Wednesday, May 9, 22:23 CDT

A couple of my friends are avid BeOS users. The words die hard advocate might even be applicable. Technically and aesthetically, I know where they're coming from. From everything I've seen, BeOS is an impressive piece of work. I've been planning to install it myself, if only to play with.

Unfortunately, it looks a lot like Be, Inc. is dying - and BeOS, most likely, with it. Scot Hacker sums things up pretty well.

To my mind, the tragedy of the whole thing is that it doesn't have to be this way. Good software doesn't have to die, and shouldn't. No contribution to the sum total of human achievement as monumental as a really good operating system should ever just fade away. (Think about it - What's harder to write? A great novel, or a modern OS that works, let alone works well? Used a Microsoft product lately?)

But then, I guess that's one of the several reasons I run Free Software whenever possible. I feel like open code - open modifiable code - is in some way more alive than any pre-compiled binary dependent for growth upon a single corporate entity. As long as the code is there, there's always hope. No absolute assurance that your favorite Audiovisual Turnip Growth Performance Tracking & Management System for Multics will survive; but at the very least you have the knowledge that you yourself can do something about it if you care enough.

Maybe large chunks of BeOS code will eventually be opened, thus salvaging a lot of great work. I'm not holding my breath, but stranger things have happened. At any rate, I'm coming to the conclusion that while releasing source code is a choice for individual developers and companies to make, there's a moral obligation for people to ensure that the code they write does not simply vanish into oblivion.

I just realized that I can plug another set of speakers into this sound card. This is so cool. Now I need to reinstall some games that do surround sound. I am going to be unstoppable in deathmatch...

Ok, so I'd be unstoppable in deathmatch if I weren't on a #$@!ing modem. (And haven't I been telling myself that for years anyway?)