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Wednesday, February 04, 2004

Back to the Back to the Back to the BeBox

Finally I got my dual processor BeOS machine at home up and working. Turns out that the dead PRAM battery in it was actually no PRAM battery at all, which once fixed improved things considerably.

I managed to port some things to PowerPC that previously were Intel only, nothing particularly interesting but useful nonetheless. I may end up putting them up on [BeBits].

To give you some history, in 1996 Be allied itself with the Mac clone makers to offer an alternative to the MacOS on Mac-compatible hardware. That built some momentum, and while Mac users were very taken with Be, it was mostly to position BeOS to be acquired or licensed by Apple as the foundation of their new OS strategy. Apple ended up buying NeXT instead, and Be realigned itself around Intel hardware - which grew Be's userbase even more. Things went downhill for Be from there, not long before they were acquired by Palm they realigned again around a "media device" strategy - set top boxes, internet access terminals and the like, the same space that QNX had carved out for itself.

Thus, most of the interesting things written for BeOS happened while Intel hardware was in vogue, and the PowerPC users were largely neglected. While I have an Intel machine that runs BeOS, it's a rather weak PI 166, which even with BeOS is a bit sluggish (hey, it the peecee was bought to be a router anyway). My Dual 200 PowerMac makes an excellent BeOS machine, but I end up either having to port things if I can, or I just have to do without some things. It doesn't help much that the PowerPC development tools are based around the somewhat eclectic [Metrowerks] command-line tools, while the Intel tools are based around the more standard [GCC]. What will build under GCC will take quite a bit of work to get going under the Metrowerks mwcc compiler.

2/04/2004 06:33:00 PM ] [  0 comments  ]
A good quick laugh