Just a thought.

  • Willy Dog says they will announce a new operating system, and a new chip to run it on. It will be way cool, and manage to swing the binary compatibility thing with existing apps from a bunch of other OS's and processor families.
    And instead of a silicon chip, it will use a greenish gel containing DNA-based computing elements. And when it crashes, the gel turns blue -- the blue goo of death (BGOD) ... it could happen!

They are called computers simply because computation is the only significant job that has so far been given to them.