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/// From the Editor's Desk "Saying it like it is!"
» Taking the PC Plunge: A few corrections «
Last week when I wrote "Taking the PC Plunge," I made an error. I had
forgotten that OS/2 requires a true SCSI adapter, not one on a sound card.
So, the CD ROM setup I included in the total wouldn't have worked. In
fact, the main reason I included one is so you can install software more
easily. OS/2 installs automatically in about fifteen minutes from CD.
Anyway, add $50-100 to that price total for the PC system.
A few people responded asking why I didn't include a CD ROM in the Amiga
setup. I didn't mainly because there isn't a lot of Amiga software on CD.
About all you can use (to my knowledge anyway) are some of the GIF and MOD
discs. But, you can get a stripper external SCSI drive that doesn't have
Photo CD capability for $160 mail order. Or, use the same drive I liked for
the PC, for about $400 if you want all the bells and whistles. On the 3000,
SCSI is already built in. But on the 1200, you'd have to swap out the
MBX1230XA for a CSA 12-Guage instead, since it has SCSI as well as the
accelerator. Or use the GVP RAM/SCSI+ if you don't need the 030. There are
so many combinations to choose from!
Here are a few of the letters:
#1 6-NOV-1993 03:46:16.78 NEWMAIL
Subj: Letter to the Editor
I just wanted to point out what i feel are some discrepencies in the
article 'Taking the PC Plunge!' in AR 1.32. I own and use both an Amiga
and PC extensively so i think i can approach this with a SOMEwhat unbiased
view. :^) First off i am assuming the OS/2 comparison is being based on
the latest 2.1 version. A 386SX is the minumum and, i agree, it's
definitely far from the recommended system. On a 486DX2/66 machine though,
OS2/2.1 is definitely not even a bit slow. 8MB is the minumum but as with
everything the more the better. It will run on 8MB without a performance
hit in most cases unlike Win3.1. Also OS/2.1 IS huge if the user does a
full install and the casual user doesn't so they can discard the networking
parts of the OS thus bringing the OS down from 30MB+ to appx 15MB in size
which compares favorably with Win3.1 + DOS 6.0. You have an OS that will
run OS/2.1, Win3.1 ENHanced mode and DOS.
The CDROM is growing for the PC market but it's an edge it has right
now over the Amiga market but it certainly isn't a necessity.. it's just
a really nice bonus to have one. If it's added to the price of the PC
I feel it should have been added to the price of the Amiga setup as well
just to be fair since like i say both are more than functional without one.
Later in the article you state that 'OS/2 will not run on anything but a
pure SCSI'. The only people who REQUIRE SCSI for OS/2 are people who want
to install the OS from CDROM. Apparently in order to install OS/2 2.1 from
CDROM one needs a SCSI CDROM linked to a SCSI controller from Adaptec, IBM,
Future Domain and two others i think which i can't recall. Other than this
the average user can cope without SCSI.
A Soundblaster does not meet the quality of standard Amiga audio. It
has problems with minor crackling and hissing occasionally... noticeable
but not terribly annoying. Soundblaster Pro in my opinion and many others
who own both setups and listen to mods side by side compares very favorably.
The Sound Blaster does not have 'pre-sampled sounds in ROM' as was stated
in the article. If THAT was the cased the sound would definitely be
superior. Sound Blaster cards use FM synthesis. A Wavetable card can
be added to some of the newer sound cards on the market which have a ROM
with 'pre-sampled sounds'. The sounds of these cards are very rich and
bring them to the level of Roland sound cards. The Amiga, fortunately,
doesn't use FM synthesis and, unfortunately, cannot be enhanced with a
wavetable board of some sort. (Discounting the excellent Sunrize boards
for the Amiga which are more for professional use and not for everyday
common uses such as Windows, OS/2, games etc. - mainly because they would
be overkill and are exceedingly expensive for the average user). So to
meet Amiga audio standards a Sound Blaster Pro fits the bill at appx $110.
I'm probably nit-picking here but one can get a quality .28 1024x768ni
monitor for appx $299 (I won't mention brands or companies but they're in
plain view on the many pages of Computer Shopper.) Amiga user's generally
have to spend a little more especially if they have an AGA machine due to
the need for a multiscan so they can scan at least from 15khz to 31khz.
One last disagreement i had was with the use of an A3000 as the
comparison due to it's '030/25mhz cpu. The only Motorola processor
available for the Amiga that approaches the power of a 486DX/33 is an
'040. Thus either an A4000/040 or an '040 equipped A2000 should have
been used to even it up. Of course the article's focus seemed to be
on the usability of comparatively equipped systems and that is somewhat
subjective i suppose... So if that's the case then i will end my letter on
that note! Thanks again for AR!
*** Area: AMIGA Date: 7 Nov 93 18:50:00
*** From: JOHN COVINGTON (1:151/115.0)
*** To : ROBERT GLOVER
*** Subj: Re: Amiga? To be or NOT!
RG> Keep your eye on this week's Amiga Report Online Magazine. We're
RG> running a piece entitled, "Taking the PC Plunge." It's for those
RG> considering bailing for an IBM compatible. It details what you'll need
RG> to have a system equal to your Amiga.
Rob, I certainly hope, when you say, "equal to your Amiga", that you
will be so kind as to make the following comparisons in your article:
(1) Enlighten us about the PC that can run a graphical user interface
the equivalent of Workbench AND multitask with anywhere from 512K up
to 2 megs of total system ram.
(2) Enlighten us about the PC system that will allow someone to build
a TEN-LINE BBS that operates in real time--using ONE computer.
(3) Enlighten us about the PC which produces an NTSC-compatible,
interlaced display suitable for film production.
(4) Elighten us about the PC graphical system which produces OVERSCAN
in its display--something we all know is critical to television
(5) Enlighten us about the PC graphical system that will allow us to
do 30FPS full screen, overscanned 256,000-color animations in real
(6) What about Toaster compatibility, or the lack thereof?
There is much more I could add to this list, as I'm sure you know. I
hope your article will address these points. If not, then I'd ask you
to remove the phrase "equal to your Amiga" from the article as it
would be a complete misstatement to say so. Also, please understand
that many of us use the Amiga for far more than "text readers" and
"picture book drawings." A lot of us, like me, push the platform to
the limits and beyond...We know what it can do, and what we can do
with it. And that, I suppose, is why I am not alone in declaring that
there *ain't* no "equal" to the Amiga on the "other side of the
Now onto other things. Be sure to read the Dave Haynie conference
transcript. There are a LOT of goodies in there about future Amigas and
future plans. It's nice to see that good things are happening at C=, rather
than the doom and gloom portrayed by our two nameless DEEP fellows from that
botchery on GEnie some time ago. Some people's kids.
We have a big issue this week. A lot of it is due to the Portal Conference,
being about 50K of it all. Also, there are a LOT of new FTP announcements,
as Dan Zerkle has been really busy and enlisted the help of a friend to
help edit and post them in c.s.a.announce. Seems there was quite a backlog.
That's about it for this week. Have fun!
Rob @ AR