It appears I missed my 10 year anniversary of using a non Microsoft OS (not counting a TI99/4A and a BBC Masters Compact). Apparently the March 1999 edition of PCPlus magazine (a hard magazine to find in Ireland back then) had a LiveCD for BeOS. I was doing CS in Uni at the time but it was up till then concentrated on Windows. I wasn’t entirely sure if it was going to break my install, the idea of something running off of CD was strange and I had only just started using the Internet so alternate OSes were not something I’d really been in contact with (actually at this point even in Uni you had to join Netsoc to get Internet as it was not provided and I was using it for about 6 months for the princely sum of £5 Irish pounds, £3 for just email… which hilariously I had gotten the year before and not known anyone with an email account). The whole FOSS thing kinda happened some time after this… I think. Or I had perhaps tried a Mandrake disk on a spare HDD, but I’m really not sure.

So last week not being particularly busy I decided I’d give Haiku a shot. It’s in very early Alpha stage right now and only provides VMWare images. I don’t use VMWare, so I figured must be a way to get it running on VirtualBox. There is and it’s nice and easy. Download the latest raw disk image and unzip. Then use VBoxManage application that comes with VirtualBox (I’m still on v2)

VBoxManage convertdd haiku-alpha-gcc4.image ~/.VirtualBox/VDI/haiku-alpha-gcc4.vdi

And you are good to go, you can now select it as a disk image in the manager. The Computer Action Show guys bizarrley enough covered it in their last episode so best to listen/watch them if you want an in depth review! I got bored rapidly when there wasn’t really anything I could think to do with it! 🙂