Club Mig

Is the Amiga community accessible?

By Kyle Webb, Assistant Editor, See staff list for e-mail address

We're the Amigans, Yippee, Hurray!!

WOA! (oops!) I mean, WHOA! Hold on there, easy on the acronyms! What does it all mean?

You don't know what The Initials stand for? Oh, I see, you're just the average user, not the "I've been here since The Beginning" Amiga "expert."

Don't feel left out; half the time (yeah, it's obvious) I don't know what the letters stand for. Truly, upon closer examination, they are not pretentious, made-up terms...there's so much confusion in the Amiga world that each event needs a name of its own (to help distinguish from any similar, living or dead, events or organizations that eerily ring familiar or sound just like any of its predecessors). AI, for instance, does not mean Artificial Intelligence (to the Amigan); it means Amiga Incorporated. AC, likewise, doesn't mean Air Conditioning; rather, Amazing Computing.

Special consideration is given here to CUCUG, the Champaign-Urbana Computer Users Group (, and their Amiga Webmaster / Event Chairman, Kevin Hisel, a site I personally cannot do without :) and a man to whom I owe a debt of gratitude. (Thanks, Kevin!)

Back to the tripe (the stuff I am writing!): AAA refers not to the American Automobile Association, but to Advanced Amiga Architecture (The Chip set, for the uninitiated). CIA does not by its name suggest the Central Intelligence Agency, but the Complex Interface Adapter. CEO stands not for Chief Executive Officer; to the Amigan, it's just a swear word! :)

WB refers not to Warner Brothers, and if you are to believe the following clip, apparently, it doesn't exclusively refer to the Amiga "Workbench" either:

> Subject: Copyright violation?? > Date: Tue, 05 May 1998 19:37:58 +0500 > From: Robert Meyers <> > Reply-To: > To: David Bateman <> > > Hey, today at work I was playing with IBM's latest release, > VisualAge for Java. It's a visual Javabeans editor. Very very > cool by the way. Make Java coding much easier. Well, getting > a working core running to build on and then expanding it. > > Anyway, guess what the main screen is called? > > "Workbench". > > Yes, that right. I think this is a technical copyright > violation by IBM against our machine. Amiga Int. needs BUSTED! > to know about this. This software was recently released. > I don't know how long but not to long ago. Does anyonw know > if they are still defending their copyrights? If so, who > Oh yes. GW has LOTS of rabid snakes. > at Amiga Inc. should be informed of this? > We'll take it from here... > Bob Meyers > > Erstwhile Java Developer..(And Amigan to the core) Thankyou Very Much Sir! -- Joe Torre - Hardware Engineer - Amiga INC. - jtorre at amigainc dot com Boing! or Borg? - Yeti - Rocket Scientist - Robot Battler - Pie-master Worshiper of Amiga ladies - A Libertarian - and still 100% MS FREE! Disclaimer: These are my private opinions and dont necessarily represent those of my employer. Furthermore my statements are NOT to be regarded as official statements or guarantees of my employer. Knee! Knee! Knouw!

ARexx is a language, not a dinosaur...I think. MUI is not the sounds you hear on a Gateway commercial; it's Magic User Interface. PAL is no friend of m-EYE-n, AM doesn't mean morning, it means The Amiga Monitor, and SAM is not Surface to Air of late, he is our Senior Editor, and NOT....well, I just plain do NOT understand most of the acronyms. :)

(It's a fair bet, when confronted with a new acronym, that any given "A" will stand for the word, "Amiga".)

My mailbox is regularly filled with press releases and info-bits about the ICOA (Industry Council of the Open Amiga), the JMS (Jay Miner Society...if you don't know who Jay Miner is, help is available :) , TA (Team Amiga) etc. etc., more than FIFTY MAIL MESSAGES A DAY! And I am merely an INDIVIDUAL, and a self-admitted "techno-challenged" one at that. How does one keep up with all the acronyms? I'd like to suggest a few new letter-littered phrases of my own: for instance, "AAAA" (Association for the Amiga Acronym Abusers) or "AAU" (not, as the name might suggest, Astronomical Amiga Units, which would be a welcome number of Amiga computers being shipped to retailers around the world, but Average Amiga Users) or ASAP (the Associated Society of Amiga Programmers...somehow, though, the connotations don't work :) or the SPCAA (the Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Amiga Acronyms, in which case about now I'd be BUSTED! :). Or maybe we could offer a mini-course, AmiganBASIC, to familiarize The Uninitiated with all the terms unique to The Platform. So what's the point of all this? Hold on, folks, there is a point here the acronym, "AAU."

If Amiga Incorporated hopes to take the world by storm beginning November (or two more weeks thereafter :) it would behoove them to consider all those non-Amigans out there (with real money in their budget, with a new computer in store...we hope). The Amiga Community is, by its survivalist nature, a tight-knit, highly organized group of faithfuls who have, against all odds, stayed cohesive and unified, part of which is evident in the proliferance of the aforementioned acronyms. We have made events, formed organizations, and having assigned each a special code-word for identification, formed a Brotherhood of Bywords. Now we even have an Official Song, and an Official Poster. We have Heroes (Jay Miner, or, more fondly, "Father Jay"; for my cartoon tribute which appeared in AM1_9 see One gets the feeling of a Members-Only group, and THAT IS WHERE THE WALLS MUST COME TUMBLING least, make an easily-accessible passageway for new blood.

Let's face it, the average computer user, accustomed to the Gates / Windows / PC venue, doesn't particularly have a huge vocabulary of Very Special Terms in addition to standard computer-speak (unless you count the Beta version collection of curses, oaths, and swear words often associated with dealing with Windows...see my article, "You Aint' Seen Nuthin' Yet!"). I suspect all those potential Amiga users / owners AI is counting on to bolster the Amiga fiscal picture come November (and beyond) will be daunted by the "Private Club," "Members Only" feel of the Amiga Big Picture if and when they begin taking a closer look at this soon-to-be-released Orphan Computer. Granted, it has been necessary to be obsessive when living the (so far) successful attempts to keep Amiga on life support all these years, and we feel like a special group of (probably more intelligent, right?) Users when compared to those who have settled for life with Windows, some 90+ percent of the computing world, last I checked. This is a significant number of raw humanity who must be made to feel welcome into The Brotherhood, if AI and users alike expect cash influx; without this support, even the most faithful cannot foresee an ailing platform continue in the face of uninterrupted adversity.

So: someone in charge (who's in charge here, anyway?) please think ahead: so much resource has been aimed at keeping the Home Crowd feeding the Home Fires. Now we need a long-term plan to handle the needed influx of refugees and immigrants from the Windows World. (Assuming there will be one, and we'd better HOPE there is one.) The Gates (no pun really intended :) must be swung open; Amigan As A Second Language must be made available and easy; and taking clues from The Real World, (I'm getting a little nauseated by All The Capitals, but this is an Amigan format, remember? :) prepare in every way to make it attractive to defect to the Amiga.

You don't have to be a mechanic to drive or BUY (keyword, folks) a car.

I often feel like an outsider when confronted with all the acronyms, the newsflashes, the hype that has been so necessary for survival in this platform. I don't like to feel like I'm crashing a private party. I can only begin to imagine what the average PC user ("What's an Amiga?" "Did you say, 'Omega?' "Oh, I thought that computer died years ago!") will perceive of us as a viable group if and when the Amiga is presented as an option in the Electronics Age. I hope it's a come-as-you-are event, with no admission and no black ties. Turn away no one at the door, even if they don't know the tune. Make them feel wanted and needed, and speak to them in their language. (Be nice......)

Or they will surely find a party where they already know everyone.

Return to the June 1998 (Volume 2 Issue 11) Main Index