I've heard this tossed around few times, but never really a source. The wiki page says it was designed for home appliances, but never really references a toaster. Anyone have a source?
Originally it was designed (by Sun's James Gosling) for embedded systems, in particular mobile devices such as e.g. cell phones. See e.g. http://www.oracle.com/technetwork/java/javase/overview/javahistory-index-198355.html
My pen runs java. LiveScribe. I think I first started to see Java being used around 1996 or 1997? All my memories of it at that time were that it was big on the write once run anywhere deal, running on any device, but particularly in a browser as applets. Then I recall Microsoft came in with a competing JVM that "extended" Java to run specific Windows functionality. Not conclusive, but hopefully interesting.