Tone Byte

Since I had those other two articles to write, just another nybble this month. Next month a full byte, I promise!

BIT ONE: Amiga, Commodore, Escom, VIScorp...

With its track record it's hard not to be suspicious. So far, the Amiga has seemed to bring trouble for all companies involved. First Amiga went nearly broke and had to look toward companies like Atari for salvation until bought by Commodore. I need not remind you all what happened to Commodore, but I will: It's called bankruptcy. Then after a long lull Escom picked up the Amiga, and that magic word cropped up again: bankruptcy. Then VIScorp decided to try for the Amiga and seems to not be able to get out of its own way. Would anyone be crazy enough to pick up the hot potato of the computer industry? Well, QuikPak has decided to throw their hat into the ring and has stated an interest in purchasing Amiga Technologies from the Escom trustees. Is this good news? You could bet your last dollar on it. QuikPak, in case you didn't know, is the North American builder of the A4000T and distributor for Amiga Technologies. On their own they decided to develop and produce a 68060 accelerator for the A4000T and packaged it into the A4060T. They also do not produce set top boxes based on the Amiga chipset. All in all they seem to really care about the success of the Amiga.

Contributed by: Anthony Becker, Executive Editor


This little program patches the RAM disk to give it a fuel gauge and a true "percent full" reading in Workbench just like any other drive instead of the standard 100% full. It also causes large blocks of RAM to be allocated backwards while small blocks are allocated in the usual way to reduce memory fragmentation. All in all a nice little addition to your startup sequence.

RAM Disk window with PatchRAM

This program, by Thomas Richter, can be found on Aminet as PatchRAM.LHA

Contributed by: Anthony Becker, Executive Editor

BIT THREE: CaBoom V1.5

Another entry in our "cute utilities of the month" section. This one gives you those "exploding" windows like the Macintosh but with a twist. This one is fully configurable from within the icons tooltypes. "Exploding" windows are when, instead of just appearing, an animated frame seems to burst forth either from a fixed point or from the mouse just before a window opens. CaBoom allows you to change such aspects as speed and style of the explosion to give your Amiga just that little extra bit of personality.

This program, by Juan de Garcia de Soria, can be found on Aminet as CaBoom.LHA

Contributed by: Anthony Becker, Executive Editor

BIT FOUR: Amiga Slide Rules for sale.

I've come to doubt the statement that any press is good press. It seems to me that the Amiga is better off if the mainstream computer press ignores it than to display their ignorance in trying to put it down. A few notable exceptions lately notwithstanding.

The latest comes from a magazine named the Net: Ultimate Internet Guide. It is published monthly by, of all things, Imagine Publishing, Inc. By the name you can tell that they purport to be a magazine on the Internet and not just certain computer platforms, yet you would be hard pressed to find an Amiga oriented site or piece of software. I don't like it but I can live with it.

They do mention the Amiga in their e-mail section on page 10 of their January 1997 issue. This is the section where they publish letters from their readers. One reader asks why the Net has no information about the Amiga. The answer from one JZ, who I'd have to guess is their Editor-in-Chief, Jon Zilber, is "Sure-right after our feature story on browsers for slide rules." To put this all in perspective, maybe Mr. Zilber needs to be reminded that the main Amiga sites on the Net, which his magazine supposedly is about, are regularly in the top percentile of hit web sites. He also should be reminded that one of the largest computer-specific software sites is the Aminet. Well, I've got to get back to my slide rule now and see if there's a new version of IBrowse yet.

If you are done with your long division, you can e-mail Mr Zilber at

I would include their web address, but us Amiga users have no way to make use of that, right?

Contributed by: Anthony Becker, Executive Editor

-Edited by Anthony Becker-
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