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                               Just Use It!
  David Prime                                 

Copyright 1997 David Prime

During the past few years of turmoil, Amiga users and Amiga publications
have become increasingly focused on the financial and technological status
of the Amiga marketplace.  What seems to be foremost in Amiga users' minds
is concern over who will own the Amiga.  Following closely behind is
concern over software development and future technological improvements of
the Amiga platform.  Although I share an interest in these important
issues, I feel that more attention needs to be paid to the reason people
bought Amigas in the first place.  To use them.

My motivation for writing this arises from my own increased use of my
Amiga.  For the past few years time pressure from work and university
allowed me only limited opportunity to use my Amiga for the things I bought
it for.  My computing activities have, for the most part been restricted to
word processing and internet access.  In 1996 this changed.  During the
past year I completed two projects for which my Amiga was not only well
suited but actually had advantages over a Windows or Mac machine (although
that's not the point - just an extra bonus).  The first project was the
creating of a computer based presentation and measuring system for my
psychology honors project experiment.  The second was the creation of a
video project which my brother gave to his friends as a Christmas present.
The success of these two projects has inspired me to start several new

The increased use of my Amiga has also led me to reflect on my long
experience with computers and why they fascinate me.  My first exposure to
computers came in elementary school with a Commodore PET.  I was attracted
to it instantly, even though all you could do with the machine was play
games and program (more games of course).  I also desperately wanted to own
one.  I couple of years later my parents bought me a Commodore 64 and
entered the world of personal computing.  Over the years I have read about
or encountered people who have used their computers in many interesting
ways.  A small example of these uses include educational uses, various
artistic projects, desktop video, control of household electrical
appliances, live multimedia presentations, video projects, model train
control, computer aided design (CAD), scientific calculations, medical
imaging and astonomical telescope control.  This list could be extended and
elaborated on to an almost infinite degree.

The moral of this story is that the uses a computer can be put to is only
limited by the creativity and skill of the person who uses the computer.
The quality of a computer is a measure of its ability to allow users to
achieve their goals.  The best computer is the computer which is best used.
For these reasons I urge Amiga users to share their experiences with the
Amiga community.  Do you use your Amiga for an unusual application?  Is
there so project you are particularly proud of?  If so share your
experiences with the rest of us.  Demonstrate your techniques.   Show how
you overcame obstacles.  Do you have unsolved problems?   Maybe someone can
help.  There are many ways you can contribute your ideas and experiences. 
You can submit articles to Amiga Report or other publications.  You can
give demonstrations at local user groups.  You can contribute to Usenet
discussions.  You can upload resources to the Aminet.  You can set up a web
page.  By communicating your knowledge and experience you will inspire
others to attempt new things.  You will educate Amiga users to get more out
of there machines.  This can only be good for the Amiga.   People who use
their machines are more likely to purchase software and expand their
machines.  As long as Amigas are being used the Amiga will survive.