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The 10th Anniversary of Amiga Atlanta Inc. Banquet
By: Addison Laurent
Since Jason is writing this up, probably in much better prose than mine,
I'll just try to touch on the main points, and my observations.
I arrived slightly early, got to watch two dueling brand new AT Amiga
4000Ts. (complete with turbo button to turn built-in-speaker on and off)
Then I found Motorola's representatives, complete with PowerPC 604 demo
model running Windows NT. The Representatives told me it was there, to
show the 604 existed and could run NT. (From what I gathered, they were
local Motorola employ ees sent to show the colors. So I explained slightly
what the signifigance of Motorola was to the Amiga, and I think Jason later
did a better job.)
I then wandered around, looking at the local Atlanta stores that had set up
the displays, and ran into Dave Haynie, who was looking at one of the 40
I got a chance to sound him out a little on the BeBox, having noticed quite
a few posts from him on comp.sys.be.
[Personal aside - I don't know whether I want to see the Be succeed. On
the one hand, we've got just about every major remaining Amiga developer
and quite a few ex-Amiga developers interested in the machine. And that
*could* be bad. On the other hand, if AT doesn't keep new Amigas rolling,
and the spirit begins to flag even worse - the Be MIGHT be just the machine
to move to. It certainly looks very nice, with the dual PPCs, with the
off-the-shelf component factor. I can only hope that the Be makes AT more
competitive, instead of less. ]
[deleting a lot of milling around, meeting people, talking, etc]
I found Dale Luck and Fred Fish discussing X11 emulators and a few things.
R. J. Mical joined them, and began talking about the 3D0 operating system
that he and Dale had been major movers during the design of. After his
description, I was ready to go get one, and put a keyboard on it. He
talked at great depth about the lengths th t they went to to get errors
reported, "you WILL RETURN an ERROR CODE!" and the customised filesystem,
with the ability to mirror files to reduce seek times... One comment he
made was that they took the
lessons they learned with the Amiga, and didn't make their mistakes this
I had heard a rumor that there were several NewTek employees in attendance,
but hadn't seen any. So I was slightly surprised when Tim Jenison joined
the group and greeted everyone there.
The dinner started, and I was sitting with two friends from college, and
the Motorola representatives and their wives.
After dinner we had the speeches (please see JC's article for more
The speeches seemed to group into two themes, past and future.
The Amiga club, Mical, Haynie and Fish talked about the past.
Mical and Haynie each touched upon a point, and I cannot do it justice by
repeating offhand what they said, but it helps me try to explain why I use
and support the Amiga..... That the Amiga wasn't a job, it was a goal, it
was a work of art, so to speak, that they weren't just looking to get the
job done, but done well, and elegantly, and with flair.
[ In "real life" I'm a Netware/Windows/OS/2 administrator. And every day I
work on PC machines with easily 3-20X the horsepower of my 3000-040. And
it never fails to amaze me that I'd much rather be using my Amiga than the
PCs. Explaning this is hard, and I don't think there =5Fis=5F an answer.
Tho se of you reading Amiga Report obviously know at least slightly what I
allude to. I'd love to see a transcript of those sections of their
speeched edited and published as a guide to the rest of us. ]
Compton and Jenison (who answered a question at length during the Q&A
session) talked about the future.
Afterwards, a large group went to the "Beer Bucket". As is usual in my
experience with Amiga users, the discussions rambled around, often on
diverse issues with no bearing on the Amiga. I heard Haynie, and a couple
of NewTek employees talking about martial arts.
I was able to talk to Dale Luck and R. J. Mical a great deal, and tried
to convince R. J. that his newfound freedom needed to take him to
Germany, that I'd heard there was this company there, looking to hire...
Attending the Amiga Atlanta 10th anniversary celebration was at the same
time fun and sad. The contacts, the people, the stories... And the worry
that the Amiga might not outlive Commodore by much.
I can only hope that Amiga Technology has the understanding of the
community they they have inherited from Escom.