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==                             Reader Mail                               ==
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From: ejszul@omega.wwa.com (Eric Szulczewski)
Subject: AR308 Response Letter - CLEARED FOR PUBLICATION

Jason,

I've only become a recent fan of your magazine, and I think that it's
fantastic.  As a person who had to operate a floor scrubber and buffer a
number of times while in the military, keep up the harassment.

Your review in AR308 of WB3.1 was fascinating.  This 2000 owner went to 3.1
a few months ago, and I'll never go back.  I've only experienced one
problem with it: IPrefs doesn't want to seem to load my desired beep sound.
However, ARQ not working with 3.1?  Not on this end; it's worked perfectly
for me.  I'm sure that as a longtime Amiga owner, you're running RTPatch or
StartRC or something similar to patch ReqTools to all requesters.  That may
be where the problem lies.  Some people forget to lower the StartPri of ARQ
to that of below the ReqTools patch.  Since I can't live without a ReqTools
patch, ARQ, and AssignX, I've got to remember to load them in the correct
order in WBStartup.  If other people are having those problems (and this
applies to all versions of the OS), just edit the icon tooltypes to
STARTPRI=0 for the ReqTools patch, STARTPRI=-1 for ARQ, and STARTPRI=-2 for
AssignX.  It should work now.

And, BTW, I do miss NickPrefs as well for the animated icons.  Wonder if
Nicola is working on a 3.0+ version for ECS machines for that?

With the demise of AmigaWorld, Amiga Report has become more and more
important.  Wishing everyone luck, and waiting for the 20th...

Eric J. Szulczewski
ejszul@omega.wwa.com

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From: jleslie@microbus.demon.co.uk (John Leslie)
Subject: AR Reader Mail: "UK Amiga magazines"

I think the U.K.  probably has more magazines published than any other
country on the planet.  Certainly whenever I'm abroad the choice always
seems to be a tiny fraction of what's available here.  While some are
discussing the demise of various Amiga magazines around the world the U.K.
market still looks pretty full.  In fact, even a year after CI's little
accident there seems to be more titles than ever.  So as a small
contribution to the AR cause here is my survey of U.K.  Amiga magazines:
        Amiga Action, 13pa, 3.99 UKP
        Amiga CD Gamer, 9pa, 4.99
        Amiga CD32, alternate months, 4.95
        Amiga Computing, 13pa, 3.99
        Amiga Format, monthly, 3.95
        Amiga Format special, alternate months, 4.95
        Amiga Power, monthly, 3.95
        Amiga Pro, monthly, 2.95
        Amiga Shopper, monthly, 2.50
        Amiga User International, monthly, 3.75
        Commodore Format, monthly, 2.95
        CU Amiga, monthly, 3.95
        The One Amiga, monthly, 3.95
Not a bad selection...
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John Leslie, jleslie@microbus.demon.co.uk

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From: jleslie@microbus.demon.co.uk (John Leslie)
Subject: AR Reader Mail: "Another 0.001c value"

Since everyone seems to be having their 0.02c worth on the Amiga's future I
though I'd have a go (okay, 0.1p over here).

Hardware: there seems to be a lot of confusion here, but I think Dave
Haynie's views looked the most believable, i.e.  CI weren't ever doing a
RISC Amiga but were looking to do a custom version of PA RISC for a new
games machine.  This would suggest a RISC Amiga is a seriously long way
away, even if the new owners decide to stump up the not inconsiderable
amount of loot required.

Surely if AAA is close to done, and the spec.  looks fine to me, that's got
to be the way to go.  Anyway a 68EC040 is a reasonably powerful CPU and at
$60 a pop it'll keep most people happy.  There's also the MCF5102, which
runs at 16MHz, executes the whole EC040 instruction set and is only $20.
(It has a multiplexed bus, rather than the standard one, but could make a
nice CD32 follow on.)

On the RISC front, like Tim Cameron I too use a HP 735-125 at work (er, I
design computers for my sins), and I'll agree it is spectacularly fast,
although whether HP would cut Amiga Inc (or whoever) the same deal for a
full-blown computer must be open to question.  PowerPC is okay as a CPU,
but there seem to be a couple of problems: Apple and IBM.  Do you make the
computer CHIRP compatible, so it runs Apple's o/s and AIX and NT, but have
to sell against them on price, or avoid compatibility and the chance to
multi-boot NT/AIX/System 7/AmigaDOS?  (Why are Apple/IBM a problem?
Because IBM gets the chips at cost and if you look at the prices of the
PowerPC chips and what Apple is selling its computers for it's obvious they
cut themselves a very serious price deal for coming on-board.) There's
always Alpha, very fast and the 21066A (233MHz) has the PCI interface,
cache controller and DRAM controller built-in.  They are all nice chips,
but it will take so long to do and so much money it may not happen (firms
will continue to employ accountants, despite all the evidence showing how
harmful this is).

Personally I'd prefer to shout for AAA (I'll buy one, 040 or 060, 100MIPS,
24bpp and 16bit sound will do me for now...)

If you really want to do new hardware - how about a PCI bus (64-bit?)
graphics and sound card?  You could then use the hardware of your choice,
which much lower initial investment, and make a few extra bob by writing
drivers for other o/s and selling their users the card too (plus if you do
a new o/s in C you could port it around all you like, endian-ness
allowing).

Software: I like AmigaDOS more than any other o/s, so sue me...  of course
I'd like it more if new versions were more sensibly priced and didn't break
so many older programs, but that's news to nobody.

I was interested to see the announcement of a clone AmigaDOS project -
these are brave people as writing an operating system takes a lot of work
and needs to be very solid to get much use.  One possibility they might
like to consider...  Linux runs on cheap and powerful hardware with
re-targetable everything (PCs) but suffers from the fact that although the
o/s is on GNU the window manager is chargeable and not cheap.  Perhaps an
opportunity for someone to come up with a free window manager and widget
set - there's a lot of potential customers out there, and there is already
a very solid windowing system and set of development tools available.  It
also supports shared libraries.  All it needs for perfection (-ish) is a
nice intuition-like window manager and widget set, some handy shared
libraries (XPR..., XPK..., etc) and REXX.  Worth a thought?  (Bearing in
mind that most Amiga graphics cards use mid-range PC graphics chips on a
slow-ish bus you might even get draggable screens with fast PC hardware,
simply by doing blits.  (The top-end PC chips on PCI are around 5-8x as
fast as the chips used on Amiga boards (e.g.  64 and 128-bit VRAM
accelerators vs the 32 and 64 bit DRAM chips.))

What do other people think?  Personally Im crossing my fingers for AAA,
ideally for my 1995 Christmas present from me...

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John Leslie, jleslie@microbus.demon.co.uk