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The North American Release of Amiga OS 3.5 AmigaFest 99 (formerly referred to as Amiga Expo 99) at the Dayton Computerfest, one of the country's largest computer shows, will be held at Hara Arena in Dayton, Ohio on August 28th & 29th and will be the site of the North American release of Amiga OS 3.5. Amiga O.S. 3.5 is to be formally released the weekend before AmigaFest 99 at the Amiga Show in Australia. While it will go on sale in North America at the same 10 AMAZING COMPUTING time, AmigaFest 99 will be the first Amiga Show in North America where it will be available. This is also the site to see many of the new products being announced and for the developers and manufacturers to demonstrate them. AmigaFest 99 is fully supported by Amiga who has supplied prizes. Prizes include two Amiga 1200s and several Mice, Pads, as well as posters to be given away. There will be two Amiga forums , in the seminar rooms. Additional Amiga presentations are welcome, however, anyone interested in giving a presentation at the show should contact Ron Schwartz as soon as possible. An informal Amiga party is being planned for Saturday night where Amigans
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More Concept Designs Exclusive Interviews!
Volume 14 7 $ 4.95 US, $ 7.25 Canada Display until August 31, 1999 ? M HERE TD I N RI N ITY All the AMIGA Products that You need We don’t know where You want to be tomorrow, but we are still here ‘toi A1230-40 249.00 A1200 ACCELRAT0R with 68030 40MHz FPU 68882-40. 0 Megabyte of RAM and SCSI-II Controler 72 PIN Standard Simm socket, RTC . Great forTowe'r models.
A2040-40 549.00 This Month's Special!
A2000 Accelerator with 68040 at 44MFte, FAST SCSI II Interface 4 72 Pin Standard Simm Sockets (128 Megabytes max.) Upgradable to an 68060 board.
A2060-50 749.00 As above but 68060 with 50 Mhz A4060-50 749.00 A4000 Accelerator with 68060 at 50MHz, FAST SCSI II Interface 4 72 Pin Standard Simm Sockets (128 Megabytes max.) I O Extender 119.00. Two High Speed Serial Ports with FIFO up to 600 «bgud and one Parallel port TBC+ 699.00 The Ultimate Timebase corrector for the AMIGA ask for a Specsheet.
For the Broadcast quality You expect.
Spectrum 185.00 Graphic board for Zorro ll lll Sot. 2 Meg of Video memory with pass through.Works with EGS,Cybergraphics and PicaSso 96 Glock NTSC 349.00 Genlock for all AMIGA’S NTSC; S-VHS Glock PAL 369.00 Genlock for all AMIGA’S PAL; S-VHS Great Valley Products - M Inc. 3580 Progress Drive Suite N Bensalem, PA 19020-5899 USA Tel.: (+1)215 633 7711 Fa* (+1)2156339288. .
Website: wwwrgvp-m.com • Digital,Sound Studio, the best 8 bit Sound sampler in the worldjw GVP 4Meg 55.00 Sirrtm 64 Pin GVP 16Meg 125.00 Simm 64 Pin Scandoubler 175.00 Scandoubler and Fffckerfixerinone external Unit, Ail Prices are rrp USA in US $ All Qrcduc:t$ vcome with a 6 month Warranty ;Techsupport out of PA 8 New Products & other neat stuff Nova releases Image FX with animation!
11 SheepDog by Fleecy Moss Amiga needs to watch the 14 Photogenics 4.0 4 by Robert Bryant Paul Nolan's long awaited update to this outstanding Amiga paint program.
18 Candy Factory Pro by Robert Bryant This eye candy tool offers no big promises, just stunning results with minimal effort.
Photogenics, P. 14 20 Directory Opus by Steve Folberg Adding incredible power and ease to give your Amiga a new lease on life.
26 Aladdin 4D Tutorial 8 Frozen in Splines by Dave Matthews Create Special effects with your animations similar to those of The Matrix and The Gap.
30 Unix Shell Programin Part 5 by Antonello De Santis The last control structures provided by the shell interpreter: "for", "while" and "until".
35 AteoBus MicroniK Tower Adapter Review by Jake Frederick If you own a MicroniK Infinitiv tower, things can get a little more difficult.
46 Amiga Games News and Previews by Jake Frederick Joyride, Operation Counterstrike, Wasted Dreams, T-Zero, and a chance to join Maim and Mangle.
40 Amiga’s Secret Plans In I )( ll I lit S Murv i mi j 1 if t .iwihj's of til*- Iio . .11»I»• now Aini .i s ilviir. Wifli l»l* i n lit. I U m i 11 it* «If.i' Hi i .
6 An Open I.oiler In jinr ulln Anth.ni Vrr ideal [ill) f nil.i:. ,il11’¦ 111 1', Id t 11IIi the tt jii 11 vuiinvainr AC talks directl with the Amiga Vice President directly responsible for marketing and promoting Amiga's next great product line.
Dealer Developer Registration Complete this torm to register vonr i oinpum u ilh mtg.i Ini 36 Playing with Text by t h Conf l iv.it ing inteiesling elTects itli aix ane characters.
38 OPINION A c all tor an Open Nuirco r l.issic miga hi Flcccif A loss It s not kosher to lie to the Amiga collective commnnitv.
Im Bill Pmitwouh’as DEPARTMENTS Editorial 2 FeedBack 4 A Different Perspective 13 Index of Advertisers 48 Holding Our Breath again Once again, the Amiga is waiting for news. How many times over the past several years has the Amiga community collectively held its breath while waiting for a deadline to pass or an event to occur in order to see the future of this platform?
From liquidation sales to new policy announcements, the Amiga community has had to wait to hear from or has been told to go to an exposition, show, or event that would explain everything. After several years of this, the Amiga community has become hardened.
Amiga Inc. Now it is Amiga Inc.'s turn, and my fellow Amigaphiles are less inclined to give them the same latitude they freely gave past pretenders to the Amiga throne.
This is unfortunate, because, unlike past pretenders, Amiga Inc. has actually done something.
Amiga Inc. has purchased the Amiga (many previous leaders had not gone this far), they have hired staff (although small, they have been active) and they have set deadlines. This is the most damning of all. Unlike their predecessors, Amiga Inc. has set deadlines for just weeks and months from now and then asked us to believe them. As Jim Collas said at the St. Louis Amiga 99 in March, "Just give us a chance."
The first of these deadlines is coming up at the end of July and the next issue of Amazing Computing Amiga will be held an extra week to include the final information from this event in that issue. Why is this so important? Because it is Amiga Inc.'s first major hurdle since Jim Collas took control. It is the first time Mr. Collas' chance will come due and everyone will be measuring his performance.
This issue’s Issue This is why we have increased the amount of opinion pieces in this issue and we have also published several interviews with Amiga personalities. As promised, we are continuing to follow, guess and discuss the opportunities the Amiga has today and where these will lead tomorrow.
I am excited about the variety of ideas and viewpoints we have been able to present. This is why we started Amazing so many years ago: to keep the Amiga community communicating. Let us know what you think.
On a side note Jason Compton (as in Amiga Report, the on-line newsletter) recently married a very nice lady I have seen at shows dozens of times, unfortunately, I can't find her name in any of my notes and in this day of political correctness, I didn't want to refer to her as Mrs. Jason Compton. So I first want to apologize for not recording her identity (I believe it is Katie) in my records (something which becomes more important with each passing year) and second, I want to wish the happy couple the best of luck and success in their life together.
They have already put a good foot forward. Before going on their honeymoon, Mrs. Compton (dam!) Placed some of their early wedding pictures on their web site (http: www.ece.nwu.edu ~kati photos Wedding index.html) and promised more on her return. We have entered a truly modem age.
ADMINISTRATION Publisher: Joyce Hicks Assistant Publisher: Robert J. Hicks Circulation Manager: Ann Hammond Traffic Manager: Robert Gamble EDITORIAL Managing Editor: Don Hicks illustrator: Scott Brown Associate Contributing Editor: Fletcher Haug AMAZING AUTHORS Jerimy Campbell Nick Cook Jake Frederick Dave Matthews Antonello De Santis Michael Tobin, M.D. 1-508-678-4200,1-800-345-3360, FAX 1-508-675-6002 http: www.plmpub.com Amazing Computing Amiga™ (ISSN 1053-4547) Is published monthly by PIM Publications, Inc., P.O. Box 9490, Fall River, MA 02720, Phone 1-508-678-
4200. 1-800-345-3360, and FAX 1-508 675-6002.
U. S. subscription rate Is $ 29,95 for 12 Issues. Subscriptions
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POSTMASTER: Send address changes to PIM Publications Inc., P.O. Box 9490, Fall River, MA 02720.
Printed In the U.S.A. Entire contents copyright© 1999 by PIM Publications, Inc. All rights reserved.
No part of this publication may be reproduced without written permission from PIM Publications, Inc, Additional First Class or Air Mall rates available upon request. PIM Publications, Inc. maintains the right to refuse any advertising. PIM Publications, Inc. Is not responsible for the claims, content, and or policies of any advertiser or advertisement.
PIM Publications Inc. Is not obligated to return unsolicited materials. All requested returns must be received with a self-addressed stamped mailer.
H| Software Hut Bolmar Industrial Park 991 S. Bolmar St. Units F&G West Chester, PA 19382 email@example.com Info 610-701-6303 Tech 610-701-6305 FAX 610-701-6306 Orders 800-93-AMIGA Hours: Mon-Fri 9 to 6 Sat - Sun Closed Serving the Commodore and Amiga communities for 14 years. Largest in-stock supply of Amiga Computers, software and peripherals in the nation.
GVP-M DSS &+ with 3.0 Software $ 79,95 A2060-50 060 SOMz accl W SCSI2 lor A2000 699.95 TBC+ timebase corrector 879.95 Spectrum EGS board w Cybe rg raph X software 194,95 GVP S MM for 4Mb - $ 39.95 older board i: 1$ Ub - $ 94.95 O-Lock BVHS Genlock WTSC $ 349.95 O-Lock SVHS Clan lock PAL $ 369.95 0VP I O Extender $ 119.95 A2040 MflrtOmhz sccel w SCSI II and 129mb ramupeolty $ 920.03 QVP Scan Doubler w Rlcker Fixer $ 169.95 Modems & InterNet Sportster 56K x2 Fax Modem $ 149.95 Sportster 33.6 FAX Modem 99,95 Web Manager Pro
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Use any PC Monitor w any Amiga Apollo Ext Scan Doubler $ 129.95 Apollo Ext Scan Doubler w Flickcr Fixer $ 164,95 Scan Magic Ini Scan Doubler w Flickfcr Fixer for A1200 $ 164.95 Scan Magic Ini Scan Doubler for A1200 $ 119.95 Add a 17" AOC Monitor w 12S0 x 1024 resolution $ 279.95 Power Supplies A Expansion Boards A2000 3QQW Bigfoot Pwr Sply $ 169.00 Bigfoot A500, 600. 1200 Pwr Supply 89.95 Bigfoot A3000 250W Pwr Supply 219.95 Bigfoot A4000 300W Pwr Supply 229.95 A4000T 300 Watt Power Suppty 139.96 A3000D replacement power suppty 109.95 A4000D replacement power supply 109.95 Squirrel PCMCIA Card
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Software Hut will be the North American Distributor for these items.
Shipments starting again in Mid-July, Call for details. , Amiga Parts A2000 A3000 Keyboard $ 59.95 A4000 Keyboard 58.95 A1200 Keyboard 44.95 A600 1200 Internal Floppy Drive 59.95 A2000 or A3000 Int. Floppy Drive 69.95 Amtrade HD Floppy A4000 4000T 99.95 Amtrade A2000 series HD Floppy 104.95 Amtrade A1200 HD Floppy 104.95 A500 Disk Drive 44.95 A2386 SX Bndgeboard 25Mz 99.95 A500 600 1200 Power Supply 44.95 Amiga Service Manuals CALL Mouse for CDTV, wired - black 16.95 Amiga Tech Designer Black Mouse 16.95 Amiga Designer Mouse w boing Pad 24.95 Boing Bell Mouse Pad_7.95 Memory, CPUs & FPUs Celll
Prices changing dally.
Complete line of Amiga Custom Chips call tor pricing CD-ROM Drives NEC 32X Internal SCSI $ 99.95 NEC 32X External SCSI $ 159,95 Pioneer 40x Internal Seal $ 99,95 Pioneer 40x External SCSI $ 159.95 100 pieces 74 min CD media $ 129.95 Sony 24x Internal SCSI $ 79.95 Sony 24x External SCSI $ 129.95 Panasonic CDR7502 4x8 scsi Tnt $ 249.95 Panasonic CDR7502 4x6 seal Ext $ 309.95 Sony 948S 4X0 SCSI writable CD Rom Int $ 229.95 Sony 948S 4X8 SCSI writable CD Rom Ext $ 289.95 Rewritable 74 minute Cd Media $ 3.00 Teac 55S 4X12 writable SCSI Int $ 269.95 Teac55S 4X12 writable SCSI Ext $ 339.95 Yamaha 4x4x16 Rewritable
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from YCP 479.95 Input Devices Mindscape Powerplayers Joystick $ 9.95 Cruiser Turbo Joystick 21.95 Prostick Joystick 7.95 Speedking Konlx joystick 14,95 Amiga Designer Mouse w pad 22.95 Amiga Boing Mouse Pad 7.95 Amiga Technologies Mouse, 2 button 16.95 Amiga Designer Mouse Black 16.95 Golden Image JP-100 Pen Mouse 12.95 Competition 5000 Joystick 22,95 Competition Pro Extra clear mini Joystick 21.95 Gravla Joystick Clear 36.95 15 to 23 pin Adapter 26.95 Sync Strainer Adapter 49.95 4 Player Joystick Adaptor 16,95 KB 10 PC keyboard adapter 46.95 Topollno PC mouse adopter 41.95 CD-ROM Software
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Magic Pack $ 399.95 A1200 w 2.lGlg HD Magic Pack $ 539.95 A4000 Refurbished w 040 25mhz CPU, 18mb RAM, new 4.2 gig HD $ 975.00 Genuine A4000T in stock starling at $ 1649.00 Power Tower A1200 upgrade w case, keyboard, & 200 watt power aupply $ 249.95 Amiga Intl. 3.1 OS Kits A2000 A500 $ 79.95 A600 $ 79.95 A1200,3000 or 4000 (Specify) $ 92.95
3. 1 ROM for A500, A600, A2000 (Specify) $ 34.95
3. 1 ROM set for A3000, A4000.
A1200 (Specify) 46.95
3. 1 Manuals & Disks (no ROMs)_46.95 Amiga OS 3.5 Upgrade Kits
$ 59.95 (requires 3.1 OS) Now taking preorders for a late July
release. Make sure you reserve your copy today for our first
shipment. All OS preordcrs can order Fusion PCX emulation
software for $ 24.95 additional.
If you do not have a 3.1 rom you may order the following bundles w roms; OS 3,5 and 3.1 rom for 500 2000 or 600 $ 89,95 OS 3.5 and 3.1 rom for 3000 3000T, 1200 or 4000 $ 99.95 CD ROM Software Tules cont.
Imagine PD 3D 23.95 Insight: Technology 0.95 Learning Curve 21.95 Light ROM 3 19.95 Light ROM 4, 6 or 6 (Specify) 36.95 LightROM 7 NEW 29.95 Light ROM Gold 24.95 Light ROM Gold 24.95 LightROM Mega Bundle (11 Cds) 129.95 Linux Red hat 5.1 34.95 Magic Publisher 34.95 Magic Workbench Enhancer 26.95 Meeting Pearls 3 or4 (Specify) 11.95 Micro RID Volume 5 12.95 MODs Anthology 36.95 Multimedia Backdrops 24,95 Multimedia Toolkit 2 (2CDs) 26.95 NetNews Offline 1 or 2 (Specify) 16.95 Octamed Sound Studio 19,95 p,OS Operating System 26.95 Personal Paint 7.1 49.95 PhotoCD Manager 33.95 Print Studio Pro
34.95 Pyromanla 1 4 2 CD Bundle 89.95 Rstro Gold: C64 Games 4 Emulator 22.95 Scl FI Sensation v2 19.95 Siamese 2.1 CD 49.95 Sounds Terrific Voi 1 or 2 (Specify) 12,95 Studio Print 2-2 39,95 Surface Pro & Pro Textures Combo 55,95 System Booster 26.95 Ten on Ten (10 Cds) 39,95 Texture Heaven 2 12.95 TurboCalc 5.0 99.95 Ultimate Blitz Basic 44.95 Utilities Volume 2 29.95 Visual FX LW 1, 2 (Specify) 129.00 Visual FX for ImageFX 129.00 Wedding Wipes 54.95 Weird Science Clip Art 14,00 Weird Science Animations 19.96 Women on the Web 39,95 WordWorth 7.0 CD 89.95 WordWorth Office 59.95 Workbench Add On
24.95 World Atlas from Wisedrome 34,95 r 1 (Limes tor Amiga Foundation CD $ 39.05 Genetic Species CD $ 39,95 Worms Director Cut $ 29.95 Moon bases $ 34.95 Myst CD $ 54.95 Oloftght AGA CD $ 41.95 Prophet $ 34.95 Putty Squad Call Vulcanology $ 34.95 Hundreds more in stock.
Call for a complete list. J Productivity - Utilities Aladdin 4D 159.95 AmlaaWriter 1.2 99.95 Art Effect 3.0 129.95 Art Effect 3.0 Upgrade (from 1,5) 59.95 Art Studio Professional 64.95 Asim 3.1.1 CDFS 39.95 Aslm COFS Master ISO Bundle 69.95 Aura 16 Digitizer w soundprobe 124.95 AV8R Pro+t W RS232 Cable 399.00 Batch Factory 49.00 Candy Factory Pro CO 64.95 Cinema 4Dv4 CD 199.95 Cinema 4D CD (Upgrade tram v3) 124.95 Composite Studio Pro 149.95 Control Tower 2.0 139,95 Co-Pilot Audio or Video (Specify) 99.00 Corporate Video backgrounds 99.95 Cross DOS v7 Gold 59.95 Cross MAC 79.00 CybergraphX 4
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Draw Studio 2.0 CD Elastic Dreams w PPC support 99.95 Envoy
3.0 CD NEW 69,95 Fantastic Dreams 109.95 Fast Frames 2.0
79.95 Final Data 3 59.95 Fractal Pro 6.10 w FPILv1 CD 85.00
Fusion 3.1 PCX bundle 59.95 Fusion Macintosh for PC Windows
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39.95 HiSoft Basic 2 69.95 HiSoft DevPac3,14 79,95 Hisoft
C++ Lite 89.95 Hisoft C++ Developer 159.95 Hl-Speed Pascal
64.95 Image F X 3.2 239.95 Light Rom 7 CD 29.95 Make CD DAO
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Bundle for Image FX tol 1-4 299.95 Visual FX CD Lightwave
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Studio 137.95 X-DVE 179.95 We Accept ?0 We also ship
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returns will be issued full store credit or 15% jo stocking
fee on refunds. _ SETI at Home, could we get this on the
Missing pages, and Applause and one hand clapping Dear AC: Are you familiar with the SETI@Home project? It's a 2 year experimental program that uses a downloaded screensaver to analyze downloaded radio noise for evidence of non-terrestrial intelligence. Of course, as you have guessed, it's not available (natively) on the Amiga.
I've written other Amigans on this subject, but all they seem to want to do is tell me what a terrible implementation it is and how they sent out the same data slice to everyone for 2 weeks. But to me, as flawed as it is, it's still the sexiest concept I've heard of in a long time, and it could be the best way to get some idle Amiga "classic" computers running again. It might even give people sufficient motivation to upgrade these machines, which in turn could also help out struggling Amiga dealers. I can run it, part time, on my Mac clone, but could let it run almost full time on my A2000.
If a native Amiga version existed, I'd certainly have to do quite a bit of upgrading because I don't have enough RAM or an internet connection on my A2000.1 do plan to buy 3.5, so I'm going to have to do some upgrading anyhow.
I'd like to do more, and running SETI@Home on the Amiga might give people like me the motivation they need to go further. What do you think?
Mark Sielde (firstname.lastname@example.org) I believe in the SETI plan (while not an X File believer, 1 know the statistics are in favor of life on planets beyond our own). I also believe in not wasting resources and this could be a great way to harness capability and need. However, for this to work, someone would need to mite a native version for the Amiga. Any takers?
Dear AC: What would p. 41 of vol. 14 6 look like if it didn't look EXACTLY like p. 41 of vol. 14 5?
Spending the weekend in the basement has some drawbacks g .
Nancy Rose email@example.com Unfortunately our printer pulled the mong file. Page 41 should have been our back issue advertisement. This was fortunate, because we did not lose any editorial or an advertiser's announcement. There were other mistakes by yours truly, but, if you didn't find them, we won't go into them now.
Dear AC: Applause for your tenacity and perseverance. I still have my Amiga 1000 and Amiga 4000 and I had been a subscriber to your mag for quite a while. But, when I went to a Mac clone which also disappeared (ala Amiga), I let my sub run out.
Now, there seems to be a rustling among the ashes and a lot of what appears to be serious reportage about a new or reborn Amiga. What will it be, another PC clone? After all, Gateway has a major interest and one might speculate??
Well, anyway, if Amiga's rebirth is true, perhaps I'll resubscribe. Question is, will the Amiga 4000 be a viable machine with new OS 3.5???
Just a note to applaud your commitment.
Regards, Bill Martin Thanks for the note. To answer your question on OS 3.5 requires a knowledge of what you want to do with your Amiga. This upgrade will provide a lot of functionality to the Amiga, but it will be the user that will need to take the time to make it work for them.
To answer your statement about the Amiga, Yes. Yes, there is a rumbling. 1 disagree it is among the ashes. It is more as if we have been buried in an earth slide. But, there is movement. This issue should be a good representation of that. But don't miss next issue, that is where we disclose the announcements from the shows as well as more solid information on the Next Generation Amiga. ED.
• AC* PI0OS0 Wrlto to: Feedback c o Amazing Computing
P. O. Box 9490 Fall Rlvr, MA 02720 Who is your best Amiga source?
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Amiga Mxm Mmkmotitl SPECIAL Amiga 99 'h« icjtvtil ifo-tr ftus ,mu i Si Lows meni ' 3 Mbddti40t lowltt XnUXIigloCMt Bolter Plate Ttxturt PUS Review*: j Amiga Wrttor ATEO Towar .. Turbo Print xs Gold ED Zombie IMII ¦ Bur Amiga AROS AMIGA 4D Am- i UNIX. L.r.u* Pag earn ood mo:«?
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Address The following letter appeared on Amiga Inc.'s website, June 8,1999 OPEN LETTER TO THE COMMUNITY June 8,1999 Dear Amigans, Ted Waitt was recently interviewed by Guardian Online about Gateway's plans in general. There was also a question specifically about Gateway's plans for Amiga that Ted answered as follows: "we've had a group of people working on leveraging the Amiga assets into an appliance strategy for us. How well that works out, I don't know: it will be interesting to see. There are some great assets there. It's definitely not a computer business." This comment has obviously
spurred many responses from the Amiga community. I want to assure people that this doesn't reflect a shift in our Amiga plans. We have not changed our plans to release a next generation AMERICA’S ONLY AUTHORIZED REPAIR CENTER A500- $ 121.00 *$ 141.00 A1200 - $ 195.00 *S220,00 A2000- $ 172.00 *S199.00 A3000 - $ 209.00 *$ 249.00 A3000T ¦ $ 209,00 *$ 269.00 A4000- S274.00 *$ 314.00 A4000T - $ 296.00 *336.00 3640 board-$ 199.00 ‘motherboard sent with whole computer
* *AMIGA BLOWOUT** We are cleaning out our warehouse and are
selling Amiga products under our cost. See our web page
(www.paxtron.com) for a substantial list with prices.
PAXTRON CORPORATION 28 GROVE STREET, SPRING VALLEY, NY 10977 914-578-6522 1-800-595-55 34 FAX - 914-578-6550 E-mail - firstname.lastname@example.org Web: www.paxtron.com Circle 140 on Reader Service card.
Amazing Computing Amiga multimedia computer. I have described the new multimedia computer and how it integrates into a full "information appliance" environment in my May letter to the community posted on our web site. Please read the May letter, as it will help you understand Amiga's product strategy.
Ted's comments refer to Gateway's product plans for using the Amiga technology. Gateway's main interest in the next generation Amiga technology is for the emerging information appliance market. Gateway's focus on Internet connected information appliances is justifiable given the extremely high potential of this market and its threat to the PC industry. Prominent Industry analysts have called information appliances "the next Internet wave" and "one of the most exciting opportunities of the new millennium." By the year 2002, it is forecasted that information appliance shipments will surpass PC
shipments and there will be more information appliances connected to the Internet than Pcs. If I were CEO of Gateway, this would also be one of my primary areas of focus. But I am not CEO of Gateway. I am CEO of Amiga and I don't want to confuse Gateway's plans with Amiga's.
There is a significant overlap in our plans but there is a difference in focus. I have been empowered by Ted to drive Amiga as an independent company with its own strategy and plans. This will eliminate a major challenge that has held Amiga back for many years. The challenge of getting the proper attention and priority from large corporate parent companies which are focusing on their core business.
Regarding Amiga's strategy, I have mentioned many times that Amiga will use the immense emerging information appliance market to build momentum for our next generation architecture. This is why we have come up with an architecture that integrates the power of multi- media computing into a full home computing environment that includes information appliances. This is a revolutionary architecture and computing environment for the future that combines power and simplicity. It is a powerful plan that gives Amiga a great chance of rising again as a significant force in the industry. On my trip
to Germany and the
U. K. last month, I presented details of the architecture and
plans to a small group of prominent people in the Amiga commu
nity. I did this confidentially to get some feedback and
validation on our plans.
Once people understood exactly what we were doing, the feedback was very positive and people were excited about the revolutionary new architecture.
Personally, I am extremely excited about sharing details of the new Amiga architecture with the community as a whole but we are still in a very sensitive stage relative to competition and technology partners. I know this is frustrating to the community since you have waited so long for a next generation product. We will continue to share as much information as possible when it is appropriate.
I hope this letter clarifies Ted's statements on Gateway's use of Amiga technology. I will continue communicating as much as possible. You can expect to see my June letter to the community in a few weeks. I promise you that 1999 is going to be a great year for Amiga and the Amiga community. Keep the momentum going as we come back for the future.
Sincerely, Jim Collas President and CEO, Amiga
• AC* Amiga International, Inc. Robert-Bosch-Str. 11B 63225
Langen, Germany Phone +49 (0) 6103 5878-5 Fax +49 (0)
6103 5878-88 E-Mail email@example.com www.amiga.com ISO9660,
RockRidge, Joliet and Mac HFS compatible Audio CD-Player
PowerPC™ coprocessor sunnortT
«iii[iryauaw»ioB£isir:4if« a»i|iii Software Hut, Sharon Hill,
PA 800-932-6442 Compuquick Media Center, Columbus, Ohio
614-235-3601 For a list of official Amiga dealers, please visit
us on-line at www.amiga.com Amiga Animation Competition,
ImageFX 4.0 Now with Animation, Amiga PRODUCTS OS 3.5 events,
And Other Neat Stuff Animation Competition Powered by Amiga AMIGA International, Inc. in Langen, Germany and IOM Film and Video productions in Hof, Germany are searching for the best video trailer for the new Operating System 3.5. You can win one of 3 Amiga 1200 HDD Magic Pak (value DM 500, each) or one of 25 of the new OS 3.5 (value DM 99,50 each). Just produce a 30-second video trailer animation using only Amiga software (combining video sequences and audio is allowed). Winners will be chosen by determining the professionalism and originality of the video.
The deadline is October 15,1999.
Everyone can participate. However, your participation in the competition concedes all rights of your video to AMIGA International, Inc. All trailers submitted must be free from third party rights. Prizes will be awarded at the "Home Electronics World" in Cologne on November 14,1999 at 2 P.M. To support this effort, AMIGA International, Inc. will place all neces- USED AMIGA EQUIPMENT FOR SALE
• 4000-040 18 MB desktops $ 809
• PAR cards $ 399; TBC-IV's $ 549
• Toasters $ 299 up; Flyers $ 1795
• Sunrize AD516 cards $ 399
• 3000's $ 299 up; 3000T-040 $ 750
• Amiga 1200's $ 209
• Amiga 2000's $ 149 up
• GVP Accelerators $ 179 up WE BUY AMIGA SYSTEMS | AND PARTS
* 407-h3(V339.i hiyrccnf" wor1 tlncl.all.ik'I Clrcle 155 on
Reader Service card.
Sary logos on their webpage http: www.amiga.de. All trailers must be submitted in a video format.
Please send the trailers to: Trailer Competition, AMIGA International, Inc., Robert-Bosch-Str. Llb,D 63225 Langen Germany. Tor technical questions please contact: IOM Film- und Videoproduktion, Komhausacker 56, D-95030 Hof Saale, Tel.
09281-65325, Fax: 09281-64705, email: firstname.lastname@example.org, http: www.messefilme.de. ImageFX 4 with Animation!
Nova Design, Inc., has announced ImageFX 4! ImageFX combines painting, image file format conversion, image processing, and special effects, for a total package of graphics manipulation on the Amiga.
Now ImageFX is animated. If you work on video using your Amiga or want to work on animations for the Internet, the new animation controls in ImageFX are exactly what you have been wishing for on your Amiga. The animation system is as easy to use as the animation controls in Amiga paint packages but far more powerful and support full color animation, palette mapped animation and greyscale animations as well.
Based on the windowed interface introduced in ImageFX 3.x, ImageFX 4 has added controls to directly manipulate animations. Onscreen VCR-style controls have been added to the layering system to allow you to move within the frames of an animation or even playback the animation in your preview window.
Brushes can be animated across a series of frames and effects can be automatically processed across frames as well!
These controls make it easy to edit animations for use on the Internet on your own web pages. You can create hand drawn animations, brush animations and you can easily rotoscope video sequences, add effects, and batch process.
You can easily modify web animations.
Full support for loading and saving entire or partial FlyerClips is included for Amiga Toaster Flyer owners.
Many image processing functions and effects have been updated to work directly on frames and layers and new special effects have been added such as the Fireworks effect. The new Fireworks effect can create digital fireworks displays on your images. The parameters for the effect are easily animated.
Fireworks uses a special-purpose particle system and can even use custom brushes for the firework 'particles' so you can create everything from a realistic firework burst to a shower of coins!
Distorter is similar to the 3D Perspective Rotate function and can seemingly rotate your image in three dimensions but with no constraints on how you move and adjust the image. You can make it stretch out at any comer or even twist it around itself.
Blob is a fun, if digitally slimy, effect.
With Blob you can set your parameters to make a translucent colored ooze slide down your image. Looking to simulate the effect of slime? No problem with Blob!
With the new Text Generator, you can now use Postscript™ fonts with it in addition to Amiga bitmap, color, and outline fonts with more control over the fonts. The fonts now can anti-alias for the best possible display. Best of all you now see your fonts and text, exactly as they will appear, on the display of the image in its own window!
ImageFX comes on a CD-ROM with sequences of images, animations, and more. If you don't have a CD-ROM drive, ImageFX will ship with a coupon to order a copy on floppies.
If you own a version of ImageFX prior to version 2.0 your upgrade price is now $ 149.95. ImageFX 2.x owners can upgrade for only $ 99.95. ImageFX 3.x owners can upgrade to ImageFX 4 for only $ 79.95. All upgrades include the necessary hardcopy documentation or upgrade documentation and CD-ROM.
Anyone purchasing ImageFX 3.x new after May 20th, 1999 can upgrade for free when they mail Nova a dated proof of purchase with the upgrade request.
ImageFX is available from your Amiga dealer with a suggested retail price of $ 349.95. Amiga Strategizing Petro Tyschtschenko is always active with new ideas for the Amiga logo. His newest branded items include Amiga Cola, Amiga Boing socks (which he is demonstrating for the camera) and boing boxer shorts (which he was kind enough not to demonstrate).
You can order via 1-800-1MAGE-69 in the US and Canada or call (804) 282-1157 elsewhere. Orders can also be faxed to (804) 282-3768 or mailed to: Nova Design, Inc., 1910 Byrd Avenue, Suite 204, Richmond, VA 23230.
Personal Paint 7.1b Promotion With the release of the Personal Paint 7.1b upgrade, Randomize is offering a complete Personal Paint 7.1b package including the Personal Paint 7.1 CD and the upgrade on floppy for $ 30 US, $ 45 CDN. Personal Paint 7.1b is a palette based paint package perfect for webgraphics, 2D animation, animation processing supported RTG boards and PowerPC. More information on Personal Paint 7.1b can be found at http: www.cloanto.com amiga classic ppaint.html For a limited time, they are also offering selected AmigaWares items at special prices in conjunction with the purchase
of Personal Paint 7.1b: Pow- ered-by-Amiga T-Shirt - $ 10 US, $ 15 CDN Premium Baseball Caps - $ 5 US, $ 7.50 CDN (Blue Denim, Black, White & Red). Additional AmigaWares information can be found at http: www.amigawares.com Randomize, Inc., R.R. 2, Tottenham, Ont., LOG UNO, TEL: 888-726-3664 or 905-939- 8371, Fax: 905-939-8745, email: email@example.com, WWW; www.randomize.com AmigaWares Goes Back to the Beach AmigaWares went back to the beach and then created a reworked website with more images and video clips showing off some new products. On-line ordering directly is now available in any
quantity. New products include black T- Shirts, shorts and the AmigaWares CD.
Hit the beach at http: www.amigawares.com. Sales inquiries and orders can be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org or phoned to 1- 888-726-3664.
Randomize, Inc., R.R. 2, Tottenham, Ont., LOG im, TEL: 888-726-3664 or 905-939- 8371, Fax: 905-939-8745, email: email@example.com, WWW: www.randomize.com Amiga OS 3.5 to be introduced at Amiga Down Under ’99 With the imminent release of OS 3.5 for the Amiga Classic systems, the Amiga Down Under show scheduled for August 21,22 will be the host event for the official launch of 3.5. OS 3.5 is the first new product for the Amiga in over 5 years, and it includes the integration of the most requested features by Amiga users. "When I took over the management of Amiga, one of my first decisions
was to get 3.5 moving and get it shipping. Now with the release of the external beta, and the imminent release of the shipping version of 3.5,1 am pleased to say that we are beginning to ship product", said Jim Collas. "This is only the beginning of the New Amiga."
"This has been a very exciting project for us, and we know that this is going to be a great product for the Amiga Community," said Juergen Haage of Haage and Partner - the development partner working with Amiga to release
3. 5. "We look forward to the party in Australia to celebrate its
OS 3.5 is available through your local Amiga dealer or retailer, and preorders are being accepted by most dealers. For those who have pre-ordered FWD COMPUTING
P. O. Box 17 Mexico, IN 46958 USA Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Voice:
(765) 473-8031 FAX: (765) 472-0783 WEBPAGE: hctp: members,
tripod. Com ~FWDcomputlng Phone hours: Tues-Thurs only from
Noon to 7 P.M., other times please leave a message or order on
the machine. Many extended weekends we are gone to sell at
computer shows around the country. Catalogs are available. We
specialize in Amiga software. We accept checks, all major
credit cards as well as shipping
C. O.D. Shipment is by Priority Mail at only $ 5 per order in USA
and elsewhere at $ 8 per order.
Circle 140 on Reader Service card.
3. 5, it will begin shipping as soon as it is released. We are
using the Amiga Down Under show as our celebration party.
OS 3.5 features include easy Internet access, support for hard disks greater than 4GB, a modern Graphical User Interface (GUI), extensive CD-ROM support, support for current printers, PowerPC support, HTML Online Documentation, bug fixes, and other product enhancements. Visit: http: www .amiga.com amigaos35 index-
e. html for more details.
The North American Release of Amiga OS 3.5 AmigaFest 99 (formerly referred to as Amiga Expo 99) at the Dayton Computerfest®, one of the country's largest computer shows, will be held at Hara Arena in Dayton, Ohio on August 28th & 29th and will be the site of the North American release of Amiga OS 3.5. Amiga O.S. 3.5 is to be formally released the weekend before AmigaFest 99 at the Amiga Show in Australia. While it will go on sale in North America at the same time, AmigaFest 99 will be the first Amiga Show in North America where it will be available. This is also the site to see many of the new
products being announced and for the developers and manufacturers to demonstrate them.
AmigaFest 99 is fully supported by Amiga who has supplied prizes. Prizes include two Amiga 1200s and several Mice, Pads, as well as posters to be given away. There will be two Amiga forums in the seminar rooms. Additional Amiga presentations are welcome, however, anyone interested in giving a presentation at the show should contact Ron Schwartz as soon as possible.
An informal Amiga party is being planned for Saturday night where Amigans can dine together with a social time afterward. Keep your datebook open!
Up to date information can be found on the AmiTech-Dayton web site, http: zvww.coax.net people erics amitech.htm Additional information on the Dayton Computerfest® can be found at zvww.computerfest.com. For further information contact: Rem Schwartz: email@example.com or Len Carsner: firstname.lastname@example.org. Play’s Paul Montgomery Suffers Heart Attack Paul Montgomery, Co-CEO of Play Incorporated, died of a heart attack June 19,1999 while vacationing with his wife in Seattle. Mr. Montgomery, 39, served as President, Co-CEO and a member of the board of directors since co-founding Play with his
partner Mike Moore in 1994. Mr. Montgomery is survived by his wife, Michele, his parents and children.
Visit The Amiga Web Directory!
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In 1986, Mr. Montgomery left his position as a product manager
at industry leader Electronic Arts to join a new company called
NewTek. Mr. Montgomery's contribution helped NewTek rise to one
of the most influential companies in video. In 1987, NewTek,
with Mr. Montgomery, created a new video production tool, the
Video Toaster. The Video Toaster is now widely credited with
launching the desktop video industry and resulted in a Prime
Time Emmy Award in 1992.
If you only have a few bookmarks in your web browser, make sure one of them is the Amiga Web Directory! Sponsored by the The Champaign-Urbana Computer Users Group, the "AWD" is the most complete resource to the Amiga on the World Wide Web. Make the Amiga Web Directory your starting to point to exploring the Amiga on the World Wide Web. Visit the AWD at: http: www.cucug.org amiga.html today!
In 1994 Mr. Montgomery left NewTek, and later that year founded Play Incorporated with partner Mike Moore and a close-knit team of former co-workers. Among Play's award- winning products are the Snappy Video Snapshot, the best-selling video peripheral in history, Trinity, Gizmos 98, PC Magazine's 1998 Product of the Year and Electric Image, the low-cost 3D animation software used to create spectacular visual effects for the recently released Star Wars and Austin Powers films.
Play will launch a memorial website dedicated to Mr. Montgomery to celebrate his life and achievements. The site will be available through a link on the Play Incorporated site. Photos and written memories may be emailed to: ThanksPaul@play.com or sent to: Thanks Paul, Play Incorporated, 2890 Kilgore Rd. Rancho Cordova, CA 95670-6133.
• AC* GET NOTICED Please send New Product Information to: Amazing
Computing Amiga, P.O. Box 9490, Fall River, MA 02720,
www.pimpub.com. So, as we reach the middle of the year, we
already know the future of at least one of the largest
potential Amiga markets. In an unprecedented display of
brinksmanship, both Sony and Nintendo have announced details of
their next generation systems, apparently in an attempt to
stifle sales of the only company to actually have a next
generation console, Sega.
SheepDog Amiga needs to watch the competition.
Nintendo, Sega and Sony are not standing still.
By Fleecy Moss We have the Dreamcast, past a million units already in Japan and shaping up for a very nice September launch in Europe and the USA. We have the already near legendary PlayStation 2 (PSX2) running on an 0.18 micron custom chip set, targeted to ship in Japan late next year. Completing the trinity, we now have Nintendo's offering, code named Dolphin.
Look to the March issue of Amazing Computing Amiga for my detailed article on the Dreamcast. Since then, Sega seems to have undergone a bit of corporate turmoil. However, one of their key strategies for Dreamcast, adopting the WinCe Dragon variant as the OS, is starting to pay off big time. With the compelling argument that it takes between 1-3 weeks to port a PC game to the Dreamcast, and the fact that the Dreamcast is HW wise, the equivalent of a high end consumer PC, developers are falling over themselves to port their games to the new console. In fact, Dreamcast may debut with the largest
selection of titles ever made available at launch time. Initial TV screenshots for the upcoming game Soul Calibur have to be seen to be believed, and could very well sell the console on its own.
For Sony, the announcement of the incredible specs for PlayStation 2, seems to have been a deliberate attempt to make developers, consumers and almost everyone else ignore the Dreamcast entirely, and wait another year or two for something truly revolutionary. The PlayStation 2 promises photorealistic, real time rendering, advanced artificial intelligence simulation and real world physics and matter engines. Picking Linux as the OS of choice immediately ropes in the whole anti-MS world, and makes potential development available to everyone and anyone. With the initial furor over, the world is
now waiting to see whether they can turn the vapor into matter. The US Department of Defense certainly thinks so, and is seriously considering banning Sony from selling the PSX2 to China, so powerful will be its computational abilities. Personally, I think the US games players don't want to be whooped by their oriental opponents.
Not to be outdone, Nintendo has announced Dolphin. Dolphin will feature a 400Mhz IBM Gekko processor (a superset of the PPC instruction set) using its patented copper interconnect technology, an ArtX (the ex-SGI brains who helped design the N64 chipset) 200Mhz custom graphic chipset, a 3.2 GbSec memory bus, a custom OS, and a proprietary DVD player. Nintendo claims that this will equal if not smoke the Sony offering.
For Amiga Inc., this represents both problems and potentials. The next 18 months will see three pretty amazing hardware devices appearing on the market, all aimed squarely at the low to medium end, initially gaming specific, but with the potential to shift into a whole range of consumer electronic sub markets. Indeed, Nintendo has picked Matsushita as its DVD partner, and Panasonic has announced it will sell DVD players that can also play Dolphin games. Seeing this, Sony may have no choice but to do the same with the PSX2.
All three are building modems and high speed connectivity into their devices, and it wouldn't take a genius to be able to modify any of them to use the new OpenCable DOCSIS standard.
Dreamcast is tied to Microsoft. It may not like the power this gives MS over them, but they are already seeing the benefits of having such a close relationship with the biggest games developer group in the world, the PC games companies. Indeed, rumors are that MS is in the middle of a huge transition from seEing Oss to selling content, to the point where they may actually start giving the OS away. In the games market at least, they have been very active in buying or signing up games houses, and their forays into cable, webservices, eCommerce and backbone provision aU seem to point in this
direction. Dreamcast could be their doorway to this future.
Sony has chosen Linux. This actually doesn't mean that much. There are companies developing very fast, very slick Linux based RTOSs, and Sony themselves could build a custom OS based upon Linux. They may tie themselves only to POSIX, which means that Linux, QNX, or even the BeOS could be made PSX2 compatible. Nintendo is saying little more than it will be using a custom OS, but given that it is going PPC, and its strategic partner, IBM, has a general license with QNX for "pervasive" digital devices, one could see QNX making a showing.
For Amiga Inc., with their "multimedia operating environment", getting onto one of these boxes should be one of their highest priorities. You may love or hate games, but they are now a huge industry, which has already passed Cinema sales and is now advancing on video sales. If the big three's strategic partners do start to push their technology into the CE market, then the Oss for these devices will become the defacto Oss of the next decade. Amiga simply cannot afford to miss the gaming boat.
• AC* AMIGA Dealer Developer Registration Form In order to
reestablish and maintain a consistent and aggressive Amiga
Developer and Distribution program, AMIGA needs your
participation. If you are an Amiga Dealer or an Amiga
developer, we want to keep you informed of new products
information, events and opportunities. The best way to
accomplish this goal is to register all Amiga developers and
dealers. AMIGA will be solely responsible in deciding who
qualifies as either a dealer or developer, so please answer
each question completely.
Only qualified developers and dealers please. Amiga will have other registration programs for other segments of our industry, i.e. Press, User Groups, websites, etc. Please watch these pages as well as our web site at www.amiga.com and www.amiga.de for further announcements.
Amiga Dealer Developer Information: (please be sure that company name is complete and accurate - watch use of caps) Company Name:_ Address:_ City____________State Province___Mail Zip Code_________ Country_ Phonel_Phone2_FAX_ Contact Person_Contact Phone_ Web Site:_Email:_ Are you registering as a: Q] DEALER Q DEVELOPER Q BOTH Number of Employees: at your location_in the entire company_ How many years have you been with the Amiga?_ If you are an Amiga Developer, what is your main revenue title:_ Are your products: Q Commercial Shareware Q] Freeware YES ? NO Any new titles currently under
Are you interested in providing Q a new Amiga title or EH a Port of an existing title?
Comments:_ You can also find Amiga dealer and developer information on our web site and submit registrations via the internet at www.amiga.com or www.amiga.de. Please FAX form to: 619-799-2543 Perhaps July is the month the good ship Amiga finally steams into port.
A Different Perspective: by Fletcher Haug Once again we wait with anticipation for upcoming Amiga shows. July will see two: one in London and one in Sacramento and both are scheduled for July 24 & 25. As is the case with Amiga shows of late, the community is expecting great news. Sadly however, in my opinion no great news has come from any recent shows. So why should we expect anything different this time? After all, the boys at Amiga have been promising big news for so long now that few in the community are expecting anything earth shattering from these upcoming events.
However, something tells me otherwise tJiis time. Maybe it's just my eternal optimism, but I have a feeling that we will hear something consequential from these shows. There are several indicators that lead me to this conclusion.
First, the Amiga OS 3.5 upgrade is scheduled for an August release and it's expected that we'll get our first glimpse of the update at least at one of the July shows. Haage & Partner, the company responsible for completing the update, has established a beta testing team, launched a print magazine advertising campaign, and hasn't indicated that the release date has slipped. Encouraging news indeed.
Amiga has initiated a campaign to establish an Amiga Advisory Council.
This council will be made up of community members, including individuals representing dealers, developers and other industry leaders from around the world. This group will be in place by the July shows. While efforts like this have been less then effective in the past, this effort will organize physical face to face meetings between Amiga bigwigs and council members at Amiga shows. Unlike the past, Amiga will reportedly pay the expenses for council members to attend these meetings.
It is my understanding that Amiga is very close to announcing their big name partners and they are aiming to do so at the July shows. We have all heard this before, but there is now only five months until the self imposed Q41999 deadline launch for a new Amiga hardware system. That is right around the comer.
In addition, Jim Collas has been hearing a lot of flak from irate Amigans complaining about the comments of Gateway CEO Ted Waite in a Guardian Online interview. This, along with a recent internet accusation by a supposed Gateway insider anonymously claiming that Amiga is deceiving the community, has Jim Collas itching to release information that will finally prove Amiga is for real.
The July shows would be the perfect place to launch such news.
Aside from the anticipated news from the July shows, there is other good news. I understand that presales of Amiga OS 3.5 are very strong and that supplies of the 3.1 ROMs needed for the
3. 5 upgrade are plentiful. There has also been improved
communication between Amiga and the net-based community with
the implementation of secure website bulletin boards catering
to the press, dealers, developers, and the Advisory Council.
And new products continue to be released, including games,
productivity application, and new hardware. When Amiga finally
spills all the beans, we can expect even more new products
being announced as a surge of excitement pushes the fence
sitters to act.
Of course, there are always nagging concerns in the back of my mind. For instance, Amiga added several high- powered executives to their staff, including Dr. Rick LeFaivre, Tom Schmidt, and Jim VonHolle, but these are all upper executives! Where the heck are all the engineering gurus and code bangers? It seems there are too many chefs and not enough cooks in Amiga's kitchen.
Another dubious concern is the lack of talk about the much-vaulted Developer System that was supposed to become available a long time ago. With a new Amiga machine slated for Q4 it makes me wonder what will be available for the thing if no one has a system beforehand to work on. This leads one to speculate that Amiga's yet unannounced partners have a hardware system well in hand and have development teams working on it as we speak. This fact also suggests that the CPU the new system will use is not some secretive miracle chip, but rather one that is known and readily available. Likewise, I
have to wonder who is doing all the coding for this new system. If it's to be out in Q4, there had better be a wagon load of programmers banging out code. Where are they, who are they, and who signs their checks? QNX seems to have distanced themselves from Amiga (or vice versa) so one might suspect there is another software company involved, too.
There is much to look forward to as the countdown to the next Amiga system starts. I hope and expect that the July shows bear good and exciting news, and I will be disappointed if Amiga misses yet another opportunity to energize the community. Perhaps July is the month the good ship Amiga finally steams into port. I know I'll have my boarding pass ready when it does.
• AC* Photogenics 4.0 Review by Robert Bryant No program is
perfect, and paint programs by their very nature are further
away than most.
They attempt to mimic the effects of scraping a colored material onto a surface. There are imperfections in the media and the medium. There's angle of attack and pressure and speed. Not to mention different brands of media, and how even different colors within the same brand can feel different to the artist.
Yet despite all this, Photogenics seems to do a pretty respectable job of it, particularly with a well-designed ergonomic mouse under your hand. The chalk, airbrush, pen, and paintbrush media all feel the same to the hand, but by watching the screen we allow our brains to fool us into thinking we're actually using the media as named, ft's a simple illusion, but hey, life is full of illusions.
I 1 1.1 1Z A (7 ' 'ISO Paul Nolan's Photogenic9 4.0, as it's properly known, touts itself as a paint and Image processing program "based on Innovation," and It is different than most paint programs In a few distinct ways. Paint layers, fire media, dockable controls, and paint-on (and off!) Image processing are all great features, but it's the combination that makes Photogenics truly unique.
Photogenics even installs uniquely.
Kudos on this one, Mr. Nolan. Just drag the folder wherever you like; Photogenics makes its own assigns at runtime, with no littering of the operating system.
The screen that opens provides a row of controls across the top and a movable, sizable window down the left side containing the dockable options and controls. Dockable means you can create as many tool windows as you like, and arrange things on tabs inside those windows. This allows you to create docks germane to your style of working.
I, for example, found myself constantly needing to switch between the media and color areas. So I detached the media and dragged the color selector over to it, and voila: my own customized dock. The pop-up menus seemed to have a very Windoze-like feel, but never got in the way.
Though Photogenics will open on any screen you like, you'll want to direct it to one of its own of at least 800x600 pixels in size. Anything smaller and you won't be able to see the whole control window, and screen refreshes are much faster when run on its own screen.
Fortunately, all image processing and painting may be done at any zoom level, so you can still work on that 1700x1600 masterpiece of yours.
The 'experiment' toggle comes in very handy. Paul Nolan knows that people tend to work in different modes on an electronic painting. In one mode, the artist knows what he wants and wants everything to go on the painting as soon as he moves on to different media or a different color.
The other mode is for times when the artist doesn't really know which color, or which media will yield the best results; he wants to experiment. Enter experimentation mode. In this mode, anything on the current layer is not fixed The ‘experiment’ toggle comes in very handy when users work in different modes on an electronic painting. In this one mode, the artist can discover what he wants in different media and color.
Say you do a pencil drawing on one layer in blue, then add another layer, switch to the chalk and fill in a few things in yellow, then add a third layer and smudge it a little. Now you want to go back to the first layer and undo some of the original pencil drawing. Too bad!
It's fixed now and part of the painting!
You were golden until you selected the smudge tool. Only painting tools will allow undos on different layers. As soon as you select the smudge or smear tools, all the separate layers go away something to keep in mind. Also, color selections travel with layers, but media selections do not. Switching back and forth required writing down my settings, and reapplying them every time, to the painting until the artist says so.
Changes to the color or media or mode are updated as selected. For example, let's say you paint a nice airbrushed yellow spot, but upon reflection you realize the shade's not right. Flip on experiment mode, then play with the current color. The area you just painted will be updated with whatever changes you make.
To the beginner, the most immediately useful aspect of this feature will be to load up a photograph, paint an area, then turn on experiment mode and step through all the different painting modes Photogenics offers. There's nothing quite like seeing effects to get to know their capabilities.
Regardless of the mode, paint layers are In effect, The multiple layers ('like painting on layers of glass' according to the documentation) are cool, but don't work like multiple layers In a CAD program. I expected any layer to be modifiable and completely Independent of other layers. In Photogenics, they're independent only to a point.
Any media may be adjusted for size, pressure and transparency. Pressure Is how hard you want the pencil to press against the page, or how dose the airbrush nozzle is to the canvas, Size controls what size area is affected, and transparency controls how much of the original image will show through the paint (i.e. 0% means the painting is Photogewc»(TM) 4 0 copyright 139S-I999 Paul Nolan. All Rights Reserved I I Ttl i'vi i .1 I rj edly and at bizarre times from seemingly innocuous activities: opening the program, closing images, resizing image windows... None of the crashes seemed particularly
related to Photogenics, however, which made me wonder if it's not the program's fault per se, but rather its interaction with the operating system, This suspicion was furthered by the advertised 'multithreaded' nature of the .
Wsrnmm airbrush a blur, or sponge paint a pixelization effect. Or to really make things interesting, mix uses of the fire media.
Opaque, 100% means no paint). There are enough possible combinations (nearly 6.4 million) of these three to keep you busy for a while, and one setting is likely to exist for whatever painting or image processing you're trying to do.
Beyond the settings, the real power of media comes in applying them to image processing effects. You can The fire media by itself is nearly worth the $ 99 admission. Balls, walls, lines and bursts of flame may be easily added to any painting, in any color you like. Or, use the wispy nature of the fire media to blend an effect in gradually. The possibilities are endless, and only limited by your imagination and the need to shut the Amiga down, go to work and earn a real living.
All this greatness does come at a price, however, and unfortunately that price was stability.
Photogenic s crashed repeat- The Photogenics Gallery Want to see the latest display of artwork using Photogenics from Amiga digital artists such as Eric Schwartz, Jan Heinemann, and Rod Volkmar? Then check out Paul Nolan's Photogenics Gallery at http: www.paulnolan.com. program.
Many effects take some time to apply, even on a fast machine, and there were no visual progress indicators. In fact, the stated purpose of multi-threading is specifically to allow the user to continue activities while Photogenics finishes processing the last request. Unfortunately, with the lack of feedback, it's easy to believe Photogenics didn't take the order for whatever reason, and go on to try something else. A quick try of three or more image processing commands seemed to choke the program, and several crashes resulted.
Though Photogenlcs will open on any screen you like, you’ll want to direct It to one of its own of at least 800x600 pixels in size.
The system used for testing was an '060 PPC accelerated A3000 with 144 Mb RAM and a CyberVision64 graphics card, so horsepower shouldn't have been an issue. I never taxed the system too hard, typically running only Final Writer in parallel to write this review. Most crashes were really nasty, and required a full shut down and cold boot to clear the system back to normal.
Other complaints verge on preferences: pressure settings change with media selection, but size and transparency do not. I expected the image processing to occur much more quickly, and found even the old Photogenics Lite (that shipped with my CyberVision card years ago) to be quicker. The media are selectable by icon only, and I can never remember which is the smudge and which is the smear.
COMPUQUICK MEDIA CENTER 3758 TOWN & COUNTRY RD„ COLUMBUS, OH 43213 TEL: 614-235-1180, 614-235-3601 FAX: 614-235-1180 SYSTEMS Amiga 1200 Hd Q30,16Mb Scala 400 $ 669 Amiga 1200,2.1G HD $ 545 Amiga 1200HD + Magic $ 365 Amiga 1200 + Magic $ 289 PowerTower 4000 $ 395 Amiga 4040T 2.1G + Magic $ 1949 Amiga 4060T 2.1G + Magic $ 2649 PowerTower 1200 $ 260 Amiga 4000 Desk Top Call VIDEO CARDS TOASTER, ETC, Video Toaster 4.3 $ 950 Flyer 4.3 $ 2555 Video Toaster Flyer $ 3455 DPSTBC4 $ 830 Picasso 4 $ 379 GVP Spectrum $ 189 Cybervision PPC $ 289 B Vision $ 269 Delphina Lite 16 bit snd $ 289 Delphina A1200 $ 299 Concei rto
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The documentation is minimal at best, consisting of only a readme file on the grossly- under-utilized CDROM. To be fair, Paul's promised full interactive tutorial system will be welcome and useful. Reportedly, the next shipping version will also make better use of the CDROM, providing a gallery of sample images and Paul's well-recognized Fire-Eye tutorial (available on the web to the rest of us right now).
Paul Nolan Responds All this being said, Paul Nolan is a dedicated Amigan and his efforts to keep Photogenics going and useful are to be applauded. This is not a multinational corporation with thousands of developers and beta testers at their disposal. Paul is a one-man army, developing as much out of love for the project and the platform as anything else. His website, www.PaulNolan.com, contains a wealth of information about Photogenics and links to his other projects, which include the Siamese system and Playable Television.
So, is Photogenics worth a C-note? If you're a dedicated fan and have been chomping at the bit for the latest version, you'll go for it anyway, so dive right in. You die-hards will look past the minor shortcomings and even produce some amazing results in spite of them. For the rest of us mere mortals, however, perhaps the next version will be less buggy with better documentation.
While preparing this article for press, we discovered a new version of Photogenics was being released. We contacted Paul Nolan (the creator of Photogenics) and offered him an opportunity to respond to the article. Mr. Nolan promptly answered with the following: Dear Robert Bryant, Thank you for the constructive criticism in your review of Photogenics 4.0.1 have already taken it to heart, and released Photogenics 4.1, which is a free upgrade to existing users of 4.0. This fixes all the stability issues, and includes the in-depth online html help. It also features extensive improvements all
around, with better tools, more paint modes and plugins, and enhanced functionality. I look forward to your review of this new version.
Thanks, Paul Nolan
P. S. Regarding your comments on smear and layers, if Photogenics
didn't collapse the paint layers (which is undoable), it would
smear below the paint layers, which at best doesn't look
right, and at worst doesn't even show up. However, if you
create an Image Layer instead of a Paint Layer, you can smear
without the layers needing to be collapsed.
Hope this helps.
Amazing Computing Amiga will review the updates and offer a response once the newest Photogenics has been completely tested. ED.
Once in a while, a graphics program comes along that does one thing really well. It doesn't offer endless menus of options and arcane commands with promises you'll be the next Picasso; it does something straightforward and delivers stunning results with minimal effort.
Candy Factory Pro is just such a program. It's not a paint nor an image processing program. In fact, it's a graphics program quite unlike anything else on the Amiga. CFPro enables you to quickly and easily create beautifully colored, textured and highlighted images suitable for use in video presentations, websites or desktop publishing.
The magic is wrought by taking a two-color IFF mask file and applying any combination of several effects to the background and object (i.e. foreground) colors. The resulting image can look like anything from a normal, real surface (wood, brass, copper, orange peel, clouds, jewels) to an abstract organic creation, or any combination in between.
CFPro's ability to take a boring, simple, two-color logo and transform it into something otherworldly with only a few clicks is guaranteed to register on your smile scale, and encourages experimentation to the extreme.
The file structure used by CFPro supports that experimentation. Project files do not contain the rendered image, but rather collect the effect settings into a file typically one kb or smaller. Hundreds of project variations may be stored on even a single floppy, and applied to any different mask file. This structure creates great flexibility, and eases the often daunting task of keeping a consistent graphic style across multiple web pages, for example.
Operating CFPro is straightforward.
The program opens on the screen of your choice (graphics cards encouraged here), and presents a blank Canvas, into which you'll load a mask file. Then fire up any of the provided 60 sample projects to get started, and enjoy.
The seven control windows (Materials, Light Source, Inner Bevel, Dropshadow, Glow, Bumpmap, and Color Texture) are activated via menu or hotkey, and contain the real functionality of CFPro.
The simplest, most dramatic effects will come from playing with the Materials and Bumpmap windows. Explaining in words how the different parameters affect an image is a bit like explaining the difference between fudge brownie and German chocolate ice cream, but here goes: First, in the Materials window, you control three aspects of color of your object: base, specular and ambient.
The base color is just that - the base color of the object. The ambient color is like a photographer's soft fill lights; they don't strongly affect the result but do fill in the dark areas - areas that might otherwise be shadowed. Specular is the color hard surfaces will reflect (ever notice how even a black car will reflect colored light? Same idea), depending on the glossiness you set with a slider.
No big promises, just stunning results with minimal effort.
Review by Robert Bryant Each of these colors is independently controlled for object and background, so yes, you can have a blue object with red shadows that reflects yellow when lit, all hovering over an orange background with white shadows that reflects fuscia (Not that you'd ever want to, though).
Next, Bumpmaps give objects and backgrounds their main texture. Several bump varieties are included (fractal, turbulent, etc.), or any graphic image may be used. The varying levels of brightness in a source image will be converted to bump profiles. Bumps may be sized in three dimensions (X, Y and height), and cropped top and bottom, thereby creating looks of either raised or recessed bumps.
Bumpmaps and Materials really are at the core of CFPro's power. If you can imagine a steel plate made of bubble gum, or a tin-foil orange peel, you're halfway to grasping the possiblities.
Of the other control windows available, Light Source, Inner Bevel, Dropshadow, and Glow accomplish what their names imply. Color Texture, however, is a bit arcane. The documentation describes it as adding "...a color pattern to your object or background," but generated no visible effect no matter what settings were tried.
After all is said and done, the resulting image may be saved in any of a number of graphic formats, in the colordepth of your choice.
As with any powerful, specialized software, some really wacky effects are possible, and it's far too easy to get carried away. The best results will likely be produced with judicious, creative application of CFPro's capabilities and in combination with other paint and image- processing programs.
While CFPro will run on any Amiga with an '030 or better CPU, 16 Mb RAM and AGA under the hood, the best performance will result from a PowerPC accelerator, more RAM and a graphics card. With a PPC installed, most effects are applied to the image in real time.
Move a slider, see a result. It makes playing with CFPro very intuitive, and all but flattens the learning curve.
CFPro is one of a growing number of titles that's PPC-aware, and I for one welcome it. Multiple versions of the executable are provided on the CDROM for whatever processor you run; the correct one will be installed by the handy Commodore Installer at your command.
The only provided documentation is an Amigaguide file, and while it does a respectable job of identifying everything, it is seriously lacking in terms of explaining the concepts behind the various controls.
Unfortunately, some of the claims on the MotionStudios-produced package simply were not proven. I did not find the supposed 18 times speed increase over the last version, and in fact GUI refreshes were agonizingly slow and much worse than the previous version (and this on a '060 PPC-powered machine). The option to add CompuGraphic text didn't work either.
Only three fonts showed up (of the 160 installed on my system), and those failed to function, alternately reporting errors or crashing the machine.
Another quirk involved the use of external map files (e.g. bumpmaps as mentioned above). Upon trying to load any image, a requester would demand the volume Elastic Dreams (another Motion Studios title), and then crash when cancelled. Fortunately, an Elastic Dreams demo is provided on the CDROM. Once ED was installed, CFPro would load files with no further difficulty.
Only full-scale image viewing was possible (i.e no zooming), and even an 800x600 screen was not large enough to keep all the control windows open and fully visible at once. With anything smaller, be prepared to do the Screen Shuffle repeatedly. Fortunately, once the desired effects have been applied, control windows may be closed without loss of information.
As a final complaint, I really would have liked an Arexx port, with the ability to set every parameter of every control window. This would allow automation and greatly ease the generation of some truly unique animations.
Despite these few shortcomings, the $ 59 price buys a whole lot of immediate eye candy and plain simple fun, and Candy Factory Pro is now a permanent resident of my graphics stable.
Writer@RobertBryant.com If you have ever used a file management utility on your Amiga before, then the very term "file manager" probably conjures up the image of a rather dull looking screen with two file listers one for the source directory and one for the destination directory and a row of buttons that let you do things like rename, delete, comment and play or view files quickly and easily, without resorting to arcane Shell commands or sifting visually through icon-filled Workbench drawers. You could say that file managers are like those "plumber's helper" plungers: not terribly
exciting, but quite often what you need to get the job done.
Directory Opus Magellan II
5. 81 & Dopus Plus Directory Opus Magellan II has added
incredible power and ease of use to my Amiga and given the old
girl a new lease on life.
By Steve Folberg Many moons (or more accurately, versions) ago, Directory Opus started off in this classic file manager form, but it has come a long way from those humble origins. Indeed, the description of the product on the box which reads "The most powerful file management solution for the Amiga" hardly does the program justice. It would be more accurate to describe Opus Magellan II as "a complete replacement for the Amiga Workbench graphical user interface" or, in short, "Workbench on steroids" (see Figure 1).
Imagine that you could configure your Workbench to look, behave and even sound exactly the way you wanted.
Imagine that Workbench responded instantly to your every command and never locked you out or kept you waiting for something (like a directory copy) to finish before accepting more input or moving on to another task. Imagine being able to intuitively drag and drop almost anything you see on your Workbench onto anything else to get the job done. Imagine being able to add multifunction buttons and menus to Workbench and define them any way you like, including right-mouse-button pop-up menus unique to different types of files. That's a bit of what Opus Magellan II lets you do... and that's barely
scratching the surface! Indeed, there's no way that I can describe everything that Opus Magellan can do for you in the space allotted for this review, so I'll settle for highlighting some of the major features and concepts of this software.
In tht Package mm?- .v «= - - Directory Opus Magellan II ships en a mere three floppy disks and requires only an Amiga with Workbench 2 or higher, 1 MB of memory and a hard drive, although this program clearly benefits from more RAM, accelerators, graphics cards and so on. (The software installs version 5.8, although a bug-fix update to 5.81 is available to registered users on the GP Soft web site.)
Magellan can be installed to run as a stand-alone program, but it makes much more sense to install it in its intended form: as a total Workbench Replacement which loads transparently when you boot up your Amiga. Documentation comes in the form of an excellent, comprehensive, 262-page, spiral bound manual with a 117-page Magellan II addendum. Good, solid, printed Amiga software documentation is harder and harder to come by these days, making Magellan's wonderful manual even more appreciated.
Context sensitive Amiga-Guide help is always a button away, too. You can also buy a companion CD called Dopus PLUS, containing comprehensive HTML tutorials and many enhancement files (more on the CD below). Support is also available via an extremely active Dopus mailing list, and there is also a great wealth of Opus support material (scripts, images, file types and so on) on Aminet in the biz dopus directory.
Lister Window One major concept in Opus Magellan is the Lister window. These file or directory or volume lists can be displayed in three formats: "name mode" (the fastest-displaying mode and the one easiest to use for basic file handling), "icon mode" (which is closest to the standard Workbench) and "icon action mode" (which combines the graphical look of Workbench with the power of name mode). (See Figure 2.)
Figure 4 (below): Custom menus, such as the author's menu for frequently used preferences, are another key Opus concept.
Icon action and name mode provide a bank of customizable toolbar buttons which appear at the top of each lister, as well as a popup lister menu, plus the option of right-mouse-button popup menus which are specific to different types of files (more on File Types below).
You can also choose what information about each file is displayed in a lister, and clicking on the title of each lister column will dynAMIGAlly resort the files in the lister according to that piece of information (by name, or by date, or by comment, for example).
The very existence of these customizable lister menus, lister toolbars and file-type popup menus (all of which can access the same functions such as AmigaDOS or Opus commands, Arexx scripts or other functions) highlights one of the major strengths of Opus Magellan: the ability to do the same thing in many different ways. This makes customizing and configuring Opus Magellan potentially intimidating for the new user, although the "out of the box" configuration is very usable and the printed manual is excellent. A general rule of thumb: if you can imagine it, there's some way of doing it in
Opus! (Judging by the traffic on the Opus Mailing List, for some users, tweaking and configuring Opus is in itself a kind of "lifestyle!") One cool thing about Opus listers is the way you can always double-click anywhere on the Opus "Workbench" background to open a new volume lister (again, you are never left waiting for an Opus function to finish, because the program is totally multi-threaded and each lister is a new process). Another feature I really like are the menu items which allow you to tidyup all the open listers on your screen by tiling or cascading them, especially nice when your
workbench screen becomes cluttered with open lister windows.
Magellan also comes preconfigured with an amazing little script called ArcDir: when you double click on an lha archive, Opus displays the contents of the archive in a new lister allowing you, for example, to read the Readme file of an Aminet archive without actually unpacking it! (See Figure 3.)
Custom Menus Custom menus are another key Opus concept. User menus (which may be “nested" and contain up to two submenu levels) can be added easily to the Opus title bar. For example, I've created a menu which gives me Instant access to my most frequently used preferences programs (see Figure 4).
Perhaps my favorite type of menu is the Start Menu. This little button pops up a menu which can give you access to all sorts of functions. I've created one that sits on my Workbench and gives me instant access to the download directories of all my web browsers and ftp clients (see Figure 5). I love this feature!
Popup menus for various types of files can also be configured. I set up, for example, a right-mouse-button menu item called "Unpack to RAM:" (guess what that does!) Which appears only when right-mouse-button clicking over lha archives.
Most omnipresent in Opus Magellan, perhaps, are buttons. These may be configured by the user as "button banks" i.e., groups of buttons with a related purpose. Almost any function you can dream up can be assigned to a button and any button may have separate functions for right, middle and left mouse button clicks.
For example: my Pagestream button is configured so that a left click launches the program, a right click opens up the Pagestream "Documents" directory, and dragging and dropping a file onto the button will launch Pagestream and load the dragged file into the program. You can also jazz up the appearance of your button banks with background images.
All of this configurability is accessed through a button editor which, incorporating many drag-and-drop features, is surprisingly easy to use. Button banks (and file listers, for that matter) may be iconified to save space on your desktop.
File Types One of Magellan's most powerful features is its system of file types. For each different type of file, the user can define how different actions (e.g., double-click, ctrl-double-click, drag-n- drop to a directory and so on) will affect that file. For example, I have an HTML file type configured to automatically display any PTTML file in Aweb (and launch Aweb if necessary) when I double-click on it, and a Quicktime file type configured to play Quicktime movie files with CyberQT in a Workbench window when they are double clicked.
File types may also be assigned to User Functions which may consist of a series of AmigaDOS commands (that is how my "Uarchlve To RAM:" popup menu works). Furthermore, you may designate a default icon for file types with no .info icon file. The file type editor is full featured and complex (see Figure
6) , but Magellan also offers a file type "sniffer" which
attempts to automate the process of creating file types when
you double-click on a file for which no file type has been
Environment Settings Editor All of this user configurability is tied together in Opus Magellan's Environment settings editor (see Figure 7). An "environment" is a complete Dopus configuration, which may include the position of button banks and listers, the background pictures used (Opus permits pictures as backgrounds in lister windows, button banks and the entire desktop) and much more. You may load and save different Environments under different names, too.
Themes are an extension of the environment concept which is new to Opus Magellan II. Borrowed from the Windows world (indeed, utilities are included with Opus which enable Windows themes to be converted to Opus themes) a theme may be a complete "suite" of matching images, fonts, sounds and so on. For example, the Dopus Plus CD comes with an "Aliens" theme complete with creepy images and sound from the movie which play when you insert and remove floppy disks and so on. People have begun to post Magellan themes on Aminet, and while the limited number of themes I've seen so far haven't been my
cup of tea, you may find the concept fun to play around with.
Opus FTP Module No review of Opus Magellan II would be complete without mention of the Opus FTP module. If you have a TCP IP stack like Genesis or Miami running, you can open up an FTP site's directory in a lister on your Workbench just as if the lister pointed to a directory on your own hard drive! You can drag files from that remote lister to a local lister and the file will be automatically downloaded to that local directory.
Opus FTP also comes with an address book for storing the addresses of your favorite FTP sites. Another neat feature: you can drag an FTP site entry from your Opus FTP address book right onto the Workbench desktop; thus, you "leave out" an FTP site on your desktop.
Double-click it when you're online and you will be immediately connected with that remote directory. Opus FTP is a very cool concept that works well for dealing with, say, downloads from commercial FTP sites or maintaining a web site.
Where I find it less than elegant under Opus FTP is dealing with Aminet.
Aminet file searches, for example, are easier to accomplish in a dedicated FTP client like Vaporware's excellent AmFTP than they are in Magellan, although Opus FTP's Aminet functionality has recently been improved (the unique Aminet "index" file containing brief descriptions of each file may now be downloaded and displayed as a file comment to each file, for example).
There's also an Arexx script for Opus available on Aminet called HTTPlister which purports to make it easier to handle Aminet "recent" files, but I didn't have a chance to try it out before finishing this review. Suffice it to say that if Opus FTP came better configured for Aminet "out of the box," it would be darn near perfect and really would make dedicated Amiga FTP clients unnecessary.
The Dopus Plus CD Before wrapping up this review, I should say a word about the Dopus Plus CD, which is available at extra cost and contains nearly 400 MB of Themes, Images, Icons, Aminet files and more.
Most important, perhaps, the CD comes with a comprehensive, sequential tutorial on all aspects of Directory Opus in FITML form. The tutorial is graphically rich and well written (at the cost that some pages are slow to load) and will give you all sorts of ideas for more neat things to do with Opus. One caveat: for some strange reason, I was unable to get the Dopus PLUS CD's tutorial to work with either Aweb or Ibrowse; only Voyager worked properly. (This may be some quirk in my system, though.)
To Sum Up I love Directory Opus Magellan II. It has added incredible power and ease of use to my Amiga and given the old girl a new lease on life, not to mention a GUI which is miles ahead of anything the Macintosh or Windows PC has to offer. I give it an A (held back from an "A+" only by the occasional obscure bug, although the program is aggressively updated thanks to GPSoftware and its army of beta testers). I truly cannot imagine a more worthy purchase for any Amiga owner.
Special thanks to Software Hut for supplying the review copy of Directory Opus Magellan II and the Dopus Plus companion CD.
• AC* ImageFX 4 - no Perfect for the Video Toaster Flyer...
• Video Toaster™ Support
• FlyerClip Support
• Lightwave 3D Support
• Blue Green Screening
• Warping and Morphing
• Wire Removal
• Image Format Conversion
• Image Processing
• Special Effects
• Batch Processing Nova Design, Inc. has built on the windowed
interface introduced in ImageFX 3.x with new controls to
directly manipulate animations ImageFX. VCR-style controls have
been added to the layering system to allow you to move within
the frames of an animation or even to playback the animation in
your preview window. Brushes can be animated across a series of
frames and effects can be automatically processed across frames
- all directly within ImageFX!
New special effect modules include Fireworks, Distorter, Blob and more!
And ImageFX are trademarks of Nova Design, Inc., 1910 ByrdAve, Suite 204, Richmon Aladdin v it’s Animated!
Creates Amiga ANIMs Multi-Level Lighttable
• VCR-Style Anim Controls
• Full Color Animations
• Built-in Batch Processing
• Brush Movement Controls ImageFX now ships on CDROM for its
standard distribution and comes with a coupon to order a copy
on floppies. As a bonus the CDROM has sequences of images,
animations, and nearly the entire contents of our Internet site
If you own a version of ImageFX prior to version 2.0 your upgrade price is only $ 149.95. ImageFX 2.x owners can upgrade for only $ 99.95. Finally, ImageFX 3.x owners can upgrade to ImageFX 4 for only $ 79.95. All upgrades include manual(s) and CDROM. You can order via 1-800-IMAGE-69 in the US and Canada or call (804) 282-1157 elsewhere. ImageFX is also availablenew from your favorite Amiga reseller for an MSRP of $ 349.95. Ik23230 Sales Information: (804) 282-5868, Fax: (804) 282-3768, Web: http: www.novadesign.com Aladdin 4D Tutorial 8 Frozen in Splines Creating Special effects on the Amiga
with your animations similar to those of The Matrix and The Gap.
By Dave Matthews If you watch TV or movies at all, no doubt you've seen a type of effect where the actors and props in a scene will freeze momentarily, while the camera rotates or pans. Commercials for The GAP, and movies like Wing Commander and The Matrix have all used this effect. This is called the Frozen in Time effect, and is normally achieved with multiple cameras, but this type of effect can also be achieved using Aladdin 4D.
I was somewhat hesitant about presenting this article, since this effect has become so popular as to attain cliche status. Still, it is an interesting effect, and the techniques used can easily be applied to other Time related types of effects as well, such as slow motion and superfast motion segments.
This tutorial is going to use a camera, with associated motion path, a fountain, and a rotation path for the fountain. We're going to use Control Splines to direct the action. Note that you should have at least a passing knowledge of Control Splines. See the manual and my previous tutorial on building and animating a Cutting Torch.
An Imposing Detour Before I get to the animation, I wanted a character to enliven the scene. I was in the act of building such a character for this scene in Aladdin, but found my time, talent and hardware was lacking, so, since I have a friend who owns Poser, I decided to try that route.
First step is to save the figure in Poser as a Wavefront .OBJ file. This can then be converted to Lightwave (Poser doesn't support Lightwave directly).
There are several 3D conversion programs, such as Interchange 3D and Pixel3D which can load Wavefront .OBJ and save in Lightwave format. Once in Lightwave format, Aladdin 4D can load the object (see Figure 1). More information on Poser can be found at www.metacreations.com
O. K., I should also mention here that the first attempt didn't
work, because the Poser Model was too large and complicated
for my poor Amiga to deal with.
Luckily another Lightwave owning acquaintance used Marvin Landis's Lightwave modelling plugin called QEMLoss to simplify the model to the point where I could load it. More info can be found at http: amber.rc.arizona.edu lw qemloss.html A Spliny Situation Here's the action we want, the camera is at position one, while the sparks spring from the statue's hand.
After we have a nice fountain going, we freeze the action. The sparks are suspended in mid air, frozen in time. Then the camera rotates 180 degrees, to view the action from the back, and the fountain blossoms into motion again. To do this, we need to set up splines for both the fountain and the camera motion.
Fire in the Hand Now that I had my statue it's time to make a fountain of sparks coming from her hand. Hmmm, what could I use to do that? Why, Aladdin's Fountains! Luckily Aladdin's particle system allows a good deal of control over the particles via Control Splines. So create a fountain as usual, via the Objects, Fountain, New menu item.
For this example, you can leave all the settings at the default. In the middle area, underneath the Entry Time and Exit Time gadgets, there is a Cycles text gadget, with a Spline gadget next to it (see Figure 2). Click on the Spline Gadget, The Select New, and the Spline Editor appears. You might want to type a name in the Text Edit gadget at the bottom of the Edit window, such as Fountain Control Spline. As you remember, the values going vertically on the left, the amount scale, from 0.0 to 100.0 represent the amount of action, whether rotation, movement scaling or what have you. This
ranges from 0 to 100%. The numbers going horizontally on the bottom of the graph window, the time scale, represent the when of the action, and run from 0.0 to 1.0. In a 300 frame animation, for instance, 0.5 would be 50% or frame 150.
Remember, you aren't limited to just one Spline in this editor. You can click on the Add button to create more splines for complex sequences. What we want here is three spline segments, the first one should smoothly slope from 0.0 to 0.50 on the amount scale, and about 0.30 on the time scale. In other words, you want the sparks to fly out to about 50% of their maximum value, at about 1 3 of the way through the animation.
Then the animation of the sparks should freeze in place, while the camera, powered by the Camera Control Spline, rotates around the scene. To accomplish this, we just need a horizontal line.
Remember, since the vertical scale represents the amount of an action, a horizontal line means no action will occur during the time frame of the animation. This second Spline will occupy the animation from 0.30 to 0.7, on the time scale, and be placed at 50.0 on the amount scale, so the sparks will freeze in place at 50% of their full deployment.
Finally, the last Spline segment will smoothly slope from 50.0 to 100.0 on the amount scale, and from 0.70 to 1.0 on the time scale. At this point the camera has rotated 180 degrees, with the sparks frozen. When the camera stops in its new position, the fountain's sparks renew their activity, and the Frozen in Time effect is complete (see Figure 3).
Is the Camera Ready?
Now that I had the statue loaded in, and the Fountain set up, I set up a Figure 3: The Fountain Control Spline camera and its associated motion path.
Once I had the shot framed correctly, I created a large 360 degree arc. Since the camera will be traveling along this arc, I used several hundred points for a nice smooth motion. Use the Make Path menu item to make the arc a path. Select movement on, and for this animation, constant motion. Actually, since all the path segments are the same length, relative motion is, well, irrelevant (see Figure 4).
To control the Camera's motion, we are going to use a Control Spline. Click on the Spline gadget next to the Cycles Text gadget. In the Cspline Selection requester, click on New. This brings us to the Spline Editor. Once again, we want a three part spline, though different from the Fountain Csplines. First part is a flat Figures 6 through 11: Frozen Spline Anlm frames.
Line, starting at 0,0,0,0, and continuing from beginning to about 1 3 of the way through the animation, 0,0 on the amount scale, and 0,30 on the time scale, The flat line tells the spline NOT to change, and since the line is at zero, the camera will stay in place at the beginning of the path.
Note you may have to manually change the first point and direction of the poly path. Use the Choose First point command in the Edit Menu to select the point on the path you want the movement to start from, and Reverse Points, again under the Edit Menu, to change the direction of motion along the path.
At the point in the animation when the sparks freeze, the camera begins to travel along the path. So we need to make another segment of the spline smoothly slope from zero to 50% (half of the 360 degree arc, or 180 degrees), This rotation will occupy the middle 1 3 of the animation. From 0.0 Amount scale,
0. 30 time scale, to 50.0 amount scale, 0.70 time scale. At the
last third, the spline will be another flat line, holding
steady at the 50.0 amount scale, while the time scale runs
from 0.70 to 1.0. This will hold the camera still whilst the
fountain unfreezes, and continues its fiery display.
See Figure 5 for the Camera Control Spline.
Figures 6-11 show a few frames from the finished animation. It's difficult to really catch the feeling of this effect with still frames, so I've uploaded the Animation to my Aladdin 4D web site.
The Amiga Animation is about SMB, and I've also included an MPEG, for those wishing to view the animation on a PC or Mac, Online Resources Finally, I want to pass on some valuable resources you can access via the Internet. First is the Aladdin 4D Mailing List, which is rather like a slow motion chat room, provided via Email. There are quite a few helpful people on the list, and you can ask questions, announce your latest Aladdin creation, or just chat about Aladdin 4D. To have a look, point your Web Browser to: http: www.egroups.com group aladdin4d or go here to sign up:
http: www.egroups.com list aladdin4d info.html Next, (and this is very, very cool) is the Online edition of Aladdin's Lamp, which resides at Nova Design's Website.
Aladdin's Lamp was a Newsletter which Adspec offered for an additional fee for Aladdin Users. It was chock full of tutorials, sample scenes, new tools, fonts and other goodies. Well, now all those issues are available online, and best of all, it's free. I'd like to thank Wil Haslup, Robert Karstedt, Bob Lanham, Rod Volkmar, John Whiting, and Kermit Woodall for converting Aladdin's Lamp to html, and giving it a home on the Web: For you adventurous types, Nova Design has a new 'Alpha' release of Aladdin 4D on their FTP server. This is not an official release, and is provided only for those
willing to risk testing unfinished software. While it does have some serious bugs, the alpha patch provides some much needed fixes, like multiple deform levels and animation frame support for textures. The patch can be downloaded using an FTP client, or your web browser at: The Server: ftp.novadesign.com The Directory: pub aladdin Alpha_Patches Aladdin4D51_Patch_A6.1ha pub aladdin Alpha_Patches Aladdin4D51_Patch_A6.readme In the final Cutting Torch tutorial in the April issue of Amazing Computing Amiga, I told you about the Aladdin 4D web ring, started and maintained by Gary H. Hathaway
Jr. If you have a Web site with Aladdin 4D content, you can sign up at: http: www.jps.net garyh AladdinRing.html Bob Lanham also has a web site on the Aladdin 4D Web Ring, and in addition to a gallery of his Aladdin 4D animation projects, he has created an external tool (Plug in) for Aladdin. ATP- Drag lets you move the attach point on a poly via dragging with the mouse. This is quite handy for visual, organic modelling, in conjunction with multipoint and the stretch tool. Bob's Web Site: http: www.geocities.com SiliconValley Hub 7115 And finally, of course, my own Aladdin 4D
website, where you can view the full color illustrations, as well as download the Frozen Time and Cutting Torch tutorial anims, http: www.geocities.com SoHo Exhibit 2053 index.html And as always, you can reach me via email at: email@example.com Let everyone know where you are looking.
Remember to say, “I saw you in 'AMIGA" COMPUTING" Unix Shell Programming Part Five The last control structures provided by the shell interpreter: “for”, “while” and “until”.
By Antonello De Santis In the past few articles about shell programming, we've examined various standard structures, available in every programming language, indispensable to code complex scripts and solve difficult problems. These structures, if then else and case, are used to alter script's execution flow and execute different instructions, according to the conditions encountered.
The last three control structures we are about to examine are called "iterative control structures". These structures are helpful when you need to execute an instruction, or a group of instructions, several times. The sections of code of the script that contain iterative control structures are called "loops".
The “for” iterative structure.
The "for" construct is used for looping through a set of given values. Admitted values are strings and numbers, so you can accomplish the usual arithmetic and string operations if you need it. The syntax of "for" structure is the following: for variable in values do Instructions done Keywords are: for, in, do and done. When the interpreter encounters a for structure, it executes the instruction or group of instructions between the keywords "do" and "done", as many times as the cardinality of the set of values specified after keyword "in". Each time the loop's body is executed, a value in the
set of "values" is assigned to "variable", in the order you specified. Let's clarify everything with an example now. Let the following script be called "firstfor".
! bin sh for i in 1 2 3 4 5 loop ended do echo $ 1 done We have used a variable called "i" to scan the set of values "1,2,3,4,5, loop, ended". The cardinality (number of elements), of this set is 7, so instruction "echo $ i" is going to be executed 7 times. This is a scheme to illustrate the content of variable "i" every time the loop is repeated:
1. 1 - l
2. 1 - 2
3. I - 3
4. I - 4
5. I - 5
6. 1 - loop
7. I - ended As you can see variable "i" is assigned every
element of the set, in the order you have specified them after
the keyword "in". The output of "firstfor" is the following: $
. firstfor 1 2 3 4 5 loop ended Situations where the "for"
construct may be very useful are not obvious at a first sight.
Such a situation is, for instance, when you need to ask the
user a series of questions. Let's examine the following script
called "questions": 1 bin sh for question in 'How are you?'
'How old are you?'
Do echo $ i read answer echo "Your answer to question $ question was: $ an- swer" done The output of "questions" is: $ . questions How are you?
Fine Your answer to question How are you? Was: Fine How old are you?
22 Your answer to question How old are you? Was: 22 In this script the set of values passed to "for" construct is made up of two subsets of several elements. We specified each subset between a couple of single quotes, this way the shell interpreter treats 'How are you?' And 'How old are you?' As two Box 1 - Diary’s Source Code ! bin sh these variables contain the questions to be asked to the user qls"Please write in your friend's name: " q2="Please write in your friend's surname: " q3="Please write in your friend's street: " q4="Please write in your friend's postal code: " q5="Please write
in your friend's city: " q6="Please write in your friend's phone number: " q7="Please write in the name of the friend you want to search: " option="0" this variable is initialized to 0 so we can enter the loop while [ "$ option" 1= "3" ] the script will quit when the user chooses option 3 do clear cleans up the screen echo menu of the script echo "A simple diary manager" echo "-" echo echo echo "Options:" echo echo "1, Add a friend" echo "2. Search a friend" echo "3. Exit" echo self explanatory echo -n "Choose an option please: read option echo let's see which option has been choosen for
question in "$ ql" "$ q2" "$ q3" "$ q4" "$ q5" "$ q6" do case $ option in echo -n "$ question" read answer echo $ answer diary.txt done echo diary.txt ;; echo -n "$ q7" read answer echo if [ -n "$ (grep -i -A 5 $ answer diary.txt)" ] then echo "$ (grep -i -A 5 $ answer diary.txt)" echo echo -n "Press enter to continue" read else echo "No friend called $ answer has been found" echo echo -n "Press enter to continue" read fi ;; the script exits echo "Option not recognized" echo echo "Press enter to continue" read esac done Box 2 - Diary’s Output A simple diary manager Optional
1. Add a friend
2. Search a friend
3. Exit Choose an option please: 1 Please write in your friend's
name: Bill Please write in your friend's surname: Gates Please
write in your friend's street: 98 Microflop street Please
write in your friend's postal code: 00000 Please write in your
friend's city: nowhere Please write in your friend's phone
number: 635 7482562 A simple diary manager Options:
1. Add a friend
2. Search a friend
3. Exit Choose an option please: 2 Please write in the name of
the friend you want to search: Bill Bill Gates 98 Microflop
street 00000 nowhere 635 7482562 Press enter to continue A
simple diary manager Options:
1. Add a friend
2. Search a friend
3. Exit Choose an option please: 2 Please write in the name of
the friend you want to search: noone No friend called noone
has been found Press enter to continue strings and not as a
big set of strings made up of 7 elements (How are you? How old
The loop is executed twice. The first time the user is prompted with the question "How are you?", the execution is stopped until something is typed in and stored into variable "answer".
Finally a message is printed on the standard output using command echo and the two variables "question" and "answer". The second time the user is prompted with the question "How old are you?" Instead and then every operation is exactly like the first time. This still wasn't a significant script, but it should have shown a way to use the "for" construct to simplify some situations. The effect of script "questions" in fact can be obtained using a linear structure such as the following: I bin sh questions'How are you?'
Echo $ question read answer echo "Your answer to question $ question was: $ answer" questions'How old are you?'
Echo $ question read answer echo "Your answer to question $ question was: $ answer" As you can see, there's no comparison between the two versions of "questions". The one using "for" is much more elegant and readable, the other one using a linear structure is very confused and sensibly longer. We'll study a more complex script in the last paragraph of this article, putting together the control structures we've been examining in the last articles. Now let's introduce the "while" structure.
The “while” iterative structure.
The syntax of "for" is very complicated compared to "while"s. The basic concept is equal, they are both used to execute a group of instructions several times, but the situations in which you use one of them rather than the other are different.
We saw in the previous paragraph that "for" is mainly used when we want a variable to assume every value in a set of values. Now suppose that you need to execute some instructions exactly N times. There's no way to work out this problem using the "for" construct provided by the shell interpreter (other high level languages such as C or Pascal have a more powerful "for" construct). In such a situation, the only chance is using the "while" iterative control structure. The syntax of "while" is: while [ condition ] scribe TODAY!
'v"' Visit us on the web at: www.pimpub.com do instruction* dona or, If you prafar to have the "do" keyword on the aana lina as "while": while [ condition ]; do instructions done The keywords are: while, [, ], do and done. Every consideration done for the "if then else fi" construct, concerning [ condition ]'s syntax are still valid for "while". The idea of "while" control structure is to repeat the instructions in the body of the loop, until the condition (or guard) is verified. So, if you wanted to execute some instructions exactly N times, you should first assign value 1 to a variable,
then use as condition something like [ variable -le N ] and finally add 1 to the variable at the end of the instructions in the body of the loop. In a script called like usual "firstwhile": I bin sh a=l while [ a -le 10 ]; do echo "Amiga rulezli!"
A=$ (($ a+l)) done This is a very easy script, it prints the message "Amiga rulez!!!" On the standard output exactly ten times. When the script begins variable "a" is assigned value 1. Then the "while" loop starts and the shell interpreter checks whether the guard is verified or not. 1 is less than or equal to 10, the condition is true, so the body of the loop is executed.
The message "Amiga rulez!!!" Is printed on the screen and then variable "a" is increased by 1. The interpreter goes back to the condition now to check if it's verified again: variable "a" contains 2 now, that is still less than or equal to 10, so the loop's body is executed again. This procedure will go on until the body is executed for the tenth time. At that point variable "a" will be increased again by 1 and its value is going to be 11.
When the condition is checked it won't be verified, because 11 is not less than or equal to 10, so the iteration is broken and the script can go on executing after keyword "done", in our example it simply ends, You can also use strings as conditions, as we can see in this script called "guess".
i bin sh word='amiga' echo -n "Guess a word: " read guess while [ guess != word ]; do echo "Try again I" echo -n "Guess a word: " read guess done echo "Right III" This is a simple script that asks the user to guess a word until he finds the right one. We first ask the user to guess the word before the "while" starts, to initialize variables. If he finds the right word at the first guess the loop's body is never executed because the two variables are equal and so the condition is not verified.
If he doesn't guess the word at the first attempt instead, the Box 3 - diary.txt John Smith 10 Amiga's street 1985 Silicon Valley 514 3527843 Antonello De Santis 16 Regent Street 00124 London 06 8527984 Bill Gates 98 Microflop street 00000 nowhere $ 35 7482562 CALL JILL HUGHES AT:
(800) 259-0470 Reprints Reprints Reprints Reprints Reprints
Reprints Reprints Reprints Reprints Reprints user is going
to be prompted with the same question until he finds the
right answer. When he has guessed the right word, the guard
is not verified, so the loop is broken and the message
"Right!!!" Is displayed. The "while" iterative structure is
very useful in many situations and it will probably be the
iterative construct that you are mainly going to use.
There's a variant of the while construct though, we'll
examine it in the next paragraph.
The “until” iterative structure.
This is the last iterative control structure provided by the shell interpreter. I'm going to spend just a few words on it, because it works exactly like the "while", except the way the condition is checked. Let's see its syntax first of all: until [ condition ] do instructions done Everything I have explained in the paragraph about "while" is still valid for "until" construct, the guard is checked differently though. In the "while" structure the body is executed if and only if the condition is TRUE and it stops when it becomes FALSE. In the "until" structure instead, the body is executed if
and only if the condition is FALSE and it stops when it becomes TRUE. So if we want to rewrite "firstwhile" replacing the "while" construct with "until", we should write this piece of code: i bin «h
• ¦1 until [ a -gt 10 ]i do
• oho "Amiga rules III" a-f ($ a+l)) dona We have replaced the
condition [ a -le 10 ] with [ a -gt 10 ].
So the loop's body is repeated until [ a -gt 10 ] becomes TRUE, that is, when variable "a" contains value 11.
While explaining the control structures available under the shell interpreter, we have only examined easy scripts with the aim of making every concept clearer. Now that we have finished covering every topic about control structures, it's time to study a more complex script that uses all of them.
Check Box 1 for the source code of the script called "diary".
This script manages a simple diary that contains your friends' name, surname, address and phone number. When the script is launched the user is prompted with a simple textual menu (Box
2) , that asks to choose one of the three options available: add
a friend, search a friend and exit.
TO ORDER CUSTOM REPRINTS OF ARTICLES IN: fAMlGA The section of code relative to the creation of the menu and modification of the diary is enclosed in the body of a while structure. The guard of the while is verified until the user doesn't choose option 3, when he types in 3 instead, the guard is false, the iteration is stopped and the script ends its execution.
The various options are handled with a case statement, that accomplishes some groups of instructions according to user's choice. Option 1 (add a new friend), is coded using a for construct. Variable "question" is assigned every time one of the variables ql..q6, initialized in the beginning of the script, that contain the questions the user is going to be asked. Every time the loop is repeated, a new friend's information is appended at the end of a text file called "diary.txt" (Box 3), using output redirection: "echo $ answer »diary.txt". When a new friend has been added, the user is prompted
again with the initial menu.
Option 2 (search a friend), is coded using command grep, to search the name of the friend the user has typed in.
Pay attention to the instruction "echo $ (grep -i -A 5 $ answer diary.txt)". Command echo requires a string of text as parameter, grep command returns a string of text after searching an occurrence of the pattern you have specified. Using the feature of the shell interpreter called "command expansion" (syntax: $ (command)), we pass the output of grep to the input of echo, that displays the information about the friend you have requested (check the manual page of grep for more info about its options).
In the section of code relative to Option 2, we have used the if then else statement too. This is needed to warn the user if the name of the friend he has typed in, didn't find any match.
We used option "-n" in the if condition, that returns true if the string is not empty. So if grep didn't find any match, an error message is displayed, else the information about the requested user are prompted.
When Option 3 (exit) is chosen, no instruction is executed.
It's because the next time the guard of the while is checked, it won't be verified and the script will end, so there's no need to execute other Instructions.
This is the last article concerning control structures of the shell interpreter. As always, the best way to leam is trying, trying and trying more, Write down the script I've explained in the last paragraph, check how it works and try to modify it. A good knowledge of control structures is fundamental to be a good programmer. For any question you can find me at the usual email address: firstname.lastname@example.org Last month's Amazing Computing Amiga featured a review of Ateo Concepts' AteoBus and Pixel 64 graphics card. The article also dealt with Ateo's tower which is specifically designed to
accommodate the bus, making its installation a breeze. If you happen to own a MicroniK Infinitiv tower, as I do, things can get a little more difficult since the rear bays sit horizontally rather than vertically and the power supply connectors are different than those found in the Ateo Tower. Recognizing this as a potential problem, Ateo made a kit available to mount the bus and connect the power supply (each at an additional cost). Here's a brief look at the overall effectiveness and value of the kit.
In the Kit AteoBus MicroniK Tower Adapter Review If you own a MicroniK Infinitiv tower, things can get a little more difficult.
By ]ake Frederick I was expecting something substantial when I opened the MicroniK adapter package, but all I found were a few pieces of plastic, 2 short cables and a single diagram. The power supply kit (the two cables) has no documentation whatsoever. It's not very difficult to figure out what goes where once you take a look inside the tower, but I feel much more at ease knowing that I'm plugging something in correctly, especially a power supply.
The mounting kit offers slightly better reference material in the form of a diagram. At first I was dumbfounded by the wordless "instructions" but after quick examination it became apparent that I was looking at a representation of the bus and the two plastic mounting brackets which hold it to the side of the tower. A few screw turns later the bus was in place, ready for use.
Unfortunately, something was rubbing against my motherboard, causing four of my modem lights to flash on while disabling the use of my serial port. As soon as I moved the bus a few inches away from the motherboard the problem ceased. After spending nearly an hour attempting to locate the source of the problem I gave up and put the bus in a different position that would not cause any cables to contact the motherboard. This works, but now the bus is not screwed in, potentially causing problems if the computer is somehow jarred.
On a less related note I feel I should also warn you about the dangers of trying to fit the Ateo Bus with a Power Flyer EIDE controller installed. The bus takes up quite a bit of room inside the case and just happens to overlap the area where the Power Flyer sits. Though it was my fault for attempting it in the first place I managed to blow a motherboard, a CD- ROM drive and one of the ports on my Power Flyer while trying to cram the two into the same space. You certainly can't fault Ateo Concepts for the compactness and limited expandability of the A1200 motherboard, but in retrospect I would
have researched the compatibility of the product with my existing hardware a little bit more before making a purchase.
Conclusion The power supply adapters are essential if you lack the knowledge to build your own, though they could certainly use at least a few sentences of documentation. The mounting kit is, as far as I'm concerned, a complete waste of money since it caused my motherboard problems and could have been made out of scrap material by anyone who's the least bit familiar with hacking Amiga hardware. I couldn't be happier with the performance of the AteoBus and Pixel 64, but, in my opinion, it seems as if Ateo Concepts only made a half hearted attempt at providing MicroniK users with an easy
• AC* Playing With Text Creating Interesting Effects with Arcane
By Nick Cook Dingbats are typographical symbols or ornaments used in desktop publishing to set off lists or as more interesting rules.
There are special fonts just packed full of the little devils, but you can create your own by playing with some of the more arcane characters in a font set. We'll use PageStream 3 as our playpen.
Most of the examples in Figure 1 follow the same three steps. First, enter the special character. Next, convert it to an outline, and finally manipulate the character with the Transform or Rotate controls.
To enter a special character in PageStream, make sure you are in Text mode (click on the "A" button), then click on the page. There are three ways the program lets you proceed from here.
From the Type menu, select Insert Character and simply pick the desired character from the scrolling list. You'll note two string gadgets in the lower right of the requester, labeled CTRL-C and CTRL-D. After you select a character, one or both of these gadgets will show you the mnemonic or Unicode for that particular character.
To insert the character from the keyboard, hit the CTRL key, then the C plus the special mnemonic or CTRL D and the Unicode number. For example, to add a bullet, you would type CTRL C bu or CTRL D 8220.
Be sure to convert the character to an outline drawing with the Object Convert to Path command. If you skip this step, the spacing will be off. Most of the examples below use the Transform command, found in the Object menu.
Transform copies, pastes and rotates objects in one step.
I used the basic Triumvirate type for the examples. Different type faces will of course look slightly different. Also remember that not every type has all the characters.
EXAMPLE ONE: The Unicode is CTRL D
8747. Set the Transform requester to four copies. Make both the
Horizontal and Vertical Offsets 0. Put 45 degrees in the
Rotate string gadget.
EXAMPLE TWO: The character code is either CTRL C se or CTRL D167.
After you convert the character to an outline, go to the Rotate requester in the Object menu. Rotate the character 90 degrees. Now go to the Transform requester. Set the number of copies to four, and the Horizontal Offset to .95. Make sure the other gadgets are 0.
EXAMPLE THREE: CTRL C oo (two letter "o"s) or CTRL D 8734 is the code. Set Transform to 3 copies, no Horizontal or Vertical Offset, and 45 degree rotation. When the copies are complete, make them a compound object with the Join Objects command from the Object menu. The places where two black lines overlap become transparent, which gives an interesting snowflake effect.
EXAMPLE FOUR: Use CTRL C ~~ or CTRL D 8776 to get the character. In the Transform requester, set the copies for one, Vertical Offset to .35, Horizontal Offset to 0, and Slant to 180 degrees. Group the resulting figure. Duplicate this to extend the line.
EXAMPLE FIVE: Convert a tilde (that's in the upper left of the keyboard) into outlines. Rotate it a -25 degrees.
Duplicate it, and shift it over to the right. Place it so the start of the second tilde hits about the middle of the first tilde. Duplicate and drag to extend the line.
There are many more odd and interesting characters in many type faces.
Go ahead and play with 'em!
Stay ahead, by completing your library!
VOLUME 14, 6: June 1999 New Products & other neat stuff, Four Amiga Shows, Amiga Advisory Council, Toaster Special, Genesis Updated, WolfenDOOM, SoftLogik is back!
Amiga Writer, Haage & Partner's new word processing program, S.Folberg. GoldED Studio 5 v5.1.0, As a word processor or a hard-core programmer’s tool, every Amiga user can utilize a good text editor, by William Near.
Ateo Tower & Pixel 64 Review, Ateo’s tower case, the bus board and the graphics card could revitalize your Amiga 1200 and your interest, by S.Folberg. TurboPrint Professional 6.01, TurboPrint Professional 6.01 has support for a wide range of printers, as well as a plethora of features and options to help you control the printer of your choice.
Flame On!, Setting fire to your headlines, by Nick Cook.
Amiga Games News and Previews, Shogo, ACSYS, Eat The Whistle, and more, by Jake Frederick.
Zombie Massacre, A sequel to the Gloom series, this new CD-ROM doom style game from developer Alpha Software, publisher Islonia Entertainment, and distributor Epic Marketing, by Jerimy Campbell.
Amiga’s Secret Plans, A behind the scenes look at what Amiga will say and what they won’t say, plus the first part of their secret drawings, by Don Hicks.
Amiga Advisory Council Nomination, Complete this form for an Amiga individual you think would best represent your ideas and goals in the new Amiga environment.
An Open Letter, Jim Collas answers some questions and raises even more as he explains Amiga's current position and future direction, by Jim Collas, Amiga President.
The New CTO, A letter from Amiga’s new CTO, by Dr. Rick LeFaivre.
Don’t Miss an Issue!
Tutorials, Reports, New Products and more!
VOLUME 14,45: May 1999 New Products & other neat stuff, BoXer FAQ on-line, phase5 and DCE deal, new Amiga 99 Banquet Video, and more!
Things are Looking Up!, by Fletcher Haug.
An Open Letter, by Jim Collas, Amiga President.
Fantastic Dreams, Better than Super Goo for Mac and Windows. The real magic is in the animation, by Bill Panagouleas.
Build Your Own Planet, Three steps to creating your own world, by Nick Cook.
Digital Photos, Creating digital photographs and slides, by Michael Tobin, M.D., PhD.
This Old Workbench: Episode 27, This long running AC series ends with news bits and the hope of a spin-off, by Dave Matthews.
Unix: Shell Programming Part 3, Examining the fundamental and Indispensable programming “if then else” statement.
MP3 and the Amiga, The Amiga can encode and playback MP3s with surprisingly good quality, as well as play streaming mpeg audio off the Internet, by Fabian Jimenez.
REBOL™ Core Messaging Language 2.0, Lesson One: Working with a Scripting Messaging Language, by Bohdan Lechnowsky.
Napalm, Don’t plan on getting much sleep, by Jerimy Campbell.
Amiga Games News & Previews, News from Digital Images, Evil's Doom Special Edition, Cauldron 2000, and the cancellation of Settlers 2, by Jake Frederick.
Commercial to Freeware: Games That Never Quite Made It, Jake takes a look at Blitz Bombers, Hoi AGA and Starbirds, by Jake Frederick.
Handling Text in PageStream3, Control the text you place, how you enter it and what you can do with it, by William F. Maddock.
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Fax 1 -508-675-6002. For a complete list of Back Issues, visit our web site: www.pimpub.com The bleet....noises from a sheep A Call for an Open Source Classic Amiga by Fleecy Moss OPINION The more I read the words of Jim Collas, the more I am convinced that he does indeed understand the needs of the future world. At least from a high level. Whether he understands that the devil is in the details, or that that future is rushing up behind him very quickly with a horde of competitors already trying to stand on their surf boards, or that he will need a truly revolutionary executive team is still
seriously in doubt in my mind. With his public commitments to development and consumer machines, even if they are couched in the slippery language of (yearly) quarters, he has planted his standard in the unforgiving road of time. Judgement time will soon arrive, and we will know the truth.
However, that is the future, the digital information revolution, the creation of a new world threaded through with invisible URLS, universal inboxes, ubiquitous digital content, online commerce, and presence in the global digital kingdom. It is a world where developers have been creating product for three or four years, users have become immersed in the new interface, the new commands, the new Arcadia. The past is but a tired old memory of gurus, bankruptcies, expensive hardware, and copies of old games from new platforms.
The future vision is a compelling one, and if Collas & Co. Can pull it off, evangelize it, build it, and make Amiga the king of it all, then he will be able to look down on the faces of a hundred thousand devoted subjects, as a community of biblical proportions forms around the new future. But it is a community that does not yet exist, and cannot exist, until there is product, product, and product.
Where we are at the moment.
Which brings me back to the community that I come from, that you come from, the neighborhood in which we grew up, with Amazing Computing Amiga, Amiga Format, DKB, Phase 5, Westwood, Sensible, Digita, National Amiga, Mr Hardware, Oregon, TLAS, GVP, Team Amiga and many more.
This community grew around product, product, and more product. It survived the bankrutpcy of Commodore, the bankruptcy of Escom, and the inaction of the Schindler era.
With no new machines, no OS upgrade, and no support, developer or user, it can still count on 100,000+ dedicated users around the world.
But that community belongs not to the Amiga company, but to the Amiga classic. As hopeful as we are that Jim Collas can usher in a new Amiga named revolution, that will be something else. Our hearts and minds now sit with the classic Amiga. The question is, where do we go from here?
Many have asked me that question.
Where do we go from here? Of course, the future that Collas and Co. Are planning seems a likely destination, but it doesn't exist at the moment, and, in my opinion, it will be a good few years before it could ever become as rich, dynamic and exciting as the classic Amiga was in its hey day. We need an alternate path, one that not only keeps us alive, but which will allow us to move onwards and upwards. Of course I am not talking of the heresy of moving to another platform, something that could break ties with any possible Amiga future altogether. Instead I am talking about the logical
extension of all that has been debated over the past few years, the defrosting of the classic Amiga.
This has been tried before. Phase 5 tried to move us all forwards with the PowerUP and Abox, Index tried to present the Boxer, Pios offered to port OS3.1 to the PPC. AROS and UAE have attempted to modernize and migrate the classic to more modem hardware.
All have failed, and failed for a simple reason.
The classic Amiga IP (intellectual property) is privately owned, and those owners have either been unwilling or unable to provide the necessary licenses to allow for forward movement. In short, I would like to see Amiga Inc. itself hit that defrost button. How? Open source, of course.
Open Source Amiga Many companies are moving towards open source, part of a larger move towards the concept of a "public marketplace" where the infrastructure and standards are freely available and companies make money selling product into this marketplace while contributing towards the development of the foundation to benefit all. Sun, Netscape, SGI, IBM and in the near future, maybe even MS itself. Of course we all know about the success of Linux, BSD, and many other projects. For the Amiga in general, and for Amiga Inc. in particular, the idea of open source is even more compelling.
Firstly, Amiga Inc. has already admitted, almost from the get-go, that they have no intention of developing the classic Amiga themselves. They have partnered with a different kernel company and are hiring mainstream developers to build new additions and extensions. While they may strive to maintain the flavor, there will be little or no actual code or hardware carried over.
Secondly, the classic Amiga is providing a minimal revenue stream that can only diminish as time goes on. The hardware is five years old, the OS lacks many of the features deemed basic to the majority of computer users, and the third party market continues to slide towards oblivion.
Thus, they are not going to ever use the classic Amiga, nor are they making any money on it. Their business strategy, rightly so, is pointed at the future, they have done the math, and they are already (hopefully anyway) moving forward. To Amiga Inc. the Amiga classic is just taking up shelf space, venerable and honored shelf space we hope, but shelf space all the same.
For the Amiga community though, the classic Amiga is the thing that defines us, the sun around which we orbit. Our developers know every inch of it, they know what is right with it, what is wrong with it, and how it can be moved forward. With AROS and UAE, groups have even tried, and succeeded. Their wealth of knowledge is one of the most valuable jewels in the community treasure chest, and it deserves to be shined up and put out on show.
The move towards the new digital convergence market will open up millions of potential customers, but in doing so, large megacorps will swim over to feed in the new sea. Existing Amiga companies, development groups, shareware and public domain companies may find it difficult to get an initial hold, and with the paltry revenues coming from their existing classic products, they may not even have the revenue to consider trying.
A small but renewed classic Amiga market could help them in the short term, and lead to the creation of a vibrant classic as well as next generation presence.
Another good reason is simply one of contingency. The Amiga "operating environment" may spark the next paradigm shift in human evolution, but equally it may turn out to be a dud, poorly thought out, and unable to compete in a market of bigger, similar concepts. If that happens, having the classic OS still being developed, being pushed forwards gives Amiga Inc. a backdoor, a second string to their bow. Indeed, many classic owners are still worried that Amiga Inc. will move for the higher profit, mass market of the games console, DVD player and consumer device, and abandon the personal
workstation user. Freeing up the classic OS would allow for independent development in that direction, and allow them to concentrate on the low to middle end market, at least in the short term, without forcing them to make too many compromises in either direction.
It is the Right Thing The best reason of all though, is just because it should be done. The classic Amiga was way out ahead. Its life was cut short, put on hold, just when it was in its prime, with it about to move forward and reclaim the future.
We have all grown up knowing the Amiga was the best, that it could be again. We see the success of Linux, and it is just a copy of a 30 year old operating system. The community should be given the chance to see whether the classic Amiga really could fulfill all that we have claimed for it.
OPINION It’s not kosher to lie to the Amiga collective community.
By Bill Panagouleas I actually find it hard to think of any reason why it shouldn't be open sourced.
Some may say it would be competition with the new system, but that is stupid, like saying classic cars shouldn't be supported because it stops people from buying new cars. Others may say it will compromise any possible future IP litigation, but Netscape worked around that problem by writing a personalized version of a general public license. Amiga Inc could do the same, asserting all rights while allowing for free individual, and academic development, and providing a cheap license for commercial development and application.
In short, if Mr. Collas really does believe in the community, then he has to show it. With Bill McEwen still heavily involved, he has the trust of the community, for Bill has become an Amigan in every sense of the word, and his presence at the very top gives us confidence that the community voice is heard. By releasing the classic as open source, he would be giving the community what it has always wanted, and bind us to him and the future of his company more strongly than any words or press releases could ever hope to achieve.
Come on, Jim, what do you say - time to go a little crazy.
• AC* ATTENTION: The statements and positions of these authors do
not necessarily reflect those of the staff and management of
Amazing Computing Amiga or PiM Publications, Inc. Anyone
having alternative opinions are welcome to provide their
response in writing by email (however, you must include your
full name, address and contact information) to DonHicks@aol.com
or mail them to: Amazing Computing Amiga, PiM Publications
P. O. Box 9490, FaU River, MA 02720.
There has been a disturbing trend going on in the Amiga market lately that needs to be addressed. First, many companies are trying to use the Amiga brand as a fast sales pitch to promote their computer concepts and ideals.
They use the Amiga name to push their products on the attentive and collective Amiga community. They use Amiga newssites for press releases and interviews.
Many of these products have nothing to do with the Amiga whatsoever. Most of them are vapid ideas and sometimes have very little substance at all yet get great coverage on the web. Many individuals companies even go as far as to say they are the next Amiga or they are what the Amiga represents. Don't be fooled, fellow Amiga users, by the sweet nothings these companies or individuals whisper in your ear. In my opinion, many are on some type of ego trip or have delusions of grandeur.
I recommend you disregard any company or anyone that boasts they are the next Amiga unless they are Amiga Inc. Only Amiga Inc. Gateway has that right, they paid millions of dollars for it after all. Remember not long ago the Amiga was available on the auction block and many claimed they would purchase it. Viscorp for example made many extravagant claims about buying the Amiga when Escom lay in ruins. But Viscorp lacked a very important critical resource to buy the Amiga, money.
When the Amiga was for sale only Gateway put their money where their mouth was and bought the Amiga. Only they have the right to use the Amiga name and technology. Other individuals that use the Amiga to try to forward their own agenda should receive a quick call from Gateway legal.
Too many companies have abused the Amiga name over the years. Jean Louis Gasse of Be Inc. claimed he was the next Amiga. He even had an Amiga96 license plate on his expensive sports car. While BeOS is interesting, much more interesting than Windows for example, it has never developed into the mature market that the Amiga has. BeOS has no Video Toaster Flyer, Pagestream 4.0 or even something like ImageFX. Even today BeOS is lacking many important applications that the Amiga has had for years. To Be Inc.'s credit though at least they have a shipping product. It may still be semi-Beta but a
least they do ship to customers. What is even more damning than what Be has (lone is the virtual companies that try and grab the eyeballs and dollars of Amiga users that don't even have a product to sell. KOSH (www.kosh.net) is a grand example of this.
KOSH has nothing to sell you, they have no shipping software or hardware yet they do their best to promote themselves as the next Amiga. They are of course willing to accept your donations but what will they give you for them, empty promises it would seem. They promise you object seas of software and Jungian collective unconsciousness software models. This colorful language is there for an important reason. It's trying to mask the fact that KOSH is little more than a discussion group and website. Why great websites like http: www.realdreams.cz amiga give KOSH the time of day and link to it
is beyond me.
Be intelligent, fellow Amiga owners, don't allow these Amiga pretenders to the throne manipulate you and your computer spending dollars. Even well founded efforts to replace the Amiga with something that is compatible with Workbench 3.1 have failed so how could efforts like KOSH ever succeed?
AROS http: aros.fh-konstanz.de aros is a great example of this. AROS is a good idea but it has never been completed even after five years of work. Dig deeper into interviews about KOSH at http: amiga.eden.it interviste fleecy_eng.html & http: www.suitelOl .com article.cfm amiga 15105. Then read between the lines, you will unmask the truth that KOSH has very little substance.
In summary, I want to stress that many developers and programmers are doing great things for the Amiga. Many Amiga programmers work hard for little money and recognition porting OpenSource software to the Amiga and releasing great applications on Aminet for free or a modest shareware fee.
Also, products like Daytona (http: www.nordicglobal.com ), aMozilla (http: www.amozilla.force9.co.uk ), Miami Deluxe, Photogenics 4.0 (http: www.paulnolan.com photogenics features.html) and many more expand on what the Amiga is and does.
Don't forget Amiga Inc. has new executive leadership in addition to their great staff. They are pushing the envelope forward on the Amiga Classic and Amiga NG. Don't let the few that are offering fools gold trick you.
Do your research and look at who is behind grandiose claims of Amiga replacement. Do they have a proven track record of releasing products and software? The great Amiga developers and Amiga Inc.'s new leadership have a history of launching successful computer products and they have money, something that the companies that wish they could replace the Amiga and take its user base usually have little of.
• AC* Bob Brunner is a principal at Pentagram. He was the team
leader responsible for the creation of the Amiga concept
drawings we have today. Since he has been commissioned to
suggest the design direction of these next generation Amiga's,
we thought it would be a great idea to get a little information
directly from the source.
Code Name: Jetton An Interview with Bob Brunner from Pentagram AC: As a Pentagram principal, you are the head of the design team that created the Amiga concept drawings. I noticed that your company supports a large array of clients. One client is Apple Computer. Is it a problem for Pentagram to have two clients in the same business? How do you maintain client confidentiality?
BB: With our background, we cannot limit our work to one client per field.
So it comes down to specific competitors or even competitive products in a given timeframe. I haven't done work for Apple since I left the company, but I don't consider them a competitor to Amiga nor would they. But we work with other PC companies, set top content delivery companies, workstation providers, information appliance companies, etc. Unless someone is willing to buy a large share of our time, we simply try to avoid clear, direct product to product conflict.
Code Name: Frame We keep all our work confidential unless directed to or given permission to publish. Once a product is public, however, we do publish and comment on our work.
AC: The concept pictures offer a wide variety of possible products. Can you tell us what direction Pentagram was taking in their designs?
BB: As part of our work for Amiga, we have been exploring future directions for the platform. Some of the sketches are indicative of this work.
AC: Many of the designs take advantage of color in strategic designs. Is this a general direction of design today?
BB: Color has always been a part of design. Manufacturers are simply becoming a little less conservative.
AC: Did Apple's iMac simplify this transition of design to computing devices for consumers?
BB: The commercial success of the iMac has helped. It was not the first consumer based design, however. It simply has been the most promoted and accepted. This has helped other manufactures to be less risk adverse and has helped quantify the role of design.
AC: Aside from design considerations, these concept drawings are unique enough to be a concern in production. How much do you consider the problems of final production lines in your initial concept designs?
BB: In early sketches, we do consider manufacturing, but we do not let it drive things. We come back later to work engineering and manufacturing issues. This helps us to push new ideas. If we have to pull things back a bit for manufacturing reasons, we'll do that as we develop the concept. That is, as long as we agree on what the make or break ideas are.
AC: One design looks dramatically similar to the defunct Panasonic 3DO system. Is there a way you can check a design to be certain it does not too readily resemble someone else's product?
BB: We keep aware of what is out there.
If we discover we are close to an existing design, we can check out conflict issues. During the sketch phase, the goal is the more the better. We weed out later. Also, it is back to the core idea, though. If that is in conflict and is an issue, we usually re-address it.
AC: Is there anything you would like to say directly to the Amiga community?
BB: Keep the faith. Good things are coming!
AC: Thank you, Mr. Brunner.
With the code name that appeared as the file name for each drawing.
Amiga Inc. has given no indication as to which of these designs they have selected for the new system (due at the end of this year) or if it will even be one of these. However, Amiga Inc. has stated that they will be showcasing mock ups of their design at both the World of Amiga in London and the AmiWest99 event in Sacramento July 24-25. Please check with generation multimedia computer in late Q4 of the year. This computer will have a unique architecture, a great operating system, awesome 3D graphics performance, advanced multimedia features, and will be extremely easy to use."
Mr. Collas stated the Amiga would be part of a home networked information appliance environment. He defined Amiga's information appliances as devices such as wireless LCD tablets, Internet terminals, game machines, and digital set-top boxes connected together through a single network integrated into a single comprehensive operating environment. These drawings are the first indications of the tools Mr. Collas has suggested for the Amiga.
Darreck Lisle is listed as Amiga Inc.'s User Relations Manager. He was the president of the local Amiga user group in Sioux City when Gateway purchased the Amiga. Knowing Gateway needed knowledgeable assistance with the Amiga, Darreck went to Gateway and asked what he could do. Now (almost two years later), Darreck has changed jobs and moved to San Diego to be a part of the Amiga Next Generation. We caught up with Darreck to ask him about his part in the evolution of the next Amiga.
Where is Darreck Lisle? An interview with, just possibly, the biggest Amiga fan at Amiga Inc. AC: Some people may assume that as User Relations Manager, you work strictly with User groups, but I understand your job has significantly increased. Can you tell us what it is you are working on now?
DL: My roles have expanded drastically to include:
1. Designing and managing the new IT infrastructure for AMIGA.
2. Coordinating contractors, vendors, and service providers to
implement the IT infrastructure.
3. Communicating with AMIGA Community on Design proposals.
4. Some webmastering and Internet projects for the Community.
5. Forecasting the needs for futures shows.
6. Interface for programs designed for the Community:
1) User Group Network (UGN)
3) AMIGA Show presence
7. Following up on problems brought to me via Email.
8. Aid Petro with his programs.
9. Jack of all Trades.
AC: The AmiWest WOA weekend shows are going to be difficult to coordinate. What are Amiga's plans in breaking their news to both audiences?
DL: Petro and I are working together closely to make both shows very good! The agendas are coming along great. I don't want to tell what exactly is going on because the Show Organizers should be the ones to tell you the exciting news.
AC: Which event will you attend?
DL: I get to attend AmiWest!
AC: As User Relations Manager, will you be working with the Amiga Advisory Council?
DL: I will have a key role in this exciting program! We have tallied up the nominations and are close to final selection of the council members.
They should be contacted before your readers read this.
AC: Is there anything you would like to say directly to the Amiga community?
DL: Please see the light through the fog of uncertainty. I have suffered along with everyone out there. Take everything that has happened in the past and put yourself in my spot.
Many nights I have not sleep (Guilt), because I know the answers to the questions that everyone has been asking. I have wanted to just come out and say "Fellow AMIGA Friends! I know what is going on and it is GOOD! " But again, I have too much love and sweat in AMIGA, and I am going to do my best to make sure it is what Jay Minor would be proud of! I actually have a memo signed by Jay Minor framed on my wall at home.
This is my silver bullet. Any time I get down because I see the Community sinking deeper in despair, I look at that and realize the big picture.
I have been pulled away from my Community responsibilities to work in house. But, I promise you, I repeat this question daily, " How would the Community feel about this? " I still have my focus on the User Groups, Shows, and USERS. I just have less time.
AC: Thanks, Darreck.
. X. . * July 23,24,25 Holiday Inn Sacramento Northeast Located off 1-80 at Madison Exit 5321 Date Avenue Sacramento, California 916-338-5800 1-800-388-9284 Partial List of Participants: Amazing Computing Am iga AMIGA Amigazone AntiGravity AudioLabs F WD Computing Nova Design, Inc. Ozware REBOL Technologies Details on the new Amiga hardware will be available at AmiWest Visit our web site at http: www.sacc.org amiwest A conversation with Jim VonHolle, Amiga Inc.’s Vice President of Marketing and OEM Sales.
Jim VonHolle is Amiga Inc.'s Vice President of Marketing and OEM Sales. As the days draw closer to the unveiling of the Amiga Next Generation, it will become Mr. VonHolle's task to present this new technology to the major press and the rest of the world. We thought it would be a good idea to see what was going on now, before the fireworks start.
AC: Last month, Jim Collas stated that slides for the new operating system for the next generation Amiga as well as a mock-up of the first design would be ready for simultaneous viewing at both WOA in London and AmiWest in Sacramento July 24-25. Is everything still on schedule for this unveiling?
JVH; Yes we are on schedule for both of these to be shown at the July events.
We have already received some mock- ups on the hardware design and those are looking great.
AC: The Amiga OS3.5 is due for release at the Amiga DownUnder show in Australia in August. Is this still the plan?
JVH: Right. The first beta copies of 3.5 have been shipped to external testers last week so we feel pretty good about the August date.
AC: There were suggestions that the Amiga OS3.5 would be ready for demonstration at AmiWEST and WOA. Is this still on schedule?
JVH: It is definitely ready for demonstration and we will have 3.5 at both shows for everyone to view.
AC: Some people may assume that as Vice President of Marketing and OEM Sales and with no products ready, you have nothing to either market or sell at this time. I am sure you are using this time in preparation. Can you tell us what it is you are working on now? What marketing and advertising promotions or areas are you planning to cover over the next six months?
JVH: Obviously, a lot of people think that marketing really comes down to advertising and promotions. That's no doubt a large piece of the overall marketing activity, but what I've been working on is laying the ground work so that we will be able to hit the ground running when the time comes with the promotion and advertising aspect of it. I've been very busy putting together the market analysis, what's going on in the industry, working on the proper positioning for what we're trying to accomplish, and making sure that it's going to resonate well and hits a market need when it gets out there.
We don't want to have a reaction from people saying, "Gee, is that it?"
We want to make sure that the Amiga community understands very well where we’re going.
So we're trying to understand what the market needs are and how best to focus our activities both in product development as well as how we position the product. We did a lot of competitive evaluation and understanding of potential partners in the industry as well.
We've talked a lot about this emerging environment that has a lot of connected information appliances.
There's a lot of competitive activity out there, and we really need to understand it because we're going to be positioned against what we believe are going to be some pretty strong competitors over the next several months and years. As far as partners, we talked about how Amiga is going to be just one of the hardware solutions that has the Amiga operating environment technology embedded into it. We're looking at several OEM partners who would come either from the computer industry or the consumer electronics industry as companies who will be interested in putting this technology into their
devices as well.
I would say over the next six months our plan is to communicate as best we can with the Amiga community. We want to make sure that the Amiga community understands very well where we're going. Obviously we're going to rely quite a bit on the Amiga community in terms of accepting the product and helping us to make it successful. The Amiga dealers, developers, a lot of the users who would be proponents to their circles of friends, and other associates. PR activity is focused right now on the community. After we go public with some of the things that we talk about in the World of Amiga show
and the AmiWest show, we will get a little more visible in the industry press outside of just the organizations that cover Amiga.
AC: At the AmiWest and so forth, are we finally going to know all of the secrets that you guys are going to have?
JVH: "All the secrets" is a bit of a stretch, but we will disclose the core of what we're doing as far as technology that we're going to base our solution on.
We'll talk about the key technology partners that we're working with to bring the solution to market. Things such as the development environment and the operating system that will be used as the core of our strategy, the CPU, overall architecture, graphics and audio solutions.
AC: Will we know the direction that this is going to take? The form and shape that this is going to be after July?
JVH: In July, we'll disclose more details around the Amiga, what we're going to call the "multi-media convergence computer". That is a mouthful of a name, but it stands for something that I think the Amiga community will like, the MCC. That's kind of a play on the 1200.
We'll talk about the type applications that we're going to try to have released at the time we have the product available. I don't think we're going to get into the names of the companies we are working with. We may talk about one or two of those companies, but in general we would rather wait until we get closer to the release of the product to discuss those details. That's the other thing that I've been fairly busy with: working with several companies in the ISV (Independent Software Vendors) community to get ports of their products for the new Amiga release.
What we're targeting to have released with the new Amigas when they come out are some great games, general productivity software, and graphics. Those are three key categories.
AC: Those are the products that you hope will be released in the December time frame and then on?
JVH: When we make the bigger splash into the market we'll clearly talk about the ISVs who are going to support the platform.
AC: The next generation appears to be a step ahead in both design and function for the way we consider computing. Is it your job to introduce these changes and make the transition in the market's mind? Can you give us some ideas on how you would accomplish this?
JVH: Clearly, there's going to be a lot of devices that look different, but what we're convinced of is that people won't want just another PC that looks different. We're not going to do a sort of iMac clone. We will have to educate the markets which would include all the infrastructure communities such as the press, analysts, the users and developers who will need to understand what new things are going to be enabled by this different architecture that's coming. So collectively, yes Amiga and all of the companies who are going to be putting products into this category do have to transition
the market's mind.
Right now, most of what our focus has been is laying the ground work. We are also planning to increase our marketing staff, because we're going to need people to really work with press and PR agencies, and communicate this message clearly and with impact.
AC: The Amiga Advisory Council has not yet been selected, but could you tell us what kind of individuals Amiga is looking to attract to the council and what their duties will be? Can you give us an idea of what Amiga hopes to achieve with the council? In what manner will the council assist or interact with Amiga?
JVH: We've gotten tremendous response to the requests for people to be nominated. It's overwhelming. We have nanowed the list down to about forty people, and that seems to be a little bit large right now for us to have some sort of ongoing interaction. We've got to figure out how to deal with that.
What we really want to do with the Advisory Council is twofold. First is to make sure we're on the right track with our product when it comes to understanding the need for the Amiga community. When I say the Amiga community, it means all aspects of it: the developers, dealers, distributors, and the users.
There's a lot of new people at Amiga who don't have the heritage and history to understand this wonderful community. We felt like it would be the right thing to do to get the views and opinions from the community in a somewhat organized approach, so that we can make product decisions based on what they see is right for the community. The second reason for the council is that we want to have an ongoing dialogue with them regarding our plans. We want to get into a lot of detail regarding what we're thinking, why we're thinking it, and what the value of it is. Knowing that we can't communicate
intimately with the entire community, what we would like is to create a smaller group who can really understand what we're trying to do and go out to the larger community to help communicate these plans to their representative affiliation groups. This is more than evangelism, it definitely provides a communication feedback into the Amiga executive team.
AC: From Jim Collas's comments last month, we will not see major market advertising for the new Amiga system outside of the Amiga community this year. Can you give us some insight into the types of areas we will see marketing and advertising focused on toward next year?
JVH: I know that this is frustrating because a lot of people want to see us do very large promotional things right now. At this point, getting the market excited before we're ready to deliver could be a big mistake. Going out and doing heavy promotion at this time is not going to be very effective because we're not at the point where we're ready to deliver.
AC: However, can you give us any idea of long range plans after the first of the year or would that be telling too much right now?
JVH: I am sorry, I cannot give you any insight into that right now.
AC: As the time draws nearer, we expect that Amiga will show off their designs at both Comdex in Novemeber and CES in January. What kind of presence will Amiga have at these two events?
What other events are you planning?
JVH: I can't really comment on Comdex at this point. If we did anything at Comdex, it would be a private evqnt.
AC: Is there anything you would like to say directly to the Amiga community?
JVH: This is an amazing community. Their ability to maintain a tremendous spirit without any help from a corporate sponsor for all these years, the resilience they show, the creativity they show has just been amazing.
I would like to see the community have success with the new Amiga direction. That obviously involves many aspects. I would like to see the dealers have a huge success, the developers sell a lot of products, and the users have some great new experience that represents the Amiga spirit. I want to actually reward the community for these long years of resilience that they've shown. This would be very satisfying for all of us in Amiga, AC: Thank you, Mr, VonHolle, Amiga Games News and Previews by Jake Frederick Joyride, Operation Counterstrike, Wasted Dreams, T-Zero, and a chance to join Maim and
Planning phase, it's encouraging to see that the new Amiga will probably have a decent software base around its release time. For a list and brief description of the games check out www.amigaflame.co.uk amigng.htm. Meanwhile here's something to keep your Classic machines going.
Ing to the Amiga gaming web site Amiga Flame, there are at least 11 such games in the initial stages of development. While it's likely that most of them are in the Joyride Joyride is a new Xtreme Racing inspired game due for release in the next few months. The game features three distinct car types, each with their own characteristics, and ten different tracks with a number of opponents to race against. The requirements will be an AGA Amiga (unfortunately there will be no graphics card support), an '030 processor or better, 8MB of fast RAM, and a CD-ROM drive.
Maim and Mangle Needs a GFX Artist The World Foundry, developers of the real time 3D strategy game Maim and Mangle, are in search of a talented ID 3D graphics artist to join their team. The requirements are as follows; experience in 3D work (particularly vehicle building models), experience with Lightwave, capable of producing high quality textures for terrain (128x128x256), experience in object optimization (polygon reduction, etc.), acquaintance or willingness to become acquainted with the World Foundry game encyclopedia which contains information about the game's universe and its
inhabitants, ability to take constructive criticism, ability to stick to deadlines, willingness to participate in discussions about game ideas, and dedication to complete the project. If you feel like you fit the above criteria e-mail The World Foundry at email@example.com. Operation Counterstrike Operation Counterstrike is a Napalm-esque real-time strategy game in development by Blue Black Solution. The game has several unique features including varying weather conditions affecting visibility, TCP IP and serial link up modes, and a custom animation format which allows full speed 320x180
cinematic sequences with sound. A few special preview demos are supposed to be floating around at the upcoming World Of Amiga show so hopefully we'll get a better look at the game sometime after the event.
Digital Dreams Entertainment Remember Wasted Dreams? It was an action adventure game from Vulcan Software that was due for release quite some time ago. After undergoing numerous developer switches and name changes the game is finally in the hands of Digital Dreams Entertainment who have it virtually finished, with the CD reproduction the only remaining step.
The game has you roaming an alien landscape in an attempt to solve the mystery of the spaceship crash landing that put you there. A mixture of puzzles and blasting will hopefully ensure a satisfying experience for a broad audience of gamers. The system requirements are OS 1.3 or higher, 3MB RAM, ECS of Aga graphics, and a 2X CD-ROM drive.
Digital Dreams has two other notable projects in the works. Diablo's Land is an arcade adventure RPG game that looks as if it may contain more than a hint of the PC hit Diablo (surprise!).
Megapolice is a real time strategy game that puts you in control of a police department to negotiate and use force to ward off drug dealers, terrorists and thieves. With over 600 megabytes of 3D graphics and sound it should be a project to keep an eye on.
Above (Top and Bottom): Remember Wasted Dreams? Digital Dreams Entertainment is about to release it. You can roam the alien landscape and solve the mystery, but only with Amiga OS 1.3 or higher, 3MB RAM, ECS ot AGA graphics, and a 2X CD-ROM drive.
T-Zero Update If you have any announcements you would like to share with Amiga gamers send me an e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org. If you're not net accessible write me at: Jake Frederick c o Amazing Computing Amiga, PiM Publications Inc., P.O. Box 9490, Fall River, MA 2720.
T-Zero, the new sideways scrolling shoot 'em up from ClickBoom is nearing completion. It has been announced that the game will be shipping with the level editor that the authors used, which should add to its longevity. The system requirements have been upped slightly with the hard drive requirements now at 45MB of free space. For new screen shots and some MP3 sample of the game's music, point your browser at www.clickboom.com 00.html. Amazing Advertisers To contact these Amazing Advertisers, use the information below or go to www.pimpub.com and link to them directly. Please remind them that
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