May 1996 MAGazine Volume 12 Number 4

Table Of Contents

The March General Meeting of the Memphis Amiga Group will be held Saturday, May 11 from 1:00 pm until approximately 3:00 pm in the Farris Auditorium on the campus of State Technical Institute at Memphis.

The newsletter is published monthly for distribution to the members of the Memphis Amiga Group. MAGazine contains meeting announcements, hardware and software reviews, video and book reviews, and other information of interest to Amiga and computer users in general. Contributions are welcome and may be submitted in hardcopy or via disk in ASCII format at any meeting or you can upload to Operator Headgap BBS - (901) 759-1542 V.32bis hi speed operating CNET PRO v3.05c software. Be sure to leave a note to the sysop.

From the President's CLI

by Scott Pitts

Lightwave will be the topic of our next meeting. I would like to encourage everyone to participate by presenting demos so that we may be able to bring new imspiration to the club. I am aware that the sale of Commodore has created a new outlook for some.

The meeting place is still at State Tech, however we are not sure if we'll be meeting in the normal audortium or in the Thorton Building.

I would like to invite everyone out to the business meeting and lunch at Gridley's at 11 am Saturday before the meeting.

Scott Pitts, President


The Board Meeting was held at Gridleys, at around 11:30. Very few people attended this meeting. The Group meeting started at around 1:00 and several demos were given, but the primary topic of discussion was the internet. It was clear that everyone was interested in getting on the internet, but most were unsure as to how. We decided to have an "Internet Day" at the earliest opportunity. I have managed to get a slight discount off the list price of the TCPIP software from CPR. This software comes with a dialer, so connecting to the internet from Memphis is fairly easy. However, with the pending acquisition of Amiga Technologies by VisiCorp, CPR has suggested that we wait. It weems that CPR is in negotiation for the new version of their software with VisiCorp. If the deal goes through, CPR may release their current version (with dialer) into the Public Domain.

I will keep you posted as I hear of developments.

Keith Burns, Secretary

MAG Meetings

The Memphis Amiga Group (MAG) holds general meetings the second Saturday of each month in the Farris Auditorium on the campus of State Technical Institute at Memphis (see map at left).

There will be a board of directors lunch meeting at Gridley's BarBQ beginning at 11:00 A.M., Saturday, May 11, (before the general meeting). For more information about the meeting call Scott Pitts at (901) 854-1987.

Memphis Amiga Group Officers for 1995

Scott Pitts
(901) 854-1987

Vice President
Steve Echols
(901) 756-9261

Keith Burns
(901) 756-8514

Terry Campbell
(601) 393-4864

Bill Bowers
(901) 360-0003

MAGazine Editior
Paul Stokes
(901) 867-8417

MAGazine Printing & Distribution
Terry A. Campbell
(601) 393-4864

Disk Sales & Video Rentals

MAG library and Fred FISH disk are $2 each.
($5 each for non-members)
Quality blank disks with labels are 65¢ each.
($1 each for non-members)
Rental of Amiga related videotapes is $3 per week.
(not available to non-members)
For all this and more contact club librarian
Bill Bowers (901) 360-0003

Full Page $20.00
1/2 Page $11.00
1/4 Page $7.50
1/8 Page (or business card) $3.00

(contact Terry Campbell at 601-393-4864)


The Memphis Amiga Group (MAG) is a non-profit organization whose purpose is promoting and encourageing the use and understanding of the Commodore Amiga Computer. Memberships are open to all those who share a common interest in the Amiga computer and its many wonderful and unique features. Monthly meetings are open to the public and visitors are welcome.

Annual membership dues for new members are $25.00 with an annual renewal rate of $20.00. Associate memberships are available for $15.00 per year, renewable at the same rate, to those who must travel more than 45 miles one way to attend general meetings. All memberships are family memberships and dues are nonrefundable.

Amiga Technologies to be Sold

VIScorp USA and Escom AG Announce Letter of Understanding for Acquisition of Amiga Technologies by VIScorp

Heppenheim, Germany and Chicago,IL, April 12, 1996 -- ESCOM AG, a German computer manufacturer and reseller and Visual Information Services Corp. (Nasdaq: VICP, Bulletin Board), a developer of interactive TV (ITV) set-top-boxes to enhance television use and viewing by providing Internet access and electronic communications function, today jointly announced that a binding letter of understanding has been signed betwween the companies.

The letter states that Chicago-based VIScorp would acquire Amiga Technologies, including the intellectual properties of the former Commodore Business Machines, excepted Commodore trademarks. The transaction value is approximately US $40 million. Terms were not disclosed, and the pending acquisition would be subject to approval by both companies' boards of directors.

"This intended acquisition is part of VIScorp's strategy to build market leadership in the fast-growing field of ITV", said William Buck, Chief Executive Officer. "As a result, we would own Amiga intellectual properties, including several that are currently used in our set top-box, Electronic Device (ED). We would also have control over the supplied chip sets used in ED as well as Amiga inventories and access to the company's current sales and distribution channels."

Commenting the proposed acquisition, Helmut Jost, chief executive of ESCOM AG, said: "VIScorp has a clear vision of the Amiga technology potential for ITV applications. we are eager to support and work together over the term of the letter of understanding to ensure a smooth transition between the two companies. VIScorp anticipates the support of ongoing European sales of popular models such as the A4000T and the A1200 as well as the current developments and future releases of Amiga Technologies."

Petro Tyschtschenko, president of Amiga Technologies stated "I am looking forward to being able to take advantage of the research and development support potential that an Amiga-related company like VIScorp can provide."

Commenting that the primary objective of the proposed acquisition is to give VIScorp full access to the Amiga technology to support development of its ITV device, Mr. Buck noted: "Our intention is to rapidly develop and begin manufacturing TV set-top interactive boxes -- produts that give home users capabilities, facsimile, video games, pay-per-view options, electronic mail, and access to on-line services, including the Internet."

Products names mentioned herein may be trademarks and/or registered trademarks of their respective companies.


Yes, Amiga fans, the rumors are true! As of six hours ago, VIScorp has been purchased in a surprise takeover by BLAZEMONGER INCORPORATED. VIScorp chief honcho and generally cool guy Carl Saskatchewan is reportedly "delighted" with the acquisition and looks forward to an "er... unusual product line" to be introduced at next month's WORLD OF BLAZEMONGER conference in Chickenmilk, Wisconsin.

Among the products to be introduced at the W.O.B. are:

The Amiga ST: a set-top computer that, when attached to any television set, automatically converts all incoming programs into reruns of "Gilligan's Island." Sidecar II, an IBM PC emulator roughly the size of the Queen Elizabeth II luxury liner. Comes complete with torpedos. BLAZESCAPE, the ONLY World Wide Web browser capable of connecting to ALTERNATIVE DIMENSIONS. Features multithreading, HTML 6.0, and new Virtual Java (TM) which beams cool animations DIRECTLY into your CEREBRAL CORTEX with a sledgehammer. The AmigaBICEP 5000, their new top-of-the-line computer. In direct contrast to the original Amiga 1000, which used an off-the-shelf CPU and a custom graphics chipset, BLAZEMONGER INCORPORATED has decided to use an off-the-shelf graphics chipset and a custom CPU. Know as the BLAZEIUM chip, this little speed demon runs at a blazing 2,000,000 tychohertz (10 to the power 8275, base 19) and features over EIGHT BILLION REGISTERS for the ULTIMATE in hardware banging!!! And of course, BLAZEMONGER MCXLVII: "FATAL DEATH KILLERS OF ARMAGEDDON." [Availability is pending the overturn of the Communications Decency Act, and possibly the Geneva Convention.]

See you in Chickenmilk!!

Dan Barrett

Copyright 1996 by Daniel J. Barrett. This article may be freely distributed as long as it is distributed in its entirety. It may not be included in any publication without the written permission of the author. So nyaaah.


Permission Granted to Distribute without Alteration

VISCORP and AMIGA: The Phoenix Strategy

Much has been said and written about the recent announcement of the signing of a letter of understanding between VIScorp and Escom AG Germany. In addition, VIScorp has received hundreds of telephone, fax and Email communications requesting information as to the status of the deal and our plans for the Amiga. We are providing this posting to inform those interested in the knowing about the current arrangements -- and will provide additional information as the they develop.

1. VIScorp is currently conducting a thorough due diligence assessment of Escom's Amiga holdings. This process is painstaking and extremely time consuming; however, without full disclosure, no satisfactory deal can be concluded.

Due to the letter of understanding, VIScorp is restricted from releasing information relating to the negotiations until they are completed. Until such time, Amiga remains the asset of Amiga Technologies/Escom and all inquires relating to current Amiga operations should be directed to Amiga Technologies/Escom.

2. VIScorp currently holds a license to the Amiga OS and chip sets and is developing a family of TV-based products that utilize the Amiga's unique functionalities.

3. Many of VIScorp's senior management have previously worked for Commodore and have a thorough knowledge of the Amiga.

Our intent to purchase the Amiga comes out of (i) an appreciation of the core technology and its importance to VIScorp's long-term business development and (ii) a belief that the Amiga can -- like the Phoenix -- rise from the ashes and become a profitable technology for the future.

Over the coming days and weeks we anticipate to see a flood a misstatements in the press, on the Net and via voice communications -- some will be made out of ignorance, others out of malice. We will do our best to keep the Amiga community regularly informed. We have received hundreds of messages and anticipate many more to be received until final resolution of formal negotiations is completed. While we are making every effort to do so, please excuse us if we do not respond to your individual message.

David Rosen
Vice President, Business Development
April 19, 1996

Message to Amiga Developers and Users

From Eric Laffont, VIScorp Developer/User Liason 28-Apr-96

I have been given the responsibility by Mr Bill Buck, CEO of VIScorp, to rebuild a strong Amiga Developer and Users Community. I know that the Amiga community is currently very fragmented and in the past nothing serious has been done for you. As a Commodore developer since 1983 (C64, then Amiga), I can understand all your wishes.

First of all, we are listening to all your suggestions about software/hardware development, documentation, distribution, contact -- just about anything you want if it's reasonable. It's a great mission to seek information from the entire world. So if you're interested in collecting suggestions and representing your Amiga community, contact us on the VIScorp Web Site, or simply reply to this message.

PS: Mrs. Raquel Velasco and Mr. Bill Buck apologize for not replying to the mail they have received because they are very busy, as you can imagine. They will reply when the return to the US around the first of May. But you can always reach me via email:

111 North Canal Street, Suite 933
Chicago, IL 60606

Corporate Information Contact:
Florine Radulovic
Voice 312.655.0903
FAX 312.655.0910

The following quote is from Carl Sassenrath, Director of Software for VIScorp, the company which has proposed a plan to purchase Amiga Technologies from Escom. His comments were in answer to questions posed to him about the future of the Amiga from CUCUG. He has made these comments to others on the net, as well.

"What I have been telling people is not to worry. We are all Amiga lovers here. Unlike ESOM or even Commodore, VIScorp does not have a single IBM PC person in the group. We are all solid Amigans from the very beginning (for example, I developed the Amiga's Multitasking OS, CDTV system, AmigaLogo, Bay, OptCD, ISOCD, etc.).

Personally speaking, I don't plan on killing the Amiga. In fact, if they ask me to take over system development, you'll see one killer Amiga!"

Picture: PowerUP

A few days ago origin showed me the grabs of a press release from Phase 5 digital products that was in german. I have no clue if it is legit but the facts seem right and so does the style of the document. I have translated it into english for the rest of the world, any translation errors are not my responsiblity (I am neither German nor English) so if you want to be sure about what you read better take a crash course in german and read these four pages (1, 2, 3, 4). That were found on the Moccamachines homepage. Any way, they are nice to read, good for moral, so have a look if you want. You are the 3297 th reader since I installed the computer. Today you are the 1 th reader.

If you belong to the group of AMIGA-Users that have their eyes set on tomorrow, we have good news for you. There is life after the 68000 for the AMIGA.

Ever since it was founded phase 5 digital products has played a leading role in innovative design of AMIGA products. In 1993 they created the Fastlane Z3, the first Zorro-III-DMA controller and in 1994 they build the Cuberstorm 060, the first 68060-board for AMIGA-systems world wide. In 1995 they created the CyberVision64 with its CyberGraphX-Software, together they defined the new graphics standard for AMIGA-systems. They were also responsible for the BLIZZARD-boards for AMIGA 1200, this board is currently in its 4th generation and sets the standard for value and performance. These successes were possible because of our experienced development team, that has been working with AMIGA ever since the arrival of the legendary A1000 some 10 years ago. With the PowerUP Program phase 5 digital products brings all its knowledge together into one sensational project, one with which in 1996 a new decisive innovative step is taken into the next 10 years of AMIGA computing. The Power-PC-RISC-processor will be the new heart of the AMIGA.

Life after the 68000...

The top of the current line of processors used in the AMIGA is the 68060-Processor, it is used in products like the Cyberstorm 060/50, the Blizzard 1260 or the Blizzard 2060. Although this processor offers very good performance, it is the best choice for Power-users that want to upgrade their system at this time, further expansion with this line of processors is not possible because the 68060 is the last in its series. Even running the processors at higher clockspeeds will only provide marginal improvement.

Only Power will help in the long run

The way out of this performance limit is the PowerPC-RISC-Processors that will form the bridge from 68k-Processors into the AMIGA future. With its high performance, good pricetag and innovative capabilities both Motorola and IBM, who promote the PowerPC-architecture as an alternative for the common PC-processor, the PowerPC-processor line brings the solution that will give the AMIGA a position in future as one of the most powerfull desktop-workstations available. Even better; because of the combination of this new generation of processors and the unique capabilities of the AMIGA the performance of this computer can bring many different applications into new heights. The various available and new to come versions of the PowerPC will bring the right perfermance for the right price for every user. With its fast RISC architecture and good floating point performance the Power-PC-Processors are more than ready to take on the most demanding tasks in the fiellds of Multimedia, 3D, Image processing, Video editing, Rendering and animation.

Hardware for the next century

As new heart for the AMIGA the PowerBoards from phase 5 digital products will be available halfway in 1996. Initially two types of PowerPC-processors will be used. In the lower price range the MP603e-processor with a clockrate 100 MHz and upwards will be employed. In the proffessional high end boards the MPC604-processor also at 100 MHz and upwards will be used. For 1996 both versions will be sold at up to 150 MHz. Apart from these two boards new board using even more powerfull members of the PowerPC family, right upto the real 64-Bit MPC620-processor with clockrates of up to 300 MHz, are in development. In the, not to far, future these will bring new levels of performance to the AMIGA. Apart from using the PowerPC-processors the Powerboards from phase 5 will be equipped with a variety of new technical developments. 64 Bit wide memory expansions are as obvious as a fast 64-bit Local bus system with an optional PCI-bridge. These will guarantee good high performance expansion possibilites for the Powerboards.

Powerboards from phase 5 will be available, according to performance, in the price range from DM1000,- up to DM2000,-. They will be available for the AMIGA 1200, AMIGA 3000 and the AMIGA 4000. They are delivered in the usual phase 5 high quality and compatibility and will be delivered with an extensive system software package and CyberGraphX 3.0 native.

A program overview

The PowerUP-program from phase 5 digital products has as goal the development of a complete and trouble free upgrade for existing 68k-based AMIGA-systems using a PowerPC solution. Apart from developing a powerfull hardware solution for a variety of AMIGA systems this also includes the modification of the operating system for use with the new PowerPC processors. An experienced team of system programmers is working on these neccesary modifications, these include the translation of the Exec- and Multitasking routines into PowerPC native code. This code will work as basis from which an overlaying 68k-emulator will run the existing operating system from version 3.0 an upwards. Because of the native coding of vital exec- and multitasking routines a high over-all system performance is guarantueed. The other operating system functions will initially be run in the fully compatible emulation, during the development of later versions new function-libraries will be opti misedin native PowerPC code.

CyberGraphX 3.0 Native

In order to deal with a major performance lag right from the beginning, a new version of the well known CyberGraphX-software is developed for the PowerUP-project. This package will be available in PowerPC native code and will be responsible for the graphic control of GFX-cards and also - new in version 3.0 - for the AGA Chipset of the A1200 and A4000. Because of the high demands of graphical output of todays multimedia applications on the CPU power of a computer the PowerPC version of CyberGraphX guarantuee a big rise in performance using full capabilities of modern RISC PowerPC-Processors. Further CyberGraphX will be expanded with a range of new routines for 3D- and multimedia applications, these will allow for a whole new generation of applications on the present AMIGA platform. The hardware independent availibility of powerfull 3D- routines and multimedia functions for audio and video will allow Software producers to easily create programs that will run on varius hardware configurations. This will have a positive influence on the popularity of the AMIGA platform and will lead to a Software Boom of unknown proportions in both the fields of serious applications and games of a new generation.

We are not alone

Right from the start of the PowerUP-project a wide front of Software developers, for instance Almathera (Photogenics), Maxon Computer, ProDad, Softwood and many others, have been actively supporting the PowerUP project through redesigning their applications for the new PowerPC processors. With the expected support of more widespread Software developers a large variety of extremely powerfull applications, right from the start of the market entrance of the Powerboards, is expected. Combined with the PowerUP project phase 5 digital products has taken extensive measures to support software developers. Evalueation boards will be available for commercial developers from the beginning of 1996 in order to support the software development on AMIGA platforms using a PowerPC processor. Software tools and development systems are being prepared by phase 5 digital products and partnerfirms. Commercial developers will get total support from phase 5 digital products. The development of strategically important applications will also be supported directly by Motorola.

Investing in new technology

What should AMIGA users do when they need more performance today, and can not wait for six to eight months for the market entry of the new PowerBoard-generation. Phase 5 has thought of these people and offers fitting upgrade solutions. All customers that have bought a 68k-based processor board of phase 5 after 01-09-1995 will get, on showing a copy of their bill of puchase, special upgrade offers when purchaseing a PowerPC baser processor board (*). For owners of high cost 68060-boards an even better trade-in-program is planned, this will make upgrading to the new Powerboards even easier. This program will allow people that need more power now to invest their money safely without having to worry about about the future. As you can see: we are here to serve.

(*) The upgrade program will be valid for all register owners who have purchased a 68k-Turbocard from the phase 5 series at an autorised dealer or from phase 5 digital products directly; buyers of second hand processor boards can not apply to this upgrade program.

All this just dreams of the future?

Yes, but for a future that is very close. This future is already happening today, it is supported by huge investments. The PowerUP program will result in PowerPC-based processor boards for a variety of amiga systems. With the innovative and powerful capabilities of phase 5 digital products, in its role as one of the leading developers in the AMIGA world, you have the assurance that the latest and best technology will be available for your AMIGA. When you, as a user, are interested, or if you as a developer want to take the step into the future of PowerPC, contact us through the available coupon. You will be presented immedeately with information concerning the PowerUP program.



In der Au 27 61440 Oberursel
Telephone +Germany-(0)6171-583787
Tech.Hotline +Germany-(0)6171-583787
Fax +Germany-(0)6171-583787

Information dated October 1995, any changes concerning price, technology or supply is possible. Amiga is a trademark of ESCOM AG, PowerPC is a trademark of the IBM corporation. All other used brands are trademarks of various other corporations.

Amiga Surfer, new AMIGA Prototype, Informations about the Power-PC Project.

For the first time in over two years, AMIGA computers will be presented again officially by the manufacturer at the largest computer fair in the world: The Cebit. From 14th to the 20th of March, AMIGA Technologies GmbH will be represented on the ESCOM booth in hall 11 with new products. AMIGA computers will also be seen on the Microvitec and Mortora booths.

The AMIGA-Surfer, a complete Internet computer with software, modem, connection and free hours is now available at a price of 1199 DM. The Surfer can be connected to a TV-set or to a standard VGA monitor. The solution is based on the AMIGA 1200 with a 260 MB harddrive, 2 MB of RAM and a 14.400 bps modem. Thanks to its resource-saving features, the highly optimized AMIGA-OS makes cost-effective solutions like the Surfer possible. Also the excellent multasking abilities of its OS makes the AMIGA the ideal multimedia and Internet machine.

A protoype of the new AMIGA will be shown for the first time worldwide at the CEBIT fair in Hannover, Germany. AMIGA Technologies GmbH will hereby expand the AMIGA product line for the advanced home user and the semi-professional market. Modularity, futuristic design and expansion capability are the main edges of the new product.

The motherboard features two SIMM sockets, on which the memory can be increased up to 128 MB. The main processor used will be the 680EC30 / 40 MHz. This combination allows a product at a tight price with a good computing power. With the available flexible expansion bus, turbo cards with processors like the 698060 or the PowerPC will be easily installable.

This expansion bus can also be used with graphic-cards, mulit-serial cards, MPEG cards etc. The modular concept makes the addition of further slots possible, so that the user can define how many expansion slots he will have in his machine. This way, the basic machine can be turned into a tower. This design concept will be the base of the coming AMIGA-Generation.

The new AMIGA will be shipped with a revisited version 3.2 of the AMIGA-OS. New features and many enhancements will give the system more power and flexibility.

The Power-PC project is also moving forward. Thanks to the close cooperation with Motorola and Phase 5, the porting of the AMIGA-OS will be achieved within the announcement schedule. The first Power AMIGA will be available early 1997, as planned. Until then, it is also forseeable that Phase 5 will release the first Power PC cards for existing AMIGAs. The development of the OS is led by former top-AMIGA-engineers.

Info: Gilles Bourdin
AMIGA Technologies
Berlin Ring 89
Tel +49 6252 709 195
Fax +49 6252 709 520