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BeOS for the Internet: BeIA 156

askwar writes "Heise reports in this article that Be Inc. is to debut their BeIA dubbed operating system for Internet Appliances today at the DEMO 2000 in California. According to Heise, BeIA will support Real's G2 and Macromedia's Flash. Another nice thing is the file system of BeIA, which will be database like, and allows the users to create their own file types with special attributes. This, and the ability to search for specifically search for these attributes, the system will be suited very well for technical/scientifical applications, says Heise. The article on Heise is in German, so you either have to learn it :-], or go to the Babelfish. "
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BeOS for the Internet: BeIA

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  • Oh, god--I can't believe you actually asked ;)
    My guess: Crusoe!

    I mean, Be already runs on x86, they wouldn't need to port anything! And all of the programs people own for BeOS will automatically run on BeIA--a major plus for Be fans. Considering Be's easy interface, I think Internet appliances would be a great market for them, 'cause I doubt it will ever catch hold on the desktop market.

  • Of course, I don't mind having latest software for Linux . I was simply responding that there are valid reasons why some companies still refuse to port their products to Linux.
    It might change but for now, Linux is mostly server OS and I can live with that.
  • Oops, I'm sorry, I guess I missed when Linux came out with multinode audio, and an integrated, stable sound system. However, it is good to see that Linux is finally getting support for journalling file systems after all these years.

    Point out to me one lie in my previous post.

  • I have no personal feelings about Be, but I'd just like to ask, where has Be been? I've driven by their offices many times and browsed their webpage but that's the only exposure I've had with them :) Be really sounds like a NeXT clone:

    Senior exec at apple.
    Senior exec leaves apple.
    Senior exec starts company to create a media platform, a new OS.
    Senior execs has many critics that his company will fail.

    We see what happened to NeXT, is Be the next takeover target of Apple? I'd be interested in hearing if anyone has any inside information on the relationship between Jobs and Jean-Louis Gasse' (founder of Be).

    But back to the original point of my post, where has Be been? Can anyone name a Fortune 500 company using them? To me, as a professional in the industry, I would discount Be pretty quickly. It's too propietary, not well known and there are plenty of operating systems that could do the same thing. Hell Linux is free. I'm not meaning to bash Be, but someone tell me some good experiences with it.

  • Sorry, I HAVE paid money for their products, which are NOT good. I paid a very nice chunk of money for a 60-stream Real5.0 server a little over a year ago, and now what do I have? Useless plastic, because the 5.0 encoder doesn't work with the 2.2 kernel series. Why should they bother to update it when they can make more money from me?

    Now, let's take a look at icecast as a server (free, actively maintained, can be compiled for my platform) and mp3 clients (free, better sound quality (IMO) than Real). For my radio station, I much prefer the sounds of streaming MP3 to RealAudio, and our budget certainly does, too.

  • by Guy Harris ( 3803 ) <> on Monday February 07, 2000 @08:03PM (#1296700)
    Another nice thing is the filesystem of BeIA, which will be database like, and allows the users to create their own file types with special attributes. This, and the ability to search for specifially search for these attributes, the system will be suited very well for technical/scientifical applications, says Heise.

    That sounds somewhat like BFS, the BeOS file system, as described in Practical File System Design with the Be File System. The BeIA file system may be BFS, or a variant thereof (the Be press release [] says "At the foundation of BeIA are a core set of system functions, leveraged from BeOS, which talk directly to the individual hardware designs.")

    Section 4.8 "Attributes" of that book says that a file (or can have) associated with it a directory (not part of the normal directory hierarchy; the only reference to it is, presumably, via the file's inode), and in that directory are files that correspond to the file's attributes, with the name of the attribute being the name of the file and the value of the attribute being the contents of the file. They later added a mechanism to store small attributes in the inode itself.

    (ReiserFS [] might obviate the need for such a mechanism, although, from the stuff on ReiserFS, having a separate name space for attributes might be considered an anathema.)

    BFS also supports indices of attributes, allowing searches for files with particular attributes.

  • Right tool for the job.

    True enough. And I'm the first to admit that Linux does have some pretty crappy video support right now. But there's certainly enough demand to make it worth their while, don't you think? Linux desperately needs to be able to participate in streaming media, and, well, M$ can say they're gonna port Windows Media Player all they want; I won't believe it 'till I can actually download the program. And even then, I probably wouldn't use it anyway on principal (giving them a monopoly over streaming media players means giving them a monopoly on servers... NOT good). Either Real needs to get with it, or someone needs to reverse engineer it--the latter would actually be better, since they wouldn't be able to get by with the crappy quality alphas they offer now, and we'd regain control. But considering the Streambox trial, they'd probably prosecute. *sigh*

    What we really need is our own open standard, maybe some form of MPEG.

  • But consider how popular TVs are. A lot of people like the idea of simple, purpose-specific devices that are easy to use and reliable.

    My grandmother doesn't really need to do any serious word processing or Gimp work. But I think she would like to read a /. story here and there without having to know how to use a computer.
  • by pythas ( 75383 ) on Monday February 07, 2000 @07:26PM (#1296706)
    Here's the press release from Be themselves (in English): Press Release []
  • I appreciate open source software and all that it gives us. However, to wish for BeOS to be open source is to wish for the death of BeOS. The only way BeOS is going to become opensourced is if Be, Inc. goes under.

    This may not apply to you, but it does apply to many people I have had discussions with who are open source advocates. It upsets me to think that juvenile people would wish for the downfall of a company, just to get a look at the code. If you want to see the code, get a job with Be, Inc. Oh, wait. You actually have to be a talented programmer for that.

    It seems that many open source advocates call for the open sourcing of BeOS for selfish reasons, like wanting to rip all the cool features out of BeOS and integrate them into Linux, or something just as ridiculous. Let me let you in on a little secret. It would be easier to figure out how to create those features from scratch specifically for Linux, than it would be to try and hack the code from BeOS into Linux. Having those features kludged into Linux doesn't help Linux, and definately doesn't help BeOS, or Be, Inc.

    Open source is a death sentence to BeOS. Would you actually use and develop for it if it were open source? Why only then and not now?

    - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
    I run BeOS. The rules don't apply.
  • It's great to see Be branching out, but is this Good or Bad?

    They are branching out and creating more versitile systems for muliple uses... yet their main product still needs some support, help, and effort behind it. The upcoming free BeOS 5 [] will help them, but does this move stregnthen or dilute them? I don't know...

    nope, don't chell speck.
  • Cool stuff.

    What I'm concerned about is multiple users. From what I recall the BeOS doesn't understand being multiuser. That and there's no networked user identity concept like NT domains, ADSI, LDAP or NetInfo.

    Has this changed? Does BeOS now support multi and network user identities?
  • OK, but I didn't find it funny, because it reflects ignorance: IA64 is not a chipset, but a CPU architecture. And as for IA creating confusion with something that's forthcoming, IA32 is already here, so (by your logic) is the confusion.

  • Well yeah, attributes are the single best part of BFS, IMHO. You should see my MP3 directory on the BeOS partition. Every file has a Title, Artist, and Album attribute. I can sort by them all right in the BeOS Tracker.

    BeOS is all that and a side of cheese fries.


  • Be was the target before Jobs became the CEO again. Then the deal was off, because NeXT was bought by Apple and it became the core of MacOS X. Be has more or less been given the finger by Apple, who are be less than helpful with getting BeOS to run on B&W G3's and G4's. It is part of the reason why Be has moved into x86. Although they now have to fight Microsoft which has locked them out of most OEM markets. It is too sad. It has a simpler interface for new users and it is closer to MacOS for those switching over. But they've been forced into the IA market, because they have no chance against 9x/NT Otherwise Be is a fine OS. Driver support is lacking, but I've never had it crash and it hasn't locked up. I've never seen anything even slow it down. The Tracker is always ready to go. I've seen X/Win32 come to a complete stop under less loads. I can't wait until there are more applications on it. The current browser Net+ was just o.k., I really want to see Mozilla on it. (I've been less than impressed with Opera so far.) As time passes, I hope to rid myself of Win32 forever and replace it with Be.
  • They've been saying since the G3 came out that they would probably never support it. Now the story is the same with the G4. They basically have a story about how Apple refuses to provide them with specs, etc (maybe bad blood between Gasse and Apple?). I wonder why they can't simply take a look at the PPC Linux stuff...I mean, they (Be) don't want to open their core OS, but they could certainly find legal ways of getting the ideas and implementing them themselves...

    Though I wonder why I bother to remember all this, since I use Linux on x86? ::shrug::

  • Electronic organizers have been around for decades, but they didn't really come into wide use until palm computing, where you could actually do something with them beyond what the designers envisioned.

    That's interesting. At least where I am (Rio de Janeiro), quite a few people have organisers (I do as well, but I don't like to use; it's to intrusive), whereas very few people own palmtops. Both cost (at least R$700 = +- US$350 for the cheapest PDAs) and the novelty factor (they haven't been around for very long here) are relevant, I guess.

    Regarding flexibility: as someone on Slashdot has recently reminded me, computers are tools that should work according to the needs of the owner. And amongst these owners, few need anything too sophisticated out of a computing environment; our class is amongst the few who require a rich and wildly-customizable system. Comparatively, many more people need exactly that: an appliance; anything over and above is just wasted on them. (That's not to say that they shouldn't be flexible, in the sense that they should be able to accomplish a wide variety of tasks, within the constrains imposed by size, speed and the purpose of the appliance. But that's another matter.)
  • It might help a little that Be users don't put up a big stink about binary-only releases.

    Besides, RealPlayer final code is still sh!tty, so don't feel too bad...

  • This is horribly off-topic, but...

    BeOS boots fast! This is the number 1 reason I use BeOS. It is a nice operating system. It works. You don't have to fiddle with things for hours like in Linux. You don't get frustrated with the crappy gui like in Windows. C++ application programming is intuitive and clean. When I do operating system development things, I want a system that is powerful and boots in as little time as possible (I don't always have a junky second test machine available).

    On the same note, how can you get Linux to boot as fast as possible? Does anyone have any tricks for me? I'm willing to live without X, CDROM drivers, etc. if the machine will boot in under 30 seconds. Is it possible to tweak the rc scripts for faster boot times? (Of course I have already compiled the kernel without anything non-essential).


  • The 'database-like' filesystem with special attributes is not new to BeIA. BeOS's current filesystem supports the special file attributes, and was designed to be a database.

    Actually, an ex-Apple employee developed the filesystem while at Apple, but nobody thought it was very interesting. Nobody except Be, that is! I can't remember the fellow's name who deveoped it, but I remember reading about him in Scot Hacker's 'BeOS Bible.'
  • I think the attitude of Be towards multi-user is that the OS is meant to be a workstation, not a server product of any kind. I remember reading a comment from Jean-Louis Gassee about this, and that's basically a paraphrase of his statement.
  • Why would they write a separate filesystem for BeIA that has exactly the same features as BFS? Of course it uses BFS...
  • Why would they write a separate filesystem for BeIA that has exactly the same features as BFS?

    I'm inclined not to automatically assume people will do what one might assume to be the obvious thing; having not seen any explicit statement that it was BFS, I wasn't about to assume it must be BFS, even though I figured it was probably BFS.

  • I strongly disagree with "banning" anything, but there's only so much space with with to say anything when you've got a long URL to link to. A SYMBOL OF OPPRESSION SHOULD NOT BE FLOWN OVER EVERY COURTHOUSE IN THE STATE OF SOUTH CAROLINA!
  • don't burn books, burn Nazis.
  • This site loads Slashdot's main page. Is this a harmless redirect, or perhaps a way of stealing a person's login cookie?

    Andrew Chandler
    Chafford Hundred

    Registrar..: (
    Domain Name: SLAPDASH.ORG
    Created on..............: Thu, Dec 16, 1999
    Expires on..............: Sat, Dec 15, 2001
    Record last updated on..: Thu, Dec 16, 1999

    Administrative Contact:
    Chandler, Andrew
    +44 7976151688
    Technical Contact, Zone Contact:
    Internic, Registrar

    Be suspicious
  • I suppose that is the difference between geeks and ordinary users. Many people would rather learn a given interface in order to use something; that's the way they work. I, OTOH, would rather mess about with the interface until it works the way I think it ought to work, to best suit ME. I view that as the device conforming to the user rather than vice-versa.
  • Okay, I installed BeOS 4.5 on my home system (it now triple boots between Win98/Linux/Be). It installed flawlessly, recognized my hardware properly, I simply had to choose a few options and fill in my internet settings. Up and running in under 20 minutes flat.

    It works beautifully. I had heard it performed well with animations, multimedia etc, so I opened up 4 animated pictures, and played a music CD without a single glitch (and this is on a fairly typical system: AMD K2-6 400 Mhz with 64Mb of Ram, SB64, CL Blaster Banshee/Hansol 17' monitor - only thing unusual is my HD room 23 Gb). Everything seems to work quite well so far.

    I believe it is based on FreeBSD - its certainly Unixlike in its file system. While everything is basically GUI, you can go to the command line. Looks like a nice marriage of robust structure and design (Unix) with a great GUI front end (Mac).

    Its biggest problem is simply lack of Apps. If Adobe ported Photoshop and Macromedia ported Director, and someone ported some Sound software like SoundForge this OS would be rocking. All it needs is the right software and a little popular support. I imagine most people have never heard of it, let alone seen it. Hopefully the Free-for-Non-Commercial use Version 5 will let people have a taste of it and get it more widely advertised. If Be ever decides to make this available under the GPL it will be a real competitor to Linux for the desktop at least.

    Its the first Unix like OS I have seen that I *would* consider setting up for my Mother to use.

    To be fair I should mention that I have not had all that much time to explore the OS and see what I think of it beyond first impressions, so I am sure I will find flaws (the browser doesn't support Java for instance AFAIK) when I do. However, first impressions are important, and Be is very impressive.

  • Where can I possibly begin? So few sentences, and yet all of them completely false! That's quite an accomplishment.

    First, Linux is not bulky, nor is it an app (THAT was funny...) It's very modular, so that you can include what you want, and leave out what you don't...this saves on HDD space and system resources, and also cuts down on complexity (the more things you have, the more likely it is that one of them will break).

    I suppose you got that "legacy code" bit from the fine marketing folks at Be. That's just great. However, a bunch of people recently set up a computer lab in the inner city for free, using mostly donated 486s. Linux made this possible, Be could not have. There is a very large group of kids that would take exception to your calling their computer lab impossible.

    I've been using Linux as a desktop for quite some time now. I certainly don't consider it a "total joke"...since you, by your own admission, cannot fathom "it", please refrain from criticising it.

    If you can't image Linux running on sub-notebook devices, Transmeta has some solid machinery to alleviate the need for you to do so.
  • Which file system? The one in the pre-Rn series, which was BeOS 8 or so, had a database-like file system. That was over 3 years ago though. The one in BeOS after that was quite different, the journaling file system or whatever. I've been out of that loop for a while..
  • Of course the Confederates couldn't hang on for that long -- they were too stupid for that.

    They just happened to have enslaved my people for 200 years, and the flag is a symbol of everything leading up to that.
  • Did I ever say anything about the American flag being a symbol of something good? Does the Confederate flag have any symbolism other than anti-federalism for the purpose of maintaining slavery (and possibly making inbred marriages legal)? FUCK YOU, ASSHOLE.

  • Yes, but you have done those things precisely because you wanted to hack these things in your life. Car freaks hack their cars. If they are just putting new fuzzy dice and matching seat covers, they're doing a lame job of hacking. If they are turning a straight car into a racing machine, they are doing some serious hacking, and deserve to be respected for it as hackers.

    But that does not get around the basic fact that the vast majority of the cars on the road, refriderators in the kitchen, and TVs in the living rooms are bog standard, and un-hacked.

    This is normal. The first computer owners, people who bought Altairs and the like, had to build the freaking things from scratch, soldering each connector and chip in, and write their own OSes. Later people were able to buy pre-built hardware and get software and OSes written by other people. Do you know anyone who still builds his/her own motherboards? Who'd toggle an entire OS in by hand in octal via front-panel switches?

    It's progress. At some point, computers will essentially disappear, in the same way that motors "disappeared" into all the appliances in your home.

  • Erm, can linux stream video and sound while playing an mp3 and browsing the web? -->I don't think so

    Nowhere did I say Linux definitely COULDN'T do these things, just that I have not observed it. My Linux box cannot reliably play a video and an mp3 without chopping up while I do other things. My BeOS box can. BeOS is generally optimized for media applications, whereas Linux is server-oriented. Linux is not a swiss army OS that can just be applied to anything.

  • Why is an 18 petabyte filesize limit superior to a 2GB filesize limit? Have you ever tried capturing 30 minutes of uncompressed 640x480 digital video to disk? BeOS is a media-optimized OS. This kind of thing is critical. Nuff said.
  • Well, I learned bash from the ground up in BeOS, and haven't hit any limits yet. I think saying "It's an okay path for an average Windows user" is downplaying the power of both BeOS and the bash shell.
  • Not quite. The filesystem was developed by Dominic Giampaolo, while working at Be. Dominic once worked for SGI, not Apple. There are however several ex-Apple engineers at Be.

    U WANT MY K-K00L HANDUL 1 BET!!!1!
  • and played a music CD without a single glitch

    CDs are played by the drive, and audio piped directly out the card. A CD playing when NT BSOD's will keep playing...

    I know the point you're trying to make ... just that this element wasn't part of that :)

  • What's the point of buying a computing device if you can't customize it?

    Is this really any different than buying a Wintel box preloaded with a bunch of apps? Plenty of people never "customize" Windoze, making it little more than a loader for an embedded office suite.

    Really. But I hear that the sales are going fairly well anyway.

  • I agree that not everyone needs a high degree of customization, I'm just a little apprehensive as to the possibility of a general movement towards these applications and away from desktops. Be moving towards BeIA and away from BeOS (at least that's what it appears to be) might be a smart move for the company in terms of economy (I sense that offering FreeBeOS is a realization that it would be almost impossible to grab a share of the pay-OS market), but I would guess BeOS development is going to be slowed because of it. Don't get me wrong,I like being able to check my mail or browse the web on my cell phone. But I wouldn't like to see desktop development slow down because everyone's pouring their resources into web appliances. Of course, get enough feature creep and these appliances just might come around full circle and end up as full computers themselves...
  • Anonymous coward:

    Hey don't get me wrong, I'm not against Be, but I spend a lot of time researching and looking at emerging technologies and I just haven't seen Be pop up very much. I'm not saying Linux is the end all be all, but it is very ubiquitous. I'm very open to operating systems and I'd love to try out Be. At home I run IRIX, Windows, Linux, Mac OSX, Mac OS 9, so I'm not close minded by any means.

    And there are Fortune 500 companies out there that use Linux as servers and desktop machines. It's very affordable, the software and device support is very lucrative.

    So send me a copy of Be for Intel :) Until then I'll eagerly await Mac OSX DR3 (I'll probably get flamed for that)

  • While I don't have anything against THE Web, it seems that this OS is less geared for "THE internet" and moreso towards _the_ "web". Macromedia flash? G2? That sounds very "THE" web and less "THE" internet. Now, if this thing had built in news spooling and pop3 mail clients, perhaps we could begin to call it an os for *the* internet. But this is the WEB. Is the web _the_ internet or is THE internet merely *the* "web"?
  • Linux can have those. But are you willing to do what it takes? Are you willing to pay the price?

    If you start buying/accepting licensed binary implementations of defacto standards, you'll become dependant and lose your freedom. When that happens, Linux will become "just another OS" and nobody will have any reason to care about it anymore.

    After that, you'll switch to Hurd and you'll know better than to ask, "How come Linux gets Real G2 and Flash, when Hurd can't get either?"

  • God I get tired of saying this, just because something is derrived from BSD, doesn't make it "stolen" or from FreeBSD. I'm not sure if Be is derrived from Be or not, but it's not based off of FreeBSD.
  • BeOS does not play CDs that way. It doesn't use the audio cable at all. This allows all kinds of digital manipulations of the cd audio signal in real time. In fact, one thing they like to demo is the ability to play CDs at variable speeds, including backwards :-)

  • Sorry, Net+ chokes on some /. urls, so I'm posting this again in the right place.

    BeOS does not play CDs that way. It doesn't use the audio cable at all. This allows all kinds of digital manipulations of the cd audio signal in real time. In fact, one thing they like to demo is the ability to play CDs at variable speeds, including backwards :-)

  • by Dj ( 224 )
    Because that's not a business model! It's a hackers model for getting an OS up, and no doubt internally they have a G3 and a G4 running BeOS in some fashion, but that isn't good enough really; you are open to get screwed by hardware vendor changes to the same platforms which the
    hardware vendor has already allowed for in their release of software.

    It's Apple's loss at the end of the day.
  • The moment you 'ban' any symbol, you may as well be burning books alongside those Nazis you reference.

    - Jeff A. Campbell
    - VelociNews ( [])
  • You know you've been burned by moderation too many times when you have to put "HUMOR" in the subject line.... :)
  • Perhaps Be should have paid for Apple's developer time to help them get things running? When Apple has spent the last 3 years gutting their _own_ department, what makes you think they should support Be?

    Of course, a certain investment by Intel wouldn't have anything to do with Be's current focus, even while Apple is opening stuff up (*cough* Darwin) themselves.

    Sorry man, Be's argument doesn't wash. Nice OS, but...

    - Jeff A. Campbell
    - VelociNews ( [])
  • Exactly. It's very simple. Unix is a *design*, and will be around as long as the type of systems it was designed to run on still exist. Be, NT, etc are mere mortal operating systems, ready to be thrown into irrelevance by the next thing to come around.
  • why 18petabyte filesystems are superior to 2GB ones.

    Because I'm tired of having to split my digital videos into multiple 1,999,999 kb files. That's why.

  • Sorry, but the link was not relevant to my situation. Be themselves says that you should not run BeOS on 486 machines, and I'm sure that performance would not be acceptable. Yes, it would be great if the government decided to drop a bunch of Be appliances in our laps, but they didn't. We had to make due with what we had.

    Check out this link for the complete story:

    and read about the Agape house.

  • Then let the people of that state decide.

    ...some would say that the US flag is a symbol of oppression as well. Native americans comes to mind... Should we get rid of it as well?

    - Jeff A. Campbell
    - VelociNews ( [])
  • I feel stupid for responding to a troll, but anyone defending the "stars and bars" is a certified jackass. I agree that the Confederate flag is a symbol of your heritage -- it's part of mine, too. I think it works out to something like 200 years of slavery. /* begin sarcasm You're right, South Carolina *should* be proud, and the Germans are just wimps for regretting "that whole Holocaust thing"... end sarcasm */
  • Hello folks,

    You can find screenshots of BeIA under here []. Note that these files are huge. Look at the dates and download.

  • BeOS is a good alternative to someone who doesn't want to use Windows or MacOS, but needs an easy to use OS. I think it is the most viable option to non-programmers. I hope they get it together and release the source to it.

    Of course, I'd still rather have my Linux box, but I think I could set up most people with BeOS, and they wouldn't miss anything.

    "You ever have that feeling where you're not sure if you're dreaming or awake?"

  • This is all just guessing, but I've got a feeling that it's just the plain vanilla BeFS. What reason would Be have to invest more man-hours in revamping a filesystem that works perfectly? I think it's just Be's famed marketing people (the Buzzword-Enabled-OS) strutting their stuff. Anyone disagree?
  • /me gets the torch.
  • Of course it has a pop3 mail client. I'm not sure about the news reader but I'm sure they'll include something.
  • Which file system?

    To quote the person to whom you're responding,

    the BeOS file system, as described in
    Practical File System Design with the Be File System

    The first chapter of said book seems to indicate that the file system in question is "the journaling file system" to which you refer, which replaced an older file system - but also speaks of the database in that older file system as "[existing] independently of the underlying hierarchical file system".

    (The first chapter also says

    The intent for the [the original BeBox with a Hobbit processor] was that it would be an information device that would be connected to a network, could answer your phone, and worked well with MIDI and other multimediat devices. In retrospect the original design was a mix of what we now call a "network computer" (NC) and a set-top box of sorts.

    and speaks of the move to the PowerPC-based BeBox as moving into the realm of general-purpose computing; BeIA appears to move Be back to the world of "information devices".)

  • Fair enough.

    Be is looking to create an operating system that is attractive to internet users. While their current model is very web-based, by opening their source, it would allow programmers to toy with BeOS, and give it the kind of functionality they want out of it. It would also give the OSS crowd a look at a non-UNIX OS.

    For those people that wish to have a more multimedia based OS, but also want open sourced code for their OS, an open source BeOS would be very attractive.

    In return, BeOS would enjoy the benefits that other open source projects have enjoyed. Namely, many people discovering bugs and reporting them to be fixed.

    Be is already planning on releasing their OS free of charge for non-commercial use anyway. I see no reason they wouldn't want to enjoy the benefits of opening their source as well. Apple is toying with the idea as well with MacOS X.

    "You ever have that feeling where you're not sure if you're dreaming or awake?"

  • Actually, any app can handle a file up to 18 petabytes in size. It is because of the design of the filesystem. It is not an application based distinction.

    That said, there obviously isnt a file that big in the world, nor a drive (or drive array) to store it on. It's purely theoretical.

    I understand what you mean by BeOS being closed source and thus "trapped" - after last months "Focus Shift" I felt the same way. It IS rather scary to think that it could die. But I think that Be will release the source if and when they die, or can't keep updating the desktop.

    I don't think they will let it die. If they do, then I may bother trying to figure out Linux... right now it just doesn't hold a candle to BeOS (IMHO as someone who couldnt care less about having the code - I am purely interested in functionality, features, and ease of use)
  • 1. Pictures on BeIA .jpg g shot.jpg

    2. Reviews of BeOS .htm l What_Is_This_BeOS.html beos-4.5-1.html

    3. The upcoming networking stack. olume_IV/Issue05.html#Insight interviews&id=6&action=display

    4. News and Program sites.
  • Funnily enough, Win98 does that too!
    Apologies for saying something nice about win98!
    What I mean is there is an option to read "digitally" in Control Panel/System/Devices/CDROM. It's no different to what mp3 rippers do.
    This is turned off by default because many drives don't handle it (what does Be do with these drives? ie. do you have the option to go through the cable)
    Anyway playing a CD backwards under win98 shouldn't be hard to do. I don't think it would take much coding.
    I wish I had the time to mess around myself with it - has someone already done it
  • How come Be, the less popular OS, gets Real G2 and Flash macromedia, when Linux can't get either?
  • I am glad to see some more products that could prevent microsoft from attaining streaming media dominance. MS vs. Real is the MS vs Netscape of today - streaming media is a big deal, and Windows has all the support currently...

    One question, slightly unrelated: If Real Networks is using Linux for their web server for their site, then why can't they give us a decent, up to date Real client? We never got a G2 that you can get without downloading an alpha from a special place.... and what of Real 7?
  • Um, we have both.

    At least they are both on my computer. Granted, G2 is a crappy alpha version and Flash doesn't work as well as I would like.

    It is there, though.
  • You can also find more at,1510,151 34,00.html Am I the only one who is a little uncomfortable with this whole anticipated move towards web appliances? Seems to take away the greatest strengths of PCs, like flexibility. What's the point of buying a computing device if you can't customize it? Electronic organizers have been around for decades, but they didn't really come into wide use until palm computing, where you could actually do something with them beyond what the designers envisioned. Or look at TV design; hasn't changed much in 50 years; without flexibility there's little impetus to improve these kinds of things...
  • Much of the challenge for new operating systems on the x86 platform comes with application compatibility, which Be certainly lacks. On a more level field like internet appliances, widespread use of common applications is not as prevalent (if at all) as on the x86 platform. Simply superior technology, which Be is often praised for, should allow them to pull ahead and get them market share.
  • I am aware the BE runs on X86 and G3 and some older macs, but what chips will the mobile version run on.
  • Give me one good reason why Be should open their source. And "because Linux geeks will use it" is not a good reason.
  • BeOS is neither FreeBSD based nor Unix-like. The only thing that makes be even remotely similar to Unix is having bash and posix compliance. The OS was written from scratch, and not "based" on anything.

  • They do have built-in pop3 on the BeIAs.

  • by Graymalkin ( 13732 ) on Monday February 07, 2000 @11:18PM (#1296809)
    I've been waiting for Be to come out with something like this. Dispite what all the hardcore (downloaded Redhat 3 months ago and think they're l33t now) Linux guys have to say about it, BeOS rocks bunnies. It was inevitable the system would end up on internet appliances. Besides the really nice kernel design and programming environment the GUI is really nicely designed. Look at the other desktops you have to choose from, Windows has a taskbar that takes up a nice little portion of the screen and lots of wasted space in the typical app window. MacOS has a similar problem but has a little less clutter inside the window itself. Be on the otherhand is like using X with a WM without a DE, which is the way I like to work in X. There's a minimal amount of clutter which would lend itself to working on smaller LCD screens well. The most important part of an internet appliance isn't processing power or the size of the files it can handle, it's the ease of use and neatness of the GUI. Look at Win CE on handheld devices like the Cassiopea (sp?). The GUI is a major drawback to the usability of them because M$ tried to squeeze Explorer onto a tiny screen. CE doesn't look too bad on things like the Jornada but it could still use some work. Be has an innovative interface while still being familiar to Windows and Mac users and would look nice on the lower resolutions (640x480, 800x600) of many internet appliances. If the desktop people like K and GNOME want to make their stuff really user friendly they will scrap together 80$ for a copy of BeOS and play around on it a bit.
  • Linux made this possible, Be could not have.

    Wrong. []

    And X is not a well-designed or integrated system. Compared to every other major OS, Linux GUIs do very poorly. Different widget sets all over the place, no design guidelines, etc contribute to the problem, IMO.

  • Better Ask Al Gore.
    If he invented it he would have the definitive answer :-)
  • When electric appliances first appeared, people bought a single motor and a variety of different attachments. One motor would function for a mixer, sewing machine, drill...whatever. Eventually electric motors became cheap enough that people started buying "appliances" (devices that the motors were "applied" to) with built-in motors.

    And that's where we are. Currently you have a single large, fast processor in a box, with various boards and software "applied" to it. But it's just nowhere near as flexible as having individual devices optimized their own purposes.

    For instance, you can watch TV on your computer monitor exclusivley...but few of us do. A TV set does the job (usually) as well. Even though there are some things the PC TV tuner card can do that the TV set cannot (creating automatic transcripts), the interface of the average TV set is hard to beat.

    Personally, I'd like to have a bullet-proof box to recommend to people. My brother the plumber does not want, or need, the flexibility of a full-fleged computer to check his e-mail, browse the web and write a few letters. Neither does my Mom...and I could live without the support hassles.

    If it had BeOS in it, so much the better. This is a no-brainer from my point of view. No downside. Besides, this is what will make FreeBe possible...seed the developers with a free OS to play with, and cheap to include in finished products.

  • You may download Real G2 here []. And Flash player can be found here [] (if the link works, else search the macromedia webpage).

  • Linux does well enough.

    But does it? The definition of 'well enough' for apparently mundane multimedia applications is often surprisingly hard to measure up to. Stick any half-decent DVD player wired via RGB into a TV next to a PC playing a copy of the same DVD out onto its screen, and the consumer electronics setup wins hands down. (This is especially true when the DVD is of a video source (i.e. 50fps, or 60fps for NTSC sources) instead of a film source - temporal aliasing (visual artifacts typically at the beat frequency of the DVD's frame rate and the monitor's refresh frame rate) is perhaps the most obvious problem, but there are many more.)

    Apparently the broadcast and consumer electronics industries have a much higher standard of doing 'well enough' than most of the PC world.

    Whether or not Linux can play 3 mp3's while animating a spinning cube with each facet it's own running video mpeg is about as relevant...

    That specific example may well be irrelevant, but this isn't so different: what about the ability to play 6 audio streams and a single video stream and (crucially, and this is something which is far easier to get wrong than a lot of people realise) keep them all in sync? Is that important to people? Well it's important to me - I like to watch movies with surround sound, and it requires you to do precisely this. It annoys the hell out of me when the sound and video get out of step.

    Lots of people are trying to bring the Internet to an audience used to consumer electronics. Whilst this will need some PC-like features (e.g. everything required to be a web browser), this audience will not tolerate shabby AV performance. (And frankly, the vast majority of PC setups deliver very shabby AV.)

    This is the motivation behind the technology Be have been developing. Don't dismiss it just because the demos seem overly flashy - try to understand what it is they are showing you. (Or alternatively, try and work out how you would go about demonstrating that a system can deliver the level of real-time media support that would be required by any Internet-enabled high quality piece of consumer electronics.)

  • Erm, can linux stream video and sound while playing an mp3 and browsing the web? I don't think so, and this is a use that is well within the realm of what a user might do.

  • _12-21-99.html [] []

    Be was chosen as the operating system of choice for the Qubit, another Internet appliance. Will Be help to distinguish this appliance from the rest of the bunch?
  • You want GUI, go with BeOS, you want CLI, go Linux, you want to bog down your system and reboot, go Windows. See? Simple...
  • It's probably really good.

    Be has been and probably will continue to be realistic about their chances on the desktop world. That's why BeOS 5 is going to be free []. With Microsoft owning the preloads on the Intel side and Apple not allowing any type of clone, and with Linux encroaching on both, Be really doesn't stand much chance of "making it big" on the desktop side.

    Which is really sad because this OS kicks ass. I have a dual PII 400 system at home running Be and Linux at home. Now, I use linux as my primary OS, but when I really want to see my machine go fast, maybe rendering something in Blender or just surfing along the web, I switch over to Be. Because the whole OS/Application platform API is inherently multithreaded, it really takes advantage of the hardware.

    As BeIA, though, more people will get to experience what a modern desktop operating system can feel like. It's stable, modular, configurable, and damn fast. They've got a very good chance to own a chunk of this market from the get go, and get on the road to profitability. Unlike certain other profitable OS products out there, these guys really deserve to make it.


  • Your guess would be correct :) BeOS has already been seen running on Crusoe. Here's the article [] on BeNews.
  • Why no Linux player ? Maybe because they recognize Linux for what it is - a decent server and not desktop machine ( and certainly not mulitmedia box )

    Right tool for the job.
  • by pb ( 1020 ) on Monday February 07, 2000 @07:43PM (#1296824)
    Now we know that BeOS is a major player in the OS market--they have a product with a useless two-letter acronym in the title! While Microsoft has long had "NT", BeOS is competing with "IA", sure to sow confusion due to Intel's forthcoming "IA64" chipset. (As in, "When are they porting BeIA to the IA64?")

    As usual, Linux and Unix still have to play catch-up to be a major player. The Linux Zealots claim that three-letter recursive acronyms like "GNU" are superior acronym technology. We here at FUD-Net think they said the same thing about three-button mice, and let's face it, that's just *way* too complicated for us.

    pb Reply or e-mail; don't vaguely moderate [].

  • Sad but true, my friend, sad but true.

    (No, wait, I swear this was an on-topic reply! really...
    um... say something about Be! Quick! Ah, nuts... :)

    pb Reply or e-mail; don't vaguely moderate [].
  • you want CLI, go Linux

    Uhhh...if you want a CLI, just go to the BeOS main menu and choose "Applications...Terminal" and you've got a bash shell.

    And since I don't like bash, my BeOS terminal gives me zsh instead :)

  • Sorry, Jeff, but your post just earned a "-1, Just Plain Wrong" moderation.

    The problem isn't that Be can't afford Apple's developer time. The problem is that Apple *refuses* to help them. Be has asked for, with money to back it up, the specifications for the chipset/motherboards that Apple uses. Apple has continously turned them down.

    That means that the only option Be has left is to reverse engineer things themselves. Contrary to popular opinion, reverse engineering is not the be-all and end-all solution. For one thing, it takes a lot of resources to do it well, or you end up with a half-usable hack. Given the size of Be, I doubt they have the resources to commit more than three or four engineers to the project. How many people in the Linux community are working on the various Linux/PPC projects (and how much assistance do they have from Apple)?

    For another thing, it has to be legally feasible for them to do so. Apple, by refusing to give them the specifications, has made it abundently clear they don't want BeOS running on their G3/G4 Macintoshes. That leaves open the possibility that should Be develop and publicly release a version of BeOS that runs on the G3/G4, Apple would start sending over some nasty legal paperwork (a.k.a. suing them into oblivion). If you think a small company like Be has the legal power, or the financial clout, to stand up to Apple, you're deluding yourself.

    While I don't remember if Gassee ever said anything directly, the impression I got was that Be was far more afraid of the second possibility than the first, because they are aware that Apple could quite simply crush them in an instant. Even if Be were to win, a protracted legal fight would cost them time, resources, and money - three things that a small business can't afford to waste on a legal battle. So rather than wait for a filing from Apple, Be simply choosing to not make them their enemy.

    Does that argument "wash?" Or are you of the opinion that if a company believes it is correct, it should go ahead at all costs (including the destruction of the company itself)? Very sound business strategy there, Jeff.

    What I find truly remarkable is that you toss in unrelated tidbits of information and speculation like "Of course, a certain investment..." to make things appear to be this some sort of conspiracy. Do you really think that Intel has Be, Inc. stringed up like a puppet? Do you have any proof that Intel is controlled the actions of Be beyond their investment? Intel has invested in Red Hat, as well - does that make Red Hat an Intel puppet? Are you really that paranoid? Is it ignorance or just plain stupidity that causes you to shoot your mouth off?

    This isn't an episode of the X-Files, Jeff. It's real life. There are no conspiracies here beyond the ones you're fabricating.

    As an aside, in several articles Gassee has publicly stated that Be is considering the possibility of open-sourcing BeOS (perhaps even under the GPL). While it's useless to argue about things that *may* happen, I would like to note that such a move would go far above and beyond what Apple has done with Darwin (releasing little more than a recycled BSD and Mach kernel, both of which are already open source, and keeping the only original part of the OS - the GUI layers - closed-source).
  • What's the point of buying a computing device if you can't customize it?

    Do you customize your car? Your fridge? Your TV?

    Car: First thing I did after I bought my new car was to pull the stupid racing stripes off the sides. Then I went and had a nice CD player installed. Let's not even get started on the people who take modifying their cars seriously. You don't think the "I'd rather push my Ford than drive a Chevy" came about just because of the way people drove the things, do you? Lemme just point you to the JC Whitney catalog [].

    Fridge: Got crap stuck all over the front of it: funny newspaper items, pictures of all the relatives' kids, even stuck a memo board on it so we can write down what we need to buy at the grocery store.

    TV: Ran a splitter off my cable, now I use the box (for HBO) as one input, unfiltered (so I can do picture-in-picture) as another. VCR on Video1, N64 on Video3 (SVHS input).

    Hmm, seems like I customize everything I touch. Customization isn't only for computers -- every product's worth is judged partially on how well it can be modified to suit your needs. As someone mentioned above this, this is one of the reasons why desktop computers are so popular. They can (with a bit of work :-)) be customized to meet just about anyone's needs.

  • This is exactly what I'm talking about. A database-like file system, support attribute-rich data. I mentioned this a while back on another article. I have got to get a copy of Be and stick it on a partition. I think BeOS is the hottest thing since grits-down-your-pants...I gotta stop being lazy and look into it. The developement environment/API sounds heavenly too. - the Java Mozilla []
  • well, yeah, but we are in a Linux rich enviroment here...besides, while POSIX compliant, BeOS is not *nix...however, for an alternative for the average Windoze user, I would definitely recommend BeOS over Linux (Slackware, however, is my personal choice for home use)
  • Please.

    NT is just as much of a "design" as UNIX is. BeOS is just as much of a "design" as UNIX is. The only difference between the UNIX design and the BeOS/NT designs is that the UNIX design has been around longer, attracted more people to it, and people are more comfortable with it.

    The only trump card UNIX will ever have over the NT/BeOS designs is that it is an older, well-established, and matured design. The claim that there is something inherent to the design, independent of it's longevity, that makes it "better" is simply a demonstration of software religion in operation.

  • Having voiced that same concern a while back, I can see your point.

    However, BeIA and BeOS are the same operating system. Advances and developments for the IA aspect transparantly and seamlessly integrate into the desktop environment.

    I see the BeIA move as a way for Be Inc. to gain apps and support for their desktop OS.

    Also, I think that the overwhelming majority of people are still missing the point of an Internet-enabled device. They are not just for surfing the web. They are for a zillion other things.

    Streaming media, communications, portibility, research, development, music, video, etc.

    I think the problem is that the usage of the word "appliance" was not thought out properly. When I think of appliance, I think of a toaster, stove, microwave, washer or dryer, not a home stereo component, video game console, cell phone, GPS unit or car stereo.

    My opinion, and I'm sticking to it. We're looking at the beginnings of a ubiquitous internet, just something thats there, not something you might be able to see.

    "The surest way to corrupt a youth is to instruct him to hold in higher esteem those who think alike than those who think differently."

  • Well here's what Jean Louise Gasse had to say in the latest online newsletter. Be newsletter [] Not only that but it talks how their new networking kit(?) called BONE (BeOS Networking Environment) fits into the picture. All in all a good read, even if you don't like the BeOS.
  • This must be one of the factors that contributed to Be's stock's large jump today +3 15/16 to 19 11/16, it had been languishing for a while, but many people are predicting (read: hoping) that it hit 30 by the end of the week. Intel has purchased a larger share in Be Inc. and the upcoming Stinger Internet Appliance will be based on Intel chips.

Loose bits sink chips.