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Once upon a time, Apple people were upset about their management and MacOS and decided to create their own computer firm which will produce a modern operating system heavily relying on multi threading, and running on multi processor proprietary machines.
(Preemptive multi threading, symmetric multi processing, 64bit journalized filesystem... real kick ass OS)

Be, inc, the BeOS and the BeBox were born !

I won't tell you everything that happened, suffice to say BeOS is what Windows secretly dream to be, a modern, very fast, stable and powerfull OS using 80's/90's paradigm instead of old 70's UNIX ideas.
However not everything is perfect and people rushed to buy the ugly Windows 95 instead of the small BeOS contender, when alternative OS were more told about, the BeOS managed to get some attention, but being commercial (hence not free), it didn't attract all those Linux zealots dreaming about making a new communist world in which the code is free...

Be, inc died, and the BeOS remained at Release 5.0.3 (although BeOS 5.1d0 aka Dano is floating on the web)...


...Until a small german firm (yellowtab, named after a BeOS feature) decided to continue the BeOS development and release Zeta (Zeta being the sixth letter of the greek alphabet, and the next Release BeOS would have reached).
So you can buy the BeOS under its new name Zeta, from yellowTab.


Fortunately (IMO) yellowTab was not the only group of people interested in maintaining and improving this kickass OS, and the BeOS community (the most friendly and informative community I know of, BTW) decided the rewrite the BeOS... From scratch !
Under the new name Haiku is an Open Source implementation (under the BSD licence) of the BeOS.

You can get Haiku image HERE ! (new image every night; still alpha/beta release !)


[RANT] Why I despise Microsoft...

My primary reason to dislike MS, besides them releasing the abysmal Windows 9x OS, is that they managed to kill the BeOS, which is, as you might have understood reading this page, my all time favorite Operating System.
How did MS managed to kill the small (PPC & x86 compatible) OS you wonder ?
Pretty easily in fact, by stating in its licence agreement that MS OS can only be started by MS bootloader, which in turn can only boot MS Operating Systems... You're done, any PC setup with Windows must use MS bootloader, which can only boot DOS or Windows...
Be, inc managed to secure a deal with both NEC and Gateway to include the BeOS as secondary OS on their PCs... clever move, except MS did remind those firms that Windows can't be booted but by its non compatible bootloader, screwing the deal...
The solution was to first start the computer inserting a floppy which would correct the issue by installing the BeOS bootloader, which was capable of booting almost anything (it boots Linux, BeOS, DOS, Windows...), but that required an extra step not many customer did, and those who didn't, wanted to get back that unexpectedly lost space (the BeOS partition), and they never knew they had the BeOS to begin with...
Welcome to the real world !


[RANT] Why I love the BeOS...

Around 1995 a friend of mine made me try the BeOS, the drivers support was less than stellar but the OS managed to read many videos from the HDD and the CDROM at once, with no skipping at all ! I was amazed, but lack of drivers and apps (I didn't have the Internet back then) made me put it on my "neat things" list.
Later BeOS 4.5 came, it was better (more drivers), but I still wasn't having a "solid" internet connection. (it was 33.6K)
Then came BeOS 5.0 around 1999 or 2000, I bought it, took it home, and I loved it, I found bebits, the BeOS Software Repository, and pixked up my hardware given BeOS drivers availability ^^
Comparing Windows Me or even 2k to BeOS 5.0 wasn't fair at all, BeOS was fast (30 seconds to boot MAX), incredibely responsive, easy to setup (2/3 clicks max to set NAT/IP Maskerading), easy to use, the apps were fast too, it looked different, the journalized filesystem guaranteed data integrity, put it in another computer and it just works [no driver nightmare multi reboot crap]...
For 2 years I was in a dream ! I just felt at home in that OS.

Then Be, inc "focus shift"ed... They made BeIA (Internet Appliance) managed to sell it to SONY (pretty good, no?!), but the BeOS community was ashamed, gone was the lovely BeOS, and all those things we knew were being worked on (OpenGL hardware drivers, new app_server using the 3D card to boost speed even further, new freeBSD based/inspired network stack...) were nowhere to be found, and not even to be released one day...
The community split into many projects attempting either to recreate the BeOS (or licence it from PalmSource when Be inc died), or to keep its look & feel using Linux (basically yet another desktop manager).
The BeOS rewrite idea survived, and became Haiku OS , which is almost usable now ! :)

Last Updated : 26/08/07


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