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%% European Outlook                                       By Jesper Juul %%
%%                                               (norjj@stud.hum.aau.dk) %%
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Please email me whenever anything important happens in the European
Amiga world!


The Party
---------

On the 27th to 29th of December, a huge computer gathering of took
place in a conference center in Herning, Denmark.

Around 3000 computer freaks paid the 150 DKR ($23) entrance fee, mostly
people from Denmark, but with a good deal taking the trip from Sweden,
Norway, Finland, Germany, Poland, Belgium...

Most of them brought their computers so a few thousand Amigas got
together as well, perhaps 500 PCs, some 64s, CD32s, a 3DO, a Neo Geo,
and even a Sparc Workstation.

In addition to the purely social aspect of getting together, various
competitions were arranged. Most important of all, the demo-competition
with a $3500 prize. Then several smaller competitions: Intro-
competition (small demo), music, and graphics. Commodore staged a
dealer-demo competition with the nice but out-of-production 1950
monitor to the winners.

Several surprise arrangements of a less technical nature were also
arranged: Tug of war, Karaoke (on the CD32, naturally),
disc-os, and for the brave people, "Body Crashing": drink 1.5 liters of
cola as fast as you can. Prize? -Another 1.5 liters of cola.

Commodore (along with some other dealers) seem to finally have realised
that a lot of their market is "The Scene", as it's called. So they were
there with a large stand displaying the whole line of Amigas, network
boards. A huge-screen demonstration of the CD32 took place in front of
a large and (obviously) very receptive crowd. The interested found
their way to MPEG, CDXL, and "Ask Commodore"-sessions. A tiny
developer conference also happened. Scala MM300 was demonstrated by the
nice Norwegian people who wrote it; Scala and C= Norway seem to have
just about merged as companies. Not a bad thing at all.

On the evening of the 27th, "Top Gun" was shown on a large screen by a
CD32 with MPEG. To be true, it was a PAL CD32 displaying a NTSC CD-I
version of the film; it looked great nevertheless, and there's now
reason to believe that that MPEG module is just as flexible as
Commodore's promised. It is a bit funny to realise that Tom Cruise
actually fights The Russians at the end of the movie (or does he call
them "Ruskies"?). Yes, it was at that time before we found out that
Russia and the Soviet Union wasn't quite the same thing, and before it
became clear that we weren't going to fight them anyway. This is a good
example of completely state-of-the-art technology being used with a
completely outdated content! Well, the movie can be a bit of fun to
watch anyway.

On a not so light note, racism reared up its ugly head; two demos were
wisely barred from the competition due to fascist content. Hey, Europe
did try racism and fascism 50 years ago. It was no fun, and it isn't
cool either!

"The Party" (the official name) was very well organized, with
24-hour kiosks, ice-cream bar, junk food, and a cafeteria. The official
party t-shirts were popular items sold. Separate sleeping quarters (or
rather: rooms) had wisely been arranged. Alcohol was banned and
confiscated at the entrance, to guarantee complete focus on the
computer screens.

Surprisingly, the "guys" who put it all together even included members
of the female gender, so contrary to what you may think, it wasn't all
socially unsure young boys with acne. Computers, and even computer
freaks, are becoming mainstream.

Both the printed press and TV covered the event quite well, doing
interviews with brilliant questions like: "What is a demo?", "What is a
group?". Some participants even explained that they were there because
Amiga people are so much nicer and so much more helpful than PC people.
Well that's all true, isn't it?

(Thanks to Jes Soerensen and Jesper Skov who were there.)



New products
------------

More and more Envoy (C='s networking software) licenses are appearing.
Village Tronic, makers of the Picasso II board, are selling a parallel
port networking solution called "Liana" for DM 129 ($75). ABF are
selling their Amiga Link solution with Envoy for DM 398 ($229).

The first 3DO's are appearing in Europe. Price is currently at DM 1699,
quite a bit ($977).



Old products
------------

Following Jason Comptons article in AR139, I'd like to point to a few
avaliable Amiga expansions.

W.A.W. Elektronik offers the following CDTV expansions:
-A 2MB chip/ 2MB fastram expansion.
-An 8MB fastram expansion.
-A SCSI interface for internal or external HDs.
(No prices listed.)


Accelerator boards for the 3000 can still be found. R2B2 advertises a
'040 board for DM 1698 ($977).


For the 1200, Micronik sells a tower box with 4 Zorro-II (yes, the ad
says "II") and 2 PC slots. All for DM 499 ($287).



Addresses:
----------

ABF Computer GbR
Postfach 14 25
74304 Bietigheim-Bissingen
Germany

Tel. 07142 93 00 10
Fax. 07142  3 33 92


Micronik ComouterService
Emil Nolde Strasse 32
51375 Leverkusen
Germany
Tel. 0214 93186
Fax. 0214 95791


R2B2
Wilhelm Leithe Weg 83
44867 Bochum
Tel. 02327 32 19 56
Fax. 02327 32 19 57


Village Tronic
Wellweg 95
31157 Sarstedt
Germany

Tel. 05066 7013 - 0
Fax. 05066 7013 - 40


W.A.W. Elektronik GmbH
Tegeler Strasse 2
13467 Berlin
Germany

Tel. 030 404 33 31
Fax. 030 404 70 39