posted by Nicholas Blachford on Sun 1st Jun 2003 18:10 UTC
IconIf you were to believe some, BeOS is a dead Operating System. If this was the case you would expect numbers at BeGeistert to be dwindling, but the reality is different, the corpse is moving and this was the biggest BeGeistert yet.

BeGeistert 010 was as ever held in Dusseldorf Germany 26-27th April 2003. All the BeGeisterts (BeGeisterten?) I've been to (004 onwards) have been at a Church hall where we had rooms to sleep in, a big room in which to set up computers and a few smaller rooms. The church hall is apparently no longer available so the orga team managed to find us a new location in a Youth Hostel, this is a lot larger, situated much closer to the centre of Dusseldorf and a great deal easier to find - everyone still managed to get lost but this time it was easier to get found again.

The larger location means more can sleep over if they need to and indeed with the higher number of people there they wouldn't have been able to accommodate us in the old place. I believe something in the order of 50 people stayed over Saturday night which is very good considering there were only 25 present this time last year.

As with 009 I was accompanied by two of my colleagues and we also gave a lift to Francois Revol (aka mmu_man) who was also traveling from France, France? Yes, I live in Paris now :-D. It's a long journey by car (around 5 hours) and as is the usual custom I arrived too late for the group dinner but Charlie showed us to a restaurant where we enjoyed a nice meal and I discovered Germans describe meat cooked "rare" as "English", this is really weird as the English way of cooking meat is anything but rare!

Friday evening a small-ish room had been taken up by those present with many of the usual faces present, as ever I had my camera and they knew I'd turned up simply because of the camera flash! There was nothing official on the Friday night as is usually the case, just meeting up with people and catching up with what's been going on. The usual suspects were there as usual and I had various chats with various people on a various subjects and heard some nice juicy rumours in the process. For some reason we got kicked out of the room and ordered to bed at the strangely early hour of 3.00AM, this is unusually early for a Friday night at BeGeistert.

What was worse however is that we had to get up early - breakfast finished at 8:30 and that's just not good for your alertness if you went to bed at 3AM! However a cunning plan had been hatched to keep some breakfast over for the stragglers who get up late (like me) so I managed to get some food, though even I managed to get up before 9.

On Saturday we'd moved into a much larger room where everyone set their computers up. The room is bigger than the main room at the old location and tables and chairs were set up around 3 sides and a row in the middle giving more space for people to set up their systems. It wasn't all taken up in the morning but by the end of the day the room was completely full and I think they even had to move in some extra tables and chairs at one point. When I counted there were 21 laptops and 9 desktop computers.

People do all sorts of things at BeGeistert, some were coding, some looking at what had been coded and fixing problems with other people, quite a few were BeSharing and at least one guy insisted on doing a *cough* Backup. With a system currently not commercially supported (The BeOS reincarnation Zeta has not been released yet) it becomes a problem to support newer hardware and so a few people get together at BeGeistert and work on Drivers.

The mix of people this time was very international, Germans make up the biggest group of course but there were also people from The Netherlands, France, USA, Estonia, Sweden, Croatia, Italy, Portugal, Moldavia and the UK.

My colleagues and I brought along a Pegasos / MorphOS system as we did at BeGeistert 009, that time we (well, they) did a demo of the system but since most people present had seen that we didn't bother with a formal demo this time. With our demo machines currently doing a world tour of different customs offices we brought along one of the guys systems so anyone who wanted to could have a look, and indeed quite a few did.

For the second time at BeGeistert we found ourselves getting interviewed by an Amiga magazine! The Italian print magazine Bitmap magazine covers different systems including of course MorphOS and being at BeGeistert of course also BeOS. It was a pretty strange interview as I think it was just thought up on the spot and it consisted of a few questions written down as they thought of them, I just hope they can read (or more accurately, de-cipher) my handwriting. Apparently they can read my writings on-line as one of them had translated my BeGeistert 008 review!

As usual there were a few demonstrations:
The prolific Stephan Assmus always seems to end up doing a demo and this time he didn't fail us. Indeed this time he had an entirely new program to show off. Wonderbrush is a deceptively simple yet surprisingly powerful drawing app which Stephan wrote because there was nothing that supported his drawing tablet properly. Wonderbrush is a sort of Photoshop in miniature and supports some of the same features including history and layers but of course there has been more thrown in so it can do things that Photoshop can't do like reorder and change the history. The app is still being worked on and no doubt it'll turn up on Bebits sometime and I'm sure quite a few will find it useful.

Chris Simmons showed a collection of the movies he took at the recent CBit show. As part of this he decided to set himself a quest: The get people to say "Hello BeOS community". So you had clips of all sorts of different people saying hello including some from Palm whose staff mostly hadn't even heard of BeOS (if you don't know, they won it) and the ultimate coup - a Microsoft guy!

At BeGeistert 009 there had been a OpenBeOS get together and they did a short talk but didn't show anything, but it was interesting for the progress report and the details the web page doesn't show i.e a great deal of work had to be done on a library and this is not on the website.

Table of contents
  1. "BeGeistert, Page 1"
  2. "BeGeistert, Page 2"
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