Linked by Thom Holwerda on Sat 15th May 2010 19:23 UTC
OSNews, Generic OSes There's one complaint we here at OSNews get thrown in our faces quite often: what's up with the lack of, you know, operating system news on OSNews? Why so much mobile phone news? Why so much talk of H264, HTML5, and Flash? Where's the juicy news on tomorrow's operating systems? Since it's weekend, I might as well explain why things are the way they are. Hint: it has nothing to do with a lack of willingness.
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bryanv
Member since:
2005-08-26

Oh, give me a break.

Installing BeOS on a PPC was a cake-walk.

Most of the PCI-based powermacs (post first-gen 601's up to, but not including the 750 (g3s)) were supported.

The extension was used to kick MacOS out of RAM, flip the PPC into admin mode, and boot BeOS off the disk. Just like BootX did.

installation was a couple of easily understood clicks, a reboot, and a "pick your OS" prompt during boot. Gee, sounds like GRUB or LILO, or ... any other boot manager if you think about it.

There were a few of us who toyed with trying to write an OF loader, but without knowing the exact data structure format passed to the kernel (and we were really close to getting that worked out at one point) there really wasn't much hope in getting it to work.


I had a powermac 7600 with a G3 accelerator card that ran R5 beautifully.

http://www.varnernet.com/~bryan/files/BryanPPC_BeOS.png

Applications were most certainly available. Most commercial apps were cross-platform. Some of them were not. By the end of 1999 it was pretty obvious that Apple was cutting Be out of the picture, and that the future of the OS was x86. Many devs clung to the PPC support, but even Be was getting ready to put it out to pasture before the 'focus shift' happened.

Gosh, the memories. Some days I wish I could go back 10 years, just so I could use BeMail and have real query support in my file manager.

You have no idea how giddy I am that Haiku Alpha 2 boots nicely on my laptop.

Edited 2010-05-17 02:42 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 2

Bobthearch Member since:
2006-01-27

Well, you make it sound easy, much easier than my recalled experiences: Mac computers too old (Performa) or too new (beige G3 or iMac), needing to buy the BeOS Pro disk because none of the free distributions were PPC-capable, having to replace MacOS9 with an older version 8, BeOS only able to boot via the Apple control panel extension...

But, admittedly, it's been a long time. And there very well may have been unknown shortcuts and tricks.

Reply Parent Score: 2

bryanv Member since:
2005-08-26

None of the computers that would run BeOS on PPC came with OS 9 pre-installed.

They all came with (at most) 8.1 or 8.6 (by the time 8.1 was out, the G3 was the top-dog, and it wouldn't boot the BeOS)

So you didn't have to 'go backwards' in OS version unless you upgraded your old Mac's OS. Admittedly something most of us did. Personally, I never ran 9.x on my 7600. It didn't have anything I really needed. 8.6 was plenty for me.

So yeah, you had to have a PCI based PPC prior to the G3 (PPC 750) processor / motherboard designs, and you had to have MacOS between 7.5.3 and 8.6

That's so hard to keep straight.

There was the extension that would boot BeOS during startup, and there was a Launcher application that would do it after MacOS had already loaded.

As for the R5 release: Be, Inc. had pledged support for PPC through the R5 release of BeOS. They never planned on continuing support beyond that release, and all signs (and everything the guys that worked there told me) pointed to PPC being -gone- in the next release. Everything was x86. There were a lot of kernel changes / enhancements waiting for PPC support to be dropped. The PPC release was harder to obtain than it was to actually use, and PE never had a PPC build available.

I can't say I blame them, they were trying to get rid of having to support the PPC.

Reply Parent Score: 2