Thanks for the kind words. I was dealing with the same challenges you describe back then. Besides, the Pentium Pro, with a greater pin count, was a bugger to route traces and needed a massive heat sink - i.e. few free slots. For me, the fascinating chess game was converting the entire market from AT to ATX in one CPU generation. I wasn't sure they would go for it. We decided to freely license the patent which took away many of the reservations and even Apple joined in the fun. (I've always loved Apple's product design and passion.)
My more passionate story is relevant to the forum. A few years before ATX I filed an invention disclosure detailing how PCs could and should automatically sleep (idle) when not in use. At that time, it was just becoming possible to dynamically throttle the CPU clock, and suspend other subsystems including monitors, so we didn't need to waste all that energy. It was my first patent application and it was quickly rejected. After about a year I had a prototype working, thanks to a helpful volunteer team
, and I almost got terminated for going ahead. Fortunately the EPA head Carol Browner and Al Gore liked it, and they had this new program called Energy Star. We sold a lot of those, and the design ingredients were part of every PC design since. (Plus it was pretty easy to get support for new ideas after that). In the end, it didn't matter about the patent, we would have given that one away as well.
What does Al Gore have to do with Pizza?
I think we waste a lot of energy making pizza - not especially in a high-volume restaurant setting, but more with occasional users like me. I really like how a simple, inexpensive toaster does it's job - good toast, evenly colored, no wait, little waste. I'm more passionate about using only the energy I need in a pizza oven than I am about making pizza.
So does that Blackstone really need a 55k BTU flame thrower? Nope. Do we really need all the thermal mass of a WFO to make Neo pie? I don't think so. Do home users need a big deck oven? Maybe for some, but I do hope to see a retail version of that modified G3.