A-EON Is The News

by Eric Schwartz
from the AmiTech Gazette, December 2014

The holidays approach, and the year draws to a close. We don’t even have a fun doomsday scenario to play with like we did in 1999 or 2012.

In the world of Amiga, it seems a lot of the news focuses on A-EON Technology in one way or another. Presumably to bring more attention to the Amiga OS4 systems, A-EON has been buying up source and development rights to software packages. Personal Paint was one, and a new version (7.3) with some additions and enhancements has already been released for OS4 and 68K Amiga systems (OS3), though one could argue the biggest enhancement was reworking the software to a more easily portable code base. It is available for sale/download from AmiStore and www.ppaint.com. I use the previous 7.1 version of Ppaint quite a lot still, as it is a capable 8-bit 256-color pixel-slinging program in the style of the old Deluxe Paint, and I am interested in new versions, especially if it’s possible to have them work flawlessly on my MorphOS system (7.1 on MorphOS runs, but is charitably described as ‘quirky’). So far I have heard mixed reports on the new 7.3 version, so I’m not yet in a hurry to spend for the update. The price isn’t bad (roughly $25), and I will probably get it when disposable income is available, even if only to run on my 68K system, which is there for the previous Personal Paint currently.

Next in the A-EON shopping list is Aladdin 4D, a long also-ran in the Amiga 3D render software biz. For a long time attempts were made to develop Aladdin 4D by DiscreetFX and the developer of Pagestream, with little success. Perhaps the developer/programmer resources A-EON has access to will yield better results. I’ve never been much for Aladdin 4D back in the old days, preferring Sculpt, then Imagine, then Lightwave, but new developments in any Amiga software that is more than a small utility will always be welcome.

Since A-EON is a current producer of Amiga hardware running OS4, it’s understandably in their interest to support the building of a software base to improve the fortunes of their systems. Where the uncertainty lies is what goes for people like me who threw their lot in behind the MorphOS system, or AROS, or whatever else. Since A-EON purchased the rights, would they allow the creation of a Morph or AROS port of software, perhaps even create it themselves? Or would they actively block any initiatives for Morph/AROS ports, even if they could potentially profit from sales or royalties, because they are not part of their hardware/OS plan? At this point it’s an unknown quantity, though I believe that the business marketplace is sparse and scattered enough that one OS camp is not a serious impact on another, where multiple options might offer multiple (small) revenue streams. Only time will tell the true motives of AEON, especially if they manage to buy up more Amiga software packages. Personally, I would like to see a native MorphOS port of my standby graphics software Photogenics.