The popular German TV channel 3Sat put together a mini-presentation to the YellowTAB GmbH and their OS offering, Zeta. The program starts with a bit of history about Be/BeOS and moves to YellowTAB’s offices and their newest product, ZintrO. Check in for exclusive shots & info on the ZintrO. The product (standing on the tip of my mousepad as I write this) is a small form-factor machine with 1 GHz C3 VIA CPU, 256 MB RAM, KVM switch, USB 2.0, sound, 40 GB drive, modem, two NICs (for use as a router), PCMCIA slot, external web camera, external DVD/CD-RW, keyboard and mouse. Its price will be 690 Euro.
The machine is both an “embedded system” OS and a real Zeta OS underneath. When the ZintrO boots, you are presented with a full screen window with only three buttons on it, “Audio”, “Video” and “Web Browsing” loading its respective apps when clicked and loading them as “replicants” (BeOS users are familiar with the concept). This functionality looks a lot like an Internet Appliance, but it is also a mulitmedia jukebox. “Killing” this ZintrO full screen default application will get you to the full Zeta OS for “normal” computing use.
The primary function of the ZintrO is an appliance or a router, but because the full Zeta is included “underneath”, it can be used as a normal PC as well.
Download the video presentation (German, 32 MB) in MPEG format here.
YellowTAB’s CVO Bernd Korz is in the US for business meetings this week and as I write this, he is right here with us.
“Popular German TV channel 3Sat”? Ehm… it’s a small public station, co-owned by German, Austrian and Swiss public stations (people in these three countries are speaking german).
Nice – I always liked the idea BeInc had with HARP (home audio referernce platform), which never materialised. This might be an interesting device, a small form factor PC which can act as a router/MP3 server / TIVO device, whatever. BeOS did make its way into BeIA, which not many people saw (me neither). So the big question on everyone’s lips is – who finances all these things which YellowTab are doing? If Bernd is capable of generating venture capital, he’s smarted and more capable than I initially thought. Well done Bernd and Co.
What I got wouldn’t open in WinDVD or WMP. I had to open it in VideoDub, which told me there were some errors with the format but will still play it back.
Use it with VideoLAN, it works well with it.
On the Zeta forums, it says that the video is an AVI file with an incorrect extension of MPEG. It doesn’t effect players like VideoLan or such which actually interogate the file, instead of relying on file extensions.
In what way does it act as a router, is this seperate functionality from the OS?
quote: “YellowTAB’s CVO Bernd Korz is in the US for business meetings this week and as I write this, he is right here with us.”
“So the big question on everyone’s lips is – who finances all these things which YellowTab are doing?”
YOLO? (I think this was the name.
Here is a review of Nimble V5. You can get it with Windows XP as well. Looks like YellowTab purchased the box and install Zeta onto it instead of WinXP. Should be interesting…
A little information in addition to the ZintrO can be found here:
No, Yollo were partners. As you can see, their website http://www.yollo.com/ now redirects to yellowTAB.com as well.
Wouldn’t it be nice to be able to use thing with your TV? Then it will need larger fonts by default and different colors (blue background and white text). And why is the jukebox window so small?
Anyway, they would have to provide movie support and easy mounting of Windows-boxes to be able to compete with other OS’s on that box. There’s software for both Windows and Linux that provides a lot more than that. Especially since it seems to use Net+ as it’s browser?!
If they would integrate BeShare nicely into this thing then we might be on to something.
It’s nice to see the Cotton Squares though reminds me of the good old days.
I meant good movie support, as in VLC.
Does this mean we have 3d acc. for the mini-itx motherboards from via now ?
>Wouldn’t it be nice to be able to use thing with your TV?
Yes. You will be able to do so with an additional connector, Bernd just told me.
I would like to try Zeta, but I have no PC. I have Connectix Virtual PC for Mac, though. Does Zeta RC 2 (and the future Zeta final) run on VPC? Is there anybody who can share his experience?
There is a problem with the IDE driver on the 5/6.x versions of VPC and so BeOS and Zeta would be extremely slow (or unusable). There are some people who have managed to install it, but you would have a better luck with VPC for Windows 7.0 (in which case I know it works for sure).
I’ve just checked out the video, there is a cubicle with a chalk outline on the floor (signifying a dead person). Who’s cubicle was it, and what’s the meaning of the joke?
I believe that the cube was Andrew Kimpton’s, probably at a point in time where he had been sucked back into the 4th floor and couldn’t spend much more time on doing engineering work (i.e. he was ‘dead’ as far as engineering was concerned).
The outline on the floor was actually mine.
Maybe now that YellowTab is trying to go international by opening in Canada, etc. We might have videos in English in the future?
Can I ask how the WebCore port is coming along?
but you would have a better luck with VPC for Windows 7.0 (in which case I know it works for sure).
Can you give details?
I tried installing PE 5 from a bootable CD on MS VPC 2004, but after the splash screen it got stuck at a gray desktop.
Please ask Bernd if the CLE266 graphics chip of the VIA Mainboards is now supported or if this thing runs in VESA mode.
It still runs on VESA atm, but YTAB is already working on an accelerated 2D driver for it. When the machine gets to the stores it will be fully supported.
Thats awsome news!!
I might buy such a thing, not now but in August. I wanted a slient and small PC for some time, and the fact that it will be Zeta-compatible is just great.
I wish/hope they’d include a remote controller for us lazyheads.
40 GB is a little bit low for me, but I guess I could hook up an externalk hdd.
> 40 GB is a little bit low for me, but I guess I could hook up an externalk hdd.
The machine comes with the option of buying an external USB drive 60 or 80 GB for less than $200 (with its case included). If you are going to stick in an external drive it is better to purchase that option instead of another random drive, because the particular one is tested to work well with Zeta (Bernd was telling me tonight about the differnt bugs they found on many different USB stick key drives when they were developing their USB-2 Zeta stack, so it is always wise to purchase fully tested hardware by the OS manufacturer, just in case).
I think they should make a way to switch off from appliance to regular OS instead off simply ctrl+alt+del killing it. It would be more elegant.
I think that is what they meant with killing (not ctrl-alt-delete)
but this computer has the same features of the Windows XP version here? http://www.nimblev5.com/product/features.htm
Because if it has videoconference support there must be AC97 audio input for the microphone.
Also having all audio channels supported will be good for watching DVDs (isnt the main purpose of this pc, music listening and movies watching?)
Yes. You will be able to do so with an additional connector, Bernd just told me.
My point was that the GUI doesn’t seem to be prepared for TV. The current GUI would be pretty much unusable on a TV and hurt your eyes badly.
there’s a linux distro that is designed for audio/video playing and nothing else ttp://www.geexbox.org/en/index.html
but as much as known ZintrO will be used also for internet browsing, so the interface cant be totally “tv tuned”. As usually things like this needs real testing by not geek users, to understand the usability. It’d be a nice idea to integrate this interface in a special workspace, a “tablet workspace” where you cant close the interface and to switch on the real Zeta GUI you have to switch workspace. Also find a way to integrate the applications in the right panel of the interface should be a neat idea, because the user will have more space for Juke Box columns and some kind of “video fitted fullscreen on the panel”. Only the browser needs floating windows, because usually you dont watch a video and listening to the music at the same time. I think that kind of interface need to be easy, for more complex things like burning cdroms and watch movies at the same time, you need to switch to the Zeta main interface.
Or i’m wrong?
OK, so Zeta is on it’s way to market the digital hub that Microsoft is talking about. Good thing. But it should try to be feature complete if it wants to attract people. So, here is my feature list:
– Remote control & Able to work without a mouse and keyboard
– Access to resources on other computers
– Comfortable interface on the TV
– Nice audio decoding making it a basic home cinema enabler
That would make me think about buying it. But, as others mentionned here, there are features that could make it a killer:
– Video-telephony (the TV is there, the Webcam and mic are there, the WAN is there… so why not ?). I want to be able to use a single display to talk to my family that lives 40 kilometers away and to the guy at the door.
– File sharer interface (level 1) or even connection to streaming services (level 2).
If those would be there, well… I would try to get one but they might be out of stock when I will arrive at my local store.
I would _love_ so very much to have a HARP/Freevo system running BeOS.
I’m still a zealot.
I sorry, but I’ve completely missed the point here. What target audience is this device aimed at?
– A router? Got one already built into my hub, as will most DSL users.
– KVM? With only connection for one other machine?
– A media player? The $100 MediaMVP is better priced.
Clearly I’ve missed the bigger picture. What is it?
Now if it had a much bigger disk, did PVR, would burn the recorded programs to DVD as well, and could act as a cheap file server then I could see the point.
You’re right this would be great if you can plug it on the TV and have an optimized rez/version. There are so many people like my grandma who could use it if it was simple enough, this could be huge. YT you’d better watch it
Combine with voice-over-ip (Skype, net2phone for real dailing to phones). And possibly even video. Have a bundle contract with a firm for the (dedicated) voiceoverip. Unify the interface ale jukebox but for communication and even MS would buy it.
focus shift! yay! small embeded applicances! yay! yT rocks.. not only do they copy Be’s source code, they even copy the companies horrid managerial staff! rock on..
And while we’re at it, how is the support for the webcam?
>>Wouldn’t it be nice to be able to use thing with your TV?
>Yes. You will be able to do so with an additional connector, Bernd just told me.
I like it, it’s a very interesting toy. 😀
It’s like a Media Center PC if Bernd told you true (sorry, I’m like St. Thomas: I belive only when I put my hands on it).
Has it an IrDA port and a remote controller? I don’t think it’s joyful to stand up from my sofa for click and I think Bluetooth or radio keyboards and mice aren’t “smart” for domestic uses.
If yellowTAB makes an usable small Media Center PC with Zeta I’ll buy it for sure. I like Media Center concept, but I hate M$ with all my forces!!! Go Bernd, go!!! 😀
PS anyway I have an XBOX, but don’t tell this to Steve Jobs! :-°
Be Inc took that attempt too early.
There must be 3 conditions fullfilled for success of Information/Media Appliances
1)Cheap TFT screens – prices are dropping at moment and about
3 year later we can expect to have good Applieance monitor for about $70.
2)Cheap and big non-mechanical persistent memory – look at rise of size and drop of prices for Flash and SmartMedia cards. It looks more than impressive.
3)Wireless infrastructure. I think in Europe also in next 3 years 80% of territory will be covered with combination of WIFI/GRPS and what else.
So, chances for appliance deveopers and producers are also increasing.
Bernt, just ask your mother to test this new ‘BeBox’ !!!
Cause of course you can use it and so Eugenia and me and all of us right here … but the coolest way would be something that everybody can use …
So it has to be tested by lots of no computer or no Be users !
And yes, if it can’t play well a DVD or Divx, record a movie in Divx format and work this modified Jukebox in a bigger window, it will never works !
Last, but it’s just my opinion again, i don’t like this Aqua theme !!! A good but simple one that could be TV ready would be far better i think …