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                              WOA Show Review
  Jason Eyre                                   eyrej@limestone.kosone.com
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To date I have attended 4 WOA shows over the past 5 years and have enjoyed
them all for the most part.  My friends and I piled into a mini-van in
Kingston Ontario and struck out for Toronto.  We decided it would be best
to go up on the second day of the show, more time to see everything.

After braving the harsh weather during our trip we finally arrived at the
convention centre.  To my surprise the parking lot was practically empty! 
Which in the past was quite full and usually with people directing traffic.
Well I thought to myself that it was still quite early, around 11:30 or so,
and figured more would come later in the day.

I was looking forward to seeing the displays and finding all the good
bargains.  Well we bought our $8 dollar tickets, filled in the ballots to
possibly win the Amiga 1200 system and went in.  Thats when my excitment
for this show was knocked down a peg or two..  The convention room was
smaller and not nearly as nice as the one where the show had been held in
the past.

<gripe mode on>

I pulled out my list of goodies that I wanted to purchase and started on my
marry way hunting for them.  First on my list was AmiTCP 4.0 I've been
wanting to purchase it for awhile and thought that I would wait for the WOA
show to do it since they would probably have some special show price..
WRONG!  I found it at a couple of boothes and the price tag on them read
$149!  I couldn't believe what my eyes were seeing.  The least they could
have done was offer a special show price!  Well I quickly scratched that
off my list of things I wanted to buy and went looking for a new mouse.  I
found what I was looking for at the Wonder Computers table which took up
most of the floor space in the centre of the room.  There was alot of
hussle bussle around Wonder's table and rightly so--they had quite alot of
software and hardware for sale.

I bought my new mouse (EK1000 Eklipse $22.98) which made me feel better
knowing that I was able to find one at a fairly decent price.  I spotted
the Amiga Technologies booth and headed right over to have a look at the
new 4000T.  It was a modest booth with some nice colour brochures of the
Amiga 1200 and the 4000T.

I went right up to the 4000T to have a look at the future of Amiga only to
be shocked at what I saw.  The machine was filthy!  There was dirt and
grime on the interior front panel and not just a little bit.  I couldn't
believe no one had taken the extra 5 minutes and wipe the machine down with
a damp cloth.

The 4000T has an impressive looking case and is quite large, maybe a bit
smaller than the 3000T.  When I saw the 4000T it wasn't running anything
impressive that I could remember.  None of the machines seemed to have been
configured for display.  The 1200 (Dirty aswell) had a plain out of the box
workbench displayed and only had the stock 2 megs of chip ram.  If I was
somone interested in buying an Amiga these machines definatly weren't going
to help to sell me one.  The old labels on the 1200 had been pried off and
replaced with paper labels.  <sigh> After being totally disappointed with
what I saw at the AT booth I went roaming around checking out the other
displays.  NewTek had some nice televisions on display playing fighter
scenes.  In shows past they have had alot of floor space to put on a good
demonstration.  But this year they were relegated to a small area which
made it hard for people to see the demos playing and listen to the guy
talking about the capabilities of the machine and software.

Phase 5 was there showing off its accelarators and had a nice glass display
with the new PowerPC accelarator with the 604 CPU.  Their brochure says
they plan on selling them in mid 1996 in a price range of $700-$1500
depending on what configuration of board you get and for which machine. 
I'll definatly be sending away for more info about the Phase 5 boards. 
These boards in my opinion are going to help breathe new life into our
beloved machines by bringing new software developers to the platform and
possibly taking the Amiga into new areas not previously ventured into.

I spent maybe 3 hours wandering around.  The company that had bought
Psygnosis inventory was selling off the old companies software by the
truckload at $2 a game and giving a free game with every purchase.  I saw
many people walking away with arm loads of games.  They made for excellent
Christmas gifts at that price!

One of my friends was interviewed for a cable show down in the US that is
dedicated to the Amiga, his name is Stev Cole if you happen to catch the
show.

In hind sight the show was a sucess.  Many people are still dedicated to
the Amiga and companies are still willing to support the machine if there
is money to be made and judging from this show there is.  Hopfully the
things I have mentioned in this small "review" will be noticed by the
people responsible for setting up the show and will take note for the
future.