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%% The voice from across the pond                   By:  Michael Wolf   %%
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[DISCLAIMER:  Michael speaks about Commodore UK and David Pleasance as
though they have successfully bought out the Amiga.  They have NOT, and
he should not be interpreted as such.  -Ed]

Here I am, back with some more news from good 'ole Germany.

First of all I ought to apologize for being so quiet for the last couple
of weeks, but I was busy finishing of my first music video (I gained lots
of experience, and made no money...  ;-).  I also managed to get one of the
last A4000/30's for a really decent price, so now I am happily hacking away
on my AGA machine.

So, Mike, tell me what's happening.
-----------------------------------

CBM Germany has been liquidated this week, which is a shame because it
means that Dr.  P.  Kittel is no more for the german comunity.  (Dr.
Kittel has been in charge of german translatiosn, customer support and
more.  He's been with CBM for a long time, and could always be found on the
net as a helpful fairy for Amigans in need.)

The Cyberstorm board by AS&S has begun to ship (so far the 68040 version
only, I expect to get my hands on one soon), programming guidelines to
optimize performance on a 68060 have been released also.  This ought to do
it until Amiga Int.  releases the RISC specs for the next generation
Amigas.

Back to Amiga Int.  then (This is D.  Pleasance's Amiga Int I am talking
about).  He seems to be comitted to continuing the Amiga line of computers,
but some of his comments have been the cause for some worries.

He stated that he plans to can the AAA chip set because it would take 18
months (with increased man power) to port the OS to support it.

On the other hand he expects to ship first RISC Amigas to developers within
6 months of his succesful takeover.

So, are these famed RISC Amigas real Amigas then ?  Is it possible to port
Amiga OS to a RISC environment within 6 months (If it would take 18 months
to do AAA support) ?

The speculations for these RISC Amigas are going towards a Windows-NT
machine with PCI bus system.  I just wonder why I should buy an Amiga then,
I might just as well get one of those PowerPC clones that will be coming
out soon (Motorola has just announced two PowerPC board designs with PCI
for a very reasonable price).

Others say that the new Amigas will have a more powerful graphics chip set
based on a RISC, that also allows for realtime 3D shading.

I guess only time can tell us what Mr.  Pleasance is really up to.  One
thing is for sure though, I don't really care for Amigas without Amiga OS.


As I hinted above, it is very difficult to get A4000's now, they seem to be
all sold out.  It looks like everybody who makes money on Amigas stockpiled
them.  You can still find some dealers that have A4000's, but they sell
them for ridiculous prices.

Especially A4000/030's are wanted, I guess this has something to do with
the release of the Cyberstorm.  Mr.  Pleasance better get his factory up
and running soon, there is a high demand on the market (...  and don't
forget Christmas).


Oh, one last note.  I just read an article in german magazine concerning
new types of RAM Chips that can actually keep up with modern processors:
EDRAM (Enhanced DRAM), SDRAM (Synchronous DRAM), CDRAM (Cached DRAM) and
RDRAM (Rambus DRAM).  EDRAM for example allows for 2-1-1-1 bursts on a
cache hit (33 MHz bus, 3-1-1-1 burst on a cache miss), and costs around the
same as 16MB of conventional DRAM + 256K second level cache.  The other
systems allow for a similar performance, EDRAM however is supposed to be
the simplest to adapt current designs to.

Isn't this the kind of inovation that could make Amigas more attractive
(Can you imagine next generation Amigas with 15ns RAMs ?).  Just a thought.


This is it for today.  My next article will be a bit longer and cover the
Cyberstorm 040 board and (hopefully) the Photokina exhibition in Cologne
(our counterpart to the NAB exhibition).

And the motto for today is:

"May you live long and prosper."

or

"Blessed are the sheep for they shall inherit the grass."