Linked by Thom Holwerda on Mon 19th Mar 2007 19:42 UTC
Zeta In July 2005, OSNews reviewed the 1.0 version of what was then YellowTAB Zeta. I concluded: "I have a clear-cut impression of what Zeta R1 is: it is by far the best 'distribution' of BeOS currently available. The hardware support is, when compared to r5, significantly better. Stability-wise, Zeta R1 is a huge leap forward when compared to older versions. Some areas still need work; but they are mostly minor things, nothing that will stop you from using this operating system as your full-time, primary system." A lot has changed over the past 15 months; YellowTAB went belly-up, Magnussoft took over the development of Zeta, and to top it off, Zeta went multiuser. Not too long ago, Mangussoft released Zeta 1.5; here is my review.
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by Sparrowhawk on Mon 19th Mar 2007 20:29 UTC
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Thanks for the overview of 1.5 Thom.

A few points:

I would disagree with you on the point about what to compare it with - if one intends to use Zeta as one's primary OS then it must be compared with Windows, Linux, BSD and OSX. I see what your point is, but I think that if Zeta cannot stand on its own merits against these, then it remains a secondary OS/hobby OS for most users. Which is fine in itself if that is what is wanted.

Having to pay for DVD burning is a bit of a downer, especially given the price of getting Zeta in the first place. Again I understand why this might be (rewarding the devs!), but it could be just too much to ask. Maybe not.

"After the big ones (Windows, Linux, Mac OS X, BSD) Zeta certainly is the most viable alternative operating system."
Well, the same could be said of eComstation. It's not as pretty, but it has the WPS, OpenOffice, MySQL, Apache, fairly recent Java, etc, etc. I think that what is best is going to be very subjective, so I would have to disagree with the "certainly" you used. Users of other OS's will have their own favourites.

Other than that though, a good read with good illustrative screenshots. Thanks.

Reply Score: 5

by transputer_guy on Mon 19th Mar 2007 21:40 UTC
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I would guess the vast majority of BeOS/Zeta users are using multiple computers anyway so the fact that BeOS can't do everything yet is not really a serious problem although the Office side is the weakest link for me, Gobe does look pretty old today.

Perhaps the USB hub problem was a not enough power issue for unpowered hubs. I have a USB1 hub that works fine with R5 with KB & optical mouse but fails on another W2K PC, KB demands too much power, maybe the R5 PC puts out more current than the W2K PC, who knows.

Reply Score: 2

RE: agreed
by Thom_Holwerda on Mon 19th Mar 2007 21:43 UTC in reply to "agreed"
Thom_Holwerda Member since:

Perhaps the USB hub problem was a not enough power issue for unpowered hubs.

My hubs are externally powered.

Reply Score: 1

Nice review
by twenex on Mon 19th Mar 2007 21:53 UTC
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Shame about BeOS - if Be had managed to keep it going I might be using it even now instead of Linux.

Personally I'm putting my hopes behind Haiku but Zeta could eventually merit serious consideration for someone who doesn't care about FOSS software.

Reply Score: 3

RE: Nice review
by bryanv on Tue 20th Mar 2007 02:41 UTC in reply to "Nice review"
bryanv Member since:

I don't care about FOSS, but I'm still gunning for Haiku. Why?

Zeta seems very far from viable.

Reply Score: 3

by stew on Mon 19th Mar 2007 22:10 UTC
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Thanks for the review! I'm still behind the times at Zeta 1.2, haven't made the upgrade yet to a Magnussoft version. Any chance you could try if it boots on an Intel Mac? When I tried the 1.21 LiveCD it went through all the icons in the splash screen and then just sat there.

Reply Score: 1

RE: Thanks!
by JPisini on Tue 20th Mar 2007 00:13 UTC in reply to "Thanks!"
JPisini Member since:

I am with you I am still running 1.2 myself. I am hoping to get the upgrade in a month or two.

Reply Score: 1

Install fresh 1.5?
by AndrewZ on Mon 19th Mar 2007 22:37 UTC
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Is it possible to install 1.5 from scratch with no upgrade?

Reply Score: 1

Witing For Haiku
by Vibe on Tue 20th Mar 2007 00:22 UTC
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I remain committed to seeing Haiku succeed and become the standard for carrying on where BeOS left off. If Haiku could shape itself into an ARB and their code be viewed as a reference implementation, I'd be pretty happy with that. It would allow proprietary solutions to thrive on the "added value" of Windows, navigate past the elitism of OS X, and nuke the ego fragmentation of Linux. Win-win-win.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Waiting For Haiku
by kad77 on Tue 20th Mar 2007 05:08 UTC in reply to "Witing For Haiku"
kad77 Member since:

Waiting for Walter?

Well, the wait will be long. I've been following Zeta since its release, but even leveraging the Dano codebase it hasn't gone very far. Overpriced, badly managed. Berndt at least communicates with the Haiku folks, but it comes off as an attempt to tread water.

Glad to see the original Be code alive in some form, but I still wish some “benevolent force” (read: wealthly geek!) like Shuttleworth would purchase the Be IP rights back from Access (and Zeta from Magnussen) and turn it over to the Haiku Foundation. Someone needs to keep funding Axel (and a few others); adding the Zeta developers would certainly help R1 see release form before the end of the decade.

With hardly any commentary on this article (where else is Zeta routinely discussed?) and practically zero buzz about Zeta, I wonder what the value of this particular venture is in real currency anymore.

BTW, I’ve read a top ReactOS kernel dev is getting picked up by Google, MS or Apple. How long until a key Haiku dev or two are paid what they’re worth in the free market?

/gripe off. It’s been nearly 10 years since we first saw BeOS. Think about that. ;)

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Waiting For Haiku
by Vibe on Tue 20th Mar 2007 06:02 UTC in reply to "RE: Waiting For Haiku"
Vibe Member since:

Can't say I'm impressed by Zeta's management or the IP ownership claims. So far, the whole thing just looks like a money pit to me. Positioning Haiku as an ARB could help attract more vendor interest, as a way of routing around Windows and Linux issues.

In any case, the big problem of Microsoft's vendor contracts still exists. Banning them from lock-in, discounting, and advertising sponsership looks like the way ahead, but that requires action at a regulatory level.

I'm surprised Sony never picked up BeOS for the Playstation 3. Haiku and the Playstation 3 would go well together, and getting a company with their clout and resources behind Haiku would be useful.

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: Waiting For Haiku
by transputer_guy on Tue 20th Mar 2007 17:24 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Waiting For Haiku"
transputer_guy Member since:

Funny you mentioned Sony, did you ever see their joint project eVilla, didn't work out so well (discussed here years ago). They were in the computer store around here, nobody noticed it.

I don't think any large company or benefactor can ever support BeOS unless it is completely free of Windows involvement so no Sony. Just realized MS also means Mark Shuttleworth.

Reply Score: 1

RE[4]: Waiting For Haiku
by Vibe on Wed 21st Mar 2007 05:40 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Waiting For Haiku"
Vibe Member since:

I don't think any large company or benefactor can ever support BeOS unless it is completely free of Windows involvement so no Sony.

Sony turned down Microsoft as a supplier for the Playstation 3 OS, if I recall. In any case, I'm sure Sony has plenty of ideas boiling away of their own. I guess, we'll just have to wait and see.

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: Waiting For Haiku
by TQH ! on Tue 20th Mar 2007 07:44 UTC in reply to "RE: Waiting For Haiku"
TQH ! Member since:

BGA is already working for Google, so there is at least one Haiku dev there ;)

Reply Score: 1

RE[3]: Waiting For Haiku
by bryanv on Tue 20th Mar 2007 19:38 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Waiting For Haiku"
bryanv Member since:

Were it not for BeOS, I wouldn't have the job I have now.

I'm not involved in any BeOS / Haiku development at work, but the skills / knowledge I gained from expiramenting with it and learning to program for it (I taught myself C++ after having been taught Java in school) have brought me to my current job.

Had I not spent a weeks part-time pay in high school on the R5 Pro / Bible bundle, I may not be sitting here today. I consider it the best $80 I've ever spent, bar none.

So while I may not have time to work on Haiku nearly as much as I'd like, I still follow it, lurk on the lists, and occasionally commit a line here or there. I wish I could get paid to work with Haiku. I really wish I could. That's just not a reasonable goal right now.

But who knows? A lot can change in a year... or 10.

Reply Score: 1

v Torrent
by RentedMule on Tue 20th Mar 2007 02:38 UTC
Image resizing
by Brmbolec on Tue 20th Mar 2007 07:33 UTC
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What's wrong with login screen and wallpaper resizing? It looks really crappy to me... is it so difficult to make it properly?

Reply Score: 1

I don't understand your satisfaction
by fudel on Tue 20th Mar 2007 10:41 UTC
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Hi Thom, I can't find out what your preview is good for. I guess there are enough of happy Zeta-OS users, who are not willing to see that this system is far behind its predecessors BeOS in many points.

Until today I haven't found an official statement at the Zeta-OS-site where AbiWord is or why it is not delivered as promised. In the Zeta-OS forum I found that the sources are out. But it seems that no one get it running caused by missing libraries. Bernd asked in the forum for developers - again I have to ask: Where is an official statement or invitation for developers.

Apologies that MultiUser isn't working perfectly yet I found somewhere in the forum too (for me these informations are not official if I have to search for it).
Sorry, can you tell me why these informations are hidden? I tell you what I guess, the reasons are: Zeta-OS wants our money. But sorry I don't have enough of it to waste for promises and/or dreams.
If I think a project is worth to be supported with my money I like to be kept clear.
For example I'm also a registered SkyOS user and I can't remember someone tells me: we did this and it's working perfectly. In SkyOS progress it's more transparent, you know what's going on (Java, mySQL, etc. are included in a better states as they are in Zeta/haiku/BeOS). The fact is, no one offers me one upgrade after another for cash. I payed once to be involved in the developing releases and got the final version 5 when SkyOS will be finished for free.

Sorry but Zeta nor the upgrades of it aren't worth the price they demand. I can't see where Zeta is going to. (Will it be a haiku distro when haiku-os r1 will be out?)

Why don't you like OOo but Firefox and AbiWord? As a purist of BeOS you should still work with NetPositive.

And Firefox (BTW. version is not 2.0.2) is as I read in the forum far away from stable (in zeta multiuser environment) and it's not developed by magnussoft/Zeta.

WilmaCon: Because I haven't read it anywhere else before, and I guess it's important to say, WilmaCon is just a samba CLIENT there's no server yet (problably later). So you can access from Zeta to SMB-shares but not in the other direction.

For your problem with WilmaCon and Vista probably this article helps you:

My conclusion:
I agree with your comments about MultiUser. MultiUser was one of the reasons I ordered the upgrade for, I find out it's unusable as far as I understand MultiUser environments.
Another reason to upgrade was AbiWord, but it isn't included. There are no official informations and I have to ask you, what did we get for the money?
For me Zeta-OS is currently more in a state of an HOBBY OS, like Syllable or SkyOS, more than BeOS was in its days. And I think it's far away from "Professional" how magnussoft/Bernd T. Korz titles the Zeta-OS 1.5 upgrade.

Reply Score: 4

atomozero Member since:

The comunuty have the AbiWord 2.x source

Reply Score: 1

Zeta is still lacking (and behind R5)
by Nutela on Tue 20th Mar 2007 11:04 UTC
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I noticed with 1.1, 1.2 etc. that there are a lot of things broken especially concerning some apps. I had major crashes of the OS while useing wifi, I had to connect multiple times to get an ip adress (DHCP has always been a PITA with BeOS). Lack of ACPI made it a PITA on my laptop in general, it would become extremely hot as well.

Thom, a few questions;

Have they finally made DAE over SCSI?
Does mp3 playback from NTFS become slugish when you quickly seek with Soundplay and/or SP crashes?
Are it's (icon) file loading times still as slow?

I hope they'll do some serious QA and maybe after a few years I'll use it again :-)

Reply Score: 1

Member since:

So there is a severe lack of usable software, a lack of hardware support, some major bugs, you have to pay for the OS and then extra for basic functionality like DVD burning.

Apart from that are there any disadvantages to using this OS?

Reply Score: 3

Like to upgrade
by GCrain on Tue 20th Mar 2007 13:11 UTC
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I bought Zeta from Yellowtab, but I still have not upgraded to the Magnasoft version. They make it such a pain to prove your a customer.... send CD in, customer number, money,fingerprints, DNA sample, doctor certified stool sample.... Okay, maybe not that bad, but everytime I go to Germany, they lose my luggage. How do I know they won't lose all proof of ownership?
Even worse, I'd like to purchase some of the games they are producing for Zeta, but they are only for the Magnasoft version of Zeta.

Reply Score: 3

Member since:

well, some people have arrived at their OS nirvana already. It sounds as though you are totally happy with your OS of choice whatever it is (you didn't say).

However, you really should'nt knock other peoples choices or the product that they choose simply because the criteria for making that choice doesn't match yours.

Personally I'm delighted that you seem to want for nothing in your OS world, but bear in mind others might want something else in theirs.

Cost, bugs, hardware support, software availability are synonymous with platform/OS development. Some people are more than willing to accept the above frustrations in their search to find an ideal OS for their exact needs, sheesh! I've been looking for 10 years and have come close only once or twice.

I know I'm responding to potential flame-bait but youpeoplepissmeoff...each to his own.

Reply Score: 1

v Torrent
by RentedMule on Tue 20th Mar 2007 19:31 UTC
RE: Torrent
by bryanv on Tue 20th Mar 2007 19:41 UTC in reply to "Torrent"
bryanv Member since:

This software isn't free, douchebag.

Reply Score: 0

RE[2]: Torrent
by bornagainenguin on Thu 22nd Mar 2007 01:22 UTC in reply to "RE: Torrent"
bornagainenguin Member since:

Nah, it's not free--it's stolen! Same difference....


Reply Score: 2