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                     REPORT ON THE PAWS AND THE GECKO
  John Scotto                                           JScotto@Wazoo.Com
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I have just had a rather interesting conversation with one of the gentlemen
of Silent Paw Productions (SPP).  In case you're not aware SPP advertises
the Portable Amiga Work Station (PAWS) - a kit to make a laptop type Amiga
- and the Gecko a video adapter for the Amiga to allow the use of VGA
monitors.  I really hadn't intended to pass on my conversation initially so
I will be forced to paraphrase for most things.  However, I do believe that
folks may be interested in the information I was able to gather.

First I must say that I was rather surprised to actually get a human to
answer the phone at SPP - I took this as a good sign as their phone message
had previously said that they would begin voice phone support as PAWS was
about to become available.  After the necessary introductions I asked the
obvious questions "When will PAWS be available?" and "How much will it
cost?".  SPP was very forthcoming with these answers: PAWS is in production
right now and will be displayed at the VTU Expo in November.  Initial
release models have a 10.5" active matrix screen and will cost around
$3000.00 (US).  I was told that PAWS is developing a cost reduced LCD
adapter that will allow use of dual scan and/or passive matrix LCDs but
that model is not yet available.  SPP was careful to point out that the
included video adapter does not add anything to the Amiga's native video
capability i.e.  your screen and adapter can display much more than your
Amiga can output.  I asked about he possibility of complete PAWS setups
with motherboard pre-installed and was told such options will be up to the
distributors.  Unfortunately, I was not able to get a complete list of
distributors.  My final PAWS question was about peripherals and the
gentleman told me that if it works in a 1200 without modifications it
should work in PAWS he was however unsure about 3.5" hard drives.  At this
point the conversation turned to another SPP product - the Gecko.

The Gecko was described as an adapter which will allow Amigas to use
standard VGA (31.5 KHz) monitors.  It will basically intercept the Amiga
RGB signal and convert it to a 31.5 KHz one.  He did say "most" modes and I
can only assume that some modes which output at around 24 KHz may be the
exceptions.  The Gecko is slated to be released "in November" and will be
as "low cost as possible".  SPP's goal being a product that makes it more
cost effective to buy than simply paying extra for a multiscan monitor.

Overall the tone of our conversation was very friendly and helpful.  The
PAWS is clearly aimed, initially, at a high end market with a more more
middle of the road product to follow as sales warrant.  Gecko is going
right for the heart of an Amiga community suffering monitor envy of our PC
friends and their lower priced 15" and 17" monitors.  It was also good to
hear from another serious developer who has stayed with the Amiga, the last
hobbyist computer.