Linked by Thom Holwerda on Wed 28th Jan 2009 21:44 UTC
BeOS & Derivatives Before the BeOS ever made it to x86, it had already spent some time on PowerPC, but the die-hard fans will know that BeOS was actually written and designed for a very different, short-lived processor: the AT&T Hobbit. While a PowerPC BeBox is already quite rare, the Hobbit BeBox was never sold, and only existed in the form of a number of prototypes. Imagine our surprise when we found out that Cameron Mac Millan, former Be employee, sold one of his two Hobbit BeBoxen on eBay a few days ago.
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good god
by poundsmack on Wed 28th Jan 2009 22:13 UTC
poundsmack
Member since:
2005-07-13

had i have known i would have bought it. wow, this is an awsome piece of history. i mean good god.

more on the hobbit here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/AT&T_Hobbit

Reply Score: 5

Wow
by arbour42 on Wed 28th Jan 2009 23:46 UTC
arbour42
Member since:
2005-07-06

That brings back such memories. Back when Be was on the PowerPC, they came to George Washington University on one of their tours. So I skipped out from work and got to see the famous rotating cube with a video on each face, and the book with videos on each page, all playing simultaneously. And this was when NT Server could barely keep one app going without swapping to disk, and Mac was dying.

What a great experiment Be was. I would have seriously thought of bidding on this box. Something about Be was just fun, which we so rarely get these days.

Reply Score: 6

eBay is the wrong place for these artifacts
by Eugenia on Thu 29th Jan 2009 00:02 UTC
Eugenia
Member since:
2005-06-28

He should have offered it to the Computer History Museum instead. I did with some of my (rare) stuff. I am glad I did actually.

I hope that who ever bought it donates it to the CHM.

Edited 2009-01-29 00:02 UTC

Reply Score: 3

pablo_marx Member since:
2006-02-03

My plan (having the $1000 bid) was to

a) finally see a hobbit in action

b) dump the ROMs for more preservation (thankfully the hard drive images are already preserved -- see http://www.bebox.nu/tech.php?s=tech/hobbit/diskImages and http://sourceforge.net/project/showfiles.php?group_id=148070 for some rudimentary tools to extract the files from the disk images)

c) donate it to the computer history museum as they didn't have any Hobbits listed in their collection.

But, outbid as always... ;)

Hopefully whomever purchased it will do the same.

(*Edit for link to the extraction tools)

Edited 2009-01-29 01:24 UTC

Reply Score: 4

jjburke Member since:
2006-02-19

I agree. I think the eBay sale should have been a "long term loan" with eventual donation to the proper museum. But we are on the horns of a dilemma here.

1. Company longevity and interest in their good is dubious these days. See below.
2. Museums of the odd are woefully underfunded and underappreciated.

Keuffel and Esser slide rules went to a museum somewhere but as objects. Not the data visualization that a slide rule evokes in one's mind

So companies that come and go do not care anymore about their histories.

Thanks,
Jim

Reply Score: 1

memson Member since:
2006-01-01

He should have offered it to the Computer History Museum instead.


Do they pay well? Because, I assume, he sold it because the current econominc climate is in freefall. I expect the $1000 paid for his mortgage/car payment/kids schooling/utility bills for a month. I know that if I had owned it, I would have sold it. I sold my BeBox and it raised enough capital to replace my aging laptop with a MacBook (which I would *never* had afforded otherwise.) Something I'm sure I will burn in hell for, but well, I'm pretty glad I did all the same.

Sometimes, the picture is not as simple as first it seems.

Reply Score: 5

zombie process Member since:
2005-07-08

++

I'm also somewhat surprised that all it brought in was a kilobuck - I guess the ravenous Be fanbase is broke as well...

Reply Score: 3

My BeBox
by Kancept on Thu 29th Jan 2009 02:35 UTC
Kancept
Member since:
2006-01-09

I'll be listing all of my BeOS stuff soon enough (yeah, 66MHz BeBox and more!). I owe eBay money, so can't list it yet, but I've got a ton of BeOS gear...

Reply Score: 1

RE: My BeBox
by Minox on Thu 29th Jan 2009 04:41 UTC in reply to "My BeBox"
Minox Member since:
2009-01-29

I sold the following on eBay which was bought by the curator of a computer museum:

Hardware:

Dual 66Mhz BeBox w/ Keyboard & Mouse
Dual 133MHz BeBox w/ Spare faceplate
BeIA Prototype webpad
RangeLan 802.11 Access Point
MO44 - Designed for BeOS Midi Device

Software:

BeBox Floppy Disks
All Pre-Release BeOS versions
2 copies of BeOS PR2
8 copies of BeOS R3 w/ Install Guides
2 copies of BeOS R3 PPC
1 copy of BeOS R3 Intel
BeOS R4 Retail box
BeOS R4 mailer pack
BeOS R4.5 Retail box
4 copies of BeOS R4.5 (1 is open)
BeOS R4.5 Demo CD
BeOS R4.5 mailer pack
BeOS R5.0 Retail box
BeOS R5 signed by the GoBe team
BeOS R5 updates to R5.0.3
Unreleased BeOS x86 software
Zeta Deluxe Edition
BeIA disc Images
BeIA Developers Kit
T-Racks
Krillo
Groove Maker
Corum III
Wildcard Designs "Last Chance" CD (All the games they ported to BeOS)
BeOS BuzzCD - from LeBuzz.com
Gobe Productive 3
Civ: Call to Power signed by the porting team / company owner
GoBe Productive 2 signed by the GoBe team
Tune Tracker Radio System - Pre-Release Signed by Dane Scott - (Owner) TuneTracker Systems

Books:

MP3 the Definative Guide by Scott Hacker
BeOS Developer Guide
BeOS Advanced Topics
Programming the BeOS
BeOS Porting Unix Apps
BeOS Pro 5 User Guide
7 Spiral Bound BeBox Developer Guides
BeOS Bible signed to Minox (BeShare Admin) from Scott Hacker

Media:

3 BeIA promo flyers
3 GoBe Productive 2 promo flyers
3 BeOS 5 promo flyers
3 GoBe Productive 3 promo flyers

Other:

"Be In Your Senses" Pin
2 laser cut vinyl bumper stickers I had custom made
Be Inc CD Case w/OS CDs inside

Edited 2009-01-29 04:41 UTC

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: My BeBox
by bryanv on Thu 29th Jan 2009 20:05 UTC in reply to "RE: My BeBox"
bryanv Member since:
2005-08-26

I sold off all my BeOS systems, and gave away my BeOS Books.

I see we're all purging.



Show of hands for who owns a Mac now?

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: My BeBox
by StephenBeDoper on Fri 30th Jan 2009 01:17 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: My BeBox"
StephenBeDoper Member since:
2005-07-06

Show of hands for who owns a Mac now?


Scot Hacker, for one ;)

Still hanging on here, though. I've personally stopped holding out any hope of OS X being a suitable replacement - after nearly a decade, it still hasn't entirely caught up to BeOS circa 1998 (or for that matter, the usability refinements of the "classic" MacOS). To this day, even plain old R5 offers me a greater range of hardware choices than OS X - and that's despite having spotty hardware support to begin with, combined with being "dead" for close to a decade.

At this point, Haiku excites me more than anything coming from Apple.

Reply Score: 4

RE[3]: My BeBox
by memson on Fri 30th Jan 2009 10:09 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: My BeBox"
memson Member since:
2006-01-01

I raise my hand... more than one (and one that even runs BeOS)..

Reply Score: 2

Mille Bornes Deluxe
by chiwaw on Thu 29th Jan 2009 06:36 UTC
chiwaw
Member since:
2006-02-05

Ah the good memories. I was obsessed by BeOS. As soon as the R3 got released for Intel, I purchased a copy.

I then developed a little game for it: Mille Borne Deluxe. I think it was the first time I actually completed a game that I released. I asked Parker Brother at the time for a permission to release it, which was denied. I thought, Eff-them. I made it available anyway.

Trivia: I mishandled the source backup and lost all the sources, just when the game was debugged and ready to release. Except for a detail: I was last testing the end game conditions, and to make it fast to get to it, I set my card pile to be only 5 cards instead of 52. So the only thing I had was a binary with the wrong number of cards.

So I made a little program to read the binary, and replace each bytes 5 by a byte 52, and creating hundreds of binaries with all possible permutations. Then I tried everyone of them. Crash. Crash. Crash. Until I got the properly "patched" binary giving the right number of cards.

I released it as is. Without the source, I never been able to improve it, or adapt it for R4.

Yeah. Good memories.

Reply Score: 3

BeBox, BeOS - what a waste!
by kajaman on Thu 29th Jan 2009 08:23 UTC
kajaman
Member since:
2006-01-06

Uh, it is really a shame this company didn't succeed with their operating system. If only they sold their own, branded computers, and make BeOS free software - we could be running them instead of Windows/Apple/Linux on our desktops. It would be great to have one more option.

I never made it to install R4 on my hardware - I was in high school then and only started to get interested in computers when I received disk with BeOS. Even at that time GNU/Linux (Mandrake I think) had better hardware support and I ended up with that. And Linux still is today my desktop of choice - instead of BeOS... Things could be different if I received BeOS compatible box with open source BeOS at that time.

Reply Score: 2

v Boxen?
by Invincible Cow on Thu 29th Jan 2009 09:59 UTC
RE: Boxen?
by Thom_Holwerda on Thu 29th Jan 2009 10:05 UTC in reply to "Boxen?"
Thom_Holwerda Member since:
2005-06-29

It's NOT BOXEN. Lurn 2 spe11!

One box, two or more boxes.


In the Be world, tradition has it that the plural of BeBox is BeBoxen.

Edited 2009-01-29 10:06 UTC

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Boxen?
by memson on Thu 29th Jan 2009 10:37 UTC in reply to "RE: Boxen?"
memson Member since:
2006-01-01

Agreed. Thom is correct on this one. Just as the processor lights are known as "das blinken lights".

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: Boxen?
by Doc Pain on Thu 29th Jan 2009 12:42 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Boxen?"
Doc Pain Member since:
2006-10-08

Just as the processor lights are known as "das blinken lights".


Das Blinkenlights.

One box, two or more Boxera, Boxens, Boxi. :-)

Reply Score: 2

RE: Boxen?
by J-Ho on Thu 29th Jan 2009 13:52 UTC in reply to "Boxen?"
J-Ho Member since:
2007-01-19

It's NOT BOXEN. Lurn 2 spe11! One box, two or more boxes.


Well, in Old English, "ox" would be declined using weak declension, rendering the plural case as "oxen". So, "boxen" isn't all that out of line.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/English_plural#Irregular_-.28e.29n_plu...

Reply Score: 2

RE: Boxen?
by zombie process on Thu 29th Jan 2009 14:08 UTC in reply to "Boxen?"
zombie process Member since:
2005-07-08

U NO HAZ TEH HUMOR.

Reply Score: 4

BlueofRainbow
Member since:
2009-01-06

I also hope that this Hobbit BeBox will eventually gravitate to a museum of computer history. Even better, that the new owner will do what pablo_marx was planning to do - notably the dump of the ROMs - upon which a Virtual Hobbit BeBox could be crafted for the enjoyment of many.

I learned about BeOS in an article in Byte Magazine and explored Be's website. By that time, Be was no longer selling their Beboxen and my early experimentation (using R5PE) was severely impeded by a non-compatible hardware. This was resolved later on but, by that time, Be was no longer in existence.

Over the years, and within cashflow limits, I've managed to gather a few BeOS artifacts on eBay. I doubt I'll ever be able to afford a Bebox though.

By the way, when I noticed the listing on eBay, I mentioned it in a post on the Vintage Computer Forum where it gathered 64 views and 1 reply.....not bad although a slightly later post of a listing for a pre-production IBM 5170 motherboard gathered 574 views and 39 replies.

I keep checking in once in a while in the hope of seeing a listing for a BeIA DevKit (could it be made to run on a netbook?) or one for a copy of Gobe 3 for BeOS (how would it compare with today's office suites).

Reply Score: 1

BeOS
by TechGeek on Thu 29th Jan 2009 15:46 UTC
TechGeek
Member since:
2006-01-14

Since we're on the subject of BeOS, how close is Haiku to replicating what BeOS could do? I just wonder as it seems that playing six videos on a rotating cube would still be difficult on most systems today. Thats the one thing I wish about Linux. I wish it had better video/sound support. Even today commercial systems are still in use at TV stations that are running BeOS for production work.

Reply Score: 4

RE: BeOS
by StephenBeDoper on Thu 29th Jan 2009 16:01 UTC in reply to "BeOS"
StephenBeDoper Member since:
2005-07-06

Since we're on the subject of BeOS, how close is Haiku to replicating what BeOS could do?


It's getting very, very close. Last time I tried it (one of the recent pre-alpha builds), it was already ahead of R5 in quite a few areas - the biggest rough spots I noticed were a few older applications that wouldn't run.

Reply Score: 4

RE[2]: BeOS
by UltraZelda64 on Thu 29th Jan 2009 19:06 UTC in reply to "RE: BeOS"
UltraZelda64 Member since:
2006-12-05

Long story short, I just got an old, 1997-1998 Gateway running again a couple days ago. A 266MHz PII with 64 megs of RAM. Hardly anything will on it--even Absolute Linux has a kernel panic when trying to boot the installer, out of memory and no processes to kill. I previously ran Zenwalk on it, but it was a bit too heavy. DSL and Puppy both run, but I'm not too crazy about them. Looks like they might be my best choices for now, though there are others I'm still considering.

Can't wait for a bootable, installable version of Haiku... it's going right on there, ASAP. I previously ran BeOS Max Edition on the system, and it ran like a dream.

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: BeOS
by StephenBeDoper on Thu 29th Jan 2009 19:29 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: BeOS"
StephenBeDoper Member since:
2005-07-06

I'd be interested to hear how that goes. It should run quite nicely - FWIW, I've run R5 on an old P100 desktop (32MB RAM), using it to receive an MP3 stream over ethernet and output the audio to a stereo system.

Reply Score: 2

RE[4]: BeOS
by bryanv on Thu 29th Jan 2009 20:08 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: BeOS"
bryanv Member since:
2005-08-26

I remember doing that with a P75 and CL-AMP back in the day.

Although with only 32MB RAM, I had to run the old media_server rather then the stock R5 one...

Reply Score: 2

RE[5]: BeOS
by StephenBeDoper on Fri 30th Jan 2009 00:56 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: BeOS"
StephenBeDoper Member since:
2005-07-06

Although with only 32MB RAM, I had to run the old media_server rather then the stock R5 one...


That's cool, I never even knew that option existed!

The P100 was fast enough to decode the MP3 stream with the stock media_server, although I did tweak the bootscript a bit to remove Tracker, Deskbar, and a few other superfluous things like the print_server (it mainly ran headless, controlled via telnet).

Reply Score: 2

RE[5]: BeOS
by memson on Fri 30th Jan 2009 10:11 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: BeOS"
memson Member since:
2006-01-01

I remember doing that with a P75 and CL-AMP back in the day.

Although with only 32MB RAM, I had to run the old media_server rather then the stock R5 one...


You mean "audio_server"? That was the pre "media_server" media server. It was left out of R5 intel, but dfor some reason still in R5 Powerpc...

Reply Score: 2

Comment by sanders
by sanders on Mon 2nd Feb 2009 10:44 UTC
sanders
Member since:
2005-08-09

I switched to a combination of Mac and Linux. I still have a computer set up which can boot into BeOS, but I must admit I rarely do.

I still have a Dual 133 BeBox which works. I'm not sure what to do with it. Since I'm not short of money, I think I should hang on to it. It's perhaps one of the very few computers which *gain* value over time... It's not just a piece of computing history though, it's also a piece of personal history which is why I'm hesitant to let it go.

Reply Score: 1