Rare, early developer model BeBox needs a new home


#21

My Original BeBox was a dual 603 with blinkenlights. Blinkenlights were definitely around during the PPC days. They were available in 66 and 133 MHz, IIRC.

Mine was a dual 66Mhz. Found the article. LOL:
https://www.osnews.com/story/21594/beos-treasure-chest-up-for-bids-on-ebay/


#22

Yes, of course blinkenlights were there during PPC days.

This particular machine, however, is an early prototype. This is why there is no front panel and no blinkenlights. It was sent to CodeWarrior so they could work on BeIDE while Be was finalizing the machine and getting it ready for sale to other developers - including blinkenlights, frontpanel, and also probably getting FCC certification.

Maybe this makes it more valuable as a collector item. It’s the BeBox that started it all and allowed other developers to get an easy to use development environment, after all.


#23

I get that, but his last comment was It is a PPC machine which predates the blinkenlights. Being a PPC machine doesn’t mean it predates the blinkenlights. That was what I was clarifying.


#24

I think it was meant that it is a ppc machine which predates blinkenlights, not that ppc machines predate blinkenlights.


#25

That looks cool, I have a few questions:
-is it a dual 66 or 133 MHz?
-what is the revision of the mainboard?
In case you forgot, it’s written under the Be logo, between the PCI and the ISA slots. There’s a line starting with “ASSY” and ending with a “-” followed by two numbers, the last one is the revision number.
-what is the bottom ISA card for?
-Would you ship it overseas?
Thanks.


#26

What is the very last version of BeOS (including the unlicensed ones) that will run on PPC hardware? I suspect this is BeOS 5 Pro? Would be pretty cool if a cut down version of Haiku could boot on this someday… 256MB ram should be doable.


#27

Yes, BeOS supported PowerPC until the end.

And yes, one of the Haiku devs has a BeBox and is trying to get buildtools in shape for building an haiku_loader for it. Maybe someday…


#28

Be Inc had the code also. Either way, no good for any Haiku dev.

From what I can tell, Be Inc never had the compiler source.


#29

Depends on how old it is, but if it has one of the original motherboards, it will not run anything past the DR releases. There was a revision to the mobo that added a larger flash ROM and all models prior to that could no longer boot “modern” BeOS (as in the OS at the time.) There was a trade in program, but this one could well have slipped through the net, given it was never attached to the actual release case. The early ones shipped without the front panel and blinken lights, and I think that was delivered to the early adopters at a later date.


#30

No, there was an unofficial version that was part Dano, part original net_server. It had the new skinnable UI, but it still used the net_server for networking. I’ve seen it listed as BeOS R5.05 a few times. I have a video of it on Youtube is you are interested.

BeOS PowerPC


#31

Okay - the BeBox boots by finding a BFS volume that is in Big Endian format and it then looks for an exe that is in PEF format and executes it (I think it looks for the kernel_joe, but don’t quote me on that.)

The BootRom code is not available anywhere, but there was a version of Linux (or possibly BSD) that someone made that would boot by compiling an Elf exe in to PEF format and bootstrapping from there. That code does exist, and I did have it at one point. I guess that technique could be used? If that is also the case, we might be able to boot on supported Mac hardware, and the be bootloader on the Mac worked similarly.


#32

Unless it was updated, it is probably a very old revision level 5 mobo.

BeBox revision level 5 mobo info


#33

Damn. If I had $400, and lived in the states I would totally lap that up.

Shame this project is way before my time, and never hit lead. Someone should turn it into a BBS for all it’s found glory.


#34

Who dares awaken me? :blush:

Yes I have a BeBox around. I started looking at a Haiku port, you can find a bebox branch on github.

Not very far yet, The loader built at one point (I’ll have to rebase and fix some more merge conflicts), but GNU ld claims to know how to write PEF (which the boot rom wants) but actually just emits the section contents without any header. So that’s what I last started, fixing PEF support in GNU ld.

You can actually find some bootrom dumps around, at least last I searched. Also, some people (including me) started early BeBox support for QEMU but it’s been getting dust for a while. MAME (actually, MESS) has some BeBox support, but all it does is show the Be logo but wasn’t able to load anything when I tried.


#35

@barebonesbebox, I would be interested in making an offer but I am new and just signed up when I read your post so I don’t think I can PM? In any case, you can reach me at my website at http://vintagecomputer.ca


#36

Just FYI I’ve got dibs. @barebonesbebox is supposed to ship it to me in a week or two when I’m back home.


#37

For those interested in newer PowerPC hardware, there are a number of sources mentioned in the comments to a post about builiding a RISC-V-PC on OSNews ( https://www.osnews.com/story/129402/building-a-risc-v-pc/ ).


#38

Darn, I missed out!

If any more BeBoxen become available I’d be willing to buy.


#39

He is correct! Cheers!


#40

Except Risc-V is no PowerPC at all!
If you want newer PowerPC hardware you’d have to turn at AmigaOne machines, I guess.