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[News] Finnish Amiga Users Group Interviews Genesi ManagementANN.lu
Posted on 18-Mar-2003 21:49 GMT by Anu Seilonen29 comments
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OULU, FINLAND - March 18th, 2003 - Finnish Amiga Users Group published a translated interview with Bill Buck and Raquel Velasco of Genesi in their latest Saku e-zine. This interview was conducted on March 15th, 2003. For the benefit of the international audience, the original transcript of that interview is now released below. The Finnish Amiga Users Group would like to thank Bill and Raquel for taking the time to answer these questions. Q: Could you both tell a little bit about yourself and your background. I'm sure not everyone is familiar with you. And what's with you always answering together? :-)

A: Well the best thing would be to read the interview from last year here:

http://www.amiga-news.de/archiv02/020417_interview_bb_pt.shtml

There is a picture of us there too... ;-)

Anyway, we are always together. We are married and we work together. Sometimes the emails are from me and sometimes from Raquel.

Q: Before we go into some details that may interest our Finnish audience, can you please give us a small status report on what Genesi is doing right now, and what to expect in the coming weeks and months? What is your event schedule for the spring?

A: We have spent the last three months bringing the Crossbee team onboard. You can visit their website here www.crossbee.com. From Crossbee we not only achieve an experienced management team, but we get the application software too. This will be integrated into MorphOS and we will offer this solution to very large institutional clients - hardware, OS, applications and all tied in to smart cards. On top of this we will introduce further applications. For example, if you consider the things we have done with the wireless cameras and PDAs in Thendic-France and you combine this with the things found here www.ceolia.com you will understand better our long term direction. Incidentally, Ceolia is joining Genesi too... ;-)

The Pegasos development itself is focused on two key directions:

1. The digital terrestrial television STB running on a PPC and MorphOS.

2. The Pegasos II with the Marvell northbridge.

We will have Pegasos II six layer prototype boards available for our own tests in less than three months. If things go well, we could be shipping the Pegasos II much sooner than September, but we will hold to that date for now.

MorphOS in the meanwhile will be further stabilized and broadened while the Pegasos II comes to be. We are licensing many interesting things for MorphOS. ProStation Audio for example will be bundled with the OS itself.

Q: Most of us have read about the Pegasos and the MorphOS. We know these products and they are available for us to see. But there are other MorphOS based products on your roadmap. Let's see if I can get them right: 1) the eclipsis, a hand-held, 2) Psylent, standard Pegasos in a silent case, 3) the mystery set-top box you have been contracted to do and, finally, 4) the Pegasos 2. What is the status of these? Did I miss any?

A: The Psylent is basically finished and the new case looks good. You can see the pictures at www.genesi-support.com. Our large STB project pushed the eclipsis development back a little, but we are still moving ahead with that. The Pegasos II we have discussed already.

Q: You also have some other products, such as the Cashboy and the Eyecam. Could you give us a quick overview of those and what part, if any, they play in your masterplan?

A: Well, the Cashboy is just a Point of Sale device. We learned about smart cards with this product. The ComCam we used for the same experience. We actually have a new product due at the end of the month that is related to the Crossbee discussion above that uses the new ComCam. Smart cards come into play in the next phase.

Q: There has been a lot of discussion concerning the Mai Logic Articia S and the G4. What did you mean when you said the current 600 MHz G3 Pegasos performs better with it than a 800 MHz G4? Were you referring to general performace (on average perhaps) or some specific functions? What do you make of counter-claims that Teron boards with G4 have been running some Linux games significantly faster than their G3 counterparts - which sounds pretty logical to a layman?

A: Of course, we meant running applications - any applications are actually fine. The more the better and all executing simultaneously. Someone else should define the test. We will happily participate as expected/required/desired.

We have tested every platform developed by Mai, because we helped them. We do know what we are saying... ;-)

Q: How about faster G3 processor modules for the Pegasos?

A: No, don't think so...

Q: What are the chances of us seeing more Pegasos boards before Pegasos 2? Any hints on a possible Plexuscom deal?

A: :-) Cannot say, but the Plexuscom people are coming to Paris after CeBIT.

Q: What is the status and future of MorphOS on 1) Teron boards (including AmigaOne) and 2) the Phase 5 PowerPC boards? Any immediate plans for shrink-wrapped MorphOS packages? Wouldn't a separate version for these platforms make sense now that the Pegasos is sold out for the moment, to get the attention of some additional developers and users?

A: Well on the first matter we have tried publicly and privately there to advance that effort. It has met with far too much disharmony and unnecessary negativity. We won't touch this issues for a couple more months... then we will try again.

The second idea is a good one. We are working on a new release for MorphOS for the Phase5 products now. It will be released within the next couple of months. We will not be charging for this release.

Q: What do you make of comparisons between Amiga and UNIX, both operating systems that have been cloned? Would you consider MorphOS and AmigaOS to be a bit like BSD and UNIX? What do you feel is MorphOS's or Genesi's claim to its part in the Amiga community?

A: MorphOS is part of the Community. The other questions are really the stuff for a beer or coffee on a sunny weekend afternoon... ;-)

Q: You have been supporting the demoscene in various ways. Here in Finland you sent us something to see back in AltParty 2003 and I believe you have mentioned the Assembly 2003 event in Helsinki in some of your postings. Have you been in contact with the organizers yet? What are your plans there? Did you know that Assembly has a history of sponsored compos? Last year Nokia sponsored a Nokia 7650 Java development competition.

A: Yes, we have good contact with Mikko Virtanen. We should do the same thing as Nokia!

Q: Okay, I know you know there are people out there who really don't like you. Your communication style is quite unorthodox. Any comments on that?

A: :-)

Q: For my final question I'll skip the usual, and I'd like to reflect a bit on the past before looking forward. The Finnish Amiga Users Group turns ten this spring. When we started, Commodore was still around. During the decade that followed, we've seen the world move on, but progress in the Amiga community has been seriously lacking. We even saw you guys have a go at it once at VIScorp. Now, finally, some progress is being made, but probably not in the unified direction we all thought it would go ten years ago. The community is also a bickering shadow of its former self. Any final thoughts on that?

A: Well, this is 2003. What was before is not now and the sooner we can get everyone focused on what is here NOW and what can done, we might be able to create something NEW and BETTER.

Q: Thank you for taking the time to answer these questions!

More information about the Finnish Amiga Users Group and the Saku e-zine can be found at http://saku.amigafin.org.

About Finnish Amiga Users Group

Finnish Amiga Users Group (officially Suomen Amiga-käyttäjät ry.) is a registered, non-profit organization dedicated to helping Finnish Amiga computer users by preserving and advancing the Amiga hobby and knowledge of the Amiga computing platform in Finland. The group aims to reach its goals through volunteer efforts such as organizing events and publishing an e-zine called Saku.
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