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==                        CEI Conference on IRC!                         ==
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On Tuesday, November 29th, an unprecedented IRC conference was held with
Alex Amor from CEI.  It would not have been possible without the help of
numerous channel operators and monitors, particularly Bewdah (Boodah), who
basically did all of the work of maintaining the question queue.  It is
estimated that at least 450 people participated, either in the conference
channel or on one of the numerous echo channels that were established.


<Jason-AR> On behalf of Amiga Report Magazine, I'd like to invite everyone
           to the first EVER Amiga Buyout IRC Conference.

           The conference will go something like this: /msg the moderator,
           me, with a short summary of your question.  You'll be put on a
           list, which will be g iven out periodically by Boodah, the list
           keeper.

           Excessive messaging of the ops, moderator, or guest will NOT be
           tolerated.  We have someone here specifically to do
           kick/banning.

           I appreciate that everyone showed up, but also, not everyone can
           ask a question.  Follow-ups are impossibilities with such a huge
           crowd.

<Bewdah> By the way folks, congratulations on the largest IRC event as far
         as we are aware of.

<Jason-AR> Alex, do you have any opening words?

<alex_cei> Yes.  We are overwhelmed by the response from around the world
           today.  The support has been incredible, our hope is to finalize
           the deal shortly and bring back the Amiga!


<Overlord_> Will you [alex] consider using GLint chips for the amiga?

<LehmanNAV> [GLint is a 3D gfx chip from 3DLabs -Thanks EdS]

<alex_cei> No, the Commodore engineering team was working on a chip set
           with superior performance with a lower cost.  This chip was
           internally referred as a 3d/risc chip set.


<Frotz> Alex- how do you plan on providing educational support?  The
        university I work for is considering closing its amiga lab.

<alex_cei> Educational support is very important to the new Amiga company.
           Our plan calls for a comprehensive support staff exclusively for
           education.  Additionally, special pricing as well as special
           configurations for e ducation should make the Amiga quite
           attractive for all schools.  We are currently working on a plan
           that provides the least expensive solution for students than
           anything else thats available.


<Baffy> Amix is not the only Amiga Unix any more, but I feel it could be
        the best, and thus commercially viable, if development were to be
        continued immediataly .  Are there any plans to restart
        development/support of Amix?

<alex_cei> Support for Amix is possible.  Development on the 68040
           processor needs to be finalized.  There is no reason the new
           company wont support Unix, it's cheap and makes sense. 


<gabe> ok what my question is what do you think about DSP?  and also about
       040 fo r a base cpu for the amiga (ie 040 1200, 040 cd32) and WHat
       about amiga dos on a risc machine?(no windows nt) one more thing
       what about tcp/ip in amiga's?  thanks.

<alex_cei> A multiple part question I see....  First and foremost, DSP are
           good and necessary but, the co-developmen t of applications is
           necessary.

           As the price of the 68040 is reduced it will make the processor
           attractive for low end platforms.  The general transition has
           been to start with the advanced processors on the high end
           machines and migrate to the low end as price permits....

           The OS needs to migrate to a new processor within the next
           twelve months.  There is no reason that the new Amigas can't be
           multi-os machines.  AmigaDos firs t and everything else is just
           the topping on the cake.


<Phalanx> How much of the marketing budget would go into pan-Europe ?

<alex_cei> The marketing budget is fully dependent on a number of factors
           that include the size of the market...  the potential for
           Amigas.  I realize that a number of individuals in Europe are
           afraid the CEI will ignore their market.  This is not the case.
           I fully understand the popularity of the Amiga and the amount of
           marketing support which it needs in Europe.  In order to run a
           profitable company we must capitlize on the strengh ts of all
           the markets.  Marketing is Europe will be directed to the
           consumer market and the d eveloping video market.  While in
           North America the main emphasis will be on the professional
           multimedia markets.


<peman> Will next Amiga have the ZorroIII bus, or what bus will be used in
        future Amiga?

<alex_cei> The Zorro bus is as important to the Amiga as AmigaDos.  I
           believe the next generation machine should have the Zorro and
           the PCI bus.  This will enable developers t o add products
           relatively easilly.


<Jason-AR> Ok, everyone, quick reminder: You only get to ask one question,
           and that's if you're lucky.  If you've asked to be on the list
           already, DON'T ASK AGA IN.  That, and perhaps we can clear up
           some questions with this following salvo:

           1.  What is the current status of your bid and the negotiations?
           2.  Are you making any deals with the UK?

<alex_cei> CEI is in the final negotiating stages with the trustee.  If all
           goes well and there are no legal roadblocks there is a
           possibility that the con tract can be signed early next week.

           The inventory situation remains murky .  Commodore's raw
           material inventory was moved from the old C= factory to a
           warehouse where a number of product were lost or misplaced.  Our
           goal is to reintroduce the Amiga as soon as possible so the
           material issue is important.

           There is also an abundance of legal issues which are being
           resolved.  If all goes well an announcment will be made upon the
           signing.


           As far as the UK status, CEI is willing to work with whatever
           party to make the Amiga succesfull.  Our plan calls for opening
           up a new operation i n the UK and Germany within the next sixty
           days.  These operations will be staffed by the most competent
           individuals possible (either old/new Amiga management) and new
           blood.


<Timmer> Possibly CBM's biggest mistake was the bungling of
         AppShell/AppBuilder.  Will you be rekindling this project and/or
         undertaking a similar new project?

<alex_cei> I'm afraid that I am not familiar with this project.  If its
           good, sells Amiga and helps the market, yes.

<Tau> [AppShell/AppBuilder is a development tool to help designing well
      integrated GUI/ARexx interfaces, basically.]


<Intr> Alex well i wanted to know what is after the 68060?  is it the
       PowerPC (that what i think should be the best) or PA-RISC or
       something else!!!

<alex_cei> IBM/Apple is pushing us towards the PowerPC.  We have had talks
           with HP on the PA-RISC.  This is a determination that needs to
           be made by the new engineering team.  Obviously, we want the
           most powerful Amiga for the least amount of money.  Porti ng the
           operating system will be a key component to the new processor
           for the Amiga.


Kati-AR> Two parter:
         1.  You mentioned education.  Where will the educational software
             come from?  The most popular titles out now are on CD and
             aren't available for t he Amiga.
         2.  Will future versions of WorkBench look more "slick"?  Many
             people now use hacks and new icon packages to make their
             desktops more attractive.

<alex_cei> Part one.....the biggest boost to educational software is to get
           more computers out in the field.  The easiest way to accomplish
           this is through special models and pric ing for education.  As
           the Amiga being the first multimedia computer it makes no sense
           why every Amiga does not come with a CD-ROM drive built in.  The
           utilization of a multiple OS machine al so makes sense. 

           We have a very long list of cosmetic improvements for workbench.


<Bewdah> Sorry to interrupt, but what about including a better text editor,
         paint program, term program, etc ala IBM OS's?  Ed really stinks.


<alex_cei> ABSOLUTELY....What about a terminal program to communicate with
           Internet?  The possibilites are boundless.  I fully realize that
           our look and feel needs to be more professional and "zappier".

<Tau> [Commodore used to have Internet software..  Bundling AS225 shouldn't
      be out of the question even today]

<LehmanNav> [AS225 is too complex]

<alex_cei> We need a communication package that's user friendly.  Its
           important to remember that there is a possiblity that the Amiga
           might be the first computer a customer has purchased.  Ease of
           use is extremely important.  We would like to provide a complete
           out of the box solution for both the home and the business.
           There is no reason that advanced home Amigas can't have
           communication capabilities already built in from the factory.


<AlexG> alex: Is there a possibility that you will look into entering the
        Mexican or Latin-American market, which is growing rapidly?

<alex_cei> The Mexican market has always been strong for Amiga amiga ;-)


<Richie> First, Thomas (ProComp) sends his regards and regrets he couldn't
         be here.
         Q1: Any plans to start production of the A3000+ instead of 4000
             models and/or 3000+ motherboards as upgrades for current
             A3000-owners?
         Q2: Will you, if you decide to go with the PPC, make the Amiga
             MkII-ser ies compatible with the new hardware specs for
             PPC-machines from IBM/Apple/Motorola?

<alex_cei> No.  The first order of business is to restart production on the
           A1200, A4000 and A4000T.  The ability to offer upgrades is one
           that will be explored early in t he game.  The value and loyalty
           of our existing customer base will not be ignored.


<CasBaH> How many people will you have developing new Amigas that have
         actually developed Amigas or hardware for Amigas before?  And how
         big will the development team be?

<alex_cei> When we acquire the assets from Commodore we will be getting 17
           engineers.  Plans call to increase that number to 103 by the end
           of the year.  We will also be working closely with other
           manufacturers i.e.  Ameristar for networking, etc.


<DanF> What does CEI plan to do to support Amiga Users' groups?

<alex_cei> Discount programs, promotional materials, regional
           demonstrations, loan support programs, etc.


<Fila> Will you continue to make  and support CD32's

<alex_cei> Yes.  But, I see the future as an Amiga 1200 type machine with a
           built in CD.  We must be realistic that competing with the big
           boys(Nintendo, SEGA) will be extremely difficult.  Lets take the
           advantages of our technology and move them forward.  The CD32 is
           a great unit for interactive kiosk applications.  The next
           machine utilizing the new technology has a better chance agaisnt
           the big boys.  Unfortunately, C= lost too much valuable time
           with the CD32 and trying to bring it back will simply cost too
           much.


<_lisa_> It seems that now that market is in its mature phase that
         marketing will be critical, especially as the big boys excercise
         hold-and-maintain strategies .How will you fight this?

         Also It seems that now that market is in its mature phase that
         marketing wil l be critical, especially as the big boys excercise
         hold-and-maintain strategies .How will you fight this?

         Also 1) will the amiga ever make it back into mass merchants sand
         2) would y ou like a fresh outta grad school MBA for your
         Marketing Department?

<alex_cei> Another two parter I see.  First the Amiga is still, even today,
           viable against the big boys of the computer market.  There is no
           one that makes a personal home computer that can do what the
           1200 does and sells for that amount.

           If we concentrate on the markets which the Amiga can win hands
           down there is no reason we cant repeat the formula of the
           Commodore 64.  By moving forward with the new technologies that
           Commodore posseses we can play a signi ficant role in new
           developing markets.  (Set-top boxes, interactive display s
           tations, etc.)

           As for the second part our marketing has to be controlled by
           creative (read "unusual") marketing approach.  We simply need
           the best people (PERIOD).


<Camelot> What are your plans for Europe?  In prior conferences you have
          mainly talked about the US.  Do you have enough funds to market
          properly in Europe also? 

          2.  Are you plannning to hire the former C= employees back (eg. 
          Dave Haynie) ?  Al so,> with the rehiring of C= employees would
          you consider AAA?  As far as I know the plans for RISC are based
          on the opinions of 17 engineers, who do not k now AAA? 

<alex_cei> Once again Europe is extremely important!  C= sold 85% of their
           computers in Europe.  We will devote whatever resources are
           necessary to make the European market flourish.

           There are a number of ex-Commodore employees who have offered
           their services once the ac quisition is complete.  Of course we
           are thrilled to build a new Amiga Team uti lizing some of the
           old players.


<hog> 2 downers of NTized (boo!) Amiga:
          1.  will repel loyal Amigoids, who love its close relationship
              between CPU/ custom chips/OS
          2.  will have hard time attracting people who already have NT
              machines
          alex: what is your opinion?

<alex_cei> HUH?

<Jason-AR> Translation:  Do you want to use Win NT?

<alex_cei> The Amiga is unique due to its OS and custom chips.  This does
           not remove the possibility of running multiple OSs.  Remember,
           the Trojan Horse.  Wait till they see our operating system.

           PS.  Most people will not purchase an Amiga because it will run
           NT but , some will not buy it because it doesnt.


<Tau> two parter from people outside:
          1.  You mentioned getting old C= employees back.  Most of the old
              dev team is at Scala and 3DO it seems.  Do you have plans for
              co-development with Scala?
          2.  What is planned for future sound support in Amiga?

<alex_cei> CO-development with Scala is not out of the question.  CEI has
           an excellent relationship with SCALA.  We look forward to
           working with them in the future.

           Part two...DSP.

<Tau> [Sound is one of the things where even the current OS compliant
      software is VERY close to hardware.  Getting it moved to something
      else will be quite a challenge.  Good luck.]


<mickh> How are your plans for porting AmigaOS to a risc cpu?  As native
        and how fast will applications be available than?

<alex_cei> Porting the AmigaOS is large task that we plan to undertake
           almost immediately.  In order to properly implement a port it is
           important to have developers co-assis ting.  Our role includes
           full complete co-developer implementation of the porting.  When
           the ported OS is released applications that fully utilize the OS
           need to be present.


<HarvL> Alex, hi.  Re: upcoming trade shows.  VTU/Calif next month and
        CES/Vegas Jan '95.  What are CEI's plans to be at and/or display at
        either of these shows.  specifically CES wuld make for a great
        venue to "relaunch" the amiga?

<alex_cei> Time constraint is critical.  Once we have wrapped up the
           purchase of the Commodore assets we will immediately begin an
           extremely aggressive show schedul e.  But, to start prematurely
           does not make sense.  I will be attending a number of shows in
           the next few weeks to meet privately with developers and
           supporters.


<Xed> The amiga used to be big down here in Australia until commodore
      screwed all the distributors.  Are there any plans to re-start
      Commodore Australia and rebuild the userbase down here?  I know
      plenty of people who really don't want to sell their amiga (Me
      included).

<alex_cei> Yes, we are having conversation with a number of key players in
           the Australian market.  Our immediate plans do not call for
           opening an office but, working closely with allies.


<Axios> Is a CD-ROM unit with CD32 and MPEG support for the A4000 on the
        list of immediate releases once things get going?

<alex_cei> YES!


<oleg> mr amor, many people have said that amiga is dead technology,
       limited by its custom chips, why spend money on it?

<alex_cei> There are over 400 users here with us at this time.  Orders for
           thousands of computers are being submitted.  The Amiga OS can do
           things that Windows never even dream of at a cost no one can
           match.

           The There are over 400 users here with us at this time.  Orders
           for thousands <alex_cei> of computers are being submitted.  The
           Amiga OS can do things that Windows never even dream of at a
           cost no one can match.  The Amiga is dead?


<Marrs> C= only had a developers program which cost a lot of money.  Do you
        plan on a "cheap" support program for PD/ShareWare authors who just
        want the documentation of the latest OS.

<alex_cei> Yes, the developers are an integral part of making the Amiga
           succesful.  Many developers are small companies working out of
           their homes.  We fully realize that all individuals need to be
           update with the latest informations.


<LehmanNAV> Don't you get the feeling that this whole thing could possibly
            be too little too late?  Especially in the shaking up of the
            market which begun this summer and probably won't end for a
            couple years?

            All of the companies in the industry have become highly
            competitive, and the market tends to polarize around the
            "winning" (not necessarily the best) standard(s).  Do you
            really think CEI is equipped to cope with this enormous threat?

<alex_cei> YES!  Our intent is not to compete directly with the IBMs and
           Compaqs of the world.  The market is fragmenting and customers
           are being wiser when shopping for products.

           The Amiga can do a lot more for a lot less.  No I dont expect
           miracles but, the ability to viably compete in the market is
           more than just an opportunity.


<Sysinfo> 3 Questions:
             1) How will developer support under CEI differ from the former
                C=?
             2) will CEI do what it takes to get the support from SAS
                (SAS/C) back ?
             3) And last, what is CEI betting on, AAA or the so called
                "HOMBRE" project ? 

<alex_cei> CEI will work closely with developers.  This include joint
           ventures, joint marketing programs, bundling the developers
           products with the machines and getting input on the direction of
           the company.

           Getting SAS back on line with the Amiga is critical.  CEI will
           do whatever is necessary to obtain this support.

           The final decision on which technology to go with has not been
           made.  By having the machines share a common bus with graphics
           not located in the motherboard will allow greater flexibility.


<Setok> What will be the price range for the new Amigas?  I don't know much
        about the OS so does it have mem.  protection and stuff?

<alex_cei> There is not a lot of room in the low end Amigas, they were
           cheap to begin with.  The high end Amigas need to be priced more
           realistically.  Our goals are to utilize the original formula
           that made C= succesful in the beginning.  The most powerful
           machine for the least money.  The last few years they seemed to
           have forgotten this.

<Jason-AR> Interrupt: This will, of course, involve more high-profile floor
           scrubber marketing, will it not?  GA


<Richie> Q1: How will you support dedicated Amiga dealerships in favor of
             mail-or der multi-platform houses to enhance the image and
             strength of the Amiga?
         Q2: Have you considered buying SC from SAS and develop it
             yourselves?

<alex_cei> Strict market controls need to be implemented.  The Amiga is not
           a PC clone and should not be treated like one.  The profitable
           survival of the dealership is crucial to selling a specialized
           product like the Amiga.  We have not considered the purchase of
           SC at this time.


<vidarp> This is all fine & dandy but are there NO REAL news just a bunch
         of IF' s & THEN's, i mean C= UK is 99% sure of getting the ami so
         are you, real news so meone must know something, we are still in
         the DARK here, if this takes much longer even i jump ship. 

<alex_cei> IS THAT A QUESTION OR A COMMENT?

<Jason-AR> Comment.  Next question.


<Tachy> HI Alex, will future releases of the Amiga-OS support
        memory-protection by MMU like OS/2, UNIX and others?  As a
        programmer, I think we should care about the efficient OS and
        multitasking of this machine too...  what does CEI think about it?

<alex_cei> Remember, I'm not an engineer or a programmer.  I believe that
           the market expects that all Amigas be equipped with MMUs. 


<Metalite> Multiple processors, Multiple users and multiple screens &
           keyboards in one machine?  oh and memory protection in next
           mahines?

<alex_cei> Sorry, your question is beyond me in this mode.


<dmalovic> will CEI designed amigas have both chunky and planar modes, and
           will they remove videodma from stoping the processor (dual port
           video ram)

<alex_cei> Yes, the work to convert is already existing in the CD32.  This
           question is also beyond me, due to its technical nature.


<Lomby> hello alex: what kind of support do you plan to give in foreign
        countries(private resellers, subsidiaries..)? 

<alex_cei> Major centers of operations will be UK, Germany, Canada and the
           US initially.  Expansion into Norway and Italy are possible.
           Our goals are to work with partners in the remainder of the
           world to fullfil the market needs.


<PreSSo> When will massive multiprocessing (or at least multiprocessing:)
         be sup ported in AmigaOS and on which CPU?  WAlso where can users
         send their ideas on im provements on amiga?  (an email would do:)

<alex_cei> The first question is way to technical to be addressed by me in
           this media.  We are happy to take suggestions by regular mail to
           the following:

               CEI
               5555 West Flagler Street
               Miami, FL 33134
               USA
               Att: Amiga Suggestions

           Once we have accomplished the acquisition we will publish the
           E-mail address.

           Or send your suggestions to "JASON@floorscrubber.com".  He will
           forward them to us on a timely matter.

<Jason-AR> Interrupt: No, no, it's jcompton@bbs.xnet.com, but that's an
           excellent name for when I get a site running...:)


<Phalanx> When can we see RTG ?  It's even more important than RISC.

<alex_cei> RTG is the top item on our need list.  It's time has come.

<LehmanNAV> [I've been asked what RTG is, RTG == Retargetable Graphics,
            which allows a standard graphics interface no matter what the
            graphics characteristics of your display device]


<Tinea> Are you negotiating with Microsoft or Lotus about porting Word or
        AmiPro ?  (Final Writer still doesn't cut it, IMHO)

<alex_cei> We are talking to a number of different players in both the
           hardware and software industry.  At this time I am not liberty
           to give out any specifics.  If we can introduce a mu lti-OS
           machine this would by default give the Amiga users a broader
           base of programs.


<MrGandalf> You mentioned cosmetic enhancements with the OS, what type of
            enhancements might you mean?

<alex_cei> We have taken a close look at the SGI, Windows, etc.  They look
           and feel more professional then our beloved Amiga. 

<Tau> [geez, give me GEOS-C64 rather than Windoze, please ;)]


<Shades> Will the 1200 keep it it current shape as "all-in-one-case"
         computer, or will it be keyboard + case?  And what will be the
         name of the company?

<alex_cei> I believe there is room for improvement on the basic Amiga 1200.
           This does not necessarily mean a redo on the machine but, might
           mean new models (A1 400, A1600, etc.).

           The working name is currently Amiga Technologies International,
           remember this is subject to change depending on the legal types.

<cwolf> [NeXTSTEP would be a much better model :)]

<LehmanNAV> [agreed]

<Tau> [Walk through doors, don't crawl through windows - is that what you
      wanted , Timmer?  ;)]


<Frotz> Why has this taken over 6 months?  Can you explain the difficulties
        so that the skeptical among us understand?

<alex_cei> First of all you must remember that Commodore was once a billion
           dollar company.  There were 35 different companies located in
           over 20 different countries.  It is a legal nightmare.  So far
           the only people who have made money have been the lawyers and
           trustees.

           The majority of the legal matters have been settled and that why
           the actual transfer of property is close at hand.  The problem
           with the Phillipine inventory has also caused the most recent
           delays.

<MattC2> [Lawyers are known for drwing things out as they get paid by the
         hour - :)]

<alex_cei> Hopefully, all these issues have been or will be resolved by the
           end of the week.


<XmikeX> alex: any idea when CEI will have an inventory ready for those
         who've a lready placed deposits on some offbeat CBM equipment like
         a c65 :)

<alex_cei> We have taken no deposits on any offbeat Commodore equipment.
           When the inventory becomes available we fill orders on first in
           first out basis.


<Timmer> Would you consider contracting out some of the OS work, eg.  the
         improvement of the GUI?  I know that we at Phantom Development
         have already done a lot of ground work in this area.

<alex_cei> Yes.  We welcome the opportunity to work with developers to move
           our plans ahead.

<Tau> [I'm sure Pepo here would love a chance to have a look at Intuition
      source :)]


<dracon> The amiga has always been a great sounding machine since the 500
         What ideas have CEI got for the enhancement of the amigas sound
         capabilities?  16bit audio, built-in midi support?

<alex_cei> Again, DSP is instrumental (pun intended) to move the Amiga in
           the sound theater.


<Bewdah> Alex Any chance of EVER seeing the A3000+?  And did you enjoy this
         enough to want to do another IRC conference?  ;)

<alex_cei> I believe you will see a machine that will have all the
           capabilities of the A3000+ and more.

           I have enjoyed the opportunity to be with you this afternoon.  
           Hopefully, next time we can report that we are moving forward
           with the Amiga instead of just talking about it!

<Bewdah> Score, ANOTHER conference!! :)


<Jason-AR> Ok, the conference is coming to an end.  Just to wrap up... 
           Many people have expressed interest in working for the new
           company.  What do you suggest they do at this point?

<alex_cei> We need everyones help in order to be successful.  The one big
           difference is CEI is willing to listen where C= did not.  Let us
           know.


<Jason-AR> What sort of presence, realistically, could you have at this
           Winter CES?  I would think that by now, it's too late to get
           table space.


<alex_cei> CES is out of the question at this point.


<Jason-AR> Ok, everyone, that'll do it.  Stick around for the wrap ups and
           legalities...

* Bewdah thanks Alex for his time for the entire non-voiced crowd.  "Thanks
  mucho Alex!!"


<Jason-AR> Thanks to Alex Amor, President of CEI, for taking the time to be
           here today.  Thanks to the over 400 people who showed up, either
           actively or in a listening mode, for the conference.


<Jason-AR> Thanks to the channel ops for looking imposing, and thanks to
           Bewdah for doing the grunt work of maintaining the list and
           handing out voice.  His help was invaluable.


<alex_cei> Thank you all for attending.  I would like to give a special
           thanks to the moderators and all who have assisted in setting up
           this conference!;-)


<Jason-AR> Comments can be directed to CEI at the address they gave you a
           while back, or directed to me, jcompton@bbs.xnet.com, and
           they'll eventually get to them.

           That should about do it.  Thanks to everyone for making this a
           surprising success.