Words by c.z.robertson

First opinions on BeOS

2000-04-30 03:00:00 UTC

I installed BeOS this morning. Due to my rather complex set up it took a fair amount of hard disk re-arranging but I got there in the end. I'm not quite sure what to make of it. It's quite impressive aesthetically (fonts and widgets particularly), but it seems to lack a lot of the configurability that I'd expect. Maybe I'm just missing something... They've certainly got a lot of the multimedia capabilities right, and the speed of rendering (3d, scrolling, etc.) is very impressive.

It's taken a lot from Unix (a Good Thing in my opinion). I have yet to discover what level of compatibility it has with Unix though.

Of course it has the usual problems with a lack of applications, but really it seems to be doing very well considering the number of users. One thing that kept bugging me when I was looking at BeBits though was the lack of source code. It's one of those things I've come to expect from a piece of software. Even though I usually don't have the coding skills to do anything if there is a problem, I do feel more secure and happier knowing that I can take a look under the hood and find out how things work.

My overall impression is that BeOS isn't for me. I'm very happy with Linux at the moment. But I'm glad there is the option, and I'd encourage people to have a look at it, even if it's only to demonstrate that there are alternatives to Windows and Mac. It's pretty easy to install and use (my techie skills weren't needed) so there's really no reason, other than disk space, not to.