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                               Reader Mail
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From: Bill Silvey (mstrmojo@hotmail.com)

Jason,

Don't know if you still remember me...we used to chat via email about the
amiga (DUH!) way back when long about two years ago...I was "maxheadrm" on
#amiga...anyway, I couldn't help but keep up with the amiga stuff even
though I "sold out" long ago. 

I can only say two things: one, I prefer rice pilaf with my crow and two
YIPPEE!  Well, three things...my next computer (job willing) will NOT be
another x86 machine.  Fooey on them!  I've had one for two years now and
other than the vast library of software available[1] and the fact that
parts are cheap[2] there is NO advantage to this...this...BOX.  Oh I'll be
keeping this piece of crap (work and whatnot) and I'll even upgrade it
(thank you, PC market for making every technological advance obsolete every
year, like clockwork!) but I *will* be acquiring a Gateway-2k A1200.  And
the PPC expansion card.  And a 64m SIMM to go in it.  And a grafitti
dongle.  And a Squirrel CDROM drive.  Oh yes, there will be expansion...and
Shapeshifter, and a 1 gig internal HD...

I'm so happy I could scream.  Gateway!  Who would've guessed!  Gateway!

<singing> Happy days are here again...

[1] About 40% of them harkening back to the days when a 386 and 4 megs of
RAM was all you needed to run software; the rest being bloated unoptimized
code...

[2] You get what you pay for.  "Forty dollar" soundblaster "clones" are
unuseable about 80% of the time, and their "emulation" only emulates the
soundblaster PRO - an 8 bit sound card.  Don't let a PCer tell you that a
soundblaster is *still* any cheaper than $100 -- they ain't.  Maybe $80
mailorder.  I've been through a clone card already and I'm about to tear
the current one out with a pair of pliers. 

Take care, and feel free to use this letter as a testimonial in AR to let
folks know it's ok to come "back to the fold."


-    Well, there, we've told them. :)
     I'd just like to make a comment here--while Gateway was a surprise in
     the fact that we hadn't heard them as being interested, they certainly
     seem to follow a trend that PC clone companies are interested in owning
     the Amiga technology... -Jason

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From: Harry Flaxman (hflaxman@meganet.net)

As usual, your reviews are right on the money!  Prior to upgrading to a
40mhz 040 from a 25mhz 030, I followed your lead and installed Executive,
as reviewed in the last issue.  It was a god-send for the old 2500.  I have
yet to see a program reviewed in your publication fail to live up to it's
reviewed expectation!

Keep it up!

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From: Michael Branin (mbranin@gower.net) 

I have an AMTrade HD Drive.  My son pulled the sticker off
the bottom that invalidates the warranty.  I not so worried
about the warranty but under the sticker there were 2 copper
jumper wires hooked up only by the sticker and now the floppy
drive will not recognize disk that are inserted.  I was 
wondering if you knew or anyone else knows where to hook these
2 jumper wires back.

-    Unfortunately, I can't help Michael on this one.  Is anybody familiar
     enough with the AMTrade that they can tell him what he needs to
     reconnect?  -Jason

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

From: "Harlan Carroll" <hcarroll@inu.net> 

Quoting AR 5.03's CyberStorm Mark II review: Benchmarking an 060 card can
be difficult.  Real-world tests are generally the only way to go.  The
Cinema4D render test I'm fond of (320x400 raytrace of the included Stairway
example) gives the following results:

Blizzard 1260-- 1:26 [Running CyberPatcher] 
Cyber 4060   -- 2:00 [Running CyberPatcher] 

As you can see, the Cyberstorm Mark II is fully 3 times faster than a stock
A4000 or A4000T configuration, and runs rings around most other 040
implementations (and the Draco, whose 060 is apparently poorly configured).
It is interesting that the CyberStorm does not outperform the Apollo A1200
040 card by as much as one might expect, and it itself is significantly
outperformed by Phase5's A1200 Blizzard 060 card. 

Right now, the CyberStorm Mark II is the most impressive 060 card on the
market, hands down.  It runs about US$850, depending on where you look,
which means it's typically $50 or $100 more than the competition.  (QuikPak
offers a US$750 price with a 3640 trade-in, and the Apollo 060 card
generally sells around that price point as well.) However, the superior
technical support, compatibility, and performance are well worth it. 

My response: 

You say that the Blizzard 060 card outperforms the Cyberstorm 060 card and
yet you say that the Cyberstorm os is the most impressive 060 card on the
market hands down.  Isn't the Blizzard still cheaper and more powerful?  
Not to split hairs, since they are both Phase 5 cards and in different
types of Amigas.  Would you say that that Cyberstorm 060 card is better,
hands down, than the other 4000 accelerator cards?  Thank you for listening
to my ramblings.  <G>


-    Yes, my oversight in phrasing.  -Jason