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==  WOA '94 Report                                        By: Kim F Ong  ==
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Hi there!

Alright, since there are many of you wanting to know...
I went to the show and saw David Pleasance ;) 

Anyway, more of the man later...

The best NEW thing out there that you can really buy has to be the new
software by Almathera.  Photogenics -- "The ultimate 24bit graphic and
manipulation package".  I must really say that this is the works as
compared to PhotoShop on the Macs!  It features: natural paint tools-
airbrush, pencil, etc; multiple images editing - each in a resizable HAM8
window; Undo/Redo; previews; multiple file formats - IFF, JPEG, GIF, BMP,
PCX, ASCII, PBM, QRT, RAW, RGB8, RGBN, Opalvision, Picasso 2, Vlab; runs on
AGA 1200/4000, alpha-channel, open architecture, drag & drop; lots of
effects - Adddust, noise, alterhue, balance, blur, cloner, deinterlace,
displacemap, emboss, false colour, flip XY, gradient, greyscaale,
highlights, huemap, line art, masking paint, matrix, mono, motion blur,
negative, paint, pixelise, randomise, rub thru, rubmix, saturation,
sharpen, shifthue, shiftRGB, sloarise, Tile & Tint.  etc.  I got myself a
copy too...but....  (see below)

It requires KS3.0 with 2MB RAM, those A2000 & A3000 owners who upgraded and
own a graphics card should be alright.  No EGS though, maybe that will come
later??

Now we reach the slot for BEST NEW hardware which you can see but can't
buy.  That awards go to the Cyberstorm System developed by Phase 5 Digital
products.  They are only demoing in the show so no chance of carrying it
back with you.  Even when it is out, only A4000 owners will be in luck
because they are waiting and see iff the response is good before they bring
out the A3000 and A4000T.  The basic system is actually 3 boards: the
interface card, cpu card and the memory card.  The interface will include a
socket for a Ethernet Boot Rom or Flash Rom.  The CPU is prepared for
speeds up to 80MHz ( the present 68060 is only 50MHz ) and will have an
expansion port for future DSP boards.  The Memory card uses 4 32bit 72pins
slots for a maximum of 128MB with Z3 DMA access and data transmission rate
of 50MB/s is possible with standard 60ns DRAMS.

Further expansions include a I/O card and a SCSI card.  The SCSI planned
will be a SCSI 2 Fast interface with full DMA channel amd FIFO buffered. 
Software will include CD-ROM FS and Cache prog.  The I/O card includes all
these plus ethernet connection and a RS232 serial.

Phase 5 is also developing the Cybervision64 card using S3 Trio64 chip with
a RoXXIer chip for hardware Planar2Chuncky conversion.  The expected
resolution is 800x600 24bit Noninterlaced and 1024x768 24bit interlaced. 
Software include WB emulation and support libraries.

No PCMIA Emplant.....  the E586 module for emplant is only taking orders as
it hasn't shipped here yet.  They were demoing it, but when I was there,
the damned machine wasn't doing anything and lots of people are crowding
around asking questions about the PCMIA emplant....so I can't see if there
is a valid claim in "Pentiumable" performance ;)

Blittersoft are showing off the Micronik 3000T/4000T cases.  They go at RRP
400 ukp each.  I was more interested in the 1200T but they told me that
they can get it for me within a week if I wanted one.  The biggest obstacle
I can see in that offer is the price, approx 600 ukp!  They will only do it
on per order basis.

Village Tronics are there too, selling stuff like Picasso-II (very
popular), Ariadne, OS3.1, etc.

I also saw PC Task 3.0, Termite among numerous other softwares.

And of course the other stuff that invariably makes up a Amiga show,
Lightwave, PAR, Broadcast systems, Rombo products, Magazines, bouncing
castles, one arm jacks, PDs, games, and more games, etc.

Tuck in one corner is a booth selling out what I believe to be liquidation
stock!  Single sync VGA 14' monitors going for 40 ukp a throw!  CDTVs, 5
1/4 external FDD, keyboards, etc.  All Commodore manufactured!!

I was then when I saw DP.  People weren't exactly rushing to ask him
questions, so that is why I got the chance later!  Anyway, from most of his
replies to another guy who was into the high-end of the Amiga macines, it
was depressing.

The main thing that he said, other than constanly repeating the phrase "It
is very positive", was that he will be concentrating on the consumer home
market.  He said things like the A1200 and CD32 was what kept the Commodore
going and Amiga is basically a consumer home computer who happens to have
some special high-end machines (I paraphrase, not his exact words!).  But
he did reassured that guy that A4000 will still be continued to be
developed.  He further says that he is expecting the Hombre chip to be
ready in 2 years time, and until then, the lower-end will be his focus.

OK, now my time!!!  Knowing how anxious you people are, I asked the all
important question.  (Don't kill me if it isn't, nobody told me what was
anyway!)

I asked him whether if he is going to host an IRC conference on the
Internet cause his main rival, Alex Amor of CEI has done it twice already.
Know what did he said???

He said, and I quote, "he has done himself a disservice" and that he should
not have discussed with everybody as the creditors do not want it.  And
then he says, "in fact, he (Alex) has his fund withdrawn" because of this.

[Note - CEI reports that they did not indeed lose their financial backing.
-- Ed.]]

Now, I really don't know what the hell all that was about as I really don't
what to say after that.  I thanked him for my question and walked away.  I
think I feel a strong defensiveness in his last few sentences, like you
would if you had done something wrong.  Maybe I am wrong on this, but it
certainly isn't all good.

Even the latest edition of the Amiga Format Jan95 has an article that seems
to be having a laugh at DP.  I quote: "CEI are said to have made a cash
bid, including a non-refundable deposit in the order of $1 million which
guarantees Commodore creditors against reneging on the proposed
buy-out..............  ...However, this claim has been denounced by David
Pleasance as "horseshit".  "We are in pole position," he continued, " the
receiver has been in touch with me to let me know that nothing has been
agreed." At the end of the article, the writer asked, "so will the real
owners of the Amiga please stand up?" ;)

The show was rather empty, maybe because it was Friday, I might go again
tomorrow just to see if there is any more bargains.  Yep, some of the stuff
are flogged off at such low prices that it is unbelievable!  I got a copy
of Real 3D classic for just 20quid!  I thought it has a rather neat
freeform feature which was missing in my Lightwave.  So I just bought it
for the price of a game!

The day would be absolutely for an Amigoid like me if not for the same old
problems.  No Quality Control!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

The Photogenics program I bought could not be used because the program
registration when you first use it doesn't accept the serial number given
on the disk!!!  This is S***!  Can't they make sure they have everything
right!!  Now I will have to go back again and ask for an exchange or
something!!!  S*** again!  The other game I bought, Abandoned Places 2
won't run on my machine too!!!  S***!  It crash after the Character
generation, so I can't even play at all!!!

(sorry for the number of expletives like S***..oops, there goes one more)

Arrrgggghhhh!!!!!!!!
When will we finally find a whole set of user-friendly (machine- friendly)
software and hardware for the Amiga????????

Maybe see some of you there tomorrow on Saturday?