Linked by Thom Holwerda on Mon 14th Nov 2011 21:32 UTC, submitted by cristoper
Apple It's no secret OSNews has a bit of a thing for the BeOS. I can only speak for myself, obviously, but relatively speaking, BeOS was the best operating system ever made. The man who started all this was Jean-Louis Gassee, former executive at Apple, who founded Be, Inc. in 1991. In the second half of the '90s, Apple was looking for a replacement for its heavily outdated Mac OS, after several failed attempts at developing its own - it came down to Steve Jobs NeXT, or BeOS. Be didn't make it, and Gassee is happier for it.
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RE[4]: Software Souls
by Hexadecima on Mon 14th Nov 2011 23:59 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Software Souls"
Hexadecima
Member since:
2010-09-01

Of course I do! But opinions need to be rationalized. The emotional response in the article is very strong, and it looks very weird without an explanation nearby. The creepy kind of weird.

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[5]: Software Souls
by Laurence on Tue 15th Nov 2011 14:15 in reply to "RE[4]: Software Souls"
Laurence Member since:
2007-03-26

Of course I do! But opinions need to be rationalized.

Actually no they don't. Facts need to be rationalised, however opinions can be based on complete ignorance (and often are) and still be perfectly valid as an opinion.

The emotional response in the article is very strong, and it looks very weird without an explanation nearby. The creepy kind of weird.

It's often hard to explain emotion.
For example, I recently got engaged. If you asked me why I love this woman, then I could probably list off a whole load of properties that she exhibits. However if you asked why I "chose" her as opposed to similar other women demonstrating similar traits, well then I wouldn't be able to rationalise what drew me to her the most.

The fact is, and by their very nature, emotions are irrational and unscientific. So the moment you start reading terms like "soul" to describe an object or software, you have to take those opinions as an unscientific, emotional judgement.

In answer to your question though:
At the time, the desktop landscape was pretty dire. The dominant OSs were Windows ME for the PCs and OS9 for the Macs. Both were a painfully buggy mess that quite frankly should never have been released. Windows2000 was around, but it took a little while before OEMs started shipping that instead and "Desktop Linux" was pretty much unusable to all but the nerds.

BeOS was fast, clean, stable and simple to use. It never felt like the computer was stubbornly ignoring your requests nor did it secretly trying to do screwy things in the back ground. It just worked and worked well.

BeOS also had a strict styling guide, so everything was unified. Thus it just felt like everything "belonged". There was no weird step child that looked out of place with it's own bespoke widgets et al.

Finally (and something that was of a personal interest for me with my awesome BP6 SMP motherboard), BeOS supported multiple processors even when it's biggest competitors (OS9 and ME) didn't.

I'm not going to say that BeOS was the best OS ever like Thom did, but it's definitely up there with the greats ;)

Edited 2011-11-15 14:27 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 3

RE[6]: Software Souls
by Hexadecima on Tue 15th Nov 2011 14:33 in reply to "RE[5]: Software Souls"
Hexadecima Member since:
2010-09-01

Actually no they don't. Facts need to be rationalised, however opinions can be based on complete ignorance (and often are) and still be perfectly valid as an opinion.


No. The emotions must come from somewhere.

It's often hard to explain emotion.

For example, I recently got engaged. If you asked me why I love this woman, then I could probably list off a whole load of properties that she exhibits. However if you asked why I "chose" her as opposed to similar other women demonstrating similar traits, well then I wouldn't be able to rationalise what drew me to her the most.


This is a very heavy-handed attempt at copping out, but it's wrong at several levels:

1. Humans are not hard-wired to fall in love with operating systems, so the comparison does not hold.
2. Even this hard-wiring has an exhaustively rational basis, consisting of the "whole load of properties" you mentioned, combined with many you may not be aware of (which arise from how she influences your behaviour), combined with the instinctive drive to mate and its chemical effects.
3. By bringing up a human relationship you risk (or are deliberately trying to) making this an unapproachable topic, based on the cultural perception that love is precious and unchallengeable. Please don't do that in the future.

The fact is, and by their very nature, emotions are irrational and unscientific. So the moment you start reading terms like "soul" to describe an object or software, you have to take those opinions as an unscientific, emotional judgement.


Emotions are exhaustively rational and scientific and have very specific bases. I can list them off to you if you want. The fact is that every oxytocin cascade must have a neurological trigger caused by a combination of stimuli, and every stimulus must come from somewhere. If you say "I have nostalgia for the Commodore 64 because it reminds me of the time I spent with my dead relative," then that's a rationally justified, scientifically explainable emotion. If you say "I love BeOS because it alone amongst software has a soul," then you have failed at basic introspection, and have an obligation to the reader to explain this extreme claim.

Reply Parent Score: 3

RE[6]: Software Souls
by Hexadecima on Tue 15th Nov 2011 14:35 in reply to "RE[5]: Software Souls"
Hexadecima Member since:
2010-09-01

That being said, now that the site has mysteriously allowed me to see the bottom half of your post, I accept your thorough justification for the original claim, and would say "that's the sort of thing Thom should have said/linked in the first place."

Reply Parent Score: 1

RE[5]: Software Souls
by StephenBeDoper on Wed 16th Nov 2011 22:01 in reply to "RE[4]: Software Souls"
StephenBeDoper Member since:
2005-07-06

Of course I do! But opinions need to be rationalized.


And as we all know, it's completely rational to hate an OS for no other reason than because one of its advocates a bit too effusive...

Reply Parent Score: 2