After there are complaints or even rants against haiku from time to time, I wanted to contribute a small and personal review from a “lab-weekend” at home. I have to anticipate that the comparisons are not really objective and that I am not completely impartial. It’s also a long read from a non-native speaker
Anyway, I got a One-Euro-PC from a happy accident on eBay. A brittle unpainted box from a former ATM - everything else pretty ordinary and rather vintage: an Intel Core 2 Duo with 2x 3 Ghz and 2 GB Ram. Since I obviously had nothing better to do, I installed Ubuntu Studio, Hackintosh and Haiku one after the other.
To be honest, I have to say that installing Ubuntu was the easiest part. The whole thing booted without any fine-tuning of the bios, but as expected, it was rather slow. However, the stability was not as expected: Application windows could not be closed, some reboots were necessary and once the shutdown process did not want to end at all. In the case of Ubuntu Studio, this is a great pre-selection of a wide variety of music, av and design applications, Haiku could only dream of. However, I didn’t get any of my sound cards or interfaces - although they should be compatible - to work.
And I remembered the old feelings that it’s a bit like socialism: Linux is a great concept, but apart from server applications, I personally haven’t found any practical implementation yet. It is certainly great if you want to glue your own kernel extensions or solder a driver, but why carry all the ballast with you when it comes to ordinary people and daily tasks? I want a machine that serves me and not the other way around.
My first experience with Hackintosh was unexpectedly positive. The most time consuming and exhausting part was the preparation of the USB stick. After a little adjustment of the bios, I immediately had a sense of achievement. With the exception of a very moderate video performance and the network card, all other interfaces remained undetected. A Firewire card along with an external hard drive and audio interface was recognized, but did not work at the end.
But here is also the downside of the Apple ecosystem: The whole thing is a great solution if you want to go to a store to buy a tool that is easy and safe to use. Of course, provided that you bring the necessary money with you. But if you have already made progress on the unknown and arduous journey into the hinterland, the question arises why you don’t want to have all the freedom right away? In addition, a Hackintosh installation always carries the risk that the next system update will be over.
For Haiku I just had to switch the AHCI settings and was able to boot and install then. Instead of the internal DVI interface, unfortunately only the VGA output was recognized, but LAN, Audio and everything else worked out of the box. As I said, the comparison is unfair, but the boot time, responsiveness and also the stability of Haiku (beta!) are absolutely amazing (and shameful for the other candidates). Even after years with BeOS and Haiku, it still makes me wonder how to get past the mainstream with a vintage machine and a guerrilla OS
The only downside: The very small amount of (more special) applications. At least for my part, I still have to use the Mac for 75% of my requirements. But maybe it’s just up to me - even if I’m anything but a developer - to close these gaps on a small scale and to approach the porting of apps? Finally I have a personal resolution for the new year: To integrate Haiku more and more into my everyday workflow and also to make no further investments in proprietary hardware and software. (The cancellation of the Adobe cloud subscription was long overdue and is in the works.)
For the experienced visitors, this review may be silly or cold coffee, but maybe it will motivate newcomers to give Haiku a chance and to think outside the box. And last but not least this is good opportunity to a big “thank you” to the developers.