Losing Capabilities

by Ron Schwartz
AmiTech-Dayton Gazette, January 2006

Well, another month has passed and, unfortunately, I have been rather isolated and had very little contact with the real world and even less with the Amiga community. I have done one thing this month. Last weekend, I bought a Mac Mini. I got the new top of the line model. Its primary difference from the mid line, which used to be the top of the line is it has added DVD burning capability to the disc drive. I don't have it up and running yet, because I'm having trouble finding a place to put it. My primary purpose in getting it was to give me more capability on the internet since my primary computer is an Amiga 3000 that has not been souped up. Computer speed is not the problem, especially since I use a dial-up ISP. As time goes on, there are more and more methods being used on web sites and even in email, that the old Amiga email and web browser programs, not having been updated for a while, cannot handle. While rumors persist that one or two updates are being worked on, so far, the reality is that nothing has come out yet.

Another problem has been that, as the Amiga OS has been updated, many of the old programs no longer work. As an example, I used to use mechanical drawing programs to draw house plans and do design work. One of the last couple OS updates would no longer let any of the three programs I had, work. I found I could use the graphics capability in Pagestream to do drawings. It had some shortcomings but at least I could do a reasonable job with it. There were others, however, that were lost capabilities.

New or updated versions of programs for the Amiga are pretty much a thing of the past. It appeared that the development of OS-4 would bring a new generation of programs and updates to old ones and that many of those would be adapted to the Classic Amigas. The on-again off-again progress of OS-4 and the current decision to go into limbo until there is a platform to put it on has effectively stalled any improved or new programs. The one exception to that has been Pagestream. Even there, they have put their emphasis on developing the versions for the other computers which has delayed the most recent updates of the Amiga Versions. Of course now that I have a Mac it means I'll be able to get Pagestream for it.

I had a thought the other day. This is probably pretty silly, but, what the hell. Anyway, I was thinking about some of the problems between Genesi and the Morph OS Team. Genesi, by concentrating on the Linux market has aimed the Pegasos at a significantly larger market albeit one with a lot more competition. My thought was, if some of the Linux programmers, since there are so many versions of it, would develop a version that, from the operators standpoint, was Amiga-like, it would soon put the other versions out of business. Now, if the Morph programmers were the ones who did that there would suddenly be a much larger market for both the Pegasos and a product of the Morph group. Suddenly, it would be a huge market. Yeah, I know, it's ridiculous, but wasn't it fun to imagine that. Oh well, who knows what next month will bring.