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/// Supra Corporation Speaks!
    By Robert Niles

Commodore-Amiga gave us a wonderful platform in which to work and 
play, but from video display systems to games, it's the third 
party developers that bring us the "toys" in which we enjoy so 

One of those companies that have been providing products for the 
Amiga is Supra Corporation. I thought it would be nice to "get to 
know" them a little better, and get a better feeling of "who" 
they are. Sally McMillan, Director of Marketing, was nice enough 
to take the time to complete my informal interview and give me 
some additional information on the background on Supra 
Corporation and its founders. The "interview" and that additional 
information is what follows.

AR: Can you tell us a little about Supra Corporation and how it 
    relates to the Amiga platform?

Sally McMillan: The enclosed corporate background document should 
    provide a good history of Supra and its relationship to the Amiga 
    community. While the primary focus of our business is now 
    faxmodems, we do still manufacture and support a wide range of 
    Amiga products.

[Here is the background information Sally McMillan provided. It 
is shortened a bit, but gives a good understanding of how Supra 
was started and where it is now:

John Wiley and Alan Ackerman, met when they were students at West 
Albany High School in Albany, Oregon. Both were participants in 
the Talented and Gifted program where they had a hands-on 
opportunity to learn about the emerging personal computer 

In the summer of 1981, shortly after high school graduation, they 
opened a computer retail store in a 10-foot corner of a bicycle 
shop. Soon business was flying, they moved into a store front. 
That fall, they started college, and hired a manager to run the 
store. As the realities of higher education and retail trade sank 
in, Wiley and Ackerman took new risks. In 1982, they rented a 
six-foot micro booth at the fourth West Coast Computer Fair and 
exhibited an Atari printer solution they had designed. They took 
orders for more than $80,000, and decided to shift from retail to 

By 1984 they had created a booming business designing, building, 
and selling Atari peripheral products. But shortly after the 
Christmas of 1984, that boom turned to bust, The Atari market 
dropped to 1/4 of it's previous levels. After nightmare 
encounters with controllers, bankers, and attorneys, Wiley and 
Ackerman emerged with a reorganized company.

In the mid 1980s, Supra continued to develope peripherals for the 
Atari and Amiga. In 1987, Supra introduced the SupraModem 2400 at 
$179 when the street price for a comparable Hayes modem was $500. 
SupraModems sold like hotcakes.

"We were early in recognizing changes in technology," Wiley said. 
"While other manufacturers were still assembling every component 
of their modems, we recognized the quality-control and cost 
benefits of moving to integrated chip sets."

They continued producing communications products such as the 
internal modems with data compression and error correction, and 
later high-speed fax/modems. "We decided to bet the farm on this 
new technology," Wiley said. "We committed marketing dollars for 
this product far in excess of anything we had done before. High 
speed modems were going to make or break us." It worked. Supra 
modem sales soared.]

AR: Who are the people there at Supra that work with creating 
    products for the Amiga?

Sally McMillan: Supra does not have separate teams for separate 
    platforms. A wide range of people in engineering, production, 
    marketing, and support work with Amiga products. Supra has about 
    120 employees.

AR: What can we possibly look forward to in the future as far as 
    products for the Amiga?

Sally McMillan: Supra has a customer-driven development 
    philosophy. At the moment, most of our development efforts center 
    around new and enhanced technologies for telecommunications. 
    However, we welcome product suggestions from Amiga customers as 

AR: What changes/additions have been made to the new ROMS [this 
    was concerning the new ROMs for the SupraFax .32bis modems], and 
    when will they be released?

Sally McMillan: We do not have a firm ship date for the next ROM 
    upgrade. The primary addition is enhanced ability to communicate 
    on noisy phone lines.

While telecommunications seems to be the focus of development for 
Supra, they have provided the Amiga community with a nice 
assortment of peripherals in the past, and most recently the 
SupraTurbo 28, the 68000 accelerator, which increases A500s and 
A2000s from 7.14MHz to 28MHz. 

"The SupraTurbo 28 grew out of customer demand," stated John 
Wiley. "We have been selling peripherals products to Amiga 
customers for years, and recently they've been telling us they 
want their existing computers to run faster, without compromising 
either their already-installed peripherals or their pocketbooks." 

Here is a listing of products that Supra provides:

Amiga 500 products

Power PC Board, MS-DOS emulating hardware/software
SupraTurbo 28, 28MHz accelerator for the 68000
SupraRam 500, 1/2MB RAM with clock
SupraRam 500RX, 8MB Ram expansion board
SupraDrive 1MB floppy drive
SupraDrive 500XP, HardDrive and RAM expansion (various sizes)

Amiga 2000 products

SupraTurbo 28
SupraDrive Hard Disk (52 or 120MB)
WordSync SCSI Interface
SupraRam 2000, 8MB RAM expansion board

How to contact Supra Corporation:

Supra Corporation
7101 Supra Drive SW
Albany, OR 97321

Voice: 503-967-2400
Fax  : 503-967-2401

Supra GmbH
Rodderweg 8
5040 Bruehl

Voice: +49 02232 22002
Fax  : +49 02232 22003