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Thanks to Zak883 for english translation of this text.
My Amiga OS4 betatester experience is finished and honestly I am glad because I had enough of the lack of respect from certain people and of the holy wars between factions of that so called Amiga "community", reduced by now to a district market.
Shortly: I was kicked out of the door, and I was clearly told that being an OS4 betatester means not to criticize in any way Amiga Inc., or people belonging to. Never criticize, not even when they act in a unfair way, by offending people for their ideas and opinions.
At these conditions, I strongly prefer not to be part of anything linked to Amiga Inc. and people belonging to. Therefore, greetings and good luck to whoever will stay.
If you want to learn more, please continue reading. Now I will tell everything, then you'll judge.
On Saturday, September 20th and Sunday, September 21st 2003 there was "Pianeta Amiga", the exhibition where the OS4, in native PPC version, has been shown. Presentation was quite good, but many people complained about having seen a few things (just the desktop) without be aware of the work needed to change an OS born on 68k, and previously written in Assembly, into a PPC systems working product, that is with all components rewritten in C language, making them indipendent from the hardware.
Well, on Amiga Network News site someone wrote a report about the exhibition, criticizing the few things seen, declaring himself disappointed of the lack of results after many development years (OS4 was announced to open on November 2001). Disputable position, but legitimate from a common user, isn't it?
As an answer, Mike Bouma, moderator of a portal supported by Amiga Inc. (where messages criticizing Amiga are very few...) defined him an unreliable troll, who spreads fake reportages from exhibitions to discredit the great job Amiga is doing and to favor the competitors.
So, as an italian Amiga user who is in contact with many other italian Amiga users, I wanted to say my opinion and clarify Mike Bouma that the most important part of the remarks spreaded during these days in the italian Amiga community were on the same line: disappointment for the few things seen about OS4. I added that personally I disagree with these opinions. Then I said that the main reason of Amiga users leaving are not the OS4 development times but the behaviour of people like Mike Bouma. We all have enough of people that are just able to insult (yes, insult!) in the name of a trademark, people ready to offend and delegitimate whoever is against the dogma that Amiga is beautiful because it is called Amiga.
Written my remark, I did some other stuff, and the evening is quietly finished with the editing of an article of a friend of mine.
Next afternoon, I turn on my computer, connect to the Internet, download e-mails and read the following message from the OS4 betatester co-ordinator: "Just FYI, I have just unsubscribed you from the OS4 betatesters mailing list on request from Ben Hermans. I'm not sure of what is going on between you both and probably don't want to know anyway." He also added some other stuff not worth to report.
So, I reply, to him and in copy to Hermans (who is the boss of Hyperion, the firm that develops OS4 for Amiga), asking the reason of such a decision. I really imagine what happened: "someone" insisted with Amiga Inc. that a bad guy like me had to leave, because "criticism can damage Amiga". I know these guys. They never bore me because I always did a good talking about OS4 from a technical point of view, but I also criticized their behaviour (that is, honestly, indecent, if they would be users of a chat of mine, they would be banned for injuries and unfair behaviour...).
But the most incredible thing is the bunch of answers I received from Ben Hermans. First he said that my message was even deleted from ANN moderators, so in which way I could say not to have done nothing of bad? After I did him notice that the message was still there, he answered that he clearly was bad informed by a certain Andrea. Who Andrea is, it's not important, while I am asking myself if Hermans did that by what other people said (or imposed?) him.
Never mind, anyway the point they kicked me out (because the argument is not new, under pressure of another "great friend" of Amiga Inc. I was informed about two months ago) is that betatesters and developers of OS4 can't criticize Amiga Inc., strategies of Amiga Inc., partners of Amiga Inc and so on.
So, since I told Mike Bouma not to offend people and to return to his portal where he censors the critiques towards Amiga Inc. (that's a proved fact), I did a "crime". I should have let he do, because Mike Bouma is the administrator of the official Amiga Inc. portal, he is tied with Amiga Inc., therefore he can speak, even offend people if he wants, and nobody that at any title is working with Amiga, even not directly (for example doing not paid voluntary work as betatester of an operating system for a third party that has a contract with Amiga Inc.), can criticize him, even on arguments regarding his behaviour.
Ben Hermans then continues by accusing me to having done too few as a betatester, and that's true, but I had many reasons: first of all Amiga hardware troubles that forced me to an alternative setup (an older OS on small partition on a slow IDE disk) for several months, then personal stuff, then work stuff. By the way, I already thought to leave OS4 betatesting: it's beautiful but it's a system at a development stage, so it's not ready to use by who needs perfect stability for job requirements. Besides there are some missing things that my current system allow me to have, and I need them.
By now I took my time since I believed it was very educational to read the internal mailing list and to follow the development of an operating system live. After seeing the superficiality and incorrectness and the whole environment, really unpleasant, that turns around Amiga, I won't oppose to this decision, on the contrary!
As I had already written, I am moving away even more from Amiga world, and I see this computer as a tool, surely not as a dogma, a slogan or a life style. Also if Amiga community has to be evaluated from the behaviour of people like Mike bouma or similar (I could list several others, very famous to whom reads ANN), well... I even prefer Windows, a market with problems but with many good people, and for sure more fair.
"So said, game over".
Don't expect that by now I will start to tell bad things on OS4. It's a very good operating system and I always said it in every situation (by the way, Ben Hermans says that "People are quoting you as a source on ANN to back up claims against OS 4". He must have dreamed it, since everybody can read me in every place, and knows that sentence is absolutely not true, on the contrary...).
I could start now, but differently from other poeple I don't want get dirty for the lack of correctness that rules on what remains of Amiga market in 2003. Better let them sink and burn the still good projects that many people is working on with heart and passion.
I did my part. I helped Olaf Barthel with RoadShow and I did other things that I won't mention since I don't want get them "dirty" with the resignation that closes this message. Resignation because I am watching a dream falling down. Not my dream, a greater one. The one of a community of different people, fair and friendly, of people who support and respect members. Once upon a time Amiga was that, now it's not anymore. And in the current state, I prefer leaving as soon as possible. But not without letting everybody know this story.
- On ANN Mike Bouma denied that he or Amigaworld.net are tied with Amiga Inc. It has been proven that instead he is connected, but the question is: if Mike Bouma is not tied with Amiga Inc. why Ben Hermans considered a critic to his behaviour as an attack to Amiga?
- ANN owner Christian Kemp agreed with my public request and asked Mike Bouma to give his excuses to the italian Amiga people he offended. Also he asked Mike Bouma to leave ANN forums for the same reasons for which I've criticized him.
- Ben Hermans wrote a sarcastic email to me when I've asked his excuses.
- On a side note, Ben Hermans in a thread on ANN not related to me called "idiot" a guy who asked the reasons behind an Hyperion decision regarding OS4.
- [2/10/2003] Since Mike Bouma says that he is not the main chief on Amigaworld.net, this text has been changed to reflect his position, ie. moderator.
- [5/2/2005] Our dear Mike on ANN (where he is banned but he seems to not care about it), said he found this page just recently and replied telling that I wasn't banned for criticizing his behaviour but because I leaked reserved information to competitors. He asked me to remove this page as a condition to withdraw his accusation. As a fact, ANN's owner removed his thread.