by July 7, 2000 0 comments
BeOS Personal Edition 5

Operating system. Freely downloadable from the Internet

Features: Symmetric Multi-Processing (SMP); supports lots of file
systems like NTFS, FAT16, FAT32,

Pros: Stable performance; installs on your Windows partition

Cons: Technology showcase. Not the full thing.


BeOS is one of several operating systems in the market today.
Being a relatively new operating system, its user base is still low. With
Personal Edition 5, Be has given everyone a chance to check out their operating
system for free. This version can be freely downloaded from

The operating system is available as a single self-extracting
EXE file. The file size is comparatively small, about 43 MB, considering the
fact that it contains the entire OS. This is actually a bare bones installation,
and consists of a few simple applications like Web browser, text editor, mail
client, etc. Additional applications for BeOS are available for download
separately. There’s also lots of free software for BeOS on the Internet. Sites
like www. are loaded with such goodies.

BeOS is labeled as a multimedia OS and is meant for intensive
design work. It can work with audio, video, image, and Internet-based
applications. Be claims that the full OS can handle file sizes in millions of
gigabytes in real time.

Installation was one of the smoothest we’ve seen. You can
run the install through Win 9x or NT. It doesn’t need a partition of its own,
and lives happily in a 512 MB folder under Windows. Installation takes roughly
15 minutes. The beauty of this OS is that it doesn’t interfere with your
current operating system. It adds an icon on your Windows desktop, clicking on
it restarts your machine into BeOS.

Hot features
BeOS automatically detects all your hardware and installs the
necessary drivers for it. No user input is required for this. However, hardware
support is stingy. For example, some of the latest 3D cards, like the Creative
GeForce are not supported. We ran a couple of applications including Gobe
Productive (reviewed on page 82) on BeOS Personal Edition. The performance was
okay. Nothing to break into a jig about. But then the performance penalties of
running over Windows needs to be taken into account. For a technology
demonstrator-something you can play and explore, before deciding whether you
want to go in for the full, priced product. This is a neat package. If you
decide that this is something you like, switch to the full commercial version
available from GT enterprises, Bangalore (

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