Subject: BeBox Help
To: None <>
From: Jim Frankel <>
List: port-bebox
Date: 11/12/2000 10:17:55
Hello All,
      I checked the archives of this list about two months ago and decided 
that this port was basically dead, but now I've checked again and I see that 
there are actually a number of people listening, so I'll ask for some help.
      My situation is this.  An acquaintance of mine gave me a Bebox 
motherboard.  I call him an acquaintance, and not a friend, because of this 
next fact.  He found an old Bebox, complete, in a lab at his school, and 
took it home.  It's an old R5 motherboard and he couldn't run the current 
BeOS on it, so it just sat... until he moved, when he removed the 
motherboard from the case and THROUGH THE CASE AWAY!  *gasp*.  So there go 
the beautiful blinking processor lights.  Then his girlfriend removed the 
I/O board for some sort of techno collage, so there goes my mouse port.
      But I can't be that mad at him, since I now have a Bebox/66 R5 
      The question is, can I redeem this poor motherbaord by bringing it 
back to life?
      BeOS is a no go because of the rom.  I even tried to figure out a way 
to replace the rom flash with a larger one.  Does anyone have any 
information on this?  I guessed from the FAQ on the Be page that the 
required address line was not connected on the R5 motherboard (even though 
the 4 meg flash fits in the same damn socket).  I have the pinout for the 
MPC105 but without the schematic I couldn't actually verify that the upper 
address bit wasn't connected.  Anyone?  If it's just a matter of finding the 
correct via on the MPC105 and running a wire to the flash I'm up for it...   
:)  Anyone have a copy of the BeOS DR release that actually runs on this 
      LinuxPPC:  I wrote to the fellow who worked on the linuxppc port, and 
he told me to check out NetBSD.  The links for the install files on his web 
page are dead, and he didn't seem very interested in giving them to me.
      So NetBSD it is.
      Oh, by the way, I have two pieces of the motherboard.  I have the 
original video card, and I have the board itself.  That's it.
      When I power it up, I get the Be logo, and I have successfully booted 
from the NetBSD install floppy.
      I haven't actually touched it in about a month, so I don't remember 
how far the install gets, but it always hangs without any error messages.  
It just stops.
      I know that it stops earlier if I have the network card installed.  
It's a NE2000 compatible... actually, I have two, one is a Link-sys and one 
is a kingston.
      If I take the card out it gets a bit farther, but still stops.

      I know you'll need more info, but if anyone has any tips or 
instructions for installing, I'd like them, and if anyone wants to help I'll 
fire it up and get some more specific info.

      Just so you know, I'd really love to get this thing up any running.  I 
don't even care if it's barely usable and only running on one processor, 
doing nothing more than heating my room, at least I can say it's doing 

      Also, since someone on the list seems to have started the topic of 
oddball setups and old hardware and such, over that past 6 months I've 
gotten into trying to resurrect long-ago-state-of-the-art machines...  It's 
fun to list them all...
     Sun Sparcstation LX (RedHat 6.2):  Firewall for cable modem
     Sun Sparcstation IPC (Redhat 6.2): DNS/DHCP in my house
     Sun Sparcstation IPX (OpenBSD maybe):  Looking for a home...
     Gateway PII/400:  (RH 6.2/NT 4 server/BeOS 5):  Mostly NT file srvr
     Mac 7500 w/dual-180-604 (MacOS/BeOS 4.5/linuxPPC?):  My new toy for the 
past few weeks...  Trying to figure out if linuxppc SMP works.
     Mac SE/30 (MacOS/netbsd/MachTen):  Displaced by the 7500... I'll get 
back to it one of these days...
     BeBox motherboard:  In a static bag behind my desk.
     NeXT '040 slab:  Did you know that you can't turn a NeXT machine on 
unless you have a keyboard?  Did you know that you can't plug a keyboard 
into NeXT machine unless you have NeXT monitor or a soundbox?  I didn't...  
When I find a soundbox I'll also find out if it actually powers up, and when 
I do that I'll try to figure out how to install NetBSD on that....
     I actually have a few more, but those are the fun ones....
     Total cost of the above:  $320.
     Cost when new?  Say $35,000...  Two orders of magnitude reduction in 
cost, and they are still so useful.

     And just to fully introduce myself, I'm a junior electrical engineer, 
and don't actually know how to write operating systems, but I'm fascinated 
with setting them up and making them do fun things.  I've tried to use every 
one I've been able to get my hands on, the oddest being MachTen (bsd/mach 
based unix *ON TOP OF* the MacOS) and Rhapsody DR2 for intel (installed it 

     So yeah, anyone want to help me get my BeBox running NetBSD?


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