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Oracle Unveils Web Appliance

May 09, 2000|Associated Press

Unbowed by the failure of a bare-bones computer five years ago, Oracle Corp. Chief Executive Larry Ellison unveiled a $199 Internet machine targeted at the education and consumer markets. Unlike a personal computer, the device lacks a hard drive. Instead, users who connect it to the Internet will be able to check e-mail and surf the Web.

Ellison, displaying the machine before an audience of students at a performing arts high school in Dallas, said the device "is going to allow us to put a computer on every child's desk" by 2005. Oracle will donate more than 1,100 of the machines to 23 Dallas schools, he said.

The machine, named NIC, is being marketed by New Internet Computer Co., an eight-employee firm based in San Francisco. Ellison, who owns about one-fourth of Oracle, is the primary owner of the privately held company. NIC runs on a Linux operating system, has a 266-megahertz microprocessor, 64 megabytes of memory, a 56K modem and 24-times CD-ROM drive.

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