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History of Amiga events 1997
 

IPISA '97

Seventh Edition - November 29 and 30, 1997 - Milan, Italy

 

IPISA'97 at the Conference Hall in Milano, Italy - International Developer Conference for Alternative Computing, http://bilbo.di.unipi.it/ipisa/

  • Be Europe - Paris, France - BeOS Preview Release Demo
  • Thomas Bushnell - HURD: The GNU Operating System
  • Richard Stallman - The GNU Project: its mission, its history, its future plans
  • Sun Microsystems - The Java Platform (TM)
  • Aaron Digulla et al. - Germany - AROS: Amiga Replacement OS Project
  • Haage & Partner - Optimizing software for the PowerPC Amiga and platform independent development
  • Urban Muller - Switzerland - Aminet, or: How to bring Power to the People
  • Wouter van Oortmerssen - NL - Aardappel and Amiga E


Mr. Petro Tyschtschenko at the developers converence at Computer97

Mr. Jeff Schindler (right side), head of Amiga Inc. USA at developers converence at Computer97

 

Our booth at Computer 97 in Cologne

  The red tables were the sales area. The green ones were the big PageStream presentations area, where Volkmar Funke gave all visitors a perfect demonstration of the power of PageStream and its additional programs.

The blue tables were the Storm area. Here we showed StormC 3.0, StormC for PowerPC, StormPowerASM. Interested people could also talk with Jeroen Vermeulen about the development of Merapi - The Java for Amiga, which will be released in early 1998.

 

  This side (brown tables) was for the presentation of the latest versions of the ClassX products - FontMachine and X-DVE v3.

Click this picture for more pictures of our booth and the show.

We also had 3 displays at the booth of Amiga International were we showed ArtEffect 2.5, all new Tornado3D and NetConnect.

The layout of the booth was done with DrawStudio and made smaller with ArtEffect.

Mr. Mike Tinker of Index UK showed his new BOXER motherboard.

The motherboard of the BOXER of Index UK. There is also a connector for a small and inexpensive PowerPC board on it.

 

The motherboard of teh A5000 of DCE.

 

14.-16 Nov
1997

computer '97

World of Amiga 97 in Cologne (Germany)

 

Deutschlands erfolgreiche Computermesse vom 14. bis. 16.November 1997 in Köln. Köln - die Rheinmetropole steht für hohe Besucherzahlen. Bis zu 65.000 Gäste pro Jahr verzeichnet die seit 1993 in den modernen Kölner Messehallen stattfindende Veranstaltung.

Die Computer '97 - die erfolgreiche und seit Jahren etablierte Verbrauchermesse für den privaten Anwender, Freiberufler und professionellen Nutzer. Sie bietet wie immer die Möglichkeit, sich über neueste Technik, Trends, Zubehör und aktuelle Hard- und Software zu informieren. Die Computer '97 ist aber mehr als nur eine Messe: Sie ist Unterhaltung für die ganze Familie. Zahlreiche Wettbewerbe mit attraktiven Gewinnen, Prominenten-Autogrammstunden sowie weitere Aktionen machen den Messebesuch zu einem Event der ganz besonderen Art. www.computer97.de

18-Nov-97: Computer 97 Was A Big Success!
PageStream
and DrawStudio were sold out on Saturday. We also talked a lot to Amiga Intl./Inc. and to several Hardware manufacturers. There will be more details about that soon here on the homepage.

18-Nov-97: Computer 97 extrem erfolgreich!
Die Messe war für uns sehr erfolgreich: PagesStream und DrawStudio waren schon am Samstag ausverkauft! Zudem wurden viele Gespräche mit Amiga Intl./Inc. und verschiedenen Hardware-Herstellern geführt. Einzelheiten gibt es in Kürze hier auf der Homepage.
Aufgrund des hohen Bestellaufkommens können Auslieferungen derzeit einige Tage dauern. Wir werden aber in dieser und der nächsten Woche alle Auslieferungen tätigen können.


Cologne Computer '97 Show Report By Jeroen T. Vermeulen

 

Cologne Computer '97 Show Report By Jeroen T. Vermeulen

From: jtv@xs4all.nl (Jeroen T. Vermeulen)
Date: Fri, 21 Nov 97

Okay, looks like not a lot of news has leaked out of the Cologne show yet, or at least not a lot of it has leaked into my news server. For those who missed out and want to know just what they missed, here's what I remember. Call it "Computer 97, a view from under the table"...

In article <3472A369.76D8@zeta.org.au> David Meiklejohn <meikled@zeta.org.au> writes:
> It was easy to forget, in my disappointment over the lack of
> "news" from the Computer 97 show, and I feel sorry for that.

Actually, one problem I had with the devcon was that there was just too much to remember a significant fraction of it (okay, I was also numb from exhaustion). I did make some notes, like most others, but gave up halfway through the presentation--or about one page of notes. Here's some of what my sheet says. It's semantically decompressed, so don't expect it to be literal or 100% reliable.

  • AI is negotiating with REC (the Wonder TV A6000, or whatever it's called). Looks like there's no real problem between the two companies, just the need for Gateway 2000 to assert their Amiga IP (excuse me, that's Intellectual Property, not Internet Protocol) lest parts of it `expire'. Use 'em or lose 'em. More about this later.
  • Jeff Schindler has talked to RJ Mical, he has seen a video (presumably the Deathbed Vigil video) about the Amiga, and was much impressed by the enthusiasm and dedication he saw there. No feel-good jive or hippie talk though; he apparently read it as an indicator of how the engineers appraised the Amiga design.
  • About the many emails and phone calls he got: "Keep 'em coming". On a planet where it's always somebody's lunch hour, I'm sure he'll regret those words. ;-)
  • Ted Waitt was "really behind" AI's independent position within Gateway. So far I'd been cautious not to take all this "Gateway believes in Amiga" stuff too seriously, but this time I really got the impression it was true. Jeff Schindler, not exactly a newbie at this kind of process insofar that there's anything remotely comparable, seemed tingling and even a little nervous about making his presentation.
  • Amiga, Inc. will be "in the technology business, not in the products business". They want to produce worldwide standard technology for convergence products. They presented a very, very wide range of potential applications for the Amiga IP portfolio. Some of the subranges may require different reference platforms with different GUI setups etc. This could be much like what Microsoft is trying to do with the Windows ("Bermuda") Triangle of 95 for home systems, NT for serious use, and CE for embedded applications. Except that Amiga OS doesn't require 4 Mb or ROM to power a palmtop computer, of course.
  • Content is key. They need software to run on the Amiga, services to provide through the Amiga, data to process with the Amiga. IIRC there was some mention of using Gateway's leverage with major software suppliers. So far I think Petro has shown himself a good behind-the-scenes player in this regard, but obviously it's difficult to convince big players like Epson when you're such a small company.
  • AI have looked into, and will continue to investigate, the strengths and weaknesses of the Amiga. More about these later. They also put emphasis on the need for feedback, keeping in touch with trends in the computer market, supporting industry standards, and keeping abreas with technical (that's a good word I just rediscovered, you don't have to say `technological' all the time) developments. Their aim is to get the Amiga "at or above the state of the art", and Gateway's experience with the current state of the art (press F1 and reinstall Windows) seems to have convinced them that this is both feasible and desirable.
  • Identified strengths of the Amiga: Compact, efficient & reliable environment. Preemptive multitasking, no buts. AutoConfig as opposed to Plug-and-Play, without compromise for older products (Jeff mentioned the phrase Plug-and-Pray here). Video and graphics rich system. Good cost/function ratio, considering of course that current systems are artificially expensive due to non-mainstream hardware market. Ability to use both TV and monitor.
  • Weaknesses of the Amiga: "Mostly four-year-old technology" which needs overhaul. GUI improvements needed. "Leading application support" is needed. Driver support is needed for add-on hardware. Motorola has not aggressively supported the 68k line. Must have state-of-the-art hardware. Last but not least: Lack of industry attention. Like I said, no feel-good jive there, but obviously these items form the top of their todo list.
  • Acting as advisors (which I take to mean they're willing to help but not giving up their current lives): Carl Sassenrath, RJ Mical, Dale Luck, one Dr. Alan Havamose, Andy Finkel (everybody spells it as `Finkle' nowadays, is that correct?), Dr. Ed Hepler of Hombre fame.
  • Amiga, Inc. interfaces directly to the large developers, ICOA handles the run-of-the-mill support and organizes devcons. Actually that's just my synopsis of a diagram that was shown; suggestions about this structure were solicited.
  • Developer support will have to include hardware reference designs, comprehensive software development kits with decent debugging tools, and software compliance testing. Third-party software quality apparently has a high priority.
  • See http://www.amiga.org.
  • OS 3.5 is to be released "sometime in 1998", after that frequent (eg. yearly) updates are to follow. The 3.5 release may or may not include new ROMs. Some third-party software may be bundled to bring the OS up to par with other systems, feature-wise. This has happened with the Amiga before, but since this time we're talking about commercial software or software that competes with commercial software, care will have to be taken to do this fairly. It was said that "a lot more OS tools" were needed, but I'm not sure what details or examples were given, if any.
  • In order to preserve the value of the Amiga IP portfolio, AI said it is vital that these patents and trademarks be asserted in the marketplace. That means that all unauthorized use of the Amiga trademarks (just imagine how many computer companies would like to get their hands on names like Workbench(tm) and Intuition(tm)!) and patents must be tracked down, and proper licenses for them negotiated. To do this, all attendees at the conferenced were asked to look for possible infringements on these rights and report them to AI. The deadline for this is december 31st, 1997.
  • Gateway is willing to put gobs of cash into getting the Amiga going. This includes a multi-million dollar advertising budget. As Petro called it, "Gateway is our bank".
  • A three-year development roadmap is being drawn up or has been drawn up. No vapour. The AI guys seemed to be biting their lips most of the time; on the one hand they seemed very enthusiastic about platform development plans, but on the other they took secrecy very seriously. Some minor beans were spilled in private conversations over alcoholic beverages, so there was some "I'm under non-disclosure" and "oops, you didn't hear this from me okay". Unfortunately (at least in this case), the Germans have this great light type of beer called `Koelsch' that I never knew about, which doesn't cloud your judgment even after several liters. And some of the more criminal elements in the Amiga community (notably GPSoft's Greg Perry and Amiga Format's Ben Vost who actually kept records of their Koelsch consumption) really worked hard to find out how much it took to get plastered.

There was more reason for this secrecy than just to avoid the Osborn Syndrome (announced vapour competing with your existing product); one of the AI people put it privately as "Microsoft is the problem. We don't want Microsoft to know". Most people were convinced that some of the mishaps that have befallen the Amiga so far were coordinated acts of sabotage; there were a lot of stories of people who fought the Amiga tooth and nail, not just within Commodore. In fact I was surprised by how easily these cases would pop up in conversations. You'd mention a name and somebody would say, "hey, here's what that guy pulled on me". Some of the stories had never been put together yet, but confirmed each other in great detail.

There was also a lot of other news on the show, some of which really deserved more attention IMHO: One machine had a PCI graphics board in it. I don't think it had a fully-functional RTG driver yet (it used CyberGraphX IIRC), but this is certainly a promising development. Phase 5 said they had temporarily taken some resources off the A\Box project to give the PowerUp boards a performance boost (the 64-bit memory interface makes the board faster than previous accelerators even on the 68060 side), and will soon make some important decisions about hardware and software development to ensure "conceptual continuity" from PowerUp towards the A\Box. There was also a certain degree of detente towards Haage & Partner w.r.t. the conflict over the alternative software solutions for these boards; Wolf Dietrich and Juergen Haage had a friendly and seemingly quite relaxed chat about this on saturday.

There was also a lot of fairly new, but not quite hot-off-the-presses stuff: During an AI dinner on saturday night, one of the Cloanto people demonstrated Amiga Forever by running Personal Paint on an IBM Thinkpad using their improved version of the UAE emulator. They added in a lot of tricks to speed up often needed tasks, eg. a filesystem that ran natively on the PC side and an Intel version of PPaint's blit library. The claim that "no really, it's a real Amiga!" (this is formally correct because Amiga Forever has been licensed to use the "Powered by Amiga" logo) caused some heated debate, which was silenced by a quick demonstration of Amiga screen dragging. You could change the colours of the mouse pointer on one screen, then drag it halfway down and position the pointer over the transition between the two screens. Just like with the real Amiga chipsets, the two halves of the pointer appeared in the two screens' different palettes with a couple of pixels left blank between them.

Haage & Partner showed a PowerPC version of Quake that ran very smoothly. Unfortunately there is no license yet for any Amiga port of Quake as far as I know, so this was no more than proof that it could be done. The author of Class-X gave me an impressive demonstration of his animation compression format, which could play complex animations smoothly even from disk. Apparently it made very effective use of the Amiga chipset for both its video-compatible output and its very effective motion compression; when the same machine played the same animation on CyberGraphX, it looked like a demented slide show.

The central AI booth sported products from lots of different Amiga companies, as well as a transparent vertical tube with a small Boing ball floating up and down in it. The A5000 was on display there (made by recently licensed Amiga cloner DCE and distributed by Power Computing Ltd.), which apparently includes MPEG 1 support but is otherwise a fairly low-end model by today's standards. High-end users may provide the more powerful A6000. The booth had HiQ's Siamese system displaying its Amiga screen on an adjacent PC. According to a sign put up between the machines, the Amiga side was not using a graphics card. Right next to this, at least on friday and sunday, was the new Boxer motherboard (from Index Information Systems IIRC), a PPC module for which has apparently been announced. Bloody shame I lost my leaflet about it.

There were Amiga mugs on sale on the booth right next to it, and lots of other paraphernalia to be had. There were free Amiga mouse mats after the show, which was very fortunate: My old mat had a Wintel PC shop logo on it, so I had to use it upside down.

Many celebrities were to be found at the Amiga booth at one time or another: Dr. Peter Kittel, Angela Schmidt, NASA's Chris Greene, Heinz Wrobel, Holger Kruse, the AI people, and naturally Petro Tyschtschenko himself. One visitor, who was also there last year IIRC, had gotten Petro (and perhaps some others as well) to autograph the back of his Boing shirt.

All in all, I thought the show was pretty good. Lots of ideas were exchanged, and lots of developers discussed product plans or possible product plans with Petro and with each other. Lots of shop talk over lots of beer (oh Heavens, the beer!). As for me personally, I bought the *entire* Aminet on 21 CD's, which means I'm ready to get into the second-hand floppy business. When I went to Cologne my trusty polyester weekend bag felt like half empty; when I returned it felt like half a ton. In fact I swear it was so full that the fabric started ripping loose of the zipper during the ride home. And it didn't end there: Even back in Amsterdam I met up with some developers returning from the show (image: Droves of Amigans spreading across Europe, leaving trails of Boing stickers and black-white-red logos) and got a free copy of their product.


October + November

 

CompUser 97: Der CompUser Club Mainspitze e.V. veranstaltet auch in diesem Jahr die CompUser Messe '97 - die größte Veranstaltung dieser Art im Rhein-Main-Gebiet. Rüsselheim ist auch in diesmal wieder Treffpunkt der Computer-Szene sein. Die Messe wird am 2. November 1997 durch die Rüsselsheimer Oberbürgermeisterin Otti Geschka um 10.00 Uhr eröffnet.

1-2. November: The 1997 Midwest Amiga Exposition, Ohio, US, http://www.amicon.org/mae.html

October 25th and 26th: AmiExpo New York

11. October 97: Australian Amiga Gathering, Melbourne
http://www.unicorn.com.au/aag/

   

AMIGA PLANET (PIANETA AMIGA) SHOW IN EMPOLI (ITALY)

We (Enigma Amiga Run) are pleased to present a new Amiga-Only oriented show in Italy: It's called "PIANETA AMIGA" and we hare very happy to support it.
www.sigea.it/jasa/pianetaamiga
News Source: http://www.skylink.it/ear

NonSoLoSoft (the Italian distributor of Haage & Partner) will be at Italian WOA in Florance to introduce ArtEffect 2.1 in a full Italian version. There customers will be able to interact with H&P directly to discover any tricks on the products. At WOA Jürgen Haage and Michael Rock will do demostrations all days.

    8. - 14. Sep.: AMIGA-BIT (findet nicht statt!!!)
Vereinsmesse der AMIGA User Group in der "SAAR-GALERIE", Saarbruecken, Deutschland

August 21st - 24th California Computer Expo
San Diego, California, USA

19. July

  PowerPC Convention in Montreal, CA

On the 19th of July, in Montreal, the first annual PowerPC Convention will take place! This convention will gather the PPC community together from all across the world to show its support for the various PowerPC platforms - The BeBox, PIOS/1, A/Box, Amiga/PowerUP, PowerMacs & Clones, IBM and Motorola...

Please have a lot at:
http://www.moebius.qc.ca/PowerCon97/

28.+29. June

  Australian Amiga Gazette Show in Sydney

AAG is a forty page magazine devoted to the Amiga. We are a monthly publication which is distributed throughout Australia. Currently our magazine is sold over the counter at all Amiga dealers or via subscription.

Since our first issue in December of '96 response to our magazine has been good. Due to this we have decided to show further support for the Amiga in Australia by hosting an Amiga expo.

The show will be a two day event to be held on the 28th and 29th of June of this year. The location will be Sydney showground. A well known place which has been the location of the Royal Easter Show for over a hundred years.

Our show will feature dealers, distributers, demo competitions and a Amiga User Group conference.

Contact: Michael Gruber at mgruber@fl.net.au

Australian Amiga Gazette: www.pnc.com.au/~mother/AAG.html (for details)

Western District Amiga User Group (Penrith, Oz) / www.pnc.com.au/~mother/amigauser.html

Some impressions of the summer fest of Magnamedia, the publisher of German Amiga Magazine.

 

The Fest was in the "Reiterhalle" in Munich (left).
Leo Burkert of German Amiga Magazine (right)

Rene Beaupoil and Leo Burkert (left).
Markus Nerding and David Göhler (right).

Mr. Petro Tyschtschenko, Jürgen Haage (not seen on this picture, because he is the photograph) and Markus Nerding are talking about the one and only Amiga.

17.-18. May

  World of Amiga in UK

Location: Novotel Exhibition Centre, Hammersmith, London
Organisation: World of Amiga Ltd., AITEC House, Tel: +44 (0) 161-477 7151

25.-27. April

  Amiga Show in Scandinavia

For more information have a look at the homepage of AmiTech.

19.-20. April

  Magische Tage Trier (MTT) in Germany

For more information have a look at the homeapge of MTT

We will show StormC PPC, StormC p.OS, DrawStudio and ArtEffect 2.0. There will also be a workshop about writing programs for PowerUP PPC and p.OS. Mr. Tyschtschenko will also attend this meeting on Saturday.

Germany

  Some pictures of Amiga Mazed II Meeting in Germany



Mr Tyschtschenko, now head of new Amiga International attended the meeting to talk to Amiga people.

Jochen Becher and Jürgen Haage presented the new PowerPC development system, based on StormC.
    Eagle Computer presented their Siamese system.

Swizerland

Germany

USA

 

5.-6. April 97: AUGS Meeting in Zofingen (Switzerland)

More information can be found on the AUGS Homepage.

4.-6. April 97 : Amiga-Mazed II in Heilbronn (Germany)

For more information have a look at the homepage of Computer Club 86 e.V.

15.-16. March 97: Amiga 97 in St. Louis (US)

For more information have a look at the homepage of Gateway.