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                            Midwest Amiga Expo
  Pat Larkin                                    74246.1077@CompuServe.COM
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[Thanks to the Gateway Amiga Club for sharing this article with us.  The
GAC FLAK newsletter often reprints Amiga Report articles, so we're just
catching up. :) -Jason]

This is your far-flung correspondent reporting on the Midwest Amiga Expo
in metro Columbus, Ohio.  Seven of us from ASK gathered in the pre-dawn
gloom for the trip and finally got on the road about 8:30.  We pulled
into the parking lot of the Westerville South High School right at the
stroke of noon, only to find we had to walk all the way around the school
in the _very_ nippy wind -- we had caught up with the cold front that had
passed through Louisville the night before.

Once inside, I knew we were in for a treat -- a large room with a dozen
or more tables lining the walls and a large central area, all covered
by groups of people several layers deep.  I estimate there were well over
150 there when we arrived.  I had brought along my ancient Polaroid SX-70,
and got some halfway decent snaps.  There were a couple of guys from our
sister group, Gold City of Fort Knox/Radcliff, KY; Shawn Randolph of
Silent Paws Productions assembling a portable A1200 with color LCD screen;
two shots of master Amiga artist and animator Eric Schwartz (one showing
one of our group, but Eric blinked) sitting at his shiny new A4000 Tower
and huge 20" TIMM monitor; and Joshua Dinakaran of Wonder Computers
International, all the way from Canada.  I left the snaps with our scanner
professional -- sure hope I get the scans back in time to put some of them
in ASK's November newsletter!

Eric and his dad, of Weingarten Gallery in Dayton, Ohio, had lots and lots
of old and not-so-old hardware and software and quite a few CDs and videos
of Eric's work.  The CDs and videos sold out by 3 PM.  They sold quite a
few T-shirts bearing Eric's work as well.

The Jesrani family, of Columbus' own Compuquick Media Center had the largest
(and busiest) set of tables piled high with all manner of goodies.  One of
our number added a 68030 accelerator/ram card for his A1200 to his load of
booty from this booth.

Another of our troup came away with an A2386 Bridgeboard from the Neather
Realm Software table, after learning that he could upgrade it to '486 or
even '586 clone performance.  The man is a (computer) speed freak!

There were many user groups represented.  Amicon, our hosts, and groups
from Michigan, Tennessee, Kentucky and of course St. Louis.  The folks
at the Gateway table were just getting ready to leave for a wedding by
the time I got to their table, but I managed to pick up a copy of the
November GAC FLAK (another _very_ nice issue!).  Cool mugs, too; are
they the color-changing type?

A little after 1 PM, the crowd thinned CONSIDERABLY.  I wondered if there
were some really big game starting until it was pointed out to me that
the Toaster/Flyer demo by Steve Easly started at 1.  Oh.  Well, at least
now I could reach the tables and see what all there was to see.

In what I thought was a brilliant move, one Saul Hoffman had his loaded
A2000 sitting on a table next to a sign reading "Sick Amiga Workshop --
Suggestions Welcome."  The poor thing wouldn't boot properly and about
80% of the software on the hard drive(s) wouldn't run.  Many people
stood about and made dumb suggestions until we finally hit on something.
Turns out he had been running a web browser (Voyager, I think) and
apparently the image cache had overflowed and corrupted his hard drive,
including some system software.  We got it to boot properly from a floppy,
and all the software on it ran fine, while the hard drive versions still
froze.  By the time I wandered on, enough had been restored from the
backup on the handy internal Syquest 44 that SID would run, making the
rest a piece of cake.  (I love happy endings!)  *B^)

It was great putting faces to several people I knew only as names on email
or in exchanged newsletters, though the Amicon people were too busy to
talk much, and everybody else was too busy scrambling to grab all the
goodies they could before it all disappeared.  I did manage to nosily ask
about attendance.  The Amicon people hadn't done an official count, but
unofficial estimates placed paid attendance at "well over 250" by 5 PM, so
they shouldn't end up suffering from the experience (except for fatigue).

Finally, richer by several pieces of hardware, many CDs, videos and software
packages and a couple of T-shirts (and poorer by several hundred dollars),
our group wended its happy way home, arriving only thirteen hours after we
left.  We were sorry to have to miss Jason Compton of VIScorp and Don Hicks
of Amazing Computing, both scheduled to be there the next day, but it was
time to move along home.  On the whole trip, the navigator was responsible
for only about two and a half wrong turns, none disastrous.  On the whole,
it was a BLAST!

Really makes me look forward to Gateway's Amiga '97 show next March -- that
one should be even BIGGER!!!

Pat Larkin  Amiga Society of Kentuckiana  Louisville  Kentucky  USA