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Editor's Notes

Over the past few months, I've dedicated the occasional time slice to thinking about the Joe Torre interview from around the beginning of this year, in which Amiga Incorporated's general direction for the future of the platform was established. I was pleased to hear that the 680x0 and PowerPC would both be included in the specification for the time being, as this is sure to guarantee a good balance of compatibility and performance. However, one of the last lines, neatly tucked away after several paragraphs of "good news," announced somewhat casually that Amiga would not be making new Amigas.

As we all know, this created a bit of a stir in the online Amiga community. Personally, I wasn't sure what to make of it. I had never expected to see a surge of monster Gateway 2000 mega-Amigas, but at the same time, I felt confident that if Amiga Inc. did anything at all, they would at least continue the Commodore/ESCOM tradition of engineering, manufacturing, and distribution. Instead, what we have is a diffuse web of licensing and cloning.

The more I think of it, the clearer it becomes that we, the Amiga users of the world, are about to get, to put it not the least bit politely, screwed over yet again. I'm not sure who we should "blame" for this; whether Gateway 2000 is not providing the needed funds (although there were rumors of new facilities being built in the last half-year), or Amiga is simply copping out, is not yet clear. But either way, it is a gutless, heartless, and altogether thoughtless approach at attempting to revive a platform whose ties to life are tenuous at best.

Cloning and licensing is fine. In fact, it is an excellent way to enlarge and diversify the platform, as well as provide competition which is sure to benefit the consumer. But there must be a central direction, a unified leadership, and a "genuine Amiga." Otherwise, the potential for resource and market fragmentation is far too great -- even with Amiga maintaining specifications.

Personally, I've just about had it. Although our main purposes at The Amiga Monitor have always been to provide information and editorial resources, we have also served as advocates for the platform, together with so many individuals, groups, and other publications. But there is only so far a community can take a platform to which one company after another refuses to appropriately dedicate itself. The licensing and cloning may actually work, but without a central direction, the platform is crippled, and I wouldn't be surprised to see it fail utterly.

I'm not saying you should abandon the Amiga and go buy a Wintel box. Even if I hadn't bought a new Amiga less than a year ago, I would still be committed to continuing with this platform; for my purposes, both of my Amigas are simply far more useful and enjoyable than any other system, and I have no personal reason to leave. As it is, new product developments promise powerful new hardware and software for years to come. But you should make the same decision for yourself. Use the system that's best for your needs; if the Amiga really is as great as we've all been screaming for so many years, then that's the one to use. But the time to blindly follow this platform has gone.

I, for one, do believe the Amiga is that great, and I'm staying because I want to. Still, if the platform dies, it isn't my life. But who knows; maybe with an ounce of corporate competence, it will make it after all.

Michael Webb
Publisher and Editor-in-Chief


TABLE OF CONTENTS


VOLUME 2, ISSUE 9, APRIL 1998

NEWS AND EDITORIAL

Amiga: Announcement Pending
By Michael Webb
We've all been wondering for a while what Gateway 2000 is really up to. A recent, reasonably subtle hint indicates that we may soon find out.

The Sam Report: Genie Farewell
By Sam Ormes
An epilogue for the story of one of the most influential online services of all time.

Brave New World Wide Web
By Kyle Webb
When does a resource become a pacifier? In our time, the online world has indeed become a double-edged sword. Which path will society take?

Future Decisions
By Paul Somerfeldt
It's important to draw the line between vaporware and absolute stagnation, as Paul shows from experience and memory.

APX: From Atari to Amiga
By Paul Somerfeldt
Recalling a software-distribution idea from another era that could greatly help commercial and shareware developers, users, and the Amiga platform in general.

Why Use So Many Words When Two Will Do :)
Edited By Kyle Webb
Recently, we publicized the ongoing effort to have ICQ ported to the Amiga. Unfortunately, Mirabilis appears to be responding to Amiga users in much the same way as all too many other corporate entities over the years.

SHOWTIME!
By Kyle Webb
The upcoming AmiWest '98 promises to be as interesting and informative an event as always.

AM Reader Poll: Amiga and America Online?: Results So Far
By Paul Somerfeldt
Here we have the results of our current Reader Poll (listed below), as obtained since it was first published in the December 1997 - January 1998 issue of AM.

AM Reader Poll: Amiga and America Online?: Month 4
By Paul Somerfeldt, Introduction by Michael Webb
You've seen the editorials. Now it's your turn to offer your opinions on this subject. Should America Online be made available to Amiga users? Would Amiga users benefit, or even want to use AOL? Every vote counts, so if you have an opinion, please take a look at this survey!

JMS/ICOA Election
Press Release
Information about the people's choice representative for the Amiga community at large.

FEATURES

Scala Still Rocks on the Amiga
By Bill Graham
Scala may have been ported to the PC, but the Amiga remains a better platform for some Scala purposes. Bill Graham tells of combining the right software with the creative process in order to get optimal results.

A-Cloning We Will Go
By Manuel Veronesi
Sometimes it seems like there are more Amiga clones being announced than lawsuits being filed against Microsoft! (ahem.) This article takes a look at some of what's out there, and what it means to us Amiga users.

REVIEWS

OxyPatcher
By Steve Duff
A small program to speed up 68881- and 68882-optimized software on the 68040 and 68060, in a manner similar to that of phase 5's CyberPatcher.

HiSOFT C++ Preview
By Michael Webb
A quick look at a new and apparently well-implemented development environment for the Amiga.

SPOTLIGHT ON GAMES AND ENTERTAINMENT

The Amiga Gaming Retrospective: Part 10 - The Duel: Test Drive II
By Michael Webb
Yes, believe it or not, it's back! About a year has gone by since we have had a chance to do an Old Game Review, but the Editor's promise of another car game is finally to be fulfilled.

DEPARTMENTS

Editors@HelpDesk
By the Editorial Staff
The staff of The Amiga Monitor tackles your problems and answers your questions.

Feedback
By you, the readers
The readers speak out about the Amiga industry, Amiga community, and The Amiga Monitor.

Lame Humor Department
By Kyle Webb
A satirical, sarcastic, sardonic, and sometimes downright silly look at affairs in the Amiga community, and life in general...also known as The Amiga Monitor's comic page.

The Amiga Monitor: 1996-1998, Excelsior Digital Publishing