The Amahi Experience: it just got better with Amahi 8

Disk-wizard-plugin-logoWelcome to Amahi 8!

We would like to take a moment to share with you the release of Amahi 8!

Much hard work has gone into this fantastic release. We think you are going to love the wonderful new features of Amahi 8, even though most of the work that went on it is not visible in plain sight.

Upgradeable

“Can I upgrade my current Amahi server?” We get that a lot and we’ve heard you, and we did our best to make it as easy as possible to upgrade from Amahi 7 to Amahi 8! We hope to make Amahi 8 upgradeable to future releases as well so that there is less need to reinstall!

New-disk Wizard

Amahi 8 includes a new Disk Wizard  app that makes it much easier to expand your storage with additional drives.  It is now a matter of a few clicks to add new disks to the system, from within the Amahi dashboard. This effort has taken place over a year and has involved two interns of the Google Summer of Code (2014) and the Amahi Summer of Code (2015). Thanks go to Kasun and Ahmed for their contributions to this new disk wizard, as well as all the testers that have put their effort into making it work well. We believe it will work in most cases, but we still have some work to do on it, making it better and better.

Tons of Apps, out of the Gate

Another significant contribution in this release is app testing. Amahi 8 includes more than 200 apps that we have tested, out of the gate, to work well. The team worked hard to create this automatic testing framework and mirror system to ensure app installs are effortless, fast and work well. This will make us have a better testing system and release Amahi faster in the future, a long-term goal of ours!

Great kudos go to our testmaster bigfoot65 for the huge, multi-month efforts to get this system going as well as td512 for providing a dedicated server for Amahi to use in our repo and mirror system!

A More Modern Interface, more Features, Faster

You may have noticed that the Forums have a new, polished, look. However, we also spent time improving the appearance of your HDA! Amahi 8 uses a new template system called Bootstrap, made by Twitter, giving it a more responsive and consistent feel across browsers and devices.

Besides this, we have fixed some bugs, upgraded our SSL infrastructure, added features like a more flexible DHCP lease range, per-user access control for apps, XFS filesystem support (provided by the Fedora 21 OS, which will allow us to upgrade faster), easy checking of share disk usage, and improved internationalization.

Kudos!

Thanks to the Amahi community for their great feedback and involvement! This is what inspires us to keep working, and make Amahi better with each version!

Team Amahi

[Facebook] [Google] [Twitter]

Keeping your network updated with a new round of apps!

The Amahi App team has been at it again!  No, not another marathon (yet!), just a few updates.  Updated to the latest version is Monitorix, the system monitoring tool, which is available live in the Store that houses Amahi Apps.     Also updated are two Beta apps: Feng Office, the web based collaboration suite and phpList, the email campaign manager. We love app updates!

Cheers!

 



MonitorixMonitorix

Monitorix is a free, open source, lightweight system monitoring tool designed to monitor as many services as possible. At this time it monitors from the CPU load and temperatures to the users using the system. Network devices activity, network services demand and even the devices’ interrupt activity are also monitored, and more. The current status of any corporate server with Monitorix installed can be accessed via a web browser.

 

BETA APP UPDATES: Feng Office and phpList have been updated to the latest version. Enjoy Amahi Pro subscribers!



Feng OfficeFeng Office

Feng Office (formerly OpenGoo) allows businesses to manage project tasks, billing, documents, communication with co-workers, customers and vendors, schedule meetings and events, and share every kind of electronic information.



phplistphplist

phplist is the world’s most popular open source email campaign manager. phplist is easy to integrate with any website.

Cheers!

The Amahi Team

[Facebook] [Google] [Twitter]

Apple hits Amahi with a cease and desist — Wait. What?!?

Can you believe this?

Amahi got a cease and desist notice from Apple. It’s about the confusion that the “unauthorized use” of the English term app store causes in Amahi’s web site (click the image for the 2-page letter).

After the first shock, the questions start to emerge, like … What!? … or … why Amahi?

Long story short, Apple has to show they are defending a trademark claim they have on that term. Microsoft filed a motion to oppose that trademark claim in January, among other things stating that the two words separately are generic[1], that the 2-word term is also generic in English, that it’s widely used by consumers, by the press and in the software industry to refer to the many app stores available today, and that even Steve Jobs used it in a generic way to refer to other app stores. All possible reasons to not grant the claim. Later, Amazon launched their Appstore for Android in March, and Apple filed a lawsuit against Amazon. Here is an article with a brief history of the claimed trademark. Update: apparently, Nokia is also contesting the mark in Europe.

Then … Why Amahi? Why pick on such a small target when there are so many people using the app store term? Amahi is a Open Source startup, and is not even in the mobile space. We may never know …

We’re still trying to determine what is the best course of action (Update: we have started complying by rotating the term with the top contributions), however, this looks like a rather heavy handed move. Amahi being literally nothing next to Apple (sigh) we do not have the resources to fight this battle. Instead, we’re holding a

 

» Name the Store Contest «

 

We’d like it if you submit your suggestion for a term to use for Amahi’s store area, in every language on the surface of the earth, except of course using the term “app store.” Keep them short! We will use one of the top suggestions to name that area of our site. Even if yours does not get picked, you can still win one Plug Computer or one year of Amahi Pro membership. The team will randomly pick two winners among those submitting names, posting Facebook/Twitter posts/comments in that page. Keep it clean and fun!

To commemorate the occasion, we have released a new app called Amahi Invaders that you can install in your HDA (and you can play online too). Hope you enjoy!

Lend your hand to this effort!

  • Share this post with your friends in Facebook, Twitter, Hacker News, Mashable, Slashdot, Reddit, and all your favorite social media or tech news site
  • Translate this post to your language and distribute it in tech web sites and media in your area. Update: we have overviews/translations to a few other languages (thanks guys!)
  • Contact us if you know of current or prior use of the term “app store,” particularly before June 2008
  • Contact us if you have a great testimonial or brand to support Amahi, we’d like to feature it!

Finally, on a personal note, Amahi has been a labor of love that started as a hobby and it has evolved into a healthy community of enthusiasts and a budding startup around the project. As much as I respect Apple, I believe the term “app store” as we have been using it is generic of a store to buy apps, or descriptive, a very weak category of mark, if at all. I hope that Apple will not be entitled to monopolize the term after the litigation goes through. It’s nice to see that Amazon (and Microsoft) are bringing a strong challenge to the Apple claim.

Now back to work on much-needed improvements to our store!

Thanks to you for all the support you have been giving Amahi!

Carlos, for the Amahi Team

——

[1] What is a “generic name”?

A generic term is one used by much of the public to refer to a class or category of product or service. A generic name can not be protected or registered as a trademark or service mark. For example, no one seller can have trademark rights in “telephone” or “oven.” If a seller did have exclusive rights to call something by its recognized name, it would amount to a practical monopoly on selling that type of product. Even established trademarks can lose their protection if they are used generically: thermos and escalator are famous examples.

Legalese. All trademarks mentioned in this post are the property of their respective owners. There, we said it.

[Facebook] [Google] [Twitter]

Holiday Present: performance improvements with a cheer from Amahi!

Today we are happy to introduce three things: A makeover for Amahi’s web site, a major performance improvement to Greyhole, the technology used in Amahi for Storage Pooling, and two important beta releases: the preview of the next major version of Greyhole and Mediatomb, an on-the-fly transcoding DNLA server!

First, check out the brand-spanking-new Amahi site: new logo, new overall look, better organization and navigation, and foremost, a much improved app store, one of our most frequent requests.

Many many thanks for the donations, for the reviews and the encouragement! We hope you like it!

New App Store

The biggest change is Amahi’s App Store, one of the largest of its kind!  We are adding more categories, a new slick page design for each of the apps, and on top of it all, it’s searchable.

The search box has already had over 1500 searches in just a few days! Welcome to the new Amahi App Store!  There are more features to come, … soon!

Greyhole Update

Today we have released Greyhole, 0.7.5. This new version, along with We would like to welcome a number of new users coming from the Windows Home Server world. We posted a migration guide by popular demand and it has revealed one weakness in the way we implemented Greyhole in Amahi by default.

Many WHS users with large existing data stores wanted to migrate their large collection of data, but the default Greyhole configuration in Amahi did not tolerate a massive migration well.  The load that the network copy created, especially on today’s fast networks, would often overrun the pace at which local data copying and replication takes place in Greyhole.  The cause of this bottleneck was a decision we made early on to use sqlite3, as a back-end for Greyhole out of a caution for reliability (something Amahi cares a lot).  The idea was to keep it as simple as possible, and not rely on another layer or dependency as a data management for Greyhole (MySQL).

As Greyhole was put to the test recently, it became clear that for performance purposes, MySQL was the much better choice.  Greyhole’s performance with MySQL is 330+ file transactions per second, an improvement over sqlite3’s 11 transactions per second.  Note that this is not data transfer rate but the rate at which file operations can be managed. Quite a staggering 30x improvement!

Today we’re releasing a new release of Greyhole (0.7.5) and a corresponding Amahi platform release (5.6.5) supporting Greyhole using MySQL as the back-end (though not by default yet). Also included are language translations for Russian and Swedish … thanks to our translations team!

Here is how to transition an existing system from sqlite to MySQL.

Two new Betas: Greyhole 0.8 and Mediatomb

Partly as a result of the performance analysis, we not have a new beta of Greyhole 0.8. In version 0.8, Greyhole now use spool files to log those operations. This is similar to how email servers work, and will makes Greyhole more efficient. If you crave the latest, the downloads are here: 32bit x86, 64bit x86-64, arm (for the plug computer).

For members of our beta program, check out Mediatomb, a UPnP/DLNA media server that works well with the Sony PS3. It can even transcode media on the fly, including many 1080p MKV streams! This is a very promising application, packaged by SolaR with great help from the community. Thanks!

For the latest from our community, we have ZNC (a personal IRC “bouncer” server), DaDaBIK, and for the true hacker in you Debian Lenny Network Installer. Lots of the community contributing apps!

Special Thanks

We would like to give special thanks to the team that helped us tune up the new site, provide feedback and polish things up!

Thanks to Guillaume and the small dedicated legion of recent Amahi converts for their enthusiasm and of course for a great effort in narrowing down this performance bottleneck and for providing a Greyhole migration script! Incidentally, Greyhole got a new web page too!

Happy Holidays to you if you are celebrating at this time of the year! Cheers!

The Amahi Team

[Facebook] [Google] [Twitter]

Amahi for the Marvell Plug Computer released! Get yours FREE!

Ionics Plug StratusWe’re very happy to announce the first release of Amahi Plug Edition for the Plug Computer platform based on the Marvell ® ARMADA processor! And you can snag one FREE in our new contest!

The Amahi team is all jumpy in excitement with this new “Plug Edition” release to the  ARM ecosystem and the Plug Computing platform, in partnership with Marvell. In these days when eco-friendly technologies are a must, the Plug Computer brings a number of advantages to running a home/media server at very low power. Now you’re probably thinking …

COOL, I want one! How do I get in on the action?

If you have one already and are ready to take the plunge, head on to the release page to see how to install Amahi on it! Or buy one if you need the hardware … OR … wait … get one FREE …!? :)

Today we’re also launching a theme and app contest, where 6 winners get a FREE 1.2GHz Ionics Stratus Plug Computer (pictured above), with WiFi, Bluetooth, Z-Wave (for wireless home control) and Gigabit Ethernet, sponsored by Marvell!

You don’t have the artistic or coding skills? Follow @amahi and retweet this tweet and you could win one FREE Ionics Stratus plug too! Follow the rules in the contest page.

To kick things off, we are releasing the brand new Sheeva theme (high res) inspired by Marvell’s PlugComputer.org site.

Even better, if you are a developer and are interested in learning more about developing for this platform check out Marvell’s developer day, PlugIN 2010 (August 18th). Attendees will get a full day of developer sessions and receive a Plug Computer development kit.

Amahi + Marvell = Smart

The synthesis of the Plug Computer’s compact design, low power, and headless operation with Amahi’s powerful, easy to use features, efficient network management combined with one of the largest app stores of its kind, is a very smart choice for a home server:

  • The Plug Computer offers remarkably low power consumption: 3 ~ 8 Watts. Nice!
  • It’s fanless and virtually noiseless. If you run yours with a flash drive, it has zero noise
  • Small footprint. You can put your server wherever it’s convenient. If you are in tight quarters, this is the perfect solution!
  • It’s inexpensive. Typically Plug Computers run $99 for a base system

Low Power, Heavy Lifting

Amahi Plug Edition is a powerful home server, capable of running lots of apps, from the simplest file sharing to iTunes streaming, to wikis, backups, and soon, DLNA media streaming to Sony or Samsung TVs as well as popular set top boxes with DLNA clients built-in.

Amahi Plug Edition running on a typical Plug Computer draws about 3 Watts idle, 7 to 8 Watts while booting and about 4 Watts with bursts of 6 Watts while streaming a full movie to an iPad with our very popular Videos5 app or a full 1080p stream to an HDTV. Not bad!!

All this goodness does not come without effort. While everyone was fussing about net neutrality, the iPad and antennagate, the team toiled, getting this release ready for your maximum enjoyment. Kudos to Scott, Guillaume, Rod, OB, Ofer, Pat, Peter & the crew. In addition, none of this would be possible without the Fedora ARM team for a great job!!

Cheers!

[Facebook] [Google] [Twitter]