Pick a Free OS

Be my OS - a journey through BeOS5

supported and it will be using default "640*480 pixels" in 8 bit grey

scale mode. Though it did convey to me politely saying this is not the way Be

is intended to be seen, I was directed to do some research on the CD or on the

Web.

So a quick few hops thro the web to find the drivers only made me return empty

handed. Nobody had taken the trouble to write drivers for my Matrox MGA 200

display card. Impressed by the visuals of the OS imprinted in their manual and

with the spirit of "Never give up", I borrowed a display card that

"Be" supported, from my friend only to be stunned and amazed by the

wonderful visuals and icons that it displayed.

The Journey alongside "BeOS":

It took me a few clicks here and there to get adjusted to the Mac-type interface.

And then, a heavy bunch of loaded software greeted me. Ranging from popular

games, image editors, audio players, mpeg decoders and even a cd-burner software.

"Be" seemed to have covered almost everything under the sun. But again,

there was utter disappointment. "Be" didn't support my soundcard and

I was running out of friends who could lend me hardware. Reluctantly, I preferred

to have an OS that didn't speak much.

Setting up an Internet connection was a breeze with comprehensive help for

setting "ppp" also available over the net. But if you happen to have

a DSL modem or cable Internet, chances of being able to connect to the net are

fairly slim.

Some of the features that come with Be are really commendable. The Internet

Browser is a snazzy piece of art, BeCommander manages files very well, can be

configured using hot keys and has an integrated FTP client. An InSite Designer

is a trialware WYSIWYG HTML editing tool and AbiWord is Be's competition to

StarOffice for Linux and Word for Windows. Support for USB devices, OpenGL Symmetric

Multi Processing (SMP), chip in to add to the plus points of Be. Plus you can

play multiple instances of MP3's on this multimedia OS, though the karaoke version

of Jackson's "Black or White" and Britney's "Ooops! I did it

again" did sound absurd on my PC.

Should I grab a copy of "Be" today?

"Be" has a bundle of impressive features but it is extremely selective

when it comes to hardware support. If you don't have the appropriate hardware

you will be stranded with an OS that's just a showpiece in a small corner of