With impeccable timing, a new version of the software libre clone of BeOS, AtheOS, slipped out last week.
Be Inc. itself still hasn't given any indication that it will release the source code to its much loved but moribund desktop OS, although ten days ago we reported that the company registered domain names openbeos.com, openbeos.org and openbeos.net last fall. Be's current cash squeeze makes it less likely to want to devote staff resources to keep placing fresh mothballs around the desktop OS code base, which last received a major update a year ago.
AtheOS is a shameless clone of Be's OS, with screaming performance a top design goal, and the project also encompasses an effort to duplicate BeOS's crown jewel the BFS file system. Performance is something that Be spectacularly succeeded in achieving, and BeOS devotees are doubtless taking a grim satisfaction from performance reports of Mac OS X, the NeXT-derived OS hairball that Apple developed in preference to BeOS itself. And BeOS of course has been described as a 'Unix for the rest of us' for several years, although Mac OS X is multi-user out of the box, something Be never got round to finishing.
Most of the latest modifications in version 0.3.3 are behind the scenes, but author Kurt Skauen says he's ported irc client BitchX and OpenSSH to the OS. And what else do you need for BOFH duty? ®