Yet Another Ottawa Amiga Show Report
Date 24-Nov-2004 1:18:50
|I think the last Amiga show I attended was AmiJam in 1995 hosted by the Amiga Users of Calgary (AMUC). I wanted to attend the Ottawa show last year but of course I got deathly sick the week before the show. This time I actually made it and I'm very glad I did.|
I'd guestimate about 40 to 50 people attended the event which included just one vendor selling goods at the show. You walked in and the first thing you saw was the freebie table consisting of all sorts of software, books and hardware for classic Amigas. Looking to your right you'd see LiveWire Systems' table with some more classic Amiga stuff and some very small cardboard boxes with very interesting new hardware in them. Beside the LiveWire table was a PAWS system with an A1200 installed which I found really interesting because I always wanted one of those. Across the room was a display of a Mac running UAE, an A2500 system, a CD32 setup playing movies and such and an AmigaOne-XE system. I hope I didn't forget anybody.
For me, the show started around 9:00 in the morning because I was helping with setup. The amiga.info guys and gals are extremely well organized and made everything seem routine. I was told they did try to bring in more vendors but there was a lack of interest this year. The fact the show coincided with the Grey Cup likely contributed to the reduced interest. It was their loss.
Doors officially opened at noon but there were attendees wandering in well before noon. At around 1:00 there was an AmigaOne-XE demo done by a local artist (sorry I forgot his name/url?) who had very positive things to say about his experience with his machine. His current interests lied with web authoring and image processing. He admitted to being a GUI-only kinda guy so it was nice to have that perspective represented at the show. Around 2:00, the Micro-A1-C boards arrived thanks to a new land speed record now being held by Adam Kowalczyk (ACK Software Controls) and assisted by Randy Hughes (Amiga Inc.) who provided updated speed trap information. Once Adam's MicroA1 was up and running on the projector, I plugged in my USB memory stick and copied my demo files onto his system (sorry, mass storage is still in beta). My demo concentrated on the OS4 SDK and how easy it is for developers to use the GCC 3.4-based tool suite to create C and C++ applications. An unstripped C++ hello world program using streams occupied over 2 megabytes of space so it was really amusing to see the crowd's reaction. I showed off a few of the Anti-Grain Geometry (AGG) demos as well which is always good eye candy. I tried to demo the latest version of my WW2 game but of course there was a problem and everything ended up pink. I just compiled it the night before my flight left and it was untested so I wasn't too surprised I was punished for my dirty deeds.
It was great to finally meet one of the three Amiga Inc. founders in person. A small crowd of us threw questions at Randy Hughes for a few minutes and he did his best to answer what he could. Unfortunately, Randy had to leave early and couldn't make it to the dinner due to previous engagements. And yes, they are still alive and yes, something is coming. Since you weren't at the show you don't get any more details than that so next time make sure to show up.
After the show ended we moved into a local restaurant with about 25 or so other people. The decor was medieval and the food and service were excellent. Some hours of Amiga chatting later, a small group of us moved on to the home of Justin Hemming's (LiveWire Systems) where minor AmigaOne surgery was being performed. Suffice it to say, my AmigaOne-XE board is now fully working as advertised except for the sound. Complete information on the procedure should be available shortly from your dealer. I'm quite certain some individuals will not believe the patched XE works as it should but my beliefs don't require them to.
Overall, the entire atmosphere was very positive. There was no talk of doom and gloom like you see in some of the web forums on a regular basis. Everybody understood this was just the beginning of a rebirth and nobody's expectations were out of line.
P.S. I picked up my own Micro-A1-C so if you are in the Calgary or Edmonton areas you'll be seeing it demoed in the coming weeks.