Help a former Be employee recover some source code

hey folks,

I will be brazen enough to assume that a few people here might remember me! in the year 2000, I worked at Be for seven months, right up until the company went out of business. I got hired there on the strength of this app that i wrote:

Pineapple News for BeOS

over the years, a number of people have contacted me, trying to get me to release the source code to that thing. And lo, all these many years later, I am finally trying to do that! But there is a problem.

Back in the day, I bought a dual pentium AST computer, specifically to use for BeOS development. I dual-booted Windows NT 4.0 and BeOS 5.0 on it. The only copy of the Pineapple News source code in the world was on that computer. I dragged it down out of my attic the other day, and wouldn’t you know it, it no longer works.

I scavenged the four hard drives out of it:

https://platinumball.net/jpg/beos_drives.jpg

What I’ve got there are:

Two Seagate SCSI drives, model ST39175LW
One Western Digital IDE drive, model WD400
One Western Digital IDE drive, model WDAC21200

I can’t remember exactly how those drives are partitioned, but I am pretty sure they are some combination of NTFS, FAT32, and BFS.

I live in Nashville, TN, USA. Are there any Haiku enthusiasts who live near me who have an ancient old pentium-based computer that is capable of running Windows NT 4.0 and BeOS 5.0, that they would let me use for awhile? I could come to your house, you will never have to leave it in my care. But I will need to be able to take the cover off, and temporarily connect the drives. So that means that the eligible computer will need a SCSI adapter.

I know, this is a pretty big ask. But if this works, and the drives are still operational, and I am able to get all the contents off of them, I will donate the source code for Pineapple News, under whatever license you guys think is best.

(I hate that I have to add this, but I am only going into the home of someone who is fully vaxxed. I will expect to see your vaxx card, I will show you mine, and we will both be masked.)

regards,
Allen Brunson

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I’m still a bit far, living in the suburbs of Detroit. However, I have many computers that would probably work. (… sadly, I still have most of my computers I’ve owned in the basement… it’s like a computer museum!)
I do have a HP Kodiak workstation that is a dual-Pentium 2 with onboard SCSI/IDE. I also have some various motherboards and adaptec SCSI cards that could probably work.
Anyhow, I’m willing to help any way I can ( I loved Pineapple news and bought a license back then!).
If no one closer can help maybe we can figure something out.

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I think i have a ide capable pc that boots beos

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Perhaps someone else can confirm it, but I think if you use a USB<->IDE adaptor with a PSU (something like this USB 2.0 on Ide / SATA Adapter With 2A Power Supply #n243 | eBay) then you can recover everything from a haiku install on a modern machine, since it can mount NTFS, FAT32 and BeFS. Even a live boot of a haiku USB stick should work. Then you can copy everything onto another USB drive.

EDIT: Oh, not so sure about the SCSI drives. Looks harder to find an adapter.

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You should be able to use a usb to ide adapter, on a haiku install

This may be of some use. Possibly easier than finding a compatible PC.
IDE to USB

Please please please create disk images first before you start messing with old drives!

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Do you remember if any of them was combine in to one drive?

Putting them in a IDE to USB shell would work for the IDE drivs. And if you find what you are looking for there perhaps you don’t need to access the SCSI drives?

did you mean dd-ing hdd into image before doing anything?

Yes, exactly.

I would say that I’m in W.Va and have literal mountains of hardware from that era that still works…

thanks greg. wish we lived closer together! i will figure something out.

PCI-E SCSI cards are not so expensive, and could be paired with linux and a USB<->IDE to do this recovery on a modern machine, I think.

Hi Allen,
I have worked with old/dying PCs. Often you can buy a compatible replacement motherboard on eBay for cheap. I have extended the lives of multiple legacy PC’s this way with a 1 for 1 swap. Good luck!

Oh, did you think to replace the cr2032 lithium battery already? If it’s empty at first the realtime clock will loose time. After that settings get lost. And after that (it is a literal shortcut by then) the system will be totally dead.

You can test this by just removing that cell. If it comes to life you just need a new one for a few bucks :wink:

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I’m thousands of miles away and don’t have the Pentium computer anyway, but - when you raise the question of anyone remembering you - why yes! I can vouch for that Allen Brunson guy, as a productive member of the BeOS world of antiquity.

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hey, are you donn cave? if so, then yes, i remember you as well. you told me some stuff about how NNTP works that i did not know.

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Have you been playing with Haiku any? If so, what are your thoughts?

Or have you played with Fuchsia OS? Or any other OS that you’ve found interesting?

sadly, no. i have never installed or used haiku. having said that, i think it is an interesting project! i have read a whole bunch of updates on its progress over the years.

i am not using haiku because computers are, for me, a career. (i have plenty of other things i do for hobbies.) if i thought i could make money by writing software for haiku, i would consider it. but i can’t see any path for that.

and also, even if haiku was financially viable, i would still probably not use it, for another reason: C++. having moved on to other frameworks and languages, i have come to loathe C++. it is crufty and outdated and i hate it now. it represents all the baggage i chose BeOS specifcallly to avoid.

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