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17 May, 2000 1.19pm pdt | Hubris Edition
Mac OS X = BeOS PR2
Steve Jobs demonstrates Apple's latest 90s technology

BE DOPE NEWS (BDN) A recent c|net News.com article reported Apple CEO Steve Jobs "wowed" the Mac faithful at Apple's Worldwide Developers Forum by demonstrating Mac OS X features available on BeOS PR2 back in 1997. Further "oohs" and "aahs" were drawn by unveiling crash protection features found in even older versions of BeOS.

According to the article, a big crowd-pleaser was "the ability to seamlessly paste a two-dimensional picture onto a 3D object running in a different program."

"Something like that was a big crowd-pleaser for us back in the days of BeOS PR2 (Preview Release 2)," said Be, Inc. CEO Jean-Louis Gassée. "Of course, it wasn't exactly the same demonstration - instead of one static two-dimensional image, we would drop six different movies onto a rotating 3D cube. The running movies were then simultaneously mapped in real-time to the rotating object. And we used 1997 Apple hardware, not these fancy G4 processors. But still, it was similar and quite popular back then."

Still, Gassée is looking forward to welcoming Jobs and Mac OS X "to the nineties", when Mac OS X ships sometime in 2001 (latest estimate).

The article also recounts the improved crash resistance of Mac OS X:

"Even after he [Jobs] deliberately crashed another program, a QuickTime movie trailer of "Mission Impossible 2" continued playing without a hitch. An error message said that an application had unexpectedly quit but that other programs remained unaffected.

Such technology has been present even in the earliest versions of BeOS, due to the fact it was designed from the ground-up to take advantage of extreme multi-threading. Still, Mac devotees welcome the improvement over the crash resistance of earlier versions of Mac OS (the entire system could be brought to a halt by a program crash, a user stressing the system, hurt feelings, bad mojo, or Jupiter aligning with Mercury).

"Perhaps the 'X' [ten] in Mac OS X refers to how many years behind the technology is," pondered one attendee.


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