The death of BeOS was an incredible shame. I sometimes wonder what modern operating systems, developer interfaces, and hardware hacking tools (remember the geek port?) would be commonplace today if this weird tangent in computing history had really taken off. An Ars Technica article about the open source BeOS “Haiku” project caught my eye today, and I was pleasantly surprised to discover that BeOS development is still alive and kicking.
I’ve only been playing with it for a few minutes, but it’s up and running nicely in the Q virtual machine (QEMU port for OS X). There are nightly disk image builds available for download, and QEMU will boot directly from any of the RAW image downloads. So far everything seems to work reliably.
One thing that isn’t completely functional, however, is the drive setup utility. This is a drag, since there’s only a few free MB available on the downloaded disk image. Unless you go through the trouble of preparing a BeOS boot volume from within a separate Linux virtual machine, you won’t be able to install much of anything. Can any Be hackers comment on a command line method for formatting and preparing a boot image?