Elena Novaretti Interview (AmigaWorld)

Back in the days I was running a site called AmigaWorld.org and I have kept my most interesting interviews alive. Here is my interview of Elena Novaretti which actually brought 32bit icons to the Amiga as first person ever. Yes even AmigaOS 68k can have 32bit icons thru her PowerIcons update that you might find on Aminet. One of her more interesting answers is that she brought 32bits icons to AmigaOS 68k because of MorphOS! “It’s Ambient, MorphOS desktop, which gave me the idea of 32 bit icons.”

 

Tell us a bit about yourself? Your age, what you do, what really interests you etc?

Table of Contents

Well, I’m 31 since yesterday πŸ™‚ Let’s say that my main interest has always been music. I began composing songs since I was only 10 old! The matter is, I’ve a rather complex (wired?) personality because of my builtin perfectionism, and also because (perhaps ?) of my very early contact with silicon! So I didn’t published anything yet and actually most people know me as an Amiga developer rather than a musician πŸ™ I had my first computer at 12-13 and that had a great impact on developing an “ordered”, “informatized” way of thought. I spent years in playing and working with computers rather than making the music I created because I was waiting for the technology to be ready for a completely “virtual” way to make music. And I never liked the so called “computer music” too much.

I hate having many little boxes, messed and noisy cables, decentralization, analog signals… since few years only virtual sound synthesizers and virtual studio hosts (unfortunately for PC and MAC only) are available, allowing me to start making music and studying the hard art of arranging in the way I like. I’m actually setting up a very good music project studio with my hands, where I will also keep my Pegasos and other computers to keep on making other jobs than music (time permitting) like programming, graphics, fractals, etc. I have to admit, my website is a bit outdated and gives a falsed image of me, too much based on fractals and other little things that really don’t count so much in my life… I will update it as soon as I have the time and… perhaps some music to publish πŸ™‚

You seem like a artistic person. You feel that Amiga is a part of your artistic person, or do you use it because you started with it, or?

Yes I’ve got an artistic and creative personality, but it’s difficult to answer properly… I started with a C64, then I had an Amiga. And I continued this way πŸ˜‰ So I can tell I started with it and don’t know how things would have gone if I had started with a PeeCee or Mac, for example… perhaps I would be and think different ? I actually have to use Windows for Music and other jobs because of the lack of Amiga software, but I still cannot suffer Windows !!!!! Amiga is a powerful, plain and simple OS, where you are the user, you are commanding, you know everything’s going on. Windows commands you instead and reduces you to a stupid, brainless user!!

How did you become interested in Amiga? For real that is. Do you have any tips or words for other females for starting using Amiga/Pegasos?

I had my first Amiga2000 in far 1991 iirc. I had an old C64 before, and fell in love with Amiga when I saw its graphics capability the first time (speaking of those times…) at a friend of mine’s home. Well, let’s say the truth… I loved that schoolfriend a bit, so perhaps I started loving his computer too ;-)) These things happen! Then I remained with Amiga. Then those I refer as the “dark years” came, preceding and following Commodore bankruptcy. We were left alone, without any warranty for the future and with more and more obsolete hardware. Those years I was almost thinking to break with Amiga and to buy a Pc or Mac but for some reason I could not decide… and next, in 1998, I got a new Amiga again, an A4000 which I expanded with PPC, Gfx card and then with MorphOS. And I’m here with my Pegasos now πŸ™‚ I cannot give real tips to other gals to start using Amiga, but the matter is the same with guys, too; that’s not a matter of sex. People using Amiga now are people who started using and loving Amiga in the past, so they staied with it. What real motivation could have anybody to start using an Amiga or Pegasos now, without having used and known it before ? Unfortunately, none, I think…

How did you start to program apps and one of the most usefull tools for AmigaOS since OS v2.04 came out? What sort of words or tips/tricks do you have for other females wich wants to go further and start programming?

Thanks for “the most useful tools”, too good :o) Really, I would have made a really useful tool, like a decent web browser or modern paint program… or even a desktop for MorphOS! But… one always ends up following his interests, doing everything for passion, so often nothing is planned.

I started to work at an innovative fractal explorer (and relative rendering formulas) in the far 1995, when we could only see ugly fractals with terraced gradients all around. Then the project grew over and over since the day I decided to release it to the public (upon strong request ;). It was just for passion and for the challange of making something innovative all by myself. That’s true if you were talking about ZoneXplorer. If you thought of PowerIcons indeed… yes, it’s a smaller but definitely more useful and beloved tool for the Amiga community πŸ™‚ Unfortunately, it looks like nobody can use ZoneXplorer deeply like I do, writing own formulas and using it for research: for that it’s a unique and powerful tool. I hear of people using it to enjoy only, but that’s fine the same. Amiga (and so, Pegasos) is a little universe where you can make your dreams come true with a minimum effort. Before all, you must have a little idea, a little dream to realize, some motivation. Then you can start programming with enthusiasm. The only suggestion I can give: stay away from GCC of other Linux/Unix incarnations, we are under Amiga, not Linux! Why should we make things more complex than they are ? πŸ˜‰ Also I would focus that programming seriously is NOT a game. Even writing out a simple patch like PowerIcons may require months of work and study, so don’t think to start programming just to do something in the spare time, you won’t go anywhere! But it’s definitely easier with Amiga than with other operating systems, that’s for sure !!!

Would you like to tell AmigaWorld how you get the artistic person in you out? What do you think of when doing your artistic graphic works? Does your ideas just pop up? Or are they emotional? A part of something wich you have experienced? Or just dreams?

With art, aboslutely nothing is planned. Often the mind creates in “background”! Actually, the most people know me for my fractals. Well, that’s a different matter. The work there is much like a photographer’s. Once finished the technical part (writing a formula and studying on it) it’s like starting a journey in a new, unexplored world. Find something that you think interesting, frame it and snapshot it. Surely, the eye tends to become more and more selective about what really is worth the trouble to keep and what not. My eye is always in search of the new thing, even if now I really think I already saw almost everything… I’m also good with usual graphics and image processing, and like doing that, but unfortunately I never extabilished a particular feeling with the existing Amiga paint programs πŸ™ When I need drawing logos, backgrounds, for me or for friends, I only use TVPaint or ImageFX even if I think they’ve too many limits compared to PC packages like PhotoShop or PaintShopPro or… even the stupid GFX proggies included in Windows :(((((

What do you think of our community? Some comments about it?

Just like every “community”, Amigans count a lot of both stupid and intelligent people πŸ˜‰ I know many of both species!! Latest years, it looks like we’re getting too quarrelsome. Also, there’re too many folks who define theirselves “amigans” only by name but in fact don’t use an Amiga anymore, and their only hobby is to spend hours and hours writing unuseful and polemic sentences on mailing lists, forums, and so on. Well, I can’t stand them anymore !! Another thought I have is about money. At this point we are unfortunately a dieing community, we need help and cooperate to survive. Thus, I think that the few developers remained should NOT pretend money and shareware quotes for their software, it’s much like asking money to a poor man! In particular, I’m also referring to those authors of discontinued software (I won’t tell names) who still pretend a registration fee instead of releasing the software for free (or better, as open source). All that absolutely doesn’t help the Amiga community nor the Amiga market. I think that Linux survives to Bill’s monopoly and is becoming every day more and more popular just for its “free” philosophy. We are killing ourselves with our greed!!! Perhaps strong words, but that’s my thought.

Would you like to tell us abit about your future? Do you have any plans for MorphOS/AmigaOS?

I’ve actually no more particular plans or projects for Amiga. Yes, I should update ZoneXplorer (see later) and bring it to the awaited version 2.0, but the time I can spend painlessly for Amiga developing is being less and less…
I can’t earn any money from doing so (and I neither want money, according to the words I told above it would be a nonsense!) but I’m 31 now and time has come to setup working seriously at music. Well, nobody knows the future… perhaps I will have again some spare time for some Amiga project ? Maybe πŸ™‚

Would you like to do a artistic picture exsclusive for AmigaWorld? If so, describe how you made it, and your comments/feelings behind it.

Art on demand… what frightens me the most πŸ˜€ Uhm… I could try to resume an old idea of mine, let’s see… And we thank for the picture Elena :=) Nice work

After finishing this interview, I suddendly got more interesting reading from Elena to add.
Many fractals of mine always remembered to me something like a trophy, a cup, or something such. A sort of paranoy πŸ˜‰ Then, the idea of a soccer ball with red pentagons, thus being something like a morph between the Amiga boingball and a plain soccer ball (well, both were to play with πŸ˜‰ Another little paranoy. One plus two gives three: an ideologic trophy to the Amiga. The title: World Cup for sure, Amiga for sure, merging them gives Amiga World Cup where Amiga World is obviously dedicated to you πŸ™‚ 2004 ? Well, we are in 2004. World championship is on 2006 but we live in Amiga World, things are a bit different here πŸ˜‰ So I setup at work at ZX to find a zone which remembers to me the over explained concept the most (ehr… about one hour of search!) The module used is “Middle Age”. Then a fast search on the web with google to find a good soccer ball to be colored as I planned. A second fractal coming from a special serie of modules not released yet, and a bit of work with TVPaint for the text. To overimpose the so obtained picture over the background I used ImageFX’s aerograph with the option “rub thru”.

Do you recommend Amiga for other people? How can other females be interested in this platform? Any ideas?

Well, can I be direct, but really really direct ? Ok: dear girls out there, Amiga community is FULL of handsome boyz :ooo) May it be enough as motivation ? πŸ˜‰

How did you got the idea to implement 32bit PNG icons into AmigaOS? Thats pretty revolutionary,.. as same with Elbox and its MediatorPCI cards for Amiga. And whats the future for ZoneXplorer?

It’s Ambient, MorphOS desktop, which gave me the idea of 32 bit icons. Since much time I had the idea to write a patch to improve AmigaOS icons look, but I limited to think of a true color remapping or ghost effect (Ghosty was born for that πŸ˜‰ Last summer I seriously planned the feasibility of such a project. I was really motivated with doing that for at least two reasons: 1) I don’t use Ambient on my Pegasos because of its too heavy limitations but keep on using Amiga Workbench under MorphOS emulation, so I would have added PNG icons support to my desktop 2) The idea of making something really innovative, and then to make a glad gift to the whole community πŸ™‚ So, after a month of hard work, PowerIcons 1.0 saw the light: it finally integrated PNG icons support, transparency for default icons and true color remapping of standard Amiga icons. Concerning ZoneXplorer, many things was planned for the future: the most important are featuring an integrated module editor and adding animation capabilities. But as I told you above, the time I can spend for Amiga developing in the next years is little so I cannot make any prevision πŸ™ But at least, ZoneXplorer for OS4 is planned for sure πŸ™‚

At the end,… You don’t need to answer this question. Are you tougether with someone? If so, do you have any comments to Amiga users wich seek love? Wich have problems with that they really are interested in Amiga and is affraid that she wont like him because of the Amiga interest. Have you any comments to womans out there on this subject?

First question: ehhh, I can tell that there’re many hearts broken for me, but my heart also is desperately blooding for somebody… that’s the game of life! Suggestions for Amiga users seeking love ? Sure: don’t close in yourself, don’t spend years and years alone sitting on a dark room becoming blind and crazy and humpback with programming!! Don’t close too much into that virtual world: even if it’s pleasing, that’s NOT the real world! That’s a risk many computer users run into.

Go out! Know as much people as you can! And search, search, search… perhaps there’s a nice amiga user (he or she) just in your country (or in your city!) and you still don’t know ;-)) And, if somebody really loves you, he/she won’t absolutely care of what your passion is, whether it’s Amiga or not Amiga or swimming or playing football or making music or… believe me: if somebody has excuses and pretexts, simply he doesn’t love you. Plain and simple. If somebody loves you indeed, you will notice that soon. I learnt that.

I hope that you enjoyed answering these questions and hope we didn’t take lots of your free time. We hope hope that you will continue using your Amiga into the future and spreading the knowledgment about this good computer.

Do you have any comments to add or any thanks to someone out there? Now its the time for you to say what you want,… and thanks for doing such great interview.

Even if I won’t have so much time for Amiga in the next future as I had in the past, for me it will be the only machine worthy of being called a “computer”, the only computer making a pleasure the act of powering it on and sitting at work! What really worries me is the future of information technology. What we call “trusted computing” makes me shuddering. I dream of a world of freedom of information, not a world where everybody is controlled by Uncle Bill ;-)) Linux is imposing as unique alternative to survive to this worrisome future. And that’s right, but I regret Amiga won’t perhaps be part of this game: it had all the papers in order to be a valid alternative. Hoping in a miracle ? I’m not so crazy…

We will thank Elena for this great interview. We at AmigaWorld wishes you all the best in the future offcourse. We hope to see more from you πŸ™‚ Have a great May! Hugs from the AW/Amitopia team to you,… take care

Adding thanks to it all, to add this interview a extra flavour πŸ™‚

Thanks for all the text and worthreading repply Elena. I love what you have done for our community and I mean that personally.

This interview was done on 24th of July 2005. Hope you liked it. Digging in the archives made me found this. Thanks for reading Distrita and support us for more quality articles regarding Amiga and anything else!

 

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