BeGeistert 017 Report - "Marco Polo" - December 9 to 10, 2006 Milan (Italy)

Article by DaaT - 18 December 2006 - IsComputerOn

As I'm sure you're all aware, on the weekend of December 9 and 10, BeGeistert 017 was held in Milan, taken outside of Germany for the first time. Community member Giuseppe Gargaro was present and wrote a report for you all to read. You can read the original Italian version here, or click below for his English (with some editing by me) translated version. Enjoy.

For the first time in its history, BeGeistert, the biennial forum for the BeOS/Zeta/Haiku users and developers, was held outside of Germany, particularly in Milan, on the 9th and 10th of December weekend at the Concorde hotel. Normally for me, living in the south of Italy, Milan is only a stage of a long journey towards Germany, but this time it was the point of arrival, so after only seven hours of train here is the fantastic BeGeistert atmosphere.

Normally the event is held at the wonderful Youth hostel of Dusseldorf, while this time thanks to the perfect organization of Christian Celona the event was kept in a grand four stars hotel near the center of Milan. As always, Friday is the day for the arrivals and we noticed at once the absence of the Germans who normally are the main group but job commitments didn't allow all to participate. Also some Italians have only appeared on Sunday, but the participation of the Italian community was good. Also present was Charlie Clark who heads the BeFan group which organizes the event and a pair of French visitors. Previous BeGeisterts, especially a couple of years back were much bigger with many presentations and various new applications, since then the numbers have come down, but it is a period of transition and in spite of the absence of the nourished German group the atmosphere of it has not suffered.

As always one of the interesting aspects of the event is the encounter and the exchange of ideas and knowledge along with the fun moments that normally comprise the evening going out in order to raid some pizza shops or restaurants, therefore Friday evening ended with all in one pizza restaurant in Milan. Friday was a rainy day, but fortunately it left, leading the way for a Saturday and one Sunday of sun.

On saturday I held the presentation of the BePodder 1.2 (media feeds agreggator for BeOS, Haiku and Zeta) application from Funky Idea Software, a tool that brings news, journals, broadcasts and images from all around the world directly to your desktop. There's no more demo version, it has been replaced with a free "Light" version with some limitations.

BePodder Light is the basic version (free download and no time limit) which includes many cool features:

  • Easy to use yet powerful Graphical User Interface
  • Handles all news/podcast feeds in RSS 0.9, 2.0, Atom, RDF and iTunes (up to 10 feeds in the Light version)
  • Fully integrated with BFS (BeOS/Haiku/Zeta file system)
  • Integrated podcast, videoblog, image feeds, BitTorrent feeds, newsfeeds and International feeds built-in OPML directories with thousands of feeds
  • Advanced channels/lists management with drag and drop support
  • Support for more than 10 languages
  • Easy to integrate with other applications like BitTorrent/ Installer / Unzip / etc.
  • Media players integration with a new Auto option
  • BePodder is 100% adware/spyware free
  • Zeta (multilanguage) and BeOS R5/Haiku (english only) support
  • You don't need an iPod or any kind of MP3 player to use and enjoy BePodder
  • The same licence-keyfile can be used to unlock the BeOS R5, Haiku and Zeta versions

The registered version adds some more nice features:

  • Unlimited number of channels
  • Small Channel view
  • Proxy support
  • Automatic channels check
  • Up to 5 enclosure downloads at the same time. (multi threading)
  • Low price, only 15€ (BePodder team will support the Haiku project by donating 20% of the cost for every copy sold)

The BePodder presentation was followed by a workshop on Haiku held by Stefano Ceccherini who collaborates with the Haiku project. Haiku has taken giant steps in the last year and the day is approaching in which we will have R1, Stefano showed the main characteristics of the system and encouraged the community to support and to help the Haiku Team. After five years of intense job it by now seems to handle the name of BeOS Open Source and the possibilities that it offers are clear to all in the community. Also during BeGeistert there was no lack of occasions to discuss the future and ideas in order to diffuse and to support Haiku in this moment when all of us are waiting for its first release.

Saturday was concluded with a fantastic tour in the center of Milan, pulled to polishes for the festivities. During the tour which begun in Brera, we saw the Duomo, the Scala, the Corso and the "haute couture" locations. The tour ended at Pastarito for one abundant pasta plate, and finally we closed the evening in a pub to have a drink.

Sunday I held the second presentation, this time of a new software, Flickr Uploader, which allows the user to upload his/her photos to flickr, the most popular online photo management and sharing community. The software developed by Funky Idea Software is freeware; it is the fruit of the profitable collaboration between four members of the community and is available for BeOS, Zeta and Haiku.

The afternoon was the moment for farewells and for a first balance. The number of the participants oscillated between 13 and 20, mainly Italian plus two French and Charlie who is English. Unfortunately because in Germany it was not a holiday and for personal reasons, less came from the German group which is usually the strongest. Considering this it can be said that the event was a success, seeing the nourished participation of the Italians. The atmosphere was the typical one for BeGeistert, especially in the outings and all were indeed content in participating and many will probably be present in Germany for the next BeGeistert.

We also intensely discussed the reorganization of the Italian community, of the uselessness to divide it. We hope and believe that the results were good and that the community will come out strengthened from the encounter. Our stay at the hotel was quite good and the event room was filled with interesting things: books, one BeIA, etc. Moreover the discussions held were all quite interesting. Also the presence of Stefano Ceccherini was precious seeing his engagement with the Haiku project. He spoke about the future and also about the different visions which exist and believes that to take the project to the end the common factor of commitment to this platform is will strength, and also noticed that despite difficulties the general atmosphere has been one of optimism for what awaits us, encouraged by the news which surfaced during the event, that demonstrated the progress being made.

Thanks to Giuseppe for taking the time to translate his report. You can view pictures of the event here, here and last but not least, here.

Made available by BeSly, the Haiku, BeOS and Zeta knowledge base.