In September 20-21 has happened in Empoli (Italy) a new Amiga fair, called "Pianeta Amiga", organised from Jasa Communications S.r.l. (http://www.sigea.it/jasa/pianetaamiga/pajasa.html), a society of services that is concerned with organisation of shows and fairs and of telematic information for private and public corporate body. Jasa Communications, for his realisations, use exclusively Amiga. A new fair for Amiga, to the his first edition, I think that it is an unique case in the actual landscape of demonstrations for our preferred computer. The new fair was greeting very enthusiastically from the Italian Amiga users, that felt the need of a point of rendezvous where not only speak about the system and programming (for this there is already the convention of IPISA), but also for can find hardware and software to preview and try. In fact, after the fall of the Commodore, the shops that sell material for Amiga in Italy is enough few, and best part of the consumers is constrained to buy for correspondence, without can preview first that that purchase, based only of the celebrity of the product and of the proofs on the specialised magazines.
Arriving to the Palaesposizioni of Empoli, where the fair was held, one see the big share of people from the work of find a park near it. To the ticket office, after have paid the entry (£10.000, about $6, or £ 5.000, about $3, for whoever had sent the discount's ticket publicised on Amiga Magazine and Enigma Amiga Run), came given a depliant in five languages that illustrated the actual production of Amiga International and an sticker. Entering, the first thing that era was noticed an exposure of the computers made by Commodore, from the VIC-20 to A4000, passing by C64, PLUS 4, A1000.... (oddly missing only A1200). Surely a covers homesick of the past of many Amiga users. To the side the stand of the Amiga Group Italy, the organisation that group all the Italian groups of Amiga users, present in practice on all the Italian territory (http://www.inmedia.it/Amiga) (Note for the Italian Amiga users that they don't know it: there is a group also in your city, if you want to know other people with the yours same passion and change experiences contact them).
To the inland of the fair the chaos reigned sovereign. The share of the public was beyond the best forecasts of the organisers: only in the day of Saturday 20 there has been beyond 1000 entries. The more crowded stand was surely the Nonsolosoft's one, probably the most greater Italian retailers of software for Amiga (catalogue on Aminet in docs/hyper/ZCD.lha). Among the more required CD there was the new Aminet Set 5 and Aminet 20, both in preview for Italy, beyond to the AmyResouce series (a series of CD realised in Italy with the best of the shareware software and commercial programs, presented in Italian). They grabbed the bookings of the n°5 (unfortunately still not ready for the fair), and showed the European/USA release, that they pick up the good than till now appeared on the series, but the all realised in English. They to the stand were present the representatives of Haage & Partner, that show their C/C++ compiler working on PowerPC603 card. In vision also the card Picasso IV of the Village Tronic, in the last release that corrects some dysfunction with AGA chip and complete of all the additional modules.
Other stand much frequented was that of Class X, that they exposed their programs for the videoproduction: X-DVE, FontMachine and the new VideoFX. Here the programmers, together to those of H&P, were realising the porting of X-DVE on PowerPC. Spectacular speed is announced. In front the System Shock, a BBS in Florence based on Amiga, that illustrated the offered services. The corner of the home-sickness had given by an A1000 on which Marble Madness could be played from all. Close to them the Underground Software exposed the demo of his game, "The Golem", that had given in exit for Christmas.
The V.C.S.: (Video Systems Computer) exposed Draco and Casablanca, the videoproduction machines, of which they declared themselves to be new importers for Italy. The machines, with the Adorage software 2.5 AGA will show also to the dedicated fairs to the videoproduction in Italy. Also the Fractal Minds presented software for animation, the celebrated Maxxon Movie 4D, arrived now to the release 4.0 Pro and italianized, and the last release of Turbo Print. To the Micronik stand cards with 68060 and PowerPC, more the usual tower case for A1200. The Power Computing instead didn't sell, but it accepted bookings for hardware to send from England, also for GVP's hardware. To another stand sold shirts, caps and pins with the written "Pianeta Amiga" and the logo of the fair, very nice and very required.
The more curious thing in absolute was the Amy Car Racer: a Fiat 126 (perhaps the smaller italian car) with an A1200 connected to most important auto functions: they on the monitor could be seen the state of the lights, speed and RPM, the climatic control and, through a small camera set near the rear glass, do to see an image to use in place of the small rear-wiew mirror. The all had commanded from a remote control through Infrarexx. The car was painted like Amiga boing-ball, with red and white square tiles. The well informed assure that the car also succeeds to travel. To side the stand of the Hurricane Software (http://www.aleph.it/franza/hurricane), that publicised a graphic adventure for A1200, "Escape towards the unknown", and another soccer game.
The expected moment was the conference of Petro Tyschtschenko, president of Amiga International. Together with him were present Luciano Cutrini and Enrico Senesi of the Jasa Communications, organiser of the show, Romano Tenca, manager of Amiga Magazine, and Michael Iurillo, manager of Enigma Amiga Run, the two Italian specialised magazines for Amiga. Mr. Tyschtschenko has spoken about the history of Amiga, likening his adventure to a trip in spaceship. The intervention was fairly disappointing, and there has not been big novelty. Is had created a society of search and development, Amiga Inc., in the Dakota (near to the head-office of the Gateway 2000?) with an organic of around 50 peoples, where it will be bends the development of the system. Is having announced the exit of the new release of the operation system (3.5) for the next spring, both kickstart and workbench, to a very competitive price (~ DM. 100, about £ 100.000 or $ 60), and a new computer for the autumn of the 1998. Of this new computer the processor is not known not even, it must be the PowerPC but now is no more certain for the recent diatribe among Apple and Motorola/ IBM. Mr. Tyschtschenko has insured that won't be an Intel processor (great applause). Surely it will climb on custom chip. More greater indiscretions will be given to the Cologne Computer Show in November. Mr. Tyschtschenko has asked to all (many times) to be patient until to then. In Cologne should be presented also the support's program to the developers, with which there will be a meeting. For what concern the licenses, he has announced a big number of licenses, for the hardware and the software, with future liable accords with Pios, REC (a chinese society) and an interest of Scala to take back the development for Amiga; also for Italy there is contacts with Cloanto. The plans of Amiga International are to develop and commercialise in just (but also jointly with partner) the new computer and the software, and above all of continue the politics of the licenses for avoid the isolation of Amiga. He has told clearly that the brand "Amiga" is protected.
Afterward there have been the interventions of Michael Iurillo, manager of
Enigma Amiga Run, and of Romano Tenca, manager of Amiga Magazine. The two
have judged positively the new stability of the Amiga International Inc.,
but they have asked: more publicity to the computer, especially on their
magazines, certain news about the future of Amiga and better speed in the
development for recover the existing gap with the other computer (PC and
MAC). Mr. Tyschtschenko has announced that the throwing of the new computer
will have effected with an ample advertising campaign, and that the novelty
would have been announces to Cologne. Then follow the interventions of the
spectators, some contented of the novelties, other more critical toward the
behaviour of the Amiga International. Asking to clarify the financial
reports among Amiga International and Gateway 2000, mr. Tyschtschenko was
very vague, declaring the freedom among the societies, but from some
affirmations look as if Amiga International (currently in active) pay
interest on the capital given from Gateway 2000. For the shortage of spare
parts, he has announced that they could be bought directly to the Amiga
International through their web site. For the problem of the difficulty to
find monitor that is able to display all the frequencies of the Amiga, he
has told that they are looking for the system for increase the frequencies
in exit, and so use monitor for PC, most economic than dedicated ones.
At the end of the conference the people has started to go out, and had
organised the classical "pizzata" (pizza-dinner) among Amiga users (to
which I could not have gone). Appointment to the next edition.