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                          Notes From The Frontier
  Frank Salvatini                             

NFTF 7/96

So I'm all freeze-frame, snapshot, bound-up in limbo-like nowheresville.  I
feel like a passenger during a Transporter malfunction.  You know, dust all
over the place, but going nowhere at the speed of light.  This is the
emotional condition of Amiganauts everywhere.  As I talk to fellow club
members and Amiga users around the world via the internet newsgroups, I
find a general ennui, a malaise vaguely reminiscent of post-traumatic
stress disorder.  In fact, I'd probably call it that except the trauma is
far from "post", and way the hell past "pre".  We're definitely adrift in
the middle of a huge sea of trauma, latitude 0, longitude 0 (isn't
zero-zero island supposed to be around here somewhere:^).

Anyway, a good number of Amiganauts seem rather despondent at the
Viscorp-Escom receedings (as opposed to PROceedings).  What with AT and
Viscorp both spewing uncertain directions, vague promises, and NDA excuses,
and Amigans riding roller-coaster rumors and swinging on vines of hope
(what do you think would have happened to Tarzan if his vines were made of
hope?), there are a hell of a lot of desertions to the PC and Mac
platforms.  Desertions by still loyal Amigans who look back with longing at
the tombstones of dead girlfriends, knowing full well that they're settling
for security and stability and mediocrity, and that the wilder, more
passionate ride is over.  They're doing a dead man's float in their
individual pools of grief and anger and loss.  Yup, this is the climate of
the Amiga frontier.

And, I say, to hell with it all.  

I'm tired of watching legal, and corporate and technical developments like
an entymologist studying his bugs.  Bugs disgust me and so do the latest
"press releases," the hyper-hopeful-hype, and the killer app vaporware that
has been the Amiganaut's steady diet for the last three years!  I'm tired
of being asked to visualize the large, juicy steak I'll be getting from the
bone fragment I'm tossed.

Now don't get me wrong.  I've nothing but praise for the likes of the loyal
companies that put their money where their mouth is.  Hooray and extremely
high kudos for Nova Design, and Stylus, Inc., and Wonder, and Safe Harbor
and Software Hut, and Paxtron and Pios and Phase 5 and Oregon Research, and
Chaocity and Quikpak and Softwood, and Softlogic, and Digita and Cloanto
and Almathera and, yes, even NewTek and Scala,Inc.,(boy, I'm starting to
feel better as I type this list:^).  Well done, people.  And Because you
stuck with us thru thin (was there ever "thick"?), I'm sticking with you.

That's right.  I'm not jumping ship.  I'm not deserting.  Oh, sure, I use
Mac's and PC's at work, but that's because I have to.  I realize that
though the press hype is all about those platforms "catching up" to the
Amiga's capabilities, the fact - yes, fact - is that they are not there

Understand? NOT THERE YET!

Win95's interface is still in your face, and Macintosh still makes me feel
like I'm in a bicycle race with my training wheels on.  No, it's only the
Amiga that causes me to choose to be at the computer instead of having to
be.  With all the above metioned companies, I have software that I'll be
using for years to come to produce what I both need and want to produce.
But the big difference is that I'll enjoy doing it on the Amiga! 

The above lament was simply a plea to Viscorp or AT or Escom or whoever the
hell owns our beloved technology, that time is getting to be more and more
a commodity we have less and less of.  We just don't have the time (or the
inclination) to read or listen to your bullshit anymore.  What set-top box?
The idea of browsing Internet Web Pages on my TV set may give my
Optamologist wet dreams, but not me!  Who do you think is going to read
text on TV's - especially text that's been created for SVGA output?  Who do
you think is going to RENT pieces of software for their everyday needs at
what will no doubt be usurious prices?

Perhaps you believe that marketing (a synonym for hype and lying) will
create a demand for these useless products and methods.  After all, look
how Wild Bill Gates managed to convince the sheep that Wintel is the cat's
meow.  How Apple convinced the Graphic Arts industry's lambs that their
overpriced, overprotective, memory-gluttonous hardware and software should
be the industry standard.  ("Hey, I'll just pass the cost on to the client,
heh..heh..").  Well, I've said this before but it bears repeating:

"Amiga users are not sheep, they're wolves." Remember that as you pick up
your shepherd's staff. 

Now, Viscorp, or At, or Escom, if my "take" on this is ill-informed, or
uninformed, or misinformed then please understand it is because I've been
informed by you.

Ciao for now...
Frank Salvatini
- The Prez
- The Amiga Connection
- Roselle, Illinois.