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BeOS Lives on in the Form of Zeta 172

DgtlDivide writes "BeOS, one of the pinnacle examples of something really good that died far before it should have, is apparently not quite dead yet. BeOS has continued to captivate a large and devoted community. The Haiku project is working on an Open Source version of the OS and now out of Germany comes Yellowtab's Zeta, a continuation of an unreleased development version of BeOS code-named "Dano." Is Zeta worth the price? Will Yellowtab raise BeOS from the ashes and inflame public interest in the OS?"
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BeOS Lives on in the Form of Zeta

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  • Better, earlier (Score:3, Informative)

    by Mikey-San ( 582838 ) on Sunday September 18, 2005 @01:13AM (#13588304) Homepage Journal
    http://arstechnica.com/reviews/os/zeta-1.0.ars [arstechnica.com]

    Eat me, lameness filter.
  • by TheLoneIguana ( 126589 ) on Sunday September 18, 2005 @01:14AM (#13588309)
    "I feel happy! I feel happy!"
  • by raydobbs ( 99133 ) on Sunday September 18, 2005 @01:14AM (#13588311) Homepage Journal
    It depends - does it have that arrogant SOB Gasse running things? If it does - it's doomed. If not, perhaps they will stand a chance. With Apple now moving to Intel hardware - there is a better chance of BeOS finding it's way onto that hardware.

    Having used an older version - it was definitely unique and ahead of it's time. That being said, it will have to have changed a great deal between when I saw it last, and it's next incarnation, otherwise - the current crop of Mac OS X and Windows XP / Vista already does what BeOS did.
    • Gasse miscalculated one thing, the return of Jobs.

      Had Steve Jobs not been brought back to Apple, Be OS would have been the foundation for the "next generation" Mac OS instead of NeXT's.

      It would have taken less work, less time and could arguably have yielded a better final result to build a new OS on top of the Be OS compared to the process of porting NeXT's OS from the ground up.

      LK
      • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday September 18, 2005 @02:16AM (#13588467)
        That is very much debatable.

        While BeOS would have provided the best-of-breed OS technology for the Mac, it wouldn't have helped Apple the least bit as a company.

        The way I see it, Apple's comeback was delivered through 4 major factors:
        1. Steve Jobs' charisma in bringing people together to work on a common goal. This solidifies Apple into a single-minded company with everybody going in the same direction, instead of many-masted sail ship buffetted by sea winds. Be didn't have Steve Jobs. Gasse would have grounded Apple totally.
        2. Mac OS X's UNIX-based foundation, which enables the scientific community and some industries to quickly adopt the Mac as both 'workstation' and 'day-to-day computer' platforms. The familiarity of UNIX infrastructure and the elegance of the GUI represent the best compromise (though separately, they may not be best-of-breeds) for most computing tasks. BeOS was sort-of POSIX-compliant. But, it wouldn't have been easy porting all those UNIX apps to BeOS-based Mac OS.
        3. Cocoa. Rapid development, elegant interface, a plethora of built-in features. What else is there to say? This is THE platform which provides Mac users like us with the useful software trinkets we so much love. BeOS did not have anything close to this.
        4. iPod. This is Steve Jobs in his best form. Gasse? Well....

        Steve Jobs' return to Apple was essential. While I do lust for BeOS' stark efficiency and elegance, they could never have guaranteed the Mac's survival.
        • Had Jobs not returned, Apple would have probably ponied up the $400 million or so that Gasse wanted for Be.

          Apple's problem has never been technological, they have some ass stomping programmers. Be OS would have been transformed from something cool into something SWEET if they had gotten a hold of it.

          At the time Apple bought NeXT, THEY didn't have anything like Cocoa. Apple built Cocoa from the ground up for the platform that they did have. They could have done it on a Be OS foundation.

          It's unknown if Apple
          • At the time Apple bought NeXT, THEY didn't have anything like Cocoa.

            What on Earth makes you say so? Nextstep/Openstep [wikipedia.org] was exactly "something like Cocoa"...

            Apple built Cocoa from the ground up for the platform that they did have. They could have done it on a Be OS foundation.

            Well, they would have built something and maybe even call it Cocoa... but it would be something entirely different. Building MacOS X on NexsStep, Apple immediately gained the entire *BSD software library and user experience for t
            • And without Jobs, there would be no iMac, iBook or iPod to save them.

              Without Jobs Apple would still be Apple. It wasn't him that saved the company, it was the legions of faithful Apple customers.

              There's an almost religious aspect to the fanaticism with which some people remain loyal to Apple.

              In my experience, I took less flack after a religious conversion than I did after a platform change.

              LK
              (Whoever you are burning up your mod points on me. I have excellent Karma, I can take it.)
              • Apple was dieing a horrible death before Jobs came back.

                Unlike BSD, Apple really was about to go under and Jobs return was a move of desperation. It had no direction or future.

                Many Apple investors were even debating closing Apple down and just selling off its IP. I remember old pcworld articles from even windows die hard journalists raising a campaign to save Apple because the pc industry would be doomed to Microsoft.

                Jobs gave Apple a direction. Microsoft came out with Windows95 and almost took Apple under.
                • Many businesses put pressure on Apple's customers to move to Windows for photoshop and MacOS frankly sucked. It had no premptive multitasking, no concept of a kernel, and WindowsNT was about to come into popularity.

                  Windows 95, 98 and ME had no premptive multitasking and were EASILY as unstable as Mac OS 7.5.x. You can't claim that the lack of something that the competition didn't have either was a reason that Apple was losing market share.

                  Jobs
                  1.) Killed the clones


                  Which is why I haven't bought any new Apple
          • by rodgerd ( 402 ) on Sunday September 18, 2005 @04:18AM (#13588662) Homepage
            Apple's problem has never been technological, they have some ass stomping programmers.


            *snerk* Right. The only ass those programmers stomped was Apples, while they fucked Copland up completely.
          • "Apple's problem has never been technological, they have some ass stomping programmers. Be OS would have been transformed from something cool into something SWEET if they had gotten a hold of it."

            Correct. Apple's problem was marketing, they'd spent so many years targetting their marketing at their own customers that the rest of the world was losing interest in them.

            Having the world's coolest operating system didn't make half as much difference as having a CEO with a mind for marketing to the masses, the big
          • As others have mentioned, Cocoa is just the NeXT API, very minimally changed. In fact, this becomes VERY apparent looking at the names of the API calls. Everything's in the form of NSWindow and NSRegion, NS standing for NeXTSTEP.
        • Be OS already was mostly POSIX compliant. It certainly had ports of bash, perl, tex, octave (mentioned because you refer to the sic/eng community) and most of the unix goodies.

          I think that Apple's success is due completely to the return of Steve Jobs to the company.
      • Having been to the old Be office and having used the OS, I can hope the case was GOD YES. Hopefully, the disk OS folks that were recruited from Be (polite wording intended) will add some of the major goodness to Mac OS.

        I believe you may have been correct yet more powerful forces were at work. Forces willing, the goodness of Be will live on in an OS that needed to be from NeXT, and Unix for matters too complex to explain.

        Salut.
    • by Tezkah ( 771144 ) on Sunday September 18, 2005 @02:26AM (#13588486)
      BeOS already runs on Intel hardware. It has been running on x86 for over 7 years now...

      Due to Apple's aggressive moves and the mounting debt of Be Inc,
      BeOS was soon ported to the X86 platform with its R3 release. Through the late 90s, BeOS managed to create a niche of hardcore followers, but the company failed to become solvent. As a last-ditch effort to increase interest in the failing operating system, Be Inc. released a stripped-down, but free, copy of BeOS R5 known as BeOS Personal Edition (BeOS PE). BeOS PE could be started from within Microsoft Windows or Linux, and was intended to nurture consumer interest in its product and give developers something they could tinker in.

      - from Wikipedia

      That being said, it will have to have changed a great deal between when I saw it last, and it's next incarnation, otherwise - the current crop of Mac OS X and Windows XP / Vista already does what BeOS did.


      The only way that Mac and Windows and Linux are now able to do what BeOS was doing is that we now have 3GHZ processors in our computers, while BeOS was providing the same speed and responsiveness on much slower machines. The threading of BeOS is one of it major strengths, and windows is JUST NOW (with vista) starting to implement the idea in full.

      That said, the story doesn't give us any new information... oh... Zeta!? I had never heard of this product before on slashdot... [google.com]

      • The only way that Mac and Windows and Linux are now able to do what BeOS was doing is that we now have 3GHZ processors in our computers, while BeOS was providing the same speed and responsiveness on much slower machines. The threading of BeOS is one of it major strengths, and windows is JUST NOW (with vista) starting to implement the idea in full.

        You sound like the typical GEOS user did years ago. As they learned back then, it doesn't matter what you did before Windows or better than it. The only thing that
    • by SmallFurryCreature ( 593017 ) on Sunday September 18, 2005 @04:20AM (#13588669) Journal
      Vista ain't out yet. For someone as old as me this is becoming very repetetive. People comparing OS'es that are out with things that MS absolutly swears are going to be in the next version.

      XP comes nowwhere near, OSX does a bit but in many ways BeOS is still ahead of its time. It is just suffering from lack of applications, but what it mostly suffers from is idiots like you comparing its features with things MS marketing hype.

      • "XP comes nowwhere near, OSX does a bit but in many ways BeOS is still ahead of its time." I've never used it, In what way is BeOS "still ahead"?
      • I've heard a lot about how BeOS has great features that make it way ahead of its time. I ran BeOS for a short time back in the day. It was neat and seemed to multitask well, but I saw nothing special that couldn't be emulated on another system.

        Name one thing that BeOS can do that no OS could effectively emulate.

        -matthew
  • Wasn't parts of BeOS supposed to be incorporated into the Palm OS? (Although, with the sale of PalmSource along with its move towards a Linux based system where does that put the BeOS components?)
    • Yes, parts of BeOS was used to create PalmOS Cobalt 6. Cobalt was however pretty much DOA, and has now been officially abandoned.
  • A cool link! (Score:1, Informative)

    by VAXGeek ( 3443 )
    Click here [slashdot.org] for latest Zeta news!
  • slashdot (Score:5, Funny)

    by eobanb ( 823187 ) on Sunday September 18, 2005 @01:17AM (#13588320) Homepage
    news for nerds, stuff from like, a year ago.
  • This puppy is a snoooozer. ZZZZZzzzzzzzzZZZzzzZZzzzzzzz.....
    • so says Saeed al-Sahaf as he dozed off:

      This puppy is a snoooozer. ZZZZZzzzzzzzzZZZzzzZZzzzzzzzeta.....

      T,FTFY. ;D

      Has ScuttleMonkey been on vacation from Slashdot for a couple of years? Maybe I should get some Slashdot summaries ready. I just heard that not only has Apple released a modern OS, updated it, updated it again, again, again, and yet again, but they have also released a fairly nifty music player (maybe some of you have heard of it?) and even an online music store to go with it!!!1!11oneoneelev

  • by HishamMuhammad ( 553916 ) on Sunday September 18, 2005 @01:24AM (#13588337) Homepage Journal
    "Dupe dupe! Eee chop, Dupe dupe!
    Toe meet toe pee chee keene, g'noop dock fling oh ah.
    Yah wah! Eee chop, yah wah!
    Toe meet toe pee chee keene, g'noop dock fling oh ah...." (rest goes like the Ewok song [neuvel.net])

    And so the new Slashdot theme song is born.

    Rejoice!
  • BeOS Lives? Truly??? (Score:5, Informative)

    by null etc. ( 524767 ) on Sunday September 18, 2005 @01:27AM (#13588343)
    Wow, way to go with the TIMELY reporting! I liked this story better when it was submitted June 19th:

    http://developers.slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=04/0 6/19/1742245&tid=87&tid=189&tid=190&tid=8 [slashdot.org]

  • Single user OS (Score:5, Insightful)

    by misleb ( 129952 ) on Sunday September 18, 2005 @01:30AM (#13588353)
    Does the world really need a single user OS? I understand many of BeOS's merits, but that is a pretty serious limitation that makes it very undesirable in most situations. You wouldn't run your computer as root, right? Isn't that basically what you are doing when yoiu run BeOS?

    -matthew
    • Yeah pretty much. Think Windows 95...

      Damn 15sec time filter!
    • IMHO most existing Windows systems are actually used as single user machines, even though they'd be capable of being used by multiple user.

      With this in mind, one can understand why YellowTab is using sales channels like http://www.rtlshop.de/rtlshop/servlet/~tvm5/rtlsho p/subsites/articleDetail.html?command=display&btUi d=bt_Article&iDf_id=7f001:-4d972e39:1047e548e3d:78 80&iDf_relayClientId=4&startPage=true [rtlshop.de], where things are usually quite simple or simplyfied.

      While I'm not entirely sure if t
      • By "single" user, I am not just referring to the number of people who can have unique accounts on the machine. I am talking about system security. Without user accounts, you don't have meaningful file permissions. Every process effectively runs as "root." Granted, most Windows users run as admin anyway, but I believe there are still some things a process running as such a user can't do.

        Anyway, it is just a bad design. Maybe average users won't care about running as "root," but at some point it is going to k
    • Correct me if I'm wrong, but I believe the core of Be supported user/group file permissions.

      It should also be noted, that 'file permissions' are extremely antiquated in today's world.
      • Re:Single user OS (Score:2, Interesting)

        by DRobson ( 835318 )
        I havent booted BeOS for a month or two now, but IIRC everything had the same style posix permissions as every other *nix you've layed your hands on. Only difference was that there was only ever one user (named 'Baron'). I think most of it is just waiting for someone to write the backend.

        • Yeah, it's been "waiting for someone to write the backend" for over a decade now.

          I used BeOS on a Power Computing machine, and even back then the story was, "yeah, we laid all the foundations for it being a multiuser system, so finishing up implementing that should be a snap. We'll have it done any day now."

          (Sorry, I'm _still_ bitter about BeOS abandoning the mac platform.)
          • they didn't abandon it, apple refused to provide specs to them for the g3 machines. and they didn't want to reverse engineer the systems and maybe have to deal with apple legal. so they went to x86 where they had support from the get go and were even encouraged to write for that platform.

            apple was even scared that many mac users wanted BeOS more than mac os. it was cooler than macs for the small amount of time it existed on the ppc world.

            all good things must come to an end, sometimes prematurely.

            current OSs
            • they didn't abandon it, apple refused to provide specs to them for the g3 machines.

              That excuse was absurd then, and it's absurd now. The g3's specs were precisely as public as every previous mac, on which BeOS had no difficulty running. LinuxPPC was up and running on the g3s almost immediately after their release, belying any claims that they were so foreign and incomprehensible as to make porting to them impossible.

              I was at the BeOS developer conference immediately after the switch, and Gassee seem

    • "Does the world really need a single user OS?"

      This is /. Most of the people here are single users.

      But seriously, the term PC means Personal Computer. In many cases there is only one person using it.
  • I've read that article, and those of you who consider buying it should know tha Zeta is published on several German teleshopping channels, and they want about 30 to 50 dollars there. m from germany and i was somewhat irritatef to see Zeta on this site.
  • by Anonymous Coward

    BSD is not dead!

    Oh... err... we were talking about something else not being dead yet?

  • Ok -- $95 to buy it and if you can download it, the link to the DL is very not-obvious. Add to that glowing references such as this from the 2nd page: "Besides driver support, the largest obstacle to using BeOS is lack of applications." How long can it last if it has little hardware support, outdated and few applications, and costs nearly $100 to boot?
    • Please tell me that you didn't pay $95...
    • by sonicattack ( 554038 ) on Sunday September 18, 2005 @04:35AM (#13588693) Homepage
      [...] and costs nearly $100 to boot?

      Boot manager menu (please type in credit card number and expiry date, then press listed key to boot):

      F1 Windows XP ($10)
      F2 Debian Sarge ($1)
      F3 Zeta ($100)

      Money will be drawn from your account upon successful boot. Reboot due to system crash within 3 minutes comes FREE OF CHARGE (Only applies to key F1)
      • Cute, but of course XP also costs ~$100 (or more, especially for Pro). It's just that the cost is often bundled in the cost of a new system.

        To the questions posed in the summary, my answers would be "No", and "No". To elaborate: "Probably not", and "Definitely not".
  • by digital-madman ( 860873 ) on Sunday September 18, 2005 @01:36AM (#13588367)
    Alright, disclaimer here. Normally I don't bother to comment on any offbeat anymore but i got something to ask...

    What is the target market for this product?

    Lets face it.. BeOS or Zeta (doesn't really matter what you call it) can not be a mainstream desktop OS. Just like Linux it faces the same problems, plus some. No Games, migration factors, software software software?? You could port alot of linux software to the OS. But what?s the point.

    You offer all Linux software on BeOS it could be another anti-Linux migration barrier. (Although portable code aside.) For general user base, its to confusing. (That sounds a little lame i know.)

    A quote from Futurama stuck in my head after that thought: "Your average voter is still as drunk and stupid as they were in 1980". Well... your average joe six pack user is just as drunk and stupid as they are in windows.

    Also, where's even a niche market for this product??? Its not like the BSD's which have great server and datacenter applications. Hell, even OS/2 survives on SOME ATM machines. Where's the niche? or even market?

    The only useful thing I could see this is for... is a ultra secure webserver at tops. (Security through obscurity). But mostly as a novelty for uber geeks.

    In the end this will mean nothing or be a confusion point for joe six pack user looking to switch from windows.

    -Digital Madman
  • Probably not no.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    " Is Zeta worth the price? Will Yellowtab raise BeOS from the ashes and inflame public interest in the OS?"

    Could you make it sound anymore like a soap opera?

    Are we supposed to be transfixed?

    BeOS the Indiana Jones of OSes. Stay tuned for the next episode when Oedipus finds out he's been doing his mom.

  • by Coryoth ( 254751 ) on Sunday September 18, 2005 @01:40AM (#13588379) Homepage Journal
    Well [slashdot.org] it seems [slashdot.org] Zeta [slashdot.org] has [slashdot.org] been kicking [slashdot.org] around [slashdot.org] for some time [slashdot.org]. The earliest of those being from 2002 when it was first announced that yellowTab had picked up some rights to BeOS. I gather (from comments in those many stories) that Zeta has been on sale, at least in Germany, for quite some time now, and went 1.0 in July. The reviews have been lukewarm, and it really hasn't raised much (if any) mainstream attention.

    Will Yellowtab raise BeOS from the ashes and inflame public interest in the OS?"

    I find that rather doubtful. BeOS was a fine OS in its day, but while the rest of the world has been improving (MacOS, for instance, now actually has something decent to offer) BeOS has been mostly treading water as yellowTab try and modernise it where possible and get support for modern hardware. It's not that Zeta is bad - it looks like quite a nice OS - it's just that it certainly isn't revolutionary or particularly interesting for any reasons other than BeOS nostalgia... and these days you need to manage to stand out in some way or other as an OS to attract enough application developers. Without applications your OS is just going to slowly stagnate and die unless you can find and fill a niche. Given that Zeta is aiming at the general desktop... I just don't see them managing to get enough strng application support to really pull that off.

    Jedidiah.
    • by misleb ( 129952 ) on Sunday September 18, 2005 @02:03AM (#13588433)
      Zeta/Be has one serious, and ultimately fatal, flaw. It is single user. Nobody in their right mind is going to put anything important on a Be box. Maybe single user (and no meaningful file permissions) would pass in the days of Mac OS 9 or Win 95, but the world has moved on. Security is a real issue for everyone. No matter how much developer and hardware support Zeta gets, it will always suffer from that one fatal design flaw.

      -matthew

      • It is single user.

        Well, as the vast majority of OS installations in existance run as single-user installations, that doesn't sound like too much of an issue.

        Time-sharing systems with multiple interactive users at one time were the environment that Unix grew up in, and I suppose the Linux community still thinks in those terms even now that most Linux machines are either single-user desktops or webservers. But it's not a particularly important role any more.

        • Well, I don't know for sure, but from the sounds of it the OP meant single-user as in Win9x, not as in "single user on the machine at a time". That is, I believe that what was meant was that it only supports a single user account *on the machine*. So, no file permissions, no concept of individual preferences, no login screen, etc.

          That was ok 10-15 years ago, but even home users want to keep their files separated these days. Hell, the first thing my parents did when they got their PC was to create a separate
        • Well, as the vast majority of OS installations in existance run as single-user installations, that doesn't sound like too much of an issue.

          Maybe "single user" is the wrong term, maybe "horribly insecure" is better. Anything you run on beos has root level power. That's a lousy design, and apart from windows (in practical situations) all operating systems have long since abandoned it due to all the security problems it causes.
        • single user in this context means:

          one user account on the entire system : administrator

          beos has no permissions, period. everything runs as "root". in the 1980s this might have been acceptable for a pc, but in the 2000s it is most definitely not.
      • Zeta/Be has one serious, and ultimately fatal, flaw. It is single user

        Ouch!, forgot about that one.

        But how many Windows users are running as Administrator? How many programs require Administrator privilage.

        I'm not contradicting your point, which is a good one. I'm just wondering if the importance of multiple users isn't yet recognized by the general windows desktop population.

        • I wouldn't expect the "general Windows desktop population" to use BeOS anyway. If any Windows user, it would be the more tech savvy and curious. Users who might (or already have) try Linux, but are scared of the commandline.

    • and inflame public interest in the OS?

      Maybe they don't care, like the Plan 9 people don't care:

      I don't think that the lack of interest by the world at large is due to a lack of comfortable, familiar applications. I think it's got more to do with a lack of understanding of why Plan 9 is (*really!*) interesting and a shortage of people who find that utterly compelling. People have given various excuses in the past (lack of gcc or X11, cost, licence terms) but if you're really enthused, none of that matters.

  • No.
    Nyet.
    Nope.
    No'.
    Noh.

  • As long as it has Amiga OS compatibility.
  • by tjstork ( 137384 ) <todd...bandrowsky@@@gmail...com> on Sunday September 18, 2005 @02:11AM (#13588457) Homepage Journal
    BeOS was ahead of its time because it was built on the premise that the future computers would be massively parallel. Then, Intel and AMD got into the megahertz race and it seemed like BeOS guessed wrong.

    Now of course everything is going towards multiple cores and multiple processors, but BeOS is dead for the most part. Had BeOS come out later, or had multicore chips come out earlier, who knows what might have been.
    • BeOS also chopped-and-changed who it supported, which didn't help. It was originally for the PPC, then switched to Intel, dropping all the PPC users. Arguably, it would have done better to support the entire userbase and kept the chip-specifics confined enough that you only needed a few programmers to deal with that.

      What I would like to see is BeOS and Plan9 (now Inferno) hook up. Inferno makes a great low-level environment, as it makes the entire network seem like a single system. However, the front-end is

      • they dropped support for ppc because apple refused to provide them specs for the then new g3's. rather than reverse engineering it and getting in trouble with apple legal, they went ahead and moved the much friendlier (in terms of support) x86.

        this is common knowledge, i mean if you follow BeOS related news.

        it was also published in the BeOS Bible (i know, i have a copy).

        as to your other comments, had BeOS not died financially, it would have continued to mature, adding in multi-user capabilities and it would
      • BeOS also chopped-and-changed who it supported, which didn't help. It was originally for the PPC,...
        Actually, PPC was the second chip. It's a rare company that can bring a user base through not one but two migrations. Apple's 68K => PPC was one of the smoothest ever, they still lost huge marketshare (for this and other reasons).
  • old news? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by timmarhy ( 659436 ) on Sunday September 18, 2005 @02:31AM (#13588497)
    how many of this stupid beos advernews stories do we need. this rubbish about beos being raised from the ashes by zeta has been on twice before. in fact i think maybe they used the same words almost
    • how many of this stupid beos advernews stories do we need. this rubbish about beos being raised from the ashes by zeta has been on twice before. in fact i think maybe they used the same words almost

      I would say they used the same words as in the stories that "Amiga is not quite dead yet and how they are being raised from the ashes by Escom/Gateway/Fleecy Moss/whatever/whoever". It seems that the "this dead platform is not really dead" is something deeply embedded in computer culture - just consider the wh
  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday September 18, 2005 @02:49AM (#13588530)
    Does this mean that the sourcecode will be rewritten in haiku form?
    /*

      * Mempointer far null

      * Size T chunksize lots,
      * far allocated size.
      */
    memptr far = NULL;
    size_t chunksize = LOTS;
    far = malloc(chunksize);


    Or is it just the system messages [ucsc.edu] that will be rewritten?

    Fatal error. All data

    have disappeared. Screen. Mind.
    Both are blank.
  • Recently I recall /. was going to try out some sort of new CSS, right? I'm thinking this story is more proof that a new dupe filter needs to be developed before submissions are actually posted. What do you think?
  • Yet again, the fanboys wet themselves over a dead and long buried OS.

    Beating a dead horse may be a fun hobby for some, but certainly doesn't make it lie there any faster.
  • The question is if Haiku will ;)
  • Maybe I should have nothing more to do in life but read /. and then I'd have noticed this was a dupe, or whatever, but clearly I fail the nerdyness test because I was actually quite interested in this article and the points it raises.
    I find it difficult to believe that any BeOS clone will beat Windows for all the obvious reasons - not least of which is that MS will buy any propreitary product that comes anywhere near cuasing them irritation - though that would probably be a positive outcome for the develop
  • Just look at the link provided in the article
    "The company initially decided to build a very unique sort of personal computer: the second prototype had a custom motherboard with two AT&T "Hobbit" 9309A RISC-like CPUs and three 9309S Digital Signal Processors (DSPs)"

    Very Unique ?

    First rule of thumb: if they can't avoid howlers on their home page, ignore them
  • No, it won't. Has anyone considered that if BeOS was so great in the first place it wouldn't have died? Oh wait, MS monopoly, gotta use that card, Be couldn't get their foot in the door. And if only Apple had gone with them, too...

    You'd think they'd at least place these advernews stories so something relevant to the product happens when it appears instead of just being out of the blue like this.
  • Among the Linux crowd, it seems like there's long been this strong demand that Linux change its nature, and turn into something more akin to Windows. Which, pretty much, would destroy most of the things that are most cool about Linux. BeOS on the other hand is much closer to being a dropin replacement for Windows, at least as far as the user experience goes. The whole control panel, program installs by downloading a single binary off of a website, a single window manager and sound system. Not to mention it'
  • "Will Yellowtab raise BeOS from the ashes and inflame public interest in the OS?""

    I read this sort of story on Slashdot every month or so. Some company or user group is trying to keep their 0% market share OS alive, like Newton OS, Amiga, Be, OS/2, and I'm sure there are others. Has there ever been a success story? Has anyone ever managed to resurect an OS and give it a respectable application base and user base? With all respect to the supporters, I just have to roll my eyes everytime I read something
    • How about Mac OS? In the late 1990's, it had a tiny marketshare. Even worse, it was tied to underpowered, expensive, and propriety computers. Then with the introduction of Mac OSX and a total revamping of Apple's hardware lineup, Mac OS came back from having a tiny marketshare to a respectably sized niche (and is still growing).
    • Sure; Unix.

      Early 1990s, killer micros were everywhere, the Jollix BSD port was being detailed in Dr. Dobbs, and some of the geekier (defined as: people who could hose their machine for days on end without worrying about work not getting done) techs were playing with some new creation called, "Linux". It was unstable, wonky, with wierd command-line tools named after the original authors and a moded 1970s text editor.

      On the other hand, Windows was breaking out, Macs had gone color, and VMS was ported t
    • OS/2, for example, still has three full application suites (Lotus SmartSuite, OpenOffice 1.1, and StarOffice 5.1), two decent Mozilla-based browsers, and access to the entire legacy DOS and Windows 3.x app base, and I'll take my 16-bit copies of Quicken 98 and Visio 4 Pro running on WinOS2 over any of the equivalents I've seen in the Linux world.

      In spite of this, and in spite of its continued active support by Serenity past the end of 2006, it's still considered "dead".

      It seems the requirements are impossib
  • by jandrese ( 485 ) * <kensama@vt.edu> on Sunday September 18, 2005 @10:18AM (#13589571) Homepage Journal
    Back when Be was still making BeBoxes (best name ever) they were already doomed. My roommate had a Be system and I got to play around with it a bit. It was extremely nice, especially with the way it handled media (you could play multi channel audio back when even getting full duplex working on OSS was a major pain in the butt).

    The problem was that it was somewhat difficult to port applications to the box. The networking in particular seemed to cause lots of problems. This ment that in 1996 (I think) there were still no decent webbrowsers for Beos. That sort of problem was endemic with Beos too. Unless you were willing to port the applications yourself, about the only thing you could do with the OS was give people impressive multimedia demos and explain how cool the filesystem is. Granted, there was a community around porting applications to Be, but they weren't well organized from what I saw.

    It's possible Be has changed in the time since I saw it last, and now has a compatability layer that lets it compile stuff written for Linux right out of the box (does it support X apps yet?), but even with that it's hard to see why I would want to use it.
    • Granted, there was a community around porting applications to Be, but they weren't well organized from what I saw.

      Once BeOS went x86 it went head to head with Linux as the alternative OS and the Linux open source model won hearts and minds. Why put all your effort into a closed source alternative which could go the way of the dodo while Linux offered the stability of openness?

      Then Be tried to go niche and instead of going for the high end server market where they could have played the stability and perfor
  • Will Yellowtab raise BeOS from the ashes and inflame public interest in the OS?

    Magic-8 says "Don't bet on it".
  • Can we have a special Slashdot category for stories about failed OSs that are still being flogged?

    I mean, fer cripes sake people this thing was stillborn 15 years ago! Why would anyone seriously consider using it for anything?

    This is not news. It is a curiousity, like a pig with two heads.
  • by WareW01f ( 18905 ) on Sunday September 18, 2005 @11:19AM (#13589832)
    And before modding me as flaimbait, let me explain. Disclaimer: I've coded (and been paid to do so) on Mac OS 7/8/9/X, DOS, Win 95/98/2000/XP, Palm OS 3/4/5/6, Linux, HPUX, Solaris, etc... Basicly I'm a Rodney King of OSs, they all have merits and they all suck in some way. Open your mind and code a bit before you flame an OS

    I had a friend years back that actually *owned* a BeBox, in all it's blue blinking glory. At the time, we were Mac coders. We marvled at the twin LED cpu load meters on the sides, we watched the wicked kewl graphics demos that really should not have been possible at that time. And we were in awe...

    Then they dropped the hardware. Understandable, they were Years Ahead Of Their Time(TM) on case mods, and hardware leads to actual loss. (Where as software, short of your cost in printed packaging and plastic CDs is slim.) Fine, it ran on a Mac, there where UMax clones to be had, and all was good...

    Then Jobs came back. Good for Apple, bad for any clone vendor or anyone trying to make an OS *other* than MacOS run. (And lets face it folks even if you are a Mac zealot, you have to admit that OS 7/ early OS 8 (basicly OS 7 *skinned*) sucked pretty hard. Be ran circles around it. Hell even my cheap Linux laptop with X was doing painted window drags as opposed to the "outline" window move) Fine, Be went to x86, and some of us where like "kewl", but by then the alternate OS crowd was all about Linux and all the hot stuff was for Linux, so it was still just a toy. The other kick in the head was the rumors that Apple was about to buy Be (knowing the OS was damn kewl) but Job (again) stepped in and said, no, we're going to take my failed company Next and use that. (Any one else here about the Steve Jobs/Star Trek link of every other company/movie sucking) So another strike. I was able to play with "Rhapsody" way back then and the Yellow Box/Blue Box world of the Mac of tomorrow. (Ribbing the Mac people that they were bending to the POSIX side of the force.)

    So be goes limping along. They beg vendors to install Be dual boot with Windoze *for*free*. No go. In the mean time, *some* of us got over the fact that Jobs killed the Newton, got a Palm III (which was finally, in our eyes, a viable, hackable platform) and being the MetroWerks people that we were and oh so familiar API for the Palm, switched over. (The GCC port was a big help to.) All was well.

    I switched over to the dark side for a few years and did some Windoze coding (for food), still dabbling in Mac coding and Palm. OS X (finally) arrived. I moved my cheese to be able to get paid to code for the Palm. All was good. And then came the faithful PalmSource where we all learned that some of the essence of Be had seeped into Palm and OS 6 (Cobalt, that damn blue again) It was deva vu all over again. Watching the rotating cubes (again) and all of the other fun things I was seeing again for the first time. I was overjoyed... but with that same nagging feeling that this was not going to end well. Even as we partyed with Skyy Vodka and all of the other glowing blueness... the curse was there....

    And here we are, PalmSource axed the BeNess of Cobalt and is going Linux (and was just bought out.) And someone is going to even *try* and hint that Be will "make a come back". I for one will be staying the hell away from it at all costs.

    I expect to hear of some freak meteor accident with a key developer in the near future.

Statistics are no substitute for judgement. -- Henry Clay

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