Home > Zeta > Zeta R1-RC1 Review at ZetaNews Zeta R1-RC1 Review at ZetaNews Eugenia Loli 2003-11-12 Zeta 40 Comments ZetaNews is reviewing several aspects of YellowTAB’s Zeta R1-RC1 OS. Screenshots included. BeOSJournal.org also features some mp4 videos of a previous Japanese introduction of the OS. About The Author Eugenia Loli Ex-programmer, ex-editor in chief at OSNews.com, now a visual artist/filmmaker. Follow me on Twitter @EugeniaLoli 40 Comments 2003-11-12 7:47 pm Installation (8/10) If there are many problesm, is 8/10 a reasonable score to give? Where would Windows or Linux be then? 50/10? Browsers (5/10) No working Java? No reasonably updated flash or as they say a huge amount of webpages is not accessible for Zeta Users and still it’s 5/10 ??? Messengers (4/10) Send files? ehrr… autoupdate contacts from servers? What exactly CAN you do with the messengers? This score should be 1/10 or something… Filesharing (6/10) Kazaa… DC??? 6/10 ??????? CD-Recording (6/10) This can be done in Zeta. There are two applications that can do this for you. They are not the most sophisticated, user friendly apps we’ve ever seen but they are ok. And that gives 6???? How about 3? Office (5/10) Gobe2 and Abiword? Wow, I’d love to open a recent OOo doc or Winword doc in there…. 5? How about 1 I complain a lot here… but there’s also good things, MDR for instance for e-mail which I personally think is the best mailsolution I’ve seen. My own personal preference. But from the review I see here, the only thing which seems to have changed from R5 is basically MLDonkey and smallish Dan0 stuff. My question is how ZetaNews would rate R5? What scores would it get? I love BeOS and had hoped to see more fancy stuff in Zeta so that I would wanna buy it. But now I’m deeply convinced that all hope lies within OBOS and perhaps B.E OS even though news from that camp has been very lacking recently… 2003-11-12 8:04 pm Okay, I’ll re-phrase the question…what is it about BeOS that it has/had such a following? 2003-11-12 8:08 pm Based on the content of the review I’d say it gets 3 of 10 for effort in total. Nothing is really up to standard there. The new developments are either mere toys or clunky pieces of code. What comes from elsewhere can at best be called dated. Thanks, I’ll pass at paying for this. Heck, I’d probably shun it even if it would be given to me for free given all the deficiencies of this OS as described in the review. 2003-11-12 8:08 pm Because BeOS is the best desktop out there 2003-11-12 8:11 pm attheriskofbeingcalledatroll: because back in the nineties BeOS was better/faster/stronger than anything else you could get. It kept it’s edge until Be folded. But seeing these creations like Zeta which remind me of Frankensteins monster I want to weep siletly and beg them to stop trying to keep what was once a geat OS on lifesupport. 2003-11-12 8:17 pm I think, someone should contract to the SoftMaker to port their apps in BeOS. The SoftMaker’s TextMaker works much better with the M$ Word file format than AbiWord and OO.org to read and write. Also, it’s very very fast! I bought TextMaker FreeBSD version in the few days ago and I love it. http://www.softmaker.de 2003-11-12 8:33 pm http://img.zetanews.com/reviews/zetarc1/decors.png Jesus Maria, this is fugly!!! 🙂 Nice looking R5 style decor and bunch of, IMO, awefull looking decors. Horror! 2003-11-12 8:51 pm BeOS was (and from many points of view, still is) the best desktop OS ever made. 1) It was extremely stable. At the time, its competition on the desktop was MacOS Classic, and Win9x, neither of which had proper memory protection. Needless to say, BeOS trounced them both. 2) It’s GUI was very fast. On a 300Mhz PII, its GUI was faster than Win2K’s is on my 2GHz P4. Everything was absolutely instantaneous, and no amount of heavy load would make the UI unresponsive. 3) Its UI was very elegant. Very Mac-esque. It was sparse (very little configurability) but the defaults were very good. 4) It had features (preemptible kernel, journaling filesystem, filesystem attributes, live queries, etc) that neither MacOS nor Windows had at the time. 5) The developers were great. Being a desktop OS, there was always the potential for the OS to become opaque like Windows (where you don’t really know what’s going on under the hood) but the excellent BeBook and BeOS Newsletters gave you a lot of insight into the guts of the system. Very geek-friendly. 6) It was mostly POSIX compatible, so you had the full power of a *NIX shell available. Of course, there were a lot of problems with the OS. It didn’t have a unified buffer-cache, its scheduler wasn’t terribly scalable (on my machine, scheduling latency become very significant at a mere 400 threads), it was actually kinda slow throughput-wise. Still, the competition wasn’t much better at the time, so the rest really stood out. 2003-11-12 8:53 pm “It does this a lot better then Windows and Linux. I have once read an article about it in the german C’T magazine and it sure beats the hell out of any other modern operating system” it would be nice if they could give an more accurate reference 2003-11-12 9:06 pm this are just the OLD decors after SP1 you will get this.. http://img.zetanews.com/reviews/zetarc1/new_decors.png 2003-11-12 9:09 pm I don’t think so. I love BE, but a 5/10 on hardware shoots the system in the foot from the get go. Sure, XP doesn’t run on everything, but there is a certain level of hardware it will run on….but I can be fairly sure that on any system that I have, it will recognize the hardware, and run. Apple has proprietary hardware, so they shouldn’t have any issues at all, but again, there is a level of hardware that it supports right out of the box, with out seemingly major issues. I can’t tell you how many 333mhz (or something like that) G3 macs are for sale on craigslist with panther or jaguar on them. That’s impressive. If zeta cannot get this right, then they shold let Be die. This is only the first hurdle, and it is a deal breaker for most “switchers”. 2003-11-12 9:11 pm And you’ll have Windows all over? Is that Zeta’s aim? Being Windows? I was hoping that they would keep the spirit of being innovative… I guess I was mistaken 2003-11-12 9:16 pm that’s just the chosen new decors to be shown… It is not Zeta that is trying to look like winXP, there will be more like the old BeOS look and Mac-OS and even new ones. But it still is an RC1 not the release yet, let’s give them a break and give them the time to make such things better. And what the heck I think a very good person did a very good job on the new decors! 2003-11-12 9:19 pm No. It’s just the start of creating new decors for Zeta. I know someone worked hard on this and the result is great so I think, but as stated only the beginning. If you can build better ones just go ahead, I am not saying you should like this ones but they are far better then the older ones. >If zeta cannot get this right, then they shold let Be die. Zeta is yellowTAB not Be. 2003-11-12 9:22 pm No. It’s just the start of creating new decors for Zeta. I know someone worked hard on this and the result is great so I think, but as stated only the beginning. If you can build better ones just go ahead, I am not saying you should like this ones but they are far better then the older ones. So what you telling me is that you prefer Windows design rather than Be’s design? Why not stick to Windows then? It’s not a question about what decors I can create… it’s supposed to be what the other OS’s come up with… 2003-11-12 9:27 pm It might’ve been a nice OS at one time and maybe it still is, but looks like the app support is pretty shitty, with hardware support not being much better. What good is having a really nice ride when you can’t drive it anywhere? I’ll ppass. 2003-11-12 9:27 pm >So what you telling me is that you prefer Windows design rather than Be’s design? Why not stick to Windows then? Because I am NOT preferring win above BeOS, but a lot of new users are used to this and want something familiar in it. 2003-11-12 9:34 pm Because I am NOT preferring win above BeOS, but a lot of new users are used to this and want something familiar in it. Ahhh, so you mean new users would pay between 50 – 100$ to switch to Zeta where they don’t get proper IM, not proper Office kit available and probably will have severe HW issues when they can either go with Linux for free or use Windows which is pretty much preinstalled on their box or can be bought for same money? I’m not gonna teach yT marketing (I realize they don’t stand a chance here anyway) but wouldn’t a reasonable market assuming the stuff they offer, at least according to the review, be computer enthusiasts wanting to try something different or old BeOS users ??? Wouldn’t then time be better spent solving the real issues such as 1G Ram limit? But then again, I’m convinced yT knows what they’re doing as they seem truly loved from the community *LoL* 2003-11-12 9:52 pm “Abiword is a very simple text editor and development is stuck right now.” Thats funny. The AbiWord I’m using (0.7) is a fine word processor and it is in active development once more. 2003-11-12 9:52 pm Indeed. So basically, it remains a hobby OS (?) 2003-11-12 10:30 pm Zeta is indeed a hobby OS and so is OBOS at the moment. Future will tell though if OBOS will become more than that and corporate support seems to be sniffing around it just that it needs to move some more steps to completion of R1 before anyway would dare to do anything about it. 2003-11-12 10:32 pm i’m just glad that they didn’t give eights or nines across the board. it’s a pretty honest review of an OS that needs a lot of work. fair play to you, f&j. 2003-11-12 10:36 pm One question I have never seen answered is: Does YT have the kernel source code? YT seems to be secrative about this. Why not just tell people what code they do or don’t have? If they don’t have kernel source than zeta is dead before launching. The only reason it works on AthlonXP and P4 chips is because of hacks. How can you build an OS on top of a hack? I say it’s dead because there will be Zero chance of running on the new Athlon64 and upcoming Intel chips. Why put money into an OS that’s not going to grow into modern hardware? I also see that they’re solution to the printer driver problem is to port cups. What’s up with that? BeOS has a printing kit. Now your going to have a second kit? Lame! I loved Be and ran it as my primary os back in the day but it over. Neither Be nor the Amiga are coing back. Reality. Deal with it! 2003-11-12 10:38 pm >> The AbiWord I’m using (0.7) is a fine word processor and it is in active development once more. The main tree is at 2.0.1 now and the beos port has not been in active development for some time. A japanese guy patched a few things in the 1.0 tree in June, and promptly gave up. Last month another guy asked abisource for information on what needs to be done in the beos tree. The answer was that no substantial code had been submitted for the last 2 years. That guy was scared sh!tless and never heard from again. 2003-11-12 10:53 pm Many are very nice, actually, most are attractive, on some level. I see this as a good thing, the choice. 2003-11-12 11:04 pm whenever i read about zeta, everyone talks about window decors. what’s so great about window decors? yeah, it’s a neat feature to be able to change them. but is it really THAT important? 2003-11-13 1:42 am So will BeOS run on PPC? I heard it use to and it was great. 2003-11-13 2:05 am Gee, can’t run on AMD 64, buzzzzz, wrong. AMD has already shown no problems with running BeOS 5 on these CPU’s. So try another troll track. As for office work, I’m very happy with the capabilities of Abi Word and the likes. My interest is in Video playback and Audio creation. The kernel is not an issue, if YellowTab has kernel sources then they can work on it for future development. If they don’t then they can use Open BeOS kernel which will maintain 95% compatability with BeOS 5 apps when Open BeOS is completed. I would personally like to see the 1gig mem limit dealt with but I’m sure this will be addressed in time. This shows promise with the future development of Zeta (based on BeOS) and that is what interests me. It is a work in progress but by the time Longhorn is out, YellowTab will have R2 available and I know which OS I’d be looking forward to and it ain’t Longhorn. Hey, even Linux might be user friendly by then and with 2.6 kernel, we could see some good things there but at the moment I’m hanging out for R1 Zeta Home Edition. Oh, if you don’t like the WinXP window decore, change it. For me it not the decore that counts (to an extent), it is the underlying system and MS can’t touch BeOS/Zeta (for home workstation, single user, pnp with supported hardware, and ease of use UI with response) on that one. 2003-11-13 3:04 am lets hope openbeos can do this right. zeta seems to be disapointing. unless zeta ports their software to Pegasos PPC then i am not interested 2003-11-13 3:26 am I also see that they’re solution to the printer driver problem is to port cups. What’s up with that? BeOS has a printing kit. Now your going to have a second kit? Lame! Apple did the same with OS X and I love it! The level of printers already available for a system using CUPS is large. The printing system in R5 was good, but proprietary. Why not benefit from the great OSS community? Also, while I was waiting on my Adobe Postscript module for my HP LaserJet 4 Plus, I used a software RIP (GIMP-Print) to print from the system rather than wait and see W2 errors (Postscript RIP error) on the printer display. It was CUPS that allowed me (and the OSS community) to do this with full integration into the printing system. I fully extend my welcome to such a system because it helped me out when I was down. It proved itself to me. 2003-11-13 3:29 am I forgot to mention EPS Ghostscript in my previous post. This and GIMP-Print helped me print Postscript with a software RIP (GS). Opps! Sorry! 2003-11-13 3:31 am Rayiner Hashem: Windows had a journaling FS and premptive multitasking back when BeOS was released. Yellowtab, I think, does not have the same spirit that Be had. They have taken an OS based around being simple in design, yet powerful in use, and have made it extremely complex, and mostly looks like all the programmers just regergitated yesterday’s lunch into the OS. Zeta needs to be more like Be, yet Yt seems to be trying to make it more and more like Linux. 2003-11-13 6:25 am Back then, Win 9x was Microsoft’s desktop OS, which is why I left NT out of it. 2003-11-13 6:49 am 9x didn’t have journaling, but it was premptive. But BeOS was never a desktop OS, it was marketed always as a meida OS. 2003-11-13 8:33 am 9x didn’t have journaling, but it was premptive. No, it was not. It was extremely non-reentrant, particularly if you ran anything that involved jumping into the 16-bit code routines (which happened very very frequently). Bottom line, the OS scheduler was not in full control at all times, and as such no, it was not truly preemptive. But BeOS was never a desktop OS, it was marketed always as a meida OS. The two are mutually exclusive? 2003-11-13 9:44 am “I also see that they’re solution to the printer driver problem is to port cups. What’s up with that? BeOS has a printing kit. Now your going to have a second kit? Lame!” That is not lame! That is marketing strategy. BeOS has it’s own printing kit, and yes that one will stay to exist. CUPS will be used via a wrapper to the current printer kit. This way you can use your own native driver, if you have one, and else use the on in CUPS. Or would we rather have yT working on printer drivers for the next 5 years ? What people seem to forget about hardware support: 1. MS has such a monopoly that all harware vendors do their own drivers for Windows without 1 penny from M$ 2. Apple has good hardware driver support because it has limited hardware supported 3. Lots of hardware vendors are not willing to cooperate in handing out specs or reference drivers to new OS’s With this in mind, I think yT is doing a good job porting CUPS and SANE for now. They are also working on new drivers, but with limited resources, this takes time. 2003-11-13 10:40 am I have had BeOS R5 (Koch media version) running on a P4 with absolutely no patches what so ever. It was a 2Ghz+ too… Forget the exact speed, but it was a Dell Optiplex 260 iirc… 2003-11-13 1:27 pm Look, call me cynical, call me jaded, call me biiter, but from the sound of that article, it seems to me that Zeta is little more than a “patchwork quilt” of old and new. Sorry, but I’m sticking with Pro 5.0.1…..at least for now. (At least EVERYTHING works on my install) jm 2003-11-13 5:27 pm Anon: True, not everything in it was premptive, but it was there. Also, he compared BeOS to Win9x by just saying “Windows”, which is flat out not right. WindowsNT has had preemptive multitasking and a journaling FS for a LONG time. 2003-11-13 7:39 pm When I said “Windows” the second time, I was referring to Win 9x, like I did the first time. Sorry for the confusion. Anyway, I wasn’t talking about preemptive multitasking anyway. I said “preemptible kernel” which is something different. Neither Mac OS or Win 9x had a preemptible kernel, while NT has (always?) had one. However, Win 9x could not be said to have preemptive multitasking without distorting the truth. In 9x, not only was the kernel not preemptible, but 16-bit processes were not either. This doesn’t seem like a very big deal until you consider that much of the OS was still 16-bit code. Thus, any time a process spent running OS library code (and studies show that GUI apps spend 90% of their time doing that) there was a very high probability that the process was not preemptible.