The BeOS continues to rock, however much like Redhat 2.1 at the time, a dearth of applications makes it less rock, more conglomerated sand. This is as reflective on '98 as I'll ever get; I used 4 OSes throughout the year: Redhat 5.1/5.2, FreeBSD 2.7/3.0, BSDI/OS 3.1/4.0, and Win95/98/NT. Each one of them has their positives and negatives, well the only positive thing about Winxx is the gaming aspect, but other than that, I can't really find much else positive, except for the fact that it runs at all. Given an amount of time, I'll either buy a bigger hard drive and split BeOS/Linux/Win98, or re-arrange the system to handle all three.
Have you ever been reading a book about routing protocols on the train and changed to the BGP4 chapter, looked up, and said, "wtf, why am I doing this again?" Perhaps it is my current job, the level of specificity in my reading material of late, or just life in general; but even the K7 doesn't evoke the same emotions with the same intensity as new technology used to do so well. Hmm, could it be age? Or the fact that I get 10 vendors a week trying to sell their wares to me, all billed as paradigm shifts, or the 'killer app' of their market. Could it be that very rarely do you see something so totally different from everything else that everything just looks bland? The majority of applications, pc's, etc all seem to be converging on homogeniety. Sure, there are exceptions, Natrificial's The Brain, SGI's Visual Workstation, BeOS (and every app for it seems to be written by programmers who consult graphic artists beforehand). Wouldn't you like to see a round push button? Windows that aren't rectangular? Menus that don't drop down and cascade into another drop down cascade? Software that isn't symmetrical? A Cisco that doesn't have a billion command line options which are all modifiers of one another? I don't know, maybe I'm just menstral this week. (How many flames will I get for that comment?)
I've decided to just sit down and learn a language, inside and out so I can build something, just to write something from scratch. And being the glutton for punishment that I am, I've decided on C++. I bought the book, and have written helloworld.cpp as a command line app. Woohoo! Only 1,284 pages to go. I've finished the Perl book, and while it is cool, I don't see using Perl to write a protocol sniffer, or ftp application. It could be done, don't get me wrong, but Perl just doesn't have that geek factor of saying, "yeah, I banged it out in C++ in a day". Maybe I'll write a Vines client for Linux and the BeOS when all is said in done.
I've noticed one thing about '99 already, ok two things, 1) I'm sick of the term, 01-01-00 and Y2K already, and 2) the average length of these updates already exceeds '98's updates.