Tuesday, September 29, 2009

A day in the (vintage) life - report from Pianeta Amiga 2009

So, it happened. I went to Pianeta Amiga 2009 and I brought there my Icaros machine and netbook, to show people that yes, AROS works and - you can't believe it! - it may be useful too, since nowadays applications for AmigaOS are often available on AROS too, and Icaros Desktop already provides them. On the table at my left side, there was Steve "ClusterUK" Jones with his iMica system, showing Icaros doing what amigans seem to like best: running old Amiga production applications at full speed under Janus-UAE. Thanks to Enrico Vitali and other well-known people of the italian Amiga community, the event has been amusing and interesting, but... well, I can't hide the mixture of bitter sweet feelings that left me only half happy. The good news, at least for Icaros Desktop, is that every visitor of the fair had the chance to see it in action, and most of them stopped at my table, asking for more informations or to see some demostration. I've also got many congratulations and many thanks for the effort, asking me for keeping up "the good job", but the bad news about all this, is that Pianeta Amiga this year lacked of visitors. Numbers had been fairly low (I've personally counted about 100 visitors) and the exhibitors themeselves were a tiny group that could comfortably stay in less space than the half area of the Palaesposizioni reserved to the event. "In the good old days you could see a crowd of people making long tails in front of the ticket booth - said Enrico while we were taking something to eat at noon - but today...", unluckily today's Pianeta Amiga loosely reflects the situation of the whole Amiga market. A tiny, fragile community which is hardly trying to keep its platform alive, even if the interest decreases a little more every year, and even if the whole IT market has completely forgotten the Amiga. So we have to thanks ACube, VirtualWorks, AmigaKit.com and everyone else that still persists, and spends money every year to organize a event which has just become a symbol, a tradition for the community, but which is practically perceived like a hobby, a nice meeting day with other people who share the same passion, even by people who professionally operate in the Amiga business. If you couldn't get to the event, just look what happened in these nice videos from Seiya (part 1, part 2).

The Icaros Desktop table, with both a desktop solution and a netbook running AROS. Notice the desktop keyboard! It's what's left of a dead A1200, transformed into a USB keyboard thanks to the Keyrah interface.

At Pianeta Amiga there was a "special edition" of Icaros Desktop Live! 1.1.5 available on a 8cm DVD-R (on the left). On the right, Stephen Jones is showing off his iMica machine to AmigaKit's people.

As expected, you could see many SAM and AmigaOne boards system, running the latest builds of AmigaOS 4.1. New features introduced by Hyperion, like system notifications and new icons, were on the show as well.

On the left, Andrea "Guruman" Maniero with two MorphOS system showing swfshow and other MOS applications. On the right, Andrea Palmatè has shown his current build of Gnash. Is flash finally coming to Amiga? We hope to AROS too!