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Article about AmiGBG in paper magazine, translated for Amigaworld! (16-Jun-2003)  Popular
(Read 5678 times)
The article below is translated from the Swedish magazine DatorMagazin, issue no 6/2003. It started in the early 80's covering Commodore, but went bust sometime in the mid 90's. Now it has been revived yet again, but covering PC and Mac, Unix, Linux and Windows and also do hardware and software reviews of everything from servers and printers to unix workstations and the new AmigaOne platform.

When they heard of the Amiga show, they decided to attend. The article got to be 2 full pages in their 164 pages magazine.
Datormagazin website is at



With grave seriousness, a young man in his best age, much like myself, meets me with the words "And when are you going to write something about the Amiga, then?". About three minutes has passed from that I have entered the premises in the industrial and research facilities of Lindholmen located just outside of central Gothenburg where the Amiga gathering AmiGBG 2003 is held. I got this question more than once during the few hours I spent together with the other Amiga enthusiasts, mostly from Sweden but also from Norway and Denmark, that had travelled to Gothenburg for this event. A few Atarians were present too, mostly in the form of SAK, Swedish Atari Club, and a few who likes both Amiga and Atari, I am myself in the latter group, I might add.

You should be on the clear that not everyone is here cause of nostalgia. Many of those we spoke to wanted to upgrade their old amigas and use it for everything that you can do with a PC or Mac today. Surf the web, play MP3 music, send e-mail and watch DiVX movies is no longer a major problem if you have the right hardware. And with the right hardware, we don't mean the 500 or 1200, no, only the PowerPC equipped Amigas do any good in those areas. These machines differ quite alot from the the old Amiga computers that we grew up with. And soon even those machines that are considered top-of-the-line today, history. Finally, here comes the AmigaOne machines to Sweden via the Swedish distributor GGS-Data. The plan was that Gunne Steen from GGS-Data was supposed to sell the motherboards that make the AmigaOne platform on the AmiGBG show, but the firm that transported the motherboards managed to confuse "Gothenburg" with "Cologne". Guess where the boards were when the doors was opened to the show..

Something that isn't for sale just yet, and that will take a while longer, is Amiga OS4. The Englishman Alan Redhouse from the english company Eyetech is one of the people involved in the process of making a new Amiga platform. He emphasized during his presentation that development is going forwards and that apart from the little problem of financing the development, where they had already spent some 5 Million USD during the 18 months long development of Amiga OS4, and that they have had big problems getting specifications out of Motorola that has developed the G3 and G4 processors which the AmigaOne is based on. The company VIA, that delivers the chipset that is a vital part of the machine, had been, if possible, even more impossible to deal with, whereas IBM had been extremely helpful, as they wanted to get the PowerPC processor out to as many as possible. Alan Redhouse also mentioned that his company Eyetech not only has plans of making consumer computers, but also bring forth systems that handle other functions. As an example, he mentioned surveillance and other similar functions, for example embedded surveillance or information kiosks at railstations. Alan Redhouse emphasized that even if there's 10.000 active Amiga users out there, it isn't enough - his Eyetech wants to reach 20 or 30 thousand users in order for the project not to be an economic flop and thereby the end of the AmigaOne. He also said that another good thing about the AmigaOne is that linux runs on it. Alan emphasized that he didn't see the AmigaOne as a competitor to the Wintel platform, even if he thought that he could see a market amongst those who wants to choose platform for themselves.

So what has the Atari and Amiga users been up to during all these years? From the Swedish Atari Club, Kenneth Medin and Mille Babic had travelled to Gothenburg to show off what an Atari can do, even if parts of their equipment was missing this time cause of a member was ill. Kenneth Medin demonstrated a program for planning of transportation routes that he himself had developed for his employer. We were quite surprised when Kenneth told us that he still uses the same program, written in GFA Basic, now running under emulation in Windows at work. Enthusiasts in the Atari field still exists, even if it's foremost the German people that holds the Atari flag high.

The Swedish Amiga usergroups has to be viewed as very vital. A number of usergroups had travelled to to the show, where Stefan O. Nordlander and the usergroup ACG-Gothenburg showed off a very rare prototype of an Amiga 3500 that they actually managed to get running during the course of the event. From Stockholm, SUA had come to show off another alternative operating system, by the name of Amiga Research Operating System, AROS. The main difference beeing that AROS is run on standard PC hardware and that it mainly emulates the graphical user interface of the Amiga, which was pretty nice to see. AROS lacks support for network connections via TCP/IP though, so they have quite a bit farther to go in some areas, and there's plenty of work for those interested. Carl Drougge and his colleague Adam Chodorowski, which was also one of the developers behind AROS, had managed to get the good old game Doom running just in time for their presentation.

When I'm sitting on the train back to Stockholm, I'm hit by a thought - it's not enough of these shows. Computer nostalgia or just those who wants to make an active choice where THEY chose, and in some circumstances create, the environment they want to work with, seems to have so much more fun than ordinary windows slaves. Here they use the fastest hardware in existanse, yet far from the performance of a modern PC from today - but contrary to the common PC user, these users aren't afraid of expanding their computers when needed. Mostly cause it's fun, of course, but also cause they don't have a choice in many cases.
When I get home, it's time to dust off the old A500 again. Cinemawares classic Wings awaits me - a game far more fun to play than any of todays PC games.

Text and photo: Joacim Melin, DatorMagazin
Translation: Andreas Loong, ACGGBG
Article translated and published with permission, exclusively for ACGGBG and - reflect
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