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%% Making the Amiga Better                            by Bernard Falor %%
%%                                           budmeister@cup.portal.com %%
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MHO: How we can best help the Amiga in America
 
One of the reasons why the Commodore Amiga computer, despite its 
technological advantages, is not as popular as the IBM PC or Apple 
Macintosh is its  lack of software support.  Although Amiga niche 
market products for video and  animation are in many cases 
unrivaled, there is this perception that the  Amiga just doesn't 
quite measure up in the other areas, including <gasp!>  
entertainment.
 
Notice I said PERCEPTION.  In marketing, image is everything, and 
this has  produced a catch-22 situation in America.  Since we are 
perceived to have  fallen behind, it has become a RISK, instead of 
an opportunity, for American  developers to write new Amiga 
software.  Witness Gold Disk's recent retreat  from further 
development. (At least they are willing to support their existing 
software!)  This, in turn, only DEEPENS the negative perception of 
the  general computer-buying public.  A truly vicious cycle.
 
But WAIT a minute!  We don't have to be at the mercy of jittery 
developers or  ineffective CBM marketing!  WE are Amiga owners, 
DadGummit, and THAT makes a  difference!
 
What I'm going to suggest may curl your hair... so be prepared.  If 
you're  happy with the way things are with the Amiga in America, 
then stop reading  now.  But if you're fed up with the disrespect 
and second-class status we've  received, I invite you to consider 
the following ideas.
 
We have too long depended upon others to give us what we want.  The 
time has  come for us to make it happen ourselves!  With an 
estimated 4 million amiga  users worldwide, we have a GOLD MINE of 
potential on our side.  And YOU ar a  vital part of that potential.
 
The Amiga word processor that blows Word Perfect 6.0 out of the 
water; the  Amiga spreadsheet that obliterates Microsoft Excel; the 
amazing interactive  educational applications; the new 
entertainment programs that will once again  turn the non-Amigans 
green with envy - all of these are just waiting to  explode into 
the marketplace!
 
Unfortunately, they will only continue to wait - in the prison of 
mere  potentiality - until you... yes, You...  I said -->YOU<-- 
decide to write  them.  I am calling upon the American Amiga 
community to rise up and fight  for their machines: not with a 
sword, but with a compiler!
 
I'm not talking about shareware here (But a million thanks to those 
who  support us with shareware!  register, Register, REGISTER the 
shareware you  use, please!).
 
I'm talking about you, John and Mary Q. Reader, starting your own 
freelance  programming enterprises, software companies, and 
distribution networks!   There'll be loners and two member 
partnerships. I'm also seeing 4-5 member  development teams (who 
met at a user-group meeting or on a BBS) rising to the  occasion, 
even competing with other local groups, to professionally meet the  
unmet needs of the Amiga community.
 
Where do you think Electronic Arts, Sierra On-Line, and NewTek came 
from?  Do  you think the software company fairy just waved her 
magic wand, and *POOF*,  they suddenly appeared???  Give me a 
break!  They were EACH just a group of  people with an idea, once.
 
How hard do you think it is to learn the fundamentals of 
programming?  About  as hard as buying THE C PROGRAMMING LANGUAGE 
by Kernigan and Ritchie for $35,  and downloading a shareware 
compiler. (I recommend DICE from Fred Fish 491 -  then regiser!)  
In two weeks, you'll be ready to buy Commodore's Rom Kernal  
Reference Manuals.  In three months, we'll be seeing your demo 
programs on  BBS's.  Within the year, some of those programs will 
be developed and  debugged enough to go version 1 commercial.  If 
you think this is  unrealistic, think again!  This is highly 
realistic, if you *want* it bad  enough!
 
Did I say C ?  Shoot!  Write it in Amos, Assembler, E, Blitz Basic, 
Modula 2,  Oberon... ARexx if you must!  Just get started!!!
 
If we will rise up out of our dependency mode and take the steps 
necessary to  FLOOD the market with quality Amiga software 
offerrings, the Amiga will  ascend from the depths of obscurity to 
become a major computing platform  contender.
 
If this does NOT happen...
 
Do you understand that even if CBM became marketing Wizards 
tomorrow; even if  our existing developers suddenly focussed on the 
weak areas; EVEN IF Apple  and IBM applications WEREN'T catching up 
to us in video, animation, and  entertainment, we would STILL be in 
an extremely weak situation?
 
But if we DO awaken, stretch our horizons, and meet this challenge, 
I'm  telling you that even if Commodore never put forth another 
marketing effort;  even if existing developers did nothing new (God 
Forbid, by the way!); even  if Apple and IBM continue to make 
inroads into our strong areas (highly  likely), we could STILL win, 
due to our sheer size and momentum alone!
 
Let your mind consider, for a few moments, what the impact would be 
if only  five percent of us bought into this vision...
 
The Amiga would literally be born again, in a marketing sense.
 
Listen - we've got the machine... we've got the zeal... And, it's 
not too  late in America yet; we STILL have the opportunity!  And 
while you're at it,  develop for PAL mode - And you, our European, 
Australian, and New Zealand  friends, develop for NTSC!
 
The choice is ours: we can continue to whine and cry about lack of 
support  (adding to the vicious cycle), or we, the special people 
who fell in love  with the Amiga, can begin to do the one thing in 
our power that will  significantly make a difference.
 
Thank you for considering my ideas... now get to work!  I expect to 
see your  demo stuff on the nets soon.  I'll be there!
 
Sincerely,      
                    Portal: Budmeister
                    Internet:Budmeiste@cup.portal.com
 
Bernard Falor
 
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