- BeOS R5
BeOS R5 is the final version of
BeOSfrom Be Inc.. It was released in March 2000, and came in two varieties: Professional and Personal.
R5 was the 4th major release of BeOS for a public audience, and the 6th since it left developer-only stages. It changed only slightly from the previous release, BeOS R4.5, and was even seeded to developers as "R4.6". Improved
POSIXcompliance, particularly in the area of networking, was provided. The OS in general was moved towards the new modular media kit over the former audio-only sound subsystem. For end-users, new logos and some new icons were the only major differences.
R5 was the first release of BeOS for x86 to have a freely downloadable version which could be fully installed on a user's hard drive; previous versions had a free
Live CDdownload, which could not be installed. R5 was also to be the last version to support the PowerPCarchitecture with BeOS had originated on, including the companies own BeBoxhardware. According to Be's marketing, it was the first OS to ship with "legal" MP3encoding and decoding support.
Personal Edition, a 48MB download, was the most commonly used version of R5. Stripped of developer tools (though these were later made available as a separate download),
mp3and Indeoencoders, and RealPlayer. It was installed into a 500MB "hardfile" through Windows or Linux, and could be booted either directly from Windows 9xor DOS, or using a boot floppy. Once booted, it could be installed to a real hard drive or partition, and the Be Bootloader could be installed to allow dual-booting. This bootloader uses only the MBR of the hard disk, and will continue to function even if the BeOS is uninstalled.
Professional Edition was only available commercially, and for the first time in BeOS's history, could not be purchased from the company unless you were a developer. Instead, a number of regional resellers sold it -
Gobe Softwarein the United States, Apacabarand Kochin Europe, and Hitachi in Asia. These resellers were responsible for all packaging of the OS, from localisation to CD labelling and packaging. As a result, some variations exist between packaged R5 Professional discs, with some being slipstream updated to the newest patches, and most notably, the inclusion of commercial printer drivers with Gobe releases, and French translations of the user documentation on Apacabar.
The CD shipped with an
ISO9660/HFS hybrid partition, containing documentation, GPL licenced source code, the Personal Edition installer (with the aim of you circulating the installer to friends), a copy of Partition Magicfor Windows, and the Mac OS boot-loading code for the PowerPC version. Two separate BFS partitions existed, one for x86, one for PowerPC, and the x86 one is directly bootable from CD.
In addition to all the features of Personal Edition, Professional Edition includes the full developers tools, including a rebranded
CodeWarrior, RealPlayerG2, FraunhoferMP3 encoders, and support for both encoding Indeovideo, and playback/encoding of Indeo Real Time. Additional media on the CD varied by supplier, but always included some sample multimedia files, including two songs composed by Be staff (" [http://catrec.com/5038.mp3 5038] " and " [http://catrec.com/vv.mp3 virtual (void)] ") as well as a video of Be staff pushing computer monitors off the roof of their building in Menlo Park.
Three updates for R5 were released during 2000.
R5.01 was mainly a stability fix for R5 Professional, fixing some deadlocks in drivers and critical servers. However, additional POSIX support was again added for networking, although the update neglected to include the newer headers to use some of these functions - they were only available in an updated Developer Tools for Personal Edition download.
R5.02 (marked as R5.01 on personal) contained all of R5.01's updates, as well as some enhanced drivers, and more stability fixes.
R5.03 was solely a security fix, and fixed a remote-access bug in the system's
ftpd. The update, however, made a change to the core C library to do this, and in doing so, updated the version of glibcit was based on, again providing slightly more POSIX compatibility.
Following the failure of
BeIA, Be's Internet Applianceventure, the company ceased operations, and R5 was the last official release. A widely leaked version of BeOS that had been seeded to developers, codenamed Dano, carried many new features, and a build ID indicating it was BeOS R5.1.0.
Another extremely widely leaked update is a new, fully POSIX compliant, kernel-land networking stack, known internally in Be as BONE. While officially alpha, this brings higher stability to R5, as well as opening up the application base available. The updater for BONE Alpha 7 increases the system version number to R5.04.
A new commercial venture, ZETA, is an operating system that appears to be based on the Dano codebase, and has been accepted by some BeOS users as a successor to R5. However, at least during its protracted
release candidatestage, it was dogged with problems that have left some people using R5, and in some cases, looking to Haiku for the future of their OS.
* [http://www.bebits.com/app/2680 Get BeOS 5 Personal Edition as a free download] for those interested/curious. (Most likely to be documented for early 2000-01 hardware.)
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