Out The Door

An editorial for this today of ours

By Paul Somerfeldt, Staff Writer, See staff list for e-mail address

Assistant Editor's Note: While a number of readers, and a few staff members, may or may nor agree with what Paul has to say in the following essay, IT IS OUR POLICY to provide the freedom to express one's (civil) opinons here on the pages of The Amiga Monitor. The Editorial Staff *does not* print only what we agree with. And on that note: the floor, Mr. Somerfeldt, is yours...

It has been a while since I have spoken my mind on these pages. One reason is that I went on vacation across the country. Another is that I have been having problems with my computer. That seems to be catching lately.

I would like to say that I wish I could have said the R.I.P. Amiga thing as well as Mike did. I was reminded of the debates over the past several years about what constituted a "real Amiga." There were those who stated that it was the hardware, those that stated it was the Operating System, and those who felt it was both. The announcement seems to indicate that Gateway seems to think that it is something else altogether. I applaud Mike for keeping it simple and direct.

In my last editorial I was taken to task for being too negative about the future of the Amiga. Well, I apologize for sounding too negative. After all, I have spent about $3000-$4000 in the past 2 years on my computer in an attempt to make my machine viable. All I am is that much poorer. It's not that it hasn't been fun, and until recently, the Wintel machines have lacked the horsepower to compete with Amiga when you compare it to window use. On the other hand, there are so many titles and applications that you can do anything you want just by going to the store. Sure beats having to write and debug everything by yourself.

I recently took delivery of my brand new Gateway laptop computer. And to actually be able to watch the way all of the applications and the OS work together is a pleasant surprise. Is it better? I would have to say yes. I can use the same data in my spreadsheet, word processor, and other applications. I can listen to the radio on the web, and most of all: did I say that my machine is portable?

Am I abandoning the Amiga market? I don't know yet. It will take a while for me to get used to this machine, so I will spend little or no time on my Amiga for the near future. Eventually I will get a package such as Amiga Forever so I can at least keep tabs on what is going on. Of course, I will also be getting an Atari 8-bit emulator in the near future.

Off-the-cuff comparisons:

Figure 1: Lindbergh Field at San Diego California on the day of the Super Bowl in January 1998.

My conclusion is that for me, it was a change whose time had come. If you are willing to, and can wait, by all means, wait to see what the new Amiga will be. But don't expect the software to be bug-free on the first try. You will just have to compare the potential bugs in an unproven system to the bugs in the Windows systems that have many applications available.

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