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More about the BeBox: The hardware should be available this month, for $1600, from resellers and from Jean-Louis Gassee's Be, Inc. at , 415/462-4141, 415/462-4129 Fax. There's no BeWrite or BePaint yet, but it does come with a Mac-hosted CodeWarrior cross-compiler. (A native version is expected soon. See .) Be is trying to woo [Mac] software developers with the chance to have a big impact. See . (Think how this could take off if someone writes an emulator for Mac, Windows, or Unix. Or even Newton, Amiga, Atari, Apple II -- anything that taps an existing PC, workstation, or game machine software base.)

Two of the serial ports and many of the BeBox chips and specs are PReP-compliant, but the BeBox will not run future PReP- compatible operating systems from Microsoft, IBM, Apple, etc. The OS is said to come from Apple's "Pink" project, which was never brought to market.

Be's multithreaded OS gives you preemptive multitasking with protected address spaces, interapplication messaging and data streams, dynamically linked shared libraries (DLLs), and TCP/IP networking (including Telnet, FTP, and PPP). Each window its own graphics environment, and all can be updating simultaneously. The OS includes a relational database, for the file system and for use by applications. See and .

Be's native-coded multiprocessor microkernel supports high-bandwidth audio and video, with 2-8 PowerPC processors at present, and can theoretically drive just about any PC card or peripheral. The current configuration gives you five 16-bit ISA slots, three 32-bit PCI slots, IDE and SCSI support, [downloadable] flash ROM, and eight 72-pin slots for 60ns dynamic RAM. Also 16-bit stereo with multiple inputs and outputs, two MIDI ports, four serial ports, a parallel port, three infrared ports, a joystick port, and a unique 37-pin bidirectional "GeekPort" with D/A and A/D conversion on 16 inputs, 16 outputs, or 8 of each. "Imagine the multiplayer game controllers, hardware interfaces, and other devices that could sprout off a port like this." . [Geoff Duncan , TidBITS, 10/9/95.]