Back in the BeOS days, I created a public database of tips and how-to information for BeOS users, called the BeOS Tip Server (betips.net). The site had grown to around 700 tips when Be, Inc. finally went under and I went looking for another career. At that time, I handed ownership of the Tip Server over to a still-avid BeOS user, and didn’t think about it much again.
Late last year, I discovered that links to betips.net were dead. I contacted the owner, only to learn that the database and the site templates had been lost in a data disaster. I combed through my backups and archives and couldn’t find any sign of the templates. However, amazingly, I still had a copy of the mysql database. Dug my old x86 laptop out of the closet, booted BeOS for the first time in eons, and found the original site templates tucked away in a buried folder. Eureka! But ewww… all table-based and mid-90s looking… just fugly.
Even though I have almost no interest in BeOS these days, I was once proud of the site, both for the content it had amassed and for the method I had used to serve it (TrackerBase).
Couldn’t stand the thought of the whole thing being lost to history, so decided to resurrect the site. Took a fair bit of grunt work to clean up the data and get the tables into shape as a WordPress back-end, but the work is finally done, I’ve got control of the domain again, and intend to leave the site up for posterity. There’s a standing offer for any current BeOS/Haiku users to help clean up old content and start adding new.
BeOS has an open source descendant called Haiku. I’ve never run Haiku, but expect that most of the content on the site will apply for that OS as well. I’m also interested in having new Haiku-specific content added to the repository.