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yellowTab Announces Complete BeOS/Zeta Systems 195

Allman writes "The return of the BeOS? Seems like Bernd Korz is delivering what he had promised (and more). After all these years it seems that yellowTab ("the new BeOS company") is finally ready to release and sell new BeOS-based products. Surprisingly, they're not only selling software, but in some way following the footsteps of Be Inc. by also selling hardware - will these things eventually become the new Be Box-es? Hehe.. who knows? From their website: yellowTab is proud to announce the "Complete Zeta Solution". Both in laptop and desktop forms, yellowTab will sell, to Europe only, complete and compatible systems. All systems come with a 2 year Warranty included.""
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yellowTab Announces Complete BeOS/Zeta Systems

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  • BeOS FAQ (Score:5, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday September 29, 2003 @08:41AM (#7083707)
    For those of you like me, that know nothing about BeOS, here is the FAQ []

    Davak []
  • Where is the market? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Max Romantschuk ( 132276 ) <> on Monday September 29, 2003 @08:43AM (#7083718) Homepage
    Is there really a market for these solutions? Sure, BeOS was great a while back, but Mac OS X, Linux and even Windows have all catched up in many respects. There's also OpenBeOS, even though it's not finished yet.

    So, is there a market, or not?
    • by ninthwave ( 150430 ) <> on Monday September 29, 2003 @08:49AM (#7083761) Homepage
      Having been a big BeOS fan and trying to work with the OpenBeOS project I would say there is a need for someone to takes BE's place in the market. My BeOS system is still my favourite machine. The Audio tools in Windows and Mac have caught up but the power per machine spec has not. The things you could do AV with BeOS on lower spec machines is the same as the comaparision of Linux server's power per processor spec versus Windows.

      An operating system taylored around just AV file system and hardware access concerns is not a bad thing. Windows is too generic, MAC too resource intensive, Linux lacking but catching up in the AV realm.

      But the problem with this a company such as Yellow Tab needs to take the BeOS product and have it sit on modern hardware and software improvements it can not just be BeOS 5 professional released on modern hardware.

      As the page is dead will not complain about the new product until I read the specs but is there a market yes there is, is it a large market no, should Microsoft be worried no, should Apple yes and the sad thing about Be being killed by MS OEM scare tactics was MS saved Apple's market share more than their own.

      • by Max Romantschuk ( 132276 ) <> on Monday September 29, 2003 @08:55AM (#7083787) Homepage
        The Audio tools in Windows and Mac have caught up but the power per machine spec has not. The things you could do AV with BeOS on lower spec machines is the same as the comaparision of Linux server's power per processor spec versus Windows.

        An operating system taylored around just AV file system and hardware access concerns is not a bad thing. Windows is too generic, MAC too resource intensive, Linux lacking but catching up in the AV realm.

        But will this solution really be cheaper than a more powerful machine running Windows/OS X and suitable audio software?

        Also: Can you get Logic/Cubase/Cakewalk/Reason/Sound Forge/[comparable product here] for BeOS?

        I'd suspect the budget-concious consumer would end up opting for Linux, at least after 2.6 is with us (major realtime app speedups I've understood).
        • Having to use the cache can't see the products page and am wondering if the OS will be seperate some day. As for Logic and such, Logic is now an Apple only product, and the companion products for BeOS were comparable at the time some better and I think TrackS was a great finaliser. And you don't mention Cool Edit or Samplitude which in my opinion though not as popular as the editors you mentino for Windows/MAC the power and efficiency were top notch. And if we are talking about in the studio you still nee
          • you don't mention Cool Edit or Samplitude

            Cool Edit happens to be my editor of choice, but I suspect mainstream software availablilty to be more essential than the availability of less widespread software.

            Even though the solutions might exist a large enough mass needs to want the product for the cashflow to sustain the business. Critical mass is seldom achieved unless there is a clear market niche, and AV software in general is not really a niche anymore.

            And I don't see av getting it in Linux the same a
      • I love BeOS too. But the spellchecker sucks. Your post proves it. *ducks*

        But you are right. For multimedia purposes, BeOS is really well suited. It's one of the few OS'es I know that can smoothly play 8 (probably more) avi's at the same time on modest hardware :)

        Also, nice to see something Europe-centric on slashdot :) (Guess what, I'm European, woohoo). Guess I gotta have a look-see and maybe exersize the ole creditcard for one.

    • Judging by the volunteer efforts to restore BeOS and to port applications over to it that we have seen since its demise, even if there isn't much of an initial market, there is still a developed niche of people who will purchase this, and as you know from the gaming and Linux communities, they can be quite vocal about it.

      If I remember correctly, the original BeOS was suppose to be a highly multithreaded OS designed to excel in multimedia applications. It actually didn't do too poorly considering the stran

    • Oh, there is a market indeed.

      To explore it or not, that's the question. People want new things, filled with coloured stuff and bla bla bla's but they want their work done. They also wanna see ads and people saying "Hey, I use BeOS" and then, they'll be convinced it's worth using it.

      When I first saw the BeOS a few years ago I was so impressed that I immediatelly purchased it. I never regreted it. It's an awesome system even for today's standards. I love it and use it till today.

      The problem, as I see it, i
      • The BeOS I run has still many features still to be really implemented on most operating systems. I won't uninstall it anytime soon.

        Not taking a stab here, and not trying to elicit abuse: Can you give some examples?

        I'm curious about the AV aspects specifically, I've just built a 3.06G/1G/4x200GB machine to run Cubase and video editing software, and I was going to use XP on it. My wife has to be able to use the machine, and I'd prefer it not require a PHd to configure.

        • Hi Stan. I don't know about the video editing software for BeOS, because I've never used them. Try looking for those software in the BeBits []. One of the coolest features, is that the instalation of the OS is as simple as possible. If your hardware is supported by the system it'll configure itself during the instalation and It'll boot with everything already up and running. The BeOS is as simple to use as it gets, but if you're used to windows, you can change its "looks" to look like windows, but it's trac

    • There is already a niche market for BeOS, with the TuneTracker radio automation system, the one that runs :
      Check it at !

    • If you take a look where yellowTab is doing demos and promoting Zeta, it appears that they're really looking more at the areas where people cannot afford the Windows tax or places where PC's are outdated enough that running XP would be an exercise in futility.

      I think they've got a good idea there. BeOS shines on older hardware, and it looks like yellowTab is trying to supply a more rounded solution (software-wise) than picking up older copies of Windows and having to purchase additional software to make it
  • by Ciderx ( 524837 ) on Monday September 29, 2003 @08:45AM (#7083733)
    Wow, even Hollywood actresses are into open source.

    Oh, hang on...
  • I installed the new release (Max v3) - but I guess it was too new for most OSS developers to fix outstanding issues - the ESS Maestro3 drivers remain incomplete.

    (more fyi, than anything - i'll be getting in touch with the guys who're working on this once i get this record out of the way).

    • Max v3 is not the same as yellowTab.

      yellowTab is a commercial venture designed to produce the next BeOS. (I don't know what they used as a basis for the code.)

      BeOS Max Edition is a free (as in beer) project done by BeOS fans that is based on the old BeOS R5 Personal Edition.
  • by Davak ( 526912 ) on Monday September 29, 2003 @08:45AM (#7083739) Homepage
    CGI-limits reached, please try again later!

    Great for highbandwidth stuff. Right. :)

  • by vasqzr ( 619165 ) <> on Monday September 29, 2003 @08:46AM (#7083741)

    "Richard learns to quit being sarcastic"

    Marketing/Sales meeting - yellowTab corporate offices:

    "So, any idea on how we're going to increase sales and save this company?"


    "Richards? What's your idea?"

    "We could sell....BeOS systems....I guess"


    "Great idea, Richards. Lets get started this!"

    "Sir, I was just..."

    "You were just saving this company! You're going to go places here! I like your style!"

    • and in other news...

      Theo de Raadt & Linus Torvalds have both left their pet projects to start coding for Plan 9, another great operating system that never was.

      • Theo de Raadt & Linus Torvalds have both left their pet projects to start coding for Plan 9, another great operating system that never was.

        Maybe the OS never was, but they had one hell of a mascot! [] :)

    • Things like that happened to me. I was programming an application that stared to get way to many features then it ever needed. So I made a sarcastic remark "Why not make an animated staple that gives you help topics?" Unfortunately the liked the idea so I had to program an animated staple.
  • Audio (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward
    Cool. So, when does Cubase, Pro Tools and other cool nice audio software get ported? That's why I became interested in the OS, and why I gave up when they changed direction so set-top vapourware.
    • Re:Audio (Score:1, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward
      Have you ever used BeOS? Trust me, it had 'cool nice audio software' long before those tools were ever released.

      Hell, the default install came with a audio editor that let you do 3D sound.
      • Long before? I kinda doubt it.

        Cubase was first created on Atari ST more than a decade ago, long before BeOS even existed...

        Comparing the default tools of BeOS to Cubase is like comparing notepad and (Emacs/vi), since they both edit text...
  • I didn't get a chance to search the site to see if they had any reasoning for it listed. I see the domain lists a Denmark address in the registration so is this just a matter of it being inconvenient to ship over here, shipping cost, or something of that nature? Or is there some other reason for it?

    Eliminating markets outside of Europe is a pretty large number of possible consumers to alienate.
    • Denmark? DE is Germany.
    • Re:Europe only? (Score:5, Informative)

      by C_nemo ( 520601 ) on Monday September 29, 2003 @09:03AM (#7083823)
      YellowTab is based in Germany. They have both software and hardware for sale. I belive they will ship you the software anywhere (they haven't stated othervise), but sending hardware all over the world is quite expensive. Scince Zeta will run in (almost) any x86 machines, you could just order the OS and install it wherever you like.

      • I remember when Be was about to be Apple's new OS, back in 1997-8. There was hype hype and more hype in MacWorld, month after month. My favorite box ever was the prototype BeBox that made the cover one month.

        I wonder what things would've been like if BeBoxen had actually hit the market, Apple adopted BeOS instead of OSX, etc. Back in the day, the BeBox looked pretty tight, but looking back now, they aren't that cool after all. Times have changed.
    • >Eliminating markets outside of Europe is a pretty large number of possible consumers to alienate.

      Eliminating customers outside of America is an even larger number of possible customers to alienate. Doesn't stop most US tech companies from NOT delivering outside the US.

      Maybe you'kk get used to it. We [in euerope] do.
    • Why Europe ? (Score:3, Insightful)

      by vlad_petric ( 94134 )
      Maybe because Europeans (and I believe Asians as well) pay a little bit more attention than Americans to true quality and show less "herding" behaviour when doing purchases.
  • Yes! (Score:5, Interesting)

    by IWantMoreSpamPlease ( 571972 ) on Monday September 29, 2003 @08:52AM (#7083772) Homepage Journal
    You can't keep a great OS down!!!

    As an aside, I've installed BeOS on every laptop I've run across (to me, the ability for an OS to run successfully on a laptop is the ultimate test of the capability of the OS) and I've found far *fewer* laptops that BeOS *cannot* run on, than I have found in regards to *nix. Yes, I was surprised, but very pleased. Nothing looks cooler than firing up BeOS on a laptop.

    Looking forward to an ultra-modern laptop with YellowTab.
    • As an aside, I've installed BeOS on every laptop I've run across (to me, the ability for an OS to run successfully on a laptop is the ultimate test of the capability of the OS) and I've found far *fewer* laptops that BeOS *cannot* run on, than I have found in regards to *nix.

      When I tried it, BeOS didn't even support my Nvidia GeForce 256 card in anything but black and white low resolution mode. That was probably 3 or 4 years ago with the BeOS 5 personal edition. I obviously never took another look at i

      • BeOS Max supports that card & newer now. Don't know about YellowTab, but they should as well.

        BTW, BeOS probably wasn't being actively developed at the time you tried the GeFORCE. I think that was about the time when Be Inc. started circling the drain.


    • I've installed BeOS on every laptop I've run across
      Only 2 out of 3 in my case. It would only run in `safe mode' on a laptop with an S3 ViRGE MX+ graphics chip. Support has been added for other ViRGE chips, but not this particular one, which was quite popular for a while.
    • Hands off!! (Score:3, Funny)

      by Ratface ( 21117 )
      Remind me not to let you anywhere near my laptop then! ;-p
    • Yeah, but the best thing is that when I pull the harddrive from one PC with BeOS installed, I plunk it in another PC with totally different hardware and "it just works", to steal an advertising propaganda phrase. BeOS is very Mac-like (OS9, anyway) in that there's no worries, no configuration, it just goes right out of the box. And it's F A S T.
      • ..."BeOS is very Mac-like (OS9, anyway) in that there's no worries, no configuration, it just goes right out of the box. And it's F A S T."

        Sorry, but I don't get the comparison at all
    • Nothing looks cooler than firing up BeOS on a laptop.

      You need to get out more dude, seriously.

      "Come look, son, an aurora borealis with flying spacemonkeys!"

      "Not now, mom, i'm firing up BeOS on a laptop!"
  • I think it's nice to have folks around that support OSs away from the mainstream.
    This might keep the pressure oin the major OSs to improve.

    Quite a pity that the site is /.ed at the mom.
    • Is it? I thought slashdots happened because a lot of people wanting to visit the site. Isn't the amount of people visiting the site directly relative to the number of people intrested?

      I think it would have been a pity if it hadn't been slashdotted, that would mean nobody could give a toss. Just be patient and visit in a day or two or read the google cache link already posted :-)

      • Alright, looking from that direction it's really NOT a pitty. But when I am the one getting a 'please return later', I'm not amused (but returning later :).
  • by invi ( 198857 ) on Monday September 29, 2003 @09:09AM (#7083856) Homepage 06-03-zetab5

  • Anyone managed to boot BeOS under VMWare 4? I thought it'd be nice to try it out, but it does something bad and VMWare complains about an illegal instruction.
  • bias (Score:1, Troll)

    by BigBir3d ( 454486 )
    I know that this shouldn't matter... but BeOS is too damn ugly for me to look at. I could never use it on a daily basis (major OS 8/9 flashbacks).
    • Dear mods, I don't think that's really a troll; BeOS is *great* in many areas, but it really DOES lack in the GUI department. Look at OSX, KDE with Karamba, even XP with Samurize and WindowBlinds, then look at BeOS. They may have full theming, antialiased fonts, transparency, and cool widgets in this new YellowTab, but I don't see 'em.

      BeOS is "good enough" for most users if appearance isn't important to you, but for MacHeads (the guy with OS8/9 flashbacks above), it doesn't cut it. OS X has spoiled them ro
  • Beos (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Kandel ( 624601 )
    ...and I quote from the yellowTab website...

    "Latest BeOS Software,
    Office Vorlagen fur GobeProductive2

    Now, correct me if I'm wrong, but the Freecraft project recieved a "cease and desist letter" from Blizzard and was shut down. What does this say about yellowTAB, as they are publicly announcing they have binary packages of Freecraft on their servers for BeOS?
    • Hey, this is just an RDF feed from and independant from yellowTAB's position about this.
  • by benmhall ( 9092 ) on Monday September 29, 2003 @09:19AM (#7083927) Homepage Journal
    I think that it's remarkable that Zeta managed to get Centrino working for BeOS. I mean, I can't buy a new PC laptop because Linux doesn't like the chipset. I wonder how it is that some little, tiny company has drivers for the Intel wireless adaptor, when they simply DO NOT EXIST for Linux. Very strange.

    Anyway, the systems are only for sale in Europe. Too bad for us Canadians. Well, maybe I'll have to give the new BeOS a spin. It's been ages.

    BTW, I have an old NEC Versa LX that I've tried to run BeOS on. I can't find drivers for my DWL-650 wireless NIC, and the keyboard won't work unless I upgrade to Dano. Any reasons for this? I'd rather run straight 5.0 Pro (which I purchases) but find it rather challenging to use an OS with no keyboard.
    • actually AFAIK the centrino wireless itselfs is not yet supported.
      But it's high on the todo list.
    • Closed source (Score:3, Informative)

      by wowbagger ( 69688 )
      Simple - BeOS is able to use closed source drivers, Linux drivers tend to be open source.

      Due to the design of the Centrino chipset, Intel asserts they are unable to release the specs for the chip, or source for drivers for the chip, and maintain FCC type certification. For part 15 certification, the device cannot operate outside specified limits on frequency and power. For a closed source driver, Intel is able to insure that is the case. For open source drivers, the user could alter frequency and power out
      • I don't think that's the answer. Linux just like Beos can use binary closed source drivers.

        "This was always the case for BeOS - it could play files, access hardware, and in general do more than a free system could, because Be could sign NDAs and the Free development community could not."

        That sounds a lot like revisionist history to me. Even compared to Linux at the time I wouldn't say beos could do more than a free OS could. In fact Beos was specifically notable in that it couldn't access certain files an
        • Go look again at the releases for BeOS. At the time BeOS was released, it could play DVDs, while Linux could not, because BeOS could have a licensed CSS decoder.

          And read my post again. Yes, Linux *can* use closed source drivers, but tends not to, because of the problems with linking them against the kernel.

        • Linux just like Beos can use binary closed source drivers.
          Linux has two problems with binary closed source drivers BeOS doesn't have: Binary compatibility is frequently broken, and the legal status of it is rather unclear (yeah, Linus may say it's OK, but his opinion doesn't matter a bit. He isn't the only copyright owner.)
    • for a while.

      That may have helped.

      I think Yellowtap may have purchased axcess to the BeOS source from Palm or something, which maybe means axcess to Intel's contributions such as drivers 'n patches (mmx, etc?).
  • I've waited a long time for this ... I'm sure I can wait another day or two for the slashdot effect to wear off.
  • /. lags (Score:2, Informative)

    by mmu_man ( 107529 )
    Now, I've been wondering when /. would talk about it, it's days old already :P
    Feels good to be /.ed anyway !
  • Interface widgets (Score:3, Informative)

    by cosmo7 ( 325616 ) on Monday September 29, 2003 @09:29AM (#7083989) Homepage
    I really like the hierarchical menus []; they actually indicate where a complex selection begins and ends. Very nice detail.
    • Hehe, and I love the hierarchical [] browsing in OS X; gives you a sense of path, location, and depth all in one compact space.

      I wonder what the impetus for BeOS is; I perfectly understand the *hobbiest* drive, it's what keeps interest in Amiga alive... but is there a business demand for BeOS?
  • Each time struggling to get it installed and working on my hardware, and thereafter wondering what I was going to do with it.

    I think it's nice to see alternatives to the mainstream, but this ranks alongside Kontiki as a sheer folly, in the Victorian sense.

    Operating systems have become entirely commoditized, and now serve only as platforms for running applications, more than ever in the past.

    The future operating system is invisible, boots onto whatever hardware you happen to have lying around, and lets yo
  • Europe? (Score:1, Redundant)

    by greygent ( 523713 )
    What's a "Europe"?
  • Hey they have my cat on the frontpage... Oh .. wait .. they redirect to
  • An argument I've heard quite often (not sure whether I agree though) is that if all these (very talented) programmers and designers who work on BeOS, AtheOS and so on switched to working on Linux or BSD or HURD, then perhaps these operating systems would be even better than they are today.

    BeOS has some POSIX compliance but it's not as if I can use an autoconfigure script to go and compile something that would work on a Linux or a BSD system, which are much more compatible with eachother.

    In any case, I'm a
    • > it's not as if I can use an autoconfigure script to go and compile something

      Why not ?
      The problem is not autotools, but the bad assumptions programmers make, thinking autotools will solve all portability probs.
      The simplest example is libm. BeOS doesn't have that, it's included in libroot, which is linked to by default.
      That doesn't stop me from porting stuff. I already ported (in no particular order) giFT (though the current cvs is broken), ffmpeg (which is used in VLC, which has been ported too and has
  • [troll]
    Hey, what's this [] ??? How can /. claim to be independant if they put Linux ads when talking about a competing product ?
  • How it came to be. (Score:5, Informative)

    by remor ( 144330 ) <seth@remo r . com> on Monday September 29, 2003 @10:11AM (#7084315) Homepage
    Some people here seem to not know, or be a little confused about how this company named yellowTAB came to be the BeOS people, and what is happening in the BeOS world at the moment. Also, I'm not associated with yellowTAB at all, this is all my observations.

    Bernd Korz first appeared in the BeOS community when he released a magazine named InsideBeOS. Only one or two issues were translated into english from the native German of the magazine (I purchased the first english edition!). This magazine stopped publication sometime around when Be flopped and as far as I saw, Bernd sort of disappeared again. When Be filed for bankruptcy, there were many outcries from the community for the source to BeOS so that it's legacy could continue. There were several formal proposals from people to purchase the source as well. Then came the announcement that Palm had purchased Be's intellectual propert(IP)... and were not going to continue development of BeOS. Luckily (in my opinion), Bernd was smart enough apparently to ask for a license to the source and not to purchase it. So, before Be sold their IP to Palm, they gave some sort of full license to yellowTAB to release new products based on the source code. Presumably that license just transferred to Palm's ownership with everything else.
    So, here we are today, yellowTAB is about to release their new OS named Zeta (sort of BeOS R6) which contains unreleased code from Be plus new stuff and bug fixes that they have added. The article does not make it very clear, but yellowTAB is actually selling RC1 (Release Candidate 1) of Zeta now to the world. The R1 (Release 1) will be available to people who purchase RC1 for 10 Euros.

    BeOS rewrites
    There are a number of projects that are aiming their sights on rewriting the BeOS. Some totally opensource from conception, others planning on releasing their source after they have a public binary release under their belts. The main contenders that are around at the moment are OpenBeOS [] (soon to have a name change), BlueEyedOS [] , and Cosmoe [] .

    OpenBeOS is taking the approach of totally rewriting the entire system. New kernel, new appkit, new interface kit, new storage kit... everything. They're not changing the basic structure of the system, in fact, they're attempting to completely duplicate the system even down to binary compatibility. As a basis for their project, they have used Be's old header files, and written API documentation. They are hosted at source forge and are using the MIT license for all their source.

    BlueEyedOS is taking the approach that they perceive the Linux kernel and XFree86 as suitable for building less traditional system on top of them. They are using the Linux kernel as their Be kernel, and X windows as their display. They've released a demo CD so far that is quite interesting and appears very promising. Their code is not available to anyone but their developers at the moment because they've chosen to start their project closed. I've believe that I've heard though that they are planning for a source release later on. The demo CD can still be downloaded from their website.

    Cosmoe is a primarily one man show that has taken the Syllable (was Atheos) source code and altered it to run on top of Linux and X. It's author's primary goal seems to be to give the Unix, Linux community a new user interface and the Be API. Code for this system is occasionally released under GPL and LGPL.
  • when you're slashdotted to hell.
  • Did anyone manage to get to the specs and pricings of their hardware-offers before the site died?
    • From The BeOS Journal []:
      The hardware choices that come bundled with Zeta Deluxe Edition RC1 are two desktop systems, and a laptop offering.

      faet VX notebook (EUR 1,491.47)
      - Intel Pentium M 1.3 through 1.7 GHz CPU (all 400 MHz FSB)
      - 256, 512, or 768 MB DDR RAM (all 333 MHz)
      - 30, 40, 60 or 80 gig drive
      - 8/24 DVD/CD, or 24/10/8 CDR/CDRW/CD, or 2/1/16/10/8/24 DVDR/DVDRW/CDR/DVD/CD
      - Intel 802.11b Wireless LAN or none
      - Home Edition, or Developer Edition, or Deluxe Edition

      Zeta PC Power (EUR 549.00)
      Midi Tower; Lan;
  • if that

    I ughly picture Ixxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
    I ughly picture I ...................... I
    I ughly picture I error 400: Bad Request I
    I ughly picture I ...................... I
    I ughly picture Ixxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
    I ughly picture .I
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    is a screenshot, because if it is, then BeOS has changed a lot since I last used him:)

    But my thinking says that BeOS died somewhere along the way. And dead Software is better to stay dead, although it was a beatiful dr
  • I see a screen shot for bochs. Does that mean it's actually useful, or are they bundeling a broken project?

    btw, i've been unimpressed with Be. I couldn't even get it to stop being monochrome.
  • As much as I like and love the idea of yet another competitor , and a professional one to boot, this reminds me so much of the Amiga saga, when Amiga, a few years after Commodore had gone tits up, was cheap enough that a German company bought up the rights to the OS and made big promises about launching the Amiga from the dead, so to speak.

    The Amiga was always very popular in Germany and the company hoped to capitalise on that. sadly, the PC had caught up in the mean time and the company dies.

    I am afraid

"To take a significant step forward, you must make a series of finite improvements." -- Donald J. Atwood, General Motors