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==  Reality Check                                By: rbeekman@xs4all.nl  ==
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lately we have been bothered repeatedly with letters like the one from
John Gustafsson in the last issue of amiga report telling us what 'we'
need ...  which basically boils down to; an a4000/060 with a cd-rom ( 100%
cd32 compatible ), 10 Mb ram and 1 Gig Hd space .....  and all of this for
only $9.95.....  almost all of those letters make it sound like this is
'the only way the amiga will survive' i think it is time for a reality
check.....

what is happening while all amigans are picking their noses ???  just the
other day i read an article about the new VideoCube from a company called
ImMax, it is a non-linear on-line editing system based on ( you guessed
it....  ) a powermac....  non-linear video-editing has been available on a
professional level for about 4 years now, non-linear on-line video-editing
( which requires a much, much higher picture quality ) is pretty new and
several companies are now introducing their new systems...  what have we
got for the amiga to show ???  nothing really...  at least not something
that can compete as an editing-system with any ( new or old ) of the other
non-linear editing system .....  sure these systems cost an arm and a leg
( and you'd probably have to sell your grandma too ...  ), but you get
what you pay for .....

i do a lot of broadcast video-editing work and about a year ago the
company i work for needed a new video-titler, so i suggested to buy an
amiga 4000 and use scala for the titling ....  they did shop around and
get some offers so they new what the prices were, but then the 'ones that
had to decide' refrased the question to "are we going to continue on the
amiga-level or are we going to continue on a professional level?" ....  so
they ended up buying a 'professional' titling system that costed them
$50000 ( btw it runs on a MC68020 with a 68881 and a lot of custom
circuitry...  )

sure there has been a lot of ignorance influencing these people, but i
think that the amiga community at large is very much responsible for this
image of a gamesmachine-and-good-for-nothing-else that the amiga has to
put up with......  after all....  commodore has never done any marketing
what so ever....  so the image the amiga has is based on what amiga owners
had to show...

if you think you need an amiga 4000/060 with cd-rom, 32Mb ram and 1 gig
hd, then why is it that you do not want to pay for it ????  how many of
you have bought the par-system for home-use ????  none probably....  ok
there may be some wealthy exception to the rule ....  but lets face it
....  most of the expensive and resource-hungry hard- and software are of
no use to the vast majority of home-users .....  i don't see any dads
editing their summer-holiday videos on a non-linear video-editing
system.....  knowing the trouble involved in the process....

sure...  the par is targeted at the low-cost video-production marked, but
hey, it's a big world out there and any company is only going to invest
once every 3 to 5 years in equipment so they tend to go for the 'bit more
expensive but very compatible with larger systems and easily
expandable'-systems.....  hate to say it but the amiga-based systems up
until now lack in this field.....

if the amiga is ever going to conquer the world as the best
multi-media-machine-ever then you have to seriously address these kind of
things ...

people who really need the hardware are willing and able to pay for it...
only those who think that it would be cool to play rise of the robots on
an amiga 4000/060 with cd-rom, 32Mb ram and 1 gig hd do not want to pay
the full price...

if you really do need the hardware options then this means that you are in
some way or another involved in a professional video or multi-media
business, which means that you can and have to adjust your hourly rates to
be able to offer your clients exactly what they want, to properly serve
them and thus you will have no problem spending the above mentioned arm
and leg.....  if you are not involved in a professional video or
multi-media business and still think you need the hardware, you either now
why it is priced as it is or you should just sell your computer as
obviously you are incapable of valuing it correctly anyway.....

there also is another way of looking at the whole situation; what do you
want the amiga to support or be able to do ???  anything ?  or just
anything that doesn't cost anything ???  the last one ofcourse being the
least exciting one....  face it, cutting edge technologies cost an arm and
a leg and if you want the amiga to be able to handle these technologies
then some conditions have to be met.....  and those will involve expensive
hard- and software setups...

so what does the world look like right now?  until very recently almost
all of the sound-studios outside the u.s.  were using atari as their main
'do it all' computersystem....  right now they are almost all switching to
macs.....  amongst the non-linear video editing systems the macintosh has
always had a very firm base....  several leading systems were based on
macs and that seems to continue or even increase.....  the developments in
this field are still moving incredibly fast and it seems that the end of
this will not be reached for some time to come ....  so basically it might
not be too late to join the game ....  but we will all have to get used to
soft- and hardware demanding certain minimum setups ( eg ....  A6000/xICS,
32Mb ram, several gigs hd, etc ...  ) it should not be any issue at all to
drop support for ks<3.0 ....  the difference between ks3.0 and 3.1 are
minimal so one *might* consider supporting both......  but frankly, i
can't blame the new company if they were to abandon ks<3.1 altogether....

what i think is the only way to make the amiga survive is to have it
outperform any powermac setup conceivable, no matter what the costs are...
as said before, those who need it are willing and able to pay the
price....  this makes it possible to mass-produce the new technologies,
and thus dropping the prices and slowly bring these technologies into
reach of the ordinary user.....

the amiga will never be a widely supported, meaningful system if it keeps
conforming to those stuck in the past and unwilling to spend some extra
money to at least keep up....  nor will it ever get anywhere by demanding
that everything should always be able to run on a cheapest setup
available, again, sorry but if you are unwilling to pay for a proper
system ( by this i mean a system capable of handling your tasks in the
best possible way ) then where do you get the nerve to demand everybody
else to conform to your standards.....  sorry, you lose ....

again, you get what you pay for and so far the amiga has cost next to
diddly...