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Features

Main »» Interviews

The End of an Era (AmigaTalk author to cease development)  Popular
(Read 2965 times)
Horror of horrors! Jim Steichen, world-renowned Amiga programmer since 1986, is calling it quits & will no longer write programs for the Amiga or its successors.

One would think that someone that's stuck with Amiga-brand PCs for close to twenty years would be willing to tough it out for another decade. Sadly this is not the case. Jim has written such great programs as Z80Simulator & ProgrammerAssist, which are entirely committed to the Intuition approach to programming in that they virtually need no documentation to explain how to use the GUI, unlike Windows (tm) programs which have gadgets/buttons that do different things under different circumstances (which is totally confusing). We're going to miss Jim's efforts to create programs & supply programming examples to the Amiga "Community" in the
future.

We were graciously granted an interview in order to find out the whys & wherefores of this momentous decision:

Q: What finally drove you over the edge & precipitated this decision?
A: "Two words: INCREDIBLE FRUSTRATION! There's virtually no documentation on important parts of OS3.9, let alone OS4.0! Also, Hyperion chose to use the gcc compiler in their SDK (along with vbcc), neither of which has a GUI-type of debugger for them. Since a programmer spends more time debugging a program than writing it, one would think that a great debugger would be mandatory for any compiler, especially a C compiler. You only have to look at the long list of programming languages that work on the Amiga & compare it to the number of these compiler/interpreters that have any kind of debugging ability to realize that it's obvioulsy much easier to write a programming language than a debugger."

Q: Will you continue to support the programs that you've already written?
A: "First I would ask, Has anyone done anything to support my efforts? I've received a total of three emails over the years about my software, & these were all bugfix requests. I never expected to get rich programming for the Amiga & I've not been disappointed. I have yet to receive a dime from 18 years of effort.

That said, I will send out source code to anyone that asks for it (assuming it's not already posted on aminet). That's as far as I'm going to go."

Q: What is your best program, the one you're most proud of?
A: "That would have to be AmigaTalk (C). It's a GUI environment for the Little Smalltalk V1.0 interpreter. It's also the one I've spent the most time on."

Q: Where can other frustrated Amiga users find your great software?
A: "You can still access my programs at:
http://www.frontiernet.net/~jimbot, just click on the Amiga boing ball.

Alternatively, you can find most of my programs on Aminet (what's left of it)."

Q: What are you going to do with your Amiga hardware?
A: "I'm going to continue to use the AmigaOne for surfing the internet & playing with Linux, which has a more promising future than AmigaOS 4.0."

Q: What are you going to do with all of your free time that was devoted to Amiga programming?
A: "I'm going to get back into researching & developing electronic hardware for human development such as R.E.M. monitors, consciousness altering devices, etc."

Q: Any last thoughts?
A: "I will be monitoring the Amiga scene from time to time, but I really do not see how it will ever become as good as it was in the 80's. Best of luck guys & gals."

So there you have it folks. A scathing indictment of the computer programming profession, especially as it relates to the Amiga. We can only wonder if MicroSoft will come to their senses before it's too late. Also Hyperion & whoever is really in charge of the Amiga franchise. Tsk, tsk.
- stychokiller
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