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%% Lament                                              by Mac Robinson %%
%%                         %%

This is an emotional weekend; this is the last weekend that my 'pride
and joy' will sit alone on it's table.  Next weekend it will share the
space with a bright shiny new... PC-Clone.  We sit here alone, this last
Friday night, Ami- and I, and I think of all of the times that we have 
shared in the last 8 years.  It has certainly made me laugh enough, and 
cry enough, and sometimes pull at my hair, but we have been lots of 
places, the old girl and me.  

I remember when I brought it home the first time.  The monitor had a 
bashed in corner so it was quickly replaced with another, though this 
one's tube was cock-eyed a quarter-inch low on the right side, and is so
to this day.  Like a cleft chin or curled lip it just added more character
to this thing that has occupied so much of my time since then.  There was
the neat trap door, right there on the front for all to see, that actually
let me double the memory to a a wiz-bang 512K!  

The games were great, too.  Some of them are only a memory, though.
They don't like the new WorkBench, but that's OK, they were great while 
they lasted.  Then there were the pieces of software that actually let me
do something constructive.  Textcraft, then Textcraft Plus... there would
be no end in sight when I could play a game if I tired of writng a letter.
Now, if I'd had a proper Amiga printer driver back then that would really
have been something!  I could have printed it out, too! Then we added a 
second disk drive; that was really something. Talk about convenience!  
Then a modem; wow, so much software just a phone call around the continent
away.  Soon after it was time to add even more storage space so a hard 
drive was in order.  By that time the Amiga 1000 was peacefully at rest 
in the Commodore Home for the Orphaned so an A500 came home to us one day.
The Amiga 1000, but not the monitor with the lop-sided grin, was 
sacrificed to a long-necked kid who had a Vic-20 or C=64 or something and
to whom the heady brew of an Amiga 1000 was almost intoxicating.  I ran in
to the kid some time after that and found out that my old sweetheart had 
been in a couple of homes after his.  If it were ever to come around this 
way again there would be room here, kind of like a resting home or some 
such.  I still think about that trap door on the front.

The flood of cool software from Europe was followed soon after, though
PAL and NTSC was something that needed to be mastered with software hacks
and boot disks and a hard-to-find screw on the back of that silly monitor
and such.  Inconvenient, to say the least, and it started to add to the 
price we were beginning to pay for this great machine.  At least, we knew
it was great, even then.  Because we had paid the price of admission, the
price of purchase, to find out.  After all,Commodore tried to keep it a 
secret, didn't they? 

How many of us old-timers have heard  "Commodore Amiga?  That's like a 
Mac, isn't it?"  That used to irritate me then, but I understand now.
Later in the week Ami- will slide down the table to the end.  The
PC-Clone will occupy the place where I can look up and out the window to
see the kids playing.  When they come in and ask to play on the computer 
it will be the Amiga they are talking about, I know.  This new computer 
with the funny icons that Dad is so busy at won't scare them as much 
their father, though they'll be wondering why he's cursing the windows 
so much.  I'll keep the old VCR hooked up to the old crooked monitor, too.
That way I can watch TV while working at the new computer.  That's kind of
like multi-tasking, isn't it?

And my first piece of software?  Well, it will be 'Flight Simulator 5'.
Flight Simulator II was one of the first pieces of software I had on the
Amiga and I figure that it started me on an interesting journey, in more 
ways than one.  So, I will start out from the same place as I did before,
though this time in a different direction.  I will look over my shoulder 
many times at first, though it will become less and less as time goes by.

What a shame.


A. M. Robinson