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A first look at Haiku (alpha)

Mar 16, 2010, 16:32 (0 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Jesse Smith)

"When talking about kernel scheduling and desktop responsiveness, it's common to hear people in the tech community talk fondly of BeOS, a desktop system which hails from the 1990s. BeOS had a well-deserved reputation for providing users with a polished desktop and smooth interaction, even when the processor was under heavy load. Unfortunately the product was not a financial success and BeOS largely disappeared from consumer machines. The Haiku project attempts to pick up where BeOS left off and, though Haiku includes very little code from BeOS, it strives to maintain the same sort of look, feel and snappy user interface.

"I grabbed the Haiku install image, which weighs in at about 400 MB and acts both as installation media and as a live CD. Upon booting from the CD, Haiku starts up a graphical environment and asks if the user wishes to run the installer or move on to the live desktop. Selecting the latter option deposits the user at a fairly standard-looking desktop. The wallpaper is a soft sky blue and contains the Haiku logo. In the upper-left corner are icons for navigating the user's (and system's) directories. There are also icons linking to the project's release notes and manual. Lastly, there's an icon which launches the installer. Over in the upper-right corner we find a compact combination of application menu (represented here by a blue feather), system tray and taskbar. By default, the system tray displays a digital clock and system monitor. Clicking on the system monitor enables the user to manage running processes."

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