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yellowTAB's Zeta 1.0 Reviewed

timothy posted more than 8 years ago | from the obscurantism dept.

296

Provataki writes "OSNews' Thom Holwerda posted the first in-depth review of the recently released Zeta 1.0. He goes over installation, impressions, usage, application and hardware support, BFS queries and concludes that yellowTAB's Zeta is the deserving future of BeOS; plus, it's the only one based on the original source code by Be, Inc."

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296 comments

boooo (1)

Neotrantor (597070) | more than 8 years ago | (#13101915)

it's also old, wait till haiku is done

1999 (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13101916)

1999 called, they want their OS back.

Re:1999 (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13101918)

1970 called, they want Linux back (Actually, they think you can have it. Instead, they want Plan 9 from Bell Labs.)

Re:1999 (4, Funny)

Rosco P. Coltrane (209368) | more than 8 years ago | (#13102003)

1970 called, they want Linux back

Given that Linus Torvalds was born on December 28, 1969, I'd say he was precocious...

Re:1999 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13102097)

Given that Linux is a clone of Unix, Linus' birth date is irrelevent.

Re:1999 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13102006)

Chandler called. He wants his joke back.

Re:1999 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13102056)

Lucent called, they want something actually useful back that can make them profitable again not obscure expirimental hobby projects by washed up unix programmers from the 70s.

Re:1999 (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13102019)

1996 called....they want their joke back.

Re:1999 (1)

frostw (739485) | more than 8 years ago | (#13102088)

2008 called. He was amazed because he just read Slashdot and people were still posting this tired old joke.

Interesting Review (5, Interesting)

Arghdee (813921) | more than 8 years ago | (#13101924)

However, I noticed a few niggles.. The fact that minor oversights like videos being image/jpeg instead of video/mpeg exist suggest more testing is needed. I would expect more of a major version release, even if it is only Version 1. (Being that it is based off a relatively well aged code base) I really do hope this does succeed - I would hate to see the developers waste their hard work.

Re:Interesting Review (1)

Aluminum Tuesday (317409) | more than 8 years ago | (#13102017)

It's a 1.0 release; it doesn't surprise me that there are still niggles to be ironed out. It'll get fixed.

Re:Interesting Review (4, Informative)

GauteL (29207) | more than 8 years ago | (#13102072)

It seems to me from reading the article that the image/jpeg problem is only there when transfering videos from a digital camera, not when downloading films from the Internet.

I can only assume that the application expects a still picure camera to feed it still pictures and have some glitches in support for the limited video features of these cameras.

This makes the glich a little less important.

Re:Interesting Review (-1, Troll)

yobbo (324595) | more than 8 years ago | (#13102101)

So basically, before shipping a 1.0 release to paying customers, the developers didn't bother plugging a camera into a PC.

Sounds like a hell of a company.

Re:Interesting Review (1)

Arghdee (813921) | more than 8 years ago | (#13102183)

It seems to me from reading the article that the image/jpeg problem is only there when transfering videos from a digital camera, not when downloading films from the Internet. I can only assume that the application expects a still picure camera to feed it still pictures and have some glitches in support for the limited video features of these cameras. This makes the glich a little less important.
On re-R'ing TFA, it appears you are right. Quite possibly not a glitch that would come up in ordinary testing.
Still, I wish these guys good luck. They'll need it.

Re:Interesting Review (0, Troll)

nuggetman (242645) | more than 8 years ago | (#13102075)

However, I noticed a few niggles

The term is Neglo-American

Be, A Member Of An Elite Group (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13101925)

Amiga Freaks
Be Nuts
Xbox Clowns
Dreamcast Babies

An elite group of fans of marketplace losers plaguing an Internet near you.

Re:Be, A Member Of An Elite Group (1)

Aluminum Tuesday (317409) | more than 8 years ago | (#13102021)

An "elite group of fans"? Nah: just a userbase making use of a product that does what they want it to. Would you continue to use and support your OS if only 5% of the rest of the computing world was using it? If not, you're probably not passionate enough about the OS to "get" BeOS fans.

Re:Be, A Member Of An Elite Group (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13102083)

Pretty typical of Slashdot, moan about Windows' dominance and lack of free choice, but take a dump on anything that tries to challenge it because it's some kind of niche market.

Re:Be, A Member Of An Elite Group (1)

Aluminum Tuesday (317409) | more than 8 years ago | (#13102096)

It's more like anything that challenges Windows but isn't Linux or Mac OS X. If you're a BSD fan, you'll find the same thing.

!(Linux or Mac OS X) (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13102125)

I thought OS X was BSD?

Re:!(Linux or Mac OS X) (1)

Aluminum Tuesday (317409) | more than 8 years ago | (#13102142)

It's based on BSD, but BSD is only a small part of it as a whole. Most Mac OS X users will have no idea they're running a BSD, or even a NEXT-derived OS.

Re:Be, A Member Of An Elite Group (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13102163)

I don't think it's fair to put the xbox fans in with the others. The xbox was marketplace flop that has no equal - four to five billion in losses for a tie for last place in the console market.

The Amiga, Be, and the Dreamcast were failures, but combined they don't hold a candle to the xbox's Mother of All Markteplace Failures.

Re:Be, A Member Of An Elite Group (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13102173)

I play Elite [clara.net] on my Archimedes [old-computers.com] using RISC OS [riscos.com] .

Re:Be, A Member Of An Elite Group (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13102195)

elite was overhyped, try UIM by 4th Dimension.

Re:Be, A Member Of An Elite Group (3, Funny)

blueZhift (652272) | more than 8 years ago | (#13102185)

Oh and let's not forget about OS/2! No really, please don't forget about OS/2...

Re:Be, A Member Of An Elite Group (1)

Digz (90264) | more than 8 years ago | (#13102220)

..and I've been a member of all those groups.

Man, I need to get out more often. ;)

Deluxe Edition? (4, Interesting)

onion2k (203094) | more than 8 years ago | (#13101927)

From the Zeta FAQs:

"The Home Edition and Developer Edition don't have all the applications the Deluxe Edition does."

That's fine, I just want to poke about with the OS and see if I want to go further.. Developer edition will be fine thanks.

Pop to the Shop section.. Alas, only the bloated Deluxe edition with 3Gb of apps I'll never look at is for sale.

Back to *nix..

Re:Deluxe Edition? (1)

Chicane-UK (455253) | more than 8 years ago | (#13101930)

Indeed.. a stripped down test version to see if my network, graphics, and sound will work would be great.

Alas the hardware list is typically sparse and I don't particularly want to fork out 99 Euro's on something I can't be sure will work with my system.

Nevermind!

Re:Deluxe Edition? (2, Interesting)

Aluminum Tuesday (317409) | more than 8 years ago | (#13101959)

My first introduction to BeOS was a live CD of BeOS R4.5, which was distributed on a magazine's cover CD for the purpose of giving people a taste of BeOS and the chance to see if it'd run on their machines. I suspect they gained a number of customers from that live CD (me included), and I also suspect YellowTAB could benefit similarly.

Re:Deluxe Edition? (1)

Freexe (717562) | more than 8 years ago | (#13101960)

Well, you can do what you probably did with windows at some point in your life and pirate it http://www.torrentreactor.net/view.php?id=5014587 [torrentreactor.net] , see if you like it, and then use Linux

Re:Deluxe Edition? (1)

Aluminum Tuesday (317409) | more than 8 years ago | (#13101969)

That link isn't to 1.0; it's to RC3. That download is out of date.

Gets an A from me (1)

cloudkj (685320) | more than 8 years ago | (#13101932)

Big icons == happy users. Clicky clicky!

Hobbyist OS ? (1)

Gopal.V (532678) | more than 8 years ago | (#13101934)

I know BeOS was a cool thing (especially BeFS), but it has been recently sidelined into the hobbyist OS category (unfairly yes, surprising no).

The sad part is that you can hardly run it on an old box. To run it properly you need at least a good video card (which I never spent much on).

Re:Hobbyist OS ? (3, Insightful)

dysprosia (661648) | more than 8 years ago | (#13101962)

Well, BeOS's target was always in high-end multimedia, and old boxes aren't always the best for that sort of thing, regardless of OS...

Re:Hobbyist OS ? (1)

eean (177028) | more than 8 years ago | (#13101967)

BeOS you could certainly run on an old box, I ran the free demo and I remember it being snappy with the hardware I had at the time (like 300 mhz).

Re:Hobbyist OS ? (4, Insightful)

tha_mink (518151) | more than 8 years ago | (#13102059)

The sad part is that you can hardly run it on an old box. To run it properly you need at least a good video card (which I never spent much on).

Actually, the sad part is that you have to pay out the heinie (~$114 USD I think) for it. I give YellowTab props for picking up the project but damn...I can buy Windows XP Pro for $85 USD.

Such a waste... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13101938)

...of programming energy that could have been put to good use in writing that damn Linux ATIradeonX300 driver for my onboard card or for that Realtek ALC 861 sound chip I can't get to work with intel_hda_codec.

But NO. They have to write a whole new OS (again) where another fvwm-forked WindowManager would have sufficed.

Re:Such a waste... (1)

afd8856 (700296) | more than 8 years ago | (#13101965)

ignorant, ignorant
double ignorant.

Re:Such a waste... (4, Insightful)

ssj_195 (827847) | more than 8 years ago | (#13101994)

I'm not sure if this applies to Zeta or not, but to make a point about this argument that crops up whenever someone forks a project or appears to re-tread old ground: Programmers are not interchangeable, especially if they are programming for free, and in their spare time. Such programmers will tackle the projects that interest them, and if deprived of such projects, may well opt to not tackle anything at all rather than help with an (to them) uninteresting project.

Re:Such a waste... (2, Funny)

Aluminum Tuesday (317409) | more than 8 years ago | (#13102031)

And doesn't it suck to live on a planet with chefs putting effort into new and exciting fish recipes when they could be cooking you a tastier hot dog?

Re:Such a waste... (1, Funny)

R.D.Olivaw (826349) | more than 8 years ago | (#13102165)

"new and exciting fish recipes"

Dip fish in batter, fry and serve with chips.
Now, can we please get back to improving the hotdog?

Re:Such a waste... (1)

Zedrick (764028) | more than 8 years ago | (#13102182)

When you think about it, yes...

Just try to imagine what kind of hotdogs we would have to choose from if all great chefs of the world were developing new hotdog-recipes all the time!

Mmmmmm. I think I'm going to buy some hotdogs, hotdog bread and 5 different kinds of cheese to experminent with tonight.

Zata as download image (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13101942)

can anyone point me to the edonkey or torrent link?

Re:Zata as download image (2, Insightful)

Aluminum Tuesday (317409) | more than 8 years ago | (#13102038)

It's actually easier than that - if you give them some money, they'll mail it out to you on a physical disc. They even throw in a manual so morons who can't even get the OS' name right ("Zata"?) are at least in with a chance of understanding what it's about.

I can understand you wanting to pirate from big faceless corporations, but geez: YellowTAB is a really small and specialised company. If you like their stuff, buy it.

Re:Zata as download image (1, Interesting)

iibagod (887140) | more than 8 years ago | (#13102067)

I don't feel the need to pirate from a small and specialized company....I just don't feel the need to give over my hard earned cash to try some marginal OS that (by your statistics) less than 5% would use, only to find out that....I'm part of the 95% non-Zeta users out there. If I like it and there's enough support for it to get things working, I'll think about it. But hey, I already run a small-market OS that actually has plenty of support. And guess what.....it was free.

No thanks, zealo.....uh, passionate BeOS user.

Re:Zata as download image (1)

Aluminum Tuesday (317409) | more than 8 years ago | (#13102128)

All you're saying to me is that you're not part of YellowTAB's target market. No worries; hopefully enough people are that they'll make some money from Zeta.

And I'm not currently a BeOS user. I use FreeBSD and Mac OS X.

Re:Zata as download image (1)

iibagod (887140) | more than 8 years ago | (#13102168)

My apologies, you can clearly understand how I got the impression that you use BeOS by seeing how you've so devoutly covered these comments.

And thats oh so helpful of you to dismiss me as not being of the target market. I'm certainly not anymore.

Re:Zata as download image (1)

Aluminum Tuesday (317409) | more than 8 years ago | (#13102219)

That's the reality though, isn't it? Your earlier comment says to me that you want:

* a free OS
* a widely supported OS

Zeta is neither. You aren't who they're aiming themselves at.

And I can see how you got the impression, but there was still no need to jump to conclusions.

sometimes, it would partially turn all grey. (1)

akadruid (606405) | more than 8 years ago | (#13101946)

sometimes, it would partially turn all grey.

come again?

good article though, despite the minor confusing bits.

It looks like quite a nice operating system for 'geek who has everything'. Runs nicely on outdated systems too, and it will have a bucketload of security through obscurity too. reasonable hardware compatability and loads of bundled apps means its pretty functional too. 99 euros seems quite reasonable too (I was looking at RHEL prices for work this morning!).

Good (3, Insightful)

kahei (466208) | more than 8 years ago | (#13101949)


Look, a faint dim spark that still lights the way toward the wondrous land of OSes that are not encumbered with the baggage of Unix and Windows.

The forward thinking population of /. will now mock it because:

* It's old.
* It's not Linux or OSX.
* It's not free.

They will ignore the fact that:

* Much of what OSX has just started to do, in terms of usability, BeOS explored all the way back then.
* It's really easy to develop fast GUI apps for.
* And to develop for in general.
* Diversity is good, and a billion people writing GNU-style apps for Linux is not diversity.

In summary, I -- hey! Get out of my yard! Damn kids these days.

Re:Good (1)

Aluminum Tuesday (317409) | more than 8 years ago | (#13101980)

And let's not forget that BeOS nearly did become Mac OS X, in the way that NEXT eventually did.

Of course, whether we'd have had Jean Louis Gassee at the helm of Apple now, rather than Steve Jobs... I'll leave to your imagination. ;-)

Re:Good (3, Insightful)

drsmithy (35869) | more than 8 years ago | (#13101986)

The forward thinking population of /. will now mock it because:

The only reason I will mock it is because it isn't multiuser.

Re:Good (1)

lisaparratt (752068) | more than 8 years ago | (#13101999)

I dunno, the half baked network stack is probably worthy of a gentle mocking, too.

I believe the open source clones have fixing it as one of their priorities.

Re:Good (1)

SmittyTheBold (14066) | more than 8 years ago | (#13102095)

I believe Zeta uses the BONE stack, not the old one that was almost universally derided.

not good (1)

cahiha (873942) | more than 8 years ago | (#13101996)

The forward thinking population of /. will now mock it because:

It will mock it because it has the same problems as Linux, BSD, OS X, and Windows, and on top of that isn't even backwards compatible.

Diversity is good, and a billion people writing GNU-style apps for Linux is not diversity.

Diversity is good. Too bad that BeOS and its derivatives don't provide it.

Re:Good (2, Insightful)

Rosco P. Coltrane (209368) | more than 8 years ago | (#13102025)

Look, a faint dim spark that still lights the way toward the wondrous land of OSes that are not encumbered with the baggage of Unix and Windows.

An OS that's not encumbered by the baggage of Unix or Windows is an OS that:

1 - does not take advantage of decades of POSIX normalisation, made by hundreds of thousands of high-level developers and designers.

2 - does not take advantage of the huge existing base of developers who know the POSIX and Windows API inside and out the world over.

3 - can't run any of the good, and not-so-good software written on any OS for the last 30 years.

4 - Re-implements design flaws that have been already been purged out of Unix or Windows (well, just Unix)

Personally, I wish they didn't waste their time reinventing the wheel. Other designers have already been there, and while there's a lot to say about the heavy legacy of various existing designs, they work and have billions of man/hours put into them.

Re:Good (1)

cahiha (873942) | more than 8 years ago | (#13102179)

Other designers have already been there, and while there's a lot to say about the heavy legacy of various existing designs, they work and have billions of man/hours put into them.

Well, I think people ought to explore new directions. Trouble is: BeOS/Zeta isn't doing that--it is basically the same as mainstream systems, only with more bouncing heads and less modularity.

Re:Good (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13102077)

Much of what OSX has just started to do, in terms of usability, BeOS explored all the way back then.

Like what? You're full of it.

Re:Good (1)

SmittyTheBold (14066) | more than 8 years ago | (#13102112)

Database filesystems, to begin with.

Good multithreading that extends to the GUI, improving perceived responsiveness.

Those're the first two my sleep-deprived brain comes up with.

Re:Good (2, Insightful)

jedigeek (102443) | more than 8 years ago | (#13102093)

Actually, a lot of the things in BeOS had been copied from what Apple started in the 80s. And what do you mean by "what OSX has just started to do, in terms of usability"? os x has been basically the same (although it has clearly evolved) for nearly 5 years now. I'm just wondering: have you even used a mac?

If you take time to read the badly written review on OS News, you'll notice that Yellow Tab seem to have totally derailed what made BeOS good, and made a bizarre version of BeOS mangled with terrible open source fonts, icons and themes. And it costs more than an OEM copy of Windows. Consider that 100% of consumer peripherals support Windows, and Windows has a simple UI that nearly everyone finds easy to use, Zeta pretty much fails it on every account. I don't really understand the argument of using BeOS over Windows, other than a lot of noise created by disgruntled anti-Microsoft slashdot posters. What does it have going for it that the end-user cares about at all? Absolutely nothing.

I would love to try it (2, Insightful)

castlec (546341) | more than 8 years ago | (#13101955)

Unfortunately, the price is just too high to justify. The effort required to customize a linux installation is well worth 99 eur in my opinion. If they survive, I may try them in the future but not right now.

Re:I would love to try it (1)

Aluminum Tuesday (317409) | more than 8 years ago | (#13102068)

Zeta is aimed more at people who don't have the time, skill or inclination to customise their own open source OS, but who do have the money to pay for something that just works straight out of the box.

yellowTAB's Zeta?? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13101961)

I thought it was Douglas' Zeta ...

source code? (-1, Troll)

hehzz (896321) | more than 8 years ago | (#13101963)

Does the yellowTAB has BeOS source code? If not - how did they made this release and how are they thinkinh continue Zeta? If they have the code - how did they get it?? Any ideas which P2P networks could have Zeta ISO? :)

Re:source code? (1)

Aluminum Tuesday (317409) | more than 8 years ago | (#13101990)

Yes, they have it. They bought the BeOS code when Be went under. And yes, I have a pretty good idea which P2P networks will have the Zeta ISO. I'll pay for mine, thanks.

Re:source code? (-1, Offtopic)

hehzz (896321) | more than 8 years ago | (#13102004)

i live in a country where ppl never pay for software (exception is official things as companies, schools). So this won't be the first time. I tried to search it in torrent and direct connect networks without any results. "which P2P networks will have" - means there's no ISOs abailable yet? :S

Re:source code? (1)

Aluminum Tuesday (317409) | more than 8 years ago | (#13102200)

"i live in a country where ppl never pay for software"

Oh, that makes it alright then.

Re:source code? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13102070)

Usenet, BitTorrent, Emule...

Doesn't work with my hardware (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13101970)

I have an Abit KT7A-Raid Motherboard with the latest firmware...

First Problem
If I try to install on a Maxtor 120GB harddrive, it says "Could not determine suitable harddisk drive". This happens whether I'm on the UDMA66 channels or the faster HPT370 ATA-100 Channels. But if I drop in a 5GB Maxtor drive, it works but only on the slower channels. There was a replacement IDE driver for BeOS 5 but I haven't tried to see if it'll work with Zeta. With BeOS you could install this on the slower channels and switch to the faster.
http://www.bebits.com/app/2625 [bebits.com]
But it doesn't help me with installing on the Maxtor 120GB since I can't get installed on any channels to apply the patch.

Second problem
Network card not detected: SMC 1255TX-PF (Accton EN-1216 Chipset).
I'm keeping an eye open for my old SMC 1244 with a Realtec chipset to see if it works. I know BeOS 5 worked with the SMC 1244. I thought it did with the SMC1255 as well, but perhaps I'm wrong.

Mugsy

They have been selling the beta since about a year (4, Informative)

yormas (900810) | more than 8 years ago | (#13101972)

On german teleshopping Zeta has been sold for more than a year - thought only a beta version. Pretty expensive but hailed as virus free. And they always say: "You can do everything with Zeta that you can do with WindowsXP" Yeah sure - tell that your kid when he tries to install any game.

Re:They have been selling the beta since about a y (1)

aarku (151823) | more than 8 years ago | (#13102193)

"You can do everything with Zeta that you can do with WindowsXP"
That's really funny when you say it in the zombocom voice [zombo.com] .

Good luck, but ... (1)

DoktorTomoe (643004) | more than 8 years ago | (#13101974)

... I am still wondering how an operating system with virtually no native software and no developer and/or user base will survive, let alone compete against Lin/Win/Mac ...

Re:Good luck, but ... (4, Informative)

Aluminum Tuesday (317409) | more than 8 years ago | (#13102013)

Check out bebits.com for BeOS native software, including the Firefox browser you probably used to post that message.

If it survives (and here's hoping), it'll be because its specialised and does what it does very well. Video editing on a 300MHz PC running BeOS 5 Pro was a lot less painful than you might think. I hope they keep that up.

Re:Good luck, but ... (1)

zorander (85178) | more than 8 years ago | (#13102188)

Is there modern video/audio editing software for it? Particularly, is there a recent version of a production grade audio production suite (like protools or logic or cubase) for it?

If not, then why are people touting it's multimedia capabilities? I mean sure, it's damn cool, but it's not going to be used for pro audio video if they're not there. I however, am ignorant--what's out there for Be in the audio/(video) world?

BeOS is not Linux (5, Informative)

Aluminum Tuesday (317409) | more than 8 years ago | (#13102005)

There seems to be some confusion here as to what BeOS actually is - it's not just a hobby OS or a Linux clone, but a full-featured media-centric OS designed for music and video production. It's fundamentally different to Linux and other Unixes: it's designed to be low latency rather than to have a network-aware window system and multi-user capabilities. It was designed from the start to be a desktop OS - when everyone else was going multi-user, Be stayed single user and concentrated on its multimedia specialisation. It's worth a look, and I hope they do a demo live CD the same way that Be did for R4.5. Otherwise most of you non-pirates are never going to see how cool it is.

Re:BeOS is not Linux (1)

Rosco P. Coltrane (209368) | more than 8 years ago | (#13102043)

it's designed to be low latency rather than to have a network-aware window system and multi-user capabilities. It was designed from the start to be a desktop OS - when everyone else was going multi-user, Be stayed single user and concentrated on its multimedia specialisation.

If that's all it has to offer, I'll just hack together a distro with low-lat Linux kernel packed with all kinds of A/V drivers and software, with login taken out. Gee...

My point is, existing software already does that, be it Linux, Windows (urgh), QNX or whatever. BeOS (or Zeta or whatever it's called) won't work because it has nothing significantly new to offer, and it's not compatible with anything.

Re:BeOS is not Linux (5, Insightful)

Aluminum Tuesday (317409) | more than 8 years ago | (#13102061)

"I'll just hack together a distro"

And for media pros without the skill, time or inclination to do that, here's BeOS! Ready-made for what they need. Understand?

And maybe BeOS was offering this stuff before the others were; did you think of that? Maybe there's an established user base of people who want to keep using the OS they're used to, rather than switch to one you'd like to see them using. Maybe they don't like your choice of OS, and maybe they wouldn't like the one you'd put together for them.

Maybe Be and YellowTAB "get it" in the exact way that you don't.

Re:BeOS is not Linux (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13102116)

And maybe BeOS was offering this stuff before the others were

You say it: was. Alpha was ahead of its time as well. Congrats to them all, but we live in 2005 now.

It took YellowTAB way too long to get a production release out. One could argue similar about GNU/Hurd and Haiku (OpenBeOS). They all lost their market. I bet 'media pros' are much more easier to find on Linux nowadays than on an alternative OS such as RiscOS, AmigaOS, BeOS, MorphOS or whatever niche OS you're fan of. Perhaps that is sad, thats a diff point.

YellowTABs legal status wrt source code is also not clear. It is not clear wether they have a license from Palm, wether they have legal access to the source code. This makes Haiku more interesting as well if they manage compatibility with Linux and Windows.

Re:BeOS is not Linux (1)

Aluminum Tuesday (317409) | more than 8 years ago | (#13102189)

yT bought the BeOS source code when Be went under.

Although media types are more likely to be using Mac OS X and Windows now, rather than any of the OSs you list (I was big on AmigaOS way back when, as it happens), it's great that we have options and that I could consider a return to the OS I used for video editing, if I wanted.

Any software product needs to be refined and expanded to meets its user's changing needs. Here's hoping yT is able to do that with Zeta.

Re:BeOS is not Linux (4, Insightful)

wiit_rabit (584440) | more than 8 years ago | (#13102155)

I think Roscoe has probably never used BeOS, much less Zeta. Although I will sound like a fanboy of BeOS (or Zeta), I encourage everyone to experience this OS. Other posts and the article talk about low latency, but you need see the OS first hand to understand what this really means. Secondly, with millions of PII '440BX' or similar based systems out there being tossed in the trash pile for no good reason other than they won't run XP very well, they should sing running this OS.

Re:BeOS is not Linux (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13102158)

First, let me say I have a dual 133MHz BeBox at home and used to think it was a wonderful system. So I'm not an anti-BeOS zealot.

But exactly what apps are these media pros using on BeOS? The OS can be designed for that kind of work as much as you want, but without the apps to take advantage of it. Correct me if things have changed, but what replacement would any 'media pro' have for any of Photoshop, Illustrator, Final Cut Pro, Shake, Motion, Logic, Cubase, DVD Studio Pro etc etc? Because those are the apps all the media pros I know of use.

It's nice that BeOS has a fast system-wide search with live queries, and it's nice that it had it before other systems (I remember using it back in 96 or so). But most 'media pros' don't spend all day searching for files.

No matter how great the OS is, no matter how great it is at running on an old machine, it's the apps that matter. Sad, but true.

I might consider installing it on an old machine for my dad who surfs and does nothing much more. But it'd be useless for any 'media pros'.

Re:BeOS is not Linux (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13102175)

You're not getting it.
The kind of low latency BeOS gave you is virtually impossible to do in linux, or windows, for that matter, without a major rewrite of the kernel and drivers.

No amount of low latency patches will fix linux's design, which isn't even broken to begin with, as linux wasn't develloped with that goal in mind.

Linux isn't a silver bullet. It's how the saying goes: jack of all trades, master of none.

Re:BeOS is not Linux (1)

cahiha (873942) | more than 8 years ago | (#13102199)

it's designed to be low latency rather than to have a network-aware window system and multi-user capabilities

First of all, the Linux GUI uses shared memory and IPC, just like almost every other desktop OS in common use.

Secondly, none of those things are mutually exclusive. For example, ultiuser capabilities have no impact on the Linux kernel or its performance.

Be stayed single user and concentrated on its multimedia specialisation.

Yes, and that's a needless specialization. All major desktop OSes are more than fast enough to handle multimedia.

Why do I want this? (2, Interesting)

TedRiot (899157) | more than 8 years ago | (#13102012)

I admit that I'm totally ignorant of BeOS - all I know about it is the name.

Who is this for and what kind of things are they supposed to do with it? What does it offer that current operating systems with lots of applications don't offer? From the GUI orientation of the article I suppose this is not for some specific server need.

Variety is good, but what (good) variety does this bring?

Re:Why do I want this? (4, Interesting)

kahei (466208) | more than 8 years ago | (#13102042)


It's main benefits are:

Very good with all things video
Fast, especially at GUI tasks
Very good filesystem, such that you can define a folder as 'everything in /etc that is less than 5 days old and is a sound file'
Easy to write for
SVG graphics! Okay, not really a solid benefit but a cool technology; graphics are vectors and therefore zoom and scale as you would expect.

It was designed to be an efficient single-user graphical OS, specially for use in multimedia (ie they couldn't think of any other niche for it). As a result it's much faster than Unix/Linux and much cleaner and freindlier than Windows for doing GUI tasks and as a platform for video codecs.

In terms of apps, the big open source projects (firefox, vim etc) are all there, but there's precious little else.

The main DISadvantage is that nobody uses it and there's not the slightest chance that anybody ever will :) However, it is more comfortable and responsive to use than any other OS I can think of -- a bit like using NeXT, in fact, if anyone remembers those.

Re:Why do I want this? (4, Informative)

Aluminum Tuesday (317409) | more than 8 years ago | (#13102048)

It's a single-user, low-latency media workstation OS for audio/video production. It does pretty much everything you can do with media on Mac OS X or Windows XP - but it does it faster and in a way that BeOS fans will be used to and comfortable with.

Re:Why do I want this? (3, Funny)

tomstdenis (446163) | more than 8 years ago | (#13102066)

"It's a single-user, low-latency media workstation"

You mean like a VCR?

Hehehe, sorry.

Tom

I gotta ask... (0, Offtopic)

chipster (661352) | more than 8 years ago | (#13102037)

Where the heck is Eugenia Loli-Queru during all this? Although when I see her name, I can't help but think of the quote;

"You're meaner than a dog shittin' tacks"

"In Depth"... (3, Insightful)

Mike Connell (81274) | more than 8 years ago | (#13102047)

For the MTV generation maybe, but I didn't see a great deal of depth there: filesystems? 3D support? network stack quality? hardware coverage? It looked a lot more like "I installed some CD and this is what happened" to me.

Not to mention that a review containing "Firefox 1.0.3 requires no introduction, however, a few notes on it are justified: fast & stable. I do not know what the yT guys and girls have done, but they made Firefox on BeOS stable and usable. And that's a great achievement." strikes me as a little suspect. Is Firefox not normally fast and stable, or is the reviewer really stuck for good things to say about Zeta?

Re:"In Depth"... (3, Interesting)

i-neo (176120) | more than 8 years ago | (#13102102)

I think the reviewer is probably a former BeOS user. He used to have problems with programs such as Firefox (display bugs).
This comment is interesting for people like me who used BeOS before, but stopped because of the lack of support of the open source comunity.

However I agree this is not an in-depth review, just the experience of a user.

As review are often biased, I prefer to know what the review did or experienced rather than having a lot of numbers and charts that often don't mean anything since you may have a lot of different hardware configuration.

What I can say about BeOS is that it was really good (back in the 2000) for realtime audio compositing, with really low latency. Even with my low-end computer, I managed to get good multimedia performance.

I think it is worth trying, just to feel/know that a system can be/behave differently with another OS, even on the same hardware.

Re:"In Depth"... (3, Interesting)

Aluminum Tuesday (317409) | more than 8 years ago | (#13102105)

Firefox used to suck on BeOS; it was sluggish and crashed if you looked at it the wrong way. Obviously yT has fixed it.

Re:"In Depth"... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13102218)

Yet apparently still crashes when opening a local html file and shipped version is 2 security updates behind current. I ran phoenix as my main browser on Win32/Linux since version 0.2 without any problems. I'm running Deerpark nightlies and CVS on my boxes, what do yT use for native SVG backend, is it going to be supported?

**sigh**

Then there's that scanner problem, the solution some 18 months ago when I tried it on slack was sanefindscanner IIRC. I'm assuming this is a bug with the reviewer being unable to grok the supplied manual.

Haiku OS - BeOS clone (4, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13102058)

The BeOS clone Haiku [haiku-os.org] also made some nice progress during the last months. Most kits do work and are in alpha or beta stage. There are vmware and vpc images to try out on philipp schmid's blog [schmidp.com] and also some screenshots [schmidp.com] .

screenshots (3, Informative)

doubleshot (863072) | more than 8 years ago | (#13102081)

Re:screenshots (1)

jurt1235 (834677) | more than 8 years ago | (#13102202)

Sorry for Zeta, but this looks like fvwm95 or windows 95 without the goodies installed. They may have been way ahead, but I will prefer my KDE desktop over this any time.

Mod this flamebait if you like it (1)

ratta (760424) | more than 8 years ago | (#13102099)

But what is another closed source os for? If you want to attract people away from windows you need something more than a nice GUI, and IMHO opensource is the only thing that may do it. It is very unlikely that peole will abandon windows just to be locked into another proprietary os, provided by a much smaller corporation. BTW kudos to the zetaos people, even if it is quite unlikely i'd be happy to see some competition.

New hardware (2, Interesting)

gilesjuk (604902) | more than 8 years ago | (#13102104)

I would have liked to have seen the review done on modern hardware. Large SATA hard disk, dual core or hyper-threaded CPU, Nforce chipset, PCI express graphics etc..

It's popularity will be severely limited if it doesn't support as much hardware as Linux, never mind Windows.

99 euro? (2, Insightful)

Zedrick (764028) | more than 8 years ago | (#13102110)

"For only 99,- Euro, a bargain."

Even compared to FreeBSD or how much a Linux distro would cost me?

Sounds nice, but for 99 euro I would at least want a time limited installation to try out, before taking out my VISA.

OMG (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13102135)

this fails it so hard, I am looking at the screenshots, I do not see 3d window animations, I do not see scalable icons, I do not see transparancy effects... this operating system fails it and is dying, for the above mentioned reasons.

Re:OMG (1, Funny)

Rosco P. Coltrane (209368) | more than 8 years ago | (#13102225)

this operating system fails it and is dying

Does Netcraft comfirm it?
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