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Be

Be on the G4 150

adraken writes "Jean-Louis Gassée of Be Inc. talks about the recent release of IBM's PPC motherboard specs, the G4, and what BeOS will do about it in Be Inc.'s latest newsletter."
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Be on the G4

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  • "It seems to me this guy obfuscates every issue he comes in contact with."

    It seems to me you don't read many of his
    articles. I felt this article was a pretty nice
    way of saying, "We will not support PPC much
    longer... unless things change dramatically."

    Can you provide some more articles where you feel
    he's waffling? Or are you just trolling?

    "Why doesnt he just say: we dont think this will sell enough more copies of BeOS to make developing for the g4 platform cost-effective."

    Uhhh, because that's not the truth? Gassee would
    like nothing better than to be able and target
    BeOS at the large number of designers on G*
    hardware. They need the specs to do that. It's not
    like it's a huge change to the kernel, but they
    DO need the info to do it.

    They can't use the Linux info without open-sourcing their own kernel because of the GPL.
    There are legal questions regarding reverse engineering. Apple has been on a legal rampage
    lately, and court cases cost LOTS of money whether
    you're right or wrong in the case. They also bring
    bad publicity.

    It's not worth it. It's not about not being able
    to sell enough copies to people with G* systems,
    it's whether it's worth the risk for a platform
    that is obviously going to be a lot of trouble to
    work with now and in the future.

    -WW

    --
    Why are there so many Unix-using Star Trek fans?
    When was the last time Picard said, "Computer, bring
  • Spoken by someone who's never even used the OS.

    I guess Linux was a never has-been when it first
    started? Same thing with DOS? Apple?

    It's called a *NEW OPERATING SYSTEM*. Deal with it.

    -WW

    --
    Why are there so many Unix-using Star Trek fans?
    When was the last time Picard said, "Computer, bring
  • Why bother with the Merced? Just compare it to the
    Athlon, which is out and kicking Intel/Apple ass
    NOW.

    Gee Apple, did you forget the Athlon comparison
    charts in your press releases and ticker tape
    parades?

    -WW

    --
    Why are there so many Unix-using Star Trek fans?
    When was the last time Picard said, "Computer, bring
  • "Get real...300MHz is 300MHz no matter what."

    What planet are you from? So you're telling me that that overclocked 700mhz Celeron is going to stomp a 500mhz K7 in 3D? No, it will choke, because of Cache and FP performance defecits.

    Mhz is a measure of processor performance, but not the only one. If you know anything about hardware, you'd know that instruction set efficiency is as important as anything else, and the PPC instruction set is far more efficient than that of the x86 series, thus allowing it to perform the same number or more tasks as the x86 at lower clock speeds.

    Yes, the K7 may narrowly beat the G4 SpecInt and SpecFP, but once altivec is taken into account, forget it -- the K7 is toast. Besides, I don't think we're going to see PIII or K7 notebooks any day soon...

    Here's the link:

    http://www.mackido.com/Hardware/AltiVecVsKNI.html [mackido.com]

    Enjoy.

  • If you want to get even more pedantic, I could say that the 050 (or 68050) came out before the 68040 and was either not a CPU (maybe an embedded controller) or was a very early 68k processor.

    The 68060 was used in Amigas, as well as certain embedded devices but not the Mac. If memory recalls it clocked up to 80Mhz or so, tops.
  • by mcc ( 14761 ) <amcclure@purdue.edu> on Sunday September 05, 1999 @07:43AM (#1702334) Homepage
    "Some have suggested that we look into the Linux sources for such data. Perhaps, but I see little reason to open ourselves to possible accusations of reverse-engineering. We're welcome on x-86 hardware, we're not welcome on Apple G3/G4. We respect the logic and that settles it for us. "

    "Accusations of reverse-engineering?"
    Ignoring for a second whether it is logically _possible_ to reverse-engineer linux, who would accuse them of anything, and what bad could possibly come out of it? As long as you aren't actually reusing code, i don't see any way they could violate the rights of a GPLed program.

    What if they just had one engineer read the linuxppc kernel source, write down everything you have to do to work on a G3 chipset, pass that information to another couple of engineers and have them put that into Be? They wouldn't be copying any code, so it would be perfectly legal. Does it even have to be that complicated?
    I could understand if Be just wasn't comfortable getting information on the G3 chipset from a secondhand source, but that's not what they say the problem is.

    Hell- forget linux, what about NetBSD? or Darwin? They could just take that code and it would be legal, wouldn't it? Is there anything in the ASPL that would at all limit Be's usage of code from Darwin?

    I just wish it was possible to get more than one side of this story. All that we have to go on is what Be says, and while it sounds like it's probably true, i'm not certain how difficult it would really be for Be to work out the G3 if they wanted to. And maybe apple just has better things to do than provide tech support to Be?
    -mcc-baka

    INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY IS THEFT

  • some people just want the status quo and are scared of anything new which requires them to take some risks
  • Be had problems with the GPL before and the linux community raised a big stint about it. I don't think Be wants to even bother with the ASPL because they'd need a bunch of lawyers just to make sure that Apple wouldn't take them to court (they probably would just like they did with e-machines). NetBSD? sounds like a good point there
  • that's right-they made a choice to go with ppc instead of pentium in the beginning.
  • Wow ;) What a concept, a company creates a product and refuses to show how it did so because it wants to be reimbursed for it's effors. I suppose we should also boycott non open source videogames? What's next? Cars? Planes? "Sir this soup isn't open source, I'd like something on the GNU menu"
  • There were two types of DX?/100. The DX3, 33Mhz * 3 = 99Mhz + 1MarketingHz and the DX4, 25Mhz * 4 = 100Mhz.

    Um, no. There was only one - the DX4/100, which was actually a tripled chip. The reason behind it was because Intel wanted to keep trademark and did it to throw off the court by somehow indicating that the number after DX had nothing to do with the speed multiplier.

  • Be doesn't *seem* to have changed much from the IPO, but in this little expository, Gassee is demonstrating his prowess at writing a whole lot while saying almost nothing (a corporate talent if I've ever seen one). Just about everyone's heard why Be doesn't/can't/won't support Apple's G3 machines; that's all been covered before. The big questions is... if a sizeable manufacturer starts making PPC machines based on the newly released stuff from IBM, will Be support it or not? And we've gotten *no* word on the answer to that. Come on, Be! A yes, a no, or a strong maybe... anything would be preferable to "no comment."

    Slarty
  • Here is an idea. How 'bout the fact that PC and Mac based Unixs still do didly for media. BeOS has a lot of support in the media department and thus is a direct competitor to MacOS. Face it, except for hardware and software support, BeOS can do everything MacOS can do except better. Linux can't hold a candle to MacOS in the media depertment, but BeOS can, and thus threatens Apple. By supporting Linux, Apple gets its machines into servers and gets to have the media hype of Linux, but does not lose anything because Linux can not compete with MacOS.
  • Actually the G3s are faster at the same MHz for INTEGER MATH. But the G3 is based on the pile 'o shit 603e processor and has a floating point unit
    "whose math skills are so poor it must have come out of an urban high school" to put it in the word of boot. (So the quote was used in referance to a K6, you get the idea) In Quake, Inspire3D, rendering, and other benchmarks such as SPEC, the x86 is much faster. But face it integer math is plenty fast already. Make that FPU more powerful. Thus a 600MHz PIII is much faster than the fastest G3 even for integer (higher clock speed), not to mention that all the high performance hardware is made for x86 and since they are cheaper, you can afford more RAM/HD on the x86 machine. However, the G4 is based on the 604 and can whoop any x86 any day of the week.
  • I work in an environment with a lot of macs around. It would be nice to get some Be. But, once again it seems the problem is Apple's insistance on proprietary, difficult to upgrade, essentially 3 year disposable computers. It is unfortunate, really.
    -- Moondog
  • "We're welcome on x-86 hardware, we're not welcome on Apple G3/G4. We respect the logic and that settles it for us."

    That sounds like "No" to me. It is at the very end of the article.

    Besides, who in their right mind would follow IBM when it comes to anything PC related? IMHO IBM never seems to get things right. Great ideas that go nowhere.
  • It seems to me this guy obfuscates every issue he comes in contact with. Why doesnt he just say: we dont think this will sell enough more copies of BeOS to make developing for the g4 platform cost-effective. Thats the answer.
  • All he did was state that they weren't "welcome" on Apple computers. That is wholly irrelevent here. What he was supposedly answering was the question about whether Be was going to embrace the emerging indie PowerPC boards. Notice, these will *not* be made by Apple, and won't even be Mac-compatible clones. Thus, Apple is not involved one bit.

    His statement really said nothing at all. He simply reiterated their reasons for not supporting the Mac platform. Those reasons have no bearing on the emerging "no name" PPC market, however. He was hoping that we would forget the question somewhere in the middle of his apparent muddling about x86 and SGI.

    It sounds like Be just doesn't want to be on PowerPC anymore. I'm still hoping for a Linux PPC explosion, though.

    --Lenny
  • How do you figure? I work in a Mac environment also. I work on the latest G3 at the moment, yet we have very old Macs still chugging along here...we even have an old IIci working on the job.

    We never throw anything away. Also, could you please clarify for me how difficult to upgrade the Blue and White G3's are? You mean upgrade cards to G4's and new video cards and stuff like that DON'T exist? Guess we better cancell our order for all that then.
  • What if they just had one engineer read the linuxppc kernel source, write down everything you have to do to work on a G3 chipset, pass that information to another couple of engineers and have them put that into Be?

    What you just described was clean-room reverse engineering TO-THE-LETTER.

  • ---
    As if they had a choice? Correct me if I'm wrong, but they were on PPC *first*, and then ran into
    a dead-end when Apple cut off their access to the
    G* specs.
    ---

    Are you so sure Apple has done this? If so, how come LinuxPPC and Debian support for recent PowerMacs is so good? If Apple has the PowerPC platform by the balls (forgive the term), why have they provided pivotal source code for their upcoming OS (it may not be much, but it's bootable)? Why would they have supported the MkLinux project at all?

    Last but not least, between people buying Macs to run BeOS and those buying PCs to run BeOS, what exactly does Apple have to lose? Hardware is, and always has been, Apple's main source of income. Remember, prior to MacOS 7.X the OS was free (as in beer). They may make some cash off of it now, but it's not their main source of funds.

    MacOS sells PowerPC hardware, not the other way around. If the BeOS can help them in that aim, I doubt Apple would give a damn. Blame Be and their new investors.

    - Darchmare
    - Axis Mutatis, http://www.axismutatis.net
  • yes. so?

    does the GPL say there's anything wrong with that?
  • Intel is a *huge* investor in Be.

    End of story.

    With all of the specs, etc being out there in the open, nothing is really stoping Be from going for the gusto....except...

    Intel is a *huge* investor (HUGE) in Be.

    -K
  • Well said.

    I've been waiting a longtime here in slashdot for a POSITIVE comment regarding Be.

    Just between you and me (already enough wars) I'd say Be is far more appropriate for the desktop than Linux. Linux for the servers, Be for the desktop... Sounds nice to me and coherent too.

    I'd say both OS could (should!) learn a lot from each other in terms of development, hence giving an even better choice to the end user.

    Just a 3am opinion.
  • Be isn't worried about "accusations of reverse engineering" regarding Linux or BSD - they are worried that Apple will drag them into court for reverse-engineering Apple hardware. This has nothing to do with the GPL, BSD, APSL or any other sort of license, it has to do with Apple's well-documented belief that they own their hardware even after they've sold it and intend to exert control over what is done with it by the buyer. It is my personal belief that this sort of thing has no legal standing - hardware isn't subject to the same licensing nonsense that software is, but when big corporations like Apple are involved, little guys can be bankrupted in court even if they are in the right. I can definitely sympathize with Be's desire not to piss Apple off. Competing with both Apple and Microsoft is a two-front war. Ouch!

    Tim

  • They're not counting 68k in that...

    Nubus Power Mac's (6100, 7100, and 8100) were 1st generation (601's)
    PCI Power Macs (7200, 7300, 7500, 7600, 8500, 8600, 9500, 9600) were the 2nd Generation (603, 603e, 604, 604e, except the 7200 which still used a 601)
    (quite a lot of model numbers! I'm glad they've pruned them selves down to a basic model/speed
    G3 Power Macs used the PPC 750 chip
    G4 Power Macs will use the PPC 7400 chip
  • Don't think Intel + AMD don't rig their benchmarks too. There are no unbiased benchmarks, because anyone who is going through the trouble (or even has enough knowledge of the processor) will be biased. (though with Photoshop marks, PowerPC processors have long been leaders) How about the /.mark?
  • It should also be ntoed that according to Be's own Financial Disclosure [freeedgar.com] Intel owns 8.43% of Be and has "certain board representation rights" as a result of the arangement that granted the stock.
  • I wonder though, in a theoretical sense. Reverse engineered code would be different enough from the original source code, that it wouldn't accually be covered by the GPL license. Could you then just hand the source code created by the computer from the process of reverse engineering straight to the designers without the clean-room step as it wouldn't be needed seeing as reverse engineering isn't illigal in a GPL license? I could be so wrong about this I'm not even funny. Just asking for comments
  • Strange... then how were NetBSD and LinuxPPC able to get specs to write their products?

    I distinctly remember Apple helping the mkLinux folks out, but not sure if they helped LinuxPPC any.

    I wish I knew the history of these two ports, but I think if anyone would have been sued by Apple, it would be them.

    Unless, of course, Apple doesn't consider tose two projects as a threat because they aren't corporations.

    I wonder what the market shares for LinuxPPC, BeOS, and NetBSD on PowerPC are. It might answer some questions regarding what Apple perceives as a threat. Then again, it might show that BeOS has a _lower_ market share than both free OSes!
  • I've looked on the net, but can't find anywhere that shows that the PII or PIII outperforming the G3 at all.

    Can you provide a link or anything? Or are you just talking out of your ass?
  • I think that if a hardware vendor appeared who would sell systems with those motherboards installed, Be would support them in an instant.

    They've got years of work and many millions invested in the PowerPC, and honestly the PowerPC is just a superior microprocessor.

    They can sell in the x86 market because they can write for a few common motherboard standards and expect them to work on millions of machines. Suppose they did ship a product with G4 support, that wasn't for Apple? Who'd they sell to?

    Mostly people like me, who want to upgrade their PowerPC systems but don't want to buy a new mac because the BeOS won't run on it.

    Because PowerPC users are a very small fraction of the installed base, they wouldn't sell many at all.

    But if somebody sold a supported system, that was BeOS only, or dual booted into Linux or BeOS - bingo!

    So if you want to see BeOS supported on PowerPC in the future, call up your linux hardware vendors and ask them to offer the BeOS as an option on their systems, x86 systems to start, they'll get around to PowerPC eventually.

    People who want to resell the BeOS can obtain a free eval copy and a videotape by faxing their resale license to Be (Americas only; other countries have other arrangements). Find out about this at:

    http://www-classic.be.com/resellers/ [be.com]

    I've been told by a Be executive that the BeOS bundle pricing is "very aggressive". So someone selling a machine with the OS installed would find it easy to profit on it.

    And I've used the BeOS for years now, and I'm very happy with it. It's a dream to install and configure, unlike Linux, which rendered my disk unbootable the last time I tried to install and upgrade, and which took me two weeks to figure out how to change the resolution and refresh rate of my X server.

  • They've already worked that out:

    "Although some technical and political issues remain unresolved, sources said the current barriers are temporary; they assured MacWEEK that an upgrade path will soon be blazed, either by Apple or a third party"

    Yes, there were concerns..but they're being ironed out. It amazes me that everyone thinks in terms of "forever"....like nothing can ever change or be modified.

    The whole article is at:

    http://www.zdnet.com/zdnn/stories/news/0,4586,23 28303,00.html?chkpt=hpqs014


  • I'd say Be is far more appropriate for the desktop than Linux. Linux for the servers, Be for the desktop... Sounds nice to me and coherent too.

    How stable is Be on the desktop? I've heard good things there, but one of the things I really like about Linux (for members of my family who just want a box that WORKS) is essentially zero-administration on their part, and very little on mine.

    If Be can offer something similar, I'll look into it.

    I prefer Linux on my desktop for development. Unlike Slashdot, however, the percentage of developers in the Real World is fairly low, so my opinion isn't terribly useful there.

    --
    QDMerge [rmci.net] 0.21!
  • All available online, as they have been for years and will be for the forseeable future.



    How much of the future is forseeable? A month? A week? A day? A second?



    And who is capable of seeing the future? Wise men? Seers? Be developers? You?





    I don't see it ever happening. Can't say I've never

    been wrong, but this is pretty much a no-brainer. It

    makes no sense to make it difficult to develop apps

    for the platform. I do happen to work for them, so

    I may be a bit biased. I may also be right. *shrug*



    --Brian

  • It is based on hype. Be has no hype, because Be is being quiet. If they made too much noise, people (read: microsoft) might notice them and then they would Be dead. Stock is not a measure of a program - that is a measure of the stock buying publics understanding of a program. Just wait. It will go up. As for multimedia - show me a computer on linux running 10 quick time movies, as well as mixing 16 track audio in real time, WHILE saving the audio to a seperate wave and editing videofiles in realtime with no need to render the video. I have done it on Be using a p3 500. and oh yeah - lets see linux get a 2ns audio latency. Linux has more drivers - but Be has more potential (in that area) Be is not a single user pretty version of linux. It is not UNIX at all. There is no unix. it is POSIX compliant, but is _NOT_ a version of UNIX. is uses the bash shell, but only as default - others can be used. It is not a gui like E or Windows that sits above a seperate OS - linux or dos respectively - it is a GUI system that is inseperable from the shell - the shell is not the base of the os, nor is the GUI. they are intertwined. The gui is no more confusing than any other - it takes a few days to really get used to. Be is a superior OS for the desktop - NOT for servers. Linux is good and stable for servers. But for a user on the desktop who wants to mix some audio, work on some video, or just work in a nice environment, Be is the best choice. and oh yeah, "How did you get to be so stupid?" in the subject line does not really depict you as a person who is rational enough to take seriously. Try being civilized. Your opinion is just that - an opinion. It is no better than anyone elses. This email is my opinion - it is no better than yours. But its no worse. The difference is that my subject line shows some dignity.
  • At least in the UK, Digital Networks (http://www.dnuk.com/) ship BeOS pre-installed on x86 boxes. They also do Linux - in fact I got an NT/Linux/BeOS box pre-installed from them in January, though this was a special setup I think.
  • I've always been intrigued by Be but couldn't seem to find this info on their website: the current release (4.5) is still a beta, right? If so, when is v1.0 supposed to be out?

    (Not that there's anything *wrong* with beta, just curious.)
  • All available online, as they have been for years and will be for the forseeable future.

    How much of the future is forseeable? A month? A week? A day? A second?

    And who is capable of seeing the future? Wise men? Seers? Be developers? You?

  • :::P.S. Apple bashing occurs because Apple pissed off a shitload of PPC users that love the hardware, but not the MacOS! :::

    Funny...I could really give a crap about PPC. It's the OS I really like. Sure, the underlying parts of the OS suck (memory management, multitasking, etc), but to me, MacOS is like home. I've also got Linux running on a P233 to play around with, but to me it's still not something I can say is my main OS.

    If Apple had decided to use the IBM PC way back when, I'd probably be just as happy as I am now. It would be nice to be able to use standardized hardware, although on the other hand my system does everything I want it to... I have no particular love for the PPC platform, except possibly that setting up new hardware is generally less painful than on a PC...
  • Apple's claims were that the G3 machines were "up to twice as fast" as Pentium II machines. Those figures were according to BYTEMarks. Which ones "showed the PII outperformed the G3 very easily" - you know, the "real" benchmarks you mentioned.
  • Advantages of Be:

    - Very Good stability. I've had it crash occasionally, but only when I run it completely out of memory. Don't do that and you're at Linux levels of stability.

    - Superior multitasking - I find it a much smoother system than Linux.

    - Extraordinarily slick look and feel. I think it says something that one of the most popular Enlightenment window manager configurations is the one imitating the BeOS. Rasterman is a genius, and I bow my head to him as a programmer, but the high overhead of the X-Windows system just can't compare to the integrated nature of Be.

    - If you know C++, the API is said to be fantastic.

    - Cool applications like e-Picture and GoBe Productive make me think the platform has a good long-term future - despite all the "No Apps!" noises, they are coming, and what's there is great. Apps tend to have an original, well-throught out flair which I find very endearing. They still aren't as full featured as Microsoft Word and Excel, but who uses all those features, anyway?

    Disadvantages of Be:

    - No released version of Netscape yet. Opera is out and works well, but you have to pay to use it past 30 days.

    - Hardware support can be probematical. What's there works great, what's not there frustrates users no end. I'd say at least 90% of Be user complaints on the newsgroup are hardware support-related.

    Hope that helps. I'd say it's definitely well worth checking out. Incidentally, it may be proprietary, but actually it's quite a bit cheaper to keep up to date than commercial releases of a Linux version.

    D

    ----
  • Right, because they wanted to be the new AmigaOS/MacOS, and got passed on for both. That was why they were on PPC, since they didn't make it happen, they needed to move to a bigger market, AKA, Intel, but they also needed an excuse for abandoning the PPC version, so instead of taking the blame and saing, "we couldn't make money", or "nobody would license it", they passed the buck.
  • I really don't think JLG wanted to drop PPC support. In fact, I'm sure it was a wrenching decision for him. But there were a whole lot of factors that forced his hand:
    • He wasn't welcome. Why struggle to do something when your efforts are clearly not welcome? I think this is a very valid argument. Apple doesn't want him to do it, and with his usual gallic charm, he obeys with a smile. I must admire his composure - typical Slashdot readers would launch an assassination attempt on Chairman Jobs.
    • Support Issues. Leaving aside Be's own personal desires, virtually all new software for Be is coming out for Intel, without PowerPC versions. The reality is that the developers have spoken, and Be at this point is really run for the developers. Developers feel that Intel is the future, because it's so cheap and popular. Sadly, they are probably right.
    • Apple shouldn't be so close-minded. I know I was considering buying a new blue and white G3, and one of the main reasons I decided against it was that I like Be and wanted a system that ran it. So I bought an Intel system instead. I didn't really want to do it - I would have liked to support Apple over Microsoft-based clone systems. At the same time, I know Apple needs to push MacOS X, and they probably don't want Be to cut into that market. JLG doesn't blame Apple for this; he tells us it's a reasonable business decision.
    • Be needs to make money. Actually, Be gets punched both ways here. We criticise it for not doing future PPC versions, because it needs to make a profit, and yet we turn around and critisize it for not making a profit, too. Which is it, making a profit or producing a PPC version few are likely to buy?
    • This non-Apple PowerPC stuff is unproven. From the point of view of an average consumer, you can either buy Intel, with tons of software and support from Microsoft, or you can buy PPC, with no support from anyone other than Linux or AIX. Who's going to buy these systems? JLG now markets Be on the basis of coexistance with Windows and MacOS; until these machines can run one of those systems, this "piggyback" strategy won't work. Worse, as I said before, developers are voting for Intel with their feet. So why support the new PPC systems? At best it would fragment the platform and divide developer's interests, just as everything seemed to be coalescing on Intel. I wouldn't want that outcome if I was JLG.
    • Be is one of the few thouroughly decent companies in the world of software. People who give Be a fair shake tend to love the product. Be's upgrade policies are more than fair; they're generous. JLG is a bit of a character, and that makes following the company and its exploits fun. How many company chairmen respond personally to your email?
    Given that Wintel/WinAMD/etc systems are so cheap and run Be so well, I see little point to PPC other than sentiment. Admittedly that's a powerful force, but it's not going to win Be the mainstream friends it needs to survive.

    D
    ----

  • Why was the Intel 586 called a Pentium?

    The couldn't trademark it because they didn't trademark it early enough (ie: 8086,80186,etc). And there were already clones of previous generations, and 586 was generic (in context with pervious generations)..

    Then again, ask yourself why a DX4/100 was really triple the speed, not four times the speed? :)

    There were two types of DX?/100. The DX3, 33Mhz * 3 = 99Mhz + 1MarketingHz and the DX4, 25Mhz * 4 = 100Mhz.

    This, of course, got confused in marketing.

  • If you knew anything about the business you'd know that profit margins are so slim there's absolutely NO WAY the Taiwanese could invest in another os/architecture even if they wanted to. Very few Taiwanese (and I mean VERY few) know squat about anything other than Wintel. They design everything for MS/Intel and if others can use it fine, but they aren't going out of their way to support anyone or anything else. Also, alot of Taiwanese companies (like UMAX) got burned real bad several years dealing with PPC. Remember the Apple clones? I don't think you're going to see many Taiwanese companies jumping over to PPC anytime soon.
    BTW, just to give you an idea of prices, a top of the line case (no power supply) sells to the big boys (Compaq, Dell, Fujitsu, IBM etc) for only about $13.50US. You buy it on the street and it'll go for about $90.
  • Um...

    Splunge and frick to you too....

    But this isn't proof. It's well known that G3's are faster than PII's and PIII's at the same Mhz.

    Show me a link out there that disproves that please...if not, shut the fuck up.
  • This is a common misunderstanding--because Apple has had "programming specs" for the G3 line up on their web site for a long time, people assume that that's what Be needs to port BeOS to Apple G3 machines. It's not. The freely-available documents detail the changes in the OS from the API side--essentially, the application-to-OS interface. Be needs the OS-to-hardware interface. This is the difference between a document telling programmers the API for new features in DirectX 10.3 to support the FooBarGL 2700's revolutionary features, and a document detailing how DirectX 10.3 talks to the FooBarGL 2700's hardware.

    I don't remember the name, but there is a specific document that Apple produces for internal use for all of their machines which is essentially a hardware reference book, detailing the OS-to-hardware interface for the proprietary ASICs each new Macintosh model introduces. When Steve Jobs returned to the company, the release policy for these documents changed; they are now only releasable outside the company to MacOS licensees. You can't license MacOS unless you're making approved Macintosh-compatible hardware, which Be certainly isn't.

    Be has said point blank--check the PowerPC FAQ on their site--that they could reverse engineer the specs for the G3. They're just not going to do it. Unless Apple explicitly gives them the hardware reference documents for their new Macintoshes, Be is not going to modify BeOS to run on them. End of story.

    I know "Apple and Be are obstinate about one another" isn't nearly as sexy a rationale as a grand Intel conspiracy, but it's a lot more plausible. Intel has invested in not only Be, but Red Hat and VA Research; it is obvious that Intel has decided that it is in their interest to keep alternative operating systems alive on their CPUs. There is no rationale for believing that Intel would mandate ending of support for non-Intel chips from Be and not from Red Hat, and indeed, no rationale for Intel to do that at all: Intel is not interested in actions that make them look more like chip monopolists, and furthermore, from a business standpoint the PowerPC really isn't competing with them. (Think about who Intel's customers really are--hint: it's not consumers--and you'll see this.)

  • A few years back, I went at a Be demo, at Be's HQ. The marketing VP doing the demo swore BeOS would never run on Intel CPU because they were such pieces of crap.

    A few years later and a few millions dollars from Intel injeceted into be and... well you know the story, Be's PowerPC effort is dying (dead?)

    As for Apple worrying about BeOS... I don't get it... since running BeOS on Apple HW would require buiding a Mac, I don't see where Apple lose any money. If Apple lose any money it's by having Be users buy PCs rather than Macs.

    Also JLG criticizing Apple for being closed makes me laugh, he was the one who tipped the balance (when he was VP at Apple) and voted against the Macintosh OS to be licensed to anyone. And so Apple remained closed and proprietary.

    I think Be not supporting the PowerPC HW anymore boils down to:
    a) lots of Intel investements in Be (money, support, etc.)
    b) JLG being bitter for not having been bought by Apple and such not cashing in hundreds of millions. (NexT got bought.) Jobs and JLG probably doesn't go along well either (that's two strong head and fiery beasts we have here :)

    Given the situation Be is in, I can understand they don't want to lose a)

    I wish them luck on the Intel side of the fence.

    Just my $0.02

    Janus






  • But JLG's holding is in stock that had no value prior to the IPO. Intel fronted real cash.


    It's a presumtion to assume that Intel is calling shots (although it seems entirely reasonable since they did have cash and Be is operating at a loss) but it's not because JLG has more power in the situation.


    JLG's out to make money off the deal, just like Intel. They are both doing th best thing in that interest by only supporting x86. They just don't have the resources to support more than that. Being a Be user sucked quite a bit when the software community was split between two different platforms, there was always something I wanted that only ran on the other platform. If they get big or if they decide to focus on set-top-boxes (a very real possibility come two or three losing quarters with no rise in stock price) they should then return to multiplatform focus.

  • Can someone give a simple answer to why IBM uses the name 'PowerPC 750' while Apple uses 'PowerPC G4'?

    Are they the same chips with different names or are they really different chips? If they are different, what are the differences?

    --

    This sort of thing has cropped up before. And it has always been due to human error.

  • During the "Genki" beta [was that for R4.5?] there was a kernel produced [genki7] that ran on Apple G3's. I think it was done by an intern who then left, so the code wasn't supported and got axed.

    So, given the following qualifications:

    • the IBM platform uses standard, well-known chipsets
    • it's easy to port the Be kernel to PPC variants
    then it stands to reason, that it *would* be in Be's best interest to support the IBM PPC platform [does it have a name? Is it CHRP? PREP? NuCHRP? :-)], since their cost to do so is minimal and can only grow revenue.

    Now one thing Be really has to do to be a real presence on PPC is to move to the same development environment [compilers] as the x86 side -- GNU cc. Otherwise, they have to do tons of software support, which ups the cost of supporting the platform. This bullet should have been bitten in R4 at the same time as it was for x86.

    BeOS running on a quad-G4, each of which has a dual CPU core -- hey, I can dream, can't I? :-)

  • by Anonymous Coward
    Kinda sounds like Gasse doesn't want to be able to release on PPC.

    Does anyone have a link to a company that is going to make IBM PPC motherbords (No, not Apple). Isn't there some company named "Prophet" or similar that announced their intention to do this? Thanks.

  • The only thing Be can do is wait to see what happens with the Open PowerPC Platform. The only OS meant to run on Apple machines is the MacOS. Sure, there is Linux, but that should also be run on an open platform.

    Apple is probably smart to keep everything closed. Those MacOS clones were great for users, but bad for Apple. It all depends on how you look at it.

    As for Be, they need "workstation" and "server" versions of their product to bring in more revenue. I know there is a need for a multimedia oriented server OS. If they can do this while supporting both x86 and PowerPC, great. If not, x86 is the only way to go, obviously.

    I love BeOS 4.5. The biggest drawback is the lack of apps, so far. Actually, once Mozilla 5.0 is stabile on BeOS, I will be happy with the options for apps, and I do not fear going with someone other than the big names for productivity apps, Gobe and Beatware, for examples.

    As long as BeOS makes a platform switch transparent, I would not think twice about switching from x86 to PowerPC.

    (Hint for Be: Optimize for AltiVec if you are going to support the G4 processor on an open PowerPC platform)

  • They're the same chips.

    G4 in this case means "Generation 4". Same goes for "G3". If you think of it, m68k = G1, PPC60x(a) was G2, and G3 = PPC750. PPC 750 is just IBM's internal own referencing. G4 in this case means the added features of altivec.
  • If Be could indeed slap BeOS on G4 chips it would probably be the best thing to happen to the company. The reason that Apple had such a big problem with the clones is they weren't getting much more money than for the OS, which is a pretty small profit margin. If Be gets working on the G3 and G4 chips it won't affect Apple as much as clones did, the people that love Apple will continue to love Apple, and MacOS will still appeal to people who would rather not learn anything about their OS, not to mention the Cuddletech lovers. Now if Adobe would port their stuff to Be...
  • Actually, I think it goes G1 = 601, G2 = 603/604, G3 = 750, G4 = 7400. The 'generations' referred to are the PPC revision and do not include the m68k line, which had many generations in itself (68000, 010, 020, 030, 040, and the 050 which never made it into an Apple machine).
  • And I've used the BeOS for years now, and I'm very happy with it. It's a dream to install and configure, unlike Linux, which rendered my disk unbootable the last time I tried to install and
    upgrade, and which took me two weeks to figure out how to change the resolution and refresh rate of my X server.


    Linux can be unfriendly with its installation, but Be isn't necessarily any better. Be decided to set up my friend's box in such a way that it would start by saying "Starting Windows 98" and then immediately booted Be, every single time. He decided to get rid of Be and install Linux, and using some easily-located instructions on the Net, I was able to set him up with a boot menu and Loadlin very easily. (LILO didn't appear to work, as Linux was installed past the 1024 cylinder limit. This is probably also what tripped up Be.)
  • I'm prety sure Intel made a heavy investment in BE before they went IPO. I wonder who's chips there going to support????



    Just a thought.
  • "UI is quirky, So is E, but it's improving. "

    You're the first person I've heard that has said
    something negative about the GUI. And then to
    compare it to any unix windowing system is an
    utter joke, IMO. But hey, what'd you do, use it
    for all of 5 minutes?

    I do believe it took me a few days to get used to
    Windows, MacOS, BeOS, Irix, GNOME, etc when I
    first used those...

    "Be's raison d'etre is to be a pretty single user unix clone, and charge money for it."

    If you knew anything about BeOS, you'd know
    that it has features Linux users drool over. BFS,
    pervasive multi-threading, OO API, support for as
    many processors as your motherboard will allow (and when you add an extra processor, it actually
    INCREASES the performance of the machine... there's that pervasive multi-threading again), an
    integrated GUI that is responsive and intuitive,
    with a POSIX-compliant back-end and a bash shell
    to boot. Oh, I forgot to mention the 10-second
    boot time.

    Yeah, you're right, BeOS is just a unix-wannabe.

    Hahahaha!

    By the way, since you're obviously not informed,
    I'll let you in on a little secret: The BeOS has
    the road laid out for a multi-user environment.
    Their current plans are to have it multi-user by
    R6 or sooner, last I heard. Go ahead, open up a
    shell and 'ls -a'. Wow, who's that guy Baron?

    "Look at how Wall Street treated Be."

    Hahahaha! Yeah, I'll use Wall Street tech IPO's
    as a way to gauge an operating system and a company...

    The only thing the IPO shows is that Be received
    bad press before the IPO, and RedHat/Linux is
    riding a wave of hype. That's OK, I made money off
    of RHAT, and I'm doing the same thing with BEOS.

    "Believe me if there was any success buried in Be
    Wall Street would have smelled it."

    Pardon my German, but why the fuck would I believe
    someone who obviously has no clue on how the stock
    market works?

    When was the last time you considered "Wall Street"
    a group of technologically savvy people? Just
    because RHAT soared and BEOS did not has nothing
    to do with the business model or OS for either
    company -- it's all HYPE. I'd be saying the same
    thing if the roles were reversed.

    -WW

    --
    Why are there so many Unix-using Star Trek fans?
    When was the last time Picard said, "Computer, bring
  • Now now now... We don't need to make fun of other
    OS's. I agree, this guy is a moron. However, I
    use Windows as well as BeOS (hopefully that will
    change soon enough :-). I've used Linux, MacOS,
    and Irix, too.

    They're all just tools.

    -WW

    --
    Why are there so many Unix-using Star Trek fans?
    When was the last time Picard said, "Computer, bring
  • Amen. Amen. Amen. Amen. Amen Amen. That is the Be experience. It takes power and makes it friendly. Thank you.
  • The PowerPC 750 is Apple's G3
    the 7500 is the G4

    It's just a naming issue, really.
    Why was the Intel 586 called a Pentium?
    IIRC, a ruling was made that they couldn't copyright/trademark a number designation
    so Intel came out with the "Pentium."

    Then again, ask yourself why a DX4/100 was really triple the speed, not four times the speed? :)
    same reason
    Pope
  • Just to take a larger bite of that quote...

    Quoth Jean-Louis Gassée:

    • Some have suggested that we look into the Linux sources for such data. Perhaps, but I see little reason to open ourselves to possible accusations of reverse-engineering. We're welcome on x-86 hardware, we're not welcome on Apple G3/G4. We respect the logic and that settles it for us.

    Yup, I have to agree with Monoman here. They're waffling (And leaving a loud "NO" at the end there). Worried about the 'stigma' of reverse engineering. Worried about following a company that started this whole 'personal' computer idea. As if the IBM PC (and clones) didn't take over the earth... Damn shame.

    I just can't understand that. I'd be proud to have bragging rights that I managed to figure out how the chipset worked... perhaps I might even be able to figure out a BIOS patch so G3 users can pop in a G4 chip. That would make me real popular with users, but certainly not Apple. I can live with that -- why can't Be? (Yes, I know R-E's expensive and time consuming, some resources Be doesn't necessarily have.)

    Reverse engineering is (to me, at least) a time-honored tradition, held reverently among the holy clan of geek and revered by the royal house of nerd. It is a ritual question that is never tired: How'd they do that?? The answers are unique and special, the quest unending, the chase heady and intoxicating.

    Okay, I'm sounding too much like Katz. I live for this stuff. I like knowing how what I own works, and I'm not afraid of taking it apart to find out.

    And now that I've raved about the reverse-engineering bit, lets rave about a fact Mr. Gassée conveniently forgot, but Monoman didn't!

    • IBM has released an open-spec motherboard and the specs for the PowerPC. Granted, there is precious little manufacturer support at this point, but with a processor as hot as the G4, I hope that'll change
    • soon. BeOS, you are explicitly welcome here, as is Linux and everyone else that wants to party.

    C'mon, Be. I want a G4, but not MacOS. I want a G4 with BeOS. Somebody (not Apple) will build it, but you'll have to support it. If'n you don't do it, I can't buy it, now can I? Now that's just not the American way, and aren't you ashamed of yourselves?? Show some backbone. Apple used to fly the pirate flag -- they don't anymore (last I knew). It's your turn to pick up that standard and turn the world on it's ear. You have the vision, you have the product, now it's time to market the bejesus out of it!!

  • Indeed, it would be in Apple's best interests to support the BeOS (just as they do with LinuxPPC and Darwin) on their boxen. They make their money off of hardware, not software.



    - Darchmare
    - Axis Mutatis, http://www.axismutatis.net
  • by Anonymous Coward

    I think we can all agree that we'd love to have G4s running the next BeOS version. However, I think that Gassee's answer (or non-answer) is a fairly reasonable response, given the situation. He reiterates that they are not wanted on Apple machines, and have no interest in pushing the matter. I can understand that, I wouldn't want to get sued by Apple if I were Be.

    As for non-Apple PPC machines, remember that we're talking about an untested market. (After all, how many users have non-Apple G4s on their desks right now?) Be Inc. is not in a position to waste precious resources on something that may not help BeOS grow in the long run anyway. x86 is where Be sees the best chance to grow, and I don't think many people would disagree.

    That said, I'd personally love to have BeOS on an IBM PPC machine. I just think we ought to cut Be a little slack, and see how things develop.

  • Ok..

    AST Computers, BeComputing, Microworkz - you're right, no OEM support, and no box builders.

    Gobe, Mozilla, Opera, Real Inc., Steinburg, Activision (Civ:CTP), Maxis (SC3000), Id (Quake2 & Quake3arena), etc... The list of developers goes on and on. But yeah, I guess there are no apps.

    Be is anything but a dud.They are a highly developed OS, with a _LONG_ list of companies porting high-end media products. They have a very powerful and easy to use office suite which will support MS Office file formats in v2.0, due in 1-2 months, as well as a real-time video editor that does _not_ need to render the video seperately (PersonalStudio) - They have every major browser other than IE5 - They have a professional quality animation program that can export flash files (Moho), They have an incredibly powerful multitrack audio program called Nuendo, previously available on SGI systems -This is the kind of program studios buy specific hardware to run.

    Speaking of hardware, Be's hardware support on the intel side is growing, with both Nvidia and 3dfx working with them to produce drivers, as well as growing support for sound cards such as SB Live, and high end sound devices such as the Aardvark 20/20 and Echo Layla multitrack devices.

    As far as the IBM PPC board, JLG said that once questions such as support, availabilty, and the size of the market are answered, then a decision would be made. Be does not have the resources to just support any new technology, until a base is there to warrant it.

    Be isnt a dud - they are just holding their cards close to their proverbial chest.
  • - Very Good stability. I've had it crash occasionally, but only when I run it completely out of memory. Don't
    do that and you're at Linux levels of stability.



    Your point is good but there is something else. My non-experimental Linux (stable kernel, even number, no "Nelson patches" or experimental stuff) has never crashed. There isn't any thin ice to avoid. OS/2 was like that. If I avoided a few WPS operations, the thing would run forever. There were a few things that would lock it up though. It's like being in prison, sure it's minimum security and you can play golf but if you walk too close to the fence you might get shot. It's extremely liberating to not worry about anything crashing the system.


    - Superior multitasking - I find it a much smoother system than Linux.


    BeOS does feel nice. I'm not sure that is multitasks any better than anything else but it certainly looks like it does and the GUI feels smooth. They did the right thing in this respect. OS/2 and Linux both can suffer from poor GUI performance during mutlitasking, OS/2 won a lot of benchmarks and was understood to be better than Windows but it didn't look good when you click and then wait a second for something to get painted on the screen, even though the work was happening. User perception is important here and BeOS is great at it.


    - If you know C++, the API is said to be fantastic.


    It's nice but it's not any better than any other I've used. At least not dramatically. MFC is nice to use. QT is nice. GTK+ is nice. BeOS is nice. It's not compelling enough to make me rank it above another.


    - Cool applications like e-Picture and GoBe Productive make me think the platform has a good long-term
    future - despite all the "No Apps!" noises, they are coming, and what's there is great. Apps tend to have
    an original, well-throught out flair which I find very endearing. They still aren't as full featured as Microsoft
    Word and Excel, but who uses all those features, anyway?


    OS/2 had a lot of applications. Mainstreet is important. With OS/2 or BeOS you're pretty much guaranteed to not be on it. Whether or not you can work matters but it only matters to people who are already sold on the platform. It doesn't bring new users in. There is a huge difference between filling a void for a group of users and creating a value for non-users. ABM is the only reason to really run out and get Be right now and even then Linux has far more users and far more support, you have to get frustrated with the learning curve before you dive on to Be from linux.


    - No released version of Netscape yet. Opera is out and works well, but you have to pay to use it past 30
    days.


    No version of netscape ever, at this point. BeZilla will be a reality but netscape never will.


    No java and the core group of users don't seem to be programmers are two other problems I see. Be's got a tough road but they can make themselves relevent. They've got incredibly loyal followers (they are pretty much just believers at this point, there are a lot of Be claims that have never been tested yet, a la mindcraft) and they seem to be getting an inordinant amount of media support despite their low sales, alternatives to MS are hip and Be is riding that wave well. I hope the new politics of being a public company don't destroy their chances, they were in a tight spot and needed money to keep going but now they have to produce something.

  • "Are you so sure Apple has done this?"

    Yes.

    "If so, how come LinuxPPC and Debian support for recent PowerMacs is so good?"

    Because they can reverse-engineer things to get
    info on G* support, with little fear of being
    sued by Apple. Be, however, cannot do that.

    "Why would they have supported the MkLinux project at all?"

    I don't have all the facts on MkLinux and Apple,
    so I cannot say, other than to guess it would
    give them more smiling faces in the Linux camp.
    For example, your response to my message is one
    perk for Apple.

    "Last but not least, between people buying Macs to run BeOS and those buying PCs to run BeOS, what exactly does Apple have to lose?"

    That's the point! Apple is shooting themselves in
    the foot on this one.

    Look, it's not some conspiracy theory. Apple WILL NOT PROVIDE THE SPECS FOR THE G* TO BE. This was
    the case *BEFORE* Intel ever invested in Be. Do
    you really think Gassee and the rest of Be could
    sit there and lie about this without being found
    out?

    But let's pretend for a minute that you're right,
    and that it's just a conspiracy between Intel and
    Be. You are then forgetting that this hurts Be's
    chances to make in-roads on all the G* machines
    being used by media specialists -- people Be is
    actively targeting with BeOS.

    Now how much sense does it make to have this
    conspiracy with Intel?

    -WW

    --
    Why are there so many Unix-using Star Trek fans?
    When was the last time Picard said, "Computer, bring
  • I actually think Be would have been a better OS than NeXT for Apple, and the price was much lower. But with 20/20 hindsight, there is no doubt that Steve Jobs has revitalized the company, and he deserves massive credit for it.

    As for JLG, I think he's wised up a bit since his days at Apple. He seems to have genuinely changed his mind about being more open over the years.

    I, too, wish both of them nothing but the best. MacOS X is likely to be quite impressive, and I look forward to seeing it and giving it a try on my G3.

    D

    ----
  • I'm not sure who the BeOS core group is - it seems to more or less be developers right now. But it's certain that they are designing software more or less for the mainstream, and in my view (as a programmer), that's a Good Thing. At some point, I'd like to honestly tell someone, "Here's this great alternative to Windows, it's easy to set up and use, and you can do your mainstream stuff on it." Right now, I recommend MacOS to mainstream people; I'd like to recommend something for people who need the low cost of an X86 system.

    I think the reason that multitasking feels better on BeOS is that every window is a separate thread. I don't understand why Netscape for Unix wasn't written that way, but it wasn't, and the net effect is that during DNS lookups you can't use multiple browser windows. That problem never comes up on BeOS.

    I must admit to thinking of Mozilla as "The next version of Netscape". Me bad, I suppose.

    D

    ----
  • Mostly nice points, but seriously, you cannot think that MFC is nice to program? My DirectX demo program (draws lines and circles and arcs, does blits, etc) and written with the API is smaller than the MFC defualt "Hello World application." And the naming guys at MS are morons. Who though up stuff like stdafx.h and DIDDEVICEOBJECTINSTANCE as an object name! Aside from MFC, the Win32 API is nice to program. But what I like about be is the coherance. Programming QT is not like programming the rest of Linux. Neither is ALSA. At least with DirectX all the parts are similar. But Be is something else. It is entirly coherent, even the BSD sockes implementation has a Be-style wrapper!
  • Did you READ the post I was replying to?
  • Apparantly you missed this entire paragraph:

    "To return to PowerPC hardware, we need to know more about chipsets that support the PowerPC. Who builds them, how competitive are they, which I/O devices are supported, how is the technical documentation accessed, who fixes bugs in the product and the documentation? As far as the IBM PPC hardware is concerned, other questions arise. Where can I buy it and where can I get it fixed, for instance? As answers emerge, it will be easy for us to make a decision."

    In other words, they want to wait and see how the
    IBM boards work out before committing to them...

    Doink.

    -WW

    --
    Why are there so many Unix-using Star Trek fans?
    When was the last time Picard said, "Computer, bring
  • "The simple fact is they partnered with Intel. They made a choice to support Intel, and dump Apple, and in a nice PR move put all the blame on Apple."

    As if they had a choice? Correct me if I'm wrong,
    but they were on PPC *first*, and then ran into
    a dead-end when Apple cut off their access to the
    G* specs.

    They could roll over and die, or move on to a
    larger, cheaper, and faster advancing platform...

    -WW

    P.S. Apple bashing occurs because Apple pissed off
    a shitload of PPC users that love the hardware,
    but not the MacOS!

    --
    Why are there so many Unix-using Star Trek fans?
    When was the last time Picard said, "Computer, bring

"No, no, I don't mind being called the smartest man in the world. I just wish it wasn't this one." -- Adrian Veidt/Ozymandias, WATCHMEN

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