Anyone here familiar with BeOS?
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  1. #1
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    Anyone here familiar with BeOS?

    Have a few questions about the OS, not really answered on their forum, and the begroovy forum never did send validation, so looking for answers elsewhere!

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    Senior Member wiskic10_4's Avatar
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    Just what I read on Wikipedia a minute ago. What do you want to know? Try Haiku: http://www.haiku-os.org/

    I may check it out myself this weekend just out of curiosity. I have an old lappy I need to do something with.
    My Corner of the Intarwebz: Jeremy Dean Online

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    I've never heard of it before either. It does however seem like something worth looking into. From my first look the bash is very similar to unix. And naturally the desktop is going to be somewhat unique, but it doesn't seem like anything too spectacularly different from an OS from the late 90s.

    Does anything know about the security aspect of this OS? (other than the obscurity, which isn't really an acceptable answer)

  4. #4
    Senior Member gore's Avatar
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    I have BeOS Pro 5 here. I bought the whole thing years ago. Basically I got all of this in one package:

    BeOS Pro Edition 5.0 Box (Came with a BeOS installation CD, a BeOS book that is really nice, and some other stuff)

    BeOS Bible (HUGE book that has like everything you could imagine about the OS in it).

    I'm probably the only person on AO who not only used it but LOVED it. BeOS was special to me, and when I found out a few years ago they went belly up, I was more than sad about it.

    I'm not saying I'm the only person here who used it, but I am probably the only one who really liked it a lot.

    The design of the OS was smart, and the way it was done was totally awesome. BeOS was made in a manner that not only was everything ran in it's own protected memory, so that if something crashed, all you had to do was refresh that section of memory and keep going, and, not only that, it was designed so that you could either run with JUST the Command Line / Shell, OR you could ONLY use the GUI.

    The GUI and Shell it used were made in a way that you only had to use one; I don't mean like in Windows 9X where you could reboot into MS-DOS mode, I mean that everything you did, could either be done by just typing the commands, or, you could do the same thing by clicking on menus in the GUI.

    The GUI and Command Line were made in a way where if you didn't want to ever use a Command Line, you didn't have to, and if you didn't want to use the GUI, you could load a Shell and do everything like that too.

    It also had a Bash shell built in. And not only did the OS have it's own commands, but it also accepted DOS and Unix too. So if you knew DOS and wanted to work with the command line in BeOS, it worked, you didn't have to re-learn anything!

    And if you were a Unix or Linux user, you could type Unix or Linux commands, and it worked too. Again, you didn't have to re-learn anything!

    The Capabilities of BeOS when it came to multiprocessor Machines is STILL hard to beat.

    The BeOS crew said basically "Why spend top dollar on a Computer with a super fast Processor when you can just buy an older machine with more than one Processor that can go just as fast for way cheaper?" and that's what they did.

    The GUI in BeOS was amazing looking. The overall look reminded me of Window Maker / AfterStep, and it's own thing.

    The MultiMedia capabilities were also amazing.... MP3 players, Encoders, video tools, everything, all of it installed out of the box without ANY problems.

    BeOS also happens to be the ONLY OS I haven't ever gotten to crash. And I've tried.

    I had BeOS installed on a POS machine with very few resources, and I'd load up all the demos they had for it that would do 3D, and all kinds of Special FX and stuff to REALLY push your processor, and I could NOT make this thing crash.

    To be honest, if I had a Network Card and a machine that was older that it could recognize the hardware of, I'd have it installed RIGHT NOW!

    The File System was the first I'd heard of that could handle an entire Petabyte sized file. Most File systems back then that were for PCs, had fairly large, but not SUPER large file size limitations.

    The Maximum File Size, of a single file, in BeOS, was a PETABYTE! This is on an OS that was NOT ever meant to be a Server in any way shape or form (The BeOS people recommended Linux for Servers and BeOS as a Desktop system) yet it could handle files a Petabyte in size.

    BeOS booted in less than 20 seconds too. And mind you this is on hardware that was like.... Well, just as an example; a 200 MHz CPU was enough to boot in 20 seconds or less.


    To Metguru:

    The Security.... don't know about Haiku as I've never used it before.... I do plan on grabbing it once I have another machine working and everything, but I just don't have another test machine right now I can let go of.

    But for what it's worth; BeOS, the REAL one, was actually pretty good with security.

    Also, the look of the desktop was amazing, and I REALLY do wonder why no Window Manager hasn't picked it up in a serious manner considering it was one of the better designs for heavy use / lots of **** open at once.

    Oh, by the way; The old AntiOnline Theme, the Yellow color JP did, was actually taken from it. Even the weird Yellow / Squares we used to see here, all looked like BeOS.

    Anyway, for whatever it's worth to whoever is looking:

    I'd use BeOS on most of my machines if I could. I literally just can't because the oldest machines I have, are either broke or being used as a Server, and I'm not going to even TRY installing something like that on a brand new machine where it won't be able to recognize most of the hardware in it.

    That's really all that's stopping me, because even now, I STILL miss BeOS. It was like something special to me, because I saw it one day at BestBuy for sale, and thought "Oh wow cool! An OS I haven't ever heard of, and it's not based on Windows, or Unix, or Linux, or BSD, or Mac OS! This is something totally different all on it's own!" so I bought it.

    Once I installed it, I was like WOW! It's to this day something I think they did right in the OS world.

    They weren't trying to lie and say it was what you should use on every machine; They were Honest, and said BeOS was NOT a Server OS, and they didn't even recommend that....They would say BeOs is meant to be a Desktop / Workstation OS, and that Linux is better suited for Servers than BeOS.

    It came out of the box with tools to actually resize a Windows Partition, and would actually tell YOU how the best method would be to run the system, and even make it's own partitions for you and show you what it was going to do... MAN I miss BeOS....

    I'd recommend the original BeOS to anyone... I really and Truly would. It is STILL in my opinion one of the BEST OSs ever done. Only the Unix World has topped it.

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    Well, for starters...

    Quote Originally Posted by wiskic10_4 View Post
    Just what I read on Wikipedia a minute ago. What do you want to know? Try Haiku: http://www.haiku-os.org/

    I may check it out myself this weekend just out of curiosity. I have an old lappy I need to do something with.
    I'm trying to figure out if its practical to pursue. The BeOS Haiku site says it will only work on x86 PCs. So far as I know, all current PCs are AMD64 based,which are supposed to run both 32 & 64-bit software. So will Athlon II (x2, x3, x4) or Phenom II (x2,x3, x4) run BeOS Haiku...or any other BeOS version? I'm looking for replacement operating system for XP Pro SP2, and looking into Linux, OS/2, PC-BSD, & BeOS. Linux is easy to find out system requirements about, but the others (especially BeOS), seem to consider such basic info a 'State Secret'!

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    As I recall...

    Quote Originally Posted by metguru View Post
    I've never heard of it before either. It does however seem like something worth looking into. From my first look the bash is very similar to unix. And naturally the desktop is going to be somewhat unique, but it doesn't seem like anything too spectacularly different from an OS from the late 90s.

    Does anything know about the security aspect of this OS? (other than the obscurity, which isn't really an acceptable answer)
    security aspect was discussed in the book 'The BeOS Bible', although the book is quite out of date. If you're in USA, you can get it via InterLibrary Loan. While outdated, it has lots of info that is probably still useful.

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    Sounds like your're in the know...

    Quote Originally Posted by gore View Post
    I have BeOS Pro 5 here. I bought the whole thing years ago. Basically I got all of this in one package:

    BeOS Pro Edition 5.0 Box (Came with a BeOS installation CD, a BeOS book that is really nice, and some other stuff)

    BeOS Bible (HUGE book that has like everything you could imagine about the OS in it).

    I'm probably the only person on AO who not only used it but LOVED it. BeOS was special to me, and when I found out a few years ago they went belly up, I was more than sad about it.

    I'm not saying I'm the only person here who used it, but I am probably the only one who really liked it a lot.

    The design of the OS was smart, and the way it was done was totally awesome. BeOS was made in a manner that not only was everything ran in it's own protected memory, so that if something crashed, all you had to do was refresh that section of memory and keep going, and, not only that, it was designed so that you could either run with JUST the Command Line / Shell, OR you could ONLY use the GUI.

    The GUI and Shell it used were made in a way that you only had to use one; I don't mean like in Windows 9X where you could reboot into MS-DOS mode, I mean that everything you did, could either be done by just typing the commands, or, you could do the same thing by clicking on menus in the GUI.

    The GUI and Command Line were made in a way where if you didn't want to ever use a Command Line, you didn't have to, and if you didn't want to use the GUI, you could load a Shell and do everything like that too.

    It also had a Bash shell built in. And not only did the OS have it's own commands, but it also accepted DOS and Unix too. So if you knew DOS and wanted to work with the command line in BeOS, it worked, you didn't have to re-learn anything!

    And if you were a Unix or Linux user, you could type Unix or Linux commands, and it worked too. Again, you didn't have to re-learn anything!

    The Capabilities of BeOS when it came to multiprocessor Machines is STILL hard to beat.

    The BeOS crew said basically "Why spend top dollar on a Computer with a super fast Processor when you can just buy an older machine with more than one Processor that can go just as fast for way cheaper?" and that's what they did.

    The GUI in BeOS was amazing looking. The overall look reminded me of Window Maker / AfterStep, and it's own thing.

    The MultiMedia capabilities were also amazing.... MP3 players, Encoders, video tools, everything, all of it installed out of the box without ANY problems.

    BeOS also happens to be the ONLY OS I haven't ever gotten to crash. And I've tried.

    I had BeOS installed on a POS machine with very few resources, and I'd load up all the demos they had for it that would do 3D, and all kinds of Special FX and stuff to REALLY push your processor, and I could NOT make this thing crash.

    To be honest, if I had a Network Card and a machine that was older that it could recognize the hardware of, I'd have it installed RIGHT NOW!

    The File System was the first I'd heard of that could handle an entire Petabyte sized file. Most File systems back then that were for PCs, had fairly large, but not SUPER large file size limitations.

    The Maximum File Size, of a single file, in BeOS, was a PETABYTE! This is on an OS that was NOT ever meant to be a Server in any way shape or form (The BeOS people recommended Linux for Servers and BeOS as a Desktop system) yet it could handle files a Petabyte in size.

    BeOS booted in less than 20 seconds too. And mind you this is on hardware that was like.... Well, just as an example; a 200 MHz CPU was enough to boot in 20 seconds or less.


    To Metguru:

    The Security.... don't know about Haiku as I've never used it before.... I do plan on grabbing it once I have another machine working and everything, but I just don't have another test machine right now I can let go of.

    But for what it's worth; BeOS, the REAL one, was actually pretty good with security.

    Also, the look of the desktop was amazing, and I REALLY do wonder why no Window Manager hasn't picked it up in a serious manner considering it was one of the better designs for heavy use / lots of **** open at once.

    Oh, by the way; The old AntiOnline Theme, the Yellow color JP did, was actually taken from it. Even the weird Yellow / Squares we used to see here, all looked like BeOS.

    Anyway, for whatever it's worth to whoever is looking:

    I'd use BeOS on most of my machines if I could. I literally just can't because the oldest machines I have, are either broke or being used as a Server, and I'm not going to even TRY installing something like that on a brand new machine where it won't be able to recognize most of the hardware in it.

    That's really all that's stopping me, because even now, I STILL miss BeOS. It was like something special to me, because I saw it one day at BestBuy for sale, and thought "Oh wow cool! An OS I haven't ever heard of, and it's not based on Windows, or Unix, or Linux, or BSD, or Mac OS! This is something totally different all on it's own!" so I bought it.

    Once I installed it, I was like WOW! It's to this day something I think they did right in the OS world.

    They weren't trying to lie and say it was what you should use on every machine; They were Honest, and said BeOS was NOT a Server OS, and they didn't even recommend that....They would say BeOs is meant to be a Desktop / Workstation OS, and that Linux is better suited for Servers than BeOS.

    It came out of the box with tools to actually resize a Windows Partition, and would actually tell YOU how the best method would be to run the system, and even make it's own partitions for you and show you what it was going to do... MAN I miss BeOS....

    I'd recommend the original BeOS to anyone... I really and Truly would. It is STILL in my opinion one of the BEST OSs ever done. Only the Unix World has topped it.
    so will Haiku or any other version (BeOS 4.5, R5;BeOS NG, BlueOS, or Open BeOS) work on Athlon II or Phenom II PCs? If not, whats the most current AMD PCs any BeOS version will work on? The BeOS Bible made me want this OS, and what you've wrote got me wanting it even more!

  8. #8
    Senior Member gore's Avatar
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    Yea, I brought up the BeOS Bible already, which is written by Scott Hacker. It's amazing. It even has an interview in it...Actually I think it has more than one but I can't remember....I should grab it and read it again, even though I have no machine to run it on right now, and reading it will make me want to.

    As for the Processor thing; All new Processors are not AMD64 based. And Haiku should run on just about anything, but don't quote me on that since I haven't had a chance to use it yet.

    You can always try it anyway.

    However:

    If you're replacing Windows XP, don't bother with OS/2.... Being a BOFH, I'm required by law to tell you it sucks and will make Windows seem not so bad. And of course, I have no idea how you were going to not only install it and get it working on an XP machine, but.... You know what? It's quicker to just say "Don't do OS/2" if it worked for that Nazi Reagan, with the just say no crap, maybe it will here too

    Anyway, as I said, you can always try Haiku out by just simply booting from it and seeing what happens. I've accidentally put a SUSE 9.x CD into a machine that was 32 bit, and it simply said that I had the 64 bit side of the DVD in the drive, and to flip it over.

    So, you can just boot from it and see what happens. If it doesn't work, no biggie, pop it out, and reboot.

    As for the other options you have:

    Linux will work just fine. You'll of course need to choose what distro to use, which in itself is generally a pain in the ass for a first time user, but I can help there too:

    If you go with Linux after all this, try to use one of these:

    OpenSUSE / SUSE
    Slackware
    Debian

    Anything else you find is either going to be based on those, or RedHat anyway, and the ones I listed, are the only Linux OSs I'll use anymore.

    As for PC-BSD, again, give it a try too. It's free to download, and you can install it and see if you like it anyway. PC-BSD is based heavily on FreeBSD, so really, you're getting a customized KDE Heavy version of FreeBSD, much like with OS X you're getting a customized GUI heavy version of FreeBSD too lol.

    I kind of like PC-BSD, even though I've got two FreeBSD machines here now (My Laptop, running FreeBSD 8.1-RELEASE, and another workstation running the same thing) and it's great. So basically, using PC-BSD, you shouldn't have any issues with it.

    My original list of what OSs I'd recommend people, back in the day, was this:

    Slackware - Debian - SUSE - Mandrake
    FreeBSD - Solaris
    BeOS

    I recommended that stuff to people all the time. Mandrake changed their name, and, after a few releases, started to kind of suck, and since BeOS is basically dead because Palm people are idiots, I can't recommend it either, and Oracle is ruining Solaris quite quickly, and well I might add, so I don't recommend it anymore either.

    But Slackware, Debian, or SUSE, will work in general just fine. You'll want to configure things of course, but these days that's incredibly simple.

    FreeBSD is of course an OS of it's own, and isn't Linux, or based on Linux, it's older than Linux is, and incredibly stable. It also has the Ports collection. So, if you do choose PC-BSD, you'll have quite an OS at your fingertips.

    Hope that helps.

  9. #9
    Senior Member gore's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Varsel View Post
    so will Haiku or any other version (BeOS 4.5, R5;BeOS NG, BlueOS, or Open BeOS) work on Athlon II or Phenom II PCs? If not, whats the most current AMD PCs any BeOS version will work on? The BeOS Bible made me want this OS, and what you've wrote got me wanting it even more!
    Heh, I've got a pretty long post I made with my general opinion on each of the choices you listed as possible replacements, so I won't bore you with a rehash, but, for the most part, I said in my last reply that the best thing to do, really, would be to try them all, and just boot from the CD and see how it goes.

    I only own ONE machine here that has a 64 bit Processor, because most of my machines have been around a few years now, and I do just fine. Sometimes, if I find something I'm not sure will work, I simply make the CDs, write on them what it is, and which version, and then I pop them in, and boot. I've had some pretty good luck with stuff like that where I had a problem finding the info I needed like you're saying about BeOS where you can't seem to find the right system requirements, so, this is probably a pretty good idea for you.

    This way instead of spending hours on end trying to find the info you want, you can just burn some CDs, and try each one. Pop the CD in, boot from it, and see how it goes. If it works, awesome, if not, you're only out a few cents unless you find a machine that works with them, which can happen.

    If I've read what you said correctly, you wanted to basically just figure out which CPU version to use, and from looking on Wiki about the Phenom (I couldn't remember much about it so I had to look) I found this:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Phenom_II

    I've had a long day and I don't want to sound like I'm talking down to you, so if you didn't mean your question in this way, please don't take it the wrong way, I could very well have read it wrong, but, in general, when you're downloading an OS, this is what I do:

    I have ONE machine with an Intel Core 2 Duo Processor that is 64 bit. 32 Bit stuff, including OSs, works just fine on it though. But if I want something made for it, I'd grab something like this:

    Some_Version_OS-IA64 (or) SomeVersion-i386_64 (Which basically is all the same, and means it's the 64 bit Intel Processor, which, of course, you would probably have no problem using the AMD_64 version too)

    On the rest of my machines, I've grabbed things like SomeVersion-i386 and Some_Version-i486 and SomeVersion-i586 and SomeVersion-i686 and, those all work just fine no matter if I'm running on a 32 bit Intel, or 32 bit AMD.

    As an example, I have an AMD Athlon XP 2600+ next to me running Slackware, and if I grab the i386 stuff, it works just fine, and, for the most part, Slackware is made as i486, and works just fine.

    Anyway I Hope that Helps and answers a few things for you. And if you knew all that already, I'm sorry about that, I kind of passed out and took a nap, so I'm still kind of waking up lol. So, yea, if you knew that stuff, please don't take it wrong, I just miss read something.

  10. #10
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    Glad to find one who knows about the obscure OSs...

    Quote Originally Posted by gore View Post
    Yea, I brought up the BeOS Bible already, which is written by Scott Hacker. It's amazing. It even has an interview in it...Actually I think it has more than one but I can't remember....I should grab it and read it again, even though I have no machine to run it on right now, and reading it will make me want to.

    As for the Processor thing; All new Processors are not AMD64 based. And Haiku should run on just about anything, but don't quote me on that since I haven't had a chance to use it yet.

    You can always try it anyway.

    However:

    If you're replacing Windows XP, don't bother with OS/2.... Being a BOFH, I'm required by law to tell you it sucks and will make Windows seem not so bad. And of course, I have no idea how you were going to not only install it and get it working on an XP machine, but.... You know what? It's quicker to just say "Don't do OS/2" if it worked for that Nazi Reagan, with the just say no crap, maybe it will here too

    Anyway, as I said, you can always try Haiku out by just simply booting from it and seeing what happens. I've accidentally put a SUSE 9.x CD into a machine that was 32 bit, and it simply said that I had the 64 bit side of the DVD in the drive, and to flip it over.

    So, you can just boot from it and see what happens. If it doesn't work, no biggie, pop it out, and reboot.

    As for the other options you have:

    Linux will work just fine. You'll of course need to choose what distro to use, which in itself is generally a pain in the ass for a first time user, but I can help there too:

    If you go with Linux after all this, try to use one of these:

    OpenSUSE / SUSE
    Slackware
    Debian

    Anything else you find is either going to be based on those, or RedHat anyway, and the ones I listed, are the only Linux OSs I'll use anymore.

    As for PC-BSD, again, give it a try too. It's free to download, and you can install it and see if you like it anyway. PC-BSD is based heavily on FreeBSD, so really, you're getting a customized KDE Heavy version of FreeBSD, much like with OS X you're getting a customized GUI heavy version of FreeBSD too lol.

    I kind of like PC-BSD, even though I've got two FreeBSD machines here now (My Laptop, running FreeBSD 8.1-RELEASE, and another workstation running the same thing) and it's great. So basically, using PC-BSD, you shouldn't have any issues with it.

    My original list of what OSs I'd recommend people, back in the day, was this:

    Slackware - Debian - SUSE - Mandrake
    FreeBSD - Solaris
    BeOS

    I recommended that stuff to people all the time. Mandrake changed their name, and, after a few releases, started to kind of suck, and since BeOS is basically dead because Palm people are idiots, I can't recommend it either, and Oracle is ruining Solaris quite quickly, and well I might add, so I don't recommend it anymore either.

    But Slackware, Debian, or SUSE, will work in general just fine. You'll want to configure things of course, but these days that's incredibly simple.

    FreeBSD is of course an OS of it's own, and isn't Linux, or based on Linux, it's older than Linux is, and incredibly stable. It also has the Ports collection. So, if you do choose PC-BSD, you'll have quite an OS at your fingertips.

    Hope that helps.
    Yes, the BeOS Bible had at least four interviews, but I skipped them, so can't say much. Regarding what you said about BeOS ("if I had a Network Card and a machine that was older that it could recognize the hardware of"), this sounds like my concern. So many get hardware first, only to find out it won't handle the software they want, and have to settle for whatever software it will allow. I'm using book 'Buying A Computer For Dummies', which advocates the opposite approach. Since I have no hardware, and going the custom-build route, I can pick the hardware to specifically suit the software, but to do this I first have to know just what will suit the software (system requirements and so on). This was easy for XP Pro & Linux distros-a simple google search like 'Linux Mint 7 system requirements' said it all. Don't seem to work on the obscure OSs thiough. If I wait to get all the hardware in place, then pop in Haiku disk like you advised, then either it will work or it won't...guess its a 50-50 gamble, but I'd like to at least increase the odds in my favor, cause I really want to test out Haiku (or one of the other BeOS versions mentioned on the 'thegreenboard.com' forum).
    Regarding OS/2, I'd really like to hear more on why you're so opposed to it, as all my research indicates eCS 2.0 is viable OS; if you know something I don't, I'm very interested! As for Linux, I'm pretty much already decided on Linux Mint 7 & PCLinuxOS 2010, but if I end up hating both I may trial Xandros. The obscure operating systems like BeOS, OS/2, Syllable, PC-BSD, etc., is what I really need help with. For example, I was going to get PC-BSD 7, but then someone said to go for version 8, so now I don't know. Then there's the Syllable (www.syllable.org) someone suggested that sounds good. I'd like any help/opinions from you or anyone on these weird OSs, which is what I'm most drawn to.
    Last edited by Varsel; January 21st, 2011 at 09:45 PM.

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