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1995 World Of Amiga
By: C. Edward Stewart
Patience is a virtue, they say; Amigans must be truly virtuous. After what
can only be described as a farcical bankruptcy procedure, the Amiga was
left adrift, holed below the waterline by those that were supposed to be
sailing her. We watched, aghast, as the fair-weather-Amigans jumped ship
in droves, quoting Gatesian drivel all the way.
Now, over a year later, we stand once again on the deck of the best boat in
the computer fleet. Amiga Technologies has run the flag back up the
flagpole and set sail into the future (or back for the future!).
First, the drawbacks
The show was held in one of the smaller rooms of the International Centre.
While that wasn't a major drawback, it was a noticeable difference from
There were a lot more `look what we can do' booths than in previous years.
I always like to see new technology, but it bugs me when the people showing
it neglect to bring any for sale!
A lot of the display machines were either not working or were running demos
that remained stuck at the final credits screen for far too long.
The show certainly gave a good indication of what is coming in the future,
but was a bit shaky in the here and now.
Who was there
I won't pretend to remember everything that went on, but here's some of the
notable companies and exhibits.
TPUG (Toronto Pet User's Group), still showing the C64 (though it was in a
very minor position - finally), had a fair-sized booth and some Amiga stuff
ABUG (Amiga Based User Group) also had a booth, though they were a bit less
flashy than the TPUG. Also, ABUG had a huge pile of games, peripherals,
computers and other Amiga paraphernalia for sale. Most of it was used, but
all in good shape.
Valley Soft had flyers with price listings for a bunch of Amiga games and
Newtek's Video Toaster and all the related hardware was there, of course.
The best news? This year, it wasn't just a `toaster show' like the last
WOC was. As usual, Newtek's flyers were slick and their presentation made
me glad I had an Amiga.
Legendary Entertainment was there with their Psygnosis game blowout. Not a
lot of titles, but at $2 per game, there were a lot of people walking out
with stacks of Psygnosis boxes.
PageStream was shown there, PageStream 3, that is. Their big boast was
cross platform compatibility.
Right near the door was the MicroScribe 3D device. It looked like a robot
arm and it was used to digitize real world objects into the computer. It
was quite a neat toy, but way out of my price range. If you are a toaster
nut, you might want to check this one out.
DKB was at the show, still supporting the Amiga. They had displays of
their line of products and some very slick information packages.
Wonder Computers, the show sponsors, had the biggest booth, right in your
face as you walked in. Unfortunately, the dearth of new hard/software
extended to them as well. There was a lot of hype, but no new stuff!
AMIGA Technologies GmbH had what could have been a very impressive booth.
It was open and they had both 1200's and 4000T's there, as well as the new
M1438S monitor (PAL version). The problem was, there were no staff there
to talk to. I wandered around, looking at the innards of the 4000T and
fiddling with the 1200, but no one seemed interested in telling me about
them. The spec sheets are quite impressive, though I think that, if they
are going to put one out, they should get someone to proofread it.
There were other booths there but I was not impressed. I liked the corner
where a TV place had set up a number of Amigas for people to play with,
running digitizers, trackers and such like.
All things considered, it was a good show. The overall impression I got
was one of hope for the future. If AmigaTech gets the North American
advertising going, they may be able to put the Amiga on top of the heap.
If they follow the example set by Commodore, the Amiga will remain a
computer that gets `Amiga? What's that?' from everyone you tell about it.
That about wraps up my coverage of the World Of Amiga show in Toronto in
1995. Now I can hardly wait for the one in 1996!
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