BeOS: The Media OS
User Explanation Track
The BeOS, like any operating system, is a complex product that is difficult
to describe completely in a single coherent document. Our strategy is to
break different levels of summarization into different documents. Here's a
guide to the documents which do the most to describe the BeOS, from the
20,000 foot view to the 5 foot view.
Of course, sometimes you need to get even closer. That's when you'll want
to contact someone at Be directly, or see a live demonstration of the BeOS.
See the very end for how you can do either of these.
||What You Can See
A very brief overview of Be, the BeOS, and the people behind both. This
page also includes a narrative outline of the rest of the Be web site,
great for locating the section of the site with more information of
interest to you.
The Media OS Whitepaper
This 15-page white paper outlines the technological underpinnings of the
BeOS, explaining how a number of technological trends made possible and
desirable a media-oriented operating system, a Media OS, which in turn gave
rise to the BeOS. This is the best document for explaining the philosophy
of design behind the BeOS.
A semi-detailed overview of the BeOS, this three-page document expresses in
more detail the foundational technologies of the BeOS, and how these
technologies make the BeOS ideally suited for handling digital media in
realtime on consumer-class PCs.
A component-by-component examination of the technologies of the BeOS, this
six-page document lists virtually all of the features of the BeOS. Note
that features are mentioned, without necessarily detailing why they are
useful to the OS (the datasheet does that better). Release 4-specific.
Take a screenshot-based tour of the BeOS, and see what it's like to
actually use the BeOS to do a variety of tasks. Twelve different sections
illustrate various important parts of the BeOS, and what you can do with
it. For people who need to "see" the BeOS, this is the next-best thing to
attending a live demo. Release 3 and 4.
What's On The CD
A detailed listing, in outline format, of the actual contents of the BeOS
product CD. If you want to know exactly what comes on the CD, e.g., which
applications or command line utilities are in the BeOS, this is the
document to check. Release 4-specific.
What's New in the BeOS
This document is a bullet point-based listing of all the new user-level
features and changes in the BeOS, compared with the prior release. Although
it's most helpful if you have a baseline knowledge of the BeOS already,
it's still quite useful for getting an idea of what's in the product.
BeOS Ready List
A document detailing the hardware supported by the BeOS. The most complete
information about what hardware can run the BeOS. Release 4-specific.
The Be FAQs
A collection of over 350 of the most popular questions about Be and the
BeOS, from the most general ("How do you pronounce 'BeOS'?") to the most
specific ("Does the BeOS support XYZ technology?"). If your question isn't
answered in any of the above documents, it's probably in the FAQs.
If you still need to get closer, you probably need direct contact with
someone at Be. The Contacting Be web page describes the different e-mail
contacts at Be, so that you can direct your inquiry to the right person.
Be and the BeOS in Person
Or, if what you really want is to see the BeOS live and on stage, you'll
want to check our events schedule. We go to many industry trade shows and
schedule demonstrations at various locations throughout the world. Our
events schedule will let you know when we're playing at a venue near you.
Better yet, if you're in the Bay Area, we host regular demonstrations on
Friday afternoons. Again, check the Events section for more information
about our Friday Demo Days.