Contents | < Browse | Browse >

%% The Amiga in Europe                               by Celso Martinho %%
%%                                                %%

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 :-).

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  :-).   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
Inside" :-)

C ya all soon or never again,

Celso Martinho