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                               Reader Mail
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From: "Rick L. Henderson" <tnp@mosquitonet.com>
Subject: Dec '96 Amiga Report

Hi Jason,

I am the president of the Interior Alaska User's Group and have been an
Amigan since I excitedly bought my first A1000 right out of the delivery
van in 1985.  Since then I have owned almost evry model (mutant models not
withstanding), and some of the side trips such as CD32.  I have been an
active member in user groups since my C64 days before the 1985 awakening. 
I have worked as an Amiga repair technician for an Amiga only store, and
for the past 6 years had my own Amiga only home business helping other
Amigans with repair troubles and just general assistance.  I have
personally sung the praises of the Amiga throughout the years and have
introduced many current Amiga owners to the machine (including a large
chunk of our current User's Group which was all 8-bit until I landed up
here in the great white north).

This information is given to you so that you have an idea that I'm not an
Amiga virgin just bursting on the scene and then becoming disillusioned.  I
am an Amiga fanatic!  I'm also the System Administrator for a large Novell
4.x network with a G6-200MHz machine on my desk and many "toys" to play
with.  To this day it amazes me how I can use all that power at work and
still enjoy my Amiga at home (I do not own a Intel-based system at home).

The Amiga is simply the most elegant OS of all time!  It has so many
benefits over the MS-Sloth machines that it frustrates me to rantings that
the rest of the world is blind to this fact (just ask some folks I work
with;)).   Unfortunately the Amiga is starting to feel the ravages of time.
I'm writing this on a damn flickering screen Amiga 1200.  So many things
about the Amiga are really starting to drive me away from it and this makes
me more mad.

The lack of closure to this bankruptcy thing has already cost the Amiga
support of almost every major software company we had.  Thank goodness for
companies like Softwood, Oregon Research, etc...  for sticking with us for
so long.  I'm genuinely afraid that if something doesn't get settled soon
there may be no recovery.

I applaud the new systems like A/Box for trying to fix the problem, but
unless the Amiga community declares the Amiga dead, the A/Box may just
serve to split an already weak support structure.  At this point, if the
A/Box becomes a reality fairly soon, I'm ready to make the jump minus a
compatible Amiga OS, as long as the same things that made the Amiga great
are somewhat recreated...

Why did I write this?  Just letting steam off I guess.  I'm ready to move
to a new system, but like others I don't want that new system to have a
fruit on it, and an Unintel Inside system is not what I want either.  I may
have to work with them, but they can't make me own one!

So where does this leave me?  Still waiting...  and waiting...  and
waiting...  It seems as though the light at the end of the tunnel is an
oncoming train.  Let's hope it's a train we can all get a ticket on, and
not one that will drag us under as it goes by.


-    The issue of fragmentation of the Amiga market by machines such as the
     A/Box, PIOS One, etc. is a very difficult one.  There are some in the
     Amiga community who feel these machines should be embraced as
     legitimate parts of the Amiga's journey, and others who think they
     should be utterly verboten subjects in an Amiga publication such as
     this.  Right now, AR is taking a "watch and see" approach to these
     machines--it is clear that these machines are in need of a user base
     of the caliber of the Amiga's--but then again, the Amiga needs that
     user base as well.  Personally, their very existence is a heartening
     thing for me if for no other reason than it means there are still
     new ventures unafraid to stand up to the WinTel hegemony.  Alternative
     Computing Now!  -Jason

                            --- --- --- --- ---

From: Fabrice MANSAT <fmansat@sgn-co.vn.DHL.COM>
Subject: Capital Punishment

Hi Jason!

I wanted to purchase Capital Punishment, but I won't be able to do it
legally because of the violence and because of Demonia character.

I'm living in Vietnam and we shouldn't be more than 2 Amiga users here.  So
I must order everything by mail, and the customs check EVERYTHING!

This country has a new policy to fight against the social evils that
include sex and violence.

I hope they can make other games that don't give so much trouble to be
purchased.  I know that this game won't be imported for nearly the same
reason.

Cheers,

Fabrice

-    Hmmm.  Not much that can be done for Fabrice, unless someone knows how
     to smuggle small packages into Vietnam.  It's really a shame since on
     the grand scale of things, Capital Punishment isn't that bad.  -Jason

                            --- --- --- --- ---

From: Jon Klooster <matix@netspace.net.au>

Hi there all,

Once again I am drawn to write to what seems to be the only magazine that
captures the heart and soul of the Amiga spirit.

Right down to the `Something in the way she moves..' (which is written
somewhere when you buy an A2000 complete from the box, no screwdrivers
required - first 2000 correct emails will get a smiley!  )

Over and over I get subjected to pc's and their non-doorstop uses, and
every so often I wonder if it would be worth my while to just get one
instead of converting documents and spreadsheets to and from the formats
`they' use for my use at home.

But once I visualise setting `them' up, and trying to use them and `their'
100Mb help-systems which need online-help to use them, and not having a
sub-15 second startup-sequence, and no more scripts to easily set up
assigns for a game or complete programming environment, and the way `their'
installer programs drop their sh*t everywhere, and to use a certain game
you have to modify your startup then reboot, then do the same to get your
sys back when you've finished playing,..  And did I mention real
multitasking, which `they' almost manage to fake.

Sure they may be a bit faster on certain stuff, but I have at least a one
minute head start every time I switch on my machine.

And that one minute for me is the bestest time in the whole world, because
I know that there is not a single pc out there that can give me that
minute, just the way my Amiga can..

-     Well, other than liking to read a good compliment, I'll let this go
      without further comment. :) -Jason

                            --- --- --- --- ---

From: MAX HEADROOM <rushmax@calweb.com>

Hello,

I just read about AR making a slow change to HTML.  I don't mind the WWW
but I also don't really use it a lot.  I prefer AmigaGuide style of
reading.  For a few reasons.  AG is easier to pull up, doesn't require the
memory that HTML does (load in the Browser, then read), & AG most people
prefer.  I'm a Top Uploader on a few AMIGA boards here...I get stuff from
Aminet & send to them.   Many of those people aren't on the Net yet & some
don't want to get on it at all.  So if AG format it "killed" then it won't
continue to reach everyone.

Just some thoughts from a dedicated reader.  Thanks for AR, Jason, it's an
excellent Mag. ;)


-     We'll likely keep making an AmigaGuide version available, but the
      prospect of running multiple mailing lists is pretty daunting.
      - Jason

                            --- --- --- --- ---

From: "Lau W.Nielsen" <LWNielse@post6.tele.dk>

Hello Jason!

First, thanks to you and the rest of the staff for making such a great mag!

The first thing I would like everyone who reads this to do, is go pick up
an old computer/electronics magazine.  You know, the really old kind that
you can bring to the toilet without having to buy a laptop.  You should
look for one that is dated somewhere around '85-'87. 

Found one?  Good, now start searching the pages for words like 'amazing',
'new' or 'fantastic'.  When you find one of these words start looking at
what it is that is described by those words.  On one of the pages you will
most likely find a mention of a new computer system that everybody wants. 
Yes, chances are that you will find the word 'Amiga' mentioned in the
article you just found.

Now start reading.  Read really careful.  Read exactly what it is that is
so incredible about this new thing.

Finished reading?  Great, now write down everything that the article
mentions as being new, innovative or just plain fantastic.

You should now have a list of some of the things that made me buy my
computer.  It was things that was impossible to do on any other computer at
the time, things that were so new and innovative that today the others are
still not completely up on the same level.  Winslows 95 claims to be the
worlds best operating system, and many people agree with that.  Not because
they are stupid, they just don't know any better.  We know better.  We can
do things on our Amigas that they will never be able to do.  Or so we
thought.  They, and all the competing systems are catching up, and they are
getting closer each day.  Still, they don't have things like ARexx, but
that is maybe just because Bill Gates think that Winslows users are just to
stupid to use such a great and useful system...  or maybe he just haven't
got the kind of vision that makes such things possible.

We have.  We still have.  That's what makes us stand out from the others. 
We can actually think for ourselves.

In the next century I want to be able to say the same thing, that I just
said.  I can think for myself.  I can't say that, and then sit down and
turn on my Intel-based machine, and wait 10 minutes for Windoze 2000 to
boot.  Instead I want to sit down and turn on a machine that represents my
will to not be controlled by people who thinks they know what is best for
me.  I think many Amiga users feel the same way.

The name of the machine i want to use isn't really important.  I don't care
if it says 'Amiga' on the front.  But I do care about the ideas behind the
machine.  The Amiga is the best machine I know of, the represents this
idea.

We all know that it isn't doing too well these days, and if we want it to
survive something has to happen soon.  I know this has been said before,
but it is getting more and more true each day.  So where should it go?  The
most important thing is the question of custom chips or not.  I want the
computer to be able to do things the others can't do.  Go back and look at
the list you made earlier, that was what made it special.  Standard chips
will not be special, the others have them too.  If we want a new computer
(Amiga or not) as the successor of the current models, and we want it to be
based on custom chips we have very few options.  There is the AAA, the
3D-RISC and Phase5's ABOX.  AAA and 3D-RISC are not being worked on, not
finished, and are already old.  And I doubt if AAA would keep up with the
new standard chips.  So we have only one left: the ABOX.  If Phase5 can
keep their promises about this computer, then it would instantly, the same
day i is released, make everything else old, slow, expensive and obsolete,
just like the A1000 did.  It can do things the others simply can't do.  And
much cheaper.  According to Phase5 they are working on this right now.
Forget starting to develop a completely new chipset -we don't have the
time.

In the last couple of years we have not seen much serious, expensive,
kill-the-others type of development in the Amiga hardware field.  And now,
finally, someone does it.  I support this 100%, and hope that you will do
the same.  We need something new that will take the Amiga a giant step in
front of the others.  If the ABOX is realised, then i wonder if we really
need the 'old' Amiga anymore.

The AT sale has already taken much too long, delaying the Amiga technology
development for far too long, for it to make a serious comeback in it's
present form.  A new 68K Amiga will be the death.  It's simply too small
today.  Noone, except amigians, will buy a computer that runs a 50 MHz
'060, when they can go down to the local PC store and buy a 200 Pentium for
less.  I am not pessimistic, though it may sound like that.  The Amiga can
make a comeback, but only if the ABOX hits the market this year.  I don't
see any point in wasting more time discussing how to bring the 'real' Amiga
back, it ain't going to happen, it is too late.  But if anybody feels like
proving me wrong, please do so, but do it NOW!

I wish all of you a good year, and I hope that this time next year we will
all be using big powerfull PowerAmiga's.

   Lau W. Nielsen, somewhere in Denmark.