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%% The Amiga in Europe by Celso Martinho %%
%% firstname.lastname@example.org %%
Greetings to all Amiga Report readers. My name's Celso Martinho
and I'm a very proud Amiga user from Portugal. For those who
don't know, Portugal is small country in Europe, near Spain. We
were supposed to be in the World Cup '94 but the Portuguese team
had really bad luck in their last qualification game. Ahem! :-)
Jason Compton told me to write an article or two for AR. He said
that I would probably like it. Well, here I am writing whatever
comes to my mind. If you don't like what you read here then
complain to email@example.com :-).
First, let me try to explain to you the general situation here in
Europe concerning the Amiga:
The United Kingdom dominates the market. In fact, they sell more
Amigas in the UK than we sell PCs in Portugal. Amiga it's the
personal computer that sells more over there (yes, it's true!).
If you speak with an English Amiga "guru", you don't see stuff
like "my Amiga does this and your PC doesn't, blah, blah...". C=
UK has made a tremendous great job and was really successful
transmitting the Amiga potentials to the consumers. If C= UK
buys the Amiga technology, I see a bright future for the Amiga.
Most English Amiga users have low end systems like A1200s or
A4000/030. CD-32 is also a best seller and knocks down Sega or
Nintendo by a long distance. By reading UK magazines and
contacting many shops from London, we can obviously tell that
there are a few areas in which the Amiga is not yet very
explored. For instance, the communication and Network areas. A
curious thing about England is that they seem not to worry much
about the C= situation. That demonstrates the confidence that C=
UK has earned from their clients. Another positive point, and
this has to be with the culture it self and with the high average
way of living, is that the piracy percentage is very low.
The Amiga is also well implanted in France. It's very difficult
to hear news from France, they are very discrete. They have a
few magazines that I read occasionally. C= France seems to make
some advertising in TV and other medias. There are a few French
Amiga software producers. I've seen excellent games coming from
the Eifel tower country and many high quality PD software. In
what comes to communications and Networking, you can't find many
Amiga users with Internet access (remember, complains to jcomp
firstname.lastname@example.org :-). Their biggest information bulletin is
Minitel, a Videotext network. It's so big that you can find a
Minitel terminal is almost every house. I can access to Minitel
via the Portuguese VTX. I was browsing a little bit and I found
many Amiga corners, some very interesting like electronic
magazines with software reviews, etc... There is also a French
IRC channel for Amiga sometimes.
Now Germany. You can't imagine the quantity of high quality
professional commercial software that Germans produce and don't
release outside Germany. As for what we see, I don't need to say
much. Just take a look at MUI, Magic Workbench, Tools Manager,
TERM and many others. There are definitively many good
programmers in Germany. But software is not all, there are also
a lot of hardware producers. Germany is also known in Europe, if
not on earth, as the country where the telecommunications are
more developed. The Internet .de domain is filled of Amiga
users. The IRC channel amiga.ger is always there :-). No wonder
that ISDN-Master, the first ISDN card for the Amiga is coming
from Germany. Of all the countries in Europe, Germany is where
the Amiga hardware is more cheap.
Finland, the home of AmiTCP, the best TCP/IP package for the
Amiga, completely free.
Austria, home of TrapDoor development, the best Fidonet
Frontdoor/Utilities for the Amiga. Shareware.
Belgium, country of Nico Francois. His name's really Nico ???
Spain is a NULL pointer these days. I bought my first Amiga 500
there though. There is no Commodore representation in Spain for
a few years now. I know that there are a few Amiga usergroups.
It's really sad. I remember seeing spectacular games from Spain
in the earlier days of Amiga.
Holland, home of Amiga E. The Netherlands is surprisingly
smaller than Portugal. People from there seem to like Portugal
very much (really don't know why :-/). Anyway, gives me the
chance to know what's going on over there every Summer :-).
Portugal, we have a few good programmers. A friend of mine,
actually, a neighbor, made a file recovery program and
successfully commercialized it in the UK. It would be impossible
to have such success in Portugal. We have a lot of Amiga users.
C= PO. screwed up since the beginning. PCs were giving them
more money than Amigas so they advertised PCs and let the Amigas
sell by them selves. Now there are no PCs and C= PO. is a small
office near Lisbon whit one employe responsible too tell that the
administrator (the other staff member) is not at the moment and
you can leave a message. I know that C= Italy ran C= PO.
somehow. I wonder how C= Italy is going these days :-/. There
are a few dealers here in Portugal, they buy everything from
England and the US. I know at least 3 friends of mine wanting
A4000/040s and not having a place to buy them. CD-32 didn't
exist. I was invited and went to the presentation show of the
CD-32 unit. Very nice, I said to myself. If they put CD-32 in
shopping centers like Segas and Nintendos, they have a very good
chance to get out of the hole they're into. I still have the CD
that they offered me at the expo but I couldn't find a CD-32 unit
in my town to experiment it....
I have obviously missed many places from Europe. This is the
overview that *I* have from Europe. If you feel offended or
forgotten, be happy to write your feelings and send them to AR.
They will be most welcome, I'm sure.
I'm now going on holidays. When I get back, the Amiga rights
will probably be owned by some other company. Is the Amiga going
to survive after so many time without any research ?? Is the AAA
dead even before it's born ?? I guess time will answer this.
Meanwhile, I'm very satisfied with my A4000. If the Amiga dies
and the A4000 fails, I still have my A3000. If the A3000 fails,
I'll have my A1200. And if the A1200 fails, I guess I'll be
without any computer until the Amiga is reincarnated if the form
of something else that doesn't have a sticker saying "Intel
C ya all soon or never again,