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Gassee Challenges OEMs 178

Derek Cornish writes "Here is a news article about how Gassee, CEO of Be Inc., has challenged OEMs of the world to bundle Linux and BeOS for free on their computers. Unwillingness to do so would help show Microsoft's stranglehold on the computer market does, in fact, exist. " I'd like to take this time to thank Mr. Gassee....
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Gassee Challenges OEMs

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  • Gassee can offer it for free because he's the CEO of Be Inc.
  • On thing that we really have to remember is that although the DOJ winning the case against MS would definitely be a good thing, it is not the final result that we all are pushing for. What we all seem to want is freedom of choice in the computer world. We want computer products to be chosen on technical merit, not marketing power. If the DOJ winning its case does this, then great, but it would be even better if they same thing occured simply by the computer world making the choice not to bow down to MS.
    Let's face it, regardless of the outcome of the trial, Windows is going to be around for awhile. Only be providing a viable alternative to Winblows will we break free of MS's dominance, and I think I am safe in saying that the DOJ can't do that.
  • I would love to buy BEOS. I have seen it used multiple times, and it's a beautiful os. However I was told I can't run BEOS because I have a Super Socket 7 MotherBoard.

    Is this true? If so how soon will BE come out with a newer version so that it does support it?
  • _can_ "own" your copy of Linux' source code and/or executables. Thousands of other pieces of software are distributed in much the same manner. That Microsoft and every other commercial software company doesn't allow people to own the software they pay for doesn't mean that it is impossible to own any software.

    I tend to trust something more when I can look at the pieces which comprise it, if I so choose.

    - A.P.

    "One World, One Web, One Program" - Microsoft Promotional Ad

  • Posted by Wayne Steele:

    Why would Be advocate another commercial OS besides their own? I think it's up to the CEO's of other operating-system companies to make the same challenge if they're so inclined.
  • Posted by Wayne Steele:

    IMO, Gassee is doing a GoodThing(tm). Furthermore, I believe there is still a need/place for commercial OS's even though I also believe in what people are trying to accomplish with free software.
  • Posted by Doctor P:

    BTW I am not a Be fanatic, I haven't even used it but I've heard good things about it and I think some of you are criticizing it for no reason.

    Have you ever thought hey maybe these people have used Be and found it quite hard to use after using there current operating system which allows them to fix any problems in coding as they see fit? If you haven't used it how do you know there not criticizing it for a good reason?

  • Posted by Windigo The Feral (NYAR!):

    How I've literally explained some basic computer concepts (memory, storage, virtual memory, etc.) to complete and utter computer virgins:

    Computer memory is basically how much "brain power" it has to "memorise" stuff. If If you try to do too many things at once, you start losing track of things and get confused; so does your computer, so much that it gives up in frustration when it runs out of "thinking room".

    Computer speed is basically how fast it can "think". Some folks are faster and slower than others; some folks are faster at one certain thing than another. Same goes with computers; some are faster than others, with newer ones generally being faster, and some computers are better for CAD or graphics and some are better for games and some are better for "server" work.

    Computer storage is basically how much room the computer has to store stuff. I usually use a family album, or a scrapbook, to show this point; in a scrapbook, you can add or remove keepsake pictures/articles/letters, organise them, rearrange them to take less space, add or remove pages or scrapbooks, switch stuff between scrapbooks, or even put locks on them. Just like in computers, you can add or remove stuff on the hard drive, save it to floppy, "organise" stuff (using directories), "rearrange" stuff (disk defragging), secure them (password protection, encryption, user permissions), etc.

    Computer virtual memory is basically where it uses part of the hard drive as memory. I usually compare this to how folks take notes to remind them to do something, or how people take notes to remind them of the steps on how to do something. (Yes, folks I am teaching are often familiar with this; they take notes to learn how to do something so that they "don't break the computer" and to get any steps down. I do encourage them to do this, and to practice. :)

    I've found explaining it this way gets through to most newbies, at least enough that they know what all that "megabytes/megahertz stuff" is. It might not be 100% technically accurate, but it's enough for them to get the basic idea of how things work...enough for them to learn more.

  • Posted by AnnoyingMouseCoward:

    That's the main reason why Linux has my vote. With commercial OS's, my experience has been that the supplied documentation is

    1). Out of date.

    2). Inacurate.

    3). Just plain wrong.

    If you have the source and the documentation isn't up to standard, then you can examine the source to find out how it works. For commercial, binary only OS's, the only option is to read the binary.

    So I'm sorry to say this dude, but you are just plain wrong. I'm not a kernel hacker, but having the kernel code can make all the difference to application development.

    So in this sense, it's not a question of fanaticism - it's a matter of simple convenience. I'm well and truly sick of shoddy M$ documentation, and having to fork out $145 just to ring up "Microsoft technical support" ( a contradiction in terms, if ever there was one ) to find out about something that should be in the documenation but isn't.
  • Posted by AnnoyingMouseCoward:

    Re-read my posting *jerk*. I clearly state that source code availablility is important to *application* *developers*, not *end* *users*.

    Please ensure that your brain is switched on before you open your mouth, *jerk*.

    In this respect, it's obvious to me that you arn't a programmer, otherwise you would know the difference. In which case - what the hell are you doing hanging out at a site devoted to programming issues?

    Normally, I don't get so teed of at non-programmers, since many of them do a lot of *very* useful work by testing and documenting the code that people like me write. In your case though, I'm prepared to make an exception.

    Now go back to kindergarteen and learn to read *moron*.
  • Posted by retroman:

    Well, for example that KPPP won't run at anything higher than 9600 BPS on a FreeBSD mine. ;)
  • Posted by Wayne Steele:

    EXACTLY! I do NOT want to see computing come down to any single platform. Consumer choice and fair competition are what drive innovation. Microsoft is a perfect example of what happens when anyone gets too much of the market.

    A future example might be Red Hat. Heck I already see gripes about this company getting too much of the Linux pie.
  • Posted by Wayne Steele:

    My company started an ISP about three years ago. It was an all-NT setup and was extremely easy to get going.

    However, six months into operations, we began to grow rapidly and soon found NT to be completely unscalable and extremely unstable. We had to do things like reboot systems on a regular basis just to keep essential services like DNS and RAS responding.

    The final straw came when RAS refused to start one day and we attempted to remove and re-install the RAS service. When we got to the final "You must now reboot your computer for changes to take effect" dialog, the system rebooted and NEVER got past the initial blue screen.

    After several wasted hours trying to restore this server to an operational state, I grabbed a Red Hat CD and never looked back. We've been 100% Linux for nearly two years and have had ZERO trouble. It was a pain to get everything working correctly, but now we have a system we can depend on.
  • Posted by Wayne Steele:

    It takes time for an OS to get a lot of hardware support and a lot of applications. Linux had the exact same problem early in its life.

    Fortunately, there were enough people brave enough to work with the system despite these shortcomings. Now Linux is a very viable alternative.

    BeOS will be one as well. Just be patient.
  • Posted by Wayne Steele:

    Isn't it amazing how two people can have completely different experiences with something?

    For me, BeOS has been every bit as stable as Linux. I have a couple of flakey apps which bite the dust on an all-too-frequent basis, but the OS has never crashed on me, not even while developing code. IMO, Windows isn't even in the same league.

    As for your comment about paying $400 to become a developer, that is simply false. The OS comes complete with tools, headers, sample code, and full documentation for the entire API. It is possible to write 100% BeOS-native applications from day one without spending one extra dime.
  • Posted by Wayne Steele:

    Gassee singled-out Linux and BeOS because those are the ones Microsoft keeps pointing to as competitors.

    The crux of his challenge was to show that there can be no real competition for Microsoft from ANYONE as long as all the channels are closed.
  • Regarding G3's (PPC 750s), i ASSUME you know why Be has not ported BeOS to it. If not, read: tml

    Be is not the bitch of intel either, but it IS in their interest to write for highly-used platforms like x86. You dont HAVE to use intel chips either...use AMD or Cyrix if you want.

    There is no demand for BeOS on Alpha...if there was large enough demand, Be would probably port to it...they dont have unlimited resources, you know...they are currently spending a great deal of time trying to support more hardware devices.

    There IS hope regarding BeOS on PPC, if you visit

    you can check it out. However, again the demand for these other systems are not very large at all, and Be IS a corporation, and needs to maske money.

    Oh well, i'm still waiting to my BeOS package to great side by side with Linux.
  • Did you read NOTHING that engineer wrote? its all about resources and profit and revenue! sheesh
  • If they the OEM's refuse, MS could easily claim it's just because Windows is in demand, and that they are not forcing anything.
  • I don't know that they are worse than MS but they are in the same league (as is any other for-profit software house)

    Be isn't ready for primetime, not to offend anybody but it doesn't have that many apps. It won't run on much hardware. When you raise that issue, the classical response is that Be is still at the geek level and it is pre-1.0. I agree with that, it is pre-1.0, so why then is Be trying to ride on the linux hype or even suggesting preloads? To make a buck. I don't remember ever seeing beta copies of windows preloaded.

    The developers network is another prime example, after I forked over my hard earned money for the OS and the compiler (which didn't even have a debugger and didn't have a java VM like they had hinted on the website) I find out I'm expected to pay money to be treated like a real developer?!? I was a little angered by that and the response was that Be is still early in the game, it's for the 'hardcore' fans now.

    Be has promise, but they have more than enough hype to go around and this is just another stunt by them to try and make some bucks. No different than anything MS would do.

  • My point was that you don't get anything for free as a developer. The claim was that developers got free upgrades, etc.. they don't. It's not a terrible deal but it's still a ot more than linux.
  • The problem with software is that it is viewed a lot like music is - you don't "own" a song when you buy a CD single - though you can sell/swap/trade cd's at will, you can't reproduce them legally.

    Is this morally wrong, as RMS assumes with software? Software is a different beast, but it shared the "intangible" nature of songwriting.

    Open source probably is a better way to handle things, but until the value of people's intellectual property is ably compensated under an open source lincence, it's not going to be viable for large segments of the industry.

    The GPL is a good start - it ensures freedom - but it doesn't ensure an artist's right to LARGE AMOUNTS of compensation when people will pay for it - i.e. you're expected to charge a "modest" fee for redistribution of your software - not charge $15k. Furthermore, unlimited reproduction is also not a feasible assumption in today's business environment. I think that the main benefit of open source is the freedom to hack & to share IDEAS - not necessarily "free beer" - i.e. exploiting the work of others without due compensation.

  • Brett Glass writes:

    Unfortunately, the destruction of commercial software, commercial markets, and job opportunities is what the GPL was designed to do.

    Not quite. The destruction of proprietary software and its market has been the design goal of the GPL from the start. This stems from the conviction that it is immoral to prevent people from understanding, improving and sharing their property.

    The insight that free software has a potential to be technically superior because of the peer review process and because it attracts highly self-motivated talented programmers came much later. For RMS this is irrelevant, for others who followed him it isn't.

    I agree with your point that ESR deceives businesses when he stresses the latter advantage without mentioning the original motive for the GPL. However, deceiving is what marketing is all about.


  • I don't have the know-how to fix my car if the engine breaks down either so therefore noone else should have the access to the engine. Leave it to the car makers to fix everything.

    'Nobody will look under the hood when their brakes don't work'.

  • Although this will sound like Flame Bait, BeOS is just as bad if not worse than anything Microsoft could come up with. Ever tried it? I just got R4 in the mail a month ago, and was overly disappointed. It has many problems, more bugs than Windows (and a hell of a lot more unstable). Although it was an actually release for sale (99 dollars is its retail value), it acted like beta software. Yes, it is an alternative. Yes, it does do neat stuff. Yes, its multimedia abilities do smack the bejesus (no pun intended), but it has a lot of flaws. Want to develope for Be? 400 dollars is the going rate i belive. A friend of mine was coding a bunch of its sound system applications, guess what? All of a sudden he had to PAY to make applications being bundled with the OS, and he wouldn't get any support from the company either (ie: docs and info on the core). I don't really see the point in bundling at least BeOS, other than maybe proving a point for Microsoft, as 98/NT are more stable, reliable, and feature filled than Be. Maybe once Be stops with the insane developer fees and maybe gets a descent system out of it, sure, it'll be great to ship out... Until then its futile.
  • First of all, it's not bloat. It's functionality. Strip RH (or Slackware or whatever) down to the features set of the early releases and it gets much smaller. What I consider a complete winNT install takes way more space -- because it includes OS, webserver, ftp server, and VC5 (the compiler, webserver, ftpserver, mailserver, etc are all free and bundled with a typical Linux distro). And upgrades to the Linux kernel don't count as bloat if the new one's faster! :)

    Yes it's complex. Yes that's an issue. But M$ hasn't shown they know how to manage this any better (I don't see why they should be able to) -- I constantly fix MS idiocy on my friends' and relatives' computers as the machine completely dies or loses a modem or a HD or whatever by random chance. Ordinary users are lost on Win95 w/o a techie to coax the thing back into semi-workingness.

    Yes, constant updates to Linux are an issue. So you skip the ones you don't need, i.e. I don't worry about apache updates cos I don't run apache now. The reason the updates are constant is cos the OS is _improving_ instead of stagnating. Only real nuts manage to get the absolute latest version of _everything_. BTW I think a good package manage (a la Debian, RH) makes things much easier but some still prefer compiling and installing their own tarballs.

    When I first installed Slackware (many years ago) I didn't try it on my own, and I'm glad I didn't. I wouldn't want to try to figure out Linux w/o a guru available, but the distro's these days (with a few intentional exceptions) are very easy to set up and get working, eg. RH, SuSE, Caldera. I'm inclined to say the poor fellow who never got his Linux working took a poor approach to it. It's just not that hard. No it's not obvious -- so don't try it alone.

    My redhat install takes 300megs. I consider that pretty tight considering how much garbage total I have on my computer :)
  • I have tried to figure this out for the past several months and failed. Ok, I'll admit my ignorance here and ask ...

    What the hell is so great about BE??

    I don't get it. Yeah, it's an alternative to MS, apple, etc. but I don't see any features that make me want to "trade up" to it or anything.

    would some kind soul please clue me in here!


  • I guess my rant is this... is BeOS making this challenge to place itself in the same media hype that Linux is in or is it truely a challenge against Microsoft?!

    It's truly a challenge to Microsoft. In the DOJ trial, Microsoft has consistently listed BeOS and Linux as competitors that could take the market away from Windows (and completely ignored the other OSes you listed). Gassee was a little upset at this - see his Another Bedtime Story [] article from the Be newsletter. I'll bet he's doing this to show that the BeOS and Linux can't compete with Microsoft, because even for free no OEM will preload either of them. And if one does bundle the BeOS, than it's to his benefit.


  • Thank you for saying it. It's past time that people realize that what's good for the computer industry at large is good for all of us too.

  • I for one am happy to see Be willing to give out Be for free to OEMs, if for no other reason to to increase mindshare. Be has gained alot of press lately, and I really think they have been helped out by it.

    But what I am even more happy about is the hopes that this effort by be will make the respect between Be users and Linux users rock solid. What is good for Linux is good for Be. And what is good for Be, is good for Linux. It looks like this is going to go a long way towards helping people realize that. The battle is over choice, not a my OS is better then yours. I could care less what you think the best OS is, I just want the chance to choose my own.

  • > The fact that I have access to the Linux
    > source code makes no difference to me.

    You are a fool if you think this. The fact that you do not personally hack the kernel does not imply that having access to it means nothing to you. If Linux weren't free software, I'd say it would be considerably less complete and (sorry Linus) considerably more buggy. And you therefore probably wouldn't be running it.

    Try to think about what you're saying before you say it, people.
    Kyle R. Rose, MIT LCS
  • Are you truly so deluded that you think Apple is outside its rights in not supplying some sort of information to Be?

    Be is abandoning PowerPC support for their own reasons - probably having something to do with their being invested in by Intel. Apple may not be giving them tons of specs anymore (note that they have cut all sorts of 'other' wasteful spending in the last couple of years), but all Be needs is located in the LinuxPPC and MkLinux source code.

    How come LinuxPPC and MkLinux have no problems with Apple?

    - Darchmare
    - Axis Mutatis,
  • Intel owns part of Be, right? So basically Be will not run on PowerPC G3.


    We've been over this before. BeOS doesn't run on G3 Macs because Apple won't cough up the specs for their motherboards. Apple has had this bug up their butt about releasing specs ever since the first Mac hit the shelves. While it's nice that LinuxPPC works, I can practically guarantee you that Apple will break it on the new G4 systems when they fiddle with the motherboard design again. Reverse-engineering is extremely time-consuming, and we just can't spare the people.

    If Apple is truly interested in seeing BeOS run on their systems, they know where to find us.

    I predict that in the future BeOS will NEVER run on Alpha, [ ... ]

    We would love to see what BeOS could do on an MP Alpha system. But the fact is that such a port would require a gargantuan engineering effort, and Digital/Compaq have not made the request (so far as I know). There are only 80 of us, and it's taking all our efforts just to keep Intel and PowerPC moving forward.

    At the risk of appearing like a PR flak, our resources are so limited that we have to direct them where we feel they will achieve the best returns. Right now, for better or worse, that direction is Intel-based platforms.

    If Be would shift it's focus to it's customers and developers, instead of it's masters at Intel, I might care, [ ... ]

    But that's exactly what we did do. Our customers told us, "It looks like it could be really nice, but I'm not willing to buy a new PowerPC-based machine just to try it out." Our developers told us, "Nice system, but it's hard for us to stay in business. Can you do anything to expand the potential market?" So we ported to Intel. And we made it co-exist with Windows. Thus, you can try it out at very little expense and risk.

    Intel is simply an investor. They are our "masters" to the extent that any shareholder is our master. They occasionally help us out (like they did with the Pentium-III), and for that we are grateful.

    I'd personally love for a modern CPU architecture to start gaining market share. I have managed to earn a living for the last 20 years avoiding the PC architecture. I came from the land of the MC68000, the ARM, and the PowerPC as well (via Amiga and 3DO). So when I joined Be and cracked open a book on the Intel Pentium for the first time just last year, I was appalled. "Only eight registers?!? A 'stack-based' FPU? No pc-relative addressing?!? What the heck is this, a 6502?"

    We are fully aware of the vagaries of the Intel architecture, and all that implies. Believe me, we know. When it becomes possible for us to support a more modern architecture and stay in business, it will be a happy day for us all.

    Disclaimer: I am an employee of Be, Inc.

    Further Disclaimer: I am a lowly graphics device driver engineer, am not an official -- or even unofficial -- spokesperson, and my views are entirely my own, and should not be construed as the Officially Sanctioned Position of Be, Inc. I'm just foaming at the mouth here...


  • It's fast as hell.

    from POST to GUI in about 8-12 seconds.

    the browser is lightning fast (altho lacking javascript support)

    everything on it is fast as shit including it's free NAT which is faster than IpMasq on linux :P
  • Ask them these questions instead and see what happens:

    Do you stability?
    Do you flexibility?
    Do you want affordability?

    What about the questions

    "Do you want usability?"
    "Do you want to play games?"
    "Do you want ample hardware support?"
  • Good on 'im, but what does this 'chalenge' say about BeOS's claim to be a 'niche' OS and not a competitor? I for one think it would be a waste for them *not* to compete as BeOS is the best client-side OS I've seen. Even with KDE, 'easy' dists, etc. I can't see Linux becoming the standard among those who aren't and have no interest in becoming even a little computer savvy. But with BeOS ont he client side and Linux/*BSD running the servers, for the first time I can see a world w/o Microsoft! And best of all, that world could be made without all this DoJ crap. If BeOS and co. Can just get one foot in the door, then *maybe* the fact that they're superior will give them the sway they need once people see what they are.

    Anyway, maybe I'm just being naiive.
  • You know, some people use computers as tools. You and I use them as a tool, a hobby, life. But many who have far more knowlege than any of us in some other field still have need of a computer if only for word processing, net access, whatever. Most of them haven't the slightest inclination (and why should they?)to deal with setting up PPP in Linux when for them it's worth using Windows to be able to just click on 'make new connection' and be done with it. Just because someone prefers user friendliness to geek-appeal doesn't make them stupid. That's why BeOS would be great for end users (notice that I'm not talking about them adminning a netword or anything). It's stable, fast AND (let's face it) a lot easier to use than *nix.
  • "They've taken what already existed, improved upon it in most cases, and released it freely."

    Exactly! The FSF has spent the last 15 years creating the core of a free "UNIX"; forming a free foundation for later generations to build on.
    In another 15 years they will be legends :)
  • You should'nt forget those people that actually buy a Macintosh from Apple because it HAS the MacOS preinstalled/bundled....

    I did, and I'm happy with it.

  • It's not quite as simple as Gassee puts it; there are other costs, not the least of which is tech support. It would probably cut badly into the (already slim) margins of most of these companies to ship a variety of operating systems. A better test, I think, is whether they will ship computers with no operating system at all, and not divert one red cent from that sale to Microsoft's coffers.
  • Makes me feel a little better 'bout the whole intel thing.
  • Ahhh, the Amiga. The Workbench is basically an ultra stripped down single-user version of UNIX with an intergrated GUI and absolutely AWESOME hardware to back it up (for the time anyway.)

    But of course people just purchased PCs instead and used DOS and were impressed when EGA came out. Sigh.
  • This is off-topic as such, but...

    Take a look at the source to their pages, if you're really masochistic. Aaaugh, could you make something more hideous and bloated if you tried? They serve 69 lines (2.5K) of one actual article in 55K...

    Remind me never to go to zdnet again. I'm gonna go vomit repeatedly now for their sins against HTML.

  • I think that between motorola's G3 docs [], apple's hardware technotes, diagrams, and pinouts [], open firmware, and the fact that G3 isn't an entirely new computing paradigm, that Be could support it, with little cost, if they wanted to. I mean, it's not like the G3 is some crazy new CPU with all sorts of kooky features, it's just a 603 with some fast cache. And Apple's desktop G3s aren't terribly different from any of their other computers either.

    That being said, I also think Jobs doesn't like Gasse.

  • Ever considered that? I had a little trouble getting linux up but it runs fine for me and never does all these things. But hey, your typing style is perfect for NT and not Linux. Clickey, clickey the mouse!

    Ex Machina "From the Machine" []
  • I'm not a computer programmer or a network administrator and I don't intend to be. My love is biochemistry and molecular biology, and that's what I'll be doing with my life. I do like computers and I like messing around with Linux, but it requires far too many hours to tweak it to the point where it's as functional as my Windows 95 partition. When that effort starts to cut into the time I could use for studying, I know Linux isn't really worth it. I'll keep playing with it because the journey is as much fun as the destination, but other people are allowed to entertain themselves in other ways.
    I'm not about to let myself fail any classes just so I can spend more time on Linux to prove I have a brain. And I hope you can see the irony in doing so.
  • The developer does lose, because any improvements to the software after being taken "under the covers" do not make their way back to the original codebase.
  • Not that I would to sound presomptuous, but have you ever thought of going to school and learning how to write? Also, please note that only schoolchildren and fools think that the use of swearwords make them look stronger or more competent.
  • You are absolutely right in saying that tinkering with configuration, reinstallations and the like should not suck one's time.

    Sadly for me, I am computer-savvy and know several non-computer-savvy people that run Windows 95. As a consequence, I'm frequently asked to repair their computers.

    Windows 95 is an user-friendly OS... as long as nothing goes wrong. As soon as there is a little problem, it can drive you into pure Kafka.

    For instance: Windows 95 can detect a peripheral and DEMAND that you introduce the CD-Rom for the drivers BEFORE it has detected the CD-Rom drive and has installed the drivers for it

    For instance: I had to reinstall Windows 95 on my mother's computer because she had installed the driver for her printer off-site (ie without the printer connected). After we connected the printer, the system would DEMAND that we give it some weirdo file, then hung.

    Repairing 95 on other people's computers can suck a significant part of my time (repairing my mother's means spending the week-end there).

    I'm not the only person with such problems: a friend of mine spent half the afternoon with his father, then his father-in-law, each having trouble with this supposedly "user-friendly" OS.

    Let's face it: Windows 95 is unusable by a non-computer-savvy user, as soon as there is the faintest trouble. The online help is designed for idiots (ex: you have printing problems, all it tells you is to check whether the printer is on...) - my mother, being a totally nontechnical person, has become allergic to it since it doesn't address any real problem. There are tons of undocumented things to know to repair anything.
  • With kpackage, install a RPM is easy. Anyway, rpm -i is far more easier than installing a MS-DOS application (remember, DOS and its brain-damaged memory setups?), and DOS used to be popular...

    What I think is badly designed is default configurations. Things like:
    - autofs should be used by default for Zip, CD-Rom and floppy;
    - KDE should be default, using kdm for login;
    - kpackage should ask for the root password when wanting to install something when non-root.

  • Wow. This is simply amazing to me, he's really strapping them on. Nice to see that Linux users aren't the only passionate people around.

    Where can I pick up a copy of Be? It would probably be worth it just to support their efforts.
  • I, for one have, a different view of this comment. I do not like it. Although BeOS is an excellent operating system, it is not in the same league as Linux. The main reason, BeOS is not Open Source nor is it free.

    My question is this: Why not say Solaris, SCO, OS/2, BSD or any of the other excellent operating systems that are out on the market. They are all great systems and commercial, just like BeOS. SCO and Solaris have a non-commercial free version (Pay for media). BSD has FreeBSD. OS/2 is around the same price as BeOS.

    I guess my rant is this... is BeOS making this challenge to place itself in the same media hype that Linux is in or is it truely a challenge against Microsoft?! Are they also challenging Apple to do the same?

    "If Microsoft were to vanish, who would we hate next?"

  • You are right, Apple is not an OEM. Apple is also not giving users a choice of operating systems. You can't buy a Mac without the Apple System OS. I know this... I own 2. I also purchased BeOS separatley, yet I HAD to pay for MacOS when I purchased my Mac. I was not given a choice, nor could I buy the Mac without the OS.

    Why should apple be excluded? This is about the users having a choice not the computer manufacturers!

    "Apple is perfectly within their rights to ship their own OS on their own hardware'. Hmmm... Let's examine this statement. Dell, Compaq and Gateway make their own hardware, so they must have the right to ship whatever OS they want with their systems?! NO! I do not want to pay for an OS I do not want. Be it MacOS, Windows, OS/2 or whatever. It is MY money and I will spend it on what I want!

    If you really think that MacOS is free with your Mac, guess again!

    "Ignorance make the world go round. Ignorant People make my head spin"
  • > I'd really like to try Be, since they now have experimental drivers for my TNT card, but if I have to pay another $25 to buy R5, I'll just wait for R5 to buy it! I'm not going to start shelling out $25 every four months just to get improved drivers and bug fixes that should be free with a commercial OS.

    As was noted above, "improved drivers and bug fixes" ARE free with BeOS, in the form of the minor releases (R4.1, etc). R5 will include significant new functionality, which will no doubt be well worth your $25.

    And from what I've heard, even the experimental TNT drivers are quite stable now.
  • > Even if you could buy a Linux or Be machine at Best Buy or CompUSA - who's going to tell the clueless newbies that none of the software sold at their store will run on your new machine.

    Nobody will need to tell them that. Gassee was suggesting that OEMs bundle BeOS *with* Windows. The computers will therefore run all Windows software. The same thing can be done with Linux.
  • > Although this will sound like Flame Bait

    It sure does... I hope it's not just a troll.

    >BeOS is just as bad if not worse than anything Microsoft could come up with. Ever tried it?

    Yep, I use it every day, and I haven't been this impressed with an operating system since AmigaOS back in the '80s. (and yes, I have used most of the popular OS's out there)

    >I just got R4 in the mail a month ago, and was overly disappointed. It has many problems, more bugs than Windows (and a hell of a lot more unstable).

    Your experience is completely different from mine, then. I've seen some applications crash, but the system itself is more stable than all but a few OS's I've used. The only real problem I see is lack of apps.

    >Although it was an actually release for sale (99 dollars is its retail value), it acted like beta software.

    Perhaps there was a hardware problem/incompatibility with your machine. It doesn't act at all "beta" on my machine. Maybe someday you'll get a chance to try it on different hardware, and it'll work better for you then.

    >Want to develop for Be? 400 dollars is the going rate i belive.

    Now THIS is completely false. All you have to do to develop for be is buy the friggin' OS! The compiler is there, the include files are there, the documentation is there. It even comes with a nice IDE. If you're referring to their developer program, that's free too (at the "Enthusiast" level). Sure, you can pay if you want extra support, etc, but it's hardly required (or even IMHO the least bit necessary--since their APIs are so easy to use)
  • While reading Slashdot every day might make one think otherwise, I'd be surprised if even 1% of those who order from companies like Dell, Gateway, and Compaq request Linux, never mind the more obscure Be. Consequently, it's not in vendors' best interests to expend the money on training and hiring that preinstallation, configuration, and support of these OSs would necessitate.

    While I'd love to be able to buy the latest dream machine from Dell w/Linux and Be installed and set up on it, I think a more feasable request would be to ask vendors to ship computers without any OS preinstalled and without charging the customer for the non-existent Windows software. That not only would make some of the alternative OS crowd happier, but would actually be a more direct demonstration of the relationship between OEMs and MS: if it's all good, what problem should they have selling "naked" systems? (Though I wish it weren't under the cloud of an antitrust trial. :P)

  • Typo! Try this link :)

    perl bindings []

    These are really good for simple apps. Sys admins will love this stuff!

  • You're right... however...
    The real problem is these people who, without the basis of knowledge, proclaim themselves patron saints of technology. (not to say that dogbert isn't qualified... :) )
    A prime example is my (former) high school computer programming teacher, who has said such remakably stupid comments as: (paraphrasing)
    "Windows is what the computer uses to load the hard drive", then goes on to "teach" students the single correct way to program. If a completed example didn't follow the exact format that she expected, down to the detail of comment style, the assignment would have to be repeated.
    In fact, the only way the students really interested in the computers were able to get by, was to create programs went over the teacher's head (not difficult), and watch the teacher nod, and hide any evidence of incompetence.
  • Awesome!... I'd love to see people like IBM, Compaq and Dell take advantage of this!... Go Be! Go Gassee!

  • You are an angry angry person
  • Well, it seems that Apple's sales tactic is to sell the OS bundled with the PC; yes, if they so wished to could sell with LinuxPPC installed, but it's not their OS and it's not their support problem.

    On the other hand, it's like demanding VAR research install Win9X on their systems when you buy from them, no?

  • No. Unwillingness to do so would show that there is so little demand for a non windows pc that it wouldn't be worth their while.

    Remember: only 85 people turned up to get their money back from microsoft, even though the event has worldwide publicity.

    The truth hurts.

  • Hi, I'm an owner of a small OEM who has been making the choice available to the enduser about which OS or combo of OS's are installed on the system. When I saw the article about Gasse telling OEM's to install the OS for "free" I thought hmm, does that mean I'm supposed to buy the OS for 30 to 70 bucks and give it away with the system, That only work with Linux if you have something that doesn't cost you anything to start with. If Linux is going to be installed on the system, I actually advise endusers that they might really prefer to get a commericial distribution to get the book, cd's and extra applications included with these distributions. Most endusers agree. OEM's really can't afford to include software for no cost when they pay for the software, being that the profit marging on hardware seems to be disapearing. If you give something away for free that costs something, you have to make up the profit somehow, or be prepared to lose lots of money.
    Anyway, I emailed Be the question, "Are they prepared to give out free copys of their OS to enable OEM's to ship Be free with the system?" If anybody is interested in this question, I'll post their response (if any) to /..
  • "
    Mr. Moreen,

    We're in the process of formulating the specifics of the challenge. Can you
    check back later this week?

    In the meantime I'm sending you a "reseller kit" containing a free BeOS and
    a video for you to evaluate.


    Dave Johnson

    Dave Johnson
    Sales Manager, Retail Channels
    Be, Inc.

    > >Attn Jean Luise Gasse
    > >
    > >Ok, I'm an OEM, and Mr. Gasse wants me to have an optional install of
    > Be
    > >for free on my system. Exactly what price am I buying the Beos for
    > these
    > >machines. If I am to install Beos for free, and support the os for
    > free
    > >(generally assumed by endusers that this is the way to go) then will
    > you
    > >let me get the OS for free? BTW, Linux is already an option on my
    > machines.
    > >I'll either set up Linux as the sole machine or have the machine dual
    > boot
    > >into windows and Linux.
    > >
    > >Doug Moreen
    > >Silicon Mountain Technologies
    > >814 Priscilla Way
    > >Hamilton, MT 59840
    > >
    > >
    > >

  • If you follow Gasse's comments on the weekly Be Developer letter, you'll find that Gasse isn't completely turned away from the open source market. He just wants the first version to be solid and have some momentum toward his visions of an OS.

    I wouldn't be surprised if BeOS went the way of Mozilla (open source, but still own sourced) shortly after the first public release.

  • Dell ""Dell can and does accommodate such requests [for PCs without Windows preinstalled] when doing so is worthwhile to the customer."

    What kinda crap is this?

Given its constituency, the only thing I expect to be "open" about [the Open Software Foundation] is its mouth. -- John Gilmore