Year 2023

Review of the year

In the mountains, February 22, 2024: Last year at this point, the annual review was not published until mid-January. This was expressly with the note that this was an exception. And now this, the navel-gazing for the year 2023 will only take place in February. It wasn’t planned, and yet this longer break gave us plenty of time to gather new strength. As we all know, postponed is not canceled and so this “belated” review of the year will focus on the fact that, even after 25 years of Archivista, further development is still the top priority. This would not be possible without the Linux distribution AVMultimedia, which is why AVMultimedia deserves special mention here.

25 years of Archivista: continuous development

True to the philosophy of our company, a company anniversary does not mean that it has to be celebrated with lavish parties and pomp. Resources are always limited, which is why a company anniversary is far more likely to mean that the ArchivistaBox is simply being continuously developed in small steps.

This constant striving for improvement offers the advantage that our products grow in an evolutionary way. Of course, the ArchivistaBox also has some major developments from time to time. This was last the case at the end of 2019 with the introduction of the multimedia ArchivistaBox. Last year saw further fundamental innovations in this respect.

The ArchivistaBox now offers the option of automatically optimizing all videos so that they can be stored in ArchivistaDMS in good quality without unnecessarily bloating the hard drives. This may seem quite trivial, but it is not. Ultimately, it is a question of whether films require four to ten times more storage space or not (as is the case here).

AVMultimedia: The basis of the ArchivistaBox

AVMultimedia was presented here on February 6, 2018. More than six years ago, Archivista’s entry into the world of multimedia with Linux was uncharted territory. While the initial focus was primarily on being able to play video files with a reasonable level of performance, the concept was soon expanded in order to be able to create and manage corresponding content with AVMultimedia from a single source.

The central feature of AVMultimedia is that the operating system is booted within seconds from the installation medium (USB stick or ISO file from hard disk) with all applications in the main memory and is available ready-to-use for working. The underlying concept (RAM distribution) is based on the ArchivistaBox from 2010.

Although there were already some Linux distributions back then that could be loaded into the main memory as a live CD, the live CD approach was not intended for working, as the RAM memory seemed to be too limited for this. Thanks to modern compression and swapping, after 6 years of experience with AVMultimedia (12 years with the ArchivistaBox) it can be said that this is not a problem. The “RAM concept” results in key advantages:

  • Boot up and get started with all apps (ready-to-use)
  • Any upgrades and downgrades possible (ISO file contains the entire OS)
  • Modest hardware requirements (from 2 GB main memory)
  • Minimal maintenance effort (restart in case of problems and that’s it)

Although AVMultimedia offers all these advantages, the project tends to attract little attention. Windows users fail because current computers are configured in such a way that alternative operating systems can only be started with difficulty (BIOS adjustments). Linux cracks want to customize all aspects of their desktop themselves and swear by a standard distribution of their choice.

Nevertheless, AVMultimedia will continue to form the basis for the ArchivistaBox in the future, because without the AVMultimedia concept it would be impossible to process and manage multimedia content on the ArchivistaBox in this way.

Smartphones: Open source solutions (AVMultiPhone) “failed” ?

Smartphones have long since replaced desktop computers for many users. With support lasting just a few years, these phones are not suitable for keeping data available in the long term. This is why there are cloud solutions for storing data in the cloud (externally). As elegant as these solutions may seem, data sovereignty lies with the providers. More than ever, what is private does not belong in the hands of others, and therefore not in the external cloud.

A look at the smartphone world shows that there is currently a duopoly: Android versus iOS. According to, Android’s share is just under 82% and that of iOS is 18%. The fact that Android’s 82% is based on Linux is little consolation. Android is so limited that it is not even close to being an open solution.

The general rule for smartphones is that access to data is only possible as long as manufacturers allow it or support the corresponding products. In short, even if open source is used in the substructure, there is little left for the user because the systems do not work transparently.

Thanks to web applications (HTML protocol), it is possible to save the data on your own computer (locally). For desktops, Linux at least offers an alternative, but for smartphones this choice is practically non-existent. Unfortunately, all attempts to launch a smartphone on the market based on open source have so far failed.

The PinePhone project (and ultimately AVMultiPhone) did little to change this. The hardware was inexpensive (initially USD 150, today around USD 200) and it was quite easy to run Linux on it. Unfortunately, however, the software support in the low-level area (camera and sensors) is and remains rather inadequate, and professional business use fails.

And that is why the AVMultiPhone project had to be suspended again in 2023. As much as it would be desirable for ArchivistaBox to have a smartphone as an end device in its range, this is currently not possible (from a sober point of view), the development costs are too high and the results are too poor for everyday business use.

The future is and remains multimedia

When the first version of the ArchivistaBox came onto the market in 1998, the world was not as it will be in 2024. This is likely to remain the case in the future. Nevertheless, our products will continue to be used to keep information available in the long term. That sounds banal, but it’s not.

Here is just one example: If, according to (Swiss) case law, a telephone provider is allowed to require the termination of a contract via telephone or web chat if contracts are predominantly concluded verbally or via the Internet, it should be all the more important to document this accordingly. This applies to both companies and private individuals. And to ensure that this will also be possible in the future, simply, inexpensively and elegantly, there is the ArchivistaBox.

« AVMultimedia 2024/II2023/I as a PDF station »