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All that comes in the mind of an italian guy moved to california
26 febbraio 2011
Tecnologies: AROS: Live from SCALE at LAX Hilton, feb 25-27 2011
saturday 2/26:

h 11 am:
After set kinda up properly the machines - sort of; am having problems with the big DELL that shows the movie; my presentation movie is not finished yet and premiere keeps crashing; when it happens AROS soft resets but then the mouse (usb on a ps2 adaptor) does no longer work and have to reboot

h 2:31 pm:
an annoying bug is having place with the nvidia version of the driver and the screen dragging: sometimes the windows ends up in the wrong screen; it happened with mplayer and amifig opened in a different screen and partially dragged;

h 2.44 pm:
interesting that had given  away 20 live cds and am running out of the brochures; for the cds have some more to butn but am running out of sleeves so am using paper sheets folded; the brochures i need a solution, hope somebody might give me a hand printing some of it; animation still incomplete, then there will be the biblical premiere rendering....

h 3:55 pm:
a cup of coffee and back ond track; finishing the animation, i decided to leave out some transitions to be able to finish the animation this evening, render it tonight and show it tomorrow; i tried to install supertuxcart 0.6.2 in the 7800 machine but am afraid there are some problems with the usb-ps2 mouse that start to jump anywhere once the game starts (no, i did not updated SDL);

h 5:00 pm:
less people than this morning now, so i can focus on finish the animation; the two most common questions are: 'what is aros' and 'can i run it in a VM'; people get also pretty surprised when i show that AROS is running on both machines from a small (for today's standards) stick; guess the self-driven and amateurish nature of my intervention is visible compared in example to the printed full color brochures and projector screen of the Haiku stand in the other side; guess they are much better organized than us, i am almost the only AROS supporter around here...

The AROS booth at SCALE this morning

5:30 pm:
half hour to the closing for today of the exhibition; is interesting to see that a good amount of people is either curious of what is AROS or is still aware of the Amiga OS and they are glad it is still around;

5:58 pm:
almost wrapped it up for the day; i almost ran out of brochures and probably need to do some copies or ask someone to print it for me; will tihnk something for tomorrow; sunday; might be even more crowded ;)

Sunday 2/27:

h 10:45
I managed to make some other copies of the brochures, but this time single sided since the copies were expensive and was one of those annoying coin operated copiers; around 10:30 Jorge Mare of the Haiku stand passed by here and we talked about AROS; he was impressed on the speed of poseidon in recognizing the FAT-32 stick and in the new screen dragging on the GMA driver btw
Jorge is Argentino with italian grandparents and guess common roots helped on melt the ice;

- addendum -
It is interesting to see how many people is asking about the "Research" part of the name in AROS; in fact might be kinda ambiguous unless we came out with a better R part of the logo;

My wife joined me on the booth, at least until the two hours of free parking last; i almost ran out of brochures and live CDs again,, and had two invitations to talk; one from a computer science group on UCLA and another from a computer user group in the San Fernando Valley;

h 3:00 pm
Well am preparing myself to start dismantle; have a good amount of stuff to take out (my laptop, my wife netbook,the big fat DELL desktop, two LCD screens, speakers, a super woofer, power strip, the switch,an undisclosed amount of cables.=; the animation is virtually finished but the rendering comes out pretty crappy (blocks, dropped frames,etc) and i decided not to show it today; pity because i worked on it for almost three weeks but need to solve this last step; at least other people can use it for their introductions...

Two booths down there is the OpenShot video editor stand; i talked with one of the two developers and they told me the application is mainlt built in python using bindings to GTK and ffmpeg; i think if somebody starts to make MUI bindings for python like we have already for lua (siamiga/zulu)and ruby (zuby) it might come out something interesting... might we call a binding like that zupy?

h 4:30 pm
Seems they decided to dismantle the bvooths a bit earlier than expected, will lose the connection in few minutes, so better to go for now.

Later this evening:

So here i am at home, writing some afterthoughts: first of all let me tell you: i underestimated the cost and the commitments of having a booth at an open source convention; would love to do it again though if i find somce toto partner with since is very nice to share with others what you enjoy... have at least two persons that asked me to make talks on AROS and one company that i think is checking the feasibility to  use it in some projects; i overall gave away 40 live CDs and 120 brochures and for sure explained about aros to 30/40 people, many of those reminescent of the old Amiga; i personally think is important to show the existence of the project also in order to build some bridges.

My biggest complains are:
1) that haven't been able to get in touch with any other AROS user around; that might have been interesting also to create connections;
2) that the broadcomm gigabit ethernet is not ready yet to be used, else show the big desktop with OWB surely might have made things interesting;
3) that the animation gave me any sorta of problems; crashes in premiere, some videos with the wrong encoding, and that the final rendering was not usable at the end but i am trying to fix things and, once done, will upload it on Vimeo; can anticipate that features an appearance of Kitty, some titiling and some example from my recordings and, due to time constraints, from other AROS videos taken on youtube; I  want to thank the makers of those videos, that i listed in the end titles, and that i also shown on the booth.
4) that this year there was no buffet,just a coffee break saturday.

further addendum

I finally managed to render the animation and i uploaded it in vimeo; there i guess still some erorrs and not all transitions are set, but i guess it is already a start. Would really liked to have this ready and showing at SCALE, but guess will help other AROS evangelists out there.

Introduction to AROS v0.1 from simone bernacchia on Vimeo.

11 ottobre 2008
Diary: Technologies: AROS: Opinion: Alternative OS HELPS Open Source, and Linux too.
[Warning: this topic has been left open for whoever likes to add contributions to it]

It's my intention to start DIGG the english section, maybe will help to spread my opinions and make something more happen... Last Saturday I found a link in linux.com pointing at this article on pingdom about the ten most interesting alternative Operating systems in the future: as you can see, at the first, sixth and seventh place we have three Amiga OS-like systems: AOS4.1, MorphOS and AROS;

Beside that, something make me feel perplexed; i already mentioned it in this blog, but guess the time is come to talk about it again.

It is interesting see as still many modern Amiga and Morphos Users consider AROS a kind of resource waste, even despite aprts of AROS code got used for a variable amount of time both in MorphOS and in the new Amiga OS 4, not to mention AfAOS.

And instead is interesting to look as other alternative systems, as Haiku and ReactOS, beside their own problems are getting more aknowledged outside their original niche: it is quite understandable why: both are a valid and open alternative to their closed source counterpart and both are much more user-friendly than even a nowadays linux: beside the old rust between ReactOS and the Wine team for an unfounded topic, the environments are much more peaceful than the "holy wars-ridden" Amiga OSes territories.

And full rivers of words have been written, even in amiga forums, in how AROS allegedly denaturated the original Amiga OS philosophy and look and feel taking ideas from some linux and windows user interface guidelines: then, looking a bit closer in os 4.1, some similar things happened even there but nobody still noticed it, just add a ReAction wrapper and everything is accepted...

But today i dont want to rant about the usual Amigaland mess.

I guess is pretty clear that all the hype around free software has become more than a philosophy: Since money started to run around Linux in the server market the free software transformed itself in a political matter, with internal fights and different -- sometimes opposite -- ways to look at the open source: form the Stallmanian obsession for the purism to the Novell conduct, all surrounded by ego trips and currents: just think at how Kernel programmers are criticizing Canonical for not contributing enough to the Kernel (despite the fact that Canonical is working to improve the final experience for the user and in the desktop development); by the way the programmer criticizing Canonical is working for Novell, and Novell is considered as a Betrayer for their agreements with Microsoft on some patents that MS might decide to enforce against Linux.

By the way, speaking of zealotry, is not known to everybody that last January 23rd 2008 Stallm,an itself has "excommunicated" [EDIT: ok, that is a big word, just removed aros from the link list] AROS because of its requirement of using proprietary roms in UAE and about the recommendation to find them through the purchase of the Amiga Forever package: here is the original mail from AAron Digulla as appeared in the Developer Mailing list:

Richard Stallman just let me know that they deleted the link to AROS on their link page (http://www.gnu.org/links/links.html) after I had a longer discussion with him.

The reason is that they only want "free operating systems that have a *policy* not to include, or *recommend*, non-free software."

In our case, we recommend the use of "Amiga Forever" which is non-free software (it contains the Amiga Kickstart ROMs) on http://aros.sourceforge.net/documentation/users/applications/euae.php which means we are in violation of the GNU philosophy.

I had a longer discussion trying to figure out what is going on and the net result is that we're in a similar situation as Linux which can run MAME but Linux doesn't advertise MAME but we do. I'm not sure if it would be worth the effort to delete this page or to move it into the E-UAE package. It feels hypocritical to me to behave as if we didn't recommend UAE while we do recommend it for stuff that doesn't run on AROS itself.

Richard, of course, has a very strong opinion about this and I guess you can't change the world unless you are ready not to make concessions.

So if that topic comes up on AROS-exec or anywhere else, keep a cool head, don't flame Richard or the GNU guys, handle this professionally. I'm not very happy with the decision but OTOH, I doubt that we have many visitors coming from gnu.org (especially since only two other OSs are listed there) and no one will probably even notice the change.

Furthermore, Michael Battilana from Cloanto is actively supporting the Amiga community and us, so I think recommending his product is the least we should do.

And, if we see it with a cold mind, is just a taste of the aforementioned politics. [EDIT: Thank God, the community does not consider follow GNU guidelines strictly a priority nor is important for AROS cause so far things have been handled professionally and business went on as usual].

Sometimes i also have the sensation that several people in the Linux community thinks that developing alternative open source operating systems might be considered a theft of resoueces from what looks like is been decided to be a full focus on linux and other linux-like ooperating systems and distros. The comments in the Pingdom thread gives quite a good overview on the general opinion, defining alternative systems as "Windows 9x bad copies" (even the Amiga Oses:P).

Many of those that wrote the comments by the way, comes from new generation computer users, grown up with windows or linux and of course ignoring or considering obsolete other operating systems before; it is clear as they don't see any need or reason for something different: i might say they don't know there might be something different.

And so they not even understand as the simple existence of other operating systems in the open source universe is important: so as AROS and other alternative systems are using and re-implementing code from linux so the opposite - linux using code from Aros and other alternative systems - might happen and sometimes is happening; in example ReactOS adn Wine exchange code between themselves for a better Windows compatibility and even Amiga OSes got benefits from Linux code: the old ixemul the newer CigWin, most recently even Netsurf, a browser born in RiscOS and ported even on linux under GTK; linux can also benefit using in its code - when the license allows it - code from ports under AROs and other alternate systems. The existence itself of other options "non-linux" beside linux and its distros is a basic part of that "freedom of choice" professed by advocates and one of the essential characteristics of the Open Source philosophy: every one choose its "weapon", the one that fits best with its own modus operandi and how to deal with computing.

Also, the know-how of different people turn out to be good for the operating systems technical exchange.

I already mentioned in past the Kickstart Replacement Bounty phase I and wrote about the assignment to Bheron.

That is all that is shown in the bounty description under the power2people web site: i admit that surely does not look exhaustive. This because, according to one of the developers, the feature showing the bounty assigned coder bio has not yet been implemented.

So, through the comments to the assignment in aros-exec at last it has been possible to know the identity of Bheron. Its real name is Gregory John Casamento and this is the bio from the aros-exec comments:

I've been doing software development for about 18 years. I'm currently an independent contractor.. I own a small company called Open Logic Corporation (not the one at openlogic.com, they took my name 6 months after I got it). I'm currently the chief maintainer of an FSF project called GNUstep, you may have heard of it. ;) I've done everything from C, Objective-C, C++, Assembly on x86 and 68k, etc etc. I was a proud Amiga owner when I was younger and did a lot of C programming on it before Commodore went away. I'm glad for the opportunity to help AROS out. :)

So looks like he is got a great resumee and reliable competences; i put in the links its personal blog in order to follow its progresses on the bounty, if he decides to talk about it.

I will keep this article open in order to add any further precisation and comments to come.
15 aprile 2008
Diary: Technologies: AROS: some more or less friendly constatations
[This article translated in a latter time]
Originally published in April 15,2008

I don't know about you all, but personally i admit ot be a bit of idealist, maybe even some more than a bit...

Especially for what I think should be my idea about the fact that there should exist free or low cost software resources for hobbyist and small enterprise usage, able to offer an adequate formation and professional results, once known how and where to put the hands in.

And am an idealist also when i find myself i supporting open source operating systems, such as
AROS, ReactOS, Haiku and Linux hoping in future to have free desktop environments, that canbe used even in old hardware to make it be proficiently usable longer; to better understand iths keep in mind a larger picture, not just the average consumer of the western developed countries: we still have more than half the planet without decent if any informatic infrastructure (and even without more basic infrastrctures such as water, roads,etc), and even at a local level for low income people that need to use a computer, nowadays almost required; then the non-profit organisations, churches, parishes, schools, government agencies and starting-up professional with low budget: in all those fields the use of free operating systems helps to cut costs that, especially in my home country , are quite high.

So, while I admit that, since i belong to those people without a big wallet full of money, that have a bit of personal interest in it, and my conscience bother me that I should maybe donate a bit of money in some AROS bounties, while my wife makse me think how going out to dinner in some place more sophisticated than "el pollo loco" might be out of question...

Then, when i see articles like the one below, my mind start to take unexpected directions...

Blog of Helios - Return from the Mountain

This article comes from one of my favourite blogs: Helios is a determinated and convinced linux user and Evangelist (but still quite pragmaticand down to earth, not freetardish), involved also in humanytary efforts - such as provide refurbished linux installed PCs to low-income student kids - and who wrote nice articles on computing ignorance such as this.

But let's get straight to the point: in the article linked above, Helios is talking on how the Desktop Linux for the linux foundation - according at least from the Austin Convention where he was invited guest - or at least the consumer desktop linux is not a priority.

And, for somebody nivolved as him in evengelizing people on be aware about free alternatives on expensive proprietary OSes with serious security flaws when used on internet and that puts limitations in using programs, devices and the use itself of the computer (think iTunes and DRMs) is a bad hit.

So far the desktop linux is not yet ready for the average user - no mention a basic user - but,  among all  open osurce operating systems, is the closest one to be.

 Other systems, including my favourite AROS, have still a quite long way to go.

In the following days the situation was more defined: looks like the foundation prefer to use resources in the most economical rewarding sectors than in the much less remuneraring single desktop sector. Therefore any further innovation in the desktop environment will pass through the server/corporate where, unless somebody starts to put linux machines on employee's desks, desktop innovations are muich less necessary: usually linux admins use much more command lines than user interfaces, that is obvious.

So i thought: if AROS was not still a work in progress and had already some productivity software available, might have been a good occasion to introduce it as a new open source paradygm. But progress is slow, and AROS is taken on more as hobby than a real alternative, hoping that things change.

BTW, even Linux used to be like that in the beginning, but you see where is it now...




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