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BeOS Ready for a Comeback as Zeta OS 625

Anil Kandangath writes "BeOS, the operating system that could have been the foundation for Mac OS X, but almost died, instead has returned as Zeta OS -- which is supposed to be fast, stable, media centric and boot within 15 seconds. Zeta is being released by yellowTAB of Germany and has applications such as an office suite and the Firefox browser bundled with it. Most BeOS applications will also run as-is. Screenshots are available." According to the NewsForge story linked there, the release could be as soon as next month.
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BeOS Ready for a Comeback as Zeta OS

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  • by Tarcastil ( 832141 ) on Sunday April 03, 2005 @01:13AM (#12124444)
    Windows boots in 15 seconds, too, on a supercomputer.
    • Re:Well, yeah... (Score:2, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward
      I figure any weight put on boot time means an OS is pretty shitty. If it's at all relevant it means it's booting far too often, and is probably crashing.
      • Re:Well, yeah... (Score:5, Interesting)

        by nofx_3 ( 40519 ) on Sunday April 03, 2005 @03:28AM (#12124995)
        I concur, and therefore propose a new and relevent benchmark for system boot time called BMPY or Boot Minutes Per Year. This will measure the amount of time (a 24/7 machine) spends per-year in a booting state. for instance imagine you can boot Zeta in 15 seconds but you need to reboot every three days (this is a hypothetical example I have no idea how often it will need to be rebooted) then you have 365/3 boots per year or 122 total boots for a total boot time of 1830 seconds or 30.5 BMPY. Now take another system for example linux that takes 1.5min (a conservative estimate, my system with no optimization takes slightly less) too boot but needs to be rebooted only once a month (again conservative as sometimes I only reboot at major kernel releases) for a total of 90*12 or 1,080 seconds, which comes to 18 BMPY. So in this case although it takes the linux system longer to boot, it actually spends 12.5 minutes less per year booting up. I hope someone will take this idea into serious consideration and maybe create a standard benchmark.

        • It is funny and somewhat interesting in its funnyness but this value is totally irrelevant, your Linux, configured the same way as my Linux won't have the same result because the user is different and a lot of the reboots one experiences is directly linked to the usage he makes of his computer. I like to fiddle in my machine, I'm learning trough curiosity, I have a lot more chance to crash, hang or whatever and have to reboot than someone who's running the same server day in day out.

          My last Mac on osX has
    • Re:Well, yeah... (Score:5, Informative)

      by Short Circuit ( 52384 ) * <> on Sunday April 03, 2005 @01:21AM (#12124490) Homepage Journal
      Windows has never been run on a supercomputer [].

      Well, unless you include clusters. But boot times on those are still limited by the abiltiy of each individual node.
    • Re:Well, yeah... (Score:2, Informative)

      by jmunkki ( 726856 )
      My 1GHz PowerMac boots into MacOS X in 17 seconds, so even "low end" machines now should be able to boot in around 15 seconds.

      With that said, I do think that 15 seconds is "fast enough". That machine of mine had a "sleep disorder" due to a processor upgrade (it started out as a 500MHz machine) and I had to shut down and boot it instead of letting sleep. 17 seconds was actually still in the comfortable range.
      • Re:Well, yeah... (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Profane MuthaFucka ( 574406 ) <> on Sunday April 03, 2005 @01:38AM (#12124572) Homepage Journal
        My Linux box boots in 1.5 minutes. Once every year and a half. Also fast enough.

        • by claes ( 25551 )
          If your linux box is a desktop machine you are wasting lots of energy. And if everyone had your usage habits, that would add up. If Linux can not match Windows with fast boot time, then it does not deserve to become a major desktop OS.
          • Re:Well, yeah... (Score:3, Insightful)

            by be-fan ( 61476 )
            What the heck are you talking about? Lot's of desktops reboot only rarely. Fast boot isn't a very important critereon (though it's nice for laptops). Keeping the machine on all the time doesn't waste a lot of energy, because it goes into sleep mode which uses very little power.
          • Re:Well, yeah... (Score:3, Insightful)

            You must work for Microsoft. "Look how fast it boots! We are number one!" I would say that Microsoft zealots should care more about security and stability. If Windows cannot match Linux in security and stability, then it does not deserve to become a major desktop OS.
          • Re:Well, yeah... (Score:3, Insightful)

            by big tex ( 15917 )
            Unless of course he has ACPI enabled.
            If you do it right, a desktop can scale back power usage like a laptop, without the need to fold in half.

            Oh, when you are comparing boot times, make sure you include the time after login that windows continues the startup process.
        • Re:Well, yeah... (Score:5, Insightful)

          by Mr2cents ( 323101 ) on Sunday April 03, 2005 @06:28AM (#12125540)
          My C=64 boots in 2 seconds. ;-)
      • Re:Well, yeah... (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Deslock ( 86955 )
        Does it really matter if it takes 15, 30, or 45 seconds to boot? OS X *always* comes out of standby in 1-3 seconds and only needs to be shutdown now and then for a system update.

        Not to sound like a Mac zealot, but this is in contrast to my Windows laptops (Dell Inspiron 8000, Sony SRX99, Fujitsu P2040, Panasonic W2, etc), which have all been annoyingly temperamental when it comes to standby. 80-90% of the time they resume in 3-6 seconds, but the rest of time they take 15-45 seconds (and once in a great w
    • Re:Well, yeah... (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward
      Windows actually starts pretty fast, not much more than 15 seconds. This is because it is still loading stuff after it displays the desktop, while you are trying to start up Word, Firefox and whatnot.

      IMHO it's quite annoying, I would rather the boot process take longer and it be ready to go the moment the desktop pops-up.
      • Re:Well, yeah... (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Anonvmous Coward ( 589068 ) on Sunday April 03, 2005 @02:07AM (#12124689)
        "IMHO it's quite annoying, I would rather the boot process take longer and it be ready to go the moment the desktop pops-up."

        That's funny because I can't stand having to wait for every little thing to load before starting.

        Maybe I'm just spoiled, but the difference is more startling when one uses a dual proc machine. My XP machine at work gets up to speed quickly. Almost as soon as my desktop is up, I can start loading my apps. On my laptop, I see that lag that you're describing. I'm reasonbly certain that the other processor is doing the work. Great stuff.

        In any event, at least seeing that your computer is almost there is a psychological relief. Sort of like 2 minutes of commercials is usually better than seeing 2 minutes of black screen. (Which NBC likes to do here frrm time to time, don't ask me why.)
        • Re:Well, yeah... (Score:5, Interesting)

          by Queer Boy ( 451309 ) * <dragon@76.mac@com> on Sunday April 03, 2005 @05:03AM (#12125332)
          In any event, at least seeing that your computer is almost there is a psychological relief. Sort of like 2 minutes of commercials is usually better than seeing 2 minutes of black screen.

          I call this the Disney effect. If you've ever been to a Disney theme park you typically wait about 20 minutes to get on a ride (excluding the "mountains") however they break the line up and never let you see the whole thing as well as have little pitstops of entertainment before you get on the actual ride.

          I've always thought it was brilliant and was reminded of it the first time I saw Windows 2000 boot (it goes through 3 stages, NT text, then the splash, then the screen before login).

    • Re:Well, yeah... (Score:4, Insightful)

      by SecretAsianMan ( 45389 ) on Sunday April 03, 2005 @01:31AM (#12124543) Homepage
      Doubt it. If there's any "supercomputer" running Windows, it's likely a grid of PCs. The bootup there is going to be at least equal to the boot time on a single PC.
    • Re:Well, yeah... (Score:3, Insightful)

      by slavemowgli ( 585321 ) *
      Actually, the rule of thumb is... the bigger the iron, the longer it takes to boot up.
  • by Amiga Lover ( 708890 ) on Sunday April 03, 2005 @01:15AM (#12124449)
    Which would have been technically better as Apple's new OS - the nextstep based OSX, or a BeOS based OS?
    • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday April 03, 2005 @01:23AM (#12124502)
      BeOS was pervasively multithreaded but at the same time had incredibly expensive threads that had to be reused as much as possible in order to obtain decent performance from them. The multithreading also made creating correct software more difficult, as well as hindering debugging.

      On the other hand, Mach is pretty slow, and stuffing the BSD layer into the kernel space and building everything off of it made a Mach base superfluous. Objective C is a mediocre language with expensive message dispatch, but OpenStep was a powerful platform that proved itself to be easy to develop for.
      • by nate nice ( 672391 ) on Sunday April 03, 2005 @02:29AM (#12124768) Journal
        My main problem with Objective-C is it feels like Small Talk bolted on rather crudely with C. It works and I see it's purpose, but it feels like you're using 2 different languages when programming in it.

        Openstep is a well designed API, if not the best ever so this makes up for the ugliness of Objective-C. However, I could not imagine using Objective-C for anything but a Cocoa program.

        The dispatch is rather expensive, but having dynamic binding like it does is the reason for this. This allows for great flexibility while designing software but of course comes at an execution cost. For the OOP nuts, it's pure but I agree, they could have done things better with the language. It's definitely the Achilles heal of the whole Cocoa thing and makes you guess they will have a superior Java implementation eventually.
        • by argent ( 18001 ) <peter@slashdot . ... t a r o> on Sunday April 03, 2005 @02:55AM (#12124872) Homepage Journal
          My main problem with Objective-C is it feels like Small Talk bolted on rather crudely with C.

          And C++ feels like Simula bolted crudely on to C, and Java feels like C++ on Prozac, and runs like C++ on 'ludes.

          The REAL problem is that C is not a good base for an OO operating system. The best OO C derivitive is Livescript/Javascript/ECMAscript, and that's because it doesn't try and retain C semantics anywhere.
        • To say that Objective-C is that ugly implies that you mightn't have had that much experience with the deeper aspects of Objective-C, or haven't really leveraged them to your advantage. Categories, for example, are a tremendously powerful tool and can be used quite beautifully to logically structure classes. There's other benefits of course, why don't you check out the Wikipedia article [] on the language and find out? Or if it's just the syntax, there's a good semantic reason why Smalltalk syntax would be adva
        • Java versus Obj-C is rather a religious argument, so I would not argue that your preference is wrong given your priorities.

          But for believers (and those in the know :-) obj-c is a terrific lightweight and very capable tool. The programs can be, in practice, as fast and small as C applications, yet you can still design abstract api's that easily support inheritance and polymorphism. It's not an academic argument; Obj-C has been key to the design of one of the best application development environments for

    • What does 'technically better' mean?

      Easier to develop for?
      I do believe NeXT has a time honored history there.

      Easier to extend?
      Again I think NeXT had the advantage.

      Supports more platforms?
      NeXT again has the advantage.

      Easier to refactor?
      No way to determine.

      Supports more hardware?
      Probably a draw.

      Uses less memory?
      I'm not sure this is relevant.

      Uses less CPU?
      Probably BeOS here.

      What measures do you consider important?
    • by Queer Boy ( 451309 ) * <dragon@76.mac@com> on Sunday April 03, 2005 @05:10AM (#12125354)
      Which would have been technically better as Apple's new OS

      In my opinion (I've used Macs since 97 and used BeOS since the first release) I would rather have seen BeOS with the Aqua makeover. BeOS was VERY close to being like a UNIX, it tried to copy all the good stuff but left out the bad stuff.

      I don't know how well it worked in a technical sense but it let you load and unload drivers and extensions just by moving them in and out of a folder (never reboot!). It also let you load extensions and drivers for the machine, or just the user (it was never multiuser but was designed with this in mind for the future).

      On a 240 MHz 603e I was able to rotate a 3D cube playing QuickTime movies on all 6 sides (compressed with the "video" setting). Without GPU support. BeOS was like the new Amiga, it was amazing and would have been something truly phenomenal had it come out AFTER the DOJ trial against MS.

    • by rice_burners_suck ( 243660 ) on Sunday April 03, 2005 @04:24PM (#12128093)
      I was really angry when Apple didn't want to use BeOS as the foundation for OSX. But BeOS by itself wasn't enough... They made mostly the right choice, except that they should have bought out Be for the code and used it in the process of making OSX, because though BeOS wasn't enough, neither was BSD. By doing that, the first version of OSX could have been where Tiger will be when it comes out, or maybe even further ahead. (Except that the user interface for much of the stuff in Tiger would still have taken a long time to create.)

      Now I must say, for the record, that I am using OSX for most of my purposes now. Only the engineering stuff from work, like Autocad, Pro/E, and Mastercam, doesn't run on this thing. My boss told me that when versions of those programs become available for the Mac, the entire Windows-based network is going in the trash. This is cool, because seven years ago, when I told him to dump NT and use FreeBSD as his server system, he didn't believe that some alternative to Windows that he never heard of could get the job done at all, let alone do it better. Boy, did I prove him wrong after a while, but I had to make him a bet that if FreeBSD didn't do the job, I'd take him and his family out to dinner at his favorite restaurant, which is a very, very expensive restaurant!

      Back to OSX and BeOS, though... There were a number of things about BeOS that I loved, including:

      • Live filesystem. In other words, the operating system knows when it puts a file somewhere, right? So why poll for that information? BeOS has hooks that allow your software to install a "monitor" on a file or directory. When something happens to that object in the filesystem, your application receives an asynchronous message, and then you can act on it. Why is this useful? Someone else in this discussion mentioned that you could load a device driver just by dropping it in the appropriate directory, without rebooting. There are other reasons. Samba, for example, has an option that monitors the contents of a directory for changes, and acts on them. You have to set up how often to monitor. Samba has to maintain an internal list. This takes up a bunch of computer time. In BeOS, a simple line of code an a handler for the event would do the trick, and waste less computer time. This was cool. And it worked on any filesystem supported by BeOS.
      • Attributes. This existed in BeOS long before any other OS had something like it. These things are showing up in OSX and Linux only recently. Attributes are programmable metadata that you can attach to a file. This turned the filesystem into a sort of database. The operating system had certain information that it would associate with files, such as their MIME type. This information was used to open the proper application for a file, instead of going by the file's extension. This could allow you to completely do away with extensions. Most of the time, I kept extensions on files anyway, because it was convenient for transferring them to and from other computers. But it was not necessary. You could also run queries on information, and save the query. The query could be accessed just like a directory, and it was "live" due to the previous feature I mentioned, which means that as things moved around the disk, or were created or deleted, that change would show up immediately in the query window.
      • The OS was just so damn fast.
      • It was built the way the Hurd should have been built, if it were ever built. In other words, there was the kernel, and then there were a bunch of "servers", like the input server, the network server, the window server, etc. Then, there were the "kits", or the APIs, that each server had. This meant the OS was so modular that you could conceivably remove any component and replace it with a better one, if the OS had ever gained widespread adoption.

      Unfortunately, BeOS didn't fulfill all needs quite so well. Let's see a few things BSD has that BeOS doesn't:

      • Multiuser. The BeOS filesystem and other OS components were written to mak
  • by ShaniaTwain ( 197446 ) on Sunday April 03, 2005 @01:15AM (#12124451) Homepage
    Shouldn't that be ZomBe OS?
  • right... (Score:5, Funny)

    by nuggetman ( 242645 ) on Sunday April 03, 2005 @01:18AM (#12124472) Homepage
    I had a friend about a month ago who told me he was learning C.

    Why was he learning C? Because BeOS was coming back, and they were gonna need people to port applications. And porting was easier if you knew C. And BeOS was gonna be the next big thing so they needed to have lots of apps ported to it.
    • Re:right... (Score:3, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward
      Except BeOS itself, and most applications were written in C++.
    • Re:right... (Score:3, Insightful)

      by ciole ( 211179 )
      Even if this were true, I doubt the need for C programmers to port to BeOS would put even the tiniest dent in the supply of currently underemployed C/C++ programmers, so your friend may be out of luck.

      On the other hand, like donating to charities, learning C is a worthwhile occupation no matter what ridiculous motive one has.
  • by Storlek ( 860226 ) on Sunday April 03, 2005 @01:19AM (#12124473)
    You can get BeOS 5 Max [] free. It's moderately recent, and it's a nice way to take a look at what BeOS is all about if you aren't in the loop. It even boots as a Live CD if you're so inclined, although you can't do much besides click on stuff if you boot it that way.
  • Yeah, but... (Score:4, Interesting)

    by demondawn ( 840015 ) on Sunday April 03, 2005 @01:19AM (#12124477) Journal
    One of the most appealing facets of BeOS, IIRC, is the fact that it was FREE. At ~$100+tax, I don't see this flying off store shelves. Furthermore, I didn't read anything about it supporting RISC architecture (did I miss it)?
  • by kwoo ( 641864 ) <kjwcode@gma i l . c om> on Sunday April 03, 2005 @01:20AM (#12124482) Homepage Journal

    I looked over their site and couldn't find hardware requirements documented.

    One thing I love about open source operating systems is that the system requirements are right there, up front -- or at least you don't have to look hard to find them.

    It claims to boot in 15 seconds, which I don't doubt. It would be great to use on a laptop for that very reason. However, will my poor little laptop be able to handle it? I'd love to know before I get my hopes up.

    • The hardware requirements should be about the same as BeOS 5.0.3 Pro ... maybe a little higher considering there is a newer network stack and media kit.

      I'd estimate at least a 200 mhz Pentium-class (at minimum... 400 mhz would be a lot happier) and at least 48 MB of RAM, preferably 64 or more.

      It might run on less, but not very comfortably. I've gotten it (BeOS 5) running before on a 120 mhz Pentium with 32 MB of RAM, but it was somewhat painful.
    • by spy5600 ( 588085 ) on Sunday April 03, 2005 @01:34AM (#12124556)
      Directly from yellowTAB []
      Hardware requirements

      Minimal Requirements:
      * Pentium 200MHz (or Cyrix, Athlon, Via...)
      * 32 MB RAM
      * 600 MB Hard Disk Space
      * 8 MB Video Memory
      * bootable CD-ROM Drive
      * Mouse, Keyboard, 14" Color Monitor

      Recommended Hardware:

      * Intel Pentium III 1 GHz (Celeron, AMD Athlon Duron/XP)
      * 256 MB RAM
      * 4 GB Hard Disk Space
      * 32 MB Video Memory
      * Soundcard
      * CD/DVD Drive
      * Mouse, Keyboard, 17" Color Monitor
      Check our hardware compatability [] list to see if Zeta will run on your machine.
  • by QQoicu2 ( 797685 ) on Sunday April 03, 2005 @01:20AM (#12124483)
    Seems like the Unix base for OS X worked out pretty damn well for them... I don't think the boom Apple is going through right now could have been any more significant with a BeOS-based OS.
  • by Frodo Crockett ( 861942 ) on Sunday April 03, 2005 @01:21AM (#12124487)
    To BeOS, or not to BeOS: that is the question:
    Whether 'tis nobler in the mind to suffer
    The slings and arrows of outrageous fortune,
    Or to take arms against a sea of troubles,
    And by opposing end them?
  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday April 03, 2005 @01:21AM (#12124488)
    This looks like a copy of OS X that's been brainwashed by pre-XP Windows. Or maybe just fell into a bad crowd.
  • Looks Promising... (Score:2, Insightful)

    by RedElf ( 249078 )
    ...but without the applications I need and use today it will either remain the OS of tomorrow, or never get off the ground.

    Simple logic here folks, if I can get to work driving my car, why should I ride the bus which is more environmental friendly when it only goes half way to my destination?

  • by YrWrstNtmr ( 564987 ) on Sunday April 03, 2005 @01:37AM (#12124569)
    " is expected that it will sell for approximately $100 plus tax."

    What can I do with it that I can't do with a free Linux distro, or the Windows that I already have? Tell me why I should drop $100 on this.

    • The submitted story seems to be not reflect reality.
      In fact, Zeta is already sold since several months - in a shopping tv show!. Look here. [].
      The page is in german, but you'll see a link to zeta on the lower right side of the page. And they even call it a bestseller. Though this could be a lie, I doubt they'd pitch it for so long if it wouldn't sell.

      I saw the sales pitch, and it is very interesting how the strategy of "real" salesmen is for selling this to the great unwashed masses. Virus free, some nice dem
  • Wow... (Score:3, Funny)

    by Quixote ( 154172 ) * on Sunday April 03, 2005 @01:47AM (#12124610) Homepage Journal
    Link to a page containing 115 screenshots' thumbnails.
    Editors: dost thou have no mercy? From the depths of hell, the server stabs at thee!

    I'm bored, waiting for the DST to kick in.. ;-)

  • Funny, (Score:5, Interesting)

    by z80 ( 103328 ) on Sunday April 03, 2005 @02:06AM (#12124684) Homepage Journal
    It was back in 2002 at the CeBIT show in Germany that the people from YellowTAB gave me a "late beta" of Zeta for reviewing purposes. "Only a few problems left to fix", they said.

    Turned out the entire GUI crashed all the time and tons of drivers where missing. Then came a big upgrade, then another beta and then... nothing.

    Now it's 2005, and it's now "ready for a release next month". I suggest they bury it instead. For good, or turn the whole thing over to the OpenBeOS people.
  • IMHO the hardware was always more interesting. I really wish their hacker-oriented hardware caught on, but I'm sure content to see the OS die.
    • Hardware is fungible.

      It doesn't matter what the processor is, it just matters what the software running on it is.

      BeOS ... eh. It's got all kinds of nifty ideas, but it seems like it's also got a bad case of second system syndrome. When I was playing around with the first PC-compatible versions... they actually managed to require more and faster hardware than Windows to get comparable performance. Now that might have been pretty marginal hardware by today's standards, but still... given that it was built from a fresh start they should have done better.

      I'm more interested in the reborn Amiga OS.
  • by teslatug ( 543527 ) on Sunday April 03, 2005 @02:37AM (#12124806)
    Have they made any major improvements since Be went under, or have they just slapped some make up on the last version and are trying to sell that?
  • Hee hah! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Orion Blastar ( 457579 ) <orionblastar@gmS ... com minus distro> on Sunday April 03, 2005 @03:07AM (#12124908) Homepage Journal
    Sure, pay $100 for an OS that does not run the latest Windows applications, hardly has any applications it runs natively, has limited driver support, and it is an effort to revive an OS that already killed at least one other company. How can you go wrong?

    On the plus side, it should have no malware available for it.

    I think Mac support for BeOS was killed when Apple refused to release info on the G3 Macs to Be, Inc. Therefore Be targeted the X86 market, hoping to save the company that way, because that is what NeXT did. Only NeXT tanked and got saved by Apple, yet Be, Inc. tanked and nobody saved it, and Palm bought out the corpse and buried it, until this Zeta Zombie rose from the dead.

    I think I'll take my chances with Linux, KNOPPIX/KANOITX seems to be stable enough, boots from a live CD, and has an option to be installed on a hard drive.

    I mean unless most of the major OSS projects are being converted to ZetaOS/BeOS, I think you can forget convicing enough people to buy a copy to make it worth their while.
  • by ( 466363 ) on Sunday April 03, 2005 @03:27AM (#12124990) Homepage

    I do work for a small German company called "zeta software []".

    Currently, yellowTab is selling the ZetaOS through multiple German home-order-TV shows to computer-illiterate persons. Of course most of them fail to successfully install ZetaOS on their supermarket-bought PCs.

    A daily average of two or there of them call us (not yellowTab!) and ask what they can do, now that they crashed both their Windows installation and their ZetaOS.

    Even the hints beside every phone number on our website that we have absolutely nothing to do with that ZetaOS did not help much.

    yellowTab seems to be aware of the problem that many many customers seems to be very discontented with ZetaOS and additionally call all companies that seem to have the Word "zeta" in their name (which are quite a few), because yellowTab hired a marketing agency (or how you call that in English) that called us some time ago on the phone.

    This agency seemed to have the task to call all those zeta-named companies and apologize for the "idiots" (= ZetaOS customers) calling them. The agency further asked us what the average questions of the ZetaOS customers was. You could call that "Indirect surveying" ;-).

    I really whish myself and all zeta-named companies that yellowTab runs out of venture-capital really soon and that they disappear and never ever return again *sigh*.

    • by mamladm ( 867366 ) on Sunday April 03, 2005 @04:16AM (#12125165) Homepage
      I know Germany is not a common law country, so I am not sure if the following applies there, but in common law countries (mostly the anglo-saxon world) you could get an injunction against Yellow Tab forcing them to change the name due to the fact that there are two kinds of trademarks: common law trademarks and registered trademarks.

      A registered trademark is quite obviously something you have to register with the trademark registry.

      A common law trademark is established through using a mark persistently. You don't have to register it.

      Needless to say, registered trademarks are easier to enforce, but common law trademarks are just as valid.

      Another important fact about trademarks is that there are 40+ different categories. Two companies can hold the same trademark for their products in the same country as long as they are in different categories. Since you are a software company and Yellow Tab's ZetaOS is a software product, there can be no doubt that both companies' products fall into the same category, the one for computer software.

      Now, assuming that German trademark law does acknowlegde common law trademarks, then you have established such a common law trademark by trading as Zeta Software. If you can show that you have been trading for longer than Yellow Tab has been marketing ZetaOS, then you stand a very good chance that you can get an injunction to force them to change the name. The fact that you have those errant calls will actually help you to go after them.

      Even if German trademark law doesn't help you, I am sure that German company law will have various clauses that protect a registered company's name from other companies in the same sector using the name.

      Don't have pity for them. They should have done their homework before launching their OS. They should have never picked that name in the first place. A simple check with the company registry would have revealed that you guys exist.

      On the other hand, if your company has been founded after Yellow Tab have started to market their OS under the Zeta name, then the blame would go to you guys.

      In any event, you should get some legal advice from a lawyer dealing in such matters and see what your options are.

      Good luck.
  • by oktokie ( 459163 ) on Sunday April 03, 2005 @04:31AM (#12125222)
    First check BeOS! []
    to learn the root of the OS.

    BeOS was originally developed for BeBOX(custom ppc based smp box) and later started supporting 60x lines of PPC based Apple's Macintosh computers and power computing(Taiwan's mac licensed manufactural).
    With version 3.0 x86 versions started shipping.
    There were 3.0, 4.0, 4.5 then 5.0 Personal Edition and 5.0 Professional Edition.

    I personally believe that BeOS doomed itself with expensive public relations fund spend heavily on BeOS Preview release 2(Remember those BeOS preview release shipped with Mac related magazines for free?) and decision to start selling x86 version. They started offering free version for 5.0 called 5.0 Personal edition, which were bit late(developers have migrated to linux world then...). So company were bought out by Palm.

    However, right before they were bought out by Palm, there were two main project which disappeared all together.

    BeIA with SONY eVilla project and Dano(BeOS 5.5 release). BeIA pretty much slipped away when Be had office equipment auction when they closed down the building along with some handheld devices(tablet computers loaded with BeIA).

    I've heard rumors that after Sony seeing the utter failure of QNX based iOpner(which was immediately followed by another QNX based 3com'saudrey), axed eVilla and destroyed all produced units, so only surviving units are the ones that were auctioned off with BE office closing in CA(developer's machine?).

    After BE was sold to Palm...however, BE source along with Dano was leaked over Beshare(beos centric p2p software).

    So Dano(considered as unofficial release ver 5.1d0) .

    OpenBeOS movement started around this time.
    Now OpenBeOS has changed its name to Haiku-OS. [].

    And soon people started BeOS Developer's Edition
    at [].

    And other people started BeOS [] [].

    Both BeOS Developer's Edition and BeOS Max revolves around Be's latest official release BeOS Personal Edition 5.0 + 5.0.3 upates and many new improvement which were contributed by a user community developed opensource softwares & drivers.

    However, there versions which includes some unofficial released stuffs(stuffs from Dano and some controversial stuffs) []
    You can read the article by OSnews here. []

    Here are some screen shots provided by Korean BeOS UserGroup. albumName=screen []
    BeOS is nice because Localization stuffs were incorporated into GUI nicer than most other OS, making easier to support different language than English, especially where language isn't based on phonetic latin based alphabet languages such as Korean/Chinese/Japanese. Thier alphabet is 8bit(or even 16bit) character based.

    Currently, Haiku-OS programmers are plugging away diligently where OS is almost ready, where most of the bread and butter applications were already worked out! This is a nicer situation where applications are already there when OS still hasn't shipped, due to special current circumstances of BeOS.

    ZetaOS is heavily based on BeOS R5.0.3 + Bone network(Dano style) + lots of improvement borrowed from drivers found on BeBits(opensource community of BeOS) + Haiku-OS(OpenBeOS).

    ZetaOS, there are RC1, RC2, RC3, Zeta Neo(considered as RC4) a
  • A Floater (Score:3, Insightful)

    by borud ( 127730 ) on Sunday April 03, 2005 @05:50AM (#12125462) Homepage
    Is BeOS going to be another floater that won't flush, like the Amiga? Every time you think you've heard the last of it, it pops back up again, and you have to listen to all the fans go on about how special it is.

    Why can't they go after a market where it is needed? For instance, there are more and more ATMs popping up running windows and misbehaving in ways that you didn't think was possible for such a critical system.
    Obviously BeOS, or whatever the marketroids call it this week, is stable, lean, fast, and seems to support media processing well. Why not go for the upscale embedded market? Why not go for set-top boxes, portable media players etc?

    No business is going to jump ship and switch from Windows, OSX, Linux or whatever they run, to BeOS as their primary desktop OS. Come on.

  • by Kynde ( 324134 ) <kynde&iki,fi> on Sunday April 03, 2005 @06:19AM (#12125519)
    Heh, that's the equivalent of weaking a "kick me" piece of paper on your back in high school when it comes to the /. effect.
  • BeOS (Score:5, Interesting)

    by wootest ( 694923 ) on Sunday April 03, 2005 @06:37AM (#12125564)
    BeOS was insanely great, with some innovations that were entirely ahead of its time. But do they really have that much going for them now? Microsoft, Apple and several Linux groups already have highly GPU-integrated window managers going, for example, and work's being done on more metadata-rich filesystem-based platforms - WinFS and Spotlight both sit on top of NTFS and HFS+ respectively.

    I wouldn't be surprised if it'd take them a few months or years to catch up to the current state of technology, because it's been maintained by enthusiasts ever since the company maintaining it dropped it. Even for something that was ahead of its time, it has catching up to do, both when it comes to technology and killer apps, and I guess what I'm asking is... is it worth it?
  • Interesting quotes (Score:5, Insightful)

    by beforewisdom ( 729725 ) on Sunday April 03, 2005 @09:00AM (#12125848)
    "BeOS was a lighweight but full-fledged operating system designed from the ground up to be a desktop OS with strong multimedia capabilities. Its claim to fame was the real-time response of its graphical interface, even on low-powered hardware. Its minimalistic approach made it easy to use even for beginners. Its database-like BFS file system with indexed attributes made file searches a breeze. All of this in a system that could boot in 10 to 15 seconds on most hardware, and that was as stable as a rock."
    "... and a new non-destructive partition manager for easy installation of Zeta on machines that already have Windows or other OS installed. Zeta 1.0 will also come with numerous development tools, including Python 2.4 with a working Bethon (Python modules for Zeta), GNU bash 3.0, GNU coreutils (5.2.1), OpenSSH, and Bash autocomplete with Zeta-specific completion templates."
    "yellowTAB bundles many applications with Zeta, including an office suite called Gobe Productive that includes word processing, spreadsheet, graphics, and presentation applications; the Firefox Web browser; an instant messaging client for AIM (clients for MSN, ICQ, Yahoo, and Jabber are available separately); a CD burner and DVD player; numerous games; a PDF viewer and writer (you can create PDF files from any Zeta application that can print); a scanning front end; several emulators (BeBochs, DosBox, BeUAE, and others); and development tools. Zeta also benefits from the fact that most of the third-party BeOS applications found on can run on it as-is."
    That last part is particularly interesting. It comes with an amiga emulator, a dos emulatior, and "bochs" which supposedly can run another operating system and that operating systems software within it.
    If all of that works...I know a big "if"...there shouldn't any shortage of software.
  • by beforewisdom ( 729725 ) on Sunday April 03, 2005 @09:18AM (#12125898)
    Moving to a BSD(unix) based system breathed new life into the MAC with a world of software possibilities and its ability to place nice with other systems. MAC has proven that unix can be used for a friendly and powerful desk top system. In a way it also proven that it is very hard to make it as a third party alternative sandwiched in between the Nix * Windows world. This reincarnation of BeOS sounds interesting enough for me to buy a copy, but I wonder about its potential to survive in niche that is similar to one that MAC decided was not a good place to be. Maybe the 2 keys this time around is that it is starting off in Europe away from Bill Gates' home market and that microsoft may be distracted with linux as a challenger to the point of not trying to crush this new version of beOS

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