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                          Notes From the Frontier
  Frank Salvatini                                    franksal@xnet.com
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Please allow me to introduce myself, I'm no one with wealth or fame...My
name is Frank Salvatini and I'm the president of The Amiga Connection - a
Chicagoland area Amiga Users group.  I'm an Amiga enthusiast, but work with
Mac's and Wintel clones in my capacity as a Teacher at the College of
DuPage.  I've owned an Amiga for 9 years and will continue to do so until
they can stick an RCA jack into my cerebral cortex enabling me to write the
dolphin-english, english-dolphin dictionary...inbetween my VR wrestling
matches with Michelle Pfeiffer.

What I'd like to do is occasionally share with you my monthly newsletter
column I write for our user group.  I call it _Notes From the Frontier_.
In it, I try to stimulate some thought on a variety of computer-related
topics and I'd really welcome your feedback via e-mail.  Here is this
months offering:

February is traditionally a slow month for computing which means that out
here on the Amigaland frontier, things are so slow that scientists from the
Fermi lab have been spotted stalking Amiga users as part of their ongoing
research into stasis fields.  It appears that some of them who own Amigas
have been trapped inside an Amiga- generated bubble of highly accelerated
time deceleration, screaming something about Velociraptors...

Petey Tyschenko was reported to have experienced an overwhelming urge to
challenge Gilles Bourdin to a game of marbles.  (Gilles declined claiming
to have lost them all...or at least some of the larger balls)...

Irving Gould and Mehdi Ali, having lost the Amiga, experienced a rapid
onset of oldness, each suddenly catapulting to ages 307 and 299 years
respectively.  The little piles of dust they became were swept away on the
breeze created by thousands of Commodore Shareholders Group members waving
legal documents in their direction...

One Amiga Club member stated that when he went to buy a new hard drive for
his A1000, he discovered that he had completely forgotten how to buy
computer equiptment...

There were, of course, no perceptable changes in America Online's response
times, although it was noted that the Mac wait pointer began rotating
counter-clockwise...

I, too, have been noticing strange phenomenon surrounding this slow
Amiga-time.  First, my Visa bill is shrinking, which rivals that old
"stopping-the-sun-for-a-day" trick in the Miracle department.  It floored
me to realize how much money I used to spend per month just feeding the
hole in my desk I call Amiga.

And now that there is no new stuff to buy, I'm forced to actually USE the
stuff I bought before.

Which is leading me to discover all kinds of new stuff...

Like style-sheets in FinalWriter, and a radial gradient tint in
Photogenics, and the best adjustments in EnPrint for getting near- photo
print quality from my Epson Stylus Color printer.  And back in the
pre-christmas money-flush fast-time I used to envy Mac and PC users having
Photoshop (MSP=3D$699) when we didn't and I wished Adobe would port it to
the Amiga; but now, after really digging into ImageFX, combining it with
Imagemaster and OpalPaint, I realize that I could do the same things with
my humble Amiga for half the software cost.  So, Adobe, don't call us,
we'll call you...

Yep. Actually using the software I own...what a concept!

Another phenomenon I noticed was how scintillating, stimulating, and
facinating it is to be with my wife conversing intelligently about life,
the universe and everything (including Doug Adams).  About working with my
hands to rebuild and redecorate the house (I forgot how much fun it was),
to custom-frame forgotten pictures I bought countless Windycons ago, to
refinish those antique lawyer's bookcases we bought last year.

Yup.  Regaining and improving the Balance in my life.  Well that's up there
with the "Go-ahead-and-pinch-yourself, Lazarus" trick in the Miracle
department...

And for those of you who don't know what the hell I'm talking about... 
...get a life...