November 1996 MAGazine Volume 12 Number 10

Table Of Contents

The October General Meeting of the Memphis Amiga Group will be held Saturday, November, 9, 1:00 pm until approximately 3:00 pm at Steve Echols home, 4374 Barrymore.

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 CSET PRO v3.O5c software. Be sure to leave a note to the sysop.

From the President's CLI

by Scott Pitts

We are always looking for volunteers for demos, so if you have something new or some insights into existing products please share them with the group.

The selection of officers will held at the this meeting and the following for the election in January. This is the time that new people will be given the opportunity to choose the direction of the group. I invite all interested parties to peruse any office that they may desire.

The meeting will be held at Steve Echols house once again at 1:00 pm.

MINUTES

The Group meeting started at around 12:00 and was very educational. As previously stated, we will continue on this with the internet theme for the next few meetings to allow for other users to get connected. The meetings will continue to be a Steve Echols house until he runs us off. Last month, Paul Stokes show off his Cyberstorm 060 board. The speed was very impressive. We also saw the Cybervision64 graphics board in Paul's machine. Much of what Paul showed off was accomlished with third party programs that enhanced the look and feel of the Amiga OS and interface. This month, Paul will demonstrate many of these programs, and tell you his likes and dislikes. Bring money for disks, as Paul has saved us a lot of trouble. He has place the utilites that he is planning on demoing on disks.

As I have stated in the last few months, we are still looking for a good internet email program. Some users have had some success with Voodoo, so we may get a report this month. Microdot II looks good, but has yet to go into beta.

If any has any new software they would like to demo, or need assistance on, please bring it. We will try to assist with any problems, and everyone wants to check out the latest software. If anyone has any ideas about software that they would like to see demoed, please let one of the officers know. Hope to see you all at the next meeting.

Keith Burns
Secretary

MAG Meetings

The Memphis Amiga Group (MAG) holds general meetings the second Saturday of each month. This monthe the meeting will be at Steve Echols house at 4374 Barrymore (see map at left).

There will be no board of directors meeting at Gridley's BarBQ instead the Board meeting will be at Steve's at 12:00 P.M., Saturday, November, 9.. For more information call Scott Pitts at (901) 854-1987.

Memphis Amiga Group Officers for 1995

President
Scott Pitts
(901) 854-1987

Vice President
Steve Echols
(901) 756-9261

Secretary
Keith Burns
(901) 756-8514

Treasurer
Terry Campbell
(601) 393-4864

Librarian
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)

INFO

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.

Statement by Petro Tyschtschenko - October 23, 1996

"The Champaign-Urbana Commodore Users Group"

Petro Tyschtschenko is the President Of Amiga Technologies, Bensheim.

When Commodore International went bankrupt in May 1994, my goal was to keep the AMIGA technology alive. After eight months of negotiations and with the financial help of ESCOM AG I had managed to obtain all patents, trademarks and all of the AMIGA technology for ESCOM. At that time it was also clear to me that just buying Commodore/AMIGA was not all there was to it. This was only the beginning. It would take at least a hundred million DM to get the AMIGA products of that time back into production. ESCOM financed and I became the president of the new company AMIGA Technologies, which was formed in June 1995.

Days and nights of hard work changed my life and in September 1995, as promised, the first A1200 computers appeared in the shops, followed by the A4000T in November.

Up to the present, Amiga Technologies sold almost 50,000 A1200's, about 4000 A4000Ts and almost 15,000 monitors. The strategy was to bring the then current products back to the shops in 1995, to advertise the AMIGA by January 1996 while starting development of a new generation which should be ready for the market by the end of 1996.

But things went quite a different way: ESCOM got into financial chaos, even with SIEMENS-NIXDORF and QUELLE as shareholders. AMIGA Technologies' budget was cut completely, plans could not be realized any longer, the staff had to be reduced in size, and in the end ESCOM had to file for bankruptcy in July 1996.

Up till now, VIScorp Chicago has invested at least half a million DM in buying out Amiga Technologies. Salaries of personnel had to be paid, lawyers, traveling-expenses, etc.

During my more than 12 years at Commodore, and now two years at ESCOM as well, I learned how one can reach goals by hard work. I'm still optimistic that it will all come to a successful end between AMIGA and VIScorp before the end of October 1996. Trustee and banks want to keep the AMIGA alive and that's great. As soon as there's news, we'll make it public through the press and on the Internet.

I sincerely thank you for your loyalty and patience; after all it's thanks to the users we're still here.

With kind regards,
Petro Tyschtschenko

PowerUp - The Next Generation "phase 5 news"

PowerUp - The Next Generation "phase 5 news"

Oberursel, 10/30/1996: After some delay in the first six months of 1996 due to the unclear situation at Amiga Technologies and the break-off of negotiations on a possible joint venture, the PowerUp project of phase 5 digital products is now really getting up steam. The start of deliveries of the PowerUp-Alpha Developer Boards to leading software developers who actively support the Amiga has given the green light for the birth of a new generation of high-performance processor cards. What this means is that the Amiga will now be doing more than merely keeping step with the rising standards of performance in the field of personal computing. Due to the implementation of a novel dual processing technique which involves the parallel operation of 68k and PowerPC processors in an integrated, multi-tasking Amiga environment, this enormous boost in performance will go hand-in hand with full compatibility. The existing software runs as usual on the 68k side while new, optimised program versions supported by the strength of the PowerPC processor offer vast potential for an outstanding performance.

The commercial PowerPC acceleration cards from phase 5 digital products, which will be ready for delivery by the end of the first quarter of 1997, are powerful, dynamic dual-processor systems in 64-bit technology. Here the two processors installed, either a 68040 or a 68060 together with a PowerPC processor, share the memory and the system bus as required. At the same time a complex interrupt system ensures dynamic distribution of the bus cycles, depending on the activity of the processors. The obligatory option of expanding the memory to 128 M-bytes is integrated as a 64-bit memory while full burst mode implementation for the 68k and PowerPC processors ensures a high date transfer rate so that both processors have rapid parallel access to the RAM. Due to this active parallel operation the power of both processors can be used simultaneously. The tasks running on the different processors are able to exchange data and signals via a message system. Of course both processors can access the entire available address space so that the PowerPC processor can write directly into the chip memory or into graphic cards. This integration allows software manufacturers or active programmers to easily optimise existing programs step by step on the PowerPC.

Beginning of October 96, in the labs of phase 5: Worlds first dual processing Amiga system with a 68060 and a PowerPC processor, here connected to Tektronic TLS520 and Phillips PM3585 logic analysers, runs the first Amiga-PowerPC program!

Along with the powerful hardware, the PowerPC acceleration cards will also go hand-in-hand with a versatile range of software. The users of commercial programs will certainly be most interested in the CyberGraphX V3 Native, in which multi-media functions for the display of MPEG video and the new 3D implementation, CyberGL, are realised. The exceptional power of the PowerPC processor and the optimised design of the might PowerUp accelerator give reason to expect outstanding performance in this field, elevating the product into the creme de la creme of the modern world of personal computing.

Many well-known software manufacturers for the Amiga greet the concept of phase 5 digital products as an avantgarde step which ensures the success of the Amiga system in the future and have announced their support. This means that Amiga users who decide in favour of the PowerUp board can already reckon with a wide range of programs optimised for the PowerPC as soon as the turbo cards become available. Some of the most important software manufacturers who will be giving their support to the PowerUp Project are (in alphabetical order):

Cloanto is planning an adaptation of the well known Personal Paint for the next release version 7, which also will be featuring a lot of new functions. the program is due to its modularity well prepared for a fast and easy migration to the PowerPC. In addition, Cloanto is planning to port other programs of the actual product palette to the PPC.

Digita International is working with phase 5 to find the best method of porting Wordworth and other Digita applications. Digita's Managing Director, Jeremy Rihll, commented: "phase 5 has developed some really stunning technology that would work really well with Wordworth. After the launch of Wordworth 6 in November, we will be turning our full attention to looking at working with phase 5 and its products."

The producer of such famous applications as Directory Opus and GPFax supports the PowerUp program and is planning the adaptation of all applications to the high performance PowerPC processors.

Haage und Partner

With the introduction of the phase 5 PowerUp accelerators, StormC, an integrated software development solution, will become available, which is the first integrated package to support the PowerPC software development. This powerful development tool will offer state-of-the-art options and comfort for programmers. A demonstration of the first version is planned for the Computer 96 show in Cologne.

"We are very interested in the PowerUp project. There is a strong demand on bringing back the Amiga to the latest hardware development state available. Most important is the increase of computing speed. The step to the PowerPC is the only solution we can imagine for that purpose. By knowing about these facts, we are going to port our products, such as Turboprint Professional and Picturemanager Professional, to the PowerPC."

Holger Kruse the author of Amiwin and Miami is going to port his products to the PowerPC to keep up to the current level of computing.

Maxon Computer

Maxon Computer is planning the migration to the PowerPC version of the famous raytracer and animator MaxonCinema4D with the PowerUp project. Adaptions to the PowerUp accelerator for other current and future applications is also planned.

Contact Maxon Computer under http://www.maxon.de

Nova Design

The adaption and optimzation for the PowerPC is planned for the high performance applications ImageFX and Alladin 4D to achieve the highest possible computing performance from the PowerUp accelerator board. Users of these programs can expect powerful upgrades in early 1997.

Contact Nova design under A http://www.novadesign.com

Oberland Computer

Oberland Computer states the PowerUp project as the only possible future of the Amiga. By knowing this, the software engineers are already working to fly their famous REFLECTIONS raytracer on the PowerPC. First results are expected for the Computer 96 in Cologne. First test calculations show up a new era for Amiga raytracing to come with the PowerUp accelerator boards.

Contact Oberland Computer under A http://www.oberland.com

ProDAD

ProDAD is supporting the PowerUp project as Alpha Developer from the very first days on. Andreas Huber, general manager of ProDAD: "ProDAD appreciates the realisation of the PowerUp project and will surround this project with own ideas and innovations. CockTel, the picture phone system, for example will be one of the first PowerPC compatible applications with especially the compression and decompression routines taking advantage of the PowerPC resulting in higher transmission quality. The products Monument V3 Professional and Adorage will also take advantage of the increased performance capabilities of the PowerUp project by providing new features and functions at higher speeds. Updates with PowerUp support of the mentioned products will follow soon. The first PowerPC native operating system on the market will be "p-OS", which was designed to support the PowerPC CPU from the first days of development on. With this in mind, the PowerUP project has first priority on the development of p-OS. The CPU performance of the PowerPC together with the lean and fast modern operating system will surprise not only the Amiga community. Innovation, not emulation is the way to maximum performance and the PowerUp project as well as the p-OS development are following this guideline. So they will support each other to be innovative and to serve the users!"

Contact ProDAD under A http://www.prodad.de

RBM Computertechnik

RBM Computertechnik RBM is planning to port their scanner software ScanQUIX to the PowerUp accelerator boards. Also future developments are announced to be PowerUp aware.

Info for all software developers:

If your name does not show up on this page, but you are going to officially support the PowerUp project, please feel free to contact us.

Several of the above mentioned vendors plan to show first demos of software supporting the PowerUp accelerators already on the Computer 96 show in Cologne. In addition to these well-known names about 500 software developers have registered for the phase 5 PowerUp Developer Support Programme and it can be expected that they will develop numerous aplications for the future especially in the shareware and PD field. In addition to this, phase 5 digital products will give particular support to special projects such as Linux porting and similar, with the result that such projects will probably have already produced results by the time that the PowerUp accelerator becomes available.

Show your Support!

All active Amiga users who are interested in PowerPC upgrades for their preferred system are invited to contact the vendors of their preffered software products and inquire for updated versions of these software applications which are optimized for the PowerUp accelerator boards. Send your requests or wishes by post, fax, or email to the vendors of the software you'd like to see reaching a new performance level - even to those vendors which are not (yet) listed here. Your strong feedback will help the software vendors to [PAGE 6] quickly realise the products that you are waiting for! Go ahead and show your support for a Power(PC)ful Amiga future!

Deliveries to software developers commence

When deliveries of the Beta Developer Boards start the worldwide support from active Amiga software developers will grow. All developers registered in the phase 5 Developer Support Programme now immediately have access to information on the PowerUp Beta Developer Boards and are able to order them. Delivery will commence by middle of November, according to developer status and in the sequence that the order comes in. The Beta Developer Boards are designed as plug-in boards for Cyberstorm MkII accelerators and allow professional software development in the accustomed software environment.

PowerUp Your Amiga!

The amazingly fast, 64-bit PowerPC accelerators which will be available soon mean that existing Amiga systems can be upgraded to a level of performance which is on a par with that of today's fastest personal computers at prices which will make the hearts of convinced Amiga enthusiasts beat faster. Switching to a PowerUp Board will become a worthwhile investment for practically any Amiga user and one which offers outstanding value for money.

In order to give you an impression of the prices for the coming 64-bit high-performance accelerators there follows a list of the prices currently anticipated for some typical PowerUp configurations, calculated on the basis of current market prices for components.

The table above gives you an informative overview of the coming PPC604e-based accelerators. The prices for the extremely low cost PowerPC603e-based accelerators, which are also in the planning, have not yet been decided. But they will also offer attractive upgrade possibilities, particularly for Amiga 1200 users and the owners of blizzard boards for the Amiga 1200. As the PowerUp boards for the Amiga 1200 will make it absolutely essential to upgrade the A1200 with a tower housing (if only for EMC reasons), phase 5 digital products will be working closely with the manufacturers of the relevant systems. Look out for more - you will be receiving further information on a regular basis.

Pioneering step into the future

With the PowerUp project we will be taking an initial, pioneering step into the future, a step so long awaited by the Amiga community. We at phase 5 digital products and our partner firms mentioned here are aware of our commitment to continue to promote and support the outstanding concept of the Amiga. Providing accelerator cards in a performance class which puts the Amiga on a par with today's high-end PC's is a major step forward. An equally important step will be the active support from software manufacturers. More steps will follow. A 100% Amiga-OS 3.1-compatible operating system core has already been realised in the development laboratories of phase 5 digital products and is currently undergoing intensive testing. We also anticipate further important innovations in this area - also in co-operation with major software developers and partners who are eager to enhance the system and pursue the Amiga vision. The final goal is to produce a full PowerPC-based operating system.

But in addition to this, here an ambitious project is assuming concrete form. This is a project that represents major step in innovative design and which is being consistently implemented using all the necessary resources: We are product to be present the

phase 5 digital products
In der Au 27
61440 Oberursel, Germany

Telefon: 06171/583787
Intl. Phone: +49 6171 583787
Fax: 06171/583789
Intl.Fax: +49 6171 583789

Email: mailto:mail@phase5.de
oder: mailto:aproject@phase5.de

Specifications are subject to change without notice. AMIGA is a registered trademark of the respective owners. PowerUp is a registered trademark of phase 5 digital products. PowerPC is a registered trademark of the IBM Corporation.

VIScorp Patents Internet Television?

VIScorp Patents Internet Television?

Found somewhere on the WWW...

Apparatus and method for electronic device for information services (Assignee -- Viscorp)

Source: MicroPatent

Abstract: An electronic device and method for accessing remote electronic facilities and displaying associated information on a conventional television set. The electronic device self-configures itself upon power-up or reset by initiating a data call to a configuring facility. Information related to available facilities and programming, autonomous mail checking is downloaded to the electronic device. The electronic device displays a menu including several user selectable facilities on the display for a user. The user chooses one of the options from the menu by use of a remote keypad control, similar to a conventional television remote control. The options available include printing, electronic mail and other news and information services. Interfacing the electronic device with a stylus-type pointing device permits sketching and drawing on the television, including superposition of images on captured television images. Captured images of graphics or text are optionally stored or forwarded to a user through a mail facility accessed through operation of the system. The captured images may subsequently be sent via facsimile transmission to other facsimile machines or receivers. The electronic device includes a speaker phone capability for providing audio information received over telephones to the television speaker. A microphone on the electronic device permits two-way communication. A menu item, selectable by the remote keypad, activates this option. The television speaker use items access to audiotext and voice mail as well.

Ex Claim Text: In a data communication system having a host computer coupled to a data communications medium and an electronic device coupled to said data communications medium, a method for providing access to a plurality of facilities, said method comprising the steps of: calling to said electronic device said host computer from said electronic device through said data communications medium, to establish a first data communication link between said electronic device and said host computer via said data communications medium; transferring configuration data from said host computer to said electronic device via said first data communication link; thereafter breaking said first data communication link; assembling from said configuration data a menu listing a plurality of titles identifying said plurality of facilities; thereafter displaying said menu on a television coupled to said electronic device; thereafter accepting, at a remote keypad, an operator input specifying a selected one of said plurality of facilities; transmitting, from said remote keypad to an IR detector coupled to said electronic device, an infrared signal responsive to said operator input; detecting said infrared signal at said IR detector; thereafter calling said selected one of said plurality of facilities from said electronic device via said data communications medium, thereby establishing a second data communication link between said electronic device and said selected facility via said data communications medium; and thereafter connecting said electronic device to said selected facility via said second data communication link.

Assignee: Viscorp
Patent Number: 5561709
Issue Date: 1996 10 01
Inventor(s): Remillard, Roger
If you would like to purchase a copy of this patent, please call MicroPatent at 800-984-9800.