the Desktop: Should We Even Bother With It?
I am fed up with searching for an "alternative" OS that
would stick around long enough to challenge Windows.
There is a new
kid on the block. His name is "QNX Realtime Platform" (or simply
RtP). In order to download
your very own copy of the newly available Public Release, all you
need to do is pay a quick visit to the appropriate website
maintained by QSSL. Alternatively, you can buy an installation CD
with all the necessary files for just $29.95. Incidentally, this is
identical to what Apple charges per copy of the new public beta of
Mac OSX, available here.
I said to myself as I was reading the RtP announcement earlier this
week, "we got a new toy to play with." On second thought, as far as
computer toys go, for once I might actually take a different path.
For roughly the same amount of money I could just order not one, but
two versions of the Star Wars
Racer game, so that I would be able to play it on both my
Mac and my PC, and maybe even compete against myself over the
might sound like heresy to you, but please allow me to explain. I am
fed up with searching for an "alternative" operating system that
would actually stick around long enough to even start challenging
Windows on the x86 platform. I used to run IBM's OS/2
as my primary platform, but it is now as dead as dead can be. This
is too bad indeed since Warp 4 was actually getting dangerously
close to what I would call a good solid 1.0 release.
for a number of reasons, I thought that BeOS had a
real chance to make it big. In hindsight, I could not have been more
wrong. It might as well still be the most buzzword-compliant
operating system on the market, but just
like I was telling you in my last article, there are
simply too many obstacles that it might never be able to overcome.
course, there is always Linux to fall back on. Yet, every time I
boot into it, I have to remind myself that universal "drag-and-drop"
is still only a dream in the Penguinista Land. And, no matter how
hard I try, I just cannot get over that nagging feeling that it
still behaves like beta software, never mind that I did pay
the same $29.95 for my nice shrink-wrapped copy of Linux-Mandrake.
(You see, I actually like the idea of having access to printed
documentation and support, but that is a whole different story…)
the point I am trying to make here is that even people like me, who
are willing to spend years searching for the Holy Grail of
Windows-free computing, are having a hard time keeping the faith.
Should I now switch to reading QNXStart, rather than BeNews? Wouldn't that be
just like abandoning 32bitsOnline which,
once upon a time, was an OS/2-centric site.
sense, I feel like I'm stuck watching the remakes of the same old
drama. Again and again I keep hoping for a happy ending, but always
end up seeing my beloved character die, no matter who directs the
play. Perhaps, it's time to learn the lesson and move on. Still, I
might or might not give QNX a try. Knowing myself all too well, I
must say that chances are that I will install it anyway… And, I will
probably do it today!
Regardless of anything else, the other big news this week was
U.S. Supreme Court will not hear the antitrust case at this
time. What this means is that the breakup, if any, will not
occur for many years to come. This will most likely give Microsoft
plenty of time to obliterate all their current competitors, just
like they have been doing it for the last 20 years.
positive side, the Mac is still a very real answer for those seeking
refuge from the Microsoft-centric way of live. And, man, do I wish
that I could justify getting the truly remarkable Power Mac G4
Cube with the awe-inspiring Apple Cinema
there are still some good things left for those who can appreciate
the true beauty of technology...
Kelman has come a long
way since his first computer, an Atari
800XL. Whenever possible, he tries to avoid Microsoft
products because he despises mediocrity. You can check out his
personal site at LetItBe.org to see his latest
creation, a dual-Celeron BeOS and Linux-optimized machine,
which should also be compatible with QNX. He would love to hear
everybody's reaction to his opinion columns, so feel free to drop
him a line at osOpinion@LetItBe.org.