BeBox

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
This article is about the personal computer. For the router, see Be Unlimited.
BeBox
Pc 005.jpg
A BeBox, with aftermarket monitor
Manufacturer Be Inc.
Type Workstation
Release date BeBox Dual603-66 : October 3, 1995; 19 years ago (1995-10-03)[1]
BeBox Dual603e-133 : August 5, 1996; 19 years ago (1996-08-05) [2]
Introductory price BeBox Dual603-66 US$1,600
BeBox Dual603-133 US$2,995
Discontinued January 1997; 18 years ago (1997-01)
Units sold 1000 - BeBox Dual603-66
800 - BeBox Dual603e-133[3]
Operating system BeOS
CPU 2 × PowerPC 603[4]
Removable storage Up to 256 MB of RAM (Supports up to 8 72-pin SIMMs)
Power 100 - 240 volt AC single-phase
Dimensions 15.68 x 8.28 x 18.15 in
39.8 cm x 21.0 cm x 46.1 cm
Website Historical: www.be.com[5]

The BeBox is a dual CPU personal computer, briefly sold by Be Inc. to run the company's own operating system, BeOS. Notable aspects of the system include its CPU configuration, I/O board with "GeekPort", and "Blinkenlights" on the front bezel.

The BeBox made its debut in October 1995 (BeBox Dual603-66). The processors were upgraded to 133 MHz in August 1996 (BeBox Dual603e-133). Production was halted in January 1997,[6] following the port of BeOS to the Macintosh, in order for the company to concentrate on software. Be sold around 1000 66 MHz BeBoxes and 800 133 MHz BeBoxes.[3]

CPU configuration[edit]

Initial prototypes are equipped with two AT&T Hobbit processors and three AT&T 9308S DSPs.

Production models use two PowerPC 603 processors running at 66 or 133 MHz to power the BeBox. Prototypes having dual 200 MHz CPUs or four CPUs exist, but these were never publicly available.[7]

I/O board[edit]

connectors of the I/O board
  • Four serial ports (9-pin D-shell)
  • One mouse port, PS/2-type
  • Two joystick ports (15-pin D-shell)
  • Two MIDI out ports
  • Two MIDI in ports
  • Three infrared (IR) I/O ports (6-pin mini DIN)
  • One internal CD audio line-level input (5-pin strip)
  • One internal microphone audio input (4-pin strip)
  • One internal headphone audio output (4-pin strip)
  • Two line-level RCA inputs (L/R)
  • Two line-level outputs (L/R)
  • One microphone input 3.5 mm stereo phono jack
  • One headphone output 3.5 mm stereo phono jack
  • A 16-bit stereo sound system @ 48 and 44.1 kHz
  • One "GeekPort" (37-pin D-shell)
    • An experimental-electronic-development oriented port, backed by three fuses on the mainboard.
    • Digital and analog I/O and DC power connector, 37-pin connector on the ISA bus.
    • Two independent, bidirectional 8-bit ports
    • Four A/D pins routing to a 12-bit A/D converter
    • Four D/A pins connected to an independent 8-bit D/A converter
    • Two signal ground reference pins
    • Eleven power and ground pins:
      • Two at +5 V, one at +12 V, one at -12 V, seven ground pins.

"Blinkenlights"[edit]

Two yellow/green vertical LED arrays, dubbed the "blinkenlights", are built into the front bezel to illustrate the CPU load. The bottommost LED on the right side indicates hard disk activity.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Jean-Louis Gassée Unveils the BeBox, RELEASED OCTOBER 3, 1995, Press release for BeBox Dual603-66
  2. ^ Be Announces the BeBox Dual603-133, RELEASED AUGUST 5, 1996, Press release.
  3. ^ a b The BeBox, General, FAQ, How many BeBoxes were sold before they were discontinued? Be, Inc.
  4. ^ Be Product Datasheet, The BeBox Dual603, BeBox Dual603-66, BeBox Dual603-133
  5. ^ Archived October 20, 1996 at the Wayback Machine
  6. ^ BeBox History The BeBox Zone[dead link]Archived February 4, 2012 at the Wayback Machine
  7. ^ Interview with Joseph Palmer, Posted: 2-Dec-2005, Be Informed, The BeBox Zone[dead link]Archived February 24, 2008 at the Wayback Machine

External links[edit]