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ArsTechnica on BeOS 5 Personal vs. BeOS 5 Professional

By SgtPepper in Culture
Mon Jun 05, 2000 at 03:43:57 PM EST
Tags: Software (all tags)
Software

ArsTechnica has a very good write up on the BeOS operating system, and the differences between the Freely downloadable Personal Edition and the $70 Professional Edition. While the author, Andrew "Skippy" Martens does warn you that he owns stock in Be ( and sometimes he does sound like he's trying to sell you ), it's a pretty fair and unbiased review. Good read, i might just try BeOS again. :)


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ArsTechnica on BeOS 5 Personal vs. BeOS 5 Professional | 21 comments (21 topical, editorial, 0 hidden)
Cool. I love everything OS.... (none / 0) (#4)
by Neuromancer on Mon Jun 05, 2000 at 10:13:12 AM EST

Neuromancer voted 1 on this story.

Cool. I love everything OS.

These are nice things to know. I'm... (3.00 / 2) (#3)
by fluffy grue on Mon Jun 05, 2000 at 10:42:39 AM EST

fluffy grue voted 1 on this story.

These are nice things to know. I'm actually a Be registered developer, but only had BeOS installed for a few months, during which time it mostly gathered dust, simply because the UI couldn't be configured for my ergonomic needs, unlike fvwm2 which allows me to tweak everything I need. In fact, I emailed some of the Be developers about this issue, and their responses were generally "I don't see why you'd need that" or "Well, you can't customize that, but there ARE themes now." Sorry, I need the ability to at least generally move the mouse by the keyboard (I have a pretty severe RSI in both hands, which is only exacerbated by switching between a keyboard and a mouse), and being stuck to a little tab for moving a window and a little square in the bottom-right corner for moving it are even worse, not to mention being stuck having to move windows to begin with, whereas with fvwm2 I set up the square edges for moving, the corners for resize (and also have convenient keyboard shortcuts for doing both), and SmartWindowPlacement.

Oops, I wandered again. Anyway. I'll have to check out the review when I get a chance; hopefully the UI is much more flexible which is, as you may have guessed, the major issue I've had with BeOS in the past - in fact, aside from the UI, I loved it, though it helps that it supports all my hardware too. :)

BTW, the only app I use a lot where I have to touch the mouse for in fvwm2 is Netscape, and that's okay since it doesn't normally involve switching between the keyboard and mouse very often. Then again, most of my other apps are terminal-based and not graphical (X11 - a nice replacement for screens :)
--
"Is not a quine" is not a quine.
I have a master's degree in science!

[ Hug Your Trikuare ]

Huuuuuuuuuulllggghhhh.... (none / 0) (#2)
by Pelorat on Mon Jun 05, 2000 at 11:34:39 AM EST

Pelorat voted -1 on this story.

Huuuuuuuuuulllggghhhh.

Good article, and the blurb is righ... (none / 0) (#5)
by warpeightbot on Mon Jun 05, 2000 at 11:46:32 AM EST

warpeightbot voted 1 on this story.

Good article, and the blurb is right, I might just have to go grab Be just for the CDDA filesystem support... it's just too cool to essentially have a ripper right there in the kernel... and all this in half a gigglebyte (including room for home files)! Tres cool.

Re: Good article, and the blurb is righ... (none / 0) (#19)
by Anonymous Hero on Tue Jun 06, 2000 at 02:11:43 PM EST

You'll get better ripping results from a linux user space tool such as cdparanoia, which heals dodgy data (yes, CDDA may be digital, but that desn't mean it's transcribed perfectly by the average CDROM drive).

Also, there was once a linux kernel(2.0) patch to mount CDDA CDs, but I haven't seen it for years. The user space tools just gave much better results.



[ Parent ]
MLP, but good MLP... (none / 0) (#6)
by Eimi on Mon Jun 05, 2000 at 11:52:18 AM EST

Eimi voted 1 on this story.

MLP, but good MLP

How can it be fair and unbiased whe... (none / 0) (#8)
by iCEBaLM on Mon Jun 05, 2000 at 11:58:34 AM EST

iCEBaLM voted -1 on this story.

How can it be fair and unbiased when it sounds like he's trying to sell you? The two are mutually exclusive.

Re: How can it be fair and unbiased whe... (none / 0) (#12)
by SgtPepper on Mon Jun 05, 2000 at 03:55:22 PM EST

At TIMES he sounds like he's selling it to you, but the OVERALL feel of the article is quite unbiased and quite fair.

[ Parent ]
I thought that I might download BeO... (none / 0) (#9)
by plastic on Mon Jun 05, 2000 at 12:46:46 PM EST

plastic voted 1 on this story.

I thought that I might download BeOS Personal Edition and give it a spin, but apparently there's no way around the Windows requirement. I'm certainly not going to install one OS just to play around with another OS. I think that a stand-alone version of BeOS Personal Edition would encourage even more people to give it a try.

Re: I thought that I might download BeO... (none / 0) (#11)
by sugarman on Mon Jun 05, 2000 at 03:53:45 PM EST

AIR, there is(was?) a linux version of the PE also available. It wasn't blatantly obvious that it existed, and no, I did not have a chance to try it, but it should still be around.
--sugarman--
[ Parent ]
Re: I thought that I might download BeO... (4.00 / 1) (#14)
by farlukar on Mon Jun 05, 2000 at 05:55:28 PM EST

There is (was?) a linux version, and there is a way to make the one-file-BeOS stand-alone:
"You can't install R5 PE to its own partition!"
Not directly, no. You can, however, install it to the image.be file on a
FAT32 partition, boot into it, run DriveSetup to initialize a new BeOS
partition, and then run Installer to copy the system onto that new
partition. Run `bootman` from the Terminal to setup the BeOS boot
manager (if you want it) for the new partition, and then reboot. After
that, you can get rid of the BeOS folder off your FAT32 partition.
I guess you can replace "FAT32" with "e2fs".
______________________
$ make install not war

[ Parent ]
How to make a BeOS 5 PE CDROM (4.50 / 2) (#16)
by Pseudonymous Coward on Mon Jun 05, 2000 at 10:19:46 PM EST

I thought that I might download BeOS Personal Edition and give it a spin, but apparently there's no way around the Windows requirement.

I had no trouble at all turning the image.be file into a bootable CD. Simply master a CD with two data tracks, the first an ISO image with an El Torito boot configuration to load from the floppy.img file (mkhybrid can do this), and a second track containing the contents of the image.be BFS filesystem dump.

In fact, for my own image, I copied a few things from my BeOS 4.5 CD (like the SMB networking extensions) and added the BeOS 5 SDK (i.e. the gcc, binutils, and headers package), and made a second, more functional CD from that.

The boot floppy image is smart enough to go into the partitioning and installation sequence when started from the CD -- it needed no tweaking at all.

So, apart from some of the BeOS 5 Professional features like an MP3 codec, a BeOS 5 PE CD can be pretty usable. And I'm franky quite surprised nobody else has plugged in any of the freely available MP3 code into a codec for BeOS. Isn't it supposed to be easy to write or port codecs to that environment? I would think, for a "media OS," those APIs would be quite well documented. In any case, I've wandered from the topic at hand once again.

I hope someone finds this information useful!



[ Parent ]

Re: How to make a BeOS 5 PE CDROM (none / 0) (#17)
by Anonymous Hero on Mon Jun 05, 2000 at 11:45:54 PM EST

For mp3 encoding in BeOS I use GoGo along w/ GoGo Gadget which a graphical front end for gogo. It kicks serious ass in the speed and quality dept. You just cant beat the speed of ripping mp3z in BeOS thanks to cdda-fs which allows you to treat cd music tracks as *.wav files. Thats right kiddies! No ripping! Just go straight to MP3!!!

[ Parent ]
BeOS CDDA-fs. Paranoia checking? (none / 0) (#21)
by Nick Ives on Tue Jun 06, 2000 at 04:09:42 PM EST

This is one feature of BeOS that has really intrigued me, and something that I'll probably check out for myself now that I fineally got around to installing BeOS, but I was wondering, does the cdda-fs do paranoia checking + "scratch repair" ala cdparanoia? Just some of my CD's are quite badly scratched (so sue me for having a bad habit of leaving CD's on my floor =P), and whilst they play OK when you put them in a stereo, they useually rip with severe errors when you run them through a simple ripping program like cdda2wav.

I'd be very grateful if someone "In the know"(tm) on this issue could enlighten us all....

--
Nick

[ Parent ]
There is a tar.gz file for Linux, you know! (3.00 / 3) (#18)
by jonr on Tue Jun 06, 2000 at 06:05:53 AM EST

Unlike other companies, Be actually has a clue...

[ Parent ]
I don't know, BeOS isn't that impor... (1.00 / 1) (#7)
by El Volio on Mon Jun 05, 2000 at 01:37:40 PM EST

El Volio voted 0 on this story.

I don't know, BeOS isn't that important for me...

So that 170odd page manual and Real... (none / 0) (#1)
by hattig on Mon Jun 05, 2000 at 02:06:09 PM EST

hattig voted 1 on this story.

So that 170odd page manual and Realplayer is what you are paying $70 ish for? For an OS with no real applications etc. Where windows has better IDE drivers (born out by the article). I can't see the point of it at all! I would have hoped for greater things from Be, but I think that the new Amiga is just going to beat it outright. Not that either of them is every going to get within 2% of the marketshare of Linux, nevermind Windows.

Re: So that 170odd page manual and Real... (4.00 / 1) (#13)
by sugarman on Mon Jun 05, 2000 at 04:17:02 PM EST

However, Be is here *now*, while the only thing Amiga has succeeded in producing recently is press releases and vapourware. I use Be, I like Be, it does that I ask of it well. So why keep pining for something that is always over the horizon, and instead use something that is here and getting progressively better.
--sugarman--
[ Parent ]
Re: So that 170odd page manual and Real... (none / 0) (#20)
by Nick Ives on Tue Jun 06, 2000 at 04:00:27 PM EST

Windows has better IDE drivers? I dont see where in the article it says that at all. Please *read and understand* before posting. BeOS PE *completely removes* windows from memory. I actually just installed it today on this machine on my windows parition (it was free on a CD, unfortunatly they didnt include the Linux PE version too so...).

For OS's with proper memory protection (read: Linux/*BSD/NT) BeOS PE must be booted from floppy, because unlike 98, these OS's dont take too kindly to a userland program trying to kick the kernel out of memory =).

BTW, BeOS is actually pretty good in terms of media applications, although as a desktop OS its fairly lacking. Its enough to let you write music, watch TV, play with your webcam and still have access to your email & go on the net though, and its also much more stable than Windows which is the only alternative for stuff like making music on Intel machines.

--
Nick

[ Parent ]
But the BeOS Operating System will ... (none / 0) (#10)
by extrasolar on Mon Jun 05, 2000 at 02:23:20 PM EST

extrasolar voted 1 on this story.

But the BeOS Operating System will never be truely free. Well, maybe never is too strong of word---but I don't see it happening.

Be warned. (3.00 / 1) (#15)
by Inoshiro on Mon Jun 05, 2000 at 08:25:01 PM EST

Do not run BeOS [4, 4.5, 5] on an internet accessible IP or public network. It is trivial to lock up the BeOS by sending it malformed packets. When I say lock up, I do not mean "restart networking," I mean solid, power-switch lock :-).

There've been a few posting on Bugtraq regarding this, and a few simple tests with ISIC prove that it is easy to kill.



--
[ イノシロ ]
ArsTechnica on BeOS 5 Personal vs. BeOS 5 Professional | 21 comments (21 topical, 0 editorial, 0 hidden)
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