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                               Reader Mail

From: (Bono)


As with the majority of mails you undoubtedly receive, I am going to start
by saying...  Wow!  After having heard about AR for a long time from a
variety of sources I eventually, and somewhat sceptically, downloaded #401
and was utterly blown away, by the overwhelming graphics, great print
quality, glossy paper, 50% advert content, and paid-by-the-letter writers.
No, I'm being serious, it's what AR doesn't have that makes it so special,
just look at price as an example.  I pay about $10 every month for a
particular Amiga magazine and what do I get: all of the above and worse. 
Only 6 reviews of any use at all, and the majority, (I speculate)
influenced by a very nice corporate lunch.  (not like I'm a cynic or
anything.  :) 

I look at my $10 worth and compare it with my 10-second-phonecall copy of
AR.  Need I say more?  Please keep up the good work, the whole Amiga
community in indebted to all the writers and editorial staff at AR, a very
big Thankyou on behalf of all of us.

All the Best,
Alastair Angus (Bono)

     Well, you're welcome.  It makes me proud to know that AR is considered
     in the same, or a better, caliber than the print magazines that abound
     out there.  I would like to point out that while I can't speak for
     previous years, I think the current crop of my print colleagues out
     there are a pretty honest bunch who fully understand the impact of
     their commentary and their responsibility to the market.  -Jason

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From Thu Mar 21 21:30:08 1996

Reading the editorial comment in the latest edition of AR, I feel inclined
to agree about the situation of the Amiga.  Being conservative about
products in the computer world doesn't work that well - especially if you
don't have a computer that has a good reputation.  The Amiga has to WIN
people over - people that are probably using the Win95 platform.  To do
that, it has to be shown that the Amiga has comparable technology and low
prices.  Generally, the Amiga does not require as powerful resources as the
Win95 world, but the recent release of AT's version of the A1200 and A4000T
have shown to be overpriced even for current Amigans.

The brutal reality about the Amiga is that it must develop into a hardware
setup that mirrors many of the easily available PC parts.  Things like
floppy drives, hard drives, memory - everything must be similar so that
Amiga prices can be comparable to the millions of IBM clones being sold.
Furthermore, AT should present a variety of models that have slightly
different specifications.  For example, have 3 or 4 different processors,
memory setups, hard drive capacities and so on.  Then simply have different
names.  This gives the potential Amiga buyer the impression that there are
a variety of different models.  Moving to a new platform when there are
only two models available (even if older models exist) gives the impression
that the market is small.  This is all about marketing.  Generally, it has
worked well for Apple, who has simply changed the badge name on some of its
Macs (using basically the same equipment) to achieve a broader range of

This would also enable the introduction of more computers over the year -
without the huge cost of a completely new machine.  For example, a version
of the A1200 should now be out with an accelerator card in the expansion
slot, a 500 meg HD, and 6 Meg of ram.  This would fill the gap between the
current A1200 and the A4000T as well.  As far as the cost would go, AT only
has to add a few more parts, and vary the price accordingly.  The work
hours are almost nil.

In todays computing world, computer manufacturers have to provide
solutions, not just the machine.  In the days of Commodore, many people
were buying Amigas, and then later going out and buying accelerator cards -
this shouldn't have been necessary.  Commodore should have provided
competitive solutions themselves.  At least with AT they are collaborating
with third parties (eg.  Phase 5) to reduce their own expenses, yet ensure
that the initial Amiga they sell is a good product.  Commodore was too
pig-headed about developing their OWN product.

AT can do more, on this front as well.  More models, cheaper prices, and
the use of at least Escom in Europe to promote the Amiga will give AT a
footing, and then they may have the support to really start expanding the
Amiga market.


Duncan Turner.

     On some fronts, AT has begun to do these things.  Let's hope the trend
     continues. -Jason

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From: (Mike Erasmus)


As the editor I'd like to thank you for the truly execellent you and the
other staff at AR for producing this cool magazine.

As I don't have access to UseNet at WORK, (Who want to pay for Internet
when you can get it for free...) I am unable to make this request via the

Since my daily bread and butter comes from working on the DREADED and
pathetic PeeCee, but one thing it has which is truly excellent.  That is
Visual Basic, among a few. 

As I am doing development/maintenance on in-house developed systems, I'd
love to know:

    ** Are there ANY programming tools like Visual Basic on Amiga ?  **

I feel the current lack of a decent database development system, is
breaking the speed at which the Amiga can be considered a real machine for
business.  Whereas the PC has invaded Amiga terrritory on every single
front, most noteably the absance of Amigas on shelves for a long time has
made the PC gain a foothold in the Graphics arena.  To name but just one. 
Recently I paged through an American "3D-Artist" mag, on a few pages there
were mentions of the Amiga.  Or as it was put in one of the articles about
the development of Computer Gfx : "The Amiga was the PC which has started
graphics on non-SGI systems."

Well, as I said before.  We need some decent Database development software.
I mean, really HEAVYWEIGHT stuff, like VB4.0, even Visual Basic V3.0 will
do, thanks a lot.  Not even to mention things like Delhpi.  Whereby the
creator of the software, using this AmigaVisualBasic will distrubute
fully-working run-time versions of the program, like compiled AMOS files.

I am aware of SuperBase 4 for Amiga which I undserstood was quite powerful.
But is there still support for it?  [Yes, but not a lot. -Jason]

We aren't all fond of devlving deep into the likes of the Amiga ROM
manuals, let alone stuff around in endless pages of code.  I'm talking
C/C++ now.  What a waste of development time.  It should of course, also
support some form of SQL.  Support for Servers isn't a necessaity.  Just be
able to use your modules over a shared network.  Something like the
Access-SQL will be verrrry, very nice to have.

Please, I'm standing on my knees.  I'm begging the Amiga developers
community.  Consider a tool like this, as the PC is an absolute NIGHTMARE
to work on.

Mike Erasmus

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From: fass003@ariel.macarthur.uws.EDU.AU (Anthony Ikeda)

Here is my idea.  Why can't the Amiga be card based, by this I mean
allowing the various ports to be an option for example the Serial,
Parallel, external drive, scsi and midi ports could each be supplied on a
card that slips in the back like the FMV card for the CD32.  Therefore the
FMV could also be included with the card.  This could be known as the Amiga
Studio.  Perhaps the serial and parallel ports could be separate but the
others are options that fit together.  I mean how many people are going to
use these as soon as they get their Amiga????  Maybe you think this is
stupid but if it will reduce the cost of the Amiga I think it's the best

     Well, it all depends on whose cards you're using.  If you're building
     custom cards, it's probably going to wind up more expensive in the
     long run.  If you're talking about plugging industry-standard cards
     in, that's another matter.  PCI is supposed to be coming on
     PowerAmigas, which would make this sort of architecture easy and
     obvious.  Until then, however, it seems AT will be stuck with custom
     boards.  -Jason

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From: Michael Jacula <>

Hi Jason!

I am writing in response to the reader mail in AR4.03 concerning the
Derringer 030 and OS3.1

I have an A2000 with a CSA Derringer 030/33 with 8MB of RAM installed.  I
am running v1.0 of the D3 utility with no problems under OS3.1.

Has the reader checked for incompatibilities in his utilities/commodities
that he runs upon bootup?  I am running MCP 1.05 (020 version) and
ToolsDaemon.  I maintain complete ability to use all arguments of the D3

Just letting you know that it is possible to run the D3 utility under

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From: Ron Upton <>

Dear Katherine

I am searching for a program, PD or commercial, which will allow me to join
animation files created in DPaint (OP-5 format).

CyroUtil's CombineANIM, 1989, works perfectly for two very small files.  It
appears that the program is unable to take advantage of all CyroUtil's
CombineANIM, 1989, works perfectly for two very small files.  It appears
that the program is unable to take advantage of all of the available fast

I would be pleased to receive any information or advice relating
to this matter from readers of ar.

Many thanks

Ron Upton

P.S. Thank you for the great magazine.