HTML preface: At last, the HTML version has been released! A little later than we'd hoped, but we really believe you'll like the results. Because of the time constraints we have not added screenshots, etc. to this issue of AR. That will start in the next edition. Another piece of good news has come our way--we will be able to run a special "notification" mailing list courtesy of Fred Fish and Cronus for those who wish only to be informed that AR is available for HTML viewing and download. More details and signup information will be made available soon.
Work on this issue is finally coming to an end. And yes, it's been a long time since we put out 5.07, although I must say that most of you showed considerable restraint in not mailing me too much about it.
A lot of work went into getting this issue ready for the new graphical HTML format we'll be moving to. That's right. Amiga Report has finally made the switch. Initially, we had thought we could maintain both an AmigaGuide and an HTML version of the magazine, but now that we've seen the result of the HTML version (which, if you're reading the AmigaGuide version shortly after its release, will be available in a few days), we've realized these things.
1. HTML lets us do a lot more with Amiga Report.
2. HTML lets us make Amiga Report look a lot better.
3. Trying to maintain both an AmigaGuide and an HTML version would be nearly impossible on anything resembling our current schedule.
For these reasons, Amiga Report in AmigaGuide is a lame duck. We'll do one, perhaps two more issues in .guide format, and thereafter switch fully to HTML. For the time being, the HTML version will be available on Aminet and through participating web sites. Once the switch is made, however, we'll use the Amiga Report mailing list at firstname.lastname@example.org (the "areport" list) to distribute HTML Amiga Report. Because HTML tends to be larger, and because we'll be able to include pictures much more readily, the magazine will be split up into multiple archives, logically ordered (a text archive, and various graphical archives as needed).
There are a minority of readers who cannot even read AmigaGuide but struggle through reading the magazine as text. To these readers, a switch to HTML means a slightly higher level of inconvenience because the magazine will be in multiple text files instead of just one large .guide file.
There is another minority of readers who do not have an HTML browser. My advice? Get one, they're easy to find and run on virtually any Amiga configuration put together since 1989. Your browsing mileage may vary, of course (Amiga Report in HTML has been IBrowse optimized but looks quite good on other Amiga and non-Amiga browsers), but AWeb, Voyager, and IBrowse demos are all over the place--online, on shareware and magazine CD-ROMs, even on commercial CDs as front ends. Check out AR 5.08 in HTML when released and we hope you'll agree with our decision.
A lot has gone on besides just switching over to HTML. Last issue, I was about to leave on a trip--to Gateway HQ, where I participated for a few days in discussions with new Amiga, Inc. GM Jeff Schindler, his skeleton staff, and the directors of the ICOA (or Open Amiga for "short".) Petro was there as well. Most of what went on was friendly talk and just getting acquainted--there was of course some mutual brain picking going on, as Amiga Inc. wanted to know what market insiders and well-known luminaries like Andy Finkel thought about the Amiga market, while we all hammered at them trying to find out what their plans were.
As of today, Amiga, Inc. has not been able to hire many employees--partially due to a company policy imposed by Gateway requiring them to fill upper management positions first before fleshing out their larger engineering and marketing staffs. It may seem somewhat disappointing, but I was greatly inspired by the drive and level head with which Schindler is approaching the situation. For now, cooler heads need to prevail and these guys need a chance to get up and running before TOO much judgement has passed.
They have made some attempts at a public presence--Petro is flying around making personal appearances, and new moving target PR man Darreck Lisle has made some stops in the US as well. What they've said so far is largely general--no spec sheets are being handed out. But they will be at the early November Midwest Amiga Expo as well as the large Cologne Computer '97 expo. By then, perhaps we'll hear a bit more.
PS: It looks like I'll be at the Midwest Amiga Exposition, along with Assistant Editor Katherine Nelson and our partners from Legacy Maker. Hope to see some of you there!