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compt.sys.editor.desk By: Jason Compton
This magazine thing is a strange job. Sometimes it's not so much about
disseminating information to the public as it is making sure that the
public's imagination doesn't run away from them. Sort of what we could
call the "constant stream of information" theory--unless Amiga users get a
constant stream of information (which is of course impossible) there is a
chance that their imagination will try to fill in those gaps.
That's where the press is supposed to step in and fill the dead space with
reassurance and reminders. So here's what I think is a much-needed
reminder that--hey, put your imagination away and stop pining for older,
"better" times because it's actually quite good.
Through a complicated walk through my mind I got to thinking about what it
costs to equip an Amiga to the nines today, compared with two years ago.
In the summer of '95 you would have paid something in the vicinity of
US$1500 if you wanted an 060 card. Tack on another $600 if you want a
graphics card. So, $2100 to take your Amiga to the top of the charts in
Now, thanks to some cost-reduction and competition, an 060 card (by most
accounts better than the one you would have bought back then) can be had
for half that. A new-generation graphics card, on average, about US$400.
So, about half as much money for newer, better products. Not too shabby,
I'd say. Count in other costs exogenous to the whiles of the Amiga market,
like RAM and HD prices, and you're spending even less.
Before you simply say that it's the march of technology making things
cheaper, I'd like to point out that the general trend as of late has been
not just to make existing products cheaper, but introducing the next
generation of performance at lower prices as well. Case in point, the
introduction of the CyberVision 64/3D and Picasso IV at prices well below
their predecessors. The PowerPC cards from Phase5 are similarly going to
clock in at an overall lower price than previous new accelerators have.
And on the low end of things, I've just received information on a
forthcoming A1200 030/33 accelerator boasting 4 megs of onboard RAM at the
price of US$115.
Now. I hope that's settled a few nerves, because I don't have the sort of
information you might be looking for. Gateway still hasn't sent out any
spec sheets on the next Amiga and we shouldn't expect them to any time
soon. But in the meantime, there's plenty of stuff to do. Surely, the 50+
news items and the absolutely massive WOA report will keep you busy for
some time--it certainly kept me busy trying to get the issue together.