Liste des magazines disponibles sur AMIGALAND.COM
In December of 1984, I had my first look at an Amiga prototype at the company’s headquar- ters in Los Gatos, CA. Although the Amiga was still unfinished, I was given a démonstration of iis sound and graphies capabilities. I was overwhelmed. When I learned what features werc y et to corne for business users and what this nevv machine would retail for, I was convinced it would be the most advanced microcomputer to corne on the market in 1985 and 1986. The developers at Amiga had been working on this new micro for more than two years before I saw the prototype. They had been propelled by a vision that a supermicro could be buiît and delivered in high volume at an unprecedented low price. They wanted to create a supermicro that would fully exploit the capabilities of Motorola's 68000 microprocessor and stim* ulate the consumer market- place. The Amiga was designed to create new markets and reach new consumers. For me, the Amiga vision became a compelling urge to bring to market a dedicatecl publication that would feature this astounding computer. Im* mediately, a small team of us began to conceive a new magazine to cover the Amiga. We were ail of one mind: Because the Amiga is a unique machine, it needs an equally unique magazine. AmigaWorld lives up to that billing. Software developers, ton, were impressed with the new Amiga. They saw the opportu- nity to develop on the Amiga the most advanced and exciting software imaginable. Sonie of their products are now available and many are yet to corne, but their enthusiasm is typical of that found at Amiga headquar- ters, Commodore and here at CW Peterborough. The new Amiga will become a necessity in a variety of markets. It will be a powerhouse for run- ing business applications due to its incredible speed, easilv expandable memory and multi- tasking capability. As a créâtiv- ity and produciivitv tool, the Amiga is unsurpassed and will be frequently used in performing spreadsheet, database, graphies and word processing applications. The development of integrated and ‘‘expert” software prograins will reach new horizons with the Amiga. The Amiga*s range of capabilities is so broad that it will bcconte a critical addition to spécial ized professions, such as architecture, advertising, CAD (computer-aided design), marketing, film and video, music and many more. Both the professional and home user will find il easy to create software that takes fni 1 advantage of Amiga's amazing speed, graphies, animation and sound. When voit add this to the multi-tasking DOS and user interface with overlapping Windows, the variable color and screen résolutions, icons and pop-down menus, you bave a computer with programming capabilities unltke anv other.
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[AMIGA f W|
Meet Amigi’e First Family
A family of powerful peripherals by Tecmar
Add a powerful 1MB multrfunctron expansion module, 20MB hard disk, 20MB tape backup, and 2400 baud Hayes® compatible modem. Expand your Processing, filing, and communications with our peripheral family. They're ready for you now. Great Products. Great support. Great prrces. Check us out at your nearest Amiga dealer. The best can be yours!
Multifunction Expansion Module
T-card™ snaps on your Amiga to give you memory up to 1MB, clock calendar with standby battery, serial port, parallel or SASI port, buffered bus expansion port, and built-in power supply. Power peripherals don't get any better. T-card is awesome!
20MB Hard Disk
T-disk™ sits on your Amiga taking no valuable desk space to provide almost unlimited file capacity. Inside its sleek package, T-disk houses a 3V? Inch hard disk with controller. A shielded cable connects T-disk to T-card’s SASI port. Lights show you the disk’s power, select, and write status. T-disk is simple, powerful, and best of ail low cost.
20MB Tape Backup
When you move beyond floppies to Tecmar's powerful 20MB T- disk, you’ll want a fast, reliable tape backup System. T-tape™ backs up T-disk’s 20MB’s injust afew minutes. And, if power loss or operator error accidently erases your most treasured data, you get sélective file restoration. T-tape's handsome package interlocks with T-disk. Lights show track number and tape direction plus read, write, door, and power status. T-tape istruly state-of-the-art with a unique single reel cartridge, exceptional performance, and a very low price.
2400 Baud Modem
T-modem™ brings fast and simple communications to your Amiga. Hayes compatibility with selectable 300, 1200 and 2400 baud rates makes the world a little smalfer and a lot easier to talk to. T-modem provides tone decoding, off-hook détection, and interface to Amiga’s audio circuits. The high-styled package interlocks with T-disk and T-tape to make a single unit.
Hayes is a registered trademark ol Hayes Microcomputer Products Amiga is a irademark of Commodore,'Amiga. Inc. T-disk, T-!ape, and T-modem arelrademarksof Tecmar. Inc « 1985 Tecmar. Inc AU righls reserved
À First Look at the Amiga
By Margaret Morabito
Margarct Morabito answers ihe question "|ust vvhat îs an Amiga. Anyway?” in this comprehensive article that omîmes the inany features of the Amiga, giving vou an overvievv ot this remarkable nevv computer.
What If. . .
By Guy Wright
The Amiga is going to open nevv vvorkls of computer vvonder it isjust a matter of timc beiore the Amiga turns “what if” into “what is,”
Sit back, strap yourself in and préparé to be da .zted! This graphies spread will show vou jusl sonie of the Amiga’s graphies capabilities. 11*s a visual banquet that will Icave you craving for more.
Publish ï- Stephen Twombly the gentsis of AmigaWbrld.
Hello, tfw» sjtfj4y«gditor speakii thoughts on a new world of jcoi
AmigaWbrUf s résident doubting Thomas gets his First look at the new machine.
Stimulating Simulations: Electronic Arts Gets Involved with the Amiga
By Jim Fortes
A look insidc Electronic Arts, a rcnowned software developer with plenty of Creative talent and vision, plus a chat with company président Trip Hawkins.
By Guy Wright
1 his article will play for you the open* ing bars of an Amiga symphony that should bring down the house.
A Peek at the 68000
By Brian Epstein
This article takes a look at the heart of the Amiga computer the Motorola (58000 chip.
The Amiga as a Teaching Tool
By Guy Wright
The Amiga will enhance and enliven the learning process for a new génération of students and not just in the classroom.
Questions about the Amiga, answered by the experts.
90 List of Software
Software packages available (and some to be released soon) for the Amiga.
96 Corning Next Issue
86 Help Key
Editor-In-Ch ief Guy Wright
Managing Editor Shawn Laflamme
Assistant Editor Vinoy Laughner
Associa te Editor
Contributing Edi tors
Marilyn Annucci, Harold Bjornsen,
Dennis Brisson, Margaret Morabito,
Advertising Sales Manager
Stephen Robbins Sales Représentative Ken Blakeman
Ad Coordinator Heather Paquette 1-800-441-4403 Marketing Coordinator Wendie Haines
West Coast Sales Giorgio Saluti, manager 1-415-328-3470 1060 Marsh Road Menlo Park, CA 94025
Design: Glenn A. Suokko P hotogia pliy: EdJudice Design Consultant: Christine Des trempes Séparation: Ultra Scan Printing: Broum Printing
James S. Povec
Debra Wetherbee Vice-President Finance Roger Murphy Assistant General Manager Matt Smith
Assistant To VP Finance Dominique Smith Executive Creative Director
Director of Circulation William P. Howard Circulation Manager
Frank S. Smith
Direct ôf Newsstand Sales Manager
Rai no Wirein
Director of Crédit Sales àf Collections William M. Boyer
Glenn A. Suokko
Editorial Design Glenn A. Suokko
Product ion A dvert ising Superviso r Rosalyn Scribner
Graphic Design Assistan ts Anne Dillon, Karla Whitney
Graphie Services Manager Dennis Christensen Film Préparation Superviser Robert M. Villeneuve
Typeset t ing Supervisor Lin cia P. Canale
Susan Gros s
AmigaWbrld (ISSN 0H83-2390) is an imlcpendcnr journal noi connectée! With Commodore business Machines, Inc. AmigaWbrld is pnblished himonihlv by CVV Communications Peterborniigh, Inc.. S(l Fine St.. Peterborough. NI I 03458. T. .S. subscript ion rate is $ 19.97. one vear. ( annula and Mexico $ 22.97. «ne vear. L'.S. f'mids drawn on L’.S, bank onK. Foreign Surface $ 39.97. Foreign Air Mail $ 74.97. L'.S. funds drawn on t .S. bank. Second class postage pending al Peterborough. NU. And al addiiional mailing offices. Phone: 603*924-9471. Enlire ion- lents copyright 1985 by CVV Communications Pc- terborough. Inc. No part of ibis publication ma he prinied or othcrwîsc reproduced without written permission (rom ibe publisher. Postmasiei: Send ad dress changes to AmigtiWorid. Subscription Services. PO Box 954, Farmingdale, NY 11735. Nationallv dis tributed bv International Circulation Distributors. ArnigaWorld makes every effort to assure the accuracs of articles, listings and circuits published iu (lie magazine. ArnigaWorld assumes no responsibiliu loi damages due t > errors or omissions.
AmigaWbrld is a rnembei of the C V Communications Inc. Group, the world’s largesl publisher of computer-related information. The group pub- lishes 57 computer publications in more tlian 20 major countries. Nine million peuple reacl one or more of thegroup s publications each rnoutli. Mon- bers of the group include: Argentiua's Computer- worldJArgent dur, Asia's The Asian Computerworld', Auslralia’s Computerworld Australia, Austral mu PC World, Macworld and Dirertories: Bra il's DataXrws and MirroMundo: China's China Compntenvorld: Den mark s ComputenvorUl Danmark, PC World and PI A (Commodore); Finland's Mikrir. Fiance s le Monde Informatique, Golden (Apple), OPC (IBM) and Dislrih- utique: Germaitv‘s Computerwoehe, Micro* omputemelt. PC Welty SoftwareMarkt. (XV Edition Semitiar, Computer Business, RUN and Apple's: lialy’s Computencorld liai ni and PC Magazine: Japan’s (UmputenvorldJupan Mexico’s Computerworld Mexico and CompuMiuido: I he NetherlaïuPs ComputerWorld Bénélux and PC World Bénélux: Norwav's Computerworld Sorge, PC. World and RUX (Commodore); Saudi Arabias Saudi Comprit- erworld; Spain’s Computerworld Es pana, Microsistemas PC World and Commodore World; Swedcn's ComputerSwedcn. Mikrodatorn, and Sven.ska PC: the LiK’s Computn Management. Computer Xnes, PC Business World and (aimputer Business Europe: the l'.S.' AmigaWbrld, Computenwrld. Focus Publient unis. H 07 CoCo. IrtCider, InfoWorld. MacWorld, Micro Marketworld, On Communications. PC World. REX. 73 Magazine. 80 Micro; Yenezuela's Computerworld Venezuela.
Manuscripts: Contributions in the lonn >1 manu scripts with drawings and or photographs are wel- come and will be considered for possible publication. AmigaWbrld assumes no respousibilily for loss or damage to any material. Please enclose a seif-addressed, stamped envelope with each submission. Pavment for the use of any unsolicited material will lie made upon acceptance. Ail contributions and éditorial correspondent e (tvped and double-spaced, please) should be direeted to AmigaWbrld Editorial Offices. 80 Pine Street, Peterborough. NH 03458; téléphoné: 603-924-9471. Advertising In qui ries should be direeted to Advertising Offices. CVV Communications Peter- borough. Inc.. Elm Street. Peterborough. NI 1 03458; téléphoné: 800-441-4403. Suhscription problems or address changes: Call 1-800-344-0015 eu write to ArnigaWorld, Subscription Department. PO Box 868. Farmingdale. NY 1 I 737. Problems w ith advertisers: Send a description ol the problem and voui m i eut address to: AmigaWbrld, Fini Street, Peterborough. NU 03458. ATI N.: Rita B. Rivard. ( ’ustomer Scrvii e Manager, or call 1 *800-44 1 -4403.
Security is important in our business. So writ ingthe tutorial program forthe new Commodore Amiga was a spécial challenge.
We couldn't tell anyone about Amiga graphies. Amiga stereo ¦
sound. Amiga power.
We couldn’t even say 1 the word Amiga to our
Now we can officially
welcome Amiga. And greet the readers of AmigaWorld.The only remaining secret concerns the new software we’re about to introduce for Amiga. Mindscape's Keyboard Cadefand The Halley Project™ are coming soon. So nold on to your socks. And your hat.
Software that challenges the A mind
Mindscape, Inc., 3444 Dundee Rd., Northbrook, IL60062
Vniga is a registered trademark of Commodore Business Machines. Keyboard Cadet and The Halley Project are trademarks of Mindscape, Inc. © 1985 Mindscape. Inc. Ail Rights Reserved
A message from a leading software publisher.
"The Amiga will revolutionize the home compurer industry. It's the firsi home machine that has evcrything you want and need for ail the major uses of a home computer, including entertainment éducation and productivité The software vve’re developing for the Amiga will blow your socks off. We think the Amiga, with it’s incomparable power, sound and graphies will give Electronic Arts and the en tire industry a very bright future'
Trip Hawkins Président. Electronic Arts
COMMnTED TO THE AMIGA.
In our first two years, Electronic Arts has emerged as a leader of the home software business. We have won the most product quality . Awards over 60. We have placed the most Billboard Top 20 rides 12. We have also been consistendy profitable in an industry beset by losses and disappointments.
Why, then, is Electronic Arts banking its hard won gains on an unproven new computer like the Amiga?
The Vision of Electronic Arts.
We believe that one day soon the home computer will be as important as radio, stereo and télévision are today.
These electronic marvels are significant because they bring faraway places and expériences right into your home. Today, from your living room you can watch a championship basketball game, see Christopher Columbus sail to the New World, or watch a futurisric spaceship batde.
The computer promises to let you do much more, Because it is interactive you get to participate. For example, you can play in that basketball game instead of just watching. You can actually be Christopher Columbus and feel firsthand what he felt when he sighted the New World. And you can step inside the cockpit of your own spaceship.
But so far, the computers promise has been hard to see. Software has been severely limited by the abstract, blocky shapes and rinky' dink sound reproduction of most home computers. Only a handful of pioneers have been able to appreciate the possibilities. But then, popular opinion once held that télévision was only useful for civil defense communications.
A Promise of Artistry.
The Amiga is advancing our medium on ail fronts. For the first time, a personal computer is providing the visual and aurai quality our sophisricated eyes and ears demand. Compared to the Amiga, using some other home computers is like watching black and white télévision with the sound tumed off.
The first Amiga software products from Electronic Arts are near completion. We suspect you’ll be hearing a lot about them. Some of them are games like you’ve never seen before, that get more out of a computer than other games ever have. Others are harder to catégorisé, and we like that.
For the first time, software developers X_
have the tools they need to fulfill the 1
promise of home computing.
Twoyearsago.wesaidTWeSee Tronic ARTS'“
rarther. Now harther is here.
For détails about avatlability sec your Amiga software dealer or call us .it 415) 572-ARTS F .r a product catalog send S SO and a siampcd, sclfaddrc-ssrd cnvelope tu: Electronic Arts. Amiga Catalog Offer. 2755 Campus Drive. San Marco, CA 9+405 Amiga is a trademark nf Commodore Business Machines Skyfox, Seven Cities of Gold, Deluxe Vsdt’O Construction Set, Atcticfox. Rcturn to Atlantis and Electronic Arts are rrademarks ot Electronic Arts Marble Madness is a trademark of Aiari Games, Inc
Circle 2 on Reader Service card.
By Steve Twombly
In December of 1984, I had my first look at an Amiga prototype at the company’s headquar- ters in Los Gatos, CA. Although the Amiga was still unfinished, I was given a démonstration of iis sound and graphies capabilities.
I was overwhelmed. When I learned what features werc y et to corne for business users and what this nevv machine would retail for, I was convinced it would be the most advanced microcomputer to corne on the market in 1985 and 1986.
The developers at Amiga had been working on this new micro for more than two years before I saw the prototype. They had been propelled by a vision that a supermicro could be buiît and delivered in high volume at an unprecedented low price. They wanted to create a supermicro that would fully exploit the capabilities of Motorola's 68000 microprocessor and stim* ulate the consumer market- place. The Amiga was designed to create new markets and reach new consumers.
For me, the Amiga vision became a compelling urge to bring to market a dedicatecl publication that would feature this astounding computer. Im* mediately, a small team of us began to conceive a new magazine to cover the Amiga. We were ail of one mind: Because the Amiga is a unique machine, it needs an equally unique magazine. AmigaWorld lives up to that billing.
Software developers, ton, were impressed with the new Amiga. They saw the opportu- nity to develop on the Amiga the most advanced and exciting software imaginable. Sonie of their products are now available and many are yet to corne, but their enthusiasm is typical of that found at Amiga headquar- ters, Commodore and here at CW Peterborough.
The new Amiga will become a necessity in a variety of markets. It will be a powerhouse for run- ing business applications due to its incredible speed, easilv ex- pandable memory and multi- tasking capability. As a créâtiv- ity and produciivitv tool, the Amiga is unsurpassed and will be frequently used in performing spreadsheet, database, graphies and word processing applications. The development of integrated and ‘‘expert” software prograins will reach new horizons with the Amiga. The Amiga*s range of capabilities is so broad that it will bcconte a critical addition to spécial ized professions, such as architecture, advertising, CAD (computer-aided design), marketing, film and video, music and many more.
Both the professional and home user will find il easy to create software that takes fni 1 advantage of Amiga's amazing speed, graphies, animation and sound. When voit add this to the multi-tasking DOS and user interface with overlapping Windows, the variable color and screen résolutions, icons and pop-down menus, you bave a computer with programming capabilities unltke anv other.
The Amiga was designed with the future in mind. Ils philosophe is expandability with conti- nuitv. T he microprocessor cari be upgraded. As eau the custom chips. The Amiga’s memory is expandable without affeeting its design. Its open architecture and multi-tasking DOS will open new dimensions in tliird-
party development of" both pe- ripherals and software. As a resuit, the Amiga will grow over the next five years wilhnul los* ing software and peripheral compatihility, and users need not fear obsolescence.
Amiga makes real what had previouslv beeti onlv a vision in the microcomputing world. Lie* fore the Amiga. Suc h power, speed, sound, color and animation capabtlities wcren t coin- mcrcially available for under $ 20,00(1. Xow, everyone will bave an opportunity lo expérience this computing break- through. VV'e at AmigaWortd believe this opportunitv will provide a great deal of excite- ment for tnativ vears to corne. As you look through and read the pages of AmigaWbrld, I think you‘11 see what I mean.
As we explore the Amiga. Re- memhcr lhat this fi est issue provides onlv a glimpse of what is to coine. The future is here.
By Guy Wright
Amiga World. Whew! It lias heen cjuite an elfort puiting to- gether a new maga ine for a new machine that wasn'i even finished al the lime we went to press. 1 lie official word that we were défi* nitely doing a maga ine didn t corne throngh mil il the beginning of May (ronghly a monih aller the tiine we should have had ali ilie articles typeset and reaclv to senti to ilie primer). That meant a lot of'scratnhling around. A lot of dig- ging, a lot of weekends, laie niglus, lasl-minute plane trips to California, New York, Pennsylva- nia. Illinois and cnough phone calls to give us ail caulitlower cars.
In mativ ways, starting up a maga ine is prelty close to what you miglu imagine il would be. The fiantic pair, the cups of cold coffee, the stories coming in late, the lasl-minute décisions, the téléphoné reports fVom the coast and the thou- sands ol détails that have to be tended to. But I atn certain you would be more than a bit sur- prised if voit came up hcre. To the Iiills of souihwestei n New Hamjjshire. And saw the offices md met the peuple behind Amiga World.
1 here is nu Steel and glass, no lO-stoiA office building with hundieds «»f lienetk reporters and grumpy edilors. No copy- bovs dashing around with last- minute stories. There aren't rio .ens of elacking typewriters or smoke-filled rooms. And the phones only ring 90 percent of the lime. Insiead, we have a converted New England farm- house with wooden floors. There’s a handful of editors and a few writers, many of whom work at home and send in their stories via modems or word processors and prinlers. It’s a eurious mixture of country and technology.
But the key to AmigaWorld is the people who did ail the run- ning around, word processing, telephoning, designing, editing, typesetting, organi ing and so on. There are also quite a num- ber of people not on the AmigaWorld staff who helped make this first issue possif)le. The people at Commodore* Amiga who let us corne and see the machine hefore it was ready, who answered oui questions, who did the interviews when they didn’t rcally have time to spare, who stayed up late wait- ing for calls or goi up extra early because of the three-hour time one différence hetween California and New Uampshire, who answered oui questions, who helped gel the right screen shots, who helped us get in touch with the right people, who photocopied stacks of ma- terial and then did it again when something was changée!, and who answered still more questions.
We asked a loi of questions.
A loi of questions. We hope we asked aboui the things you arc interested in. (But if we baven t, then you can al ways write to us and we’ll try and get the kinds of answers you’re seeking.) There are still thousands of questions that we haven’t asked vet and thousands of pages of information yet to be printed.
But oui whole job wasn’t and isn’t just asking questions. We
have to take those questions and turn them into articles that make sense. Distill the information and transform it into something meaningful. Oui goal is to provide you with useful, enter- taining, understandable information and ideas. Articles that rcveal the inner workings of the Amiga from Commodore with* out a confusing array of techno- talk. Just as you shouldn’t have to know how to rebuild a car- buretor to drive a car, you shouldn't need a degree in computer science or mathematics to use the power and versatility of the computer.
At the saine time, we know that you are probably above average in intelligence (after ail. You’re reading this magazine, aren’t you?) And don’t need to be spoon-fed. Computers are not simple machines, but nei- ther are they incompréhensible. And while the focus of AmigaWorld is (oddly cnough) the Amiga computer, we’ll be going far beyond dissecting the machine.
We will explore the ways an Amiga can be used for enhanc* ing life; for increasing produc- tivitv in business, school and home; for bringing out créâtiv- ity in music, graphies and even business; for saving you money and time; for amusement; for éducation; for communication; and for the thousands of things no one bas thought of yet. The things that you will be thinking about.
Thafs the exciting thing about the Amiga computer. It is
Illustration by Jack Haeger
a catalyst for the future of computing. A tool that will bring us into the ncxt âge. And the best ideas are going to corne froni the peuple who own and use the computer every day. T hat is the challenge I put to vou now. Do something with your Amiga that is the verv best ever doue. Whatever il is. We arc going to be putting oui the best magazine we can, to let you know what others are doing with thcir Amigas and to let others know what you are doing with yours. Do your best, because now there is a machine that can match your imagination.
This first issue of Amiga World will look into the future a little. Radier thati detailing the var- ious comrnands and spécifies, we'll sit back and let the Amiga show off a little. We will focus on its capabilities and what thev will mean to vou. We’ll tell vou
a bit about its power and versa- tilitv. But, with any new project, there will be last-mimite changes and altérations, so let me apologize right now for any inaceuracies in this first issue,
The things we will show vou and tell you about the Amiga will convince even the most ada- mant cynic that the Amiga computer is the tiext wave, and we’re ail bound to get a little wet. There is no other computer 1 would rather be invol ved with and no other magazine. Welcome to Amiga World.
I would also like to give a spécial thanks to the entire staff of RUN magazine for their patience and invaluable assistance.
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A First Look at the Amiga
By Margaret Morabito
The Amiga computer from Commodorc-Amiga, Inc., a subsidiary of Commodore International, Ltd., is the First in a new line of personal business computers, tak- ing a giani leap forward in single-station multi-tasking, computer graphies and sound.
Based on the Motorola >8000 inicroproccssor, the Arniga is différent from other computers using this procès* sor because its intricate network of built-in hardware features lets the 68000 run at full speed most of the time. Three custom chips, one of which contains a co-processor, do much of the work. Handling most ol the burden of implementmg the Amiga's graphies and sound features, as well as input output opérations. I hese custom chips allow the Amiga to outperform any other multi-tasking personal computer on the market today.
The Custom graphies chip and the custom animation chip make possible the Amiga's superior graphies ou (put. Ivhich you can fuily utilize on a home télévision set as well as on an RGB mon- itor. Also available are m u f t idi mens tonal dis- pla s, sélection of up to
4. 096 rotors and quality resolution équivalent to a fine color telnnsion.
Another différence between the Amiga and other 68000 machines is that it can address eight megabytes of memory. Additionally, the Amiga is a completely open System, its internai architecture is designed to accommodate upgrades and enhancements already being devcloped for powerful graphics*oriented machines of the future.
The custom graphies chip and the custom animation chip make possible the Amiga's superior graphies oui- put, which you can fully utilize on a home télévision set as well as on an RGB monitor. Also available are inultL dimensional displays, sélection of up to 4,096 colors and quality resolution équivalent to a fine color télévision. For business and educational applications, you can combine either 40- or 80-column text displays with the graphies modes to croate extraordînary visual displays.
The Sound Pcripherals chip can duplicate complex sounds on each of four separatc sound channels, By comhining the power of this chip with the dual stereo sound-outpui ports, the Amiga can casily match the
quality of commercial synthesizers, Kurthennore, there are 11 ports to accommodate any periphcrals you may want to connect to this computer.
At release time, the Amiga will already have sophisti* cated peripherals with which to tap its extraordînary potential. One of the more élégant is a ‘Trame grab- ber,” which can take an image from videotape, digitize it and make it available for storage on the Amiga. A digitized picturc can, for example, be emhellishcd with Amiga graphies and sound. Animaied and stored for future use. A digitizer tahlet will also be available.
A MIDI interface will be provided along with musical keyhoards to take advantage of this supermicro's amaz* ing sound capabililies. Other peripherals includc a Gen-lock interface, a 1201) baud Hayes-compatible modem from Amiga and third-party souri es, a liai cl disk with tape backup. A two-megahyte multifimction tard and a 2400-baud modem. These are just a fcw already prepared. Vou will discover, however, that the Amiga warrants peripherals and applications thaï have vet to be developcd.
The Amiga cornes with an 89-key detachcd keyhoard and a system box that bouses the internai hardware and built-in disk drive. It bas 256K of internai RAM and 192K of ROM. This is enough memory lor manv applications, but for those requiring more memory, ifs easy to clip a 256k RAM pack to the front of the system unit, thus boosting the memory to a full 512K.
Comparée! To most personal computers on the market today, the Amiga’s 256K of RAM is far more versatile because. Thanks to the threc custom chips, less ol it is occupied with choies for system opération and lan guage support.
As for data storage, the Amiga cornes with a built-in 3jÇinch disk drive that accommodâtes douhle-sided. Double-density disks with a capacity of S80K. You're not limited to just 880K, however. The machine can accommodate three additional disk drives, either : ' r or 5 ,*
inch. There will bc a 20-megabyte hard disk drive avail- able for it in the fall.
The Amiga incorporâtes truly superior graphies, which, however, will be used in applications far différent from the typical entertainment field. They will provide a tool for serious graphies applications in both the business and consumer markets, The versatility of the graphies will also attract engineers, CAD CAE users, architects, professional Creative artists and anyone requiring fast and efficient graphie design capabilities.
Custom Graphics Chip
There are two basic kinds of screen displays on the Amiga: playfields and sprites. A playfield is the back- drop upon which sprites may be displayed, or with which they can interact. There are two playfield screens in the Amiga, each of which can contain its own set of user-defined graphies objects and its own coloring. I be two playfields can appear together on one screen, onc in front of the other, and you can also seroll them hori- zontally and vertically.
Sections of a playfield can be set asidc and used as separate objects. These playfield objects can interact with sprites and you can manipulate them to create the effcct of animation, ail through the use of a hardware device called the “Mitter." (Playfield animation will be discussed later in this article.)
The graphies capabilities of the Amiga, corn- pounded with its multi- tasking witulowing environment and its nhility to transform non-comput- erized photos and film clips into digitized color screens, make it a business machine like no other.
The playfield display has two modes of opération: low and high resolution. The Low-resolution mode displays 320 dots (pixels) across the screen by 200 pixels vertically and provides a clear 40-column text displav. This accommodâtes multicolorcd images.
An “Interlaced" mode provides twiee the vertical display: 320 X 400 pixels. Interlacing is achieved by hav- ing the monitor s scanning mechanism perform two screen scans per cycle.
You can define a spécial “color palette," holding 32 différent colors chosen from 4,096 colors available the greatest variety of color sélection offered as a standard feature in a personal computer. You can create highly detailcd multicolored pictures using these two low-reso- lution modes, because you can tint each individual pixel with any one of your chosen 32 colors.
Then there is a spécial Hold and Modify mode, which lets you control the color even more intricately by using ail 4,096 colors simultaneouslv on a télévision screen or an RGB monitor. This is ail accomplished by barelv utiliz.ing the 68000 microprocessor.
The second mode of playfield opération, High Resolution, has two separate displays. It will give you 640 pixels across the screen, with each pixel being any one of 16 colors selected from your color palette. This display, however, can be achieved only on a high-resolu- tion monochrome or RGB color monitor, not on a télévision set. There are 200 lines per screen in this mode, which is the one used within the Amiga user interface called Workbench. You can create graphs and charts with textual enhancements from this mode.
The second high-resolution display is an interlaced display that can handle 640 pixels horizontally and 400 vertically. Using this mode, up to 16 colors can be seen simultaneouslv.
Text can be intermixed on both low- or high-resolution displays. In low resolution, you can use 40 col- umns of text, with each character treated as a spécial graphies élément and defined as a sériés of pixels in an 8x8 grid.
In High-resolution mode, you can use 80 coluinns of text characters per line. You can easily mix multicolored graphies with text on the saine screen, since text is simply considered to be another set of spécial graphies. You can also create customized text fonts and have complété control over their coloring.
Amiga's “bluter" lets you place any kind of graphies element anywhcre on the screen, making possible subscripts, superscripts, underlining. Proportional spacing and other features.
The second major display mode on the Amiga is Sprite mode. A sprite is a movable graphies object that is tolally independent of the playfields and can be displayed anywherc on tbc screen, since it is not affected by other screen-display features. The Amiga offers eight programmable sprite processors, but you’re not limitée! To eight sprites per screen, as you can reuse sprites on the saine screen.
A sprite can be up to 16 pixels wide, with unlimited height, so a sprite the h eight of the screen would be 200 pixels lall. If you wanted to make one even taller than the screen, you could. The only limitation is the amount of memory available for sprite-data storage.
F. ach pixel of a sprite can havc any of four colors, including transparency. Therc is also a spécial mode in which yon can attach two sprites, thus increasing thc number of possible colors to sixteen. You can display both sprites and playfield objects simultaneously on a playfield.
Custom Animation Chip
The Amiga lias two animation Systems. The flrst was already mentioncd in relation to die blitter. The blitter is a hardware dcvice that Controls Playfield animation (or Frame Huffer animation), and it can animale low- resolution screen objects created in any of the two playlields.
Playfield animation is a technique through which you modify sections of a playfield by drawing an image, then erasing and redrawing it again onto the same background. The background displays are eonstantly being savecl into a meniory buffer and redrawn onto the background. This créâtes thc effcct of animation, as an image is very quickly rcplaced in a différent location upon the same background. The blitter moves the screen-display data around so quickly that you don’t notice ail of the steps being excculed.
In order to successfully perform tbis animation, the Amiga lias a feature called “double buffering," which utiliz.es two separatc meniory spaces when performing background save-and-restore. While one section of meniory is being displayed, the other is being modified in the second meniory section. I bis totallv assures that tlie viewer will never see a display being reconstructed on the screen.
The Playfield Animator allows you to croate and
move several dozen Iow-resolution screen objects. It also provides the hardware support for line-drawing and a rca-fi 11 fonctions. Lines can lie drawn at one million pixels per second that’s incrcdibly fast.
Sixteen colors per object arc available. Ail objects in a playfield bave user-specified priorities, which mcans that one playfield can be placed in front of or behind another. Botli are independently scrollable, horizontally and vertically. Due to the custom graphies and animation chips, the Amiga accomplishes ail of this without slowing down the 68000 microprocessor.
Playfield animation is a hit slower than sprite animation, but it is much more versatile in that the graphies objects arc neither limitcd by si .e nor by the number of colors available per object.
Plie second animation system on the Amiga handles Sprite graphies. Sprites h ave several attribules, includ- ing that of priority overlav, like the playlields. You can make sonie sprites move in front of oihers, while still others move in thc far background, with iq> to seven layers possible. With the transparency feature, you can also make sprites with sce-through components.
Both animation Systems havc a hardware collision- détection feature. The screen can detect collisions between sprites, between sprites and playfield objects and between the two playlields themselves. What is this good for? These collision-detection features conte in handy for use in gantes, for examplc, to détermine
Illustration by Island Graphics
whether a missile lias struck its target. You can also use it to prevent a moving object from going beyond its prescribed on-screen boundaries.
The third custom chip within the Amiga han* dles the Sound capabili- lies, as well as the disk cantroller and other in- pu t ou t put functions. Again, this frees the 68000 chip for more impo rta n t fu net ions.
Collision détection is also used in playfield animation. Il is the process by which chunks of a playfield can be defmcd as individual objects ancl can be ani- mated by thc blitter.
The graphies abilities of the Amiga will be appreci* ated by thosc of you who want to make video scènes or computerized images of real life. You can use the Amiga with VCRs and color digitizers. You could, for example, “take a picturc” of any individual frame from a section of tape, digitize the image on the Amiga and store it for later use on disk. Or, you can take that same digitized image, color il with a paint program, overlay graphies and titles, use an animation program to ani- mate the whole thing and then capture the final prod- uct on slîdcs, hard copy or videotape. This is just the tip of thc iceberg when it cornes to the Amiga’s business and educaiional applications.
Words are really not adéquate to convey an under- standing of the graphies and animation features of the Amiga. It was only through seeing graphies démonstrations given on an Amiga that I could appreciate the unique animation available through hardware control.
The graphics-animation denio presented a cartoon- like portrayal of a Street scene, with various figures and
Multiple Windows illustrating irons. Taken from a preliminary version of the user interface, présented to show the capabüity of the system.
Créatures strolling back and fort h in front of and behind the landscape. One créature was a strolling robot, whose partially transparent head allowed the viewer to sec the objects passing behind it.
Within the saine scene, there was constant inovenient, with images moving alongside others, yet avoiding collision. Multi-tasking, oltcn associated with business applications using text displays, was amply demonstiatecl in this lively graphies dcino, l'or each image can lie consid- ered a separate task that performs ils own functions.
The graphies Systems on the Amiga are handlcd through the use of “pull-down” scrccns. A palette, ton- taining the colot choiccs available and the most recently used opérations, can he pulled down onto the screen at anv time. This allows vou to select colors and features directly from the palette, radier than con- stantly having to go back to a main menu.
The two graphies chips handle ail the colot graphies and animation with an absolute miniimI'm of power tapped from the 68000 proeessor. For more intrieate prograin development, the 68000 is fiilly available to provide the power behind sophisticated software design.
The third custom chip within the Amiga handles the Sound capabilities, as well as the disk controller and other input output functions.
There are four independently programmable hardware Sound channels in the Amiga, as well as a digital to-analog eonverter. You can eontrol the volume and amplitude for each channel as well as créait* and mod- ify the waveforms. Each sound channel can générale a three- or four-note musical chord, and you can easily select complété Attack, Decay, Sustain and Release features from a menu.
Speech synthesis with unlimited vocabulary and both maie and femalc attributes is also possible through software that Controls this feature.
Ail four sound channels can operate together, inde- pendent of the 68600 chip. Each voice bas an 8 to 9 octave range, and Bass response cxcccds that of most
stereo Systems. A MIDI interface, available for the
Amiga soon after release, will allow you to attach highly sophisticated synthesizers. Sound can be ont put to stereo speakers, to a monitor, or to a télévision set.
Amiga’s Friendly Ports
The Amiga boasts eleven ports that provide the options for virtually anv peripheral you might want to add.
Among three video-display ports, there is first of ail an NTSC (National Télévision Standard Convention) port for use with composite monitors. Thèse moniiors support color graphies ijuite well, but are not recoin- mended for 80-column text displays.
Fhotography by Michael Brown
Second, there is a port for connecting the Amiga to a télévision set. Surprisingly, the Amiga provides an excellent 64-column text display 011 a color TV set.
Most 80-column-output computers give an unreadable display on a home TV, but the Amiga actually lends itself to this type of display.
The third video port is the RGB (red green-bluc) ana* log digital port, most recommended for use with the Amiga color monitor that will be available. This is a high-resolution RGB monitor, which will fully tap the best of the Amiga’s graphies and text features.
For sound 0111 put, there are two separate stereo Sound jacks, making it possible to achieve true high- fidelity stereo sound. I'he use of the Amiga for music and sound production is likely to flou ri sh as more and more professionals discover its sound capabilities.
There are also three ports for adding peripherals: an expansion disk-drive port, a parallel port and a standard RS-232 port. The Amiga can support many différent brands of printers. The difflculty will be in selecting the one that’s most appropriate for your pri- mary applications. As for color printers, the Okimate 10 and 20 thermal transfer printers from Okidata and the Diable» (sériés C) line of color ink jet printers are Amiga-compatible.
The disk-drive port can accommodate either 5 ,- or 3J4-inch disk drives. If you wanted to, you could daisy- chain up to three separate drives coming off this port.
On the sidc of the Amiga, there is also an expansion- port bus, an important feature for third party manufac- turers. Because this port allows full access to the 68000 bus, most peripheral vendors will use it when designing hard-disk drives, tape backup, multifunction cards, etc.
Both the RS-232 and parallel ports can accommodate modems, and most off-the-shelf modems will work. However, three modems are espeeially recommended; a 1200-baud, Commodore-manufactured Hayes-compati- ble modem, the Hayes SmartModem and a 2400-baud modem from Tecmar.
The two separate reconfigurai»le controller ports that are built into the Amiga can accommodate a mouse, game paddles, joysticks, graphies tablets, light pens and optical scanners. Lastly, there is a connecter for the cable to the Amiga’s detached keyboard.
Now that you bave an overview of the internai hardware, let’s take a look at how you actually manipulate these powerful features.
The Amiga User Interface is composed of system software that handies the multiple graphics-windowing Systems of this computer. Controlled by a two-button mouse, this software allows total use of the powerful, multi-tasking capabilities of the Amiga and this is true multi-tasking, not task sharing.
The Amiga’s memory can hold many différent software application programs, and they each can access ail of the computers hardware resources. L'he interface lets you display information from several applications without any conllicts and provides you with an orderly ?
Amiga Workbenrh. Taken from a preliminary version of the user m terface, presented to show the capability of the System.
The Amiga bas four hardware audio DMA channels, which feed two stereo output ports. The processor is not accessed for sound génération.
16 32 hit
16 32 bit
8 16 bit
16 24 hit
7. «S Mhz
7. 8 Mhz
4. 77 Mhz
192 k ROM
Expansion (useable RAM)
Up to 512k (external up to 8 MB)
Up 10 512k
Up to 640k
Up to 3 MB
1. 2 MB
Composite Color TV
Separate color card1
1. 000 colors
(black & white only)
16 colors on
llighesi Color Resolution
80 keys Numeric Pad
84 keys Numeric Pad
Speech Synthesis built-in)
(unlimitetl text to voice)
4 channels- (stereo)
1 channel' (monaural)
I O Ports
Parai le Serial
Table 1. A comparative look at the features of the Amiga from Commodore, Apple Macintosh, IIIM PC and PC AI. ’Not induded in IBM PC and PC AT basic units.
'The Macintosh lias four software-driven voices, which use over 50% of the processor s time.
Method of controlling several activities at once. This full-performance system is the epitome of single-station multi-tasking.
What is amazing about the Amiga is that each of its application programs can have complété and unhin- dered access to ail the features of the computer. Each application “thinks” that it is running 011 its own distinct terminal, referred to as a “virtual terminal" There can be as many such terminais as application prograins, ail coexisting in the computer.
Once a program has activated its own virtual terminal. It can access the full range of the Amiga’s hardware features. It has an entire screen display for itself, and il can print text and tap ail of the graphies and sound modes. One program can actually open up several Virtual terminais, each one functioning as a totally distinct computer system.
Windows and Screens
The virtual terminal is presented to you through a “window" that you can modify, shape and move any- where on the screen. Each window is capable of han- dling its own software application. The number ol Windows appearing on a screen ai one time is onlv lim- ited by the amount of memory required to perform the applications residing in those Windows. You can over- lap Windows, change text fonts within them. Change their siz.e and, through the use of "gadgets," completely control the activities going on within them. By moving these gadgets with the mouse, you gain control over each window within each screen.
Screens were developcd in the Amiga for handling multiple Windows that share the sanie graphies attri- butes. However, using multiple screens, you can have Windows with différent levels of resolution and color simultaneouslv displayed on the monitor. For example, you could divide the display into two horizontal screens. In the upper screen, you could have a spread* sheet in one window and a word processor in another, each running fourcolor, 640x200 resolution. In the lower screen you could have a business graphing pro- gram running in a window using 16-color. 320x200 resolution. Ail three programs will be running simulta- neouslv, in différent Windows, using différent colors and resolutions, This kind of multi-screen, multi-win- dow. Multi-resolution multi-tasking is completcly beyond the capability of other graphics windowing environments, such as Digital Research's GEM or Microsoft Windows.
Screens are controlled just like Windows, and any given screen can be one of four colors. They are dragged around, overlapped and uncoverecl by means of the two-button mouse. The onlv différence between a screen and a window is that screens can'i be horizon- tally scaled. ’l’he Amiga’s screens are actually of second- ary importance to you; the multiple graphies Windows are your main concern.
The Amiga User Interface usually defaults to Work- bench, which is both an application program and a screen. Workbench has a high resolution of 640 x 200 pixels, with a four color display. Most people will use this feature as a predefined screen, on which disks are opened and application programs are run.
Iconics and Command Line Interpréter
Icons are pictures representing activities that the computer perfdrms. These are gond for introducing you to a new system and for running turnkey opérations. You simply move a mouse around. Which in turn Controls a screen cursor. When the screen cursor is positioned on top of the appropriate icon, you press the button on the mouse and the desired action takes place. This obviâtes the need for typing in direct coin- mands and having to learn the spécifie svntax rules for each command.
However, what about the proficient user who may want to gain more direct control over the computer?
For him or lier, Workbench offers a full command line interpréter within each screen beneath the windowing system. With access to the command line, you can directly load and run a program from disk. You can control the entire operating system via direct com- mands issued at this command line, and il is available at any time within ail screens.
Each window is assigned its own menu containing its own particular text and graphies items. You can control
Multiple Windounng. Taken from a prelimimry version of the mer interface. Presenled to show the capability of the system.
Interacting with Amiga
B y fini Heid
cessor's icon with the mouse, tiien click the left button twice. To throw away an old mémo, you don’t type Del Mémo, as you would with an old*fashioned computer. Instead, you point to the mémo, and, while holding dovvn the left mouse button, you “drag” the mémo over to the trashean icon.
Imagine a world where télévisions have typewriter kevboards instead of the familiar tuner, volume control
and brightness knobs. And instead of turning the dials a task we learn at a frightfully young âge you have to type awkward, hard-to learn commands, like CHG CHNL(5) to change the channel and VOL UP(.56) to turn up the volume. To make things worse, every manufacturer uses différent commands for the saine tasks. Meaning that buying a new TV or just trying to work the one in the hôtel room involves learning a whole new set of commands.
You might chuckle at this imaginarv, kevboard-driven world. But it’s exactly where most personal computers corne from. Instead of letting you perform tasks you’re already used to, such as opening file drawers, throwing things in trash cans and pushing buttons, most computers force you to learn cryptic commands. Then sim* ply sit there with a blank screen and a blinking cursor, waiting for you to type something. It's 110 wonder that people are often intimidatcd by computers, and it’s not surprising that the majority of the work force doesn’i use them. How can a computer increasc your produc* tivity when you have to spend hours or months just learning how to use it?
Fortunately, the engineers at Commodore-Amiga real- ize that you shouldn't have to learn how a computer opérâtes to be able to use one. The resuit is the Amiga, one of a new breed of personal computers that Iets you work the way you’re used to working instead of forcing you to learn awkward commands. The Amiga séparâtes you from the technicalities of the computer, letting you concentratc on your work. It simplifies complex concepts by using a fast and easy-to-use two-button mouse in conjunction with sonie things that have always been worth qui te a few words pictures.
You’ve seen road signs that get their messages across using pictures, such as squiggly Iines beneath a car to indicate slippery conditions, or a truck angled downhill to indicate a steep grade. The Amiga uses pictures, or iconsT to represent disks, documents and applications prograins. To begin using a word processing program, for example, you don't have to type WP or sonie other strange command. Instead, you point to the word pro-
Menus and More
Icons are onlv part of the Amiga’s approach to sim- plifying computer use. Another equally important aspect is the pull-doum menu. PuIJ-down menus are lists of available commands that appear instantly when you click the mouse button on menu titles that appear along the top of the screen. For example, a typical Amiga application program might offer a menu titled Style. When you click on the word Style, a list of type style options appears Bold, Undcrline, Italie and so on. To choosc the style you want, you simply hold down the right mouse button and move the pointer down until the desired style is highlighted, then release the button. By contrast, most other computers offer menus, but instead of letting you point and click to make your choicc, they force you to type awkward commands, such as Control-PS.
Worse yet, other computers’ menus are often com- pletely différent from one program to another. One program might make you type E to edit a document, while another asks for the number 3. One program’s menus might appear at the bottom of the screen, while another’s might not appear at ail until you type a command. The software that créâtes menus was built into the machine by the Amiga’s engineers. This mcans every company developing software for the Amiga can create menus that look the sanie and operatc in the saine way using the mouse. The advantage? Once you’ve learned one program, you’re wcll on your way to learning others.
This consistency between programs is just ont* of the things that makes the Amiga so easy to use. In the future, we’ll examine these features in more détail.
Well also take a look back in time at some of the inno- vators who inspired the Amiga, like the people at Meta* comco, creators of AmigaDOS. (It’s interesting to note, for example, that many of the Amiga’s personality traits arcn’t new, but were developed in rescarch labs over twenty years ago.) So, stay with us the journey promises to be an exciting one. ¦
Jim Heid is a freelance writer who lias been covering microcomputers since 1978.
The menus within Workbench, Text and graphies are accommodaled within each menu. You can select what- ever items you want within a particular menu without having to return to a main menu. This is an advantage of the Amiga User Interface over others on the market.
There is only one active window that receives input from you. This window, highlighted on screen, détermines which menu will appear when you press the mousc’s “Menu Button.” Another feature of the Amiga User Interface is the use of submenus that appear if a selected menu item has further options available. A word processor window may have an option for font sélection on its menu; when selected, a submenu will appear, with options for ital- ics, underliiiing, boldface, etc.
I he Amiga doesn’t have a built-in programming lan guage; instead, it cornes with a disk-based version of Basic. There are several additional languages alrcady available that the Amiga supports. These include Pascal, Logo, C and Assembler. Much of the preliminary software development for the Amiga was done in C on other computer Systems. This computer is an open System, allowing for easy transportability of languages and programs.
The Amiga Keyboard
The Amiga has a détachable keyboard with 89 keys and a numeric keypad for easy large-scale data entry. It also has ten function keys across the top, which are available for ail kinds of software control. There are also two spécial Amiga keys to the left and right of the space bar (for resetting the System).
Also included on the keyboard are TAB, CTRL, two SHFT keys, two ALT keys, CAPS LOCK, four cursor- direction keys, a large return key, a help key, back space, DEL, ESC and a key.
When you buy the Amiga, you’ll get the keyboard and system unit, which houses the hardware and disk drive. To gel you going, you’ll also receive several disks holding various applications software programs.
On disk, you will get AmigaDOS, which contains the Amiga’s operating system and user interface. A tutorial program on how to use the machine is included, cre- ated under contract by Mindscape Software. You’ll also get the disk-based version of Amiga’s Basic (called AbasiC), a speech synthesis program that features maie and female voices and an unlimited vocabulary, and fmally, Amigascope, a rolling graphies demo from Electronic Arts.
You will have a choice of word processors when you buy the Amiga. If you’re a neweomer to computers, you’II probably want to purchase Textcraft, an entry- level word processor put out by Commodore-Amiga.
For more sophisticated word processing needs, The Software Group’s Enable Write word processor is available. This is one of the well-known applications pro- grams in the integrated commercial business package called Enable, which contains a word processor, a data- base, a spreadsheet, a télécommunications package and a graph program, £
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To take advantage of the graphies capabilities of the Amiga, you will want to get Graphicraft, created by Island Graphics, and if you like music, Musicraft, from Everyware, is a must.
Who Is the Amiga For?
The Amiga will overlap distinct marketing bounda- ries because it is such a versatile machine. First, the business market will be a primary target. Most people will find that the Amiga costs much less and offers much more than other currently available computers. Those who think the Macintosh is the greatest computer yct will fine’ that the Mac signîficantly pales beside the Amiga and not just because the Mac docsn’t offer color. The potential business applications of the Amiga have only begun to be imagined. The graphies
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Capabilities, compounded with the multi-tasking win- dowing environment and the ability to transform non- computerized photos and film clips into digitized color screens, make the Amiga a business machine like no other.
Not only will the business perso n benefit from the unique featurcs of the Amiga, but, more importandy, the low cost of this powerhouse will place the small business on a compétitive level with larger, wealthier tirms.
The Amiga will eventually move into the educational market for the same reasons that it is bound to penetrate the business scene. School Systems arc like small businesses and often can’t afford high-priced, high-performance teaching aids. The Amiga, in the hands of a good teacher, will totally redeftne the term computer-assisted instmetion.
Another market the Amiga will enter is that of profes- sional artists and musicians. This computer is the first to go beyond the clunky graphies and animation heretofore seen on personal computers, and in so doing, merits the admiration of the refmed eye and ear.
When you take a step back and look at ail the features of the Amiga, it is évident that this computer is much more than just another advance in computer technology. The Amiga is a new kind of machine that will encourage devel- opers and users to step beyond traditional ic.eas and rede* fine the world of microcomputing. I
Address ail author correspondence to Margaret Morabito, c o ArnigaWorld éditorial, 80 fine St., Peterborough, NU 03458.
Circle 23 on Reader Service card.
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The industry-standard Lattice 68000 C Compiler for the Amiga is available for IBM MS-DOS, PC-DOS, VM CMS and MVS TSO, DEC VAX VMS and VAX UNIX, and a variety of MC68000 UNIX and iAPX XENIX Systems. Lattice also provides an assembler, linker and librarian for each host system plus the appropriate file transfer software so you can move source and object code between the host and the microcomputer.
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How Borland’s Turbo Pascal " Found A Partner That Matches Its Amazing Speed.
Turbo Pascal meets the Amiga’". Turbo Pascal™hâtes to wait. With Turbo, it’s go fast’ or ‘go away’. So before we committed to becoming the exclusive Pascal programming language for Commodore’s new Amiga, we had to be sure that it was up to speed. It had to be fast and it is. 68000-based, with custom chips and graphies, Amiga doesrit dawdle. (In fact, Amiga’s speed is going to be a headache, a heartache and a headwind to the Compétition.)
We think Amiga will take off just like Turbo Pascal did. With more than 400,000 users world wide, Turbo Pascal has
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become a de facto standard and grown into a complété Turbo ‘family’. A family that now includes Turbo Database Tool box™ a Turbo Pascal enhancement with fast data access and sorting talents; Turbo Graphix Toolbox™ a set of
4585 Scotts Vàlley Drive, Scotts Valley CA 95066 Phone (408) 438-8400 Telex 172373 CompuServe - GO B0R
Turbo RasoiL'&itbo Ô ahàse 'Itxilbox, Turbo üraphix ToojbpjfiÇHÎ
IBM is a inxlemafk or Intentait «îuî Business Machines. Amiga Ls a trademark of Grmmodore lilc-ctrnnics OTX Texas lâÉmmchtà is a rrademark of Texas Insmimenis, hic I kwleti Packard is a ftedetnark of Hewlett Packard
NCR ls a truiernaris of NCR Cwp. Clrcle 13 on Reader Service card
graphies procédures keyed to business, scientific and engineering applications; and Turbo Tutor™ the one tutorial that will take beginners and make them experts, AND will even teach a few things to the experts!
Turbo Pascal and ail its associated tools, will be available for the Amiga in the fîrst quarter, 1986. It’s already implemented for the IBM PC
family and IBM-compatibles, and other microcomputers from Texas Instruments™, Hewlett Packard™, DEC™, Wang™, Apple® and NCR™.
When you’re faster than anyone else, you look for someone who can keep up with you. Turbo Pascal found Amiga.
I stood up straighter, lost my cynical sneer, gaped rather stupidly and elbowed my neighbors in the ribs. The Amiga had cracked my armor with sheer, naked power.
Cynicism and Séduction, Speed and Software
By John Pandaris
The Amiga is going to change the way American offices cio business, but no one yet knows just how. Fin AmigaWorld s business applications columnist, and I don’t know, either. In this column, we’ll follow the computer, its users and software compa- nies with luck, we’ll stay half a step ahead of them and find out.
Amiga Solutions won’t be strictly a business column in the sense of Honeywel! Mainframes and Fortune 500 accounting. I sold it to the editors as a “business personal productivity column,” to explore how people work with the Amiga, in settings rang- ing from corporate offices to homes, and the tools available for that work, fil try to land somewhere between “Amigas on Wall Street” and a random software roundup, but productivity will be a général topic.
That suits me because I’m a généralist, interested in how people use computers rather than in comparing the arctangent functions of WhizzoCalc Release H and AmeriCaic 2.10, Amiga Solutions will try to spot some trends or général directions in the Amiga support and software industry. Tve cvaluated products and pontificated on trends for half a dozen magazines, and l couldn’t resist getting in on the ground floor writh AmigaWorld.
Snubbing the Mac
I was also hired, 1 suspect, as the maga- zine’s résident conservâtive, or cynic, with no connections to Commodore or Amiga-
World's parent company, CWC P someone who’s formed a healthy respect for the IBM PC and its MS-DOS imitators, 1981 vintage technology though they are, and was im- pressed but not ga ga over the advent of Apple’s Macintosh.
The entrent phrase “power user” will fade as did the odious “user-friendly,” but its meaning makes sense in the MS-DOS w-orld. Once you learn eight or nine cryptic comrnands and divc into a huge pool of rarely simple software, you can do quite well with an antique PC. L’il be the first to admit that MS-DOS’ user interface (coniput- erese for how you work it) takes some learning, but I never tire of challenging Mac users to drag race: While Mac- Mouseketeers delete disk backup files, clîck- ing and dragging them one by one to a cute picture of a trash can, 1 can type del *.bak ten times,
The comparison is particularly unfair to the original (January 198-1) Macintosh, which challenged computing’s de facto standard writh barely a handful of available pro- grams and a bunch of hardware handicaps. Today’s 512K Mac, with outside companies’ hartl disks (and PC vendors’ prompt mouse- and-window additions to MS-DOS), have shown the value of easy instructions for powerful software. But the first Mac was best appreciated as a preview, a demo, a scratch-and-sniff ad instead of a bottle of perfume.
The 1984 Mac, to put it plainly, promised terrifie software, but it simply lacked the hardw-are to rival the mighty IBM. Apple’s ads, billing themselves as the inventors of the personal computer, are shameful lies, but the Mac team’s battle cry of an “in-
Photography by Michael Brown
The central concept of the Amiga s architecture is to preserve the 68000for the data-crunching it does best. Other support chips han- dle mundane chores, such as reading keyhoard input and stepping the disk mo- tor, leaving the 68000free for better things.
Sanely great" computer is mercly silly. Computers arc simply tools, and no computer is insanelv great. Bach, Hawthornc and lllet mignon may be insanelv great, but no computer deserves this accolade, especially not one with only 128K, no indusiry-siandard parai Ici primer port and a single disk drive, the latter only slightlv quicker than the Commodore (ifs infamous 1541, which “loads data faster than you can type it!"
Mv cvnicism was testcd on April 10, when AmigaWorld edi tors and 1 attencled a sneak preview of the Amiga at Commodore’s Pennsylvania lieadquarters. F.xcept for hav- ing only one built-in disk drive (880K on a microfloppy is fabulous. But single drives make vital file and disk backups a tiresome process), the Amiga looked impressive a nice keyhoard, lots of interfaces and expansion ports, a sharp display. To be exact, it looked like a PC and worked like a color Macintosh.
In order to keep the entry prie e low, Commodore has configured the basic Amiga as a 256K machine. It lias also priced the expansion up to 512K at only $ 200. So that, for any serions user, the machine will be typically configured as a 512K machine.
An Amiga engineer showed off the ultra* colorful graphies, the smooth movement and animation and the tnagniflcent sound and music with a program that turned the Amiga into a banjo, a snare drum and a ballpark organ. Dealers and writers oohed and aahed: The Amiga was clearly a perfor* mance-caltber musical instrument, a CAD (computer aided design) drafting system and the best arcade-game compuier ever designed.
Having awakened at 3:45 am to catch the plane, I was cranky and cynical: 'l'he microfloppy drive wasn’t as fast as an IBM hard disk, and we couldn’t tell how the Amiga would sound by itself, without big stereo speakers under the table (where. If il were my desk, they’d be kicked to death in a week). More important, what about every- clav applications? "Whafs the point?" I mut- tered to the writer beside me. “People doift use symphonie sound and animation. They use spreadsheets."
Then, blessedly silencing a booming, ani- mated bouncing bail, a second engineer said, "Now let’s turn to theoperating system and put sonie Windows on the screen,’’ and flicked two windows to and from the display as quicklv as he could tap the mouse button. I
stood up straighter, lost niy cynical sucer, gaped radier slupidly and elbowed my neigh- hors in the ribs. The Amiga had cra ked my artnor with sheer, naked power.
Ail computers are fast; alongwith detailecl accuracy, speed has been the machines’ raison d’etre since the barn-si e bailistîcs ploiters of World War II. Even primitive computers can perform calculations, format text and so on l'aster than any hunian or team of humans working by hand.
But the Amiga is blazing fast, eerilv fast. Preternaturally fast. I he Apple II beats an abacus and the IBM PC beats the Apple, but, watching the Amiga démonstration, ail I could think of was something I once saw during a sports car race at Connection s Lime Rock Park: A race-preparcd. Street-ille- gal. 500-horsepower Corvette thundering down the main straightawav. Slowing for the turn, and then being passée! From oui of no* where from the beginning of the straight, a quarter-mile behind by a knee-high, white, whirring Porsche ‘435 1 urbo. Other micros simply aien t in the Amiga’s class.
LeVs Get Technical
There are two reasons for the Amiga’s su- pet ior speed. The l u si is its Motorola 88000 CPU (central processing unit), the saine chip fourni in the Macintosh and scores of multi-user office Systems. I he 68000 han dles 32 bits of data at a titne, thougli it fini nels input and output at only 16 bits at a lime, l’he IBM PC’s Intel 8088, by contrast. Has half the capacity 16-bit data, 8 bit ad- dress and its définition of “at a time," the ticking clock rate that governs computing in tinv, discrète steps, is one-third slower.
But, powerful as it is. The 68000 isn’t the ultimate processor; Intel and Motorola have made advances, apparent in lBM’s ferocious PC AT and Applc’s rumored "1 urbo Mac." And no chip is quick enough to salisfy soft ware designers, who cry “Faster! Fasterï’’ with even more .cal than users like* me.
Such program mers have pioneered something that has become standard praclice in the PC world, and it's the second secret of Amiga’s success: cheating.
Part of it isn’t cheating so much as sensi- bly allocating resources; the racer who owned thaï Porsche Turbo didn’t use it for trips to the drugstore. I lie central concept of Amiga’s architecture is to preserve the 68000 for the data-crunching it does best. Other support chips lianclle mundane chores such as reading keyhoard input and stepping the disk motor, leaving the 68006 free for better things (like a mas ter chef who needn’t worry about arranging napkins and silverware).
L’he cheating part involves DMA (direct memory access), the trick of moving data through RAM while bypassing the normal CPU and input output channels. For putting information on the screen (“Go Directly To Video Port; Do Not Pass CPU”), il gives a speed bonus analogous to using a téléphoné bot line rather than going through a switchboard.
Il complicates matters if you’re trying ïo make hardware PC-compatible- you nnist map obscure byways as well as main roads but DMA lias been a staple of IBM software since program mers foiind the lim- its of the 8088 chip (it's fast, but not fast etiough for the likes of Lotus 1-2*3). And the Amiga combines the speed of the 68000
with massive amounts of direct meniory
The 68000 is aboveboard, but the Amiga’s top secrets are three custom chips code- named Agnes (animation), Daplme (graphies) and Portia (ports, Sound and peripheral control). Besides things Hke Portia’s four- voice sound hardware and mouse joystick interface, they contain 26 DMA channels plus an additional microprocessor, called the “copper" (part of Agnes, it’s the main mechanism for controlling the other two chips, freeing the 68000 from nearly ail the work of redrawing the display and updating audio channels),
The rnost important DMA channel, also part of Agnes, is called the “blitter” a circuit designed to draw lines and copy screen display data, moving or animaiing images faster than thc general-purpose 68000 could. Nevcr mind that il inakes gee-whiz arcade games; the important thing about the blitter is that it runs Windows, desktop or workbencli environments, through hardware instead ofsluggish software. If the ni les for shuffling Windows and menus are like frequently used phone numbers, Amiga has them memorized. Slower Systems, like a PC running Digital Research’s G KM, have to look them up.
It’s this hot-rod hardware that inakes the Amiga quicker than the Macintosh and even the PC AT, both of which nnist process graphies, sound and Windows through their CPUs. Combine the Amiga’s dedicated design with the fact that computers are swift anyway (they yawn and idlc between fast typists’ keystrokes), and you can see why I elbowed my ncighbors at the démonstration.
Do you think Km exaggerating about yawning during pauses? This 68000 chip
spends half its lime doing internai opérations instead of addressing meniory, so it works at full speed, altbough Amiga engi- neers only allocated it every other dock cycle (the discrète steps I mentioned) during the constant, TV-style process ol redrawing thc display screen. Plie odd cycles go to clisk and audio and displav DMA, and the 68000 niust share the even cycles with the copper and blitter, which can hog cycles during especially complex or colorful animation, the one lime it apprcciably slows or handicaps the CPU.
Even under these c ire u instances (wliat the developers’ tech manual cheerfully calls “nasty mode”), the Amiga should manage to add your spreadsheet before you lose patience. A clock cycle takes 280 billiontlis of a second, and there are 226 of them during each horizontal scan of a line of screen dots.
Your s for the Tasking
By now, you must realize that the Amiga chips delegate so mueh responsihility that the CPU is left with only part-time work.
Most of the time, in most applications, the 68000 will he as underworked as a circus strongman tearing a Klecnex.
To remedy this waste of power, here’s the second thing that impressed me in Pennsyl- vania: You can assign the Amiga multiple jobs, running more than one program at once. To use jargon, the Amiga is a multi- tasking computer (not to be confused with imilti-user Systems, which let peuple at différent terminais share a CPU). In fact, it’s more multi-tasking than you are, or than you’ll need it to be.
This reflects a concept that, unlil Amiga, has been more commun than truc multi- tasking among personal computers: fore- ground and background tasks. Priuting a long document, for instance, is often turned into a background task by a spooler (an ac- ronym for simultaneous peripheral opérations on line), an area of meniory or a separate box that takes the document in one gulp so the computer is free for other work. “Desk accessories,” made popular hy the Macintosh and followed by PC products like Borland lnternationafs SidcKick, let you call up notepads or calcula tors while using a program. The next release of AmigaDOS will incorporate more of these desk accessory functions to exploit the multi-tasking capabilities of the Amiga, thereby enhancing personal productivity.
No doubt many Amiga owners will use multi-tasking in this simple way; l’il proba- bly play Pôle Position while priniing future columns. But multiple Amiga programs, even thosc in Windows overlapped or completel)' hidden by the one you’re using, W
Because of the Amiga ’s speed, multi-tasking operating system, its ability to address 12 times the memory of the PC and 2.5 times that of the AT, and its hardware and software support for hard disk and tape back-up units, the A miga is uniquely positioned to fulfill the needs of the business zuorld at a price that has the compétition trembling.
Integrated software is a crusade, in which the Holy Grail is a blank sheet of paper: a screen on which computer users can do anything, in any combination, they might do with a pad and pencil. Scribble some words near the top, put a graph in the middle, tally a table at the bottom, print it outjust so.. . Its a gloriously simple idea, but il 5 hard enough to break a programmer5 heart.
Don’t wail in the faackgrouncl like calcula- tors. They’re fully opération»], ail funciions active, as il running by ihemselves.
As far as they'rc concerned, they are. To quote the tech manual, each multi-tasked program has a “virtual terminal," meaning that the software thinks it has a keyboard, monitor and CPU of its own. Il I calI you on the phone while you’re editing a report, you can switch your attention to me often enough, say “Mm hmm” at the ends of my sentences, to make me think I bave your undivided attention. To fool computer pro- grams, you have to switch very fast, indeed.
The End of Intégration?
The business environment is a hungry environment. The original IBM PC was intro- duced in the fall of‘81 in a 16K version with a cassette port; it was the needs of powcr users that eventually clrove IBM to introduce the XT and AT. A comparison of the Amiga with the PC AT is useful. The AI' can address 8 megabytes (mb) of memory; the Amiga can address 8 mb. The AT is the only micro in the IBM line that supports multi-tasking under MS-DOS 3.0. The Amiga also supports multi-tasking. The AT has hardware and software support (e.g., support hierarchical file directory) for a hard disk, So does the Amiga.
The AT, however, obviously cannot provide any of the advanced graphies, animation or sound capabilities that make the Amiga so exciting for vertical markets, especially design environments and the Creative arts.
Because of the Amiga’s speed, multi-tasking operating system, its ability to address 12 times the memory of the PC and 2.5 limes that of the AT, and its hardware and software support for hard disk and tape back-up units, the Amiga is uniquely posi- tioned to fulfill the needs of the business world at a price that has the compétition trembling.
Commodore has said that the Amiga is the first in a family of products based upon the sanie technology given the enormous capabilities of the Amiga’s architecture, it is easy to imagine how subséquent versions of the Amiga could be configured to meet the spécial needs of the business community even more directly. The only missing piece in the Amiga’s hardware strategy for business is networking and télécommunications, which Commodore has said it will address in the first lialf of 1986.
How we use multi-tasking, what différence it will make from clay to day, will be one topic PU follow in this column. We’ve found the obvious uses already to sort a lengthy list or reccive télécommunications information while working on something else but it’ll be fun to look for more, to relate the Amiga’s polential to what is bu- manly possible.
'fhe Amiga can, but I can’t, use a spreadsheet and write a letter at the saine moment. But Pd like to have both available and flip between them (though not as often as every 280 nanoseconds), and Pd like to refer to spreadsheet data in my letter. This, though it may be cut-and-paste instead of true multi-tasking, is where I suspect the Amiga will shine, and where il may make its most signiflcant impact aside from graphies and sound. It represents the triumph of dedicatcd applications and the demise of integrated software.
Integrated software is a crusade, in which the Holy Grail is a blank sheet of paper: a screen on which computer users can do anything, in any combination, they might do with a pad and pencil. Scribble some words near the top, put a graph in the middle, tally a table at the bottom, print it ou! Just so... ifs a gloriously simple idea, but ifs hard enough to break a programmer’s heart.
Ovation, an MS-DOS package that genu- incly seemed to grasp the “blank page" concept, sent critics into eestasy in late 1983 previews and dragged its vendor into oblivion a year later, having never quite beaten its bugs or rnade it to the market. Titans clashed last summer: Lotus’s Sym- phony versus Ashton Pate’s Framework.
The latter won ail around, while the former look the spreadsheet event, but neither one has set the world 011 fire.
What’s good about integrated software is its versatility, such as the freedom to splice spreadsheet rows into text files. What’s bad is that there has never been an integrated package whose functions are as good as sin- gle-purpose programs. The “one big program’’ that Ovation promised to be is as distant as Einstein’s unified field theory; integrated packages are still mainly separate programs tacked together. And, as long as they’re buying separate programs, people want the best ones.
Nobody buys Lotus 1-2*3 for its database function, an awkward imposition of filing 011 a spreadsheet format. Some buy it for its graphies, a spreadsheet adjunct valuable enough to tolerate a separate program and disk-swapping for printing. But most buy it because it’s a big, fast, excellent spread- sheet. Given the power to have several pro- grains instantly available without starting and stopping, FM wager Amiga owncrs will choose individual excellence over inte* grated compromise. In effect, Amiga own- ers, nsing the machine’s multi-tasking capabilities, will be able to create their own integrated packages using whatever combinations of individual programs they choose.
Some things will have to be worked out, of course. AmigaDOS bas a cut and paste clipboard like the Mac’s; software compa- nies must support it, with a common format for swapping material between applications. Separate programs probably won’t let you play "what-if” games right up till printing time, though it would be idéal if changing the spreadsheet on page 2 auto- matically redrew the graph on page 5. Integrated software fans complain that learning différent programs is a chore; presumably, Amiga commands will be at least similar, with the mouse and menus. Bcsides, thousands of folks use 1-2-8 and Wordstar, which haven’l a command in common.
Circle 30 on Reader Service caïd.
The early dcadline has made this an atyp* ical column; Fve indulged my love of tech- nical explanations and sweeping generalities, but I haven’t had the chance to test any Amiga software. Fil have more to say about software in the future, though, preferably in conjunction with an exciting new product that AmigaWorld has promised me first crack at. If ifs available, if 11 be the star of next issue's column; if not, I should at least have gained more hands-on experience to back my windy généralizations.
Once we learn about its site and strategy in a Big Blue world, we can turn to the Amiga as a star in its own right: a machine that can not only do brand-new things (e.g., using voice synthesis as part of a super télécommunications system or presenting hoardroom démonstrations with animated graphies, music and narration), but that will
also let us do traditional things in brand- new ways. Ifs not insanely great, but ifs the most impressive microcomputer hardware Fve seen. Fin looking forward to writing about it.
Writing, that is, with a word processing program, working on one document in one window. Fin a conservative about some things. ¦
Address ail author correspondence to John Pandaris, ch AmigaWorld éditorial, 80 Pine St., Peterboroagh, Nfl 03458.
FATIO WARI*. , produccrs ot MUSICRAI* 1T", the qualtiy music program for the new ÀmigaT* Computer, would like to take this opportunity to congratulatc Commodore and the team at Amiga for a job well done.
SOUNDS GOOD TO US. . .
Lo lind oui more about our producis for the Amiga. Fill out the form Mo». For a charter subscript ion to our newsletter, enclose S 12.00 U.S. (SIH.iM forcign). You will learn aboui sound and graphies lips and iricks plus ail the late hreaktng new*. About the Amiga HURRY and take advantage of this introductoiy offer.
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Kither you already own an Amiga personal computer, or von are thinking about buying one. Why? Probably for a number ol rcasons. Computers of any sort can be valuable mois for writing, storing information, télécommunications, gaines and luindreds ol other things. But whv an Amiga? 1 lie price is a definite plus. Not many other computers can offer even a quarter ol the Ami ga's features at twice the price.
The Amiga can do ail the things that other personal computers can do, onlv faster, better and chcaper. The Amiga can address more inemory (and can therefore run larger spreadsheets) thaï) the IBM PC. It’s casier to use and offers far more features than the Macintosh. And, the traditional database management, word pro- cessing, accounting, inventory controlling, mailing lists, telecornmunicaiions, forecasting, mocleling, simulations and number crunching can ail be handled with the Amiga. And you never have to take it for walks,
The graphies capabilities of the Amiga are far be- vomi anv other computer costing under S20,000, and the sound and musical qualifies are also reinarkahle. The 68000 chip is a powerful proeessor, ahle to leap tall calculai ions in a single keystroke, but there are other capabilities of this machine that are not quile so easy to sec,
Wiih the MIDI interface scheduled to be ont sonie- time in 1980, the Amiga will be ahle to interface with the inosi advanced electronic musical instruments. Combine this with the alreadv impressive array ol musical instruments and sounds buth into the Amiga. And vou have the abilitv lo orchestrale a tnusician s dream iif s nihcsi ed, prolessional quality inusic. Ail for well below sound studio priées.
With that kind of sound etliting and généraling equip- meut available at a rcasonable cost. The Amiga should spark renewed interest in music from a dassical stand- point. People will be more inclined to buy ihemselves and their chiblreu electronic keyboards, drums and syn* ihesi .ers. with software t « » help tliem learn, at a price less than a second-hand piano. The Amiga could also influence the music of the future. Civen the ability to générale custoin soumis and even custom “instruments,” the Amiga looks like a strong candidate as the new musi cian’s tool of choice, expanding the "one-inan-band” concept far beyond what anyone thought was possible.
Companies working on music software are also going to bring new turus to the world of sound and music. Peuple will be able to create pièces that cannoi be played with anything other than a computer. We’ll hear mélodies so complex that no human fmgers could work fast cnough, on strings or keys, to play them. But the Amiga will play them perfcctly every lime.
The Amiga’s built-in voice synthesis will change the way vve use computers. There have already been a few pioneering software and hardware manufaciurers who have worked on the intégration of voice and software, but now that il is within easy reach of anyone with an Amiga, 1 think that there will be sonie lemarkable things doue in many areas. The edueaiional aspects of a talking computer, combined with sonie innovative teaching prograins (not just drill-and-practice exercises), menus that stuclents will be able to learn new languages at their own rate, learn how to reacl and write, have the computer teach them about computers or any of a thousand other things. It’s not hard to loresee a lime in the near future (one or two years at most) when the Amiga as a tutor will supplément public school teacliers in many areas where personali .ed instruction is préférable to a classroom environment.
But the graphies. Ah.. .the graphies! The Amiga is going to out-shine any and ail in this area, and Amiga owners are about to take the rides of their lives into a new world of interactive animation, sounds and colors, streaming by in an arcade-like blast or drilling leisurely in detailed splendor, matched only by Disney and bis artists. The Amiga can do ail this and more, il asked.
Illustration by Matthew Foster
Ah. . . The graphies! Amiga owners are about to take the rides of their lives into a new world of interactive animation and color.
And peuple will ask. There is fïnallv an afforahle computer than can do the kinds of things thaï software designers have concocted in their imaginations, but haven’t heen aide to exécuté with existing hardware. Gaines conceived and written long ago, which were lefï on the drawing board, will fïnallv see the light of a color monilor thanks lo the Amiga.
Digging a hit deeper into the Amiga is like owning an expensive car for the fïrst time. There are plein of hidden features and little things, which show that some- one has taken liis time in designing this machine. Ail of this adds up to more than anything else on the market.
The peuple who huy Amigas for office or home use will probable not encounter things huih into the Amiga to provide software and hardware manufacturées with open architecture and an easv programming environment. For a developer, having full access to the f»S(KIO luis through the expansion port and direct memory access of up to eight megahytes are just iwo éléments of Amiga design that make the machine spécial. Other outstanding features include the custom VLSI chips, which handle such things as graphies, color, animation, music and speech synthesis.
Program mers have tlu* option to develop on liost machines, like the IBM PC!, Sun Systems or on the Amiga as a host computer, and easily couvert Apple Macintosh software to run on the Amiga. Bv making use of hardware drivers for the screen. Input output f unctions, etc., and a large library of ROM routines. The ROM library is also a clever way t > ensure compatihility with future versions of the Amiga. They may add new chips and features to the next génération of Amigas, but thev plan to keep the sanie ROM calls, entrv points and re- sults. (luirent software will run on a next-generation Amiga. Even if the software docsn't make use ol ail ihe new features that Commodore might cook up,
A multi-tasking opéraiing system, Windows, variable color and screen resolutions, icons, pop-dovvn menus, a two hutton mouse and other standard features ol the Amiga add to the developer's iist of reasons for want* ing to work on the Amiga. The fart that the Amiga is the fïrst fullv dcveloped multi-tasking personal computer below the Unix environment is enough incentive for tnany developcrs. But apart front the built-in hardware honuses, there is another non-hardware plus in working with the Amiga the company itself. Mauv de- veiopers have said that they aregettinga gréai deal of support and expert advice in ahnost everv tïclcf from the peuple ai Commodore-Amiga. This is going to make quite a différence to everyone working on new products.
Ludirectlv, these factors will have an impact on the test of us mortals who will he using the machine. Sinec the Amiga is such an attractive computer for developcrs of software and hardware, many new products will appear on retailers' shelves, Sincc tlte Amiga lias features thaï no other computer can offer, developcrs will he cxploring the boimd.tries of the machine. Like the software writers who have heen kicking ideas aroimcl for a long time but couldn'i implemetu them
,v Prevûere I9S5
because of hardware limitations, there are also hardware manufacturers who bave had ideas for péri plierais that only now can bc put into action,
The Amiga is a challenge for them in many ways. Since the machine will be priced lower than any other machine with similar features, hardware and software manufacturers will have to try to keep prices down. As a resuit, this should bring a numbcr of products into a broader market. Products that were previouslv soltl ex- clusively to small numbers of people using expensive computers can now be sold to a wider range of users.
Sonie of these pbenomena ont of the niuhi-million dollar sound studios and into homes, ideo animation and spécial effects will not be restricted to Hollywood productions, such as Star Yvars and TROX. Refore long, il won’t cost a fortune to créa te your own “high-tech” spécial effects or make your own MTV videos. Digitized images printed on T-shirts won’i be a shopping mall noveltv for long.
Of course, there won’t be many people who will want to do ail of these things with their Amigas, but there will be thousands of people who will buy the computer
Not only will this spur the development of new kiiuls of software and hardware, but it will also mean that more people will see some of the work that lias alrcady been done on much more expensive machines. Com- puter-Aided Design and Computer-Aided Engineering software bas been a round for a few years, but mosi of the really remarkable things that have been done in these areas haven’t been seen by the majority of personal computer owners.
Electronic niusic has exploded with new. Sophisti- cated breakthroughs, and now the Amiga will bring
Illustration by Jack Haeger
for one or two of these reasons. The vertical markets are where the Amiga will shine.
Anv business will tlnd that an Amiga is a worthwhile investment. If nothing more, the Amiga, with a business graphies package, will produce pmfessional quai il v charts and graphs in minutes. Enter the values and click a hutton, and you have a bar chart ail 11 lied in and readv to print. Not quite what you had in mind? Click the button a few more times, and vou have a pie chart, an exploded pie chart and an exploded three- dimensional pie chart. Ail within a few moments oi sit- ting down at tlit- machine. The Amiga produces clean, sharp, professional-quality reports, papers and proposais. And if the boss doesn't like it. A few minutes on the Amiga is ail it takes to change the report. Anything that
"Quitc s impi y, this package bas so many outsranding atcributes that even the worsc skeptics ofintegrated software have to be imprcsscd. The spreadsheet is very close to 1-2-3; the word processor combines the best thinking of WordStar, MultiMate, Volkswriter, and EasyWriter; the data base offers the functionality of dBASE II, but with many of the ease-of-use features of PowerBase; and the program offers business graphies and télécommunication. Taken as a whole, Enable surpasses the functionality of Symphony Framework, Aura and Open Access”
IBM PC Update December, 1984
Enable is everything Symphony hoped to be!’
“... as powerful as a collection of stand-alone programs, and it offers the benefits of intégration to boot. Whats more, it runs in only 192K bytes of memory" ComputerWorld
March 20, 1985
“Offering true intégration among ail of its applications modules... [Enable is] a powerful production tool that can serve everyone in the office, from data entry personnel to the vice-president of marketing. Each module could stand as a full-powered application in its own right'.'
Pebruary 19. 1985
“Enable is one of those programs that can be up and running with most of the features you need in a few hours. As you need more, you can get deeper into the program and learn at your own pacce InfoWorld January 21. 1985
Enable First in “Performance" rating including speed and capacity of ail modules tested. Enable first in
"Versatility" rating-inciuding power and functionality of ail modules tested. Enable rated first in overall évaluation of the word processor module.
Software Digest Ratings Newsletter Rating of 15 Integrated Products December, 1984
PC Magazine Februaty 19, 1985
"Enable, a five-function integrated System from The Software Group, merits a close look by any individual or organization interested in a solid package that is well balanced in ail of its applications"
March, 1985, Paul Goldner, RaymondHood,
Yoram Lirtzman, Michael Wilding
" ... if an office is looking to step up to across-the-board intégration with a multitude of fonctions.., this is the one program to seriously consider'.’
"Enable welds its five applications together with outstanding integrity yet each is exceptionally full- functioned in its own righr’.’
Business Computer Systems
"Enable... may be the lirst program to make you give up your dog-eared WordStar, dBASE II, Smartcom and Lotus 1-2-3 disks'.'
“Enable may legitimately claim to be the only package you’11 ever need”
Computer Buyers Guide and Handbook
Integrated software is no longer a matter of choosing which compromises
to live with.
©Copyright 1985, The Software Group, Nonhuay Ten Executive ftark. Baliston Lakc, New York 12019
Trademarks Erable The Software Group, IBM PC. IBM AT International Business Machines Corp.: Volk-Writer Ijforce Software. Inc.; EasyWiter Information l'nlimited Software, Inc ;
Wordstar _ MicroPro Iniemational Corporaiion: dBASE II, dBASE III. Framework AshlorvTâte: Symphony, l 2 3. Lotus lit us Development Corporation; MuIriMatc Sofiwofd Systems, Inc.; Aura Softrend. Open Access - Software Products International. Inc ; Smartcom Hâves Micrueompuef Products. Inc., T 100 Digital Equipment Corporation; Powerftasc Pnwcrliase Systems
Circle 15 on Reader Service card.
- 4 requires charts, graphs, diagrams, illustrations and even pictures, can be donc on the Amiga. With a video caméra and a frame grabber, complété repair manuals could be cornposed in-house. Complété with labels, ar- rows. Footnotes. Etc. The Amiga can go ail thc way from eye-grabbing bulletin board messages to multi volume publications.
But you Te not limiied to the printed page, either. Imagine a présentation where graphs change over time, where you can show the “what ifs” of a changing mar- ket or product, a new idea, an improvement, an altération. An add-on to existing machinery or changes in personnel or office space. Alt of this can be doue in color and data can be changed in minutes.
The Amiga will be an incredible "what if” machine in planning. The machinery in a manufacturing plant or living room furnitiire can be arrangée! On-screen first. You can arrange thc pièces of a puzzle, any si .e puzzle, from scramblcd words to arrangements of charmed quarks. Designing can be a certain, carefully calculaled, one engincer affair or the collaborative brain-storming of a committee. Ail donc with a mouse, digitizing tahlet or light pen quickly, deanly and with
the option of starting over or printtng ont the results on hard copy, color hard copy, slides or videolape.
Designers of anything will fmd that the Amiga. With the right software, is the ultimate design processor from the initial inspiration to the fïnished product. Yiriually anything can be designed with the Amiga machinery, clothing, electronic circuits, parts for anything, doilies, cabinets, toys, weapons, cars, vacations, bicycles, larrot cards, greeting cards, business cards, story hoards, game boards, diving boards, emery boards, board rooms, flow charts, océan charts, three-ditnensional cliarts and maps, wall charts, etc.
With the Amiga's easily accessible, buih-in speech syn- thesis, self-docmnenting software will become sell-explain- ing software. The nuisic and sound features will be a boon for perfot mers, composers, audio-philes. Audio engineers, jingle writers, svmphony writers. Radio stations, télévision stations, recording studios, record compatîtes, language labs in schools, musical instrument manufacturées, nuisic video producers and movie producers. We'll ail rise for oui national anthem played on an Amiga, send singing Amiga- grams (electronically), make sound tracks for home vicleo, record téléphone messages, use talking alarnis and security Systems that can call the police or fire department, and so on and on....
Lin just having a Iiule bit of fini here, hut everytliing mcnlioned is not only possible, but probable. Look around you. Just about evcryihing you sec could have bec il désignée! Using an Amiga. Just about anything on paper could have hecn produced with an Amiga. |ust about everytliing you sec on TV could be cnhancetl us- ing an Amiga. There are other computers thaï can do thèse things. And there are some computers that can outperform the Amiga in certain are as, but there isn't a computer aiiyvvhere that can match the Amiga fcaturc for feature, at anv pricc (let alone the Atnigas priée).
I he Amiga is a launchitig pad for hardware, software and a score of things that haven’t been invented yet.
Some people may never do more than write memos with the Amiga. While many more will scc the possibili- lies and begin explorations. If this is ail a bti too niucli to swallow then take half a step backward. At the vers minimum, the Atniga is siate of the art. A vers goocl computer at a vers' good pricc. Ifs easy to use, there’s a solid company behind it and enough software to put the machine through its paces in half a dozen application areas. Ifs upgradable, cxpandable and not had looking. Have I l'orgotten anything? ¦
Address ail author correspondence to Guy Wright, c o AmigaWorld éditorial, 80 Fine St., Peterhorough, A7 03-158.
Illustration bv Island Graphics , •
We had the Amiga set a table Jilled with graphies appetizers and visual 1 delicacies to give you a taste of form, | shape and color. Bon appétit! J
Somehow, “amazing graphies” doesn’t say enough about the Amiga’s visual capabilities. It’s like saying Bach was an audio engineer or Shakespeare was just a manipulator of text. But the Amiga does have amazing graphies and when reading about it, you’ll encounter that phrase a number of times.
Since the Amiga’s graphies are such a prédominant feature, there will be numerous référencés to the 4,096 différent colors available; the 640x400, 640x200 (with 16 colors) and the 320x200 (with 32 colors) resolution modes; the seven layers of sprites; and the dedicated graphies chips that make high-speed animation possible (without using any of the 68000’s impressive speed).
And there'll be talk of bit blitters, NTSC video output, frame grabbers and gen lock add-ons (pianned for the future).
But what does ail this mean to the user in the home or office? (How many colors do you need for a data- base or spreadsheet, and just what is a frame grahber anyway?) It ail boils down to you guessed it amazing graphies. Take the pièces a few at a time.
First, 4,096 colors. That doesn’t take much explain- ing. There are only a few personal computers anywhere that can match that number. You won't be able to put ail 4,096 colors on the screen at one time with the basic Graphicraft package, but you’ll be able to put any 32 of those colors on the screen at once. And with a small aïnount of programming wizardry, you can expect to sec commercial programs using hundreds (maybe thou* sands) of colors ai one time. (A quick note: Island Graphics, the company that developed Graphicraft, is working on some advanced graphies programs that will make ail other graphies programs look like paint-by- numbers.)
What about the resolution modes? In the case of graphies, the higher the resolution the more pixels in a matrix the better. A pixel is a dot on the screen; it
can be the size of a period or larger. It’s the différence between drawing with a fine-point pen or drawing with a magic marker. And, by the way, low resolution on the Amiga (320x200) is the highest resolution achievable on most other home computers.
What about sprites? A sprite is a block of graphies information that the computer treats as a single unit.
For instance, if you want the letter A printed on the screen, the computer goes to a rnaster list of characters, pulls oui the pattern of dots necessary to form the letter and puts the whole block pattern on the screen. A sprite is just a larger version of a character-block pat- tern. The advantage is that you don’t have to keep drawing the saine object over and over each time you want to rnove it around the screen. You just instruct the computer to draw it in a particular place, then issue rnovement commands to place it wherever you want.
The result is f'aster and smoother animation.
But that isn’t where the idea stops. Sprites are usually one size when defined (or added to the rnaster list) and even though the computer can expand the size of a sprite vertically or horizontally, what happens when you want something larger and more detailed? You could combine sprites to form larger images, but the Amiga is more versatile, letting you define any size area as a block, which the computer treats as a sprite, so you can rnove it around on the screen as you like. To accom- plish this feat, the Amiga uses something called a blit- ter. To put it simply, the blitter moves blocks of information around in the computer very quickly and bit by bit, if you wish.
On top of these sprites and blocks and bit blitters, there are priority levels (where sprites can pass in front of or behind other sprites) and even transparencies (where you can sec through sections of sprites and view objects that pass behind them). Ail of these spécial effects are done without bothering the 68000 chip, so the 68000 can worry about other tasks, such as calcuiating the angles of refraction in an optical modeling simulation; the graphies chip will handle the actual display of a lens being rotated through intersecting, multîcolored laser beams. ?
A P H l C S
The lasi few add-ons mentioned above, the gen lock and frame grabber, wouldn’t be possible if the Amiga weren’t up to NTSC standards (NTSC is a télévision standard in this country). A gen-locking device lets you mix video signais (don’t ask me how), and a frame grab- ber can take a single video trame, digitize it and feed it into the computer, So what? So take your home video tape recorder and superimpose graphies and titles over your newest product as it rolls off the assembly line, or take a single frame of your Aunt Mande, draw a mus* tache on lier (or airbrush it ont if she already has one) and print the results on your primer.
Much Ado About., .Much
Ail these fancy features mean that, graphically, the Amiga can do it sharper, faster, easier, in more détail, with more colors and in more ways than any other single computer ever made. If you just want to draw pic- tures, the Amiga gives you more options than any other personal computer. If you want to see outstanding animation, the Amiga, right oui of the box. Will out-per- form anything in its class.
Airsickness bags ïncluded with flight simulator software? Exploded, 3-D, color pic charts? No problem.
Prenions page: The Mandrill. A digitized photograph showing the range of colors and détail possible on the Amiga. Above: Basic circle, triangle, square and Unes. Right: Any thickness of line, brush stroke or pattern can be combined ivith varions graphie tools such as ellipses, curves, circles, etc.
flow about a videotaped walking tour of an assembly ine? You can freeze the frames, label items with clean urows and descriptions and even add graphies. Print ut thèse frames and include them in a report or train- ng tnanual. Why do you need graphies capabilities in a msiness? YvcII, how much do you want to show that :an’t be donc on a normal typewriter? How much time )r inoney have you spent on training, charts, graphs, présentations, logos and designing?
Croate your own ads, logos, charts, graphs, illustrated e ports, music videos and store dispiays. The Amiga is i design proeessor for visual images when words aren’t mough.
These pages are just the tip of a verv large, very col- rnful iceberg. Ail done on an Amiga. Ail designed to how you a sampling of the graphies possible on this nachine. In later issues, wc'II continue to look at and
• xplore the Amiga's graphies in more détail, but to lart, wc thought we’d just touch on sonie of the fea- tires. Let the Amiga do a little showing off for the cam-
• ras. Flip a page or two and see what we mean.
Yve don’t really need to say it again, but what the icck. The Amiga has amazing graphies! H
Right: Freehand color cycle using largest brush stroke. Opposite page, top left: Pentagon doue with a three-dot brush. Opposite page, bottom left: Color cycle airbrush with dotted Une.
Above left: Largest airbrush strokes urith selected colors, Above right: One-point Jixed triangles using smaü airbrush stroke. Left: One-point jixed color cycle Jïlled triangles.
Opposite page, bottom: Beginning to put it ail together. This page, top: Octagons with shades of blue color cycling. Left: Color cycle fïlled rectangles with solid squares and linear rectangle.
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Stimulating Simulations: Electronic Arts Gets Involved with the Amiga
By Jim Forbes
Entertainment is serions business for Electronic Arts, which boasts some of the best Amiga programs and programmées. Find ont how the company’s unique attitudes and innovative stratégies are keeping everyone happy.
How niany times have you wondered who programmée! Your favorite software package? Perhaps you've wondered how long it took to develop your favorite program or how it evolved. In most cases, those questions will remain unanswered, unless you are look- ing at a program from Electronic Arts.
Electronic Arts, located in San Mateo, California, dc- velops a variety of entertainment and personal produc- tivitv software for the Commodore 64, Apple II. Atari and recently, the Amiga from Commodore. According to Trip Hawkins, the company's founder and président, Electronic Arts is dedicated not only to heing a highly successful business, but also a place where programmer are thought of as artists, The resuit: programmers, or artists, have heen ftocking to Electronic Arts to work on software for the new Amiga.
Ai a time when “legitimate” software companics, funded with millions of dollars in venture capital, are struggling to carve shrinking niches in the market for “serions business" software, Electronic Arts has heen concentrating its efforts on interactive entertainment and personal productivité and it appears to he doing ver y well.
The company is best known for gaines like Bill Budgets Pinhall Construction Set and One-on-One, a busketball game. According to Hawkins, a quiet native Californian, "Cames are fun. They’re what we’ve built oui* réputation on and what we’ll continue to build oui
future on. I ’herc's ahsolutely nothing wrong with Corning home and playing games on a computer. . . I think the Amiga is the best computer Eve ever seen for enteriaimnem."
Apparenlly, both the programmers under conlract to Electronic Arts and the customers agree. Kepeatedly, gaines produced hv a varying staff of artists, backed by the administrative talents of Electronic Arts personnel, have found their way to the top on lists that record the sales performance of varions sof tware packages.
Thetefore, ifs not surprising that Commodore turned to Electronic Arts early this year for innovative programs that would educate and entertain and help scll the Amiga to consumées who vvant a computer for creativity and productivity.
New, inexpensive disk-based entertainment software for the Amiga will sliortlv be on shelves throughout the country, Hawkins proudlv points to a lis! Of I 1 existing programs that arc ncaring completion and promises at least four others within a few months. Sonie of the cur- rent tilles heing packaged for the Amiga include: Ai- chou. One-on-One. Seven Cities of Cold, Skyfox and Stai'flighî. New tilles include a variety of cockpit adven- ture simulations with graphies and excitement that ex- ceeds arcade machines.
The programmers who are joining Electronic Arts to work on the Amiga arc "serions protessionals,” says Hawkins. “They view development for the new7 machine as an incredîble challenge. Ifs a lot more complex than a Commodore 64 or Apple 11, but it has the types of features that many programmers have wanlcd for a long lime."
The need for récognition, as well as the challenge of working wilh a new personal computer, are delïnite incentives to working for Electronic Arts. However, most programmers who work there seem reluctant to admit they were attracted hy the prospect of heing treated like a “star.” Instead, they cite as their inain attraction a quiet type of profession al ism in which they can heller concentra te their efforts.
Bill Budge has been under contract with Electronic Arts for iwo vears. He says, "the company has good people and a vision lhat 1 share. But more imporlantly,
The Development Team. IfocÀ rou) standing: from left to right: Mike Wallace, Dan Silva, Eddie Dombrower, John MacMillan, Steve Hayes, Jerry Morrison, David Maynard; Back row seated, from left to right: Dave BoultoJi, Glenn TenneyrJeff Johannigman, Anne Westfall, Jon Freeman, Steve Shaw; Seated front: Bob Campbell, Greg Riker
il éliminâtes the need loi me to market, sell, package and promote my own product. This frees me for what I do hest programming. The tvpes of arrangements Electronic Arts lias with its contract artists also helps die artists foc us on the right products. Il acts as a kind ot 111 tei for the créative process”
A more recent addition to the Electronic Arts' lineup is Jcff Hrown. A vétéran Apple employée who worked for the 32-bit Macintosh and Lisa personal computers from the time of their inception. Brown signed with Electronic Arts hecause they werc willing to "bet on people." Brown stops far short when it cornes to being called. Or treated, like a star. Tin a craftsman, and I do the best job I know how. I sought them oui and they si ed me up. La ter, they offered me a contract to de- velop a program for the Amiga that will be known as Music Manuscript. I suppose the real reason 1 joined their team, though, was becausc I trusted them and they trusted me."
The structure of Electronic Arts resembles that of a record company; a primary goal of the organization is to help the artist make the best possible product. Devel- opers are free to call on a varietv of technical, marketing and research professionals whenever they are needed.
On a day-to-day basis, the programmers deal with a producer, who tends to their needs and answers their questions. Each producer handles about six artists, reports Greg Riker, Electronic Arts Manager of Technology and the mari who cloles out the precious suppty of prototype Amigas.
Riker' may understand the record business almost as well as he understands the production of software. Be- fore being recruited to work for a personal computer ?
Company and moving to California, Riker spent about five years touring with a band, First as a roadie and later as an acoustics engineer
Riker gets excited when he talks about the software the company is developing. So far, screen displays and the use of the Amiga’s sound chip are, in Riker’s view, exiremely tantalizing, “The intent of the Amiga’s inventons,” lie explains, “was to rekindle the sanie excitement that got peuple into personal computing in the First place. Commodore-Amiga has really succeeded in excit- ing the developers we work with.” Riker also says that a lack of Amiga prototypes may have helped, not hin- dered, Electronic Arts’ development efforts for the Amiga and other future personal computers. Although it wasn't until early this spring that the company began receiving Amiga prototypes black boxes that do not resemble the off-white units found in retail stores across the countrv Electronic Arts was well into devel- opinent by the time the first developer received the First Amiga prototype.
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Riker crédits much of their progress to the development of something he calls an “artisfs workstation,” a combination of hardware, software and peripherals that allows the programmer to develop Amiga software on an IBM PC or compatible.
According to Riker. The workstation concept was de- veloped in an effort to get products quickly onto retail- ers’ shelves and to overcome the need to have extremely valuable Amigas at the office or home of each artist. The concept for the artist’s workstation, as well as an extensive library of software routines designed to reduce the time necessary to produce graphies software, premiered at the First meeting of AUGUST, one of several Electronic Arts’ in-house Amiga artists user’s groups.
There are several versions of the Electronic Arts workstation. The basic unit is an IBM PC with a liard disk, 640K of random access memory (RAM), a propri- etarv plug-in card, spécial software, a graphies card and a high-resolution monitor, According to Riker, the Systems are worth between $ 4000 and S90Q0, If a programmer doesn’t already own an artist’s workstation, the companv will supplv him with one and deduct its cost from the artisfs advances or royalties.
Some of the electronic “tools” included with the IBM PC! Workstation include comprehensive software editors and debugging tools necessary to couvert code written for the IBM PC’s 8088 microprocessor into a compatible language for the Amiga’s Motorola 68000 CPU.
Ironically, the screen displays of a $ 9000 IBM PC AT (used in the artist’s workstation) have less graphical résolution than the weakest mode of the Amiga.
When development is nearly complété, the producers supplv their artists with one of the Amiga prototypes that seem to be in constant demand by Electronic Arts software developers. The artists perform the final phases of development on an Amiga.
In tlic development of Amiga software at Electronic Arts, it is essential that producers and support peoplc stay in close touch with the artists. That’s vvhy Trip Hawkins pushed h is company to install a large-scale electronic messaging netvvork that artists now access from their homes and offices using modems and the workstations. “We communicate clectronicallv with our artists every day,” says Hawkins.
Not onlv does the net work link producers and support staff to the artists, but it also provides the artist with access to a fast-growing database that contains working code for programs that are already running on the Amiga.
“By using the network, artists can access a large software database containing workable code for animation, sound and other software routines, to see how other developers have handled similar problenis. This reduces the arnount of time and aggravation in developing complex software,” says Riker. Artists working for Hawkins’ company also routinely share information at wcekly AUGUST meetings.
AUGUST User’s Group
This user’s group meets every Friday. The meetings provide a chance for developers to share their tricks, along with the latest versions of their programs. The meetings are also a good opportunity for developers to momentarily duck away from the intense pressure of writing Amiga software code and play other peuple’s games.
Bing Gordon. Electronic Arts* Vice Président of Marketing. Attends most of the meetings. He has watched the conception, birtii and packaging of a number of Amiga programs and reports “artists arc incrcdibly excited about what they can do with the Amiga. L'he coin- ?
Bination of its central processing unit, custom circuits and graphies capabilities opens up a whole new era of computer game opportunities.”
Seated around a table, the authors of programs such as Hard Hat Mack, Robot Odyssey, Summer Games, Sword of Kadash and Get Organized, are openly ex- ciled over a chance to develop for what sonie ÂUGUST ruembers call “the next wave of personal computers.” According to Gordon, Mike Posehn, the author of Get Organized, is typical of Electronic Arts’ Amiga art- ists. Posehn wrote Micropro’s (the developer of Wordstar) first text editor and holds a doctorate in computer science. He is working on a program that is known in- ternallv at Electronic Arts as “Video Construction Set.”
The program, which Gordon thinks will be priced well below SI00, lets Amiga owners create programs similar to video recordings, using combinations of animated text and graphies.
Posehn says the program will be used "to build little videos that are just like animated movies. The program iets you use the Amiga like a télévision production
Left: Archon. Right: Re- tum to Atlantis.
Company and includes an on-screen display that resem* bles and works like a remote controller for a video recorder.”
Bob Campbell, author of Hard Hat Mack, is working on an Amiga program callcd Instant Music. Campbell, a musician by training and a vétéran programmer, thinks the Amiga could open up the world of music to people who lack extensive formai training. According to Campbell, musicians using the program “won’t have to compose new rhythmic scales. We provide a high level of support not found in other machines.”
The authors of Summer Games are also actively at work on Amiga development for Electronic Arts. They sav. "The capabilities of Apple’s Macintosh pale when compared to the Amiga. This is a professional devel- oper’s environment. There are 25 channels of direct memory access and it supports real I O commands."
Dave Boulton, the author of Adventurc Construction Set, says, “If Apple’s software could have merged with Amiga’s hardware, Apple would have won the battle
against IBM ”
Another artist who helongs to AUGUST is working 011 an Amiga version of Marble Magic, a tremendous arcade game developed originally by Atari's Coin-Op
Division in Sunnyvale, California. An arcade version of
this game is in the developers’ room at Electronic Arts’ headquarters. More than a few artists show up for the weekly meetings a tad early to try and beat the machine, which has been set on free play. Gordon jokes that the Amiga version of this game will require a "mil- itary-strength joystick.”
Hawkins points out there is another reason for the AUGUST useCs group meetings: teaching old dogs new tricks. “The Amiga’s operating system is written in C, a high-levei programming language that is very efficient. Most programmers are used to writing games in assem- bly language. We’ve used the user’s groups to teach the programmers the C language," says Hawkins. The Amiga and its language also help artists provide incre- dible graphies détail in games and other programs.
Jon Freeman, who, along with Anne Westfall (author of Temple of Apshai), is writing the Amiga version of Archon, says, "In first-generation machines, like the Apple II and Commodore 64, we were able to suggest the shape and texture of fantasy characters. With the Amiga, we are able to show what the figures really are. Ifs what a personal computer ought to do."
Griffons, phoenixes and dragons instantly take on de- tailed shapes and hard character in the Amiga version of Archon, as the program shifts from a board-level to a tactical view.
Hawkins freely admits that he’s more than a little partial to sonie types of games. “I really like tanks," he says. “One of the new games involves a tank in Antarc- tica; the cockpit views will he incredible."
Does Hawkins have any guilt about adults playing games? "Ail species, including humans, play games well into adulthood. Playing games on a computer usually isn’t like watching prime-time télévision, sitting back and végétâting.
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“Look at our game One-on-One. It contains a lot of information about managing people and your own life, and it’s a lot of fun to play. Guilt over games? Not really. 1 enjoy what we do too much,” laughs Hawkins. I
Address ail author correspondance to Jim Forbes, c o Amiga- World éditorial, 80 Fine St., Peterborough, NH 03458,
r Mv OvvNj Rags toRiches Story
Circle 4 on Reader Service card.
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A Talk with T rip
Electronic Arts Président Trip Hawkins talks about software development, his company's gocds Jbr the future and where the Amiga fits into it ail.
Trip Hawkins freely admît s he loves grimes, He aluxiys has. He started his first game.s company as a 12-year-old boy growing up in Southern dali or- nia. When he moved to Massachusetts to attend Harvard, he convinced that university's administrais to let him combine studies in statistics and psychology into you guessed it a ga mes major.
A ter finishing al Harvard, Hawkins went bock west and corn pie ted a Maslers Degree ni Business Administration. Not long a ter that, he went to work for an unknown company still struggling in ils infancy. The company was Apple Computer. Hawkins worked in a va rie t y of marketing positions with Apple and eveiüually headed the marketing efforts for Apple’s Eisa. His work at Apple brought him into contact with a number of programmées contacts that would later prove ex-
After atmost fwe years at Apple, Trip spread his wings and started his own company, Electronic Arts. Headqnartered in San Ma tco, California, Electronic Arts is a place where programmées are treated like artists. It is a successful company, with more than a few well-known software designers under contract to develop entertainment and personal-productivity packages for the Amiga. Hill Budge (Pinball C.mistruction Set),Jon Ereeman and Ann Westfall (Archon) are ail engaged in the Amiga development effort.
Electronic Arts' headquarlers is perched on a mountainsidc in the Behnont Hills. Hawkins' office commands a view of San Francisco Bay. The panorama outside his office is as excîting as the personal vision he shared with ArnigaWorld.
ArnigaWorld ! Why do you refer to program- mers as artists?
Trip Hawkins: I guess il ail starts with the view that the computer is a new medium lor home entertainment. The software for other media is produced by artists, so wc look at software developcrs as artists and we think of oursclves as suppôtting a créative process.
ÀW; What is Electronic Arts' mission?
TH: We want to make software thaï makes computers worth owning. We’rc dedicatcd to llnding software artists and helping them to do their best work.
AW: What types of things will people want in the next génération of gaines, such as those you are producingfor the Amiga?
TH: They will bc the saine types of things that people like to read about, or watch on télévision. People are either looking for fui- fillment through fantasy, or they are looking for sonie new kind of challenge. Maybc they’vc always wanted to know what it would bc like to fly an airplane, or maybe they want to know how to conduct experi- ments without something hlowing up in their faces. Il can bc just about anything. But, a major ingrédient in computer entertainment is giving the user the opportunity to bc a hero.
AW: Are you a hero to software anthors?
TH: If I can help them to make money, I am. In spécifie cases we liavc been able to motivate people to go beyond the skills they thought they had. They appreciate that about us. A lot of artists think we are a first class act, helping them to do their best work.
AW: Were the people who designed the Amiga aware of the possible long-term effects of their machine on the personal computer industry? Tm re- ferring specifically to the user interface, the graphies and sound capabilities.
TH: Àclually, I think they were the First computer designers who really had the awareness you mention. Ail the right things arc there.
AW: What are the right things?
TH: The First thing is hardware performance. You have to have a fast processor that is capable of executing compiled code. Wc have been held back in the past by the limitations of cight-bit processors, whiefi are incapable of handlîng instructions of the nccessary complexity and can only address
64K of memory. On cight-bit machines, to produce a good piece of programming, you have to work in assembty language, This is a spécifie skill that sonie people have. But a lot of people who have the artistic ability to corne up with great idcas don’t have that skill. Thcrefore, there arc some limitations on the kinds of products we can make for computers using eighl-bit central processing units.
The Amiga, however, lias a fast, powerful central processing unit. With the Amiga, we have been able to provide oui artists with developcrs workstations that have the right combination of hardware and software tools to develop superb programs.
AW: fs the Amiga user going to be différent from other personal computer users?
TH: Yes and no. Many of the people who currently own personal computers and have caught the computing bug will want to up- grade to the Amiga. I would estima te that as many as 20 or 30 percent of existing Personal computer owners will purchase the Amiga. We went to a Commodore users’ group a few months ago and fourni that most of the people al the meeting wanted to bu y Ainigas.
AW: What types of A miga programs can the consumer look for from Electronic Arts?
TH: Some of our products For the Amiga will be improved versions of our existing gaines and productivity software packages. But we are also developing a number of new hernie adventure gaines for the machine. Most of our packages will he available before the end of the year.
Because the Amiga has incredible sound and graphies, users will Fmd games that have the fcet of being much more like real lile. They will be able to immerse theni- selves in the fantasy. This is an important aspect of entertainment software.
What t h is industry needs more than any-
thing is this kind of excitement. It’s heen lacking in many gaines.
AW: Is there any reastm to feel guilt about play- ing gaines with a personal computer?
TH: Eve always fouiul il interest ing that adults feel guïlty about playing gantes. Everyone needs leisure time to relax. Playing gaines and using an interactive medium like software happens to be one of the more redeeming forms of personal computer usage. Ifs a form of mental exercise and a learning process.
AW: Given your perspective on the use of personal computers as an entertainment medium, how do you mariage the employées and artists at Electronic Arts?
TH: The first thing we really believe in is quality. Building the best software is not only a good business strategy ifs really a hell of a lot of fun. We take a lot of pride in what we do. Achievetncnt is also very important to us. We recruit our people with these two values in mind. Teamwork is an- other thing we really focus on here. Organi- zational hierarchy doesn't meaii a damn thing at Electronic Arts. Havîng a good sense of humor helps if yoifre working here. Our software reflects our values.
AW: What are your future goals for Electronic Arts?
TH: The thing that 1 find exciting about computer technology is that il is not stable; it has not setiled clown yet. We want to he the first to figure oui how to use new tech- nical breakthroughs like the Amiga to make better software. I think it is inévitable that someday home and personal computing is going to be something that everyone bene- lits from. Right now ifs something that Vuppies people with nioney heneflt from. Ifs at a very early stage. The sanie place that light bulbs occupied in Thomas Edison’s day. But someday soon we will be able to do something with computers that will really affect our lives in an extreinely positive way.
Trip Hawkins, Président, Electronic Arts
The Amiga computer is an impressive graphies tool, but it is still just another computer until ifs put into the hands of an artist. Digital Canvas is designed to be a showplace for Amiga artists. For this première issue, we convinced Jack Haeger, Director of Amiga's Art and Graphics Department, to do some showing ojffor us.
Jack is originally from Chicago, Illinois, where he spent two years at Northern Illinois University before going on to get his BFA clegree in painting from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago. While attending SAIC, he did some freelance illustrating for Chicago and Playboy magazines. Through Play boy, he found out about a Chicago-bascd company called Williams Electronics, that was looking for a computer artist. Even though he had no expérience with computers, Jack took a job there working on video aicade games. His first arcade game project, Sinistar, was ranked number one in the nation for three straight months. He Iater worked on Star Rider, Williams’ first laser disk arcade game.
Inspired by the personnel and the machine’s promise, Jack took a chance in 1983 and moved to California to work at Amiga, which, at the time, was only a small start-up company. He has been there ever since.
About his own work, Jack says “Up to this point, a lot of computer graphies has been qualified as good simply because it was donc on a computer, but that isn’t enough. In my mind, it must first stand on it’s own as graphie art and secondarily as work done on a computer. You can’t just be in love with the media for its own sake. The images must fulfill the fundamental cri- teria of good design and aesthetics. A sense of humor is also important. I think that the computer is an ex- tremely dynamic tool for creating and manipulating graphie art, and the impact that the computer will have on the graphie world is going to be tremendous.”
Take a look at some ofjack’s work, and you’ll seejust what an artist can do with the right tools. H
Preuious page: “Self- PortraitTop left: “Robocity.” Top right:
"Four-By te Burger. ” Right: “Temple." Opposite page: “Girl with a Red Beret
“A lot of computer graphies has been quali- fied as good simply be- cause it was doue on a computer, but that isn’t enough.. ”
ml III1111111! I.»
70 Premiere 1985
Yoices, octaves, waveforms, sam pied sounds, voice synthesizers, phonemes, attack, decay, sustain, release, envelopes, ring modulation, saw-tooth, sequencers, MIDI, etc. These are the éléments of computer music, sounds and speech. If you recognize and understand these ternis, then the Amiga is tlie manifestation of an audio dream. If you don't understand them, takc heart. There are dozens of music, sound and speech experts oui there who have fallen in love with the Amiga. These peuple are going to make the Amiga sing for you, play for you, talk to you.
It is sometimes hard to believe music and mathema- tics are closely tied together. But there are people who feel the rhythms of équations, and there are peuple who calculate screaming guitar riffs duwn tu N décimal places. Sonie Bach pièces arc su mathematical in design that Bach only wrote one or two parts of a five-part harmonv. Expecting the performer of the piece to work out the relationships, steps and synchronizations for himself. At the other extreme, there have been comput- crized musical performances based upon the structure of DNA molécules. Su what does ail this have to do with the Amiga?
Amiga’s sound features can make you a composer or conductor even if youve never played a note.
When you think of artificial intelligence, images of computers taking over the world pop into inind; or if you are a bit more realistic, perhaps “expert Systems” and business decision making applications secm more likely to you. One company, called Cherry Lane. Is using speech recognition techniques developed at Car- negie-Mellon University by Roger Dannenberg. They are using these techniques in Cherry Lanc's latest music software project, called Harmony, for the Amiga.
Harmony is the naine of a computerized accompani- ment program that is pushing the limits of the com- putcr music relationship. It’s an intelligent program that plays along with you. That doesn t sound ail that
fantastic on the surface, but check the wording of that last sentence. The computer plays along with you, not vice versa. The program "Jistens” to what you are doing and adjusts itself in real time. It’s as though you are playing the lead and another musician is accompanying you on another instrument. If you slow down, it slows duwn. If you miss a note or two, it doesn't just keep chugging away blindly (or, in this instance, deafly); it adjusts itself to whatever you are doing and tries to anticipate your next move. It follows, rather than leads.
The company is using Harmony as a jumping off point, rather than as the ultimate package. Combined with a scheduled MIDI interface. Harmony can be linked to top-of-the-line synthesizers, keyboards and another of Cherry Lane’s existing products, the Pitch Rider, which lets you play an instrument into a microphone.
So even though the Amiga can do a good to great job of imitating a flûte, either through true computized synthesis or sound sampling (more on that later). With the Pitch Rider, Harmony and a MIDI interface, you will be able to play a real flûte and the computer wili follow along. Sornetime in the not-too-distant future (can we hope very near to the Amiga’s launch date?), you will be able to play music into the computer, have the software write the musical score for you, go back and edit the score, and then, as you play différent parts, have the computer play along with you.
Cherry Lane is working on sampled sound software, which will mean the ability to take a sound, anv sound, digitize it and then turn it into an instrument that can be played back. For example, you will be able to record the sound of a bottle being broken, and then, after sonie software chicanery, play a broken-bottle piano, let- ting the computer adjust the pitch of each “note.”
When you touch the middle C kev on your kevboard,
the resuit will be the sound of a bottle breaking in middle C; when you touch the Ci sharp key, the bottle will break in a lovely G sharp.
These are not just the dreams of a music fanatic; these are things that we should ail be seeing within monthsî Wliom are they designing for? The profes-
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Cherry Lane Technologies & The Amiga Personal Computer Join Together in
We are proud to announce the arrivai of Harmony, the first of a new génération of Cherry Lane software developed for the Amiga. You can now take full advantage of the unique music and graphies capabilities of this powerful computer.
Hamwny is the ultimate in music accompaniment. The four internai voices of the Amiga, as well as ail 16 MIDI Channels will follow your lead. Every nuance of your performance will be followed brilliantly. You can accomplish Accelerando and Ritardando at will. Even if youjump ahead or behind in the score, Hamwny will keep pace.
The first part of an integrated music composition and performance system for the Amiga.
• Full Score Graphics with repeat points and scroll bars.
• MIDI Implémentation of MIDI In,
Out, and Thru.
• Real time accompaniment to follow your performance.
• Recording of your own accompaniments.
• Singers and horn players can use the Pitchrider 2000 and take advantage of Harmony.
Optional equipment includes:
• Full size 49 note keyboard.
• Extensive library of pre-recorded arrangements.
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sional musician, certainly. With ilie MIDI interface (a state-of-the-art, high-cnd music product) and the ability to use the Amiga as a sequence controller during on- stage performances, people in the music industry are already drooling at the potential of the Amiga. But music is a computer language that everyone can enjov. And the programs that Cherry Lane is working on can he used by the novice as well as the pro.
Other people arc working on music for the Amiga, and the first music most people will hear will corne from Commodorc's Musieraft. The Musieraft program, to he rcleased in Ocïober, has features that can tune up a tin car, edit out mistakes and act as a serious tool for the dahbler and the dedicated musician alike.
The computer plays along with you, not vice versa. The program listens to whatyou are doing and adjusts itself in real time.
Musieraft will feature a sequeneer, synthesizer and keyboard. (Now, if someone can only think of a new word to differentiate between a typewriter or computer keyboard and a piano-type keyboard. It will make the job of writing about keyboards a loi casier.) The sequeneer section of the prograin will let you write and edit your music using the mouse or keyboard. (In this case, “keyboard” tnay mean either type, because Musi- craft will accept input from a computer or piano key- board pluggcd into one of the ports.) You will be able to write four-part pièces with a range of six octaves, in twelve keys (musical keys like the key of D or the key of G, not the D or G keys on the keyboard) and variable time signatures (if you really want to play something in ' (,th time. The Amiga can easily accommodate you), assign différent instruments to différent voices and even change imminents in the middle of a song. The oui put is, of course, in stereo. There are so many edit- ing commands that Musieraft might be considered a musical note processor (as opposcd to a word processor).
In the library of instruments (well over a dozen at the time of this writing, and 1 expect many more by the Amiga’s release date), there are a handful of sampled sounds (mentioned above), and if you have never heard the Amiga in action, then be prepared for a pleasant surprise. The Amiga doesn’i sound like an electronic organ trying to sound like an electronic piano. When vou ask the Amiga to sound like a violin, it sounds like
a violin.Just listcn.. .well, anyway, go listen to one and hear what I mean.
Of course, if you don t hkc the instrument sélection included with Musieraft, there is the synthesizer section of the program, where you can design your own sounds or use sounds from the library and modify them to your hearl’s content. You can al ter the envelope, timbre, volume, attack. Decay, etc., and when you get a sound you like, save it to disk with the other instruments and build your own Amiga orchestra. There is prohably a finite number of possible instruments and sounds that you can create with the synthesizer, but it would be safe to say that the Amiga can create more sounds than the human car can distinguish (literally thousands, if you want to get picky).
Put these features together with the Amiga keyboard and you have a sophisticated musical instrument unlike an y you have ever heard. Musieraft, as mentioned, can he played with a piano keyboard attachée!, or you can “type” the notes using the Amiga keyboard. You can redefine the computer keys to suit your fancy or your fingers (very handy if, like me, your fïngers aren’t as musically inclined as you would like them to he). Just redefine the keys so that out-of-key loues just aren’t possible, so that your fumbling fingers couldn’t hit a wrong note even if they wanted to. You can play along with your own compositions or load in one of the pièces in the score library on the disk (each with its own keyboard layout), and play along with perhaps a greater composer.
There are thousands of other things to talk about, including speech. With the Amiga’s built-in speech capabilities, using a phoneme-based system, you will he able to make the Amiga talk in either a maie or female voice. You will lie able to enter text strings in Basic and have the Amiga recite the Gettysburg Address, or your sister's address. It is almost certain that software compa* nies will have the Amiga read you the instructions for operating a program, or give you auditory prompts.
The advantage of phonemes, which simply means pho* netic sounds (e.g., Uh Mce Guh for Amiga), is that the vocabulary is unlimited. With a bit of fiddling you should be able to make the Amiga speak with a French accent, or even speak French. If you wtsh. Like the music features, the voice synthesizer will be able to do more than your average computer.
This was not meam to be a compréhensive discussion detailing ail the features of Musieraft and the programs from Cherry Lane; it was meant to bc a quick look into some of the things that are being donc for the Amiga. There will be many other articles covering sound, music and speech in upcoming issues of AmigaWorld. We have only tried to give you the opening bars of a symphony.
When I asked the people al Cherry Lane why they were so excited about working on the Amiga, they said that with the built-in sound and graphies and the MIDI interfacing capability, they are convinced that the Amiga will he "the ultimatc music machine.” Ta da! H
Address ail author correspondence to Guy Wright, c o AmigaWorld éditorial, 80 Pine St., Peterborough, NH 03458,
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A Peek at the 68000
By Brian Epstein
The Amiga and Motorola’s 68000 chip mark the beginning of a new era in microprocessing. What will this meanfor Amiga users? Here’s a look at the recent past and a peek at the future.
So whafs the big deal about the 68000? Is it the chip it’s made ont to be the Silicon wunderkind of the carlv 1980s? Does it mark the end of the eight-bil era, foreshadowing the demise of old friends like the 6502, the 7. MO and 6809? If you're an old-timer of the eight- hit worlcl, vou might not like to beat' that not only does the 68000 mark the end of that era, but in ail 1 ikcli- hood, il heralds the beginning of the 32-bit era.
Farewell to the 6502
Commodorc’s décision to place a 68000 under the hood of the Amiga was based on its power, 16-bit architecture and the abundance of software already in existence for it (including fast compilers and high-level ianguages).
The design of the chip lends itself well to such things as compilers. In fact, certain machine-code instructions available to the 68000 are only included for the spécifie purpose of hclping compilers. Instructions with names such as Litik and Unlink allow a program to he compilée! From high-level source code to low-level machine code with less hassle for the compiler itself. The programs generated this way will exécuté easier and faster than il they werc produced by an eight-bil ancestor. If nothing else, this is the kind of thing that will influence software writers in their décision whether or not to write for the Amiga.
So, not only will the Amiga he programmable at the old-fashioned machine-code level. But also with Fortran, Cobol or C compilers whatever suits you best. Assunv ing the writer of a compiler knew what he was doing with the 68000's instruction set, the final code generated should exccule with very little overhead or sacrifice in quality of résultant code. This tnakes it a fair bet
that, of the early products that start appearing for the Amiga, something like a C compiler (currently in vogue) will he among the first to be offered. In fact. The architecture of the 68000 détermines, as much as the capabilities of the Amiga, the kinds of software tools that will appear for Commodore’s newesi micro.
The old band of chips like the 8080, the 6502 and even the predecessor of the 68000 itself the 6800 are now doomed for forever and a day. Of course, everyone suspected their days were numbered as soon as the first 16-bit chips came rolling off the production line, but somehow the 68000 has heen the final coffin- master, firmly hammering in those last nails. The new machine demonstrates Commodore’s réalisation of that fact. The Amiga and the 68000 together mark the entry of home microcomputing into the era of 16-bit microprocessing power. This is a long overdue entry (as 16-bit micmprocessors have been available for a cou|>le of years now), but one that will probably lead, in the long run, to 32-bit power as microcomputers become more like inainfratnes,
A Little History
li s interesting to note that Motorola (the manufacturer of the 68000, or MC68000, as its official nomenclature striclly spécifiés) was in at the start and end of the eight-bit game. It started with the 6800 way back in 197 I in an attempt to improve upon the only existing eight-bit microprocessor unit (mpu) ai that time lntefs
8008. The 6800 was surpassée! Pretty quicklv as other manufaciurers joined the frav. Motorola, not to be en- tirclv outdone hv the compétition, introduced a superset of the 6800 the 6809 in 1978. Despite not heing the most successful chip of the eight-bit era (thaï accolade goes to the 7-80). The 6809 was probably the most powerful of the eight-bit chips. The one thing that conld possiblv have been improved upon was its speed; iis power and instruction set (thaï is, the instructions available to a machine-code programmer) were cet-
tainlv the nmsi powerful of any eight bit chip and prob- .11 >]v will never be surpassed.
I herc’s tu> longer anv reason why a chip manufac- turer wouki want to devote anv time, money or production effort into furihcring the cause of eiglit-bit technologv. So, in ail likelihood. The 6809 will reign suprême as far as quality goes. Whereas the Z-80 will ciaini supreniacy in sheer nunihers.
Motorola, with iis record ot almost starting and fin- isliing tlie eight-hit stakes, and despite not being the most successfiil regarding total number of chips sold, seenis to be deteiinined to assure its success in the 16-bit lield and bevond, The 6809 denionstrated a wis- dom and care in design that hadn't been paralleled in other eight bit chips; that sanie wisdom and attention to détail was brought to bear when they worked oui what was going to be available in the 68000 (which was linally introduced in 1979).
Fast and exciting graphies software, including 3-D image manipulation, is certain to reach
.Motorola was also smart enough to realize that the technologv of eight-hit chips couldn't siniply be expected to disappcar overnigbt, so the 68000 was even tnade available in an eight-hit version the 68008. This works as an eight-hit chip, but it uses the 68000’s pow* erfitl instruction sel and architecture. Not only that, but the 68000 and ail ils siblings (which include the 68010 and 68020) can actually use sonie of the powerful support chips that were désignée! For the 6800. This 680(1- familv of chips was, of course, originally intended to provide peripheral support on an eight-hit bus. These chips, which are by now fullv tried and tested in the real world of microcomputer peripherals, can still bc utili ecl bv manufacturers who want to use the 68000 rather than the 6800. T his is tlianks to a clever hardware trick or two, including spécial signais and pins on the 68000 chip to allow easy interfaeing to these eiglit- bit de vices.
So. Now sonie of the power of the 68000 becomes apparent. Not onlv is il a tnicroprocessor with a highly developed instruction set, and not only can it support compiled languages. But it also can support a sel of hardware add-on chips thaï have been succcssfullv tested and in the marketplace for years. Thus, the 68000 becomes part of a set of building blocks tliat
can have a computer and supporting software up and vunning in a much shorter time than would have been the case with the eight-hit wonders of the pasi.
As previously memioned, the 68000 cornes in différent flavors four to be exact, The 68008 is simplv a 68001) thaï talks to ils memory over an eight bit bus. Just lîke any “archaic” eight-hit mpu. This is achievecl at a small priée to speed. Because memory is only read at hall the “width" of the 68000. The 68010 is a slightly enhanced 68000. It lias a couple of extra opcodes that enable ît to deal with nuilti-user environments, and it can run slightly fasier. The 68020 is the big daddv ol them ail. Not only docs it have the capabilities >i the 68010, but it talks to memory over a 82-bît bus, thus givïng it twiee the bandwidth of the 68000. I bis ex* plains the daim that the 68000 heralds the beginning of the 82-bit era: l.earn to use the 68000 and you will autnmatically be able to use the 68020; you will have leapt from eight to 82 bits in a single bound.
ïn its rich instruction set. The 68000 allows transfers of data to be made to and frn between regisiers inside the chip and memory ouiside; or, register to register and even memorv to inemorv. The ability to transier data in so many diverse modes becomes espccialK important in a graphics-oi ienied machine sucli as the Amiga.
Graphics processing in micros lias always been a probleni in the past because a graphies image is always represenled by lots and lots of bits in memorv. Lots ol bits inévitable add up to lots of bytes, so manipulation of an image translates into manipulation of many bytes in memory. This is where the 68001)'s datahandling capabilities provide sonie incredible power. Noi only can it hanclle data in byte-si .e eight-hit ebunks, but il can deal with words of 16 bits in length or long words of 82 bits. The fact that il can swallow 82 bits iu a single gulp means that i il one single instruction, the (>8000 can flex four limes more muscle than the équivalent instruction on an eight-hit microproccssor. And thaïs not taking into accounl a faster overall speed.
To stay abreast of (and, at the moment, afiead of) their compétition, Commodore hacl little choice other tlian to go with a 16-bit device to support fast color graphies. As other manufacturers (who sliall remaiu namelcss) also picked the 68000 for the very saine rea- sons, Commodore seems to have been precedcd by their industry peers as far as making the wtsesl décision. And as there are already many implémentations of graphies software vvritten for the (>8000, anyhody who lias these libraries available to them is spared sonie of the development headaches in achieving the best from the machine.
Some of this software is certain to reach the Amiga market. So we can be assured ol the earlv appearance of some fast and exciting graphies software for the machine. This will no doubt include 8-D image manipulation, as well as picture processing via a video input.
Within 12 mont lis, many Amiga owners will not only bc storing family data on their microcomputers, bui they’ll also be storing the familv photo archive. This
mcans bcing able to draw a eonviru ing muslaehe on your mother-in law, as well as retouchmg more important pliotogiaplis or vidru images.
L’he whole scénario ol image processing is suddenly going to becoine available to the hohbyist. Prcviously, image processing on a realistie level was simply not accessible due to the laek of power ol eight-bit procès- surs. Now, witli a litllc ingenuity, liobhyîsts are likely to he inspirée! To produce some real works of art. 'The image processing involved won’t bc much easier because of the 68000, but il will be fast and impressive enough to he worthwhile. (Wateh oui for a programmer nanied Paul Lmus; he did some pretty fancy graphies on cight- bit machines, lle'll have a field clay with the Amiga.)
l his is ail ruade possible thanks to that 16-bit vvork- hotse, tlie 68000, Without getting too technical, let me just point ont that it has 17 internai registers. Of these. If) are used «*11 a régulai basis. And Fin not talking 16 bits now each register is 32 bits long. This meuns the 68000 can holcl a graphies image of 15 x 32, or 480 bits. 1 his 15-register‘s worth of image can be zappecl into or ont of video memory in a startling 7.5 mil* lionths of a second, I his gives you a good idea of why il s the elosest thing yet to a mainframe processor in a microchip.
I he 08000, because of this power and acceptance within the indusiry, represents stahility and a new bcgimiing within the microcomputcr industry that was only hinied at with the X-80. Commodore couldn’t have chosen better. Il, as an eight-bit programmer, vou've been puiting off your entrv into 16-bit processing, the Amiga represents your big chance. If the only thing you accjuire is a working knowledge of the 08000, you'll be set for at least the next llvc years in the microcomputer business as a whole. You’ll not only bc* up and running with experience in a 16-bit environment, but you'll also be ready for 32 bits. As the price of the 68020 cornes down, it will Finally cause even 16 bits to go the way of eight hits. And il doesn't take a great stretch of the imagination to sec that the price of tnicroprocessors makes tliis a certainty.
Farts and Figures
lf you’re interested in a couple of facts and Figures about the 68000, you’ll be interested to know that it can access 16 megabyles of memory. Compare this in everyday languagc with the 6502. Which drove the PET, the VIC-20 and the Commodore 64. Whereas the 6502 could address 65,536 bytes of memory, the 68000 can address 10,777,216! 111 is is enough to run the average spreadsheot, database and word processing File ail at the sanie lime, with some rootn to spare. It's also the same addressing range that is available on a measlv IBM 370!
Just in case owning an Amiga makes you feel too smug. Thougli, let me tell you that the 68020 can access four gigahytes ol memory. Now let me sec. . . That’s two muliiplied by itself 32 times. The batteries in my calcu- lator are due for replacement soon. I think Fil iet you work ont the Final figure yoursclf. H
Manx Aztec C68k Am The C for the Amiga
Manx Software Systems will soon release an incredibly powerful, portable, and professional C Development System for the Amiga microcomputer:
Manx Aztec C68k Am
THE FIRST CHOICE OF PROFESSIONALS
Manx Aztec C Software Development Systems are used widely by professionals to produce software for business, educational, scientific, research, and industrial applications. Manx Aztec C is the first choice of professional C developers because Manx Aztec C Development Systems produce high quality code, are unsurpassed for portability, are bundled with powerful time saving utilities like make and vi, and because Manx Software Systems provides timely technical support.
NATIVE AND CROSS DEVELOPMENT
Manx Aztec C Software Development Systems are available as cross and native development Systems. Manx Software Systems has provided C cross development Systems since 1980. No other C cross development system offers the complété, professional cross development environment provided by Manx. Every cross development system includes the optimized Aztec C compiler, an assembler, linkage editor, an object file librarian, a M set of UNIX and général utility libraries, and in some environments, such as MS-DOS and the Apple Macintosh, an array of time saving UNIX utilities like make, diff, and vi.
Manx also provides différent levels of Aztec C to meet the différent demands and budgets of a wide range of software developers. The commercial system, Manx Aztec C-c, includes an optimized C compiler, assembler, linker, object librarian, général library routines, library source, and extend- ed library and utility routines. The developers system, Maax Aztec C-d, includes an optimized C compiler, assembler, linker, object librarian, and général library routines. The Personal system, Manx Aztec C-p, includes a less optimized C compiler, does not have an assembler, and has fewer library and utility routines. Each system is unbeatable for price- performance, Each system is upgradable,
Manx Aztec C68k Am-c ..$ 499
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Manx Aztec MS-DOS to C68k Am Cross . .. S 500
To order or for information call 1-800-221-0440.
1-800-TEC WARE, or 201-530-7997. Orders can be payed via check, COD, VISA, MASTER CARD, American Express, or net 30 to qualified customers.
Portability: Manx Aztec C is also available for the Macintosh, MS-DOS, CP M-86, CP M-80, APPLE II, TRS 80. And Commodore 64 128.
Circle 16 on Reader Service card.
Metacomco, The real alternative
Metacomco is proud to have been closely involved in the création of the Amiga™
In less than six months, Metacomco devel- oped AmigaDOS™with CommodoreAmiga,and provided several major languages and software components for the new computer, including:
Macro Assembler Linker
UNIX™ and MSDOS™ cross development systems.
Metacomco is a specialist supplier of systems software for 68000 based computers, providing a range of languages, operating systems, and utilities.
Metacomco: the real alternative for computer developers and manufacturers, worldwide.
SOFTWARE FOR THE 68000
David Sykes 26 Portland Square, Bristol BS2 8RZ ENGLAND Téléphoné: (0 272) 428781
Derek Budge 201 Hoffman Avenue, Monterey California 93940 USA Téléphoné: (408) 375 5012
AmiRâ. Anïiji.iIXTS, AbasiC, UNIX.MSIXTS are rr.tdcmarksof CommixItircAmifia Inc., ATT Bell L»K and Microsoft Corp. rcspccrivelv.
The Amiga as a Teaching Tool
By Guy Wright
With its versatility, speed and power, the Amiga will enhance and enliven the learning process for a new génération of students and not jus t in the classroom.
If you read the projectiOB mx sprveys about the future of personal gpr putin will notice that the trends indicate people will be playing fewer games and devoting more time to business, personal productivity, “expert” Systems and educational applications. It can be argued that the Amiga computer is idéal for each of these applications, and some of the other articles in this issue of AmigaWorld have explored the ways that the computer can be used in these areas. This article will focus on éducation, pointing out some traditional and some not-so-tradi- tional ways that the Amiga will be used as a teaching tool.
When ni est people hear the terni “educational software" they think of a first-grader sitting in front of a scliool computer solving simple arithmetic problems or guessing the naines of State capitals. They think of drill and practice, for the most part, and when you look at the majority of the educational software out there for the various computer Systems, drill and practice is what you find. There are sonie companies producing educational software of a more interesting nature, and a few companies are marketing some very good programs, but most of the software in this genre is less than impressive. Children in schools learn more by trying to break into the programs so they can cheat than they do by running the programs and following instructions.
There arc a number of reasons why the educational software in existence today is so weak. A primarv rea- son is that educational software is not as profitable for a manufacturer as business or entertainment software. One software developer and distributor said that he had dropped h is entire line of educational software because the home market was too small, and selling to school Systems was a nightmare. As he put it, “School Systems are probably the worst software pirates out there. They usually only buy one program and then copy it for each computer lab, then the teachers make copies and the students make copies, and before long, there arc dozens of copies of the program floating around. While ail this is happening, I am waiting for the school board’s approval of the original check. It's like selling them a driver s ed film. You know that it is going to be shown over and over and over again for years to corne, but you only get paid for one copy."
Software companies make their profits on volume sales, and schools are notoriously money conscious when it cornes to new ideas. Most computer départ- ments spend the little money they have on hardware radier than on software.
Another reason why good educational software is lacking is that the people writing the software are using old methods with a new technology. Few software developers have made use of the interactive capabilities of the computer. Typing tutor programs are the major exception to this; they are an example of how the computer can be used to teach a valuable skill more effec- tively than a teacher in a classroom (especiallv if die program is donc well).
So, educational software is in a dreadful state. What does this have to do with the Amiga computer? The Amiga should encourage advancement of educational software art in ways that other computers eannot. The Amiga will put powerful computing, ease of use and features found in no other personal computer into the hands of not only software companies, but also thou- sands of users. Many will now have the tools to develop sophisticated software of their own without having to learn assemble language to get the speed and spécial effects they want. The Amiga from Commodore should
change the way that we think about educational software. Combined with some of the newer technologie»I breakthroughs, such as CD-ROMs, ail the prédictions about die future may not be as bleak as drill and practice, drill and practice, drill and practice.
Why is the Amiga going to be any différent from any other computer in influencing the way computers are used for learning? The Amiga’s features arc going to lend them- selves to software changes in ail areas. The Amiga User Interface is going to make using any program easier and more “self-documenting." As far as I know, there are very few people who think that software ought to he harder, rather than easier, to learn how to use, and as one other famous computer has shown, the mouse and menu system can be much more efficient than banging avvay at a key- board. So, learning how to use software will be easier foi- business, home and educational purposcs. The mouse and menu system of getting information into the Amiga will he much easier for children and adults who have not vet learned to type.
Sights and Sounds
It is easy to see how the sound and graphies capabilities of the Amiga can be used to cnhance even the most tedious programs, taking a simple tune played as a reward a few steps further. With the MIDI interface and some of the innovative software that is coining out for music and sound, the Amiga is an idéal computer for teaching music in universities, high schools or any other grade level. From the fundamentals of music the- ory and scoring to sight reading and band practice. The Amiga will be a valuable teacher for anyone who always wanted to learn how to play a musical instrument, but for one reason or another, didn’t wish to hire a private tutor or take lessons. The advances in computer music interfacing do not limit the instruments to keyboards or synthesizers, either. Audio input devices now let you play almost any instrument into the Amiga, from gui- tars to Ilutes, The music and sound capabilities of the Amiga, as créative tools, will also influence film, video and even draina depanments.
The graphies capabilities of the Amiga will not only brighten a standard display, but with easy and fast animation, a student can see results in real time. High resolution and multiple colors will give more meaning to images, leaving block-graphics pictures far behind, Learning mechanical drawing will not be a lifelong career,
Animated, high-resolution color représentations of machinery, tools, circuits or most anything. Combined with mouse-driven software, should eut hours off train- ing time, which means that businesses and manufactur- ing plants will be looking for a new kind of educational software. It is easy to imagine a line of business train* ing software with titlcs like "How to Organize a Meeting," “How to Use a Spreadsheet" "How to Write a Business Letter," "How to Compile a Profit and Loss Statement,” “How to Plan a Marketing Campaign," etc. Just about anything that is taught in a business school could be brought to the Amiga in one form or another, and with so many opportunities for selling to business, it vvon’t be long before software companies start to announce “business éducation" software.
The built-in, software-driven speech synthesis capabil- ities of the Amiga are idéal for teaching languages and reading. There have been programs that have tried to use speech synthesis as a key to learning, but their advance has been hampered by the extra costs involved with hardware add-on synthesizers or un intelligible software-driven synlhesizers that try to make the computer do sometliing that it wasift designed to do. The Amiga was designed to reproduce an cxtremely wide range of sounds and human voices; it’s not child's play, but it’s easily within the machine’s capabilities.
These things are only the start. CD-ROM (Compact Disk-Read Only Memory) is a technological advance that will no doubt Find its way to the Amiga. At a recent electronics show, spectators were treated to a démonstration of a CD-ROM player that contained an entire encyclopedia on one nearly indestructible compact disk. No one has to explain the educational value of an encyclopedia, but imagine an encyclopedia, with pictures, fitting inside a 5 ," diskelte jacket, which can be accessed in moments. Combine this with a software “course” designed to lead you through a sériés of the encyclopedia’s entries in a logical order and you have a teaching tool like no other.
CD-ROM leads to other teaching tools that the Amiga not only supports, but encourages interactive video and simulations with a new level of realism. The first interactive videos were presented to the public in the fonn of video arcade gaines. One of the first was a graphies cartoon adventure vvhere the player could con- trol the action to varying degrees, The System worked by using the rapid video access of a laser disk player. Various screens were animated and recordcd on the laser disk, and depending upon vvhat the player sclectcd, the software controlling the game would jump to that section of the disk in a second or two. There was still a very noticeable delav between action and dis-
plav of the results, but it was effective enough for one major car manufacturer to use the System not to slash dragons, but to train assembly line workers, using a program where this delay was not critical. On a laser disk, they put real video images of auto parts in every imaginable configuration. The software was designed to train the employée not only how to do things correctly, but also to show them what would happen if they did things incorrect!y.
The costs involved in making your own laser disk are still prohibitive, but the Amiga, with gen-locking hardware, will he laser-disk compatible right out of the box. When rcad write or write-once laser technology arrives (and this is only months, not years, away), interactive video will he in the hands of evervone owning an Amiga computer. A program that teaches users about the Renaissance artists will bring up video images of their paintings, highlight brush strokes or important features, then bounce around the video disk and quiz you about each one, letting you go backward or for- ward, zoom in, study or just browse through the paintings at will.
At the heart of the Amiga is a very powerful 68000 chip thaï can perform complex mathematical opérations hetter than almost any other personal computer.
With its multi-tasking abilities and a hard disk, the Amiga will he an idéal computer for setting up a school LAN (Local Area Network). For the serious engineering, physics or mat hématies student, the Amiga will be invalu- able, regardless of the commercial software available. Computer science students? They won’t need any convincing.
The Best for Last
The Amiga will be a key in the future of educational software because of the people who own the machine. The versât il ity, speed, interfacing capabilities, custom chips, user interface and ease of programming are ail going to combine to give even the most casual Sunday programmer the tools of a high-power software devel* oper. (Of course, this means that high-power software developers are going to have tools that no other devel* opers have ever had before.) What would take an expe- rienced assembly language programmer months to accomplish on any other machine can he done quickly on the Amiga using Basic or Pascal. The graphies, sound and animation, being hardware-driven, do not dépend on a lot of fancy programming skills. With sophisticated techniques available to those with less* than-sophisticated skills, more and more people will have a computer that will let them write the kind of software that they aiways wanted to write. But didn’t have the knowledge of programming to accomplish. Managers with a little computer expérience will be able to write tutorial programs for new employées, parents will be able to write educational programs for their children, teachers will be able to write courseware for any grade level, and the “real" educational software writers will be able to go a lot further than they could ever go before.
If nothing else, educational software will becomc more and more sophisticated as time goes on, and it will have to run on whatever computer is current and capable. The Amiga is, without doubt, capable of han- dling whatever a programmer can corne up with, and it is a sure bel that the Amiga will be around for a long, long time.
The concept of software in éducation is not just a child doing number problems on a computer in a class- room it is an office worker polishing his skills, an assembly-line worker learning how to operatc a new machine, an art department offering “computer paint- ing” courses, a husinessperson learning a few new tricks of the trade, a grad student learning about the universe, a musician learning a new instrument, a trav- eler learning a new language, a junior-high student learning how to type and a journalist learning the capi- tals of the States.
Address ali author correspondence to Guy Wright, do AmigaWorld éditorial, 80 Fine St., Peterborough, A H 03458.
MAKE YOUR IMAGES SUITABLE FOR REPRODUCTION
NEW PROCESS DIGITAL COLOR SEPARATION ™
Q D D ¦El
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Color Images direct from your disk to Printing Color Separatorî Forget the poor quality from computer printers. Forget the distortions created by photographing the screen. Digital process créâtes Pixel Perfect™ images
for print reproduction.
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Process also available for IBM PC” Compatibles and Apple MacintoshTV. Digital Process can create black and white images
for manuals and ads.
Amiqa i> a tr.idern.ïik of Commodore. IttM PC is .1 tradémaik ul IBM. Apple M.icinlosh is a (r.idemark ol Apple Computer». Digital C0I01 Séparation and Pixel Ivrtcct aie tnidemark* ol ImaaeSel Corp.
Circle 33 on Reader Service card.
The AMIGA From Commodore
Now Available At The 64 STORE
CPU Motorola 68000 (16 32 bit)
256K RAM, expandable to 512K External expansion up to 8 MB 192K ROM 3 CUSTOM CHIPS
BUILT-IN DISK DRIVE-3T
DISPLAY RGB, Composite or Color TV 4,096 colors available Highest resolution 640 x 400
KEYBOARD 89 keys
STORE Atlanta’ Georgia 30339 (404) 952-6625
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THE PRINT SHOP
The perfect way to express yourself with your new Amiga:
Everybody's Creative with The Print Shop. The program guides you a long, step-bwstep, even if you've never toucheda computer before.
A few minutes and a few keystrokes. That's ail it takes to tum your personal computer into a personal print shop.
Every thing you need is in the program: typefaces, border designs, background pattems and dozens of pictures and symbols to suit every purpose and occasion.
Your originality shines through. The starter kit of colored pinfeed paper and matching envelopes makes it even casier.
The Print Shop automatically designs & prints cards, stationerv, fiyers & hanners. If you can imagine it, you can make it!
Amiga isa registered trademark of Commodorc-Amiga. For more information about Brfiderbund and our products, write to us at: 17 Paul Drive. San Rafaël, California 94903-2101 or call (415) 47Q-1170. C 1984, 1985 Braderbund Softivarc, Inc.
Circle 20 on Reader Service card.
By Swairt Pratt
Q; How can the Amiga be described in broad général terms?
A: The Amiga personal computer is a high-performance, low-cost system, with advanced graphies and sound features.
We call it thc worid’s first personal supermicro. That’s a strong statement, but it’s sub- stantiated by the Amiga’s capabilities.
Q: How many people were centrally in- volved with the development of the Amiga?
A: The core of the development staff consisted of about 25 to 30 people, working for nearly two years.
Q: What central processing unit was chosen for the Amiga?
A: The 7.8 Mhz Motorola 68000 one of the most efficient and powerful CPUs that exist for microcomputers, and one particu- larlv suited for graphie-intensive applications.
Q: Please describe the Amiga’s mem- ory capacity. Can users add extemal RAM?
A: There are 256K of internai RAM, and users can add on an- other 256K, using a clip-in car- tridge, bringing the total presently possible to 512K, within a contiguous address space of 16 megabytes. Addition al extern al expansion be- yond 512K, up to 8 megabytes, is possible, and outside vendors are currently working on ex- panded memory mullifunction cards. There are 192K of ROM, containing a rcal-time, multi- tasking operating system with sound, graphies and animation- support routines.
Q: The Amiga has a built in disk drive. What are the détails about this device? A: It is a built-in, 3%-inch dou- ble-sided, double-density drive. The disks are 80-track, format- tecl as 11 sectors per track, with 512 bytes per sector, giving a total of 880K bytes per disk.
Q: Can other disk drives be con- nected to the Amiga?
Help Key is a feature that will seek to provide answers to those questions about the Amiga computer that new users or other inter- ested computerists are most likely to ask. The answers will beforthcoming, at least initially, from members of the staff that developed this new computer, Rob Peck, Director of Descriptive and Graphie Arts at Commodore-Amiga, answered the questions in thisfirst installment. If you have questions about the Amiga that you dont find covered here or in other articles in AmigaWorld, send them in to AmigaWorld éditorial, 80 Pine St., Peterborough, NH 03458, and we’ll do our best to giveyou satis- factory answers.
A: Yes; there is provision for connecting up to three addi- tional drives, which may be double-sided, using either 3%- or 5 ,-inch flop pi es.
Q: Is it possible to connect with a hard-disk unit?
A; The hardware and software features of the Amiga fully support hard disk and tape back-up un its.
Q; Please describe the Amiga’s keyboard. Will it be possible to connect a non-Amiga keyboard?
A: The keyboard is detaehed, with 89 keys, calculator pad, function and cursor keys. The information about the keyboard output for each of the key- strokes is provided, and if some other manufacturer wanted to produce a more enhanced keyboard with ail the Amiga func- tions on it, I think we would certainly provide ail the détails nccessary for such a connection. As far as I am aware, however, there is no non-Amiga keyboard in the works for this machine.
Q: Can you use a cassette recorder to save and load programs?
A: No, this is not a capability of the Amiga. You can, of course, use a cassette recorder for recording the sounds an Amiga makes.
Q: What about compatibility of varions modems with the Amiga?
A: Any standard RS-232 modem shoukl work with the machine. There will be information in the manual that will indicate which pin of the Serial port is appropriate. We know for certain that the Commodore- Amiga, Hayes SmartModem and Tecmar 2400-baucl modem will work. In any case, the wiring connections will appear in the back of the manual.
(T How do you connect the Amiga to a stereo system?
A: On the back of the machine are two ports audio jacks for output to the left and right stereo channels from four spe- cial-purpose audio channels.
Q: Can hook the Amiga up to a video tape recorder?
A: The output of the Amiga is compatible with NTSC (National Televison Standard Convention) signais, which means it should be perfectly at home
with your standard video re-
corder, T here arc ports for si- multaneous NTSC composite video and for analog or digital RTV output. In addition to these connections, the system can be expanded to include a VCR or caméra interface. T he system is also capable of syn- chronizing with an external video source and replacing the system background color with the external image. This allows for thc development of fully-in- tegrated video images with com- puter-generated graphies. Laser- disk inpui is acceptcd in thc same manner. T his indicates, for cxaniple, that you should be able to connect your Amiga in sériés with your videotape or your caméra and use the computer in combination with these accessories.
Amiga Draw !
A Drafting and Design Tool for the Commodore Amiga
Aegis Development, Inc. brings creativity to your fingertips! Use Amiga Draw to create accurate and detailed drawings of anything your mind can imagine and then transfer those images to plotters, printers, and other output devices. Amiga Draw was designed specifically for the Amiga and takes advantage of ail the unique and powerful graphies capabilities that make this computer so spécial. You can work on several drawings at the same time using différent Windows. You may zoom in on an image, or open a new window to observe détail while keeping the overall view of the drawing. Accuracy for the drawing is within + -2,000,000,000 points! Flexible? Sure! Mark an image and store it
- or delete it, scale it, rotate it, what' ever! Amiga Draw puts you in charge.
Amiga Draw also supports layer-
Circle 12 on Reader Service card.
Ing of a drawing You may break up a drawing into various components allowing ail or selected pièces of the layers to appear. A house plan can be broken into electrical, plumbing, and structural layers. The layers can appear in différent colors, overriding the colors of the individual graphie éléments.
Mouse, Keyboard, or Tablet input with pull down menus is provided. Amiga Draw allows you to set the physical scale for the output device, and create scaled drawings for architecture, engineering, and charts. Plotting can occur in background mode allowing you to keep working on another drawing. Plotters from HP, Epson, Comrex, and others are supported.
Mistakes? Accidentai deletion can be reversed using the UNDO function. Expand your creativity by passing your
Amiga Draw image into a paint system to add flare and solid image fills.
So, if you’re serious about your Commodore computer, don’t you think you owe it to yourself to get the most out of it? With Amiga Draw, your investment can last a lifetime!
P. S. Don’t let your friends use Amiga Draw - you’ll never get your computer back if you do!
For the dealer nearest you, call
Aegis Development, Inc.
2210 Wilshire Blvd. Suite 277 Santa Monica, CA 90403
Arnica Draw is a tradtmark of Aegis I Vvelopmcnr Amiga i» a tntJcmnk nf Commodore Computer Ep«>n is a trademark of Epson America
Q: What languages are built into the Amiga or planned for the future?
A: A version of Basic is bundlcd with the machine. Other languages that will work with the Amiga are Logo, Pascal, C and Assembler.
Q: Is the Amiga compatible with any other computer's hardware or software?
A: At the moment, the machine is unique. I caiYt go into tire détails here, but we are examining issues of compatibility with certain other levels of software and certain other types of operating Systems. At this point, however, the Amiga runs the custom operating system and will do so for the foreseeable future.
Q: What sort of RS-232 out put does the Amiga have?
A: You can set il up for just about anything you might want. The connections are specified on the back. We will have a “preferences tool" that will corne up under our Workbench program that will allovv you to propetiy configure your Serial port for printers. We can support up to 19,200 baud as far as the transmission is concerned, and potentially even highcr than that, if necessary. 31,500 baud is, 1 think, the top, but 19,200 is the maximum standard one might consider.
Q: What ports are available on the Amiga for connecting peripherals?
A; There’s a fullv-programmable Serial port that will allow, as Fve mentioned, baud rates up to over 31,000; a parallel port, also fully programmable, that’s normally configured for Centronics parallel printer output, but that also can he used as a high-speed parallel input port; two reconfigurable controller ports for connecting a mouse, joysticks, light peu, digitizer table! Or paddles; an expansion port with full access to the 68000 bus for adding such ac- cessories as RAM and additional fioppy or hard-disk drives; and then the ports for composite video, a second fioppy disk port, RGB and audio output.
Q: The Amiga's graphies capabilities are reputed to be extraordinary.
What are the détails about these great graphies?
A: The reason for the truly fine graphies is that we have three custom VLSI circuits to provide the graphies and sound while still allowing the main procès- sor to run at full speed most of the time. This special-purpose hardware gives you the follow- ing features.
The Amiga produces bit- plane-generated, high-resolution graphies, typically producing a 320x200 non-interlaced display, or 320x400 interlaced, in 32 colors, and a 640x200 or 640x400 display in 16 colors. A spécial Low-resolution mode is also available that allows you to have 4,096 colors on-screen
This custom hardware also in- cludes a custom-display co-pro- cessor that perrnits changes to any of the system's special-pur- pose registers in synchroniza- tion with the movement of the video beam. This allows spécial effects such as mid-screen changes to the color palette, splitting the screen into multiple horizontal slices, each hav* ing différent video résolutions. The co-processor can trigger many finies per screen, both at the beginning of lines and dur- ing the blanking interval. The co-proccssor itself can directly affect ali the registers of the special-purpose hardware, finis freeing the 68000 for other gen- erafpurpose computing tasks.
The special-purpose hardware embodies 32 color registers, each of which contains a 12-bit number that is splii into four bits of red, four of green and four of blue intensity information. This allows the system 4,096 différent choices of color for each register. Although an RGB monitor provides the best available output for the system graphies, the NTSC signal has been carefully designed to provide maximum NTSC compati- hility. The signal mav be videotaped or fed to a standard composite video monitor.
As for sprites, we have eight reusable 16-bit-wide sprites, with up to 15 color choices per sprite-pixe! Eiement when sprites are paired, or up to four choices per pixel eiement when sprites are used individually.
The background on which the sprites rnove independcntly is called the playing field, and the sprites can be displaved either over or under this background. The sprite is a low-resolution, 16-pixel-wide object that is an arbitrary number of lines tall.
After producing the last line of the sprite on the screen, a sprite proccssor may be used to produce yet another sprite image elsewhere on the screen. Thus, you can create many, many small sprites by simply reusing the sprite processor as appropriate.
L’he system hardware also provides dynAMIGAlly controlla- ble inter-object priority. This
means that the svstem can con-
trol video priority between the sprite object and the background on the playing field.
You can détermine which object appears on top at any given time, as well as sensing collisions between objects or be- tween the object and the playing field.
There is also a custom bit-blit- ter for high-speed data movement, adaptable to bit-play ing animation. The blitter is designed to efficiently receive data from up to three sources, combine the data in one of 256 différent ways and optionally store the design data in a destination area. The bit-blitter has a spécial mode in which it can draw patterned lines into a rectangu- larly organized memory région at a speed of about one million dots per second.
Q: How can users get a detailed description of the inner workings of the Amiga? Will a hardware man- ual be available?
A: The hardware manual will be available at or close to the re- lease date of the machine. The same information that has been distributed to our developers will for the most part be available to users. This includes a hardware manual and a description of the operating system’s ROM Kern al routine.
Q; Is it possible to damage the Amiga by typing in anything incorrect ly, by turning things on or off in the wrong sequrnee or by plugging in peripherals with the power on?
A: No, you can’t damage the Amiga by typing errors or by switching things on or off in the wrong sequence. It is acceptable to plug in joysticks, a mouse or other peripherals with the power on, but we advise that you play it safe by plugging in peripherals with the power off.
It s a good practice,
Q: How often is it advisable to clean the disk drive? And how is it best done? A: Whatever is generally recom- mended as cleaning intervais maybe once a month, tinless there is very heavy usage. Cet a good disk-cleaning kit for a ?>%- inch drive.
Q: Is it safe to take the disks through X-ray machines in airports? A: Yes.
Address ail author correspon- dence to Swain Prall, c o AmigaWorld éditorial, 80 Pine St., Peterborough, NH 03458.
NewOwners Of Amiga, The Newest Génération
From Activisiori: The Next Génération In Home Computer Software.
For new product information call 1-800-633-4263. In California cal! 415-940-6044 5 (weekdays).
HOME COMPUTER SOFTWARE
fcWuricàGïrr.nxtfcire-An iIn: !' E9S6AcHvsam.In.
Circle 25 on Reader Service card.
List of Software
Development tools, including macro assembler, linkage editor and overlay editor for the software community
Amiga IJSP Amiga Pascal
Entry level, but powerful paint program, giving user control over Amiga’s graphies capabilities
Professional level graphies and art production program
Coin modore* Amiga
Char ter a] t
I si and Graphics
Powerful business graphies package for charts and graphs. Produces 3-D, shaded, exploded and expanded graphs, plus a variety of spécial effects for business présentations
Island Graphics Commodore-
Advanced animation effects; ad image-manipulation program using icons and 'pull-down menus for easy
and rapid implémentation
1 fc i. , -t»
Powerful entry level word processor stressing ease of use, on-screen documentation and templates for business letters, mémos, etc.
-» fl*l) j
Commodore- Amiga W
Entry level program featuring the Amiga’s advanced sound Systems and capabilities
68000 C language compiler for Amiga software development in C, a language poputar because of its power and portability
General Ledger Accts Receivable Accts Payable Sales
Small business programs from the popular Rags to Riches sériés, featuring on-screen documentation, a common command set and the ability to swap data between programs
Oct. 7 85
Amiga 'TTC Logo
Enhanced adaptation for the Amiga of the TLC-Logo programming language for educational applications
The Lisp Co.
Oct. 7 85
Easy to use but sophisticated communications and terminal émulation package
Professional sound synthesis and music program from a leading music publisher
Cherry Lane Technologies
Sept. 7 85
Developer Publisher Date
Flight Simulator State-of-the-art flight simulation Bruce Artwick Commodore- Jan. '86
program using the Amiga’s advanced Amiga
graphies animation and sound
Sophisticated and multi-featured spreadsheet program; data compatible with VisiCalc
Commodore- j Amiga
Strategy arcade game
Highly acclatmed second-génération integrated package with word processor, spreadsheet, database, télécommunications and graphies
Advanced word processing program for profession al users; a module o Là the En ah le package
The Software Group
Advanced spreadsheet program for professional users; a module of the Enable package. Allows data compatibility with Lotus 1-2*3 (including Lotus macros), dBase II and
The Software Group
Advanced database program for professional uses; a module of the
The Software Group
BUNDLED WITH THE AMIGA
Text and graphies program introducing features of the Amiga
Powerful basic programming language with advanced features, such as multiple Windows for editing and debugging
Rolling demo program featuring the graphies capabilities of the Amiga
Speech program with user-definable parameters (male-female voices, etc.) allowing unlimited text-to-speech conversion
* ScheduIed for release on or before the Amiga’s launch date.
Do you have what it takes? Are you good enough ? Can you put your thouo'hts into words
We are iooking for the best, the very best, and for the most part, nothing but the best articles for publication in AmigaWorld. Articles that would make your mother proud. Articles about the Amiga, of course. What it can do, where it can take you, where it is going, and just what is a blitter anyway? An- swer an important question about the Amiga in clear, un- derstandable, human terms, or address something trivial in an élégant way. People expert amazing things from
their Amigas, and we expect nothing less from our authors.
We have the highest éditorial standards money can buy, and we are willing to pay real, honest-to-goodness cash for just about anything that furthers our réputation as the ultimate authority on the Amiga computer. If you think that you know something better than the next fel- low, then prove it to us and yourself. Put it down on clean, white paper, double- spaced with a new ribbon. Then go back, clean up the spelling and grammatical er- rors, retype it and send it in to:
AmigaWorld Submissions 80 Pine St.
Peterborough, NH 03458
We are tough, we are hard, and we would like to believe that you.. .yes you. . .have something to say about the Amiga computer that will astound our editors and impress our readers. If you think that you have what it takes to survive those grueling 6 to 8 weeks while we tear your article to shreds, then by ail means, go for it. Just be sure to include a self-addressed, stamped envelope so we'll know where to send the remains. Then agaîn, if you aren’t that sure of yourself yet, you can always send for a copy of our author's guidelines first. In faci, that might be the best idea. That way you won’t have to guess what our standards are.
And those few, outstand- ing writers who earn our stamp of approval can stand tall, knowing that they are among the few, the chosen, the best they are the AmigaWorld Authors!
"THE LISP CO. (TLC) 430 MONTEREY AVE. 4 LOS GATOS, CA 95030
Wanna see HOW big a deal? We’ve ail seen the old Logos ail seasoning and no substance, cute graphies, but not much else.*
Then there's the inscrutable LISP ail meat and no potatoes. Perfect for eggheads and carnivores in Artificial Intelligence work, but for us regular folks, forget it! And yesterday’s machines? Old gym socks were more powerful.
So, who could keep the best, sink the rest and create a language worthv of your attention? Who else but THE LISP COMPANY (TLC), and our TLC™ LOGO. THE Logo for the AMIGA PC.
"How powerful is it?" You ask. It goes beyond our popular companion book "THINKING ABOUT TLC™- LOGO," beyond the idea of computer learning as hard and boring, be- yond bad puns.
You start with a turtle named STUDS. Use him to draw pretty pictures, or to explore mathe- matics from simple functions to calculus. Want more turtles? Hatchem and askem to perform. Your wish is their command. Want them to cooperate with each other?_
* except ours, of course.
BIG DE AL
TLC™-LOGO’S multi-turtle opérations reduce multi-processing to child's play or adult’s. STUDS isn't picky.
LOGO WITH A SLIGHT LISP
Tltr-LOGO THE POWER OF LISP WITH SIMPLE SYNTAX
You can build more objects and ask them to perform, too. Objects are built from descriptions, and they in turn are built from a cornucopia of components num- bers, Iists, vectors, functions, even other descriptions ail of the building blocks that a modem LISP dialect is expected to have. Yes, brains and beauty, too!
And TLC™-LOGO IS a modem LISP dialect, designed and built by a team with over 30 years experience in the folklore of LISP-like languages. Thanks to the power of the AMIGA PC, no compromises were required in this new TLC™- LOGO. This is a général pur- pose language seductive enough to make it interest- ing, powerful enough to make it worthwhile. Three key ingrédients
• the power of the AMIGA machine
the graphies and easy use of TLC™-LOGO the 1 st class functional semantics of LISP
combine to tickle your Creative streak. But you and we know that
So big deal... who needs another Logo? This isn't just another Logo, another weak introductory graphies language. TLC™- LOGO is faithful to its LISP roots, gracefully integrating what's been learned about LISP-like languages in the past 20 years, delicately (?) Seasoned with notions from object-oriented programming, and boast- ing an exterîor tastefully decorated with graffiti from turtle graphies and the best of mouse-driven interaction. The resuit? A powerful, élégant language that can explore programming notions in graphies, in général purpose applications, and in Artificial Intelligence. You can design your own video delights, animate armies of turtles and generally have a good time.
Now that IS a big deal.
So welcome the AMIGA PC and welcome TLC™-LOGO a language worth thinking about.
TLC™-LOGO for the AMIGA
the key to successful software is in the documentation. Besides our "THINKING ABOUT TLC" LOGO" book, we're in- cluding a gargantuan helping of tutorials, primers, examples and reference manuals. Even more support material is incubating.
IT IS A BIG DEAL
And space stations, Martian colonies, and interstellar probes might already be commonplace. Does that sound outlandish? Then bear these facts in mind:
In 1946 ENIAC was the scientific marvel of the day. This computer weighed 30 tons, stood two stories high, covered 15,000 square feet, and cost $ 486,840.22 in 1946 dollars. Today a $ 2,000 kneetop portable can add and subtract more than 20 times faster, And, by 1990, the average digital watch will have as much computing power as ENIAC,
The collective brainpower of the computers sold in the next two years will equal that of ail the computers sold from the beginning to now. Four years from now it will have doubled again.
It’s hard to remember that this is science fact, not fiction, How do people keep pace with change like this? That’s where we come in. We’re CW Communications Inc. the world’s largest publisher of computer-reiated newspapers and magazines.
Every month over 9,000,000 people read one or more of our publications
Nobody reaches more eomputer-involved people around the world than we do. And nobody covers as many markets, In the United States we publish three computer business jouraals. Micro Marketworld, for businesses selling small computers and software. On Communications, the monthly publication covering the evolving communications scene. And Computerworld, the newsweekiy for the computer community, which is the largest specialized business publication of any kind in this country.
CW COMMUNICATIONS INC.
375 Cochituate Road, Box 880 Framingham MA 01701 (617) 879-0700
We also offer eight personal computer publications. InfoWorld, the personal computer weekly, is a général interest magazine for ail personal computer users.
The other seven are monthly magazines that concentrate on spécifie microcomputer systems. PC World, the comprehensive guide to IBM personal computers and compatibles. InCider, the Apple II journal. Macworld, the Macintosh magazine. 80 Micro, the magazine for TRS-80 users. HOT CoCo, the magazine for TRS-80 Color Computer and MC-10 users. And RUN, the Commodore 64 & VIC-20 magazine. And one is bi-monthly. AmigaWorld, exploring the Amiga from Commodore.
And we have similar publications in every major computer market in the world. Our network of more than 55 periodicals serves over 25 countries. Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Denmark, Finland, France, Greece, India, Israël, Italv, Japan, Korea, Mexico, The Netherlands, Norway, People’s Republic of China, Saudi Ara- bia, Southeast Asia, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, United Kingdom, United States, Venezuela and West Germany.
The sooner we hear from you, the sooner you’ll hear from our readers
Simplv put, we’ll make it easy for you to reach your target audience and for them to reach you, Call today for more information. Yotfll find the number below.
Icon Review™ welcomes the Commodore Amiga™
Blind dates and buying software have a lot in common: It’s not always easy to spot a dog!
We have labored into the wee hours exploring our new Amigas and scouting for innovative software. We’rc excited!
Amiga Software HotList
So excited that we are working feverishly to compile an
up-to-date HotList of outstanding Amiga software that is available today. We help you separate the win- ners from the dogs.
ICON REVIEW is a direct marketing conduit supplying software products to you, the end user. ICON REVIEW offers software shoppers the convenience and low prices of telemarketing direct mail together with accurate pro- duct information and per- sonalized service.
Amiga’s Product Boom
Third party developers will soon be flooding the market with ail manner of exciting software and accessories for the Amiga. ICON REVIEW will be there to help you beneflt from this new industry.
Call Today TOLL FREE
If you see a promising software product, mentioned or advertised in this issue of AmigaWorld, call us today. We'll have an up-to-date product HotList covering the quality products shipping now.
If it' s currently available, chances are we’ll have it in stock at a close-to-incredible, low price.
Maximillian™ From Tardis Software
Maximillian is a breakthrough design in multi-tasking, integrated software for the Amiga. Indu des MaxiCalc, Ma xi Word, MaxiGraph, and MaxiTerm. Cad for availability $ 175.
Also from Tardis The Amiga Programmers Library:
T-Make, C-Learner, Tool Paks I and II $ 49. Each
Spécial low price for Amiga developers
CALL TOLL FREE In California
800 228-8910 800 824-8175
Resource for Amiga and Macintosh software Post Office Box 2566 • Monterey, CA 93942
397A Corra de Tierra Satinas, CA 93908
ICON REVIEW in conjuntion with it s sister company, MindWork Software, will be marketing its own line of
Reader Service 7
Copyright I98S Mrnd'X'ork Emerpriscs, Inc
Amiga il i rridfmirk ai Commodore Inrernananil Micimoi.*! U x uidenufk lrcenwd 10 Apple Ctrnputct, Inc
Icon Rn:rv MindWark Software and AmigaVtxrc are mdcmarki of MindiXork Earetpfæï. Jnç Icon Re>:r» ir.d MindTCbrlc Sofrwre are dnmoni of MmdWork Enrcrpnwv Ire
Activision Inc., 89
Borland Int’l, 25
Brodcrbund Software, 85
Chang Labs, 61
Cherry Lane, 73
Commodore AMIGA CIV, 35.
CW Communications, 94,
Electronic Arts, 6, 7
Everyware Inc., 31
Icon Review, 95
Image Set, 84
Innovative Technologies, 75
Island Graphics CIII
Lattice Inc., 24
Lisp Co., 93
Manx Software, 79
Software Group, 41
Tardis Inc., 12, 13
Tecmar Inc. Cil, 1
The 64 Store, 84
List of Advertisers
Corning Next Issue
White-Collar Amig a The Amiga is ideally suited
for the office, and this article explores some of the ways in which the Amiga can be used in the business environment.
Télécommunications An introduction to
télécommunications for Amiga users, with a spécial focus 011 the offit e.
Behind the Scenes at Commodore-
Amiga A look at the company, the people and the ideas
that vvent into makingthc Amiga computer what it is today.
What is MIDI? An in-depth discussion of the MIDI
interface, cxplaining what MIDI technologv is and how it will be used on the Amiga. What does MIDI mean to people in the music business, and what will it mean to people in other professions?
Plus Other features, columns, questions and answers and
a few surprises that will make AmigaWorld worth every penny.
Unique applications, tips and staff
You may be using your Amiga at work, you may be using it at home, or you may be using it in the back seat of your car, but in some way or other, you are going to be using your Amiga in a slightly différent way than anyone else. You are going to be running across little things that will help you to do something faster or easier or more elegantly.
AmigaWorld would like to share those shorîcuts, ideas. Unique applications, programmmg tips, things to avoid, things to try, etc., with everyone, and we'll reward you for your efforts with a colorful, appetizing, official AmigaWorld T-shirt. (Just remember to tell us your size.)
Send it in, no matter how outrageous, clever, obvious, humorous, subtle, stupid, awesome or bizarre. We will read anything, but we won’t return it, so keep a copy for yourself. In cases of duplication, T-shirts are awarded on a first corne, first serve basis.
So, put on your thinking berets and rush those suggestions to:
Hors d’oeuvres AmigaWorld éditorial 80 Pine St.
Peterborough, NH 03458
CIRCLE NUMBERS FOR MORE INFORMATION
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lÊsssfe fi Mçxko f i?. | Foréiga Sunaee $ 3497, Me
is. Laauevj. Yleuie cir-tUr 500 Ofi ïW
yeil Ml i ? Issue âSow |î§|f w iis fer jÉ ®Étê
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Ifs the lowesi subscription ofTer youTl ever find for AmigaWorld.. .the new computer magazine for users of the newest Commodore computer.
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• AmigaWorld.. .where expert authors will lead you through the exciting and rcvolutionary features of the Amiga!
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Please make chcck payable to AmigaWorld. Canada and Mexico $ 17.97,1 year only, US funds drawn on US bank. Foreign Surface $ 34.97, 1 year only, US fonds drawn on US bank. Foreign Airmail please inquire. Please allow 6-8 weeks for delivery.
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It’s the lowest subscription offer youTl ever find for AmigaWorid... the new computer magazine for users of the newest Commodore computer.
• AmigaWorid...the only Àmiga-specific magazine on the market. It's as fresh and dazzling as the computer itself!
• AmigaWorid.. .where expert authors will lead you through the exciting and revolutionary features of the Amiga!
• AmigaWorid... helping you discover and utilize a wholc new world of computer graphies and sounds!
• AmigaWorid... because Creative computing was never so exciting and easy!
Get 1 Year (Six Issues)
Of Amiga World At The Spécial Introductory Rate Of $ 14.97 That’s25% Off The Basic Subscription Price!
The CW Communications Guarantee
As ihc workl’s largest publishcr of computer relaied information, we uncondilionally guaranlee your AmigaWbrUi subscription. Il you're not completely satisfiecl. Tell us. We" 11 refund the full price of your subscription no questions asked.
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Corp. When Commodore needed Amiga in-store
graphies software they came to Island Graphics
Creative. And for launch pizzazz they did the
product demos they came to Island Graphics
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