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IRC CONFERENCE: GILES BOURDIN
[This first conference was held without notice on IRC EFNet. Not all
questions were answered, but this represents the transcript in reasonably
clean form. Thanks to Robert Reiswig and Niteflite for providing logs.]
gbo | let me tell a few things here AT exists now for three months
when we set up the thing, we set one top priority: bringing Amigas
back to the market ASAP this ment : no enhancements to current
models. we had to be quick because there is a big demand for
current models. we know that we HAVE to enhance the technology
otherwise we are dead in less than one year but there are very
important strategic decisions to be made and these decisions have
to be taken carefully because they will set the direction of RD for
the coming years. these processes of decision just can't be made
public until they are completed we want our company to be
profitable in three months of existence, ESCOM has spent tremendous
amounts of money to set up operations, and production many times
the initial investment of the buyout.
RobR | When AT was formed there was some info about a HomePage....
is the Up yet? Something would be better then nothing... i think
this would be a good way to inform us all...
gbo | yes, we are making our homepage
RobR | What is the time frame ?
gbo | actually, the servers are running already
gbo | we have following domains :
gbo | Amiga-tech.de
gbo | amiga.de
gbo | and Amiga.com soon
gbo | there will also be an ftp server accesible for the press,
developers and users
gbo | the homepage will be updated dayly
NiteFlite | what can you comment on the US disrtibution? Whats the delay
in namimg someone.
Jkay | ok .. looks like a "no comment" .. Frotz?
Frotz | I understand your startup problems, but don't you think that
"hype" is important to this machine? The current lack of information
is equal to death in most consumer's eyes... after 3 months the
"we're new at this" thing isnt working, you have had time to hire
[Bourdin announced here that the North American distributor was Service
Management Group, SMG, contracted until the end of 1995.]
gbo | ps: the distribution contract is not exclusive
gbo | these were not problems.
gbo | but difficult tasks to achieve.
gbo | when I joined the company, we were 3-4 people
gbo | it was not easy to do what we did but we did it.
gbo | now, new people come every day and thaings are really
becoming a lot easier
gbo | but we are still a small team
gbo | and the IFA fair in Berlin for instance took lots of time and
gbo | that's why we have been silent for almost three weeks
gbo | at least i have been silent because I was realoly busy.
Phalanx | When can we see OS upgrades and will it be more vigorous than
when C=3D went from 1.3 to 2.0 (length of time), also will the OS be
ported to a more common hardware platform?
Babbage | ok a couple of things......
Babbage | a) why does the price of the amigas when they come back out
unchanged seem so high? with no excuses of production runs etc.
especiall the 4000/60, there way higher than they should be, especially
competing against lower price higher spec pcs '. and you say there are
so many people wanting amigas, you should easily recoupe any costs
selling them at more competitive prices
gbo | these prices are to be seen as introductory prices
Babbage | b) do you see yourself aiming newly specced amiga hardware at
todays specced similar machines, or way ahead to try and win back more
Babbage | re b) i know many people who wont give things a second look
at those prices :(
gbo | the a4000T is actually a new product, since it hasn't been
released by Commodore on the mass market.
gbo | there have only been 200 pieces manufactured
gbo | starting up a production like this is very expensive.
Babbage | c) will you be talking to non developer users as well, eg.
demo / pd game writers when designing new hardware as well for ideas
gbo | we didn't take over any production facilities from Commodore
there are first professional users such as companies who need
Towers like SCALA for instance, who bought a big bunch of them.
and also TV channels for their production needs. The problem with
production costs is extreme for DRAMS. without ESCOM and their
connections, nothing would have been = possible at all.
gbo | we know that the price is high but that's life, we are
starting with 20000 units of A4000T and the bill of material is high
gbo | b) we want to RISC and enhanve the custom hardware
Babbage | re b) do you want to meet other platforms or beat other
gbo | c) we are listening to everyones suggestions
Tau | one important question: what is the word for developers?
Tau | when can we expect a working developer support program?
gbo | tau: we are going to support developers of course
gbo | ADSP is being currently build up
gbo | we are talking to SAS for having a supported C system
gbo | we also are talking to a german company that has finished
development of an object oriented C++ system on the Amiga
Babbage | gbo: know if escom are gunna setup their own software in-house?
Babbage | that would help!
Tau | I believe I'm talking for all remaining Amiga shareware
developers when I say that the future still remains very unclear to
us. In fact, for many people the present is unclear
gbo | tau: we are all amiga fans here, we really do all our best to
succed in bringing it back to the market
Tau | I for one hope to see developer support information on your
www server RSN
Babbage | gbo: be cool to see a place set up where all www, ftp, irc,
etc.etc. is all run on an amiga :)
NiteFlite | gbo: One would hope so given the money Escom put in, also si=
nce the Amiga is a passion you should expect this irateness from us. :>
--- --- --- --- --- --- ---
[This second conference was an extension of sorts, two days later, of the
Tau | gbo, could you start by giving us a quick overview of the
near future plans of Amiga Technologies? When will we actually see
machines on sale, and where will we see them?
gbo | please be aware that
gbo | i am a PR guy, not an engineer
gbo | actually today was a historical day for us
gbo | the first 1200 board came out of the line
gbo | it has been tested and was good.
gbo | so we can now go into mass production.
gbo | the A4000T should be delayed a few more days that means that
the machines should hit the shelves on schedule. now that
production runs, we can concentrate one other things
gbo | like what we want to do for next year.
gbo | next thing to arrive will be the 060 board for the a4000T
gbo | then we want to enhance the A1200
gbo | give it more memory expansion onboard,
gbo | make the motherboard less power consuming
gbo | adding an easy CD ROM expansion with MPEG
gbo | These are the plans for the near future, this means early
1996 for us.
Lohengrin | One of the thingsthat made the Amiga less tha popular was
that you couldn't go into mainstream software shops and purchase Amiga
titles readily. Does Amiga Technologies have any plans to encourage
large software chains and/or independant dsoftware retailers to carry
Amiga compaatible titles again?
gbo | Of course we are. We are also talking to software editors
[Note-I presume he means "publishers" -Jason] to make them write
that software we want to see in these shops (jonathan Anderson is
doing a good job regarding this in the UK)
jalovick | I have 3 or so questions
jalovick | has AT contacted Australian distributors,
jalovick | what of hte old range will you continue to support
jalovick | and do you think you'll move away from the 680x0 CPU soon ?
gbo | We are looking for a distributor in Australia but haven't
chosen one yet. we will have to move away from the 680XX processor
range for sure
NiteFlite | What are or will be the eventual USA marketing plans or
promotions? If so, will you coordinate them, or Ed Goff (ie/ the US
office)? Any dealer support? GA
gbo | In the united states, we are looking for a partner more than
for a distributor. We have some negociations going on at the
moment that seem to be very promising. Currently, we have signed a
non-exclusive agreement with a distributor called SMG. this
contract is valid until the end of the year. marketing and
promotion will be made by our partner in the states, in accordance
with us of course
narwhal | Will the CD32 be reintroduced or an upraded version? Or at
least will the MPEG card ever be available? I have three sx-1 CD32's
gbo | The CD32 should not be reintroduced this year
gbo | We want to do something new next year on the CD32 base. For
the MPEG card for the actual CD 32. I think that we aren' t going
to produce it anymore. But we are looking at the market and if it
is worth it, we have no problem if a third party co mpany wants to
produce it under licence. This could actually be a good solution
NorthWay | when can we hope for ADSP to restart? are you going to do the
chips in CMOS for lowpower? and was the DSP project sold to a 3rd party?
gbo | adsp will restart
gbo | yes, we want the chips to consume less power. This is
actually one of the development goals for the near future
gbo | Sorry, don't know about the DSP project.
Idea-MW | Are there any plans for an internet package for the Amiga?
There is potential but alot of internet software currently available
seems to be under-supported or not entirely user-freindly, at least
when compared to PC applications.
Tau | mattc informs me that the DSP project was completed but never
gbo | Yes, we are working on an internet package indeed.
gbo | I think this will be a very sucessful bundle for the A1200
and for the A4000T.
Tau | is it based on AS225 or AmiTCP?
gbo | For the A1200, we want something that can run with disks and
the standard 2MB of RAM. And the package has to be very easy to
use, sort of plug and play. regarding online services, we actually
have a lot of plans but these i can't talk about
Tau | gbo, will this internet package be based on AS225 or AmiTCP?
gbo | It depends on more than one factor.
gbo | the advantage of AS225 is that it' ours
gbo | the advantage of Amitcp is that it's better
Tau | many of us TCP/IP software developers might disagree on the
gbo | i haven't said witch one we will use, so what is there to dis
agree with ?
Frotz2 | gbo: you expressed a preference for which one is better, one
that many developers wouldnt agree with.
gbo | amitcp is more advanced
Tau | (there are several TCO/IP oriented developers here, and to my
knowledge all of us prefer AS225 (or Interworks' I-Net 225))
Tau | okay, two would prefer AmiTCP ;)
The_Kid | Are we going to see A1200 with 2 megs chip and 2 megs fast
out of the box? And will the A1200 be more or less in price now tha t
your ppl are making them?
gbo | The current A1200 slod will have 2 meg chip ram and an
optional 170 MB harddrive loaded with the bundle sW
gbo | the price i can tell is 699 DM without HD and 999 DM with 170
gbo | the prices of course will depend on different countries, VAT,
Timmer | My question is regarding OS development... have any plans
been made yet in this area, and WHEN will deve lopers be given any
clue as to the directions the OS will take? Also, who is in charge of
OS development that developers can contact? [and I prefer AS225 over
gbo | The OS has to be improved in many points
gbo | actually you know them as well as we do
gbo | there has been some work done on this by the AOS replacement
gbo | please don't ask me about details but i know about ressource
tracking, vMem, and memory protection to be urgent things to
gbo | the docs for developers will be made available on our ftp and
www servers. this is being made currently. there will be email
adresses for ADSP support. we are still building up this developer
support structure and we want it to be efficient and easily
Tau | can you give a time estimate when these will be available?
Tau | gbo, as you can see, people have more questions than you have
time to answer. Maybe there is something wrong with Amiga
Technologies PR? ;)
gbo | tau: servers are running
gbo | domains are reserved and used
Tau | gbo, I tried to access said servers on Monday with no luck.
gbo | email adresses have to be made and publicly announced
gbo | the developer docs have to be put in a directory
gbo | i think this should be running in two weeks.
gbo | (actually it is already but not accessible yet)
caldi | Also OS related, we have a BOOPSI toolkit called ClassAct
which addresses a number GUI/API issues, who would be the contact to
discuss inclusion of such work in the the OS? And, will developer
support be public or private and $$$ as it was with CATS?
gbo | i said at the beginning of this conf that i was no developer
nor engineer but i will try to answer the question gbo | i think
this support should be $, not $$$
ramscan | what about delevoper support on BIX, whats happening to that?
and will 3.1 RKMs be made available?
gbo | BIX is also a theme of discussion among our support guys
although i'm not into that discussion, i know that it is one of
their concerns and that they will adress it for sure
Frotz2 | gbo: the lack of information now is far worse than even
during the liquidation, to be honest. the lack of public notice is
VERY bad for you guys. We don't even have contact info for the US
gbo | i know. We are very busy with fairs currently and the PR
section is just built up now. not easy to get the adresses and
databases for the press worldwide. because we dont only want to be
present in amiga magazines.
gbo | but don't tell me that there is less info than during the liq
uidation, it's simply not true.
Tau | this is the feeling here on the field
Frotz2 | gbo: there was FAR more media coverage of the amiga in any
single month of the liquidation than you folks have managed in 3
months. it's a fact.
gbo | we are going to be present at the world of Amiga in Colone,
10-12 november 1995. maybe because journalists prefer to report
Frotz2 | gbo: i'm sure it has nothing to do with inactivity on your
gbo | and BTW i was the one providing info about Commodore on the
net for one year
[He certainly didn't have an exclusive market on that...-Jason]
Jerusalem | As a long time member of a user's group, I'd like to know how
your support is set up for User's groups, and How will Canadian dealers
aquire the new hardware, Thanks
Cyberwlf | gbo: What sort of media coverage (if any) is planned for Aust
ralia? (or even Australasian region)
gbo | we will support user groups and fairs and events and
everything possible according to our human ressources. of course
we know how valuable user groups are for us. this can be by
sending some machines, POS material or attendi ng etc. but please
be aware that we still are a small company.
gbo | we now have 32 people in Bensheim
gbo | 5 in London
gbo | 3 in the USA (sorry i had to count)
gbo | and 3 month is NOTHING when you build up a company
gbo | and the will be the Amiga homepage THE OFFICIAL ONE this