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Copyright 1998
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Reader Mail

From: "Jeffrey D. Webster" <jweb@primenet.com>

Jason,

To begin with, I recently visited Gateway 2000 to visit a friend recently
employed by them for Amiga, Inc.  My friend, Gary, is very excited about
coming events, but for ND reasons, was not able to elaborate.  I trust my
friend.  One thing I've noticed in recent months that supports his
excitement is the renewed interest in the Amiga.

I had 14 Amiga 1200's in my possession, my company consolidated a little
bit, requiring that 7 of them go.  I sold them inside of 2 days, locally. 
Most of them to "PC buffs."

My first question to them, of course, was, "where did YOU hear such great
things about the Amiga?" The response, "the Amiga has always been a great
machine, with a bad company."

Now, this bursts a bubble (THE misconception) I have had.  The plain simple
fact of the matter is that the vast majority of "power users" are very
tired of the status quo; in this case, Microsoft.  Their reason for liking
the Amiga?  Number one response was, "it's designed so you can customize
the OS look and feel almost exactly how YOU want it, not how some overblown
company THINKS you want it." I had never really thought about it.  But, now
owning a Compaq Presario, I realized that they are so correct.  The Windows
'95 environment gives you a few options to give you the "feel" you want. 
And, even at that, the options are limited to a small group of
modifications that MS felt were most important.

I then look over to my overused Amiga 1200, and Amiga 4000, and think,
"wow, those two systems have completely kept up, aside from the hardware."

I have every feature that Windows '95 offers, and more.  I can, albeit
sometimes through hacks and patches, customize EVERY aspect of EVERY GUI. 
To me this was a thunderclap.  In my bitternes towards the downfall of my
favorite computer, I had completely overlooked one important fact: The
Amiga is timeless.  This simple truth now gives me a renewed hope that
Gateway 2000, via Petro and AI, is not setting smoke screens with tricks
using mirrors.

There is something that always helps me keep things in perspective,
however.  I recently visited "Best Buy" for some memory, a CD-ROM, a new
HD, some ZIP disks, and a Scanner.  Every item I purchased said, "For
Windows '95" on it.  Now, of course, I simply overlook such drivel. 
However, I found it interesting to pick the salespersons brain on my
purchase.  I questioned, "For Windows '95, eh?" He replies, "Yes,
everything you have is for Windows '95."

I asked him if they would work with Windows 3.1.  He stated he was not
sure, but that he thought it would work since both were Microsoft products,
and most 3.1 Windows applications work on Windows '95.  Surely it was true
the other way around.

The CD-ROM and HD were IDE.  The ZIP Disk was for the ZIP Drive which is
SCSI, as is the scanner.  I asked him whether the ZIP disk was for Mac or
IBM.  He stated it was for neither, but, in fact, only for Windows '95.  I
then revealed to him my application.  "Amiga?!  No, no, no.  These will
absolutely not work on an Amiga, they're Microsoft only..."

I thought to myself, "I know there is no conspiracy...  but now I know why
it seems there is to so many."

It's not a conspiracy.  In fact, it's marketing.  Microsoft has, through
marketing strategy, brainwashed society to question compatibilies of
EVERYTHING.  It has to SAY SO on the box, or it simply ISN'T SO.

You and I can chuckle over this...  until we think of our "lowly" Amigas
that cannot use these standard-interface peripherals because they are for
Windows '95 only.

I think a good approach to marketing the Amiga is to ridicule not Microsoft
itself, but the notion that standard interface devices (like SCSI, IDE, and
RS232) suffer from insurmountable software incompatibilities..  I think the
Anti-MS approach is a dead-end.

Something else came to mind, as I was with the musical group I am a member
of.   We were "jamming", and the following lyric came to mind because we
were having writers block with our poetic prose...  While playing a little
melody on my Piano, I sang in jest,"My Amiga, My Friend..."

That is why the Amiga is stuck to our ribs...  It is truly a personable
machine that grows on you because it is an extension of you.  It absorbs
your personality, because you made it what it is.  It allows you the
freedom to make it so.  And for that reason, "My Amiga, My Friend" can be
appropriately applied.

Just some thoughts from someone who has still a bit of hope, and faith.

Jeffrey D. Webster
(IRC: sascman)


From: Pascal Chevrel <chevrelburo@magic.fr> Hello Jason, I just wanted to say that the new HTML version of AR is a good thing.
From: Ishmael Hallin <rbaron@pop.dimensional.com> Come on now, AlgoMusic might be a fine example of creative and insane Amiga programming, and I must admit to having played around with it many times, but I don't think the songs it creates are exactly... danceable, but more like plain silly. Maybe it's just the samples (some of them are from SoundTracker disks!)... however, it's an awesome piece of code.
From: Robert W. Benjamin <rwbenjamin@sosbbs.com> Please tell folks about my site in your AMIGA REPORT Magazine. The address is: http://www.sosbbs.com/~rwbenjamin The site has free AMIGA AMOS & BLITZ PD games to download, and now for 1998, a new AMIGA SHAREWARE business has been started 'RWB SHAREWARE'...
From: Mitch Landry <mitch@readynet.net or fot@readynet.net> I recently found a used DKB Megachip 500/2000 however it had no book with it. Since I have wanted one for years I was not going to let that stand in my way of installation. Your article "review of the DKB Megachip 500/2000" allowed me the necessary jumper configurations and installation instructions to safely install this item. I asked around on IRC and yet got many conflicting pin #'s like "Oh yea the clip goes on 35 of gary or 37 of gary. Boy am I glad I found your article. Thank you for what you do and for your support of the AMIGA Sincerely yours Mitch Landry
From: Carl Butler <ab399@virgin.usvi.net Hi Jason, A follow-up on my New Year's Day "green screen". My Derringer card is at CSA and un-repairable. They are going to send me a new one (as soon as they get my money). I am running OS 3.1 with my old sloooow 68000 CPU in my A2000 and was wondering if the following is a new feature of that OS. When I get a GURU, the red one where it says press left mouse button to continue... After abot 10 seconds the system reboots with no action on my part. (automagic). Is this a new un-documented feature of OS 3.1? Regards, Carl - Yes, OS 3.1 will automatically reboot after a guru. I imagine this was done primarily to keep all of us from sniggering at our local cable stations when their prevue guides crash and would blink forever. - Jason
From: "Michael P. Klinosky" <mpk2@enter.net> Hello. Getting really concerned that I hadn't gotten AR for several months, I thought I'd investigate. [I almost figured that my email address got lost in the shuffle.] Well, I guess you're still working on getting the system back up; I see that the last issue was 5.09, which I got by email. But I was surprised to see an html version! (I don't remember you mentioning that one exsisted ...) Anyway, I downloaded it so that I could set up my browser. Well, I think a couple things would better if changed. (I'm sure that you anticipated this from a few of us. :) ) The first is how to get to AR (once de-arced). A while back, I figured that it would be really convenient if I put the dir in my browser's hotlist: I could then load AR with a just a few keystrokes or a mouse click. Note that I mean doing the same thing for every issue, whatever its name. However, that doesn't work the way you have it (unless I rename the ar* dir to, say, ar. I suggest that you change it so that it's the same for every issue. That is, have the dirs named ar and images, _or_ don't even have the ar... dir. The latter method would still work because, by your advice, this would be de-arced to a dir named AR. (Actually, I prefer this method - it mimics a regular web site.) The other suggestion is to use frames. I say that, at the least, you should have a frame for the sections (ie - editorial, etc.) Just a small one, along the top or bottom edge. This would make AR easier to navigate and read; the section graphics wouldn't have to be reloaded on every page. I also say that you should use frames for News, Reviews, and Features. Here I mean a frame down the left side for the list. This way, the reader wouldn't have to go back to that page for the next item. Please let me know your ideas. Thanks!