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Author Topic: The truth about why CodeWalrus opened (warning: controversial)  (Read 7838 times)

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Offline DJ Omnimaga

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(Note to members, visitors and other site members, this topic is not intended to attack specific calculator sites or members or claim any site as inferior or superior. Any event described below happened or were perceived that way between 2011 and 2014 and we are simply posting this because since the Pimathbrainiac incident, more and more people have been asking why CW opened. What we believe is that diversity is better and that Cemetech, CodeWalrus and Omnimaga are different from each others and should be ran the way their respective admins want. Since this topic was posted and reviewed by the entire CW staff, if you feel anything below is objectionable, quote it and let us know so that we can address it.)

Topic edited in 2016 to append informations about why I stepped down from Omnimaga in 2011, since that was initially missing from this post.

Since this website was founded, it was one of our goal to be as transparent as possible towards our userbase (excluding of course sharing our admin passwords and such stuff). On some sites, warnings, bans and even future staff changes may be announced publicly, while on other sites, all of this is kept private. We chose the first option for the most part, even if sometimes this could cause a bit of friction, because we felt that people should know that we are doing something about situations.

There is one thing, however, that we were not transparent about, but that it was only a matter of time before it goes public: The reasons why CodeWalrus opened in the first place. We apologize for not saying it sooner but we felt that to spare the TI community from a potential massive episode of drama at the time, it was better to wait until the whole thing is done. We explained it before, especially during the pimath incident when people were asking questions, and many people figured it out by themselves from the fact I founded both Omnimaga and CodeWalrus, but since more and more people have been asking in the last two weeks, we felt that it is now time to officially explain it:


To sum things up, after three years of growing disagreements and conflicts about the mentality/direction changes that Omnimaga admins underwent after I gave them ownership of the site, we finally called it quit then branched out into our own site: CodeWalrus. I and many others might not have handled the situation correctly over the years, but the thing is that at one point, it became clear that things were not gonna work. And something that not many people know is that the idea about a new site was not first brought up in June 2014, but rather in September 2011 (I forgot until I checked my old Omni PMs two weeks ago).

The TL;DR that follows is the chronology of events that ultimately led to CodeWalrus (green text denotes when the new site idea was considered or became a thing, with key dates in bold):

Quote
-September 1st 2001: I founded Omnimaga.

-March 3rd 2004: Omnimaga finally gets a website.

-July 8th 2011: I am forced to step down from my admin position, as result from high community pressure against Omnimaga's stance against hostility and rule enforcement. Health problems were one of the other factors.

-July 15th 2011: Omnimaga and TIMGUL ownership transfered to AngelFish, Geekboy1011, Netham45, Hot Dog, Juju, Rcfreak0, Ztrumpet and Eeems, via the following e-mail (I didn't have AngelFish's e-mail):


-September 6th 2011: Worrying about Omni moderation becoming biased and too lax towards provocative remarks, this is the first instance where I brought up the idea about a new site, via PM, but the recipient info was lost since his account no longer exists.

-March 6th 2012: Juju demoted from Omni staff. Lack of info about his demotion and the fact that he was by far the most (if not only) active Omni maintainer at the time result into the long-term future of Omnimaga and its transparency being called into question.

-Late April 2012: United-TI merges into Cemetech. Out of anger due to Omni's state, the news article about UTI's demise is photoshopped into an Omnimaga death prediction (inspired by calc.org's), set in the then-future of April 2014:

(that image was hosted on Removedfromgame, which recently shut down and the original URL was http://img.removedfromgame.com/imgs/futureofomni.png . That image was never shown in public until now, but some people saw it before.)

-Summer 2012: Major Omni restructure is also announced around that period, but info about it is minimal. It is believed at the time by members that the site and staff will finally be updated to ensure the long-term viability of Omnimaga as we knew it, while the site will retain close to its original mentality/policies.

-Fall 2013: This is when talk about the Omni 2.0 upgrade becomes more frequent and when large changes in site moderation happen. Some people have the impression that rule enforcement now depends of which admin is online and if that admin likes the person and discussion or not (for example, one admin once warned someone for posting a 9gag link). Officially, admins can act at their own discretion at any time. Some members including myself no longer feel welcome on Omnimaga.

-March 2014: Omni site upgrade happens in emergency, due to major security exploits being discovered. However, many administrative decisions (eg the topic URL changes), as well as moderation actions,  starts controversy.

-May 29th 2014: Judgment Day (the final incident before discussions about a new site starts.)

-June 2014: Discussion about the new site between myself and Pimathbrainiac. Hosting, content and my activity level are the main concerns for the new site because I lack VPS management skills and didn't want to pay too much for a brand new site.


-October 3rd 2014: Perhaps as a last-ditch effort to make an extra contribution to help Omni (the reason was forgotten), DJ Omnimaga applies for Coders of Tomorrow one last time, providing that he doesn't get global mod privileges.

-October 14th 2014: DJ starts seeking for opinions about VPS providers and one person is given hints that a new calculator site is being considered.

-October 23rd 2014: The final conflict before the new site project officially starts. At this point there is no turning back.

-October 24th 2014: I co-founded this site with aeTIos, Streetwalrus, Pimathbrainiac and Juju (codenamed TI-Walrus). The plan was to only give access to close friends that are hard to reach outside Omnimaga and interested in such project first, then gradually give hints that the site exists through December then open to public on January 1st 2015.

-November 2nd 2014: VPS rented

-November 4th 2014: Site name chosen: CodeWalrus is the winner, with codewalr.us as a domain name, owned by pimathbrainiac at the time (later Scipi).

-November 11th 2014: Site opens in invite-only mode and is leaked to Matrefeytontias by accident (he was supposed to get the URL a few days later).

-November 11th 2014: As a last-ditch effort to make Omnimaga revert back to its old ways before we go all-out with CW, matrefeytontias instigates a petition on Omni that the CW staff and most of the then-future founding members then join, discuss in private then sign, but since the site project predates the petition by weeks, it is too late already. As a compromise, CW focuses on being solely a programming team with the old Omni forum rules as long as the petition effects last. The effects will finally last about three weeks.

-December 2014: Site slowly gets revealed to public, with some minor incidents on December 8th. Official announcement scheduled for December 15th is then posted 5 days earlier.

-January 1st 2015: Site opens to public and all members awaiting account activation are approved.

Just because Omnimaga is now ran the way it is doesn't mean it's bad, however, same for their admins. Same for Cemetech, Revsoft, TI-Planet, etc. Every site administration is free to run their site the way they want. CodeWalrus simply offers something new (that used to exist back in the days) for more TI community diversity. It would be very bad if the only TI site in existence was, for example, CodeWalrus, because then there would be less diversity. However, because many of the Omnimaga members who moved to CodeWalrus were by far their most active posting ones (for example, 25% of all August-November 2014 posts were by me and I stopped posting there on December 22nd, aside from a goodbye post in March), this caused Omnimaga activity to drop considerably. Also, the entire Omnimaga staff stopped posting completely between December 19th and January 2nd, which probably didn't help either.

My hope is that one day the Omni admins at least start posting more again on Omni, since that would make it easier to keep the new members they got (just look at Cemetech). They already have a new type of userbase that are fine with the new policies or who joined after they came in place, now free from the drama that our differences brought in. Some CW members still posts there. But we felt that CodeWalrus was necessary for the community and to keep everyone around, even if we wished that other solutions could have been possible at the time. In fact, here are the first 12 members who joined CodeWalrus before the site was leaked:
DJ Omnimaga - 2001
Streetwalrus - 2012
aeTIos - 2010
Juju - 2010
Keoni29 - 2011
matrefeytontias - 2012
Hayleia - 2011
Duke Take Eiyeron - 2011
Scipi - 2011
unknownloner - Mar 2013
Thecoder1998 - Oct 2013
Vijfhoek - 2012
The year besides the nickname is when they joined the TI community. All of them joined Omnimaga prior the policy changes and only four joined after Juju got demoted.

Something to keep in mind is that after CW was opened, I often got blamed for all the drama that happened on Omnimaga prior my 2011 resignation. The problem, however, is that those people always looked at my reactions without the original context, failing to realize that it was almost always the same group of individuals instigating the drama in the first place (most likely on purpose, since they didn't do any effort to do otherwise and were fully aware of the consequences). In other occasions, they did not start the initial drama, but as that drama was about to resolve itself, they joined in and added extra fuel to the fire. My resignation from Omnimaga was caused by those repeated incidents, combined with severe health issues and not knowing how to setup SMF software so that I can remain admin, but without the global moderator privileges. Those people are partly to blame for what happened to Omnimaga afterwards, because if it wasn't for their behavior, I would still be Omnimaga administrator today.
« Last Edit: August 19, 2016, 06:41:03 am by DJ Omnimaga »


  • Calculators owned: TI-73, TI-80 (broken), TI-81, TI-82, TI-83, TI-83+ (broken), TI-83+ (broken), TI-83+SE (broken), TI-84+, TI-84+CSE, TI-84+CE, TI-85, TI-86, TI-89T, TI-92, TI-Nspire, TI-Nspire CX (semi-broken), HP 39gII, HP Prime, Casio fx-7000G, fx-7400G+, fx-7700GE, fx-9750G+, fx-9750GII, fx-9860G, cfx-9850G, FX-1.0+, fx-CG10, fx-CP400
  • Consoles, mobile devices and vintage computers owned: Samsung i5510, Nexus 5, Atari 2600, Lynx, SMS, Game Gear, Genesis, Dreamcast, NES, SNES, N64, GCN, Wii, Wii U, GBA, DS, 3DS, PS2, PS3, PS4, PSP, PSVita, XBox 360, XBOne

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Offline gbl08ma

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As someone who isn't very active in any calculator community, I'm very thankful you wrote this post, as it helps many newcomers and people who never paid much attention to all the drama, understand the motivations for the foundation of CodeWalrus. The event chronology was very helpful, as well.
When I'm say I'm not very active, I mean except Cemetech at one point, and only because during and after the 2011 Omnimaga drama (which, at the time, I didn't even grasp, because I was just new to this calculators thing) this was the only community with active discussions about the Casio Prizm. I don't own any TI calculator, even though I'm interested in them from a "let's hear what others have to say" point of view. Nowadays, my activity there is about as much as here (and that's very low, just look at my post count).

To my innocent eyes, all that happened was that for some reason Omni activity levels had gone down the drain, Prizm forums included, and Cemetech was thriving with interesting discussions and programs, so the choice of which one to use for hosting my own Prizm discussion topics was pretty clear. (note that unlike what happens with TI calcs, with Casio calcs Cemetech and Omni were, as far as I knew, the only English communities with Casio subforums and non-zero levels of Prizm activity).

I never understood very well all the rivalry between (some of) the TI communities, especially since at a time when TI only puts more roadblocks to 3rd-party development, people should be more united than ever. But I understand these communities have a long past and I understand that more often than not, even small changes to community staff and the appearance (and disappearance) of other forums on the same topic can cause a lot of drama. It is the same thing with many other forums, for example web hosting ones - I was a moderator in one of these for some years and I know what I'm talking about, having dealt with staff step-out, step-in, step-in of staff that previously stepped-out, staff promotion and demotion, and even rogue community takeovers. More often than not, every new forum that comes to "fix" the situation by attempting to provide an environment that's amenable to everyone, is faced with a situation similar to that on the XKCD about standards: soon, there are n+1 rival communities instead of just n.

Personally I believe CodeWalrus, Cemetech, TI-Planet, Omnimaga, Casiopeia, etc. all have their place and some of them are obviously going to cater to some crowds more than others. In my opinion, trying to win and alienate users over each other makes as much sense as religion wars (it's up to you to decide if these make sense or not). Certain people like certain administration styles and discussion styles more than others, and some people are apparently fine with whatever comes, as with the technical types which don't care so much about the community part but just want a place to publish and discuss their findings (in terms of Casio calculators, I'm thinking of Simon Lothar, TeamFX, etc., as well as people who appear once and then disappear, yet leave precious stuff behind, as was the case with Prizm overclocking).

I'm going to speak for myself: I currently participate on both Cemetech and CodeWalrus. Periodically, I visit the other calculator communities looking for news that (maybe out of some of that rivalry? or just plain laziness?) don't get posted to the ones I frequent the most. I think the kind of people and discussions you find on each site is different and I'm completely fine with that. For some things I visit and post on CW, for others I post on Cemetech, for others I may post in both. If more people did like this I believe everyone would be happier.

I'm not happy with all the decisions and the way each community went over the years, but I learned to live with them. In the name of transparency, and also because I've written blog posts and Cemetech posts on the subject (so it would make no sense to leave it in the air here), I'm going to specify what I'm talking about: I do not like the way the discussion, relevance and staff highlighting of the Prizm (and HP Prime) went at Cemetech, mainly after TI came out with non-Nspire color calcs, especially after so much Prizm appraisal from some staff members.

As I said, as a mere member I learned to leave with it, but I can totally see why people would branch or merge communities when they feel it makes sense (admins, having the power to change things, should not learn to live with things but instead try to fix them). From what I know, in the case of CodeWalrus, I think it made sense to spin off of Omnimaga, and it also made sense to archive UTI at Cemetech.
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Offline Snektron

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Thanks for writing, DJ, That clears up a lot.
I myself joined the community when cw went public, so i don't really have any knowlege of the history.
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Offline Juju

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-March 6th 2012: Juju demoted from Omni staff. Lack of info about his demotion and the fact that he was by far the most (if not only) active Omni maintainer at the time result into the long-term future of Omnimaga and its transparency being called into question.

TBH, this event is partly why I was okay with a new website and actively contributed to it. The other Omni admins knew I was more on DJ's side and I was not shaping Omni the way they intended it (I was disagreeing a lot with everyone else, actually), so they must have kicked me out because of that. Omnimaga diverged so much from DJ's original vision, making a new website with a different vision seems to be a good idea and, as DJ said, it does add to the community diversity.

I have nothing wrong with Omnimaga, far from it. The current admins are still pretty nice (to me, anyway). It's probably just what happens when you have a new administration, I guess.
  • Calculators owned: TI-83+ (dead?), Casio Prizm (also dead???)
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Offline DJ Omnimaga

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Indeed. Plus while I sent that email in 2011, they didn't have to abide by it since the site was now theirs. I guess back then I just found it a bit disrespectful to the previous 10 years I devoted into making Omni what it was. But I moved on about that wheb CW became considered.
  • Calculators owned: TI-73, TI-80 (broken), TI-81, TI-82, TI-83, TI-83+ (broken), TI-83+ (broken), TI-83+SE (broken), TI-84+, TI-84+CSE, TI-84+CE, TI-85, TI-86, TI-89T, TI-92, TI-Nspire, TI-Nspire CX (semi-broken), HP 39gII, HP Prime, Casio fx-7000G, fx-7400G+, fx-7700GE, fx-9750G+, fx-9750GII, fx-9860G, cfx-9850G, FX-1.0+, fx-CG10, fx-CP400
  • Consoles, mobile devices and vintage computers owned: Samsung i5510, Nexus 5, Atari 2600, Lynx, SMS, Game Gear, Genesis, Dreamcast, NES, SNES, N64, GCN, Wii, Wii U, GBA, DS, 3DS, PS2, PS3, PS4, PSP, PSVita, XBox 360, XBOne

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Offline Caleb Hansberry

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Fascinating.
  • Consoles, mobile devices and vintage computers owned: HP Portable Plus 110, Toshiba T3100, GRiD 1660, TI-99/4A, and much more than I can list here

Offline alexgt

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Thanks for posting that DJ, I knew a little but not a lot about the founding of CW.
  • Calculators owned: Ti-84+, Ti-Nspire, Hp Prime, Broken HP Prime, HP 48SX

Offline 123outerme

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Thanks for posting DJ! It was worth the read. Do you mind sharing what happened on "Judgement Day", exactly?
Also, what does the text in green mean?
  • Calculators owned: TI-84+CSE, TI-nspire Clickpad, TI-84+SE

Offline DJ Omnimaga

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Judgement Day was a day where a dispute happened. Not because of the dispute itself, because the dispute by itself was nothing all that special compared to past ones, but by then, they had piled up enough and the cup was already about to run over, so it did not take much for the latter to happen. It's called judgement day because the dispute and especially what happened next caused the chain reaction that ultimately led to the split.

Had that dispute not happened, this would only have postponed "judgement day" until something else happens

Green text denotes events where a new site was being considered, discussed or worked on.

To my innocent eyes, all that happened was that for some reason Omni activity levels had gone down the drain, Prizm forums included, and Cemetech was thriving with interesting discussions and programs, so the choice of which one to use for hosting my own Prizm discussion topics was pretty clear. (

To be fair, parts of the reason why PRIZM discussion became rare on Omni back then is because only two Omni members were interested in programming something else than BASIC for it. Once AngelFish and Z80man stopped doing PRIZM dev, PRIZM talk on Omni almost died completely. Also, Cemetech did agressive promotion of their site back in the days, so it was rather easy for them to lure members from other sites who are interested in topics that Cemetech is also interested in, so that could probably also explain why the discussion moved there.

CodeWalrus is similar to Omnimaga in the way that most people here prefer languages such as TI-BASIC, Casio BASIC, Axe and HP PPL, so PRIZM hacking discussion would probably be minimal here too.
« Last Edit: August 26, 2015, 01:05:49 am by DJ Omnimaga »
  • Calculators owned: TI-73, TI-80 (broken), TI-81, TI-82, TI-83, TI-83+ (broken), TI-83+ (broken), TI-83+SE (broken), TI-84+, TI-84+CSE, TI-84+CE, TI-85, TI-86, TI-89T, TI-92, TI-Nspire, TI-Nspire CX (semi-broken), HP 39gII, HP Prime, Casio fx-7000G, fx-7400G+, fx-7700GE, fx-9750G+, fx-9750GII, fx-9860G, cfx-9850G, FX-1.0+, fx-CG10, fx-CP400
  • Consoles, mobile devices and vintage computers owned: Samsung i5510, Nexus 5, Atari 2600, Lynx, SMS, Game Gear, Genesis, Dreamcast, NES, SNES, N64, GCN, Wii, Wii U, GBA, DS, 3DS, PS2, PS3, PS4, PSP, PSVita, XBox 360, XBOne

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Offline Unicorn

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I honestly think that each site adds something.
Cemetech has more discussion for the non Nspire Color calcs. (CSE, CE, Prizm, and so on)
Omnimaga appears to have more discussion for the monochromes, and the Nspires.
TI Planet seems to have discussion about the Nspires, from what information I have gathered about news posts there.

Anyways, its good to know why this site was founded. :)
  • Calculators owned: I own all of them: PICKACHUP TI 84+ CSE TI 83+ SE TI something something ??? ??? ??? ??? ???
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Offline DJ Omnimaga

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-Omnimaga also has the highest amount of Axe talk, since the official sub-forum was always there.
-TI-Planet is very Nspire-centric, although not as much now that the CE is out. But overall the site focuses more on school/education than calculator development nowadays.
-Cemetech has the extra hardware talk and more ASM
-CW has more hybrid color BASIC

But also the mentality of each site comes into play as well:
-Cemetech is stricter against randomness, but less against controversial remarks
-CodeWalrus is stricter against rudeness and intolerance, but more lax against some randomness (eg the :walrii: posts on IRC)
-TI-Planet is lax against all of the above
-On Omnimaga, it depends of which admin is around. But Omnimaga peanuts and the game references are usually fine no matter what


So yes, they all add something. When TIMGUL was around, it was the only Playstation 1 MTV Music Generator forum out there and its rules were lax about NSFW jokes, but strict against personal attacks and attempts to start fights. The minute someone got banned the site almost turned into an holy war with defenders of free speech because banned users had no other alternative besides TIMGUL.
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Retired Omnimaga admin (2001-11) and editor (2012-14)
??? ??? ??? ???

Offline DJ Omnimaga

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Ok so some updates:

-So tonight I was indirectly "informed" by an user of a TI IRC channel that the reason why Omnimaga died is because CodeWalrus staff is actively siphoning it out of all its users. However, one week before I and DarkestEx were also indirectly informed by another user in the TI community, that CodeWalrus is a fiasco, and that time it was in a forum post.


What should we do? Discuss? Pop-corn? Or elect Nikky as community-wide admin?
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Retired Omnimaga admin (2001-11) and editor (2012-14)
??? ??? ??? ???

Offline Juju

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Yep, definitely bring the popcorn here.
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In the beginning there was walrii. In the end there will be walrii. All hail our supreme leader :walrii: --Snektron

????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????:trollface:???????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????

Offline DJ Omnimaga

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I don't have any, though. It was lost somewhere in this post. :P

There was also a third thing I witnessed, except that I lost the convo due to copy/paste fail and it doesn't really involve CodeWalrus (other than the fact that what happened was similar to what led to the split)
  • Calculators owned: TI-73, TI-80 (broken), TI-81, TI-82, TI-83, TI-83+ (broken), TI-83+ (broken), TI-83+SE (broken), TI-84+, TI-84+CSE, TI-84+CE, TI-85, TI-86, TI-89T, TI-92, TI-Nspire, TI-Nspire CX (semi-broken), HP 39gII, HP Prime, Casio fx-7000G, fx-7400G+, fx-7700GE, fx-9750G+, fx-9750GII, fx-9860G, cfx-9850G, FX-1.0+, fx-CG10, fx-CP400
  • Consoles, mobile devices and vintage computers owned: Samsung i5510, Nexus 5, Atari 2600, Lynx, SMS, Game Gear, Genesis, Dreamcast, NES, SNES, N64, GCN, Wii, Wii U, GBA, DS, 3DS, PS2, PS3, PS4, PSP, PSVita, XBox 360, XBOne

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Retired Omnimaga admin (2001-11) and editor (2012-14)
??? ??? ??? ???

Offline Lionel Debroux

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There are worse failures than CodeWalrus... Under its new direction, Omnimaga has become one, to begin with.
And if CodeWalrus wasn't a success, there would be no such misplaced remarks, because nobody would have anything to fear from CodeWalrus from a visitor count / post count / whatever standpoint.
Looks like some people still haven't understood (I'd even say "don't want to understand") the reasons behind the fall of Omnimaga.
Member of the TI-Chess Team.
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