Pictures from the Colmar Multimedia Expo 2008

These are my pictures from the Colmar Multimedia Expo, October 25-26th, 2008.

This was probably the first event for years where Amiga-related hardware and software were on display and for sale in the company of other, more mainstream products. And it was a surprisingly successful event for the Amiga community. Among lots of exhibitors with products for the bigger platforms, our favourite outsider scored well in several aspects. It generated some of the biggest crowds of the show around the Relec/ACube stand, especially during Sunday. The presentation held Sunday afternoon was by far the most attended presentation during the show days. And the ERP system also presented on the stand won one of the Innovation Trophies awarded at the show. Finally, the exhibited Sam-powered kiosk terminal with a touch-screen showed some fascinating new possibilities for the new hardware and OS 4.1, and it turned out to be a real crowd-catcher.

A little background: Shortly before this show, it had finally been announced that AmigaOS 4.1 would be produced in a version for the Sam motherboard produced by ACube, who also distribute the various AmigaOS 4 versions produced by Hyperion Entertainment. The combination had first been presented by ACube at the Italian Pianeta Amiga show a few weeks earlier (27th and 28th of September), and the Swiss Amiga dealer Relec and ACube had decided to book a stand together at the Colmar show in order to try to reach also outside the ranks of die-hard Amigans.

Among OS4 developers and beta-testers, we had for quite a while been talking about finding a place and an excuse to meet "in real life", and it was decided that Colmar would fit the bill, sitting more or less centrally in at least Western Europe. I had also ordered a Sam motherboard for myself directly from ACube, and I decided that I might as well save the shipping and pick it up myself when I met the ACube guys in Colmar, so that was one more reason for me to look forward to the show.

I wasn't disappointed. Yes, of course I got my Sam board, and OS 4.1 for it, but I also got to meet some Amigans who are working hard to keep the dream not only alive, but actually growing more and more back into reality. And when I say Amigans, I am not only referring to "the red side", i.e. AmigaOne/Sam and AmigaOS, but also to the people on either side (or both) who create great products for us all.

One such example is RMS Communications' ERP system, built by Christoph Pölzl on top of MUIBase. He uses MorphOS/Pegasos himself, but his product could just as well be used under AmigaOS, and although it might not be a product that many of today's Amigans need, it is a nice proof of our platform's ability to be used for so-called serious purposes as well as the more entertainment and multimedia oriented applications.

Several of the other people at the Relec/ACube stand also came from the "blue camp", but we have obviously come a long way from the trench-digging of the early days, because everybody could talk and work and have fun together, regardless of their preferred OS variant. There was above all a really great ambience of cooperation about showing the "world" what this whole Amiga thing was all about.

So a big thank you to all the ACube and Relec people, as well as to the other Amigans I met at the show. Hope to see you all again soon!

Niels Bache ( Niels Bache

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All slides in one page - for those with more memory than desire to be online

Welcome to Colmar, the city of the Statue of Liberty! Huh? Well, the explanation is that the "real" one was made by Colmarian sculptor Bartholdi, and at the centenary of his death in 2004, a replica was raised at the Northern approach to Colmar, and it has since then become Colmar's new landmark.Slide 1 Naturally, also the Multimedia Expo makes good use of the well-recognized brand.Slide 2 The entrance to the show. It's still early Saturday, around noon, so there's not much of a crowd.Slide 3 The inside of the main hall of the show.Slide 4 And here we are at Relec's and ACube's stand. Stephano "Lecta" Guidetti and Enrico Vidale play around with the Sam-powered touch-screen kiosk terminal system.Slide 5 The innards of the kiosk system. The Sam motherboard to the left, and a disk and a power supply to the right. This was more or less shoved together in haste just before the show, but in spite of the messy appearance (if you looked behind the scenes like I do here), it ran remarkably well for the whole show and was only rarely rebooted.Slide 6 Philippe "Elwood" Ferrucci (crouching) and Lecta making some final checks of the connections etc. The touch-screen's sensor grid was connected via USB with a small interface which is probably what Lecta is reaching out towards.Slide 7 Nicola Morocutti of ACube, aka the editor of the Italian Amiga magazine Bitplane, and his wife.Slide 8 Tony "ToP" Pascoal (KioskLinea and Pascoal Design), who supplied the touch-screen equipment, and Emmanuel "XRay" Rey of Relec.Slide 9 Lunchtime. Tony, Nicola and his wife.Slide 10 Lecta and Enrico.Slide 11 Simon "Rigo" Archer, who wrote the driver for the touch-screen within a few days and drove all the way from England with the equipment, and Elwood.Slide 12 The Relec/ACube stand. Enrico and Elwood can't stop playing around with that touch-screen.Slide 13 The blue/red corner. To the left, the Efika, to the right and currently connected to the screen, the Sam in Relec's own case nicknamed "The Red One".Slide 14 In its own space further to the right, the MiniMig is running an old A500 game, Turrican II.Slide 15 Nicola and Rigo exchanging experiences about making Amiga magazines. Rigo was part of the team who produced Amiga Active from 1999 to 2001.Slide 16 Stéphane "Guibrush" Pitteloud (Relec) and Sébastien "Jedi" Jeudy (Relec's press relation) doing an interview with French TV station France 3. Note the screen Jedi has pulled up in the background; I'm pretty sure it is my page with photos from the Danish OS4OnTour in 2003, right here on this very site.Slide 17 My new Sam motherboard; I just had to open the bag and have a look after getting back to the hotel that afternoon.Slide 18 Dinner Saturday night. Rigo, Nicola's wife, Nicola, Jedi, Marlaine (Jedi's wife).Slide 19 Enrico, Elwood, Costel "Cyborg" Mincea.Slide 20 Tony, Thierry "Tcherno" Rey from Relec, Nicola "Turrican" Raffinatore (from the Swiss Amiga club, Club AMF), Lecta.Slide 21 Turrican, Lecta, Enrico, Elwood, Cyborg, my wife Jette, Nicola, XRay, Christoph Pölzl (RMS Communications, author of ERP), Guillaume "Yomgui" Roguez (Blender for MorphOS), Fabien "Cali" Meroz (Club AMF).Slide 22 Nicola's wife, Nicola, Jedi, Marlaine, XRay, Christoph, Yomgui, and Cyborg foreground right.Slide 23 Sunday, back at the show. Tony at the kiosk with Philippe Bourdin (a.o., behind them Enrico and Lecta, further right Thomas "EntilZha" Frieden talking to (partly hidden) Nicola, and in the foreground Cyborg with Hans-Jörg "Rogue" Frieden and Stéphane "SG2" Guillard.Slide 24 SG2 and XRay.Slide 25 Elwood, Jean-François "Voxel" Bachelet, Tony, the back of Jedi's head.Slide 26 Lecta, Nicola, EntilZha, Rigo (almost hidden), Rogue, Cyborg, Philippe Bourdin, Jedi, Elwood assisting at the kiosk.Slide 27 Christoph Pölzl's/RMS Communications' ERP system, using MUIbase as foundation, takes care of most of the needs of a small business in terms of stock, acquisition, orders, customers, billing, ledger and probably much more I forgot about. Really nice to see such an impressive system realized under AmigaOS and/or related (in this case it ran on MorphOS, but it should be compatible with AmigaOS 3 and 4 as well). Only a couple of modules are still under development/integration, before it is complete. It ended up winning a well-deserved innovation trophy at the Expo.Slide 28 Crowds passing by the stand and getting interested in the kiosk, as well as taking a moment to enter the prize draw for an entertainment console.Slide 29 Jedi introducing the presentation of AmigaOS 4.1 and the Sam.Slide 30 Elwood kicking off the main part of the presentation, complete with slides nicely made in Hollywood. A pity the projector couldn't quite display the necessary resolution.Slide 31 Part of the audience at the presentation. It drew by far the biggest crowd of all the presentations during the show.Slide 32 The successful and well-attended presentation probably also caused even more crowds to flock around the Relec/ACube stand afterwards.Slide 33 A group shot of some of the people who are part of the success: Tony, Ben Hermans, EntilZha, Jedi (crouching), Cyborg, Rogue, Enrico, Lecta, XRay, Nicola, Elwood.Slide 34 Philippe Bourdin, Guibrush.Slide 35 Nicola and Philippe Bourdin, most likely discussing the (magazine and web site-based) Amiga news biz.Slide 36 The "blue" corner of the stand; Tcherno, Yomgui, Tony, Christoph, Guibrush.Slide 37

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