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From the opening ceremonies with Petro Tyschtschenko to the Jim Collas' banquet speech Saturday night, Amiga Inc. used a full-court press to see that the Amiga community knew they were involved with and committed to the Amiga market. After saving the Amiga balloon early Sunday morning, I had breakfast with the new director of Amiga Inc.'s marketing, Jim VonHolle. Mr. VonHolle, a fellow Southern Ohio native, was both interested in the current Amiga market and excited about the direction Amiga was going to take. It is hard not to be inspired by a group of people like this. On page 12, Fletcher Haug discusses his concerns for the Amiga and his 2 AMAZING COMPUTING refusal to get too excited. Unfortunately, due to press pressures, Fletcher had to submit that article before he heard what was said at Amiga 99. However, his concerns were justified and I believe he is right to be a little cautious of what was being offered by the new head of Amiga, Jim Collas. By placing the article in publication before Amiga Inc. could influence his concerns, he has the opportunity to say, "This is the way I want the world to be." His opinions appear less clouded by the expectations generated by Amiga Inc. However, I think the people at Amiga Inc. answered his immediate requests and my feeling is they are sincerely going to attack the computer industry from an entirely new angle with the Amiga. Probably the most exciting statement made by Jim Collas was that we could not wait ten years to achieve a million units sold of the new Amiga system. We need to reach a million units early and continue to build from there. His vision is for a new Amiga that will probably bear little resemblance to the current Amiga and he wants to do this without sacrificing the current Amiga's loyal following. This is a difficult task, but, if we truly want an Amiga alternative in this industry, neither Amiga Inc. nor the Amiga community has any other choice.
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Mmazm JL JL COMPUTING ( Your Original AMIGA Monthly Resource ' rAMIGA Volume 14 No. 4 April, 1999 US $ 4.95 Canada $ 7.25 The New Amiga Perspective * Will the management shift at Amiga Inc. change the way the world views and uses the Amiga?
SPECIAL: Amiga 99 The latest frorfT this year's St. Louis meeting.
AROS What is it?
Is it real?
Is it legal?
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• Wariabty ; Tech sup port out of PA ' 9 New Products & other
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12 Envoy 3 CD from Schatztruhe by Ted Wallingford A look at this latest version.
12 A Different Perspective by Fletcher Fiaug We are afflicted with Amigaitis.
28 Amiga 99 A front-row seat at this major Amiga 14 Aladdin 4D: Animation by Dave Matthews The real magic is in the animation.
20 Amiga Forever Version 2 by Dave Matthews Emulating Amiga on a PC just got easier.
26 Hot Stuff!
32 Amiga OS3.5 Amiga OS 3.5's new abilities.
By Nick Cook Add some smoke to add some heat.
36 The Most from PageStream3 by William F. Maddock Learning the User Interface 39 AROS: Amiga Research OS by Aaron Digulla What is it? Is it real? Is it legal?
42 Unix: Shell Programming Part 2 by Antonello De Santis It is all in the structure of the script.
45 Amiga Games News & Previews by Jake Frederick Virtual Grand Prix, The Scavengers, DafehBloodline, Satellite 13, Alive and Super-Frog Rerelease.
46 Outfal by Jerimy Campbell 47 Super Bubble Remix Supper Bubble Remix, P.47 by Jake Frederick 34 Jim Collas at Amiga 99 Hie now President of Amiga hires tin faithful Amiga users tor tin1 first time DEPARTMENTS FeedBack 6 Editorial 2 Index of Advertisers 48 A Gain, A Loss, and A Plea Amazing Amiga J- -A. COMI’UTING't F i4 mazing Computing AMIGA TM This has been, without a doubt, the most difficult issue I have ever had to complete. It has been difficult in content (trying to make sure that we get everything into the issue and knowing that I will invariably miss something) and function
because of the pressure on this issue both for the Amiga and personally.
No one doubts the Amiga market has undergone dramatic changes over the last few years. One by one, we have been battered and thrown from one problem to the next. But, we have survived. By the stone cold grip of a group of people (some would suggest that we border on a cult) who believe in thinking out of the norm. A people who have made an independent decision about their intellectual and professional tools and cling to the idea that the Amiga offers them more. With this issue, I am not only faced with the challenges and opportunities provided by the new face of the Amiga, I am also faced with
changes in my personal life.
First The Amiga The Amiga 99 show in St. Louis was one of the best Amiga events I have witnessed since the demise of Commodore. Bob and Diana Scharp should not only be congratulated for their fine work, they should be canonized as saints. OK that is a little over the top, but it was so refreshing to see the effort they put into this event payoff in enthusiastic Amiga users and dealers. Hey they even created the first collectable Amiga cards!
Some of the success of Amiga 99 must be shared with the confidence that Amiga Inc. inspired. From the opening ceremonies with Petro Tyschtschenko to the Jim Collas' banquet speech Saturday night, Amiga Inc. used a full-court press to see that the Amiga community knew they were involved with and committed to the Amiga market.
After saving the Amiga balloon early Sunday morning, I had breakfast with the new director of Amiga Inc.'s marketing, Jim VonHolle. Mr. VonHolle, a fellow Southern Ohio native, was both interested in the current Amiga market and excited about the direction Amiga was going to take. It is hard not to be inspired by a group of people like this.
On page 12, Fletcher Haug discusses his concerns for the Amiga and his refusal to get too excited. Unfortunately, due to press pressures, Fletcher had to submit that article before he heard what was said at Amiga 99. However, his concerns were justified and I believe he is right to be a little cautious of what was being offered by the new head of Amiga, Jim Collas. By placing the article in publication before Amiga Inc. could influence his concerns, he has the opportunity to say, "This is the way I want the world to be." His opinions appear less clouded by the expectations generated by Amiga
Inc. However, I think the people at Amiga Inc. answered his immediate requests and my feeling is they are sincerely going to attack the computer industry from an entirely new angle with the Amiga.
Probably the most exciting statement made by Jim Collas was that we could not wait ten years to achieve a million units sold of the new Amiga system. We need to reach a million units early and continue to build from there.
His vision is for a new Amiga that will probably bear little resemblance to the current Amiga and he wants to do this without sacrificing the current Amiga's loyal following. This is a difficult task, but, if we truly want an Amiga alternative in this industry, neither Amiga Inc. nor the Amiga community has any other choice.
A Personal Loss As this issue goes to press, a longtime employee of PiM Publications and Amazing Computing has died. Mrs. Doris L. Gamble was our circulation Manager. She was our publisher's Mother, my Godmother, my Mother-in- law, and my friend. Mrs. Gamble was my personal cheering section. She always expressed faith in our ability to accomplish our goals. I know that Amazing Computing would not have been possible without her support and hands- on efforts.
She was also someone who literally touched every subscriber. If you are a subscriber to Amazing Computing Amiga then somewhere in time, you crossed paths with Mrs. Gamble. Until recently, she hand-stamped every envelope for our overseas subscribers, hand-labeled issues, processed all credit card and check orders, and filed your paperwork.
ADMINISTRATION Publisher: Joyce Hicks Assistant Publisher: Robert J. Hicks Circulation Manager: Doris Gamble Traffic Manager: Robert Gamble EDITORIAL Managing Editor: Illustrator: Associate Contributing Editor: Contributing Editor: Don Hicks Scott Brown Fletcher Haug Shamms Mortier AMAZING AUTHORS Nick Cook Randy Finch Rob Hays Marc Hoffman Dave Matthews Antonello De Santis 1-508-678-4200,1-800-345-3360, FAX 1-508-675-6002 http: www.pimpub.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 S29.95 for 12 issues. Subscriptions
outside the U.S. are as follows: Canada & Mexico S39.95 (U.S.
funds) one year only; Foreign Surface $ 49.95, All payments
must be In U.S. funds on a U.S. bank, Due to erratic postal
changes, all foreign rates are one-year only.
Periodical Postage paid at Fall River, MA 02722.
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 Mail 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, Send article submissions in both manuscript and disk format with your name, address, telephone, and Social Security Number on each to the Associate Editor. Requests for Author's Guides should be directed to the address listed above, AMIGA™ is a registered trademark of Amiga International Gmbh Distributed in tie U.S. & Canada by International Periodical Distributors 674 Via de la Valle, Ste 204, Solona Beach, CA 92075 & Ingram Periodicals Inc.
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All returns will be issued full store credit or 15% Restocking fee on refunds.
PaVitheon In the early days of the Amiga, she was also a regular worker in our booth at the various Amiga events.
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Mrs. Gamble was not a computer fanatic. In fact, it took a long time before she felt confident enough to even enter subscriber information in a simple spreadsheet. However, she did warm to the task and became quite good at it. Yet, she would not write a letter, use the internet, or send email by herself. If she needed anything in those areas, she would call one of us to do it for her.
So, you are probably wondering what effect she had in keeping Amazing going. The truth is, she believed. She believed that if you had a job, you did it.
She believed that subscribers deserved the best product and service we could provide. She believed that sometimes the world was not fair and you had to dig deep and work your way through it.
Mrs. Gamble was critical at times and supportive at times without those two attributes being mutually exclusive.
She was a hard worker and a positive influence. She was loved very much.
So friends, I know this issue may be a little late, but the facts in it are as true as we can discover them. The art may be rushed in this issue, but we packed everything in here we could pack. The text may be small and I am sure we misspelled more than a few things, but we are running a little slower just now.
We have lost a great strength and it will take us some time to learn to live without it.
My Final Plea Mrs. Gamble died of the same form of cancer my mother died of just two years ago. Colon cancer is one of the leading cancers in the United States.
Remarkably, it is one of the slowest cancers to develop as well as one of the easiest cancers to cure in its early stages.
Unfortunately, it involves an area of our anatomy that we do not like to discuss openly. This is a shame. No one should be embarrassed to talk about this problem, its importance, and its cure.
Because of my mother, I was able to have a colonoscopy performed to rule out any problems. It took almost six months to setup the appointment, but it was worth it.
The most difficult part of the test is the preparation. You must fast the day before and, in the evening, you must take a concoction that moves through your system very quickly. By the morning of the test, you are hungry and lighter.
I arrived the next morning early for my appointment. After the required paperwork, I donned a hospital gown and waited in a small hospital bed. Soon a small, but strong nurse came in, introduced herself, and began rolling me to the examination room.
I arrived in the examination room at exactly 8:00 AM. The doctor said hello and then went over the procedure once again (as he had in his office the month before and as the admitting nurse had done just minutes before). They administered an anesthetic and before the nurse could get around the table, I was beginning to speak with a very thick tongue.
The entire procedure is seen on a video monitor as the small, painless probe travels through your very clean system. I was warned that the medication would give me some momentary short term memory loss and they were right.
However, I do remember the doctor discovering a small growth (benign) and removing it.
At the end, the same small, strong nurse grabbed my bed and rolled me to the recovery area. As we left the examination room, I saw the same large clock I had seen on the way in. It was 8:16. Only sixteen minutes had passed since I had arrived.
Recovery was uneventful except for the best blueberry muffins and orange juice I had ever had. OK, remember I hadn't eaten for almost 36 hours. My memory came back to normal as the last of the medication left my system. Then the Doctor came in and discussed the procedure and what they had done.
In just a few short minutes, I had taken a major step in securing myself from a very deadly cancer. I apologize if any of this has offended any of you. My defense is that I have lost two women who meant a great deal to me to a villain that can be beaten. I will fight not to lose anymore. If this made you uncomfortable, get over it and have your doctor schedule you for an examination as soon as possible. The Amiga market cannot afford to lose good people like you.
This Month’s Feature... The Genesis Towerhawk Featuring 060 speed, Zofro compatibility and optional video slot, the Towerhawk is the foundation of the perfect Amiga System.
Order Line: 1 888 RANDOMIZE (1 888 726-3664) Phone: (905) 939-8371 Fax: (905) 939-8745 Sales e-mail: email@example.com Website: www.randomize.com genesis.html PC Amiga Compatible keyboard Interface 6 x 5.25" Drive Bays 4 x 3.5" Drive Bays __ Zip Drive (optional) 250 Watt PSU
* ** CD-Rom High Density Floppy Drive
• » Hard Drive 'Active LEDs Hardware Reset 060 CPU Zorro
Busboard vw15 Zorro 11 Slots and CPU Slot Pass Through X 5
Zorro II Slot BusBoard X FlickerFixer providing PC Monitor
Compatibility X PPC System Price: $ 2389.95 US, $ 3649.95 CDN X
060 System Price: $ 1924.95 US, $ 2949.95 CDN X 030 System Price:
$ 1469.95 US, $ 2249.95 CDN X Odyssey - same as Towerhawk less
Zorro Busboard X PPC System Price: $ 1924.95 US, $ 2949.95 CDN X
060 System Price: $ 1539.95 US, $ 2249.95 CDN X 030 System Price:
$ 1199.95 US, $ 1859.95 CDN with the purchase of any All Systems
include Genesis Customized AmigaOS 3.1, Amiga Magic Bundle, and
Personal Paint 7.1 PPC and 060 Systems include 6.4 GB HD, 40x
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32MB Ram, or configure as you wish Have an A1200? Want to make
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X Towerhawk Case: $ 349.95 US, $ 549.95 CDN X ONBoard 1200 Zorro Board $ 229.95 US, $ 349.95 CDN X High Density Floppy Drive $ 99,95 US, $ 149.95 CDN X Hard Drives $ call X CD-Rom $ call X Hard Drive Cables $ 19.95 US, $ 29.95 CDN X Flicker Fixer $ 179.95 US, $ 274.95 CDN X Personal Paint 7.1 $ 29.95 US, $ 44.95 CDN X Dopus 5 Magellan II $ 79.95 US, $ 119.95 CDN X Phase5 Blizzard 1260 $ 479.95 US, $ 729.95 CDN Check our website at http: www.randomize.com for A complete product listings, info and pricing.
AMIGA cm® Amiga Wares new website at http: www.amigawares.com. Check out our full selection of Amiga Wares including some great pictures and QuickTime movie clips!
Are you ready for Summer?
Amiga Polo Sweat - Amiga Turtleneck - Amiga Polar Fleece - Amiga Printed T- Amiga Embroided T - Amiga Caps - $ 34.95 US, $ 49.95 CDN $ 24.95 US, $ 34.95 CDN $ 39.95 US, $ 59.95 CDN $ 12.95 US, $ 19.95 CDN $ 15.95 US, $ 24.95 CDN $ 9.95 US, $ 14.95 CDN Next Month’s Feature Genesis Alpha Dear AC, I've got to tell you, the January February issue of "Amazing Computing Amiga" was probably one of your best issues that I've read. I love this collaboration with "The Amiga Informer" magazine's staff, and look forward to future issues.
I especially liked the increased game coverage (isn't the Amiga a game machine to most users?) And Soothsayer's comments about NewTek versus Play, Inc. (after all, isn't the Amiga a video production computer to most users?) Was just great.
I'm sure that a lot of Amiga users have received junk mail from Play, Inc. with Kiki Stockhammer's newsletter, and wonder, "Why can't Amiga developers be this obnoxious?" Amiga, Inc. should get on Play's mailing list so they can get a clue what marketing is like (although they may mistakenly take up Play, Inc.'s style of software and hardware development). A shocking thought!
Finally, I liked Fletcher Haug's Different Perspective in addition to Don Hicks' editorial. This collaborating couldn't have come at a better time as things are beginning to happen for the Amiga platform. Just having more writers and "feet on the street" will improve the Amiga coverage.
Thank you "Amazing Computing Amiga".
Rick Rudge firstname.lastname@example.org Thanks for your encouragement. However, I believe your comment that the Amiga is a video production computer to most users is not quite accurate. The Amiga has done a great deal to bring video to the masses, however, most Amigas have been and still are used for a variety of purposes and not just stashed in a video suite. That's why we continually try to cover the entire Amiga marketplace. Although, I would not mind seeing more video article submissions. Editor Dear AC: Just a little note to tell how you much I've appreciated your magazine throughout the years. It is
most informative, and it has helped me FINALLY get on-line. I was able to obtain my information from past articles and letters in Amazing Computing.
Alex Kuznezov Dear AC, Kudos on your insistence on soldering on, no matter what. For many of us you are about the last reliable source of info about our machines. But, with reference to your March column and the latest goings-on at Amiga, Inc. I'd like to comment. I hope your naval metaphor is correct but given the Amiga's history and corporate realities there are other possibilities. Yesterday's business "sweetheart" can be today's pariah. I truly hope I'm wrong, but I have a difficult time seeing one's posting to Amiga, Inc. as an encouraging career move.
I continue on with my hopped-up A3000 at work, even though my employer has placed a Gateway E-3000 (ironic, huh?) Pentium next to it. I sneaker-net the two. I also use a couple of other Amigas at home and have a few backups on the shelf, but I cannot see that it is very realistic to buy new hardware, should any ever appear, when the only new software is for video or games, neither of which I use.
I'm about to replace my one PC, an aged Sharp 286 notebook whose disk controller went bully-up, and I see no way around moving to a state-of-the-art (so says the marketing hype) 366 P-II.
After spending $ 3K on a notebook I'm not likely to buy a new Amiga, no matter how great it is. I'm looking to move to Dragon's voice-to-text software -1 have no Amiga options in this regard, nor will
I. The fact that a new Amiga Guide has consistently failed to
appear tells the tale.
There's just not much commercial product to report on and what there is may disappear during publication lag.
Kudos and Sorrows I've never never ever found it to be a good sign when a company promotes logo coffee cups and trinkets instead of a product. Nevertheless or in spite, many of us will carry on as we can. Best of luck with your new integration with Informer.
Sincerely, Barlow Soper, Ph.D. Louisiana Tech Univ. 1 can understand your skepticism. Believe it or not, I have it also. However, the remarks made by Jim Collas at Amiga99 (see the story in this issue) help to qualify a lot of Amiga users' feelings. He not only has said that they have made mistakes, he categorically states that they will change the way things are done.
No one at Gateway believes the faults of the Amiga were the result of Jeff Schindler. In fact, they defend him and state that he was not getting support through Gateway. At the same time, Amiga Inc. assures us this is all in the past and full support is behind the Amiga program.
Jim Collas did not ask that we just take him on faith, he said watch them do it. With the mandate that they have set, we hope to see some remarkable changes coming soon. Editor. -AC* Please Write to: FeedBack c o Amazing Computing Amiga
P. O. Box 9490 Fall River, MA 02720 Capture an AMIGA Classic
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Amiga Users, find Official Amiga posters, a new Amiga mouse, the new Amiga CD, Boing mouse pads and more at your local Amiga Dealer or contact our distributors!
Distributed in North America by: 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.de AMIGA The Amiga Designer Mouse with new packaging is available at local Amiga dealers.
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For information on Amiga Liscensing for your products, please contact: Robert-Bosch-Str. 11 B 63225 Langen, Germany Phone 49 (0)6103 5878-5 Fax: 49 (0)6103 5878-88 E-Mail: email@example.com www.amiga.de International, Inc, o6 s? fl Time to J%°f* Keep Informed with your favorite x- vJv & Amiga Magazine!
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Call 1-800-345-3360 or FAX 508 675 6002 now and use your Visa, Master Card, or Discover or fill out and send In this order form I Amiga Radio News, Free TV Paint, Amiga Auction, AwesomeStuf f. com, DVS TowerHawk, and more!
NEW PRODUCTS And Other Neat Stuff TowerHawk from DVS DVS Direct has announced they will handle assembly and distribution of RBM Digitaltechnik products in the US.
RBM Digitaltechnik of Eschwege Germany is the maker of several innovative products for the Amiga Computer Including the TowerHawk expansion chassis. The TowerHawk expansion chassis is designed to convert the Amiga 1200 and Amiga 4000 desktop computers into a full tower configuration.
According to DVS Direct, the TowerHawk 1200ex Amiga 1200 expansion system fully supports NewTek's Video Toaster Flyer system.
Other RBM products include IOBlix Multi - I O - interface card: 4 serial ports and optional lObase lOObase ethernet modules.
DVS Direct will also be integrating complete Amiga based systems using the TowerHawk and A1200. This will ensure an abundant supply of Amiga Host systems for the Video Toaster Flyer as well as other Amiga specific applications using the Amiga 1200 motherboard and TowerHawk. DVS Direct will be stocking TowerHawk components here in the US thus eliminating lead time for shipping.
DVS Direct is also manufacturing an ISA adapter card to allow use of ISA power devices in the TowerHawk.
Contact: DVS Direct, 69 Beaver Dr. Suite 110, DuBois PA 15801, Tel: (814) 371-5640, FAX (814) 371-2033 www.dvsdirect.com UGN Announces Amiga Radio News The User Group Network (UGN) has announced the arrival of Amiga Radio News. Amiga Radio News is the first Amiga news source to broadcast live to the Internet using streaming audio!
Amiga User Groups can download and playback this weekly Amiga news update. Every Friday, a new update will be uploaded to Amiga Radio News.
Amiga Radio News is located at http: ugn.amiga.org am . In order to listen to the Amiga Radio News you will need to download an Amiga compatible streaming audio player that supports either ADPCM or GSM 6.10. Fortunately two such players exist and are available off Aminet.
ADPCM_Package.Iha is needed for the ADPCM file, and GIR06.1ha is needed for listening to the GSM encoded file. In the future Real Audio, MP3, and 8SVX file formats may be added.
The User Group Network is an organization dedicated to the advancement of the Amiga computing platform and the fostering of Amiga oriented User Groups worldwide. The UGN will work cooperatively with the owners, licensees, user groups, and the users to establish and expand a customer support base for licensed Amiga computer products. The UGN will endeavor to provide a single, centralized resource for the promotion and assistance of User Groups and users world-wide. The UGN Web Page is located at "http: ugn.amiga.org". FREE! TV Paint 3.59 It's here, and it's free! But what is it?
TV Paint is the grandfather of NewTek's Aura. It's a great 3-layer paint and compositing program for your Amiga. It has pen, airbrush, chalk, pencil, crayon Please Note: The press releases and news announcements in New Products are from Amiga vendors and others. While Amazing Computing Amiga maintains the right to edit these articles, the statements, and claims made in these reports are those of the vendors and not AC.
And cutout brushes, has an easy to use scripting language for multiple tasking operations, with over 2400 drawing and image processing combinations available as well as such features as bump map, noise, perspective, smear, blur, grain, chroma key, and more. TVPaint requires an Amiga computer with a 68030 CPU, a math co-processor (fpu), 16MB RAM, a Cyber GFX compatible graphics card capable of displaying at least 256 colors and OS 3.0. For the best results, you should have a 68040 CPU, a 24-bit CyberGFX Zorro III graphics card and OS3.1. For a limited time, TVPaint is available as a free
download. Complete the on-line form and let NewTek know who you are and where they can reach you. They expect to send notices of other new offers and they promise they will not release your info to anyone else, http: www.newtek.com support register tvpaint index.htm Mr. Hardware The Amiga community was stunned recently with the news that Joe Rothman, Mr. Hardware, of Long Island New York had died of a sudden heart attack. Joe was an outspoken supporter of the Amiga and the US source for SuperBase on the Amiga. Joe was an early adopter of the Amiga computer and a zealot in his approach to
all things Amigan. He will be sorely missed by the entire Amiga community.
Joe is survived by his wife Pam who has stated that SuperBase will continue with a new release available now. Instead of flowers, Pam has requested anyone interested in remembering Joe to send a donation to: The North Shore Animal League, 750 Port Washington Blvd., Port Visit The Amiga Web Directory!
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Washington, NY 11050-9714, Phone 516- 883-7575.
Amiga Service Center Changes Effective immediately, Paxtron will no longer charge a customer sending in an Amiga computer base price plus parts. All Amiga repairs will be done on a flat rate price regardless of what Ics are put in to repair a computer. This new method will be very beneficial to the end user and dealers using their service and will certainly save a lot of time and effort.
Paxtron has also made arrangements to substantially speed up turnaround time to 10-12 days maximum.
Paxtron again invites everybody who would like to have an Amiga repaired to check their prices on the Internet (www.paxtron.com) and call for a Return Authorization Number (RMA).
Paxtron Corporation, 28 Grove Street, Spring Valley, NY 10977, Tel: 914-578- 6522, 800-815-3241, 800-595-5534, 888- PAXTRON, Fax: 914-578-6550.
A Correction In the March issue's New Products section, there was a mistake in the Safe Harbor announcements. Safe Harbor tells us that the price of the Alternate Video Wipes package should be $ 49.00. They apologize for any inconvenience.
Safe Harbor Computers, W226 N900 Eastmound Drive, Waukesha, Wl 53186, Tel: 800-544-6599, Fax: 414-548-8130.
AwsomeStuff.Com for Software Developers AwsomeStuff.Com is a new and unique e-retail environment, created by working with independent developers and small software shops to bring their diverse product offerings to market.
AwsomeStuff.Com, an internet retail and digital distribution store, started as an alternative to the shareware and "boxed distribution' models. As a retailer returning 75% or more of each product sale to the author, AwsomeStuff.Com affords developers the chance to place their products in a dynamic and constantly changing store while realizing the lion's share of each sale.
AwsomeStuff.Com requires no registration or submission fees.
AwsomeStuff.Com boasts an intuitive search engine and simple category browser that are 'head and shoulders' above the norm, making detailed searches simple.
AwsomeStuff.Com has also created the Wish List a collection of 'tell us what you were looking for' product ideas, all entered by unfulfilled customers through a point and click interface.
Those wishes are public and searchable by all, making it a great resource for developers and companies alike. In addition to Windows and Macintosh software, AwesomeStuff.com will also carry products by independent Amiga developers.
Www.AwsomeStuff.Com, with additional author details at http: www.AwsomeStuff.Com suppliers info.asp. For further information, contact Shawn Van Dusen, Fax: (843) 363.2702. Email: mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org Amiga Auction Portal, by clickBOOM, has announced a fully automatic real-time online Auction place now open to all Amiga users. Users can bid on or sell Amiga-related items and trade their hardware in a simple and absolutely private manner.
Bidding is absolutely free. If you have an Amiga-related item to sell, hold an auction and have other Amiga users bid on it. It's fully automatic and you can create a new auction in less than 5 minutes, and don't worry about it until you make a sale at the highest offered price. Best of all, it's free if your item doesn't sell! They also offer both English and German, with more languages promised soon.
To see all of the Auctions just visit http: clickboom.com auctions. If you wish to bid on, or sell items, fill out a simple form to register yourself, and you will automatically receive access.
• AC* GET NOTICED Please send New Product information to: Amazing
Computing Amiga. P.O. Box 9490, Fall River, MA 02720,
www.pimpub.com. DVS Direct 1800-379-7267 VSSISf USSSiS US' v“"
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Call for Prices & options MEGA 4000 Toaster Flyer System e MEGA 4000DT * e 50 MHZ 060 w 68 MB ram
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A Different Perspective: By Fletcher Hauge Review: Envoy 3 CD from Schatztruhe By Ted Wallingford Envoy 3 is the latest incarnation of IAM's Amiga peer-to-peer networking software for the Amiga. The last version produced by IAM before they closed their business at the end of 1997 offered Amiga users the ability to share disk drives and printers with other Amiga computers over a local area network (LAN).
While Envoy is an important product, Schatztruhe's incrementing the version number is confusing to say the least. There really is nothing new about the product, besides the fact that it comes on CD-ROM instead of floppy disks. In fact, the new documentation provided with the product lends little to added value versus the previous, floppy-disk- based Envoy 2.
This indicates that Envoy is indeed a dead product, so Amiga users who are searching for a good file and print sharing solution may wish to use the freely-distributable Samba (www.samba.org) instead.
Still, Envoy's ease-of-use is a key superiority over Samba. Perhaps if Envoy's friendliness could be combined with Samba's ability to connect to Windows, Linux, and Macintosh computers, Schatztruhe would have an excellent product on their hands.
Envoy 3 is available from www.schatztruhe.de or from an Amiga dealer, and retails for about $ 45 USD or 35 ukp. *AC* Due to press deadlines, Fletcher had to submit this column just before Jim Collas gave his speech at Amiga99.
A lot can happen in a few months.
Last issue, I passed on writing an editorial because frankly, there was little to say. Things seemed very stagnant in the Amiga community and there was no news coming from Amiga Inc. Silence and lack of information has become Amiga Inc.'s trademark, but that may be about to change. As you know, Jim Collas is on board as the new President, of Amiga Inc. and with him comes a renewed glimmer of hope.
I have come to believe that we Amigans possess a very rare recessive gene which causes us to hope and believe against all conventional wisdom that the Amiga will one day reemerge as an innovative and revolutionary computer.
We are afflicted with Amigaitis. In spite of overwhelming odds and against all rational thinking, this recessive Amiga gene causes us to continue pouring our heart and soul into this unique computer.
We go to great lengths to find new hardware and software, and we continue volunteering our time and efforts to help further the platform. Our friends all tell us we are crazy, but we continue in spite of counseling otherwise.
Please Nofe: The statements and position of the author does not necessarily represent those of PiM Publications Inc,, its management, or its employees. Individuals with alternative points of view are encouraged to provide their response in writing to: Feedback, Amazing Computing Amiga, P.O. Box 9490, Fall River, MA 02720.
Now, Amiga Inc. has Jim Collas steering the Amiga and my affliction initially makes me want to believe that all will be well. However, being tempered by numerous disappointments over the past several years, I'm containing my irrational enthusiasm about this change at Amiga Inc. and instead look at this new phase in the Amiga's sordid history with a cautious eye.
When I first met Jeff Schindler in London last year, I was impressed by his demeanor and convinced that he would bring the Amiga forward. Unfortunately, I soon realized that this thinking was caused by my recessive Amiga gene, and things for the Amiga soon went down hill.
Mr. Schindler certainly had the credentials to lead Amiga Inc., but it soon became apparent, in my opinion, he didn't have the gumption or leadership that was needed to make things happen.
Now we have Jim Collas at the helm. I was equally impressed by Mr. Collas in London last year, and again, he certainly has the credentials to lead Amiga Inc. However, it has yet to be seen if he has the ability to not only envision a future for the Amiga, but to make it happen as well.
Mr. Collas will have a considerably harder job convincing a now cynical and jaded Amiga community that he can make a difference. Jeff Schindler had us all in his pocket and most of us were initially willing to believe his vision with little question. That situation has all changed. Jim Collas is now left with the difficult job of proving that what he says can be done. The remaining Amiga community will not accept his word as truth. They will demand that he back his words with actions. Instead of simply being handed the hearts of the Amiga community as Jeff Schindler was, Mr. “I have come to
believe that we Amigans possess a very rare recessive gene which causes us to hope and believe against all conventional wisdom that the Amiga will one day reemerge as an innovative and revolutionary computer. We are afflicted with Amigaifis."
Collas must win us back.
The announcement about Jim Collas' new position comes just before Amiga 99 in St. Louis. This offers Amiga Inc. an opportunity to turn around the waning momentum in the Amiga community.
They need to hit the floor running at St. Louis. If they don't, they will hear the big sucking sound of even more Amigans leaving the platform.
I'm writing this before the show happens so it gives me a chance to express what I think Jim Collas needs to do to convince the community that he really represents a new beginning for the Amiga. He needs to articulate that things will be different under his command and that it won't just be the same inaction we've seen in the past.
First, Amiga Inc. needs to let the community know that they really dropped the ball over the past 24 months.
The community knows the great potential and opportunity Amiga Inc. had when they first got the Amiga. We told this to them in thousands of emails, phone calls and letters. Admitting they made a mistake in not taking advantage of past opportunities will go a long way in healing the feeling of frustration and betrayal that currently permeates the community.
Next, Amiga Inc. needs to define a clear vision and future direction of the Amiga and what it will mean to us. No one will accept the "we have to stay under the Microsoft radar" story any longer. If they want the support of the community, they need to get the community involved and build excitement about the future. Get the community involved now and reap the benefits of doing so down the road.
Amiga Inc. needs to do something to help support the barely surviving retailers and developers. No one is asking them to send money. All that is really needed is for Amiga Inc. to build excitement and encourage the market.
They should publicly state they support the many efforts going on in the community. Help developers get permission to port various software to the Amiga and leverage companies to provide Amiga drivers and support. Contact innovative Amiga developers and let them know Amiga Inc. is behind them. Get involved with public discussions. Let people know that Amiga OS 3.5 will be coming out soon through magazine advertising. All these actions will help stabilize the hemorrhaging Amiga market. Amiga Inc. must show they care about the existing market, not just the market in the future.
Amiga Inc. needs to build a working relationship with the Amiga press and show that they are honest and open instead of secretive and protective. The Schindler era was marked by almost complete silence to the press. This caused absolute frustration if not down right hostility from most Amiga publications.
Sure, we are small compared to the mainstream press, but we do have the ear of the community. It's time Amiga Inc. starts talking to the press. Grant real interviews, not prefabricated responses.
Respond to questions from the press with real answers. Provide demo material and information on upcoming projects and events to all magazines so they can spread the word. Amiga Inc. needs to work with press as a partner, not an enemy.
Amiga Inc. needs to let these programmers know they are important and must work with them to keep them involved with the Amiga.
If Amiga Inc. makes an effort to address the above concerns, I think they will go a long way in actually getting back the trust of the community. If all we get from Amiga Inc. is lip service and the same old song and dance, then I'm convinced they really don't care about the current community and only have their eyes focused on their future goals.
Amigaitis certainly makes me think things will be different this time, but my common sense won't allow me to again start believing unless Amiga Inc. makes the right moves this time around. We will see.
• AC* Please Write to: Fletcher Haug c o Amazing Computing
P. O. Box 9490 Fall River, MA 02720 Animating the Torch The real
magic is in the animation.
By Dave Matthews Armed and Animated In this final episode of the Cutting Torch tutorial, we are going to cover animation. Specifically, the animation of the robot arm as it rotates to grab the piece of metal the torch has cut off, I didn't cover the modeling or surfacing of the robot arm, because it is very simple, a couple of cylinders, and two jagged boxes for the claw. The real magic is in the animation, and that's what we'll cover now. See Figures 1,2 and 3 for frames from the Animation, and Figure 4 shows the robot arm object, with the paths pointed out.
The Path of Righteousness Unlike Lightwave's use of keyframe based animation, Aladdin uses a path or timeline system to handle animation. A path is represented as a special polygon, usually drawn in a dashed blue line, it can be a straight line, a curve, or any The robot arm, with paths 14 A MA ZINC, COMPVTIXC, other shape of poly with any number of sides.
Like a path in the real world, a path in Aladdin has a beginning and an end, and objects can move along that path during an animation. Unlike paths in the real world (unless, like Alice, your path leads to Wonderland), an Aladdin path can also be used to rotate, scale and deform your objects, and also control and modify their appearance, strength, color, texture, etc. Following the Dashed Blue Line For simple animations, paths are pretty straight forward. To create a path, first you need a polygon. The polygon can be as simple as a straight line, or as complex as you want to get. Select the
Polygon, use the Make Path menu item.
The Path can control movement, rotation, and scaling. For movement, you simple put a checkmark in the Status box, under movement. With this on, any polys assigned to the path will move from the first point of the polygon to the last, during the animation. See Figure 5 for the Path editor.
If you have the last box checked, the polys will traverse the last segment of the path, otherwise they will ignore it. This is usually off for straight paths, but on for circular or other complex paths. The P Lock will jump the poly to the points on the path, skipping the line segments, for a jerky strobe effect.
You can also control whether the movement is relative or constant. To illustrate this, let's say we have a triangle shaped path, with two long sides and a short side. With a 300 frame animation, and constant checked, a poly will move along the path at a steady speed. The length of each segment does not affect the apparent speed of the poly. With relative set, however, the poly will move at a speed relative to each segment. The frames of the animation are portioned out equally to each segment of the path.
In our example, the first long side of the triangle path gets 100 frames to complete, so the poly moves at a fast rate. The second segment of the path also has 100 frames, but is shorter. The poly has a shorter distance to traverse during the 100 frame time period, and thus moves slower. The third segment of the path is longer again, so the poly will speed up to cover the longer distance in the same time.
The Start % setting is used to control the starting position of the poly along the path, 50% will start the poly halfway along the path. Another setting you need to be aware of is the periodic cyclic toggle.
With Cyclic turned on, the poly will move from the start of the path to the end. With Periodic, or ping-pong type animation, the poly moves from start to finish, then back to start, like a yo-yo.
Finally, there is the funny S shape button. This is Aladdin's Cspline (Control Spline) tool, which gives an entirely new level of control over your animation. We'll get to this in a minute, but I want to briefly cover the Rotation and scaling first.
A Crooked, Twisty Path In Figure 6, you can see the rotation setting being used for the rotation of the robot arm. Very simple. You have a start percentage, an entry value in degrees, and an exit value, again in degrees. The start percentage is like the one in the movement, where you start the poly at a certain percentage of rotation, already in progress. The entry and exit values control the start and finish of the rotation. The cycles gadget lets you repeat the rotation as many times during the animation as you like. And there is also the cyclic period gadget. Scaling is similar to rotation,
except of course, you have percentages for scaling amount instead of rotation. And yes, there is that Cspline gadget here as well.
' % Apr11. 1999 15 ?J Cycles.: i| l.oooj j (?) Cyclical | Status1 Last. J f Loci; I ", ST A-S ¦ a 1 TdiT'frSnr Name: p«n Extend :?.y Status: 1 LS'-t: I Reverse: A-JS,. Ql X-AKiS j : Velocity t? J Retathie [ Start: | 0.00 | sc Qk*»; | i .C«» | ~f Cl Cycfea' | Rotation | Seain g Start Entry Exit x f o.«l% (......oocap - |" ooto |° | " i ooo A d cm A Cl Cycfe | V: I 0 .00 I % 0 000 P - I 0,000 I « I 1.000 Z: I ojo|%,f. Ox)oo|»- | o.ooo|• | 1.000 A Cl Of* I instartfe... _Ssl Figure 5: Arm extension path settings iHrrarrTgnr,, obotAmRotste | Globa Cycles |~ i .0001 J~ Cl Cyclical | -
Status _| last: _| P Lock J v*tocity: Cl rwstiva t I o.v* I x Cycles' [ "i ooo'l A Cl Cydnai | Marne: Status, J Last: _( Reverse' |
- Axis' QT | ; I- Sts... Control Splines Don’t Run, We Are Your
Friends When the situation calls for more than simple movement,
rotation or scaling, it's time to pull out the big guns, namely
Control Splines. Control Splines give you enormous power and
flexibility in all aspects of your animations, once you fathom
their depths. Like many items in Aladdin 4D, the sheer power
and flexibility can be somewhat intimidating, especially if
you've never worked with splines before.
Splines look like curvy pieces of string with handles attached. You use the handles to shape the curves. These splines are useful for creating objects with complex but smoothly curved surfaces. Control Splines look the same, and are used in similar fashion, but have an entirely different function.
Look at Figure 7. Here we have the Spline editor with the slow-to-fast Cspline loaded. The first thing you notice is the curve in the big box. The curve of course, is the actual spline. Those little dashed lines ending in black squares are your control handles. You click on the black squares, and drag them to shape the curve. There are four squares for each spline. The square on each end of the curve moves their respective endpoint of the curve, while the other two are used to shape the curve. If you click on the end point, you'll notice you can move it up and down, but not horizontally. The
endpoints of the Cspline are anchored at the beginning and ending of the time period for which the Cspline is active.
Notice in the big box in which the spline lives, there is a grid, a vertical blue line in the middle (called a reticle. Why a reticle? Because calling it "that vertical blue line in the middle", takes too long to write) and numbers below and to the left.
This whole thing might look overly complicated at first, and make you regret all those naps you took in Algebra class, but it's really not so bad.
The Cspline represents time (percentage wise), going from left to right, and a value going from bottom to top. For instance, let's say we have a 60- frame animation, with poly being rotated from 0 degrees to 360 degrees. The numbers on the left side go from 0 at the bottom to 360 at the top. The numbers at the bottom go from 0 percent at the left to Name: |i lawt I moo | jr | ei Cyclic 1 1
1. 000 I S PI Cyclic 1 1
1. 000 I J" I PI Cyclic I oay I Instance.. IQ cuo olo o3o olo «5o
*To Add | Octets 1 Even | Mirror £ I Minor )L I Undo |
|ThcCi*» | Constant: . Compensate: J*»J J = Let's start with
the claw. We need to rotate each half of the claw in opposite
directions, so the two claw pieces rotate into each other.
We'll need two separate paths to do this.
Take a look at Figure 4. Here you see the basic Robot Arm. At the top, you see the claw. We need two paths, placed right between the claws. Create a two point poly next to the first claw. Use the Make Path menu item to call up the Path 100 percent at the right. Without a Cspline the rotation would take place in an even, boring manner. To add a bit of spice, we want the rotation to start slow, than speed up, rather like how things work in the real world, with all that inertia to deal with.
The default Cspline is a straight line, going from bottom-left to top-right. This acts just like a rotation with no spline at all. Just smooth even perfect rotation.
Boring. Want something even more boring?
Try a straight horizontal line. You get no rotation at all. Or rather you get a rotation value right at the start that doesn't change. If you set your flat line at a vertical value of 180, the Poly would be rotated to 180 at frame 1, and then kept at 180 degrees the whole animation. You can see the values listed to the right of the Cspline. The starting and ending frame, time percentage and rotation (in our example, could be movement, scaling, whatever) values are listed. Plus you can drag the Reticle, the Reticle group will show you the rotation value, Time percentage and Frame number at any
point. Very handy.
The slow to fast Cspline is much more interesting. It starts with a flat line that climbs slowly at first, and then gets steeper quickly. As you can see, the Cspline controls the amount of change of movement, rotation, what have you, during the animation. In our example, when the curve is flat, the rotation proceeds at the same even pace. As the curve steepens, the rotation happens faster. Where the curve is vertical implies instant acceleration, since the value of the rotation is increasing, but the time isn't.
Nothing can escape the claw!
Now to apply this to our Robot arm.
Referring to the sketches I presented in the first article of this tutorial, the Robot arm is going to rotate into place, extend the claw, the claw will grab the metal piece, and then the arm will rotate back, carrying the piece with it, once the torch cuts the piece off.
This sounds deceptively simple, but requires some advanced planning. We are dealing with hierarchical animation here. We will need to tell each part of the robot arm how and when to move.
Global Cycles: | 1.000 | J~ PI Cyclical - Status: _j Last: 1 P Lock: _ | Status: | Last: | Velocity: p| Relative j Start: | 0.00 |% Reverse: Cycles: [ i.ooo| J~ P| Cyclical | Axis: Q| k-Axis | editor. See Figure 8. Notice that mo e- ment is off, a rotation value of 22 degrees in the Y entered, and the Cspline box is chosen. Your values for rotation of the claw may differ, you'll probably need to experiment. Notice the Entry and Exit time in the list members box is set for the entire animation. We're going to control the actual timing of things using CSPlines, which will allow more precise
control. Figure 9 shows the Claw Cspline. There is a bit of trickery here.
Figure 9 doesn't show it, but there are actually three Csplines. Use the Add and the Even button to create a multipart Cspline.
The first part is a flat line with a value of 0, which as you recall, means rotate to this value and hold. In other words, we hold the claw at 0 degrees rotation until the moment when it needs to clamp down on the metal. Once the moment arrives, the second part of the Cspline kicks in and the Claws clamp together. The last part again puts the Claws in a holding pattern, only this time at full rotation, so they stay clamped for the rest of the animation.
Assign the first daw to the first path, create a second path close to the second claw, using a negative rotation value, and the same Cspline. This will Mirror the second claw, so they rotate into each other. Assign the second claw to this path.
Reach for the Sky
O. K., now for our next trick, let's extend the inner cylinder.
We need a straight line path, in the center of the cylinder
and pointing along the long axis. Again, see Figure 4. Figure
5 shows the Path editor for the arm extension path. Notice the
Movement status is checked, and the Cspline is active.
Figure 10 shows the Arm Extension Cspline. This is actually a combination of 4 Csplines. The first part holds the arm at zero extension, the second part extends the arm, the third part holds the arm at full extension while the torch cuts the metal piece, and the last part retracts the arm. As the animation moves along, the Cspline slopes downward, giving the arm a negative movement value.
Assign the inner cylinder to this path.
Beginning to understand the power of CSPlines? In order to accomplish this without CSPlines, you would need multiple paths, with complicated and confusing timing.
We also need to rotate the arm into place. So we need another path, this one to control rotation of the main arm. Place this path at the base of the main arm, centered in the cylinder. The rotation value is 90 degrees in the Y (again, you may need a different value, or different rotation axis) and the Cspline editor is selected. See Figure 6.
Figure 11 shows the Rotate Robot Arm Cspline, like the others multipart Csplines, Here we see the first part rotates the arm 90 degrees. The second part holds the arm at 90 degree rotation while the inner cylinder extends and the claws grab and the torch cuts. The final part rotates the arm in the opposite direction, back to where it started.
Assign the outer cylinder to this path.
The Head Bone is connected to the neck bone... Hmmm. Problem. If you ran your animation at this point, you would notice that the outer cylinder rotates, the inner cylinder extends, but does not rotate with the outer cylinder, and the claws do their thing, but neither extend with the inner cylinder, nor rotate with the outer. What's that all about?
Hire Archie to get connected.
O. K., as I mentioned earlier, we are dealing with hierarchical
animation. This is like a real arm. You move your hand, your
fingers move with it, you move your arm, your hand goes along
for the ride, you move your body, your arm, and your hand, and
your fingers are right there with you (hopefully!).
We need to set up this kind of relationship for our robot arms. I hate to keep harping on this, but this kind of thing really needs to be planned out, a complex animation can have dozens or even hundreds of these kinds of relationships, and it can get very hard to remember what's connected to what.
So to move your fingers, you move your hand. To move your hand, you move your arm. Since our robot doesn't have a body, we can stop right there. The p 1 Spline Editor _ b - --~ m r : : : : : ....
• :.....; :.....:...... "' • • :' ?
• •...... • • * * : ;.....;......‘ • •• - • . . .
:' : “T*
G. CO Figure 11: Cspline for the arm rotation LflaJ Load... I .
0. 000 1
0. 500 | 150 Entry 1
0. 000 I 1
0. 000 I 1 4 Exit 1
0. 000 I 1
1. 000 I 1 300 G Srop 1 60 | 1 20 | G Disp
I. .. «9.l 1 101 ?. :¦ Vnj Cancel f Outer cylinder is the parent,
the inner cylinder is a child of the outer cylinder, since it
must move with it. Claws are the children of the inner
cylinder since they must move with it. Note that we don't need
to worry directly about the claws in relation to the outer
cylinder, since the claws are connected to the inner cylinder,
and the inner cylinder's connected to the outer cylinder, and
great, now I have that song running through my head again...
Anyway, this is easy to accomplish, as long as we keep track
of our hierarchies. Start with the claws. Select the claw
paths, and use the Assign Path command to Assign the paths to
the inner cylinder extension path. Notice we are assigning a
path to a path! This is key to the whole gig. If you tried to
assign the claw objects to the inner cylinder path, they would
lose their own rotation assignments.
Let everyone know where you are looking Now select the inner cylinder path, and assign it to the arm rotation path.
Now, try your animation. All the parts should rotate, extend, grab, etc., as a whole.
Remember to say, “I saw you in If you've been paying attention, you may realize there's still something missing. The arm rotates, extends, grabs the metal piece, rotates back and, whoops, we forgot the metal piece. Since it's not assigned to our little collective, it won't move with the arm, I'll leave this last part as a homework assignment for the reader. Good Luck! Class dismissed!
O. K., we're done! I hope you've learned something, and hopefully
had a little fun making your own torch animation in Aladdin.
If there's a specific topic for further Aladdin articles you
would like to see, feel free to drop me a line.
Until next time, you can contact me via email at: email@example.com Also, I've created a web site with all the color illustrations for my Aladdin tutorials. I've also created a gallery with some of my Aladdin 4D artwork and animations, and some other goodies, so please drop in: http: www.geocities.com SoHo Exhibit 2 0 53 index.html m Also, Gary H. Hathaway Jr. Has started a web ring for Aladdin 4D. If you have a web page with Aladdin 4D art or other related material, we could use some more members! Gary's page: http: www,jps.net garyh 3- Dgallery.html
• AC' - AMIGA FOREVER VERSION 2 Review Emulating the Amiga on a
PC just got easier.
By Dave Matthews ¦I Display Gfx | 0 Hard-Drives | J* I O Ports j © Advanced J About j 0 Configurations M Startup Memory J Sound | 0 Floppies j ¦ Memory Settings:----- Fast: I 1 1 1 f 1 J 1 t 1 1 ... 1 1 j .. J 1 I f t 1 t 1 ..1 | 2 Megs None 2 Megs Gfx-Card: Kickstart Settings: |.Ashared rom kick3 _ Key-Fite: rom.key J The Amiga, Cast in Software Emulating the Amiga on other platforms has been a long, difficult and somewhat controversial process. Most Amiga users agreed that emulating the Amiga, with its sophisticated OS and integrated graphics and
sound chipsets was impossible. The very first PC Amiga 'emulator' was nothing more than a hack that displayed a 'Guru' error message, complete with flashing red box, on the PC's screen.
WinUAE Properties The 1990s, however, ushered in an era of ever accelerating PC power, and ever...uh, non-accelerating Amiga progress. Lured by faster processors, more RAM, bigger hard drives, and more software, many Amiga owners either jumped ship entirely, or added a PC or Mac to their desktops.
Changing platforms can be somewhat traumatic, and many former Amiga users were nostalgic for their old Amiga days. These factors contributed HEI to the desire for an Amiga emulator.
UAE started out on Unix machines, by Bemd Schmidt, and has been helped along by a host of people. Currently Brian King maintains the WinUAE package.
Is that the Amiga in your PC?
In the February, 1997 issue of Amazing Computing Amiga, Marc Hoffman and I reviewed UAE, on the Mac and PC respectively. Although UAE had some performance and compatibility issues, one of the more serious problems many people had was obtaining the Amiga OS, disks and ROM, to use with the emulator. If you didn't own an Amiga, your options were limited.
Cloanto recognized that, and thus was Amiga Forever bom. For the first time, people who wanted to experience the Amiga were able to buy a complete package, with the AmigaOS, emulators, and extra software, ready to install. Note that UAE and Fellow, another Amiga emulator, are still freely downloadable from the Internet. What your $ 60 (for the CD, $ 30 for the on-line edition) is buying you is the Amiga OS disks and ROMs, as well as extras like Personal Paint, not to mention the convenience of having it all in one package.
Cancel OK Or are you just happy to see me?
Of course, this desire to run an Amiga without taking up physical real estate on your desk is not without controversy. To many people, UAE is somehow morally wrong, even if you have purchased the Amiga OS legally via Amiga Forever. Without the hardware, they feel it can never be a true Amiga.
This atoms vs. bits argument is a long standing one, and has and will extend to the NextGen Amigas as well.
Personally, I'm glad to see Amiga emulation. No matter what the next generation of Amiga brings, emulation can act as a sort of time machine, allowing the thousands of Amiga classic titles to be experienced, by long time Amiga aficionados, as well as first timers seeking retro thrills. The thing is, no matter how carefully kept, hardware eventually falls to ruin. And older parts, and the knowledge base required to use them, will eventually fade into history.
Software, on the other hand, does not rot.
Particularly with the open nature of the UAE source code, the classic Amiga OS and software life-span can be extended indefinitely.
Amiga Forever The Amiga Forever package includes a CD and a floppy disk with all the emulation software, plus versions of the Amiga OS from 1.0 to 3.0. Extras include Amiga Explorer, Cloanto's Amiga - PC networking software, and the excellent Personal Paint 7.1. In addition, there is a nifty audio history of the Amiga related by Jay Miner (father of the Amiga) and just for fun, a 3D boing sticker. The CD version contains Windows, DOS, PowerMac, and even Amiga PowerPC versions of the UAE emulator and Fellow.
One of the best new features is the ability to run your Amiga on a simulated graphics card, which basically uses the graphics card in your PC.
Initially, Marc and I planned to reprise our review, with both Macintosh and PC reviews of Amiga Forever.
Unfortunately, the version of MacUAE shipped on the Amiga Forever CD did not work on Marc's G3 Macintosh.
Perhaps a newer version of MacUAE will fix this and be reviewed in a later issue.
Instant Gratification Installation of the Windows software was easy and problem free. The various emulators are started and configured via the Amiga Forever launcher. The strange but oddly comforting words, "This is the Amiga speaking.", spoken in the Amiga's voice synthesis, greets you when the launcher is run. Running the emulator is a one click operation. See Figure 1.
Of course, to get the most from the emulators, you will need to configure them, and this can be accomplished from the launcher as well. The configuration is via familiar Windows tabbed interfaces, with controls for volumes disks, floppies, OS version, memory, CPU, graphics, sound, and IO. UAE is very flexible, giving you many more options than a real Amiga. Of course, some of these options are kludges, for running cranky software. You can set the amount of Chip RAM, (up to 8MB!), fast RAM (again, 8MB), and even add ZorroIII RAM up to 64MB. You can choose from 68000 to 68020+68882, with various
options to tweak. You can also choose whether to use a file disk, or directories on your Windows hard drive, making copying files to the Amiga side easy and convenient. See Figure 2 for the Memory configuration tab.
Everything old is new again.
Seeing the Amiga Workbench pop up with so much ease was definitely a treat. One of the best new features is the ability to run your Amiga on a simulated graphics card, which basically uses the graphics card in your PC. In conjunction with Picasso 96, which is installed by Amiga Forever, you can run your Amiga in hi true color and at high resolutions, depending on your particular graphics card. This provides much faster (and prettier!) Screen updates and is compatible with most software that works with Picasso 96. See Figure 3 for a screen shot of the Amiga Workbench under UAE, running at
800x600 true-color, with ’HCcs start creep. Mtiat. Do
- out Uiinte you were douig ?
’hat. Guy is o. total sadist $ St«rt)j WinUAe - ImtHMt.
Classic Elvira, and Figure 6 shows Katakis. Note the last two are running under UAE 0.8.6 Win32 DirectX, Release 6, which is available at the WinUAE site listed at the bottom of this article.
As Figure 5 and 6 show, this version of WinUAE allows you to run the Amiga emulation in a window on the desktop.
Of course, full screen mode is faster, but it's nice to have the option. You can even run multiple copies of UAE. Check out that Funky workbench 1.1 in Figure 6!
Sound Improvement Sound is now emulated much better, though it can really bog down the emulation. If you recall, I couldn't get Newlcons and Birdie. You can see ImageFX, using the CyberWB preview, which works nicely in this setup.
Games, on the other hand, generally will require emulation of the Amiga chipset. UAE emulates the ECS chips pretty well, and many games which do not require AGA will run. This is where all those config options will come in handy. You can run versions of the Amiga OS from 1.1 (!) All the way up to
3. 0, with 1.3 being probably the best for many games. You can
also set the amount of chip RAM, fast RAM, and even add the
Amiga 500 weird slow fast RAM. See Figure 4 for the ubiquitous
Doom (in this case, Adoom) running at a quite playable speed.
Figure 5 shows the the sound to work at all in the previous
review. As far as games go, the sound is better left for sound
effects, and music is best turned off, if possible. Joystick
emulation appears to work fine, passing through the PC's
joystick without a hitch.
Not everything works as planned, however.
Hardware Hardships Not everything works as planned, however. Nova Design's Aladdin 4D works fine in the modeling department, with the editor running at 800x600 in true color, but I could not get Aladdin 4D to render properly. Not only would it not render to screen, I couldn't even render Metwbri- NoteP*d 21 OK 4$ SjmpleText 512K (Q System Software 2,865K WinUAE UorKYbgnoh rclea; Hm’kbench i tmo v Tru shout* System FoWer Kalevdoscope Goodies WinUAE WinUAE Figure 7: Shapeshifter in UAE A1200 030,882 @ 28Mhz WinUAE, Pentium @ 1 ImageFX 3.2 Load 736x476 JPEG 0:20 A1200 UAE ImageFX 3.2 Liquid
Effect 1:20 A1200 2:40 Ppaint 7.1 Load 736x476 JPEG Ppaint 7.1 Blur Hi 8:55 A1200 to disk correctly, getting either confetti or black blob screens. And Wildfire, an animation sequencer, would not run at all. With further investigation, many, but not all, of these types of compatibility problems can be solved.
I also could not get the serial port to work, though the parallel port seems to work OK. In addition, there are occasional problems with the new file system which allows use of PC's directories as Amiga drives. In particular, certain Amiga file names, especially some of the foreign characters found in the locale catalogs directory, will cause problems for Windows 95, resulting in illegal long file name errors.
I also had to hack the MUI installer because of a problem with a weird file name, to get it to install. Using a filedisk is slower, and less convenient, but will not have these problems.
Windows? Amiga? Mac? Yes!
Another new capability of UAE is Macintosh emulation via Shapeshifter. It really works! I was pleasantly surprised at how well Shapeshifter runs under UAE. Even though my 030 based A1200 is 2 to 3 times faster than UAE on my Pentium, the Macintosh ran a quite usable speed. In fact, the GUI was faster in 256 colors than my A1200 could run Shapeshifter in black and white, though processing times were slower. See Figure 7.
A1200 mm UAE UAE Feel the Rush It's a bit difficult to pin down the exact speed of the emulation, due to so many variables. On the one hand, program speed seems on par with a real Amiga 500, about 1 3 to 1 2 the speed of my A1200. The GUI seems a trifle sluggish, when opening Windows and displaying icons, but at 800x600 in 16-bit, this is hard to compare to an A500! Elvira seemed a tad slower than I remember from my A500 days, but was certainly TURTLE LIGHTNING AMIGA SOFTWARE A YOYl&OX 302 Oxford Street ORDERS: 9 1 5-694-7 588 MIDLAND, TX 79703 24-HR FAX: 91 5-694-7595 -Visa-MC-COD
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Ktck.rom D PaintiV. Adf TheFade playable. Overall, I'm quite satisfied with the performance on my Pentium.
Just for a lark, I did install Amiga Forever on my old 486, and while too slow to really be usable, performance, especially the GUI, was far better then the version in my earlier review. For Amiga 500 performance, a 166Mhz Pentium is probably the minimum you need, though even a lOOMhz Pentium will suffice for some games and applications. See Figure 8 for a chart of my informal speed tests.
Connect Your Amiga One of the extras included with Amiga Forever is the Amiga Explorer.
Amiga Explorer is a networking tool for connecting the PC and Amiga. You can use either a serial port, or a TCP connection over ethemet. Unlike other efforts, Amiga Explorer runs from Windows 95, and installs an Amiga Computer icon on your desktop. Double clicking on the Icon will open an explorer window, showing (assuming the Amiga server software is running) your Amiga drives.
You can copy, rename, delete files, just as if you were at the Amiga's keyboard.
In addition, Amiga Explorer has some very clever bits of its own. One of the really handy things it can do is grab a ROM image right off your Amiga. It can also (and this is the best feature) create an ADF image for use with the emulation. Just insert the disk you wish to turn into an ADF into the Amiga's floppy drive, drag the corresponding icon from Amiga Explorer to your Windows machine, and there you go, no muss, no fuss. Very handy.
I did find that Amiga Explorer has a tendency to lock up the Windows box, occasionally. And it would really be nice if this were a two way street. If you're working at your Amiga and want to transfer a file, you have to switch to the PC to do so. At least that's how the serial option works. Figure 9 shows the Amiga Explorer, at work.
In Conclusion Amiga Forever, especially the $ 30 on-line edition, is a great value for those wanting to experience the Amiga again, without taking up desk space. In fact, running Amiga Forever on a Windows laptop is a great way to get a portable Amiga. Cloanto, and all the dedicated programmers that continually improve the state of the art in Amiga emulations deserve a big kudos!
As always, you can contact me via email at: firstname.lastname@example.org Contacts: Cloanto: Cloanto.com UAE: http: www.freiburg.linux.de ~uae WinUAE: http: www.codepoet.com UAE
• AC* Miss March? Madness!
Linux, Jim Collas, Studio Printer, & More!
VOLUME 14, 3: March 1999 New Products & other Neat Stuff, Amiga Port Monitor, LightROM Super Bundle, clickBOOM's new web Portal, 2BadSheep, BoXer Exclusive, Free Web Server, and more.
' nmng uu A Different Perspective, What if I was to tell you that the next Amiga had already been produced and was selling for $ 349, by Fleecy Moss.
Bingo, Using ImageFX to get “around” a problem, by Nick Cook.
Studio Printer V2.21, One way to improve your printer output is to improve communication between your printer and your Amiga, by Steve Folberg.
Aladdin 4D: Fountain of Sparks, Aladdin's unique particle system sparks creativity, by Dave Matthews.
This Old Workbench: Episode 26, Your assignment, should you choose to accept it, by Dave Matthews.
Unix: Shell Programming, Exceeding limitations: open yourself up to a more rewarding Amiga experience, by Antonello De Santis.
How to HTML: Part: Lists and Menus, Make your website stand out with a few simple text manipulation secrets built into HTML, by Ralph Stark.
Linux Red Hat 5.1, by Ted Wallingford.
Linux File Server Solutions, by Ted Wallingford.
Debian 2.0 GNU Linux, by Nick Cook.
PC Ports Part 2, Heretic A Hexen, by Jake Frederick.
Magic Cards, by Jerimy Campbell.
Games News A Previews; Abducted, Trauma Zero, Maim A Mangle, A more, by Jerimy Campbell.
Code Name: Nano, by Jerimy Campbell.
A Quick Take on QuickTime and the Amiga, Want to see some of those clips from the movie sites or even catch a South Park episode? Time to hook your Amiga up to a QuickTime player, by Fabian Jimenez.
January February 1999 You can’t miss this one!
VOLUME 14, 1 2: January February 1999 New Products A other Neat Stuff, Big news from Amiga 99, New CD ROM releases, Answers on Amiga OS 3.5, Amiga phone covers, and more.
A Different Perspective, Our new Associate Editor speaks his mind, by Fletcher Haug.
On Reflection, Creating the effect of text at sea, by Nick Cook.
Aladdin 4D: Modeling a Gaseous Torch, Gases are a necessary part of almost any realistic art project, by Dave Matthews.
MicroniK External Scandoubler, Scandoublers have opened up a whole new world of display options to the Amiga user, by Jake Frederick.
An Amiga Port of Kaffe: Java for the Amiga at Last?, If you have wanted to learn Java, now you can, on the Amiga, by Dave Matthews.
Amiga Displays: The Quick and No Nonsense Guide to Amiga Monitors, Formats, questions, and problems involving various potential Amiga monitors, by Bohdan Lechnowsky.
Amiga Inc., A letter from Jeff Schindler on Amiga OS 3.5. This Old Workbench Episode 25, VincED goes much further than your average CLI spruce up, by Dave Matthews.
How to HTML: Part 1, ANYONE can learn HTML, by Ralph Stark.
More with the Unix Shell, Using Pipes to get your data where you want it, by Antonello De Santis.
Amiga Games, Quake PPC shot down. Wipeout 2097, Quake 2, and Settlers 2 are coming soon, by Jake Frederick.
Napalm Demo, ‘This game looks Awesome.", by Lars Nelson.
Two for the Road - Max Rally, Two reviews on one hot product, by Jake Frederick & Jerimy Campbell.
Playing with NewTek, The Informers’ “Bandito” offers his latest insights on the pitfalls of the Amiga market, by Soothsayer.
Password, Password protection for single user computers like the Amiga and more, by Brad Webb.
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1 Ct:: SH * 1 ft ’ 4% ¦v’Wjr.v ¦ • 1 if-, - - I HOT STUFF!
As the old saying goes, where there is smoke, there's fire. The heat doesn't have to be related only to temperature, however. Every time I journey to Albuquerque, I have to remind myself that what I'm used to terming as spicy "hot" is "mild" in New Mexico. I mean, what else do you expect from people who hang strings of light-up chile peppers on their patios? You probably could have seen steam shooting from my ears the first time I ate a "mild" burrito there.
ADD SOME SMOKE TO ADD SOME HEAT By Nick Cook So let's add a smoke or steam effect to warn folks that bell peppers, too, can generate some spicy heat (Figure 1).
ImageFX's Clouds hook will double for smoke.
STEP ONE: Create a new buffer as wide as the original, but only half as tall. For example, Figure 1 is 960 by 1200, so the new buffer is 960 by 60, STEP TWO: Go to Clouds in the Hook menu. Set the Painting type to Greyscale, and play with the other settings until you get something you like. Render the clouds (Figure 2).
STEP THREE: Select Scale from the Size menu, and click on the 2x button next to the Height gadget. Leave Aspect set to Ignore. This will stretch the clouds to make them appear more like wispy smoke (Figure 3).
STEP FOUR: Make the original image the Main buffer, then click on the Layers gadget on the Toolbox panel.
When the Layers Manager appears, select New Layer from Buffer in the drop down menu. Pick the smoke image as the new layer.
STEP FIVE: Double-click on the smoke layer's name in the Layer Manager list. Activate the Mask Layer checkbox in the Layer Settings panel.
STEP SIX: Repeat Step Four to create a second smoky layer.
STEP SEVEN: With the layer you made in Step Six active (in other words, the name is highlighted on the list), set the Blend slider to approximately 80 percent. This also could be set by double-clicking on the layer's name and using the Blend gadget on the Layer Settings panel.
STEP EIGHT: Finally, Flatten the layers using the item from the pop-up menu on the Layers panel.
We now have smoke or steam wafting over those bell peppers (Figure 4). Antacid, anyone? ,Aq.
Amiga 99 Three days in Ijjk i J March that may N have shaped Amiga’s future.
Members of the ANNEX team and Petro Tyschtschenko at the Friday morning opening.
This year, Amiga 99 (March 12-14) was held in the Henry the VIII hotel, a new home for the event. The English tutor hotel was large enough to comfortably fit the event as well as the banquet and it was a decided improvement over the cramped quarters of last year.
However, many people were easily confused as they tried to manipulate their way through the maze of hallways.
Show producers, Bob and Diana Scharp were completely thorough in providing an polish to this event. They the first collectable cards for the Amiga.
Each event had a ticket with a different image of an Amiga, personality, or artwork. Attendees were encouraged to swap and trade cards until they had created a complete set.
Petro Tyschtschenko opened the Amiga 99 on Friday morning with an address to the early attendees. He began by saying that "I am still convinced we will have a bright future."
Petro introduced Jurgen Haage of Haage & Partner as he announced final arrangements had been made for the creation and distribution of Amiga OS3.5. Jurgen presentation later that day (see page 32 of this issue) to a packed audience on the features of the new OS available July of this year.
Petro announced production of Amiga CD32s for an order to Australia to be used in slot machines. He went on to announced that there will be an Amiga event in August in Australia.
Petro promised support to the international Amiga publications as well as advertising incentives for Amiga dealers and distributors. He ended by saying, "Thank you so much for the support of Amiga always. I think it is time we also support you as you expected."
While Friday is normally a day for setup by the exhibitors, the area was being used by another organization and exhibitors could not gain access until after 7:30 that evening. However, this gave many of us an opportunity to visit the seminars and instructional classes that were scheduled.
Over the three-day event, there were more than eighty events planned from demonstrations by developers and dealers to programming classes. Some events were listed as $ 10 per session, but dealer demos and industry speakers were free. You could learn to program the clipboard or become familiar with Scala, Arexx, ImageFX or more.
Friday night, Amiga Inc.'s new president, Jim Collas, gave his first speech to the Amiga community (see the article on page 34 of this issue). His remarks were well received which may explain why he gave the same speech the next night at the Amiga 99 Banquet.
ANNEX, the group that recorded the Amiga theme song "Amiga, Back for the Future" held an open rehearsal Friday evening as the exhibitors set up for the show.
The stage area was in the exhibition hall and it was fun to watch as they planned their dance routines for the following two days. Annex performed at least twice each day on the exhibition hall stage, They were flown-in exclusively to appear at the Amiga 99 event by Bob Scharp and Petro Tyschtschenko. This group has performed for Amiga audiences in their home country of Germany as well as at the World of Amiga in London.
The Annex dancers were not the only ones from far away. There were Amiga users present from Germany, England, as well as the one who won the prize for coming the farthest, from Uruguay.
Exhibitors Amiga User groups were well represented both as attendees and as exhibitors. Some exhibiting groups came from fairly far away such as Amiga Atlanta (AAi). The Rocky Mountain Amiga Users Group just came to visit, but hired a large van and drove to St. Louis from Denver.
Ami Tech Dayton home club of Eric and Ron Schwartz were showing their latest t-shirt designs and more. The Champaign-Urbana Computer Users Group or CUCUG, better known as the sponsor of the Amiga Web Directory, were signing members as well as raising funds through the sale of AWD T-shirts and more.
The Gateway Amiga Club Inc. were the original sponsors of this event. They were on hand with memberships, and a consignment table. Other groups exhibiting were the Milwaukee Area Computer Enthusiasts (MACE), the New Orleans Amiga Klub, and the North Alabama Society of Amiga Users - (NASAU).
The User Group Network - (UGN) were on hand with an Internet Relay Chat (IRC), a live webcam, and live audio over the internet. They also sponsored the User Group Seminar.
Wayne Hunt and Lee Stanford were also in attendance to provide their strength and support through the Amiga Developer Network.
AmiWest99 Quly 23 - 25,1999) which is sponsored by the Sacramento Amiga Computer Club was represented by John Zacharias. John was also at Amiga 99 to represent his own software package, AEMail. AEMail is an internet email client for the Amiga. John's daughter assisted him at the booth as well as covered for him as he wandered through the show or as he taught several classes during the event.
AmiWest99 will be held at the Holiday Inn, Sacramento Northeast, 5321 Date Avenue, Sacramento, CA 95841, Tel:
(916) 338-5800, Toll Free: (800) 388-9284.
For more information contact: John Zacharias, AmiWest '99, c o Sacramento Amiga Computer Club, P.O. Box 19784, Sacramento, CA 95819-0784. Email: email@example.com or visit their website at: http: www.sacc.org.amiwest Amigan-St. Louis the production company for the show, had a large table by the stage where they sold a variety of Amiga related products they had produced or collected over the years.
Amiga Mugs, Amiga mouse pads, pens, mice, the ANNEX Cds and more. It was amazing what they had. This was also the spot to get autographs by Annex and NASA Astronaut, Steve Nagel, who appeared as a speaker at Saturday night's banquet.
AmigaWares was represented in their parent company's booth, Randomize, Inc., with a complete line of Amiga t- shirts, hats, sweatshirts and more.
Anti Gravity Products was providing a list of features for the new Alien BoXer which will be available soon (please see their ad on the back cover of this issue). Anti-Gravity Products also announced an agreement with Blittersoft, the worldwide distributor of the "BoXer", as exclusive supplier of the BoXer motherboard throughout North America, South America and India.
Brain Technologies Company is the creator of Mr. Robot's Speak'n Spell and Pix Lib. Robot's Speak'n Spell is a great little program for younger children. I got an earful last year at the Sacramento show they were right behind our booth.
Brewster Productions has produced two products for the Amiga, Payroll Plus and Organize Pro. They are applications using SuperBase4Pro. Payroll Plus is a payroll program with calculations for federal and state taxes. Organize Pro can handle up to 6 different groups or lists as a client list, membership list, address list, telephone list, or more.
Compuquick Media Center, Inc. is a longtime Amiga dealer from Columbus Ohio. Compuquick has been an exhibitor at the St. Louis event as well as the Columbus MAE event every year that we have attended. They used the event to sell software and hardware as well as some hard-to-find manuals and foreign magazines. You can reach them at 614- 235-1180 or on the web at www.infinet.com ~compuquick Dan's Deals of Eastlake, Ohio was another Amiga dealer at Amiga 99. They had a fresh supply of specialty t-shirts with the Video Toaster Flyer logo on them which did not make the show in time, so check with
them to see if they have any more of these left. Dan's Deals asks that Amiga users check their web page as well as their auctions on Ebay.com Digital Arts was on hand to represent NewTek products as well as additional Amiga hardware and software. You can reach them directly at 800-692-6442 (800 MY AMIGA).
Digital Quill Graphics had an alien theme going with some cool black t-shirts. They can provide digital image transfers to a variety of products.
DVS Direct just announced their US distributorship of the TowerHawk series of Amiga 1200 and 4000 enclosures (please see their ad on page 11 of this issue). They also carry the Exhibit Hall: Saturday: 10am. To 5 pm.
Sunday: 10am. To 4 pm.
Holiday Inn, Sacramento Northeast 5321 Date Avenue Sacramento, CA 95841 Tel: (916) 338-5800 Toll Free: (800) 388-9284 Fabulous Door Prizes! Banquet!
Over 700+ Amiga fans visited AmiWest last year. This year we are in the newly remodeled Holiday Inn in Northeast Sacramento with nearly double the exhibition area of last year. For more information contact: John Zacharias, AmiWest ’99, c o Sacaramento Amiga Computer Club, P.O. Box 19784, Sacramento, CA 95819-0784. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Visit our website at: http: www.sacc.org.amiwest MEGA 4000 series expansion towers for the Amiga 4000 desktop & Tower Computers as well as SNAPSHOT for the Video Toaster Flyer. Contact them at 1 800 379 7267.
E. S. Productions Weingarten Gallery of Dayton, Ohio offers
Amiga products as well as art, animation, and merchandise
created by Eric Schwartz.
I was unable to find Finale Development Inc. on my list of attendees, however, at the end of the show I had information on their new product, New York II, featuring "killfile" support, off-line reading and posting, bookmarking, automatic mass-decoding of entire binary newsgroups, and more.
FWD Computing had a large table covered with Amiga CD-ROM (and some floppy) software of all varieties. They also offered a comprehensive pamphlet including information on their game, application, and graphics software, as well as their file collections and CD32 CDTV CD ROMS.
Image Architects was demonstrating "Fast Fuel" the VCR controller for the Amiga.
Legacy Maker, Inc was on hand with their latest Catalyzer tutorial videos and the ImageFX plug-in PanCanvas.
Lostman Designs offered the unusual and striking art in t-shirts, sweatshirts and more by Robert Hamilton.
Mr. Hardware Computers' table was manned by Brewster Productions. Joe Rothman died of a heart attack just a week before the event (please see the information on page 10 of this issue). The company will remain in business and provide Amiga products in Long Island New York. They are also the Owner Developer of Sbase4Pro, Sbase4Pro-RT, Sbase4, Retail Escort, Video Escort & Freelance Escort. Contact them at 516-234-8110.
Mushroom Software was offering a large assortment of software at the show. They are also the exclusive North American distributor of FI Software from the UK.
NewTek, Inc. announced TV Paint was available for a short time as a free download to the Amiga Community at their website. Of course they were on hand to demonstrate the Video Toaster as well as their full-featured video editing, animation, and special effects tools such as the Video Toaster Flyer.
Nordic Global, Inc. produces the on-line Amiga staple Miami3.2 and now Miami Deluxe. Holger Kruse was on hand to announce his new Amiga Java release, Daytona™. Daytona, DaytonaDEV (a Daytona add-on), and DaytonaPLUS™ (an independently developed add-on to Daytona) were presented.
Daytona™ is a complete Java™ 2 runtime system for AmigaOS, based on the "Java 2 Platform" by Sun Microsystems, Inc. The Daytona™ main package is available FREE of charge. Daytona contains support for: the complete Java 2 API and class set and is 100% compatible with the official Java specifications and releases, multithreading, using a native Amiga implementation, file and socket I O (multithreaded) including multicasting, URL handling and Internet protocol engines, AWT (Abstract Windows Toolkit), JFC (Java Foundation Classes), and more.
Nova Design, Inc. was demonstrating ImageFX, the award winning image manipulation system, Aladdin 4D, the popular 3D graphics and animation package, and their new WildFire release. They also announced PowerStation for ImageFX. PowerStation is their first package of PowerPC modules to support ImageFX. PowerStation volume 1 is a package of ImageFX modules designed to work with the PowerPC as a coprocessor, providing speeds up to ten times the speed of the module on a 68060. PowerPC effects include Bubble, Fire, Clouds, Liquid, and FXForge.
Paul Nolan Ltd. Or just Paul to his friends finally released Photogenics4.0. While no reviews are available for this product yet, users have spent years watching Paul demonstrate this remarkable tool at Amiga events across Europe and the US. Photogenics is a graphics art package designed to create stunning images by simple file conversion as well as advanced photo manipulation and re-touching. It also offers extremely realistic and easy to use media such as pencils, chalk and watercolors. Nothing you draw is permanent, it can be rubbed out as easily as it was drawn, and tweaked to perfec
tion. Paul's claim is that this freedom allows you to experiment to a level never before seen.
Randomize, Inc. was showing a variety of their Genesis Amigas including the Alpha, Towerhawk, Odyssey and Flyer (please see their ad on page 5 of this issue). Randomize also had RBM and Ateo's line of Tower Case solutions for A1200s and A4000s.
SoftLogik Publishing Corporation was not at the show even though they had a table reserved. Amazing has been told that the company decided to move headquarters and were not available the weekend of the show. We have attempted to contact them with no results, but we will continue to follow this story on the makers of PageStream, typeSMITH, and TextFX for more information.
Systems For Tomorrow offered a variety of old and new Amiga software.
Tsunami Graphics was continuing to sell their collection of Amiga 2000 computers with assorted Zorro-II hardware and software. These are the remnants from their dismantled Amiga rendering farm. Phone: 918-744-9345.
WeemsWare was showing animouth, a program for creating real time animated talking characters.
Of course the press was represented with Amazing Computing Amiga, ComputerUser of St. Louis, and PC Journal exhibiting. While not an exhibitor, the German Amiga publication, amigaOS was represented by their editor-in-chief, Thomas Raukamp.
While there were a few problems, an impending storm being the worst of them, Amiga 99 was indeed a success.
Between the solid good news and support from Amiga and the hard work of the Scharps and all of the exhibitors and attendees, they have created a very hard act to follow.
• AC* Balloons Left: Amiga’s helium filled Boing balloon which
had flown over the event since Friday afternoon, was discovered
by a mild-mannered managing editor for a great Amiga magazine
Sunday morning as it cruised the parking lot.
All stories of said reporter attempting to ransom this recovered balloon are strictly erroneous.
Right: Balloons were dropped from the celling at the end of Amiga 99, with a prize winning ticket hidden inside one.
Amiga 99 Tapes Available See History as It Is Made There is now one Amiga company and the new president is Jim Collas. See Mr. Collas explain the Amiga’s past, present, and its future in his first speech before the Amiga community. This is raw, unedited NTSC VHS footage of this event from the unique perspective of our editor. These are his private tapes which Amazing Computing Amiga has made available to the entire Amiga public. This is your chance to see this historic event for yourself.
Tape 1 is a 2-Hour Video of Friday, March 11,1999 with: Opening Remark, Amiga OS 3.5 Demonstration by Haage & Partner, Jim Collas’ First Speech March 11, 1999 Tape 2 is a 2-Hour Video of the Banquet on Saturday, March 12th, 1999 with: ’Teaser” Segment from Bob Castro, Astronaut Steve Nagel, and Jim Collas’ Speech March 12, 1999 One Tape: Amazing Computing Subscribers: $ 10.95 for the 2-Hour Video plus $ 5.00 S&H US and Canada or $ 8.95 S&H all Foreign Non-Amazing Computing Subscribers: $ 14.95 for the 2-hour Video plus $ 5.00 S&H US and Canada or $ 8.95 S&H all Foreign Two Tapes: Amazing Computing
Subscribers: $ 19.95 for both 2-Hour Videos plus $ 5.00 S&H US and Canada or $ 17.95 S&H all Foreign Non-Amazing Computing Subscriber: $ 29.95 for both 2-Hour Videos plus $ 7.00 S&H US and Canada or $ 17.95 S&H all Foreign Use Visa, MasterCard, Discover, or American Express and dial 1-800-345-3360 toll-free in the US and CANADA Foreign orders, please call: 1-508-678-4200, Fax:1-508 675-6002 If you pay by check, it must be drawn on a US bank in US funds to PiM Publications Inc. Mail orders to: PiM Publications Inc., P.O. Box 9490, Fall River, MA 02720.Ail orders will be shipped by US Priority Mail,
Global Priority or Air Mail as available.
Amiga OS 3.5 As seen at Amiga99 Haage & Partner offered a first look at the new Amiga OS Christopher Aldi and Jurgen Haage discuss features of Amiga OS3.5. use. This not only will help current users, but it opens opportunities for new users in tire future. They promised an easy to setup connection to your provider within minutes, multi-user support, multi-interface support (Internet and Ethernet), latest Socks v4 5 client module for firewalls, and enhanced SANA II support for fast transfer rates. This would include a browser with off-line and on-line support for reading the Amiga OS 3.5
documentation as well as the Internet.
There will be a new general API for sending and receiving emails and a new email client based on the email library.
Hard Drive Support As already stated, there will be support for hard drives greater than 4GB. There will also be a new standard for 64-bit devices, and updated Info, Format, Diskcopy and FastFileSystem.
U fran als u Key Repeat Delay Key Repeat Rale: Keyboard Test: _ ' “T1 Save Cancel Amiga OS 3.5 Demonstration On Friday, March 12,1999, Haage & Partner demonstrated the first portions of the long awaited Amiga OS 3.5 to the Amiga public. Haage & Partner's General Manager, Jurgen Haage, with developer Christopher Aldi used the Amiga99 event in St. Louis to show case their efforts. In a brief meeting, they used an overhead projector and a thorough script to display some of the new points to a crowded room of Amiga faithful.
Haage & Partner started by stating some of the main goals of the Amiga 3.5 upgrade: easy internet access; support for hard disks greater than 4GB; a modem Graphical User Interface (GUI); more support for CD-ROMs, printers, PowerPCs; and bug fixes. They have also promised on-line HTML Documentation, Easy Internet Access One of their supreme tasks is to standardize Amiga internet access and make it easier for all Amiga owners to
- Meu$ c- Acceleration: |V] Accelerated Double-Click Delay: Show
Double- Click) Test Double-Click | GUI The new GUI will offer
users a new Icon Set (Glow Icons), a complete icon set for all
system tools, as well as new icons for most applications. The
new icon library will allow icons with up to 256 colors,
automatic color adaptation, as well as compatibility to OS 3.1
The new library will be built on Aldi's Class Act software. Aldi stated they would introduce a few new gadgets such as a sketch pad gadget for developers to use to create items for their own applications. "Rather than use an existing email client, we figured we would make a generic API open document that anyone who wanted to write an email client or update an existing one to support your client files could use, so multiple clients could share the same email folders."
A new BOOPSI library will offer a set of powerful BOOPSI, very fast, modular and scalable gadgets with AmigaOS compatible implementation and compatibility to existing BOOPSI classes.
The new Resource library will load and manage all GUI resources, change the GUI without recompilation of the application and can be used with any programming language. Developers will be able to use ReActor, a WYSIWYG GUI editor, which creates resource files for the resource library.
CD-ROM Support One main problem has been standardized CD-ROM support, but 3.5 will change that. Their CacheCDFS is ISO9660, RockRidge, Joliet (Win 95 98) and MAC HFS compatible and supports Amiga protection bit and file comments as well as multi-session CD-ROM support. There will be a new PlayCD with a programmable audio player for Available languages Pftlvnea Uiuwages nansk Daulacn Fftrclhh Dansk.
Deyisch faste- Country Cancel A typical AmigaOS 3.5 screen with the new icons.
Preview of the new Locale Preferences.
SCSI and ATAPI CD-ROM drives. There is even a new CDFSPrefs to change cacheCDFS preferences 'on the fly'.
Amiga Classic 4.0 will include a reworked and extended Kickstart, extended PowerPC support, a new 68K emulator for PPC-only systems, and additional new System libraries (Graphics.Library, Layers.library, etc.) as PPC-native. However, this step will almost certainly require a new ROM and will take a while to produce and test.
Amiga Classic Requirements In order to upgrade your Amiga system to OS 3.5, it must be equipped with a CD-ROM drive, a hard drive, a 68020 or higher processor, Amiga 3.1 ROMs and 4MB of Fast RAM. For better performance, Amiga Inc. recommends a 68030 or higher processor, 8MB of Fast RAM, a graphics accelerator and or scandoubler, and a modem. More Printer Support A new Printer Device promises drivers for ail common printers, PowerPC support, a new API to define page size and page break correctly, support for the 24-bit Picasso96 DumpRastPort command and TurboPrint compatible functions to print
8-Bit chunky and 16 24-bit bitmaps. The printer preferences will also be updated to follow' the GUI style.
Additional New WarpUP PowerPC Support will include AmigaOS compatible integration and a hardware independent driver system which they promise will be easy to extend. Documentation will be on-line in HTML for Workbench, DOS, Arexx, all the new features of AmigaOS
3. 5, extensive Illustrations and available as both English and
They have also accelerated and reworked Workbench, extended and reworked ASL library, as well as reworked the Bullet and Diskfont library.
They created new datatypes for JPG, GIF, AIFF. They have provided a new SCSI Mount tool and a new A2024 monitor driver. They have even reworked CLI commands such as Join, Status, Type.
Amiga Classic Future Perhaps the most telling statement in the program was their announcement that they would continue development on the Amiga Classic. They promised an Amiga OS 3.6 and 3.7 with the eventual release of Amiga Classic 4.0. The 3.6 and
3. 7 would be available through further releases or possible
upgrade add-on packets.
ReActor - the new graphical editor for easy GUI creation.
Advanced features will require additional expansion such as a 68060 processor with PowerPC accelerator card, a 16-bit sound card, 32MB of Fast RAM, and an I O Accelerator.
Amiga OS 3.5 is still scheduled for the first half of 1999 and is still priced at $ 49.00 US. This price may be different in some areas and with other bundle deals.
Some retailers are considering bundling the package with 3.1 ROMs for those users who will need the upgrade.
• AC* Haage & Partner Computer Gmbh SchloBborner Weg 7 D-61479
Glashutten FAX: 49 (0)61 74 96 61 01 www.Haage & Partner.com
Jim Collas at Amiga 99 The newly appointed Amiga President
faces, what he terms, a revolutionary army of Amiga enthusiasts
Just weeks after the announcement that Jim CoLlas would be the new President of Amiga, he stood before a standing room only crowd and discussed the probLems of the past and the possibilities of the future. This former Senior Vice President of Gateway had an imposing task. He had to be frank with the users and instill in them the confidence that he not only could do something for the Amiga, but that he wanted to move the Amiga into the next level.
Mr. Collas began by complementing the Amiga users. "The Amiga Community is the greatest community there ever has been in the computing industry. It is passionate, innovative, heroic and, above all, resilient. It is amazing to me that you have endured through the years. That you have endured with very little support from Amiga the company. I am USED AMIGA EQUIPMENT FOR SALE
• 4000-040 18 MB desktops $ 729 ? PAR cards $ 399; TBC-IVs $ 525
• Toasters $ 299 up; Flyers $ 2095
• Sunrize AD516 cards $ 429
• 3000's $ 369 up; 3000T-040 $ 750
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34 Amazing Computing embarrassed about that. You guys have done great things and we have mismanaged the product line. Two years ago Gateway acquired the Amiga and we have fumbled for two years."
Mr. Collas went on to say, "This current state of affairs isn't good. There are no quick solutions to the future."
Then he added, "f am here to tell you that there really is an incredibly exciting opportunity for Amiga to, once again, be an incredibly important piece for the future in the computer industry."
"It will not be the same. We will not “The PC revolution is over. There has not been anything since 1994 that has been revolutionary.” Jim Collas went on to say, “An operating system that doesn’t crash, is not revolutionary.” do what we did in the past." Then, as if feeling the yawns of disbelief from an audience who has heard this several time before, Jim Collas squared his shoulders, stared back at the audience and said, "I don't expect you to believe me, but I do expect you to give me a chance."
Then Mr. Collas reviewed his background at Gateway as a senior vice president in charge of procurement, responsible for billions of dollars in inventory and contracts. He gave it all up to head Amiga because that is where he saw the future of computing. "The future will not come from big companies, but from small ones."
"The PC revolution is over. There has not been anything since 1994 that has been revolutionary." Jim Collas went on to say, "An operating system that doesn't crash, is not revolutionary."
A new computer revolution is on the horizon.
Mr. Collas went on to say that the current architecture has run its course and the industry is only evolving with larger and faster components, but no significant change in application. The current computer industry has failed on its promise to significantly impact the quality of life for common people. Very few people do anything beyond the very basic.
Mr. Collas believes there are things that will come that will lead into a new era of computing. Mind boggling power AND revolutionary ease-of-use. Simplicity does not mean less powerful. We need to make computers a natural part of everyday life. This new revolution will not come from the PC environment. It will be driven by a powerful new architecture and environment. It will shed the baggage of today's PC.
This innovation will not arise from large companies, but from small ones.
The internet illustrates that the large companies did not lead this revolution, it came from the small companies.
The Amiga is ideal.
The Amiga community is a revolutionary army that can lead and spark this new revolution. It is one of the few revolutionary armies left in the computing industry. Mr. Collas stated, "Even at its diminished state, the Amiga community represents something that is incredible."
"This is why I stepped down from a position that was considered one of extreme responsibility and prestige in the PC industry. I stepped down to lead Amiga. I stepped down because at Gateway I could have continued to be successful for years, but I would never have had the opportunity to lead the next revolution in the computer industry."
Taking Us from Constrained Evolution Back to Innovative Revolution Mr. Collas noted, we need to take this industry back from constrained evolution. We need to get back to innovative revolution. We are here to spark and lead a new revolution. We need to lead the industry.
The environment Is ideal.
Mr. Collas stated that a new breed of computing devices will surpass PC shipments. The Internet is creating opportunities and the PC and CE industry are squaring off. There are no dominant standard for new devices.
Chaos yields significant opportunities and we are not too late.
0 AMIGA The innovation of the early years in the computer industry became stagnant as the industry sideslipped into the Windows' mantra of a single standard. The new resurgence of this industry will only happen once some innovative company, such as Amiga, offers a truly unique approach to mainstream computing needs.
Two years ago people had not bumped up to the current limitation of Pcs. Two years ago, people had not experienced the constraints found in today's market. But, now developers and consumers are aware of the limitations.
"I am not talking about digital toasters and refrigerators. By the year 2002, informational appliances will surpass the shipments of Pcs. The most important thing is that these new devices will be very powerful."
Mr. Collas stated that this is a beach front. The categories between computers and informational appliances will blur.
The opportunity to grab a large portion of that marketshare is in our grasp. There is no dominate standard that exist that bridges the gab between those two markets at this time.
Mr. Collas said we can do this by offering a revolutionary system architecture and operating environment. This would contain powerful programming Jim Collas Speech Available on Video A complete video record of Jim Collas' speech at Amiga 99 as well as the similar speech he gave at the Amiga 99 banquet are available on video. Please see page 31 for information on ordering these videos.
Structures, scalable architecture and distributed computing, which is intrinsic networking and Internet aware. It would be exciting technology for the enthusiast as well as revolutionary' GUI environments for the common user with powerful multimedia hardware support.
AmigaSoff™ 4.0 and AmigaSoft™ 5.0 AmigaSoft™ 4.0 will have revolutionary software architecture, full development environment, and a multi- media computer environment designed for the info-appliance environment (alpha version). AmigaSoft™ 5.0 will contain AmigaSoft™ 4.0 plus full info- appliance environment and multiple CPU support.
Currently, the target plan of the software shows the Amiga O S 3.5 due in July '99. The AmigaSoft™ 4.0 alpha will be available by September of 1999.
Thus should include a software and multimedia hardware bundle, development system, as well as system hardware and design information. The final version of AmigaSoft™ 4.0 should be available in the latter part of this year with stand-alone multimedia Amiga computers. The AmigaSoft™ 5.0 beta should be available shortly with the final version due by the second quarter of 2000.
Amiga Promises Mr. Collas promised an improved awareness from Amiga. We should see this in better communication from Amiga, progress updates on the Amiga Web site at www.amiga.de, an increased level of involvement with the Amiga community with more press releases and forums. They will also establish Amiga community support programs for developers, users, magazines, reseller and distributors, as well as trade shows.
Mr. Collas concluded by restating that the Amiga can lead the new computer revolution and again make history'.
He stressed that we must keep the spirit of Amiga alive and we need to become a strong and single community in order to succeed. Most importantly, he promised that he will continue to listen to the Amiga community.
"All I ask is that you watch us. The Amiga will rise again." Mr. Collas went on to say, " Be ready to fight for excitement, for innovation, for the flexibility in the industry that has been taken away from us since 1994. Be ready to fight for the Amiga spirit. Be ready to regain the dominance in the industry and not just to become part of a successful company and community but to become part of history' because that will happen."
Mr. Collas' remarks were received well by' his audience. They gave him a standing ovation. »AO Getting the most from: PageStream3 Learning the User Interface by William F. Maddock Mr. Maddock V i through the opportunities created with PageStream3.3. The author, William F. Maddock, on the right side of the tracks.
Introducing PageStream3 This is the first in a series of articles on PageStream3 Amiga. In this series I hope to demonstrate the proper use of the desktop publishing tools available in PageStream3. In this article I will be introducing myself as well as the user interface provided by PageStream3.
Who Am I?
Yes, that's me above, waving at the camera. I have been an Amiga user since about 1990 and started out with a second hand Amiga 1000. One of the first things I did was get a SCSI hard disk for it. I then added a Spirit RAM board and a Rejuvenator card. I was ready to do desktop publishing at last-at least, I thought I was.
I had no experience at desktop publishing, and it showed. My main problem was that I was using PageStream as though it were a word processor (which is what I was actually looking to buy when a salesclerk turned me on to PageStream). I also found that I was ridiculously in love with fonts- which is a common mistake for beginning publishers. As time passed, I learned more about PageStream and became familiar with its features and my use of fonts became less amateurish.
When it comes to desktop publishing, the best thing that ever happened to me was being appointed as editor of the local Amiga club's newsletter, The GAC FLAK. I was the editor of that newsletter for four years. Many of my issues are to be found on Aminet in docs mags. You can see how I learned as my term went on by downloading and looking at the various issues.
Newsletters, however, don't usually let you really push PageStream3. More PERIPHERALS A12O0 HD USER GRPS- (CALL), NEC 24xCD Ini.-$ 85, Toshiba 32xCD Int. $ 110, Ext.
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Y C+ Monitors -13" $ 299, 20" - $ 539 BLIZZARD 1260 SCSI A1200 Ethernet RAPID FIRE SURF SQUIRREL SQUIRREL SCSI DATAFLYER XDS MEGA CHIP GVP I O Jenny Gen Lock Megalo Sound Pro Midi GVP SPECTRUM $ 125 $ 185 $ 140 $ 140 $ 95 $ 88 $ 170 $ 115 CALL $ 58 $ 46 $ 189 "Night and Day” as $ een in PageStream’s Document Widow was created completely in PageStream3.3. recently, I have begun creating computer-based artwork with the Amigas in my home. These can be found on Aminet in pix wfm. Among these is one called "Night and Day", which was created completely in PageStream3.3a Amiga.
PageStream3 Interface The "Night and Day" picture (below right) shows the Document Window in PageStream3 Amiga. You will note that there are some extra gadgets along the bottom of the window. These provide zoom control and quick access to changing pages.
PageStream makes extensive use of "Pop-up Menus". If you hold the left mouse button down over one of these gadgets, an entire menu of choices "pops" into view before your eyes.
The leftmost gadget in the bottom of the PageStream3 Document Window is one of these Pop-up Menus. It presents a list of preset zoom levels for you to choose from. I usually use either "full width" or "full page" in my desktop publishing adventures. The next gadget lets you set your own zoom level, expressed as a percentage, with 100% being actual size.
To the right of this are two more gadgets. The first zooms out, halving the zoom percentage. The other zooms in, doubling the zoom percentage. After this, there are three gadgets used to access other pages in your document. Clicking on the first lets you pick which page you want to turn to. The other two simply take you to the previous or next page.
When you first start PageStream, it opens a "splash window" on its screen.
This simply gives the user an idea of how far PageStream has gotten in its initialization phase. After the initialization, the splash window is closed and replaced by three other windows (more if you've configured PageStream3 differently, but we'll get to this later): the Tool Bar; the Tool Box; and the Navigator.
From the Navigator Window, you can start a new document, open a previously saved document, set your preferences, check out some of the 92 tips that come with PageStream3 (by using SYSTEMS ACCELERATORS OS 3.1 Amiga 1200 Hd,030,16Mb Cyberstorm 060 Mk-3 $ 710 A500 2000 $ 90 Scala 400 $ 669 PPG 233 Mhz 060 $ 1150 A3000 $ 104 Amiga 1200, 2.1 Gig Hd, 603ePPC 160-040 $ 500 A4000 $ 104 Magic Pack - $ 545 1260 50 Blizzard $ 499 A1200 $ 104 AMIGA 1200 Hd $ 379 Apollo 1230 40mhz $ 150 A600 $ 90 AMIGA 4000 used $ 1150 Apollo 2030 25mhz $ 225 3,1 ROMS $ 36 50 AMIGA 1200 $ 299 GVP1230 40mhz SCSI $ 209
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SCSI CONTROLLERS ETC the "previous" and "next" buttons), or quit the program.
The Tool Bar stretches across your PageStream3 screen (across the top of mine, but you can place it in other locations) and gives access to commonly used functions such as loading, saving and printing documents, cut, copy, paste, erase, rotating objects, creating and breaking text frame links, setting preferences, etc. The precise list of functions it provides is up to you, since it Newsletters, however, don’t usually let you really push PageStream3. More recently, I have begun creating computer-based artwork with the Amigas in my home.
Can be configured to show whatever function icons you choose.
The Tool Box (not to be confused with the Tool Bar) gives access to the different basic operating modes in PageStream. It uses a concept known as flyout tool groups in order to stay at a reasonable size. Using flyout tool groups allows the hiding of some tool icons. The tools for manipulating objects are in the Object Group. After this are the Text Tool, Magnify Tool, Eyedropper Tool, Column Group, Line Tool, Box Group, Ellipse Group, Polygon Group, Pen Group, Grid Tool, and Border Tool.
To change the active tool in a Flyout Tool Group, hold down the left mouse button over the active tool in that group.
A bar of tool icons will appear, attached to the right edge of the active tool. To select a different tool from that bar, simply drag the mouse over the tool you wish to select and release the left mouse button. The bar will disappear, and the tool icon you selected will now show as the active tool for that group. This really is a pretty neat idea that I haven't seen anywhere else yet.
The Text Tool, as its name implies, allows you to enter, delete or edit text.
This can be done either by first creating a text frame to type into, then selecting the Text Tool and clicking in the text frame, or (for short stretches of text, like headlines) simply by clicking somewhere on the page and typing away.
For most text, you will want to create a text frame first. This can be done either by selecting a tool from the Column Group and drawing the frame (The pointer will turn into a cross hairs when you select the Column Tool. The active point on the cross hairs is of course the center.), or by selecting the menu item Layout Create Frames... The three periods at the end of the item name mean that selecting that item will bring up a requester. In this particular requester, you will set the parameters for the frame(s) you want PageStream3 to create for you.
The Magnify Tool allows you to drag select an area of the page that you want to get a closer look at. In the preferences, you can choose whether to drag select from the center of the chosen area, or from comer to corner.
The Eyedropper Tool is used to copy and paste object or text attributes with greater ease. When you select it from the Tool Box you will get an empty eyedropper for your pointer. To "pick up" the attributes of an object, you need to be in object mode before picking up the attributes you want. To pick up text attributes of a specific portion of text, you need to be in text mode before picking up the attributes. If you just want the general text attributes of a text frame or text block, then you can do that from object mode.
You pick up attributes by clicking on the text or object whose attributes you want when the eyedropper is empty.
When you pick up attributes, the eyedropper becomes full, so you can paste attributes where you want them by simply clicking over the object or text you want to change. If you want to continue by picking up more attributes, then hold down the shift key and the eyedropper will again appear empty and ready to pick up new attributes. If you should change your mind about grabbing new attributes, simply release the shift key and the eyedropper is full again, retaining the attributes already picked up.
As mentioned earlier, the Column Group allows you to create Text Frames by drawing them on the page. Once you have selected the tool, the cross hairs will appear. Click on the page to start the frame. Draw your text frame from corner to comer. Click on the page again to set the frame.
The Line Tool allows you to draw straight lines on the page. Select the tool and the cross hairs pointer appears. Click on the page to start the line to any dimension you want, then click again to end the line. There are of course many attributes you can apply to lines, but that will be covered in another installment.
Next Time In the next installment, we will begin looking into the text-handling features of PageStream3. In the meantime, if you need to contact me, my email address is email@example.com if any of you have questions or suggestions. •AC,’ Some time back in the year 1993, the situation for the Amiga looked somewhat worse than usual (doesn't it always?) And some Amiga fans got together and argued about what should be done to increase the acceptance of our beloved machine. Immediately the main reason for the missing success of the Amiga became clear: it was propagation - or the lack thereof.
The Amiga should get a more widespread basis to make it more attractive for everyone to use and to develop for. So plans were made to reach this goal. One of the plans was to fix all bugs of the AmigaOS, another was to make it an OS of the 90s.
The Amiga Research OS: What is it? Is it real?
Is it legal?
By Aaron Digulla But what is a bug? And how should bugs be fixed? What are the features a so-called OS must have? And how should they be implemented into the AmigaOS?
Two years later, people were still arguing about this and not one line of code had been written (or at least no one had ever seen that code). Discussions were still of the pattern "we must have ..." and someone answered "read the old mails" or "this is impossible to do, because ..." which was shortly followed by "you're wrong because ..." and so on.
In the winter of 1995,1 was fed up with it and I posted an RFC (request for comments) to the AOS mailing list in which I asked what the minimal common ground might be. Several options were given and the conclusion was that almost everyone would like to see an OS which is compatible to OS 3.1 (Kickstart 40.68) on which further discussions could be based upon to see what is possible and A window demo of AROS.
What is not. So the work began and AROS was bom.
The goals of AROS AROS' goal are to create an OS which:
• is as compatible as possible to AmigaOS 3.1. If possible, it
will be compatible to AmigaOS 3.5 as well.
• can be ported to different kinds of CPUs, for example Intel
x86, PowerPC, Alpha, Sparc, HPPA and more and also on the
• should be binary compatible on Amiga and source compatible on
any other hardware.
• can run as a stand-alone version which boots directly from hard
disk, as an emulation which opens a window on an existing OS to
develop software and run Amiga and native applications at the
same time and as a link library which allows one to create
native applications with the comfort of the AmigaOS.
The goal for the first final release is to make development easier and faster.
For later versions it's possible to increase the compatibility to AmigaOS if it's necessary.
To reach this goal, the AROS team uses a number of techniques. First of all, we make heavy use of the Internet. You can participate in our project even if you can write only one single OS function.
The most current version of the source is accessible 24 hours per day and patches can be merged into it at any time. A small database with open tasks prevents all developers from doing something twice.
The Current AROS Status Currently, there are 71 developers registered and a group of about 5 people commit code regularly. As I write this, the code is about 29MB in size, about 56% has been finished and 13% is still in progress.
We are working hard on finishing graphics, layers and intuition based on our new I HDD system. The HIDD system will allow us to put any kind of hardware below AROS with only very little effort for people who want need have to write a driver for a new piece of hardware. This work is mostly done by Nils Henrik Lorentzen and Stefan Berger.
The main goal is to have a version of AROS which can open a screen, create windows on it and let the user manipulate them. Currently, Xll is used to create the windows and manipulate them. The time-frame for this is to be ready is May, 1999.
Michael Schulz has committed very promising code which can be compiled, saved on a floppy and then be used to boot a small part of AROS on a bare IBM compatible PC. When the new graphics system is ready, writing a VGA driver should take a day (if not less) and AROS should be able to open a workbench screen and windows on it. AROS does already boot but it doesn't do much else at the moment.
The next step would be to finish the console.device (half of it is already finished) and put the input.device on top of the HIDD system. This should integrate Xll (or whatever is below AROS) nicely into the AROS system allowing it to open a shell on an AROS screen. This will be done by Nils and Johan Alfredsson, who is also working on the Commodities. This is expected to take about one month.
When the HIDDs for PC hardware are finished (mostly done by Michael Schulz), it should be possible to boot AROS from a diskette and use a shell to enter commands. An FFS file system also seems at the brink of completion, so creating an Amiga partition and installing it on the hard disk will then soon be possible. No time frame has been set for all this yet. It mainly depends on how much (correct) information books about PC hardware contain, how the code for Linux looks like and so on.
Branko Collin is meanwhile working on improving the documentation, fixing the many typos and writing documentation about how to write documentation.
Kars de Jong is working on the Linux m68k port of AROS which allows the running of binary Amiga software.
Some simple programs already work.
Bernhard Fastenrath and myself are working on merging AROS with UAE which should make UAE faster and run native Amiga programs in an emulator when AROS is able to run stand-alone (that is, without the help of Linux). We will investigate the necessary steps and do tests during March. At the end of the month, the next step will be decided.
Przemyslaw Szczygielski and Claus Herrmann are looking at PPC support.
The former for a port to LinuxPPC and the latter for making Exec on the Amiga work on PPC (thus using the power of the PPC to run Amiga software on an Paxtron Y()lIR complete source lor everything amiga V XX Umnimlrivv iipuriul* -. Purls* aulliori nl rrpair mihT.
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AROS and Amiga Inc. What does Amiga Inc. or Gateway think about AROS? I have spoken to Jeff Schindler, Bill McEwen and Petro Tyschtschenko. All of them have been quite positive about the project but the legal issues involved are tricky. In Europe, there is no legal way to attack AROS besides using trademarked names.
Outside Europe, algorithms may be patented and, since we are trying to emulate the AmigaOS as close as possible, we may have infringed some patents and that could make AROS vulnerable.
For now, we have agreed that AROS will continue the development and tell everyone what we are doing, but the source code is only accessible to people who register with us. If you think you can help and want access to the sources, read the section about CVS on our web site at www.aros.org. Besides that, we are thinking about ways which would allow us to publish the source of AROS just like the Linux sources without stepping on Gateway's toes.
• AC* Amiga). Przemyslaw hopes for some results in May and I must
convince Claus to merge his code with ours.
What the future might bring is unknown. The main goals right now are making AROS work as a stand-alone system which can boot from a hard disk, writing some drivers for the HIDD system so we can see if everything really fits where it belongs, and rewrite the most complex part of the AmigaOS Intuition, Graphics and Layers.
The future will hopefully see a commercial version of AROS (so that we can pay Amiga Inc. a licensing fee), a free version of AROS (just like Linux: free without support or commercial with support), many more HIDDs, and a port of AROS to PPC.
But that doesn't mean that you can sit back, relax and watch our progress (which is now updated daily on http: www.aros.org progress.gif). We need you!
Currently, more and more parts of AROS are being finished and we need some real-world code to test AROS.
What code would that be ? Here are the criteria:
• It must only use pure AmigaOS calls (no MUI or such)
• No hardware banging or calls to things like MrgCop(), Cwait()
or the like (usually functions which directly relate to some
Amiga hardware specific feature). Most Blitter-Functions are
• NO ASSEMBLER CODE!
• It should compile with recent versions of SAS C, gcc, StormC or
another ANSI-C compiler.
• They should not be too big (don't send in 1.5Mb of source code,
If you happen to have such a gem, then send it to: email@example.com- konstanz.de Please make absolutely clear if you mind if your code is published with the source code of AROS or not. We promise that we won't touch any copyright notices (except for adding them if they are missing, so you get your credit). It's just that you might not want the code revealed for any reason. This is OK for us, but we just need to know.
Shell Programming Part 2 It is all in the structure of the script.
By Antonello De Santis Standard f[ gg| a! G ,| 1 Ej| fjft Fait This is an example of LyX.
This is standard text T]he font is selectable. This is the “charter” font. Default is “utopia”, which looks better, but is not available on this system (ADO.
Here’s some of what the math editor in LyX can do: X CD n LsinOf2),jdx .=. X -pr
- *4n + 3.+ C 71 = 0 (2rz+,l)!lX4n+.3)
* .-.coscA+.C Or, for some more sophisticated-looking
mathematics: (X.OCqlHO The best part is that it is easier to
use the math editor than to typeset the TeX with an editor. You
use, for most things, the same keystrokes. There is the menu to
help you if you forget a symbol. And, you won’t have to chase
down errors like missing $ ’s.
I ..... .m«
• |y* Lyx is a gui front end to make Tex word processing language
more user friendly.
42 Amazing Computing After spending a whole article on an introduction to Unix shell's variables we can start examining the structure of a shell program, or more correctly, shell script.
Introduction A shell script is a text file containing some instructions to be interpreted by the shell interpreter. The following is an example of what a shell script usually looks like: ! bin sh PROGRAM comments BODY more comments The first line of the script file specifies the absolute path of the shell interpreter in your system (usually bin sh). The path must be preceded by the two characters " !". After the first line payout Insert you can write your program, eventually writing some comments after a " " character. Every script file needs its read and execute bits to be set in order
to be executed. So you have to modify the permission bits with "chmod +rx scriptfile". You can make the script executable only for the entity you want (user, group or others) of course, this only depends on your needs. Let's examine a simple shell script: ! bin sh echo "Hello world!!!"
Suppose the filename of the above script was "firstscript". First of all you have to make it executable by typing in for example: $ chmod +rx firstscript pyiil u Then run it and see its output: $ . firstscript Hello world!!!
The effect of this simple script is printing on the standard output the message "Hello world!!!".... It's not a very significant script, but every programmer always starts with a program like that!
Using variables Let's now examine some other examples to see how to use variables in a script.
! bin sh a=10 echo $ a echo "$ a" echo '$ a' Let "variable" be the name of this script. Its output is: $ . variable 10 10 $ a If you want to print the content of a variable, you have two possibilities: writing the name of the variable between a couple of double quotes (echo "$ a"), or simply writing its name without any quote (echo $ a). Always remember to write a dollar character $ before the name of the variable! If you specify the variable between a couple of single quotes instead (echo '$ a'), you tell the interpreter to interpret $ a as a string of text and not as a variable name. That's why the
instruction "echo '$ a'" returns the string "$ a" as output and not the content of variable i|» Tk-Gcero 0.56: noname.cic Pb yew Frame £i«1 layout ' 1 . .. f*'’* p 8" ¦ B ueitti-i w-v*- HSH I Cicero Demonstration Cicero is able to display TeX-Formulas like this ai - I You can use the Display-Mode, too, fB 1 fa (Ei-xy Ja This may illustrate some of ciceros features.
Cell 1 Cell 2 Courier Charter Utopia 1A Chapter
1. 1 Asection
1. 1.1 A Subsection "a". Now we can try to modify the script
"variable" to see how we can use single and double quotes to
print an explanatory message on the screen.
! bin sh a=10 echo "The content of variable" '$ a' "is $ a" Now the output would be: $ . variable The content of variable $ a is 10 In this case we have split the parameter of echo into three parts. The first part, between double quotes, tells echo to print the text string "The content of variable". In the second part we want the shell to interpret $ a as a text string and not as a variable name, so we use the single quotes. In the third part finally we tell echo to print on the screen the string "is" followed by the content of variable "a". Note that we could obtain the same output as the above
script, just writing "is" between double quotes and leaving $ a out. The content of a variable is displayed both if you specify its name between double quotes or not. So the output of command "echo "The content of variable" '$ a' "is" $ a", would be exactly alike.
Interacting with the user In most of your scripts, you will need to interact with the user who is using them. You may want him or her to type in a value or type in an answer to a question. The Unix shell's programming language gives you an instruction to save into variables the data that a user has typed in from the keyboard. This instruction is "read" and its syntax is "read variablename". The effect is to stop the execution of the program until the user types in something on the standard input and then save what has been written into variable "variablename".
Let's see a script named "input" using this instruction: ! bin sh echo -n "Type in something and hit carriage return please:" read a echo "You have just written: $ a" This simple script asks the user to type in something and then prints on the screen what has just been typed in.
Let's see the output: $ . input Type in something and hit carriage return please: Amiga You have just written: Amiga How does it work?
First of all note the option "-n" that has been passed to echo. Its effect is to keep the cursor at the end of the current line and not at the beginning of a new line. I used this option just for aesthetical sake, I find it nicer writing something on the same line as the question than writing it on a new line. After the message "Type in something and hit carriage return please: " has been prompted, command "read a" stops the execution of the script until you type in something. Once you've typed in whatever you prefer and hit return, command "read a" will save what you have just written into
variable "a". The script will finally print on the screen the content of variable "a", that is, the string you have typed in from the keyboard.
EtPiP Local System Vacl21 1inux d i str ibutlons debi c Profile N*e: bw. . B* M © README, non-US READIC.pgp 19980616 19980616 bin 19980809 boot 19980616 bootsect.Inx 19980616 cdroin 19980315 dev 19980809 etc 19980809 floppy 19980315 home 19980423 initrd 19980315 indices Is 1R Is-lR.gz patch.gz project tlprestwp.txt tools Delete , ASCII ft Binerj v Auto 16" (parting ASCII node date connection tor birVIs.
226 Transfer oonplete.
Wxftp: (Left): Main window of Wxftp, very good ftp client for Unix like operating systems.
(Above): Site manager window of Wxftp, exit Passing parameters to a script.
You will have surely noticed, during your career as a computer user, that most of the programs that can be run from a shell, allow you to specify some parameters on the command line, while launching the program. There are many examples, such as "lzx" under Amiga OS that can be launched with many options like "lzx x filename".
If you have been reading my articles, I'm sure you have realized that under Unix every single program accepts a wide variety of parameters on the command line. Think of "rm -r dimame", "ps aux" or "tar xvpzf file.tar.gz", as you can see every command has a different effect according to the options you have passed. You can pass parameters to shell scripts too of course.
When a user specifies some options after the name of the script he is about to run, these options will be kept in a set of special variables: $ 1, $ 2, $ 3,..., $ n, $ *, $ @.
Variables $ 1 to $ n will contain each one a parameter you wrote on the command line: $ 1 the first one, $ 2 the second and so on. Variables $ * and $ @ act a bit differently instead. $ * contains a list of every specified parameter, each one separated from the other by the first character in the environment variable IFS. $ @ contains a list of every specified parameter too, but each one is separated from the other by a blank space.
There are three other environment variables to examine: $ 0, $ , $ $ . $ 0 contains the name of the script being run.
$ keeps the number of parameters specified by the user on the command line. Finally variable $ $ contains the PID (process identification) of the running shell script.
Let's see one more script to clarify the use of the above environment variables: ! bin sh IFS="-" echo "Hello! This script's name is: $ 0."
Echo "You have called it with $ parameters."
Echo "The list of parameters is: $ *."
Echo "The list of parameters is: $ @."
Echo "The name of the first parameter is: $ 1."
Echo "The name of the second parameter is: $ 2."
Echo "Did you understand how to use parameters' environment variables?"
The output of this script, suppose to be called "lastscript", is: $ . lastscript these are my parameters Hello! This script's name is: . lastscript. You have called it with 4 parameters.
The list of parameters is: these-are-my- parameters.
The list of parameters is: these are my parameters.
The name of the first parameter is: these.
The name of the second parameter is: are.
Did you understand how to use parameters' environment variables?
In the second line of the script we give the value to environment variable "IFS". In the third and fourth lines we print the content of variables "$ 0" and "$ ", to show the name of the script and the number of parameters it's been called with. Then we print the parameters' list using variables "$ *" and respectively. Variable "$ *" uses the first character in environment variable "IFS" to separe each parameter from the other, in our case "IFS" contains character so the output is: "these-are-my- parameters". Variable "$ @" instead uses a blank character to separate each parameter and so the
output is: "these are my parameters". We finally print variables "$ 1" and "$ 2" to show the first and second parameter, the output is "these" and "are" respectively.
"Did you understand how to use parameters' environment variables?".
• AC* Racers, beat 'em ups, adventures, shoot 'em ups,
platformers; it looks as if almost every genre has been covered
this month. It's nice to see that the Amiga still has a well
rounded selection of games, so that no one is left out. If you
do happen to see a void anywhere in the games scene, why not
try to fill it yourself? Pick up a copy of Blitz Basic or a
decent C compiler and contribute to the growing mass of Amiga
Amiga Games News And Previews By fake Frederick Virtual Grand Prix Racing fans will be happy to know that Virtual Grand Prix (formerly known as Alien FI) is near completion. The game is a fully texture mapped FI simulator that boasts incredible frame rates, even on an '030. VGP allows you to fine tune your vehicle with a much greater precision than most games of this type, giving it a more realistic edge than the majority of arcade racers. Technical details and system requirements are scarce at the moment, but you can expect a full review soon. The latest demo can be downloaded from
http: www.grid9.net ~wobble AFlnew.lzx. Pagan Software The ever growing Pagan Software has a number of new games planned for the coming year. Here's a quick run down of what their projects are all about.
The Scavengers Though there are a number of space exploration games in the works, The Scavengers offers a unique perspective that is unlike most Wing Commander clones. Taking control of a band of outlaws, you set into space to explore and pillage the galaxy. You will trade with various space stations, explore planters and battle alien races in an attempt to survive and make a decent living. The Scavengers offers full screen cinematic cut scenes, voxel based landscapes and space battles, surround sound, CD music tracks, and support for AGA, PPC and GFX cards. The team behind the game states,
"... you'll never ask yourself whether Quake II will come out on the Amiga again." Now that's a bold statement, hopefully the game will live up to it. System requirements are as follows; '040+ processor, 8 megs of fast ram, AGA or GFX card and a CD-ROM drive.
Dafel:Bloodline DafelBloodline is a real-time, isometric RPG with an elaborate and involved storyline. The game will feature RTG support (320x240x256 or 640x480x256), falling snow, rain and footprint effects for higher processors (PPC may be supported), 3D fog, light and transparency effects, multi-layer map graphics, and AHI support with surround sound. Requirements are an '030 or higher, 8 megs of fast ram, AGA or GFX card, and a CD-ROM drive.
Satellite 13 Now in an act of shameless self promotion I'll fill you in on the details of Satellite 13, which I am currently working on with Pagan Software. The plot involves a man who has been sentenced to life imprisonment on a distant moon which serves as a galactic penitentiary for criminals of the universe.
You must contend and interact with various inmates as well as the forces of nature and the moon's native inhabitants in an attempt to survive and ultimately escape. The game will meld acrion with adventure by combining the best elements of platformers, beat 'em ups, and point and click adventures, resulting in a unique genre. The tentative requirements are an '030 processor, 8 megs of ram, and a CD-ROM drive.
For more information about Pagan Software point your browser at http: www.thehub.u-net.com maln.html. Alive Alive is a space shoot 'em up that has recently been signed by Epic Marketing. The game features an incredible 80 shapes on screen while running in 256 colors. Even more amazing is the fact that Darkage Software has managed to fit the entire 5 megabytes onto a single floppy disk! Alive supports accelerators, extra ram, AGA, and will be hard drive installable, though it should run on an unexpanded 1200. Watch for a full review soon.
Super-Frog Re-Released Veteran Amiga gamers will most likely remember Super-Frog, Team 17's colorful platformer that appeared a number of years ago. Thanks to Epic Marketing it looks as if the game will be making a second appearance on the Amiga very soon. The plot involves a prince who has been turned into a frog and has his girlfriend captured by an evil witch. After drinking a powerful elixir the frog is transformed into a super hero and begins his quest to rescue his girlfriend, vanquish the curse, and destroy the witch. So, it may not be Pulitzer Prize winning storyline, but it certainly
looks like fun!
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 02720.
• AC* Outfall Review By Jerimy Campbell Outfall is one of the
many quality FI Software titles available from Mushroom
Software here in the USA.
This title is without a doubt of commercial quality, but luckily for us it's licenseware, which means it can be acquired at an extremely reasonable price.
Outfall is a puzzle game comparable to Tetris but it has enough twists on the concept to honestly put it in a league of its own. Your job is to group together four falling beans of the same color in order to eliminate them. Each time you put together a group of four or more a grey blocker bean is dropped on your opponents play area and vice versa. If you manage to group together more than four identical beans or more than one group simultaneously then multiple grey beans fall on your opponent. This really adds to the challenge and keeps you on your toes.
The beans fall two at a time and there's a preview window at the top of each player's area revealing what the next two will be.
Utilizing the preview window can be instrumental in gaining the lead over your opponent since this speeds your progress. The computer is a very worthy opponent and playing against it can be rather addictive. Even with the skill level set on easy, some may find playing against the computer too tough.
I recommend playing against another human opponent. It's considerably more fun when you see the frustration of your opponent after making a particularly good move. You can play against a human opponent simply by connecting a second joystick to your mouse port and choosing VS Battle mode in the main menu.
Outfall also has an entertaining demonstration mode which 1 found to be helpful in learning different strategies. It has a detailed in-game manual and enough options to satisfy everyone. From a reviewer's point of view the manual was a bit annoying with a scrolling background and no print option but the average player will most likely never bother referring to it anyway.
Installing Outfall to your hard drive is as simple as dragging it to the desired location. I tried everything to get it to run from Workbench on my A1200 with no success. There must have been something in my startup sequence that it didn't like because it ran fine when I booted with no startup sequence, changed directories to where I'd installed it and typed Outfall. I can't condemn it for this because it boots so fast from floppy I see no need to bother installing it to the hard drive anyway. If I hadn't been reviewing it I probably wouldn't have even attempted an installation. It
automatically boots in PAL display mode but allows you to select NTSC without displaying with a cut offscreen from the options menu, I found every aspect of Outfall's graphics to be extremely appealing. The animations, colors, and details were all expertly created. One effect I particularly enjoyed was the joining of the beans as they formed groups. They connected to one another in just the way living organisms do. It also has a nice exploding debris effect when the groups of beans are eliminated, this reminded me of exploding Lemmings. Outfall also has charming sound effects and good
music that amazingly enough speeds up as a signal that one of you is nearing your demise.
Outfall is a small and basic game but sometimes these kinds of games are the most fun of all. It is easy to learn and is the type of diversion that will keep most players coming back again and again. I give it an A rating and accolades to the programmer.
Outfall should run on virtually all Amigas, even an unexpanded A500. It was tested on an A1200 060 50mhz, 50Mb RAM, OS 3.0. It costs US $ 6.50 and comes on a single floppy disk and is available from Mushroom Software, 75 North Perry Street, Elizabethtown, PA 17022 Tel: (717J-367-6210 email: email@example.com Visit them at www:mushy-pd.demon.co.uk. Also visit ftp: mushypd.dyrup.com pub amiga demos to download free DMS demos of excellent FI and 5th Dimension Licenseware titles.
• AC- Super Bubble Remix is one of the most polished shareware
efforts I have come across in a long time.
By Jake Frederick It's not often that I find myself playing a game from the Aminet more than fifteen minutes before deleting it or storing it away in some desolate directory, never to be seen again. Once in a while, however, a great game will come along and restore my faith in the shareware scene. Super Bubble Remix has done just that and had me glued to my screen for hours, tearing my hair out.
The game puts you in control of a ghost trying to escape a trap infested dungeon in search of a more suitable place of residence. The basic rule of ghost-hood applies, the ghost itself will pass through any physical objects unharmed. Easy you say? Well here's the catch; you must also guide your soul, which just happens to be in the form of a bubble, to safety.
The ghost can be rotated in eight directs using the mouse buttons. Pressing the space bar makes him blow air, moving the bubble in the corresponding direction. If the bubble happens to collide with a wall, a spike, a jumping fish, or any of the other numerous hazards found throughout the dungeon, a life will be lost. When all of your lives have been depleted it's back to the title screen where you can continue using a password that's given every two levels.
Apparently the concept was taken from the game Bubble Ghost which was commercially published in 1987.
Finding the right difficulty level is crucial to games of this type and thankfully Anonym Software seems to have implemented just the right learning curve. The game starts you off with a few simple screens that allow you to get used to navigation and avoiding obstacles before plunging you into the more difficult levels. One of the most outstanding aspects of Super Bubble Remix is the uniqueness of each challenge you face.
Some levels require precise timing, others demand maneuvering though small spaces, and a few have various elements that the ghost must interact with such as flaming candles to be blown out and levers to be pushed. This diversity is refreshing to see since potentially great puzzle games are all too often marred by repetitiveness.
Super Bubble Remix is one of the most polished shareware efforts I have come across in a long time. All of the elements have been refined and put together superbly, resulting in a very professional looking and sounding piece of software. Surprisingly, the whole game was coded in AMOS. Not that it shows, the gameplay is fast and smooth and it mulitasks nicely (using the "Amiga A" key combination). The only real problem I have is the omission of a quit option, meaning you must reset your machine every time you wish to close it down. Although this is quite an oversight, it does nothing to
detract from the gameplay itself. Also, the game did have a tendency to suddenly stop recognizing mouse input at the title screen, which was particularly annoying but certainly not detrimental.
Even I, who have always been a fan of more action oriented games, found myself spending hours conquering Super Bubble Remix's forty levels, muttering, "Okay, just one more game", each time I died. The game is an outstanding effort that I can't recommend enough. It has landed a permanent spot on my hard drive right next to Heretic and Genetic Species, which is quite a feat in itself, especially for a shareware game.
Rating : A- Download Super Bubble Remix from aminet game misc SBRemixVl_2.1ha.
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