Contents | < Browse | Browse >

/// AR Confidential                    We heard it through the grapevine!


Area: AMIGA                                   Date: 25 Jul 93 12:17:00
From: Rich Koster (1:396/36.0)
To  : All
Subj: Just Rumors!

Here is some juicy gossip about NewTek as well as
completely unofficial, you-didn't-hear-it-at-all, rumors!
This is all rumor, nothing here is real -- or is it? ;-) --
Anything I'm writing, I will deny...  So here is "pure
speculation, rumor, innuendo..." for your enjoyment!
Let's see what of the following comes true in the months
to come!  :-)

Within the next few months (within 8 months or so) it will be
possible to load Toaster framestores from disk within less than
a second with a new upgrade.

It will be possible to grab 5 seconds of 30-frames-a-second video
to RAM with the Toaster, and then use it to convert the frames to
framestores.  This would be very useful in rotoscoped animations.

Video Toaster User magazine will hopefully have an article
in one of the next issues showing how easy it is to hook up
Toasters with PARNET, a networking solution that costs about $20
on the Amiga.

All future development on the Toaster will be based on the Amiga
4000/Toaster 4000 (probably).

The new editing solution from NewTek will come out in the next
year-ish or so and it will probably be based on the A4000, but
there's no guarantee there.  It might work on the A2000 or A3000.
It might be a non-linear editor... Think about this:  Two things
NewTek could have done at any point are (1) released a machine-
control editor easily like other companies have done, but machine-
control editing stinks (edit aborts, color frame problems, trying
to do a split edit), and (2) adding an S-VHS input or output, but
the only reason to add this feature would be if you were going to
be editing in S.  If, on the other hand, you could have the
equivalent of D2 or one-inch decks on your desk, you wouldn't
want S ins or outs, would you?  ;-)  So this new editor is the
reason why you haven't seen those things from NewTek.  NewTek
wouldn't call it non-linear editing, probably.

Another good rumor is six tracks of CD-quality digital audio...

There might be a CD-ROM full of effects out in the next 6 months
or so, just hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of effects.  One
of the reasons NewTek hasn't done it yet is that they would offer
a price break to Toaster owners on buying the CD-ROM player, and
they are not sure yet which CD-ROM deck they are going to use.
Currently there are a few different formats of these players, and
picking one right now is like trying to hit a moving target.

Grant Harvey (spelling?) has designed a chroma-keyer for NewTek for
use in the Toaster, but there's no solid plans to add it to the
Toaster.  He's got an idea for one but hasn't built it yet.  They've
talked about it for a long time but haven't gotten around to doing
it yet.

There is an 80% chance that NewTek will move to Austin, Texas from
Topeka.  Austin is the only city remaining on their "short list"
of desirable cities.  They want to move away from Topeka for a
variety of reasons, but one of the big ones is because Topeka has
"bad food served slowly".  There is a macro in Lightwave Modeller
3.0 (you'll find the dinner macro if you choose the configure F-keys
function) which computerizes the process of deciding which Topeka
restaurant the NewTekkers will have lunch at.  It used to take a
long time for everyone to agree on a place, and they even kept a
chart on the wall showing who liked what dish at what restaurant,
and how many times each person had to compromise on choosing an
eating place to help decide who gets to pick each day.  Read the
macro in a text editor/reader for more details!

There may be a fairly big announcement at Siggraph from NewTek...
How would you like to go 40 times faster than an '040-based renderer?
This translates to about 3 to 4 times faster than a Silicon Graphics
box.  The price would be about $15,000 and it would be Amiga 4000 -
Toaster 4000 based complete system.  Maybe.  Remember, these are
just rumors.  ;-)

There is a RISC processor in prototype form right now for the A4000
at NewTek.

NewTekkers hate Silicon Graphics for a variety of reasons, but one
is that they've been gouging people on software too long, so there
is a plan in effect to really hurt them badly.  The only advantage
SGI has now is speed, and NewTek is working on taking that advantage
away.  The first goal NewTek had with LightWave 3D was to blow away
the competition from other 3D programs, especially on non-Amiga
computer platforms.  They feel they have accomplished this goal now
with all the features LightWave has had added to it over time since
its first release.  NewTek's new goal is to knock out Silicon
Graphics with the Toaster's 3D animation price/performance value,
and the only thing standing in the way of that right now is the
Toaster's rendering speed.  The new $15,000 speedy processor system
should take care of that, because that amount is far less than
what a comparable SGI box would cost when you add in all the features
and software.  Right now there are only a few features that you can
do on an SGI box that can't be done on in LightWave, but there are
also some things LightWave can do that can't be done on an SGI machine.

In the next few months, the necessity of painting in the 1/4-screen
view (to use all of the paint tools) in ToasterPaint will change for
the Toaster 4000 to full-screen painting within the next few months.
There's no way really to change it for the other non-A4000 versions
of ToasterPaint due to the limitations of being in HAM mode.  They
wanted a revised version to go out with Toaster 3.0, but the paint
program wasn't ready and NewTek had to ship the new Toaster because
the demand was so high.  But the guy who programmed TPaint has been
very sick -- so sick that he can't program.  So they've assigned the
new TPaint version to other Alcatraz programmers.  Be sure to
register your Toaster by mailing in the card and you might find the
new ToasterPaint in an upgrade in your mailbox for free.

There is going to be an instructional videotape which was shot by
Lee Stranahan a couple of weeks ago.  As soon as it gets edited and
approved it will be sent out with all systems shipped out of NewTek,
so that when you get a Toaster you'll have a tape showing you how to
use it.  This tape will also be shipped free to all registered owners
of the Toaster.

The Video Toaster warranty is unofficially, basically, a lifetime one.
Unofficially, there is no limit to the Toaster warranty (even though
terms of it are spelled out in the manual).  This lifetime unofficial
policy is because Tim Jenison wants to keep Toaster owners happy.

GVP will be coming out with an '040 board for the A4000 soon, and
that should really smoke!  Word is that it will be much faster than
the A4000/040.  So, when GVP releases that board you would be much
better off buying it to put in an A4000/030 than just getting an

NewTek resisted putting playback capability for LightWave animations
up until now because HAM-based playback looks crappy.  HAM-8 looks
pretty good, so it is supported now.  This is not the final answer,
though.  That will come when they add the editing stuff.