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El Discusses Possible U.S. Amiga Buyout. 



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MIGA 

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Il|ctal Gallery 
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^TtPfp cfua.lity guidance for Amiga, users'") 





AMOS is one of the most exciting 
and access ble programming envi- 
ronments on Itie Amiga. Phil Soulli 
fully explains the fundamentals and 
!'i9 skillful shortcuts to great pro- 
;:-.;:^1s. with lots of example code to 
experiment with and develop your 
own programs with. Covers ail ver- 
sions of Amos including AMOS, 
Easy mOS and AMOS 
ProfessionaL 

Mastering Amiga Amos 

Phil South. 320 pages, $26.00, ISBN: 1-873308-12-4 

Want to leam Assetrtly language but 
don't (enow your IntuiMessage from 
your Null terminated siring? Then the 
Amiga Assembler Insider Guide is for 
you! With easy-to-follow examples 
and instructions it explains and 
demystifies the jargon. Applicable to 
ali Amigas, it comes with a free disk 
which includes the PD A68k assem- 
bler and programs Irom the book. 






Amiga Assembler Insider Guide 

Paul Overaa, 256 pages, S23.00, ISBN: 1-873308-27-2 

"j This book teaches you to use anci 
y care for ail types of disks and drives 
in order to minimise the risk of 
problems, get a better understand- 
ing of hovj they v;ork and what :c 
do if things go wrong. Topics 
include installing software, copying 
and moving files, encryption and 
security, disk repair and back-up. 
formatting and fast filing, floppy. 
Pad, Ram and CD's. 

Amiga Dislis and Drives 

Paul CK-eraa. 2?R pages, S23.00, ISBN; 1 -873308-34-5 




Mastering AmigaDOS 3 - Tutorial 

Smith & Smirtdy. 384 pages, S27,GO, ISBN: 1 -873308-20-5 

V'.'ntten with the sote am trf getting 
you through those soul-searching 
first months with your Amiga, it 
:1cesn't promise to make you ah 
■jxoal in any one topic but 'aIII give 
yoj the essential foundation stones 
ffom which you can progress. Step 
hy step advice on specific subjects 
13 ba^nced with general advice on 
all major subjects relevant to the 
Amiga, 

Mastering Amiga Beginners 

Smith S Webb. 320 pages, 326,00, ISBN: 1 -873308-1 7-5 



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BnieeSmiBt Books 



All books are written 
and produced in 
Great Britain. 



The Amiga's operating system has 
p.wed a major obstacle to assem- 
h^y language programmers, but fhis 
hook is guaranteed to get the seri- 
ous Amiga owner into the vwrld of 
68000 assembly language pro- 
gramming. It assumes some expen- 
ence of high-level languages such 
as BASIC. Skeleton programs are 
provided for the beginner to follow 
and develop. 

Mastering Amiga Assembler 

Paul Overaa, 416 pages, S29.00. ISBN: 1 -873308-1 1 -6 

Perhaps the most coTiprehensive 
introductory tutorial ever wntten 
about the Amiga's operating sys- 
tem in a massive 384 pages. If you 
■vant to learn about AmigaDOS 2. 
2: or 3 then this is the book for 
you. II assumes you know nothing 
about the subject but - if you follow 
the step by step exercises - will 
turn you into an AmigaDOS expert. 




If you want to take over your Amiga 
then you need to understand and 
program the Amiga System itself. 
This book is an introductory guide 
to just that. Assuming a base 
knowledge of but explaining all 
new System concepts, it teaches 
you how to handle tasks and 
processes, work v,iith libraries, 
incorporate IFF graphics and much, 
much more. 

Mastering Amiga System 

Paul Overaa, 400 pages $29.00, ISBf^: 1 -873308-06-X 

This is (fte ful reference guide to the 
AmigaDOS command set with 
complete coverage of over 140 
AmigaDOS 2. 2.1 and 3 com- 
mands. Arranged alphabetically, it 
includes many worked examples 
with full command synopsis and 
templates. Contains details on the 
Mountlisi, AmigalWS Error Codes. 
AmigaGuide, the IFF, Commodities, 
and much more. 
Mastering AmigaDOSS - Reference 
STllh S Smiddy. 368 pages, S27,O0, ISBN: 1.8733G8-08-6 

The ARexx progrannming language 
is assured a bright future as pari of 
Workbench 2 and 3, No harder to 
learn than BASIC the examples and 
listings supplied v;ill teach you 
ARexx from scratch. A complete 
understanding of the application 
control advantages of this powerful 
language can be yours with ease. 
Also applicable to Wori(bench 1 .2 
and 1 .3 users. 

Mastering Amiga ARexx 

Paul Overaa. 336 pages $27.00. ISBN: 1-873308-13-2 




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Amazing Specification and Outstanding Value! 
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Im ageFX' 

"When Your Image Is On The Line" 



ImageFX is the only image processing soft- 
ware pacl<age you wiii ever need for your 
Amiga,., Period. Tl~iis phenomenal program 
comes with a complete array of professional 
24-bit paint tools and unsurpassed special 
effects. When you're up against a dead- 
line, you don't have time to second guess. 
ImageFX gives you total control of the 
creative process with the fastest and easiest 
to use interface on the market. 

When your image is on the line, you can't 
afford to make a mistake. Your image pro- 
cessor has to have all the tools an image 
processor should hove. ImageFX lets you see 
your images as you work on them. Provides 
virtual memory for virtually unlimited image 



sizes. Supports fromegrabbers and scanners. 
Paints in full color, even emulating traditional 
media such as charcoals and watercolors. 
Supporfs dozens of image file formats. Other 
packages? They either can't do it, or you'll 
pay extra to get it. They stand still while 
ImageFX continues to grow and improve, 
Dramatically, 

ImageFX 2,0 sets a new standard of quality 
for graphics manipulation on the Amiga, 
When your image is on the line, don't settle 
for less. Step up to the best. Step up to 
ImageFX 2.0. 

For a complete list of features in ImageFX 
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AfnazingMmGA 





Volume 9 
Number 10 
October 1994 



Cover rendering by 
Dennis Sctiaeler 




Bars & Pipes 2.5 Upgrade, p.15 




dJddrJ 133333 



VideoStage Pro, p.23 




IMAGINE 3.0, p. 25 




Fractal Gallery, p.30 




_I _*-TT t N*>. I till . I A-Hti.I 



fciWA'jir 



i-il^ 



\Mm j^ — 







IS issue 



15 Bars & Pipes Professional 
2.5 Upgrade 

by Rick Manasa 

In what is billed a major upgrade to 
this popular MIDI sequencer this 
review covers many of the new and 
improved features. 

19 AC EXCLUSIVE.! 
Alex Amor 

Creative Equipment InternationaFs 
President speaks out on his plans for 
for purchasing the Amiga. 

23 VideoStage Pro 

by Douglas J. Nakakihara 
A review of Oxxi's new multimedia 
authoring system for creating interac- 
tive and non-interactive presentations. 

25 IMAGINE 3.0 

by Marc Hoffman 

From complete 68040 chip support to 
a completely revised manual, read all 
about the exciting changes that have 
taken place since its first release over 
two years ago. 

30 Fractal Gallery 

by D. L. Richardson 

Great Fractal pictures plus an overview of 
Fractal Pro by MegageM amd Cygnus 
Software's Mand2000 software packages. 

36 DesktopMAGIC: 

The Kitchen Sink Screensaver 

by Douglas Nakakihara 
Great interface design and the ability 
to trigger audio clips place this pro- 
gram a step up from the rest. 

38 MaxonMAGIC 

by Henning Vahlenkampr 
A review covering both the pros and 
the cons of this latest Amiga screen 
saving utility. 



DesktopMAGIC, p.36 




47 Aladdin-4D Tutorial #10 

by Shamms Mortter 
Lens flair creation and use are cov- 
ered in depth in this month's 
A!addin-4D tutorial. 

62 Video Transitions using ARexx 

by Jason R. Hardy 

Combine the power of ARexx scripting 
with Art Department Professional to 
create video transitions. 

65 Two for the Fun of it 

by Shamms Mortier 

BoomBox and Mand200Q are two pro- 
grams that will give you hours of 
enjoyment . 

76 Show Reports 

by Douglas J. Nakakihara 
Digital World, InfoComm, and 
ShowBiz Expos. 

The Amiga still had a presence, albeit 
minor, at two of the shows. 



i^eaiurtzS 



50 Online 

by Rob Hays 

This month we shift gears and look at 
some of the software available on the 
services we have covered so far. 

55 Digital Image Special F/X 

by William Frawley 

Custom textures, backgrounds and 
texture maps made easy with your 
favorite image processing and 3D 
animation software. 




AC Exclusive! 

Creative Equipment International's President, Alex Amor, 
speaks out on his plans for purchasing the Amiga. 



p.l9 




New Products , p. 10 



Digital Image Special F/X, p.55 



T* 



■ ,1. m,^Jm.Jm. 



Inside ARexx, p.42 



Two for the Fun of it, p.65 



Columns 




10 New Products & 
Other Neat Stuff 

Play Inc. - Digital Creations, 
Progressive Image Technology, and 
eight senior staff members from 
NewTek have joined forces to create 
the next major desktop video provider 
plus upgrades from Playfield; new 
releases from Replica Technology, and 
more. 

28 Bug Bytes 

by John Steiner 

Audiomaster IV and the A4000; 1960 
Monitor driver revisited; Slow spin 
problems with A4000 Hard Drives; 
Multiple Hard Drives and the A3000; 
Chinon High Density Drives and the 
A4000; and more comments on WB 
2.1 and Floppy Drives round out this 
month's Bug Bytes. 

42 Inside ARexx 

by Merrill Callaway 
Programming Error Traps and 
Interrupting ARexx Programs. 



45 Cli directory 





Diversions, p.74 



by Keith Cameron 
Several readers react to past columns 
and a Script file that will search a Disk 
for a given topic or word. 

67 Roomers 

by The Bandito 

Alternative platforms, and other things 

Amiga users should avoid.. 

74 Diversions 

This month; Mortal Kombat irom Virgin 
Interactive / Acclaim Entertainment, 
the product that helped spawn recent 
concerns about overly violent video 
games has finally kicked, punched and 
bled its way onto the Amiga. Mortal 
Kombat pits the player against a 
plethora of on-screen opponents, but if 
you are a concerned parent with young 
children. Mortal Kombat, may be too 
gory for your taste. 



Departments 



Editorial 6 

Feedback 52 

List of Advertisers 72 








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Tech Support (810) 960-8750 

Sales (810)960-8751 

Fax (8 10) 960-8752 



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Amazing AmG4^ 

Aniiiziiig Cimil}iili>i}i 
l-'or The ComiiimlttrL' AMIGA'^' 



ADMINISTRATION 



Publisher: 
Assistant Publisher: 
Administrative Asst.: 
Circulation Manager: 
Asst. Circulation: 
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Joyce Hicks 
Robert J. Hicks 
Donna Viveiros 
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Robert Gamble 
Ernest P. Viveiros 



EDITORIAl, 
Managing Editor: Don Hicks 



Hardware Editor: 

Video Consultant: 

Art Consultant: 

Illustrator: 

Contributing Editor: 

Contributing Editor: 



Ernest P. Viveiros Sr. 
Gran Sands 
Perry Kivolowitz 
Brian Fox 
Merrill Callaway 
Shamms Mortier 



ADVERTISING 

Coordinator: Donna Viveiros 
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AMAZING AUTHORS 
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William Frawley Rob Hays 
Jeff James John Steiner 
Dan Weiss Henning Vahlenkamp 
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AMIGA'^' is Q registered trodemork of 

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A4066, EthernetPlus and A1962 are registered trademarks o1 Creative Equipment internaUonai. 



CircJc 102 on Reader Service card. 



\ 



vEDMiram 



Straight Talk 



Facts? What Facts? 

In the current lurmtiil Ciiusod by the 
rapid exit of Commodore and the still 
unresolved issue of the next owner of the 
Amif^n technology, no one hns oil the 
iinswers. 1 continise to answer calls from 
Amiga vendors. Amazing writers, as well 
as individuals from other industries who 
begin by talking about one thing or the 
other and end up asking if 1 have heard 
anything. Generally these tend to be one 
way calls where 1 quickly summarize the 
available facts as we know them. 

Whenever I am forced to tell 
someone something that I have not 
personally been able to \'erify, 1 cither tell 
them my source or I tell them it is third or 
fourth party information and should be 
treated as such. If someone has given me 
InforiTiation that must be held in 
confidence, 1 don't repeat it. After ail, an 
incorrect word or a statement released too 
soon could cause serious problems in 
getting this entire situation resolved. 

I am often upset when I learn that 
individuals are spreading information 
that is untrue or at least not the whole 
truth. The errors appear mostly on the 
'nets' where one individual has some 
knowledge and then fills in the missing 
pieces with what he believes is the correct 
assumption, This assumption mysteri- 
ously becomes a truth. This results in a 
series of messages going back and forth 
on the net. As the messages get farther 
from the original source, the facts are less 
likely to have survi\'ed in their original 
format. The result is that many people are 
being mislead and an entirely false 
impression of the market is being created. 

Last month we carried an interview 
with Mr. David Pleasance, the General 
Manager of Commodore UK. This caused 
several discussions on the nets which, of 
course, we are always glad to see. 
However, these discussions quickly 
created the illusion that Mr. Pleasance and 
his management group had made the deal 
and that the Amiga was theirs. Within 



days, it was a 'fact' that the Amiga had 
been sold and that word would be made 
officially "any day now." 

Part of this was wishful thinking and 
part of it was inadequate inforiiiation. 
Although several people placed excerpts 
of the article on-line, the condensed 
versions of the article lost portions of the 
central information. In some cases this 
added to the misinformation going 
through the marketplace. This resLilled in 
many people believing that the Auniziii;^ 
Coinpiilin^^ article had stated that Mr. 
Pleasance was the new owner. This was 
something we had taken great care not to 
do. 

Getting ttie Facts 

OiM' editorial policy concerning 
interviev\'s is very straight forward. This is 
not NBC's Meet The I'nvs or CNN's 
Civssfnv. We are not iriter\'ievviiig people 
to create contro\'ersv or to initiate a 
situation in order to 'trip-up' the 
interviewee. This is a serious look at \vhat 
the individual has to say and what thev 
believe. Por accuracy, the interviews are 
taped, transcribed, edited, and then 
shown to the intervieivce to be certain 
they are being properly quoted. 

White in Mr. Pleasance case, we were 
not able (o send him a copy of the 
interview before press time, we did 
inform him of our pressing deadline and 
we obtained an agreement to rim the 
article based on my conversation with 
him. For this reason, we were extremely 
careful to accurately present Mr. 
Pieasancc's case. 

Mowever, this accuracy as well as 
some of the more subtle poiitts were lost 
when someone decided tt) place a 
condensed version of the article on the 
net. It not only did a disservice to Mr. 
Pleasance and AC, but also to the 
thousands of people in the Amiga 
marketplace. When this was compounded 
by people who read and respond to the 
net remarks and did not bother to read 



the entire three pages in their copy o( AC, 
a great deal of misinformation was passed 
down as truth when it did not need to 
occu r. 

I would like to request that all of us 
remain extremely careful of the informa- 
tion we receive and disseminate concern- 
ing the Amiga. It is important to the 
marketplace that we deal as truthfully as 
possible with all of the problems and 
concerns of our Industry. 

CEI and Alex Amor 

It is in this spirit that this issue 
carries an intervie\v ^vith CEI President, 
Alex Amor. Mr, Amor heads a U.S. 
buyout team attempting to acquire the 
Amiga technology. Mr. .Amor offers 
different insights into what ho believes is 
important to the Amiga market and what 
he wants to have happen. 

Please read the interview and 
discuss it among friends on the net and 
elsewhere. 1 only ask that if someone 
offers you a solid statement that the 
Amiga has been sold to company X, ask 
them v\'here they heard the announce- 
ment. 

The Gateway Computer Show 

One way yoLi can show your 
continued support for the Amiga is by 
attending the Gateway Amiga Club's 
annual Show to be held October 29th in 
St. Louis (see their ad on page 54). This 
user group event is probably the only 
Amiga computer event this vear (unless 
the new owners, whoever thev are, decide 
to do something sooner) and it is a great 
wa)- lo meet people who share your 
interests. 




Don Hicks 
Managing Editor 



AjUAZiiya Computing 




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Optional transcoder for (orr)ponent in/output 

Powerful, easy-to-use MovieShop software features 

f/me line & hierarchical editing 

Optional Joaster® interface 

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Maintain your edge.. 

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now subscribe to the magazines that will keep you in the know. 



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*lt. 2D AAMfMrkrtt 




Aniciziii^^ Computing, the 
first Amiga monthly maga- 
zine, remains the first in new 
product announcements, 
unbiased reviews, and 
indeptii reporting. AC's 
unique columns like Roomers 
and Bug Bytes, step-by-step 
programming articles, and 
entertaining tutorials have 
made it the magazine of 
choice with devoted Amiga 
fans. VVitli AC you remain on 
the cutting edge of Amiga 
product development. 



AC'S Guide AC's TECH 



•.Am^melc 



Mi (;iH)E^mGA 




AC'sGuide remains the • 
world's best resource for 
Amiga product information. 

A compilation of new prod- 
uct announcements from AC 
and exhaustive research, 
AC's GUIDE is a constantly 
updated reference to the ever 
changing Amiga market. 

Witli an AC SuperSub, you 
will receive 12 issues of 
Amazing Computing and two 
issues of AC's GUIDE at a 
tremendous savings. 



j Coiilriintlufc Out '^ Amig.! hi 




■■■■■■■■■■■■■> ~"~jpiM» 

■■•■■■■■■■■■■■■■■MMH«I 

■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■I 



■■■■■■■ 

■■■■■■■. 

[us 



AC'S TECH was the first 
disk-based technical maga- 
zine for the Amiga. This 
quarterly collection of pro- 
grams, techniques, and 
devekiper issues has been 
created for Amiga owners 
wlio want to do more with 
their Amigas. If you want to 
expand your Amiga knowl- 
edge beyond the ordinary, 
then AC's TECH is a must. 



Complete your Amazing Computing library and FRS collection 



Mail or FAX (508-675-6002) the LMicloseci order form or call toll-free in U.S. or Canada, 800-345-3360. 

Foreign orders please call 508-678-420U 



PeeCee's 



Digital Imagery 



High Quality 

35IVilVi 

Slides 

from your 

Amiga'*''" 




al" 



Slide imaging prices start at 

JUST $3.50 




(72-hour Turnaround / 4K Resolution / Most Amiga Formats) 



945 Walnut street Fall River, MA 02720 

Voice Tel. 508.676.0844 

BBS 508.676.9308 (14400/8N1) 

FAX 508.676.5186 



PROPUCTS 



d otk 



&^ nc^ci 




Play Incorporated: from left to rigtit, Paul Montgomery, Mike Moore, John Botterl, 
and Kiki Stockhammer tiave joined forces (o create Itie next level of video 
technology in a nnultiplatform environment. 



LET'S PLAY! 

Three-Way Merger Creates Desktop 

Video "Super Company" 

Dif;iliil Crciilions, rrogrvssiw.' Im.ij^L- 
Technology and a group of eigtit senior staff 
members \vho left Video Toaster-maker 
New Tek earlier this year ha\e merged to 
form a new company called, Play Incorpo- 
rated. The new company wiil be headed by 
Mike Moore as Chairman, Paul Montgom- 
ery, as President, and John Botteri, as CEO. 
"Bet\%'een the three groups we've shipped 
over 50 products", said John Botterl, "Hnch 
of us has dominated in our o\\x\ area; 
hardware, software, and marketing. 
Together, \vc will be the leader in PC \idco." 



In a telephone conversation, Mr. 
Botteri went on to say, "We are extremely 
proud of Dif;ital Creations and what we 
haw accomplished. Digital Creations will 
continue to upgrade and support products 
for the Amiga market. Play allows us to 
create future technology as well as to 
provide products and new directions to the 
expanding video market." 

Digital Creations, headed by John 
Botleri, has been a leader in video applica- 
tions on the Amiga since 1^86. In addition 
to marketing and writing the applications 
software for all of Progressi\'e's desktop 
video products. Digital developed three 
breakthrough video paint systems. 



t.xploiling theirexperti.se in real-time 
graphics, Digital also created several 
award-winning entertainment titles for 
Electronic Arts. 

Tile Progressive Image Technology 
team, led bv Mike Moore and including 
former Crass Valley Croup engineering 
talent, began creating hardware for 
personal computers in 197S. Progressive 
has been a pioneer in computer video since 
the early eighties when thev engineered 
desktop video products for both IBM and 
Apple. Since then Progressive has designed 
many successful video peripherals 
including video effects hard\vare, overlay 
cards, genlocks, digitizers, and time base 
correctors. 

Tlic group from NewTek includes 
former Vice-President Paul Montgomery as 
\vell as KewTck's former directors of sales, 
marketing, and software development. The 
group also includes key software engineers 
from Ihe t-mmy-awarti u'inning Toaster 
team and Kiki Stockhammer, the industry's 
best-known spokesperson. 

When asked about the way the Play 
team was created, Mark Randall, Vice 
President of Marketing at Play and former 
Director of Marketing at NewTck, stated, 
"It v%as a perfect fit. Each group was 
exceptionalh- good at different things. We 
began talking as friends, just discussing the 
market and the opportunities. We quickly 
reali/^ed how well each group \vorked 
together and how much we could achieve 
as a single company." 

Play's current offices are not large 
enough for the 30 plus people now making 
Lip the new company. One of the first 
actions by the new company will be to find 
new headquarters. 

Plav is owned entirely by its employ- 
ees. The first of its PC \'ideo products u'ill 
he shipping within yo days. 
P/i!!/ incii\-yiiW\icd, !60 Blue Rtiviiw Romt Sit: 
B, Fohciu, CA 95630, Tel (916) 344-4825, FAX 
me) 635-0475 
liiqiiin/ #215 

The Inluition Extension 

PLAYl-IIiLD! announces the release of 
The IntuiHon Extension by .4ndy Church. 
This program gives AMOS and Pro 
programmers the ability to create true 
Intuition applications; open and manipulate 
Intuition screens and windows, in all 
possible screen modes, even the AGA 
modes; open and manipulate true Intuition 
«'indows; and more. You can c\'en create 
and monitor menus on your Intuition 
screens. Now \'ou have the ability to paste 
AMOS icons and bobs on Intuition screens! 



10 



Amazing Computing 



iNEW! 



I'M 



Link- It! 



Mow you can transfer files from your Amiga to your 
PC! Or, use ii Amiga-2- Amiga or PC-2-PC! 



N\'(^ 



Link It! ul.B 8 1994 Lefleniiarii Desifln Tfchnoiogies Inc. 



X 



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<^tfv\ 



All I Mont I Pat » I triuesi 



It's fiiuilly here.' An easy way to transfer files of all 
sizes from compiUer to computer. This product 
works between two Ainit^a's, two PC's, or between an 
Amiga and a PC. TIterc is no other product like it! 

• Serial or Parallel transfer. 

• Perform file conversion as you transfer! Imagine 
selecting several IFF picture files on the Amiga and 
have them transferred in PCX formal to your PC! 

• Extensive AREXX ''^' interface - evens allows you 
to send commands to the remote computer. 

• Easy, one-terminal operation. 

• Both Amiga and Windows'^' versions included! 

• Conversion and file display programs ai"e 
completely external and therefore completely 
upgradcable as new file formats become available. 

• Automatically adjust filenames and file patterns to 
match the appropriate machine. 

• Amiga version suppcMis GVP's ioBxtender and the 
Multiface cards. 

Includes a 
high-speed 
parallel cable. 
Only $59.95! us 




Address-It! vi.5 

Manage your mailing lists the easy 
way! The latest version sports the 
"3D" look and is compatible with all 
word processors. Print labels, phone 
books, envelopes, rosters and more! 





Invoice-It f v i .2^- -- J 

Dedicated invoicing software for any business! 
Custom invoice layout, detailed reports, statements 
and more! New version includes product database 

and automatic interest chariies. 




4 exciting volumes 
to choose from! 

#1: Scenic fit Lonclscopc 
#2; Textures & Patterns 
#3: Still life 
#4: (Ibstroet 

Includes Prolmage 

image processor! 



ataTAX '* 

Do your taxes the easy way! 

Available .lanuary 1995 with a new and 
improved interface. 




SFX 



VnlLin)e#l 



ON CD-ROM 



3(K) high-tjiKilily sound clTccls willi ;iii easy- 
to-use Amiya iiilcrriice! 
COMPACT -^^^ 




Pert'ecl Ibr \idL"o 
priKliicliiinl 





The' world's largest producer 

iil'ciiiiimcrcially ;iv;iii;ihle 

MUiDLlelTcels! 




Legendary Design Technologies Inc. 
25 Frontenac Avenue, Brantford, ON CANADA N3R 3B7 
P.O. Box 1 147, Lewiston, NY 14092-8147 U.S.A. 
(519) 753-6120 voice/fax 



Committed 

to the 

Amiga! 

Ml tnidcTTKirk" mL'iiti"ncd avc prop^'riy of [heir rv^pcilivL.' hoklciN. 



Circle 103 on Reader Service cartf. 



Complt'tL' with niiiriual and disk the price 
is S14.95. 

PLAYFIELD!, PO /jo-v 450S84, Sioirisc. FL 
33345-08S4, Tel (305) 846-7969, BBS <3U5) 
456-0126. Iii,}!iinfli216 

The Enhanced Music Extension 

Direct from Australia bv I'.uil Keece 
this is tlic complf te replacement tbr tlie old 
AMOS Music libr.irv. The tnh.incod Music 
Extension fixes all known bu>;s in the 
miisic.lib, and adds more features! Plav 
trackers directly, using the latest I'ratracker 
playroutine. Play samples at the same time 
as the tracker plays - without crashing the 
system - and without ruining the music! 
EME introduces new 'sample priority' 
system, a sample with lower priority will 
not play over a sample with high priority-! 
Important sounds will not get drowned out 
- without having to keep track of it yourself. 
It also contains direct MED support using 
the medplayer.lih Play samples directly 
from a tracker, and get all types of 
information from the tracker. Even use the 
extension to monitor and take samples from 
your sampler) .Many new features and new- 
commands all for only S14.95 from 
PLAYFIELD! 

PLAYFIELD!. PO Box4508S4, SiDinse, FL 
33345-0884, Tel (305) 846-7969, BBS (305) 
456-0726. /)iifi(m/#2J7 

Replica Technology 
Announces 5 Products 

Interior Design I - A collection of over 
50 real world scaled furniture objects for the 
ti\ing room, bedroom, and dining room. 
This collection contains such items as beds, 
chairs, tables, storage, cabinets and other 
household items. All furniture, doors and 
drawers can be animated. Compatible with 
Light^vavc the suggested retail price is 
S49.95. 

Interior Design II - A collection of o^■er 
50 real world scaled furniture objects for the 
kitchen and bathroom. Also includes a 
number of lighting objects. This collection 
contains appliances, kitchen cabinetry", 
sinks, wmitics, toilet, tub, toiletry and other 
household items. All furniture, doors and 
drai^'ers can be animated. Also compatible 
with Lightv\'ave the suggested retail price is 
$49.95. 

Interior Design HI - A collection of 
over 50 real world scaled fui'nitiue objects 
for the office. This collection contains 
chairs, desks, bookcases, tables, file 
cabinets, workcenters, and other office 
furniture. .Ml t'urniture doors and drawers 
can be animated. Compatible with 
Lightwave, tlie SRF is S49.95. 



Homes - A collection of 4 complete 
real ^^'orld scaled homes for Lightwave, 
including interior rooms and exteriors. All 
doors and windows can be animated. Over 
120 surfaces per home, and all four can be 
loaded in one scene without surface name 
duplication. One-story, traditional, 
lakeside, and ranch style homes. SLiggested 
retail price is 599.95. 

Interior Construction - Create vour 
own rooms and interior environments with 
this collection of over 150 real world scaled 
objects. Tills includes doors, windows, 
stairs, fixtures, moldings, walls, floors, 
ceilings, and rooms. Designed for 
interchangcability to achieve sarious 
combinations of interior elements. Dotirs 
and windows can be animated. Suggested 
retail price $99.95. 

Each object is fully surfaced and ready 
to just load and render. Procedural 
Textures were used for the objects, making 
the appearance of each object easy to 
modify and customiiie. Each object is 
designed to accurately represent it's real- 
world counterpart in appearance and size. 
All of the objects in the Interior Design and 
Homes collections are also fully functional 
and ready to animate. Prices are valid as of 
June 16, 1994. Prices are subject to change. 
Replied Teeliiiologi/, 465Q Lnngfeini Rd.. N 
CoHhif, NY ULII, Tel (716) 337-062!, FAX 
(7U) 337-3S87. Inqttiry #218 

FreeForm 3D Bspline Modeler 

The FreeForm 3D Bspline Modeler 
brings trulv affordable, super-fast Bspline 
modeling to your current 3D program 
rivaling that of high end workstations. 
FreeForm can output to Light\\'ave, 
AladdiniD, Real3D2, Imagine, and Caligari. 
(POV and Rayshade are currently being 
added). Freel-'orm has a real-time object 
and point editing in all \'iews; and a real- 
time, 3D space, through the camera 
perspective view. In addition to the 
standard 3D tools, FreeForm has tension 
adjustment to Bspline (giving NUI?15 like 
control), deformations, rail extrusion, 
morph extrusions, cross sectional skinning, 
automatic Bones creation, real-time Bones 
manipulation and on-line help. FreeForm 
e\'en gives Reai3D2 users a faster, easier to 
use Bspline environment, and a 20 times 
faster grayscale preview curve rendering. 
FreeForm 1.7 is S65, requires at least a 6S020 
with a FPU, and 1.2 megs of Ram. Usable 
dcmoof vl.6on Aminet ftp 128.252.135.4 in 
gfx/3D and on CompuServe. 
Fivi Owiinnm, 1S73-75 Cropiet/ Ave, 
Bnwkli/n, NY 11214, Tel (71S) 996-1S42 32 
(iiw)! to 7pm EtKtcni. hiqitinj it219 



Two new products fronn Prime 
Software 

Multilayer foi' AdPro - The long 
awaited digital layering, compositing and 
effects tool for the Amiga supports 
unlimited layering of motion video, stills 
and animation. Complete timeline interface 
with dozens of pro editing/compositing 
tools. Layers can be ct)mposited using 
Image Mapping, Luminance- keying. Alpha- 
keying, Chroma Keys and more! Image 
sequences can be generated in resolutions 
from lores anims to folm resolutions of 4800 
X 3200 pixels and beyond in full 24-bit 
Color. Complete graphic compositing 
environment with Cutting, Pasting, 
Copying & Swapping of layers' priorities at 
any point in time and space with linear or 
non-linear inotion of layers, each u'ith 
different effects! Support for 24-bit 
framebuffers and digital disk recorders 
such as VLAB Motion and PAR. Requires 
ADPro 2.5 and Workbench 2.0. Suggested 
List price: SI 29.95. 

MultiLayer for Iniage-FX - This digital 
layering, compositing and effects tool for 
the Amiga supports unlimited layering of 
motion video, stills and animation. 
Complete timeline interface \\'ith dozens of 
pro editing/compositing tools. Layers can 
be composited using Image Mapping, 
Luminance-keying, Cliroma Keys and 
more! Image sequences can be generated in 
resolutions from lores anims to film 
resolutions of 4800 x 3200 pixels and 
beyond in full 24-bit Color. Complete 
graphic compositing environment with 
Cutting, Pasting, Copying & Swapping of 
layers' priorities at any point in time and 
space with linear or non-linear motion of 
layers, each with different effects! Support 
for 24-bit framebuffers and digital disk 
recorders such as VLAB Motion and PAR. 
Requires lmage-1-X 1.5 and Workbench 2.0. 
Suggested list price: SI 29.95 
Prime Software, 31164 Country \Nay, 
Fnnningkm Hills, Ml 48.^31-1035, Tel (8W) 
661-3393. liiquirif #220 

Fusion Forty 60'^' 

RCS .Vlanagement, through its R&D 
section, has turned the Fusion Forty'^' into 
a new generation accelerator by giving it 
the ability to handle the MC68060 CPU 
from Motorola. This unit is fullv compat- 
ible with the Toaster, Imagine 3.0, Real 3D, 
Caligari and many more. Current users of 
the Fusion Forty'^' are welcome to update 
their 28mhz MC68040 to the new MC68060 
without ha\'ing to replace the RAM. The 
RAM modules will still be the industry 
standard 1 x 8 or 4 x 8 SIMM modules giv'en 



12 



Amaziivg Computing 



STOP LOOKING! rnmmitpr An<iwpr<i (^o^) 953-8960 

We have the lowst Amiga prices anywhere! \ — \J LkLlJ \J.V\^L il^llkj W ^1 i3 (306) 953-8961 



BelliT Vet. \VE ACTUAL LY HAV E CD-JJ's. 1200 
4000/030-s. & -iOOOmOS lN:STOCK_NO.\y: 



917 -Central Avenue. Prince Albert, Saskatchewan, Canada S6V-4V2 
Phone: (306) 764-2888 Fax: (306) 764-0088 BBS: (306) 764-0888 



When this acid went to press, the details of the Commodore re-organization were not 
strongest position ever! We are very excited about the future of the Ami 



9:30-6:00 Mon-Sat (Mountain) 



finalised, however, all indications are that this change of direction will put the Amiga in it's 
ga and are continuing to offer the best possible prices on all available Amiga's. 



CD-32 

$299 

-6g[iC020Cpu@ 14Mhz 
-AGA32-BilCh;psia 
-2MBCIiipRAM 
MOMBCIJ-ROMDiivc 
. trouble SpMil CD-ROM 
I Limited Supplier 



A 1200 

$329 

- 68EC020 Cpu ffl UMhi 
-ACA 32-Bit Chipset 

-2 MB Chip RAM 

- IDE Hard Drive Conlrollci 

- gSOK Floppy Drive 

I BackinSttxk! \ 



4000/030 

$1,299 

. 68EC03Q Cpu @ 25 Mhi 

- Math Chip Optional 
-2 MB Chip RAM 

- IDE Hard drive Controller 
■ 1.76 MB Floppy Drive 

I 'BackuTSiocE 



4000/040 

$1,499 

. 681X040 Cpu a 2S Mh2 

■ Math Chip Optional 
•2 MB Chip RAM 

■ [DE HanJ Drive Controller 

■ l.TSMBRoppy tJrivt 

I Supplies Limiledf 



4000 Tower 

$2,399 

- 68040 Cpu @ 25 Mhi 

- Math Chip built-in 
-3 MB Chip RAM 

- SCSI & IDE t>rive Controllers 

- 1.76 MB Floppy Drive 

I Cali for AvaiMIiliyr] 



Amiga 1200 HD 

-Amiga 1 200 Computer 
-68020 CPU® 14Mhr 

- 2MB RAM 

- 210 MB Internal Hard Drive 

- Electrohome 1440 Monitor 

- All Cables & Connectors 

$1,399 

C&s, we actually have 120O's) 



Amiga 1200/030 

-Amiga 1200 Computer 

- 68030 CPU @ 25 Mhz 
-4MB RAM 

- 340 MB Internal Hard Drive 

- Electrohome 1440 Monitor 

- All Cables & Connectors 

$1,999 

(ihs, \^c actually have 1200'9) 



Toaster 4000 

■ Amiga 4000 Computer 

■ 68030 CPU @ 25 Mhz 
■10MB RAM 

■210 MB Internal Hard Drive 
■Video Toaster 3.1 

■ Commodore 1084 Monitor 

$3,999 

(Best Toaster Starter Ever!) 



PAR System 

■ Amiga 4000 Computer 

■ 68030 CPU @ 25 Mhz 

■ 6MB RAM 

■ 2 to & 540 MB Hard Drives 
• PAR Card (60fps animation) 

■ Electrohome 1440 Monitor 

$4,099 

(Broadcast Quality Anims!) 



Amiga 4000 Upgrades 


IMBSimm 


S 39" 


4MBSinim 


t 159" 


SMBSimm 160ns) 


J 339" 


16MB Simm {60ns) 


$ 689" 


32MBSimraf60n3) 


11349" 


2 10 MB IDE HD 


J ,9,.. 


340 MB IDE HD 


$ 299" 


420 MB IDE HD 


% 399" 


520 MB IDE HD 


J 499" 


"JuldtainyiOOOryittml 1 



Warped Toaster 

■ Amiga 4000 Computer 

■ Warp Engine 040 @ 40 Mhz 

■ 20 MB RAM 

■ 540 MB SCSI-II Hard Drive 

■ Video Toaster 3. 1 Card 

■ Commodore 1084 Monitor 

$6,599 

(Fastest Toaster Ever!) 



Anim Workshop Version 2.0 $ 99 

Duluxe Paint ^^(AGAVersioa!) S 99 

Bnllmncs Painl (24 BjI on AGA'} S 59 



Final Copy Wad ProiXiSOr 


S39 


ProCalc 


J 109 


ProPage 4. 1 


$ 75 


ProDraw 3.03 


S 75 



Warp Engine 4028 {2SMliz & SCSI-II) 
Warp Engine 4033 (33Mhz& SCSI-II) 



S 699 

SI099 



Monitors umb Amiga /Alone 

Commodore 2024(1024X800) $199/ $269 



Amiga 4000/CD.' 

■ A4000/ttJ0, 6MB RAJ.t/210 HD 

■ CD-ROM it Controller 



S2,299\ 






Par Animation Card! 

- 60 rp& BroatlcaAt Qiulity Animi 
■ 5O0 MB Hani Drive 



$2,299 



I 



2024 Hi-Res Monitor 

-102-1X800 Non-interlaced 
- Ideal for Dtiktop Publijhmg! 



S199 






Caligari 24 
Real 3D vtrsion 2.0 
Imagine 3.0 (Now In Stock!) 
Spaiks (Particle Animal ion) 
Swtpestfor Video Toaster) 



S 119 
$ 379 
S379 
% 99 
$ 89 



Roctjen (Low cost cxiernat genlock) S 199 

SuperGcji S.X (Broadcast quality) S 689 

TBC IV from DPS (Updated version) I 789 



GroUiers Encyclopedia 

- on CD-ROM 



$49 



Amiga 4000 @ 40Mh. 

■ A400a'040 & -lOMhi (Warp Engit 

- 20 MB HAM 1 540 Fast SCSI II Hard Drive 



$4,199 



I 



AriDepanmeiiiPro (Ver2J) $139 

Montage Character Generator) $225 

Pegger (JPeg compression!) S 69 

Bars & Pipes Professional Version 2.0 $ 215 

Ifcluxe Music Ver sion 2.0 S 79 

Distant Suns Version 5.0 S 59 

Image FXVei-sion I J S 169 



Kitchen Sync CTwocompleleTBC's!) $1189 

Retina 24 Bit Card 2MB (Still great!) $299 

Retina ZII! (4MB Version) $ 729 

Picasso II (24 Bit Graphics Card) $ 429 

GVP Spectrum (w-ith pass-thru) i 389 



MPEG Card for CD-32r 

iviih any two movies^ FREE! 



Warp Engine 4OW(40Mhz& SCSI-II) $1299 

DKB 1240, 68030 @40Mhi $ 299 

Printers 

SusiNX-IOOl (9pinNLQ) $ 119 

Star NX-lCH0(9pin Color wtihNLQ) $139 

Star NX-2430 (24 pin Letter QuaUty) $ 179 
Star NX-2450 (24 pin Color, SheetFeeder!) $ 219 

Star NX-2480 (24 pin Color, 330 cps!) S 239 

Star SI -144 (Color Ink Jet) $449 

Priniera (Best color output) S 749 

Hewlett Packard DeskJet 520 (600 dpi!) $ 269 

Hewlett Packard DeskJet 500c Color !) S 369 

HewlettPackardDeskJetS60(;(600dpi) $549 

Hewlett Packard 4L S 659 



$299 



Ajx»cmliT«e' >•(■>*■ tJbidt Jtiin, Bor )o\-, Ei^ LUi^u. I'M 
AknhlkfV Red (X-Hhj IftJn.Trt Pnwi»ial NjJced Gun !>.. ■ 
YMnx Gamn>..SI<^rr. Sw TrA 6, TTx Fbtiv Tup Gun I 



Warp Engine @ 40Mbz ■ 
-68W0Ji SCSI-II ^40Mbx^* 



$1,299 



I 



Pioiactiiiti 

AmiBacL & AniiBack Tools $ 55 

SAS C & C-f -t Version 65 S 239 

DcvPac Vctsioh 3 (Assembler) $ 69 

EDGE Professional Text Editor S 59 

Home Front Version 2.5 $ 29 



Mcrlul 24 Bit Video board $ 569 

VLab Video Digitizer with 30fps $ 369 

VLab Y/C ( with Super VHS connections) S 469 

Personal Animation Recorder by DPS $1459 

Video Toaster (wth computer only) SI 799 



Video Toaster Starter cj gag 

. A.tOOOmjO. 10. MB 4 210 HD I '. 



Toaiier 4000 Vtiiion 3.1 tCBM 1084Moni!Df 






Image FX ^om GVP 

- Version 1.5 



$169 



Supra 2400 Modem $ 49 

GPFA.X Software for Supra Modems J 49 

Best Data 14,400 Baud FaVModem $149 

AlfaData SOO tips Hand Scanner S 169 



Personal Component Adaptor (YC+) 



S 259 



Brilliance 

- il Pamtitjg progzam! 



$59 



We have the bestp rjc^ on: 

Aiaigai, ASDG,, AUaDaU, Axiom Software, 

Bert Daia Products, CSA, Digital Creation*, 

Digitil ProcMiiBg Syitcnn, DKB, Electronic 

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Heifaer, Hewlett Packard, IDEK , Intcrworkt, 

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CD-SI TiUes 

Alh«l Chickm 
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Hired Cmu 

HCUTUDJ 1 £ 1 

luTcrm tiouL Kai lie 
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Liber AIJOD 
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tivCTp-wl FwUbdUl 

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TiolU 
TurKu 3 
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US FLii)iti.n 



ElectrohomeM" f 

- .2Smm Do( PiTch. l5-KJKhi (U") i 

- Devtloptd heie in Canidal 



$439 



1 



Commodore 1950 Multiscan $299 / S399 

Electrohome 1440 M ulliScan $+49 / $449 

I42SBi^can (6WX400& 800X600) S69/S299 
IDBK 17' Main-Scan (NTSCA VGA} SS99/S9i9 

Driws. Storeage & Csrtls 
CI>ROM & Controller for 2000iaOO(V4000 $ 199 

Double Speed CD-ROM & Controller i 229 

IOMEGA 150: MB Bernouliit c:artridge $ A69 

Syguest lOSMB Kit for 4000 $ 359 

DataFlyer.XDS External for 1200 $ 65 

DdtaFlyerAOOOSX SCSI Controller $ 79 



14400 Baud Modem 

- Itii Modem vitb Fax! 



$129 



I 



FastLane Z3 FAST SCSI-II Controller $ 499 
DKB 409 1 FAST SCSI-1 1 Controller $ 289 

AlfaDataEiiernalSSOKEiternal Floppy $ 69 
POKcrConipuung 1, 76MB External Floppy SI49 



Video Toaster 3. 1 Card 

- Witb any Amiga 4000 System 



$1799 



MuItiFace III Card $79 

EraplantColofEtnulator (IBM Scon!) $249 
ANIAX Color Macintosh Emulator $359 



We will beat anyone 's price an in stock items' 



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time > 
repair 
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Circle 111 on Reader Service card. 



thnt KCS producls tin mil use prnprietiirv 
RAM. The MC6S060 cont.iins the FPU, 
MMU and a new feature called 
SUPERSCALAR. The superecaUir feature 
enables the MCfi,S060 to delect, dispatch, 
cxecuSe and return results from more than 
one instruction during each machine cycle. 
The clockspced is rated at 50mhz and at a 
later date the 65mhz. Shipping uill 
commence in October, 1994, unless 
Motorola reschedules the release of the 
6806Q CPU. Please contact RCS for pricing 
and upgrade policies. 

RCS Mainige!}!eiit, 6955 TtKclicrcau Bird nllt, 
BriKsnrd, Quebec, Oimuln, I4Z 1A7. Tel (514) 
926-^755, FAX (514) 926-3131, BBS (514) 
738-7262. Iiupiiiy U221 

The FractalPro Image Library, 
Volume 1 - On CDROM 

This CDROM includes o\'er350 fractal 
art images plus dozens of VistaPro'" DEM 
files of fractal objects. It is a fully ' Amiga- 
tized' CDROM with easy access to all IFF 
images via drawer and direct-view icons. 
Organized as sets of 16 images, each has a 
'thumlinail' image slio\\'ing all 16 images in 
the set. Includes Mandelbrot, Cube, Quad 
Mandelbrot, and Julia Sets, and Transcen- 
dental Fractals as wells as 4 additional sets 
of miscellaneous fractals, stereoscopic 3D 
fractal-wrapped spheres, VistnPro-rendered 
fractal landscape images, and video 
overlays of fractals with human faces and 
more. Almost all of the hundreds of GIF 
images may be used royalty-free in your art 
and graphics projects. It is fully compatible 
with all Amiga CDROM readers and 
NewTek's Video Toaster. The suggested 
list price of S59.95 includes shipping in 
North America and is available ncn\-. 
Miyagi'M, 1903 Adria Ave, Simfn Maria, CA 
93454, PhoiU'/FAX 803-349-1104. Inquiry 
*222 

V-Station for Toaster 

FutureVideo has announced their very 
affordable A/B Videotape editing system 
dubbed V-STATlON/br Trasd-r. Tliis 
system provides the professional perfor- 
mance Toaster users expect — but at a 
fraction of tlie cost. This hardware/ 
software system, is comprised of a user- 
friendly software package and a compact 
external edit controller. The system is 
capable of supporting a wide variety of 
VTRs from different class k^els and tape 
formats. Selected consumei'-grade \'CRs 
and camcorders fitted with Sonv's Control- 
L (LANC) and low-end industrial AG- 
1970/AC-1960 Panasonic VCRs are 
supported. Optional VTR driver kits to add 
selected VISCA, KS-232C,and RS-422A 
controlled professional VTRs are also 
available. It is capable of direct ARcxx 



communications with the Video Toaster 
and all of the Toaster's settings are read 
directiv back to the V-STATION and saved 
as part of the V-5TAT10N's event record. 
Suggested retail price $12y,^.IJ0. 
I'liliircVidi'o Prmliict^i, Inc., 28 Ar^^onaut, SidU' 
ISO, Aliso Vicjo, CA, 92656, Ti'l (714) 770- 
4416, FAX (714) 770-4667. hiqtiiiy#223 

User Group Update 

The Metropolitan Amiga Computer 
Enthusiasts (M.A.C.E.) group has under- 
gone some changes. Their new President is 
Mr. Frank Salvatini. Please note that their 
meeting place is now at College of DuPagc, 
22nd & Lambert Rd. in Glen Fllyn, TL 60134. 
They are still meeting on the 2nd Wednes- 
day of the month from 7-lOpm. The new 
mailing address is 534 VVoodficld Trail in 
Roselle, IL 60172 with the contact phone 
number being 70S-529-3008. Mr. Salvatini 
also told AC that they have absorbed the 
membership of the former Fo>c Valley 
A\'enue user group of Aurora, Illinois. 

Avongard Products Instructional 
Videotapes for REAL3D v.2 

Master the powerful 3D modeling and 
animation features of REAL3D V2''' with 
the AvongardVideo Guides. Each of the 
four videotapes in the series contains 
carefully constructed tutorials which 
p!'o\'ide up to 90 minutes of intensive 
hands-on learning. The four include: "The 
Basics" ^vhich teaches the basic principles 
and techniques of REAL 3D and focuses on 
use of the object hierachy, modeling, .simple 
animation, and material editing; "Motion 
Magic" which is an intermediate video 
which co\'ers the ad\'anced techniques of 
camera control, keyframiiig, in\'crsc 
kinematics, and particle animation; "OpHcai 
Delusions" which explores the use of 
materials and lighting effects to achieve 
photorealistic results; and "Free Form 'N' 
Deform" which focuses on advanced 
animation techniques in\'oKing free form 
modeling, character animation, and boolean 
operations. For more information please 
contact: 

Acfrtvi liik'nmlioiml BV, Eiif;lmid, Tel: 44 71 
373 524J, FAX 44 71 371 5S73. Holhmd. Teh 
31 2153 SO 63.9, FAX: 37 2J.W <S'() 679, 
Cenmimj, Tel: 49 40 640 4020, F,ix: 49 40 640 
40 32. hiqiwy#225 

MultlVo!'^' Mirror 

MulliX'ol Mirror backs up or "mirrors" a 
file to one or more devices e\'cry time the 
file is sa\-ed, either by the user or by any 
program. Multiple versions of a file can be 
saved in case the user accidentally 
overwrites the file. MultiVol Mirror works 
with anv device — including the console 
de\'ice. A complete graphical user interface 



with online help is provided. 1 lovvever, 
manual entry and editing is also allowed. 
The user can start or shutdown the facilitv 
as well as tailor it. Recoverv of files from 
mirrored devices is also supported 
ReqLiirements are Amiga DOS 2.04 or 
higher with a suggested retail price of US 
$45. 

Au;;im'nTek. 3606 5 ISOlh 51 C-22, ScnTac, 
WA 9S18S-4339, Tel 206-246-6077. Inquiry 
#226 

TypeSmlth 2.5 

Soft-l.ogik Publishing Corp. announced an 
Lipdaled version of TypeSmilh, their font 
editor for the Amiga. TypeSmith 2.3 adds 
Ti-uel'ype font support, improved hints for 
PostScript fonts, more ARexx cimimnnds 
and imprmed printed font previews. This 
updated version can load and save 
TrueType fonts. The addition allows 
Amiga users to purchase TrueType fonts 
and convert them to another formal for use 
with the Amiga software such as 
PageStream, Art Expressioii, Professional 
Page, Deluxe Paint, Final Writer, Brilliance, 
Lightwave and the Toaster Character 
Generator. Font conversion is also easier 
with the addition of (he new Uatch Con\ert 
ARexx macro. Now users can convert an 
entire directory of fonts with just the press 
of a function kev. Expected release is mid- 
.■\ugust with a suggested retail price of 
SI 99.93. Registered owners of TypeSntith 
2.1) can purchase the upgrade for 525 plus 
shipping and handling (S5 USA/Canada, 
SL'i International}. 

Sofl-i.osiik PkJ'/ls/j;');^' Corjiomtimi, 11131 F 
Simlh Toww Si;, St Umh, MO 63123, Tel: 
S00-S29-S60S or 314-S94-S608. FAX 314-894- 
3280.lit(juiryU227 

BBASEIII 

Version 3.0 of bBaselll, a database program, 
is now shipping. This \'ers!on offers what 
users ha\'e requested most, namely more 
data fields. There are now 16 data fields 
a\ ailable, plus a 600+ Kb Note area for 
miscellaneous information, and all can be 
viewed simultaneously on an interlaced 
screen. bBaselll is a shareware program. 
Registration is S18 US, or S10/S5 to 
upgrade from \'ersions 1 or 2, respectivley. 
Robert Bronilei/, 116S Timber Liinc, Vietoriii, 
BC, Cnmdn V8Y 1E4, (604) 658-0340. Inquiry 
11228 

The /'ri'ss releasee :iiid jicres uninnincenieiils 
above are from Amiga Vendor f iind others. 
While ."^mazing Computing maintains the 
ri^hl to edit these articles, the stnlements, etc. 
niiide ill these reports ore those of the vendors 
and not Amazing Computing magaziiw. 

•AC* 



14 



Amazi.sc. Cty.Mfi iisg 



Bars 8c Pipes 
Professional 

2.5 Upgrade 

revieiued by Rick Matiasa 



IVIIDI SEQUENCING AND 
BEYOND FOR THE AMIGA 



RM«&PIPES 

P R O F S 8 8 I O N A L 

um »Q« tMr% tot citvrivt jmsais* 




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na»»iB\«iifn«n»jaaKn p c r i p« » r 



Blue Ribbon Soundworks has released Bars & Pipes Professionnl 
2.5 — billed ns a major upgrade to (heir popular MIDI sequencer. 
It seems like only )'esterday we were rc\'ieis'ing their feature 
laden 2.0 \ersit)n. Apparently Blue Ribbon can't keep themseKes 
from listening to their customers and improving tlicir sofhvare. 
While not as radical a jump as the 2.0 \'ersion, the latest incarna- 
tion of Bars & Pipes Professional has almost fifty new features 
including new tools, improvements, bug fixes and general 
enhancements, most in response to user input. 

General Improvements 

There are a number of looping options new to Bars & Pipes 
Professional 2.5. You can loop any number of measures on an)' 
number of tracks at the same lime through the Song Construction 
u-indow. Once you define a section, vou can have that section 
repeat up to 255 limes. You can also record a non-looping, or 
linear track over the looping section. Linear tracks are like Real 
Time tracks in thai thev don't loop. Unlike Real Time tracks, 
however, ihey do follow tempo changes. 

SMPTH time codes can be entered more easily. You may be 
more comfortable defining ytiur music sections by measures and 
beats, but need SMPTE references for locking to video. Simplv 
enter your flag positions as you usually do and hit the notes/film 
toggle button to see the positions displayed in SMITH format. 

Merge and Split 

Two of the most useful changes made in Bars & Pipes 
Professional 2.5 have to do with merging and splitting Tracks. It 
wasn't until this release of Bars & Pipes Professional that you 
could merge a Group into one Track. And now you can also split 
a Track into sc\'cral Tracks with each Track holding a single 



pitch. This is ideal for splitting a drum kit into its indi\idi:al drums 
for transposing, processing or what have you. When you're all 
done massaging the individual tracks, merge them back together to 
create a smaller file. These t«-o features are so helpful you wonder 
whv thev \vcren't implemented a long time ago. 

Another "VVh\- Didn't Thev Do This Earlier?" feahire \vill let 
you Replicate a Tool across a Group or acrt)ss all Tracks, I go back 
and forth between the One Stop Music Shop and my MIDI setup. 
Changing the MIDI In and Out Tools used to be one of those small 
but annoving processes I'd have to do whene\'er I su'itched sound 



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The Aulo_Mix Tool acts like a mulli channel mixing console 
and Is designed to work with an external hardware mixer. 



October 1994 



15 




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The A_LisJ Tool will display all MIDI events, except (or SysEx 
messages, In a large window wifh seven filtering options. 

The Graphic Editor has been thoughtfully redesigned by Blue 
Ribbon with suggestions by their users. 

The Guitar Tool is great for converting chords played on a 
keyboard into guitar voicing. 



.sotircfs. Not .inyituiro. Clips am now bo l^^i^(ed, iis well cis inserted 
inlo TracLs. I'rovious versions only pasted the Clip at the indicated 
lociitioii, forcing vou to pLjstc vour Clip into any empty track and 
then Mer};e it with another track to effect a mix. A messy process at 
best. 

Graphic Editor Enhancements 

Yon can tell Blue Ribbon was listening to tlicir cnstomers 
when they made changes to the Graphic Editor. The Listen button 
now serves double duty as a Listen/Stop toggle. If I had a nickel 
for every time I wanted to stop the playback in the Graphic Editor 
before the whole window played I'd be quite well off, thank you. 

Another nice toLich is the Lislen/Anto Slop menu item. Wlien 
disabled, the selected track will keep playing until vou hit the Stop 
button. 

Remember how voli had to .select Update from the Edit menu 
or close out of the Editor all together to hear how your edits sound 
in context with the rest of the music? Bars & Pipes Professional 2.5 
will now play your cdifod track when you select Play from the 
Transport control. If vou don't like it, vou can still Abort to keep 
vour original performance. 

Many miscellaneous features have been added or improved. 
The Metronome window now accepts ke\'board eqiih'alents for 
manv of its functions. It's easier to take advantage of the double 
width and height screens of Workbench 2.0. The Alt keys and 
cursor keys move you to one of the four quadrants available. You 
could ha\e each quarter of the \ irtual screen loaded with its own 
set of windows. The Toolbox can now he alphabetized. Step entry 
has been simplified, clicking the right mouse button cancels many 
editing functions in process and many other small but significant 
improvements are scattered throughout. 

Print It 

One of the weakest features of Bars & Pipes Professional has 
always been its printing facilitv. While Bars & Pipes Professional 
2.5 doesn't offer full blown natation yet, it is getting closer. You 
can now print ledger lines above and below the grand staff and 
tablature markings as well. Yon have more control over how the 
final output kxiks. Bars & Pipes Professional 2.5 lets you decide 
how man\- measures per line and sta\'es per page it will print. 
There is also a Note Spacing option which controls the overall 
resolution of the printout. 

Tools 

.Vlanv of the Tools in the 2.0 version of Uars & Pipes Profes- 
sional were designed to make it easy to interface B&P Pro ivith the 
outside world — VCR's, TBC's and the like. Wliile this expanded 
the capabilities of the program, it didn't make music making 
appreciably easier. The new Tools in Bars >& Pipes Professional 2.5 
are more like the original sets of Tools in that they are designed to 
make the composer's task easier. 

The A_List Tool is a logical expansion of the old Flasher Tool. 
Where the I'lasher would blink whenever MIDI information was 
passing through the Pipeline, the A_List Tool will display all MIDI 
e\'cnls, except for SysEx messages, in a large windou' u'ith sewn 
filtering options. You can select to display or filter Note On, Note 
Off, Control Changes, Mono and Poly Aftertouch, and Pitch Bend 
information. Other buttons allow you to print or clear the list and 
select printing options. This is a great way to track down gremlins. 



16 



Amazing CoMPuri.\<; 



The AnU>_Mix Tool is similar to the Mix Maestro, It acts liko a 
multi channel mixing console and is designed to work ivith an 
external hardware mixer. The Auto-Mix Too! records user defined 
control changes, solo and mute commands on any of sixteen 
channels directlv into the track the Tool is placed on. Channels can 
be ganged together into siibniixos, just like on a hardware console. 
Channels in subgroups can move independent of each other, 
together as a gronp or relative to each other in a number ol ways. 
Crossfading is also possible. Mutes can also be grouped. 

The Drum Key Tool turns your Amiga keyboard into a drum pad, 
sending oul user definable MIDI note numbers for any key, You 
can define and save different maps. 

The Guitar Tool is great for con\'erting chords played on a 
keyboard into guitar voicing. The effect is very convincing. It is a 
complex Tool but promises to be well worth the time spent 
mastering if you are a guitar player or have an interest in authentic 
guitar \'oicing and phrasing. The Guitar Tool lets you bend notes 
and add vibrato using the mouse buttons. You can use alternate 
tunings and even mute a string completely. Realistic strumming 



Another ^^Why Didn't 

They Do This Earlier?" 

feature will let you 

Replicate a Tool across a 

Group or across all 

Tracks. 



can be realized, going either or both directions, vvith the speed and 
duration of the strum user definable. Tlie .AutoChord feature will 
convert single notes played on your MIDI keyboard intti gLiitar 
chords, following all the previously mentioned parameters set up in 
the Play Options window. The Chord Banks window lets you 
select, modify and even create chords from scratch. 

The Key hinder Tool helps determine chords and scales of a piece of 
music. Use it to determine and insert chords into the Master 
Parameters for printing lead sheets and the like. You can select a 
chord or scale directlv from the two sliding lists, manually create 
chords from individual notes or toolizc a section of music and let 
Key Finder do the dirty work. You can display onlv scales or 
chords that have a user defined root note, display notes with 
accidentals as either sharps or flats, listen to the active chord or 
scale, set different volume levels for auditioning and do all this to 
four different banks of chords and scales at the same time. Lots of 
options here. Sometimes its fun to just rip off a fast riff and then 
analyze it (That was C Mixolydian? Oh yeah ,,, 1 knew that,). 
Learning music theory through the back door, so to speak. 




?C|OO0 r O l.QCO ■•" "=" "5,' ™ 

PG aO^OO-CQ 'y * Eg pa 



Print Options <top): Bars & Pipes Professional 2.5 lets you 
decide how many measures per line and staves per page it 
will print. 

The Key Finder Tool (middle) helps determine chords and 
scales of a piece of music. 

Ledger Lines (Bottom): You can now print ledger lines above 
and below the grand staff and tablature markings as well. 
You have more control over how the final output looks. 



OcroBiiH 1994 



17 



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Ledger Lines (top): Bars & Pipes Professional 2.5 lets you 
decide how many nneasures per line and staves per page it 
wlil print. Ttiere is also a Note Spacing option wtiicti controls 
the overall resolution of the printout. 

Set Flags (bottom): SfvlPTI time codes can be entered more 
easily. Simply enter your flog positions as you usually do and 
hit the notes/film toggle button to see the positions displayed 
in SfvlPTE format. 

The Logntti Tool has been improved over the original released with 
Bars cfc Pipes Professional 2.0. This is the kind of useful, no-brairu^r 
Tool that you'll use regularly to add realism to string tracks. Set the 
percentage of overlap desired, tooiize the track and - presto! - 
instant articulation. You can use the Legato Tool to shorten a tracks 
articulation by setting the o\-erlap So a negative number. Ver)' 
handy. 



Wouldn't It Be Nice... 

As nice as the new version of Bars & Pipes Professional is, 
there's always room for improvement. A screen display or printout 
of Drum Key Tool mapping would he helpful. How are you 
supposed to remember which key holds which drum note, 
especially while you're playing? Some type of Undo or a safely net 
for Erasing Tracks would be appreciated. There are too many 
menu items for each to have its own keyboard equivalent, but how 
about a user configurable set of hotkeys? 

There are a set of activities 1 do regularly that would be 
impossible without Mach V and its macro capabilities. Letting the 
user define the function keys for repeated tasks would make Bars & 
Pipes Professional 2.5 more efficient. 

While the manual is c]uite thorough, there is no mention made 
that the two parentheses keys on the keypad are equivalents for 
rewind and fast forward. I wonder how many other "hidden" 
hotkeys there are? Tlie sMerFF Acee.ssory doesn't save gradual 
tempo changes. You'll have to re-enter your changes as small 
discreet steps. 

! have yet to be able to get any kind of printout to m}' laser 
printer using Commodore's PostScript driver. Printing with the HP 
Laserjet dri\'er is quirky at best. In addition lo printing some of the 
score, escape codes were printed, blank pages ejected and mv 
printer hung forcing a reset when 1 attempted to print a few bars of 
a simple piano track. This is particularly discouraging because the 
tech people worked so hard on impro\-ing the print facility. 

Conclusions 

13a rs & Pipes I'rofessionni has always been more than your 
over\'day sequencer, from its interface to it.s capabilities. The 2.0 
version showed a logical evolution into a total multimedia control 
center and environment, from which one can manage and 
manipulate MIDI tracks, digital audio, graphics, video and 
animation. Yet while I know it can do all these fabulous media 
management tilings, 1 find myself more drawn to the creati\'e 
possiLiilities of the Tools. 

Turning the Toolbox loo.sc on an average piece of music can 
reveal some astounding alternatives. The 2.5 version has rcfocused 
Bar.s & Pipes Professional on its original mission — the making of 
music. The program has come full circle to what the Blue Ribbon 
people ha\'e been telling us all along — Bars & Pipes Professional 
2.5 is a tool for the creati\e mind. 

•AC* 



Bars & Pipes Professional 2.6 upgrade 

Blue Ribbon Soundworks 

160SChanfilly Dr. #200 

Atlanta GA 30324 

(404)315-0212 

Inquiry #202 



The Logic Accessory will compare tu'o (racks and perform one of 
three logical operations on them. It can remo\'e all notes from the 
second track that arc identical to those in the first, that are not 
identical, or merge notes from the first track into the second that are 
not already on the second track. The Logic Accessory bases its 
comparisons on note number, time and duration. If all parameters 
don't match up, it lea^'es the notes alone. 



Please Write to: 
Ricli Manasa 

c/o Amazing Computing 
P.O. Box 2140 

Fall River, MA 02722-2140 



18 



A.ytAZIi\G CoAirUTIAG 



The Commodore Buyout 



Alex Amor 



Creative Equipment Internationars President speaks out 
on his plans for purclnasing ihe Amiga. 



Alex Amor is the president of Creative Equipment International (see Amazing 
Computing May, 1994) an important U. S. Amiga distributor. Important not only for 
their rapid rise in the Amiga marketplace, but also for their interest in securing the 
Amiga technology and continuing the Amiga line and de\'elopment. 

We contacted Mr. Amor on August 16, during a \'ery busy week, when he w^as 
preparing the last portion of his company's bid for Commodore's assets. Mr. Amor 
graciously agreed to the following interview. 



AC: Has CEI made their bid? 

Alex; No the bid will be going in on Friday. (August 19, 1994) 

AC: How does the process work? 

Alex: We bognii with what everybody terms Due Diligence. 
This means we need to find out exactly what isavnilable 
froin an asset standpoint — can the product be rebuilt, 
what is in engineering, what raw materials are a\-ail- 
able, what is in inventory — right tin down the line. 
Once we make our determination, then we go back and 
State that we are willing to pay so much for all of these 
assets. 

AC: And vou have that information at this point? 

Alex: We have all that information at this point, yes. 

AC: You're readv to give your bid? 

Alex: Based on the information thev provided us, we arc 
ready to submit a bid. 

AC: What happens if the information is inaccurate? 

Alex: For example, if they are telling us that tliere are 10,000 
finished machines and there is actually 5,000 finished 
machines,oh\'iously that will effect the value of the bid. 
There will be a point where someone will have to go 
through and do an audit of the actual assets to make 
sure we are indeed buving 10,000 machines. 

AC: So, are you giving them a deadline as to ivhen you need 
an answer back? 

Alex: We are telling them that we require to ha\'e cin answer 
back in 4 to 6 ivecks. 

AC: Another 4 to 6 weeks? 

Alex: Yes. 

AC: But isn't that going to push you beyond the Christmas 
deadline dates? 

Alex; I don't belle\'e that anv product will be available for 
Cliristmas. When 1 say product I'm referring specifi- 
cally to the A4000 and the A 1200. i think in the interim 
we can have a number of new products announced. 
They would not be the A4000 or A1200. 1 don't think 



AC: 



Alex: 



AC: 



we'll see supplies of both those units imtii February. 
And even new products would not be seen until next 
year would they? 

New derivative technologies will not be seen until next 
year. You will see some announcements before Christ- 
mas, like new monitors, operating systems, some new 
software that's in the works, etc. But as far as having a 
new computer, just based on approvals that are neces- 
sary from governmental agencies, you won't see any 
new machines for fi to 9 months. 
Because the company has changed hands are you still 
riding under the grandfather clause of the old FCC 
agreements? 



"You will see some 

announcements before 

Christmas, like new monitors, 

operating systems, some new 

software that's in the works, etc. 



Alex: 
AC: 
Alex; 
AC: 



Alex: 

AC: 

Alex: 

AC; 



Yes we are. 

So vou don't ha\-e to reappl)' for those. 
Correct. 

If you buy (he company, why don't you gi\'e us an idea 
of the structure you would like to set up. First let's 
define, who is your group? 

.'\s far as mv group it is Creative Equipment Interna- 
tional exclusively, with investors. 
And the investors are silent partners? 
Silent partners. That Is correct. 
What is yctur game plan? 



OcTOBEn 1994 



19 



Alex: Our game plan is as folkws. Wu belifvc we understand 
where the Amign fits into the different markets a round 
the world. The one thing that has made Commodore 
\'ery successful in the past has been the engineering 
capability of the cumpanv, the perfnrmnncc of the 
product, and the cost. Those three factors have always 
been successful for Commodore. 

We believe that \vith the engineers that are left 
and the engineers that could be brought back the same 
formula could be reestablished. We \'iew engineering 
as being located in the same West Chester Pennsylva- 
nia, sales & marketing would be handled from there. 
Nou' instead of having 35 different companies 
that are owned by a parent company, w'e ivould use 
distributors in every country to handle that country. 
That formula would apply all the way from the North 
American market to the European market. 
Manufacturing? 

Manufacturing for theproducts that dominate the North 
American market, such as the A4000 would be done in 
Alabama, while the A1200 ivould be manufactured in 
Scotland. 

When you say Alabama, are you lookingata third party 
contractor? 



AC; 
Alex: 



AC: 



"The one thing that has made 

Commodore very successful 

in the past has been the 

engineering capability of the 
company, the performance 

of the product, and the cost," 



Alex: We arc looking at a subcontractor to actually manufac- 
ture product for us. 

AC: Scotland is the old UK facility? 

Alex: That is correct. 

AC: Obviously what you're saying is good news and bad 
news. With the fact that it is going to take so long to get 
product into the hands of consumers, what are you 
prepared to do to market and keep ali\'e the Amiga 
name or do you intend to keep the Amiga name? 

Alex: We do intend to keep the Amiga name. Once the 
consumer understands what we are creating in the 
market and the products \ve are producing, 1 think 
you'll see a big turn around. Commodore a I ways lacked 
marketing funds. In ourbudget jNumberl is marketing 
and Number 2 is engineering. That Is \vhere the empha- 
sis of the Company is headed. I think you will see 
advertisements in the US in targeted magazines, 
videographer magazines, interactivemultimedia maga- 
zines, and the same thing in Europe. We are finally 
planning to make investments in the areas which Com- 



AC: 



Alex: 



AC: 



Alex: 
AC: 



Alex: 



AC: 



Alex: 



modore neglected before. We're also going to go back to 
the existing user base and let them know what we're 
doing and what we're in vol ved in. We need to get them 
back on board with us. We have a user base of almost 5 
million Amiga users out there and these are the best 
Amiga salespeople on the face of the earth. If they see 
development and the right direction for the Amiga, 1 
think you will have a sales force of 5 million. 
The Amiga user as a whole is quite determined, lo\-e 
their machines, and always hated Commodore. How 
do you plan on turning this around so they don't hate 
you, better marketing? 

Not only better marketing. One of the problems that 
Commodore always had was that once they sold a 
computer to an end user, they thought the sale was over 
and done. They never listened to the end user and never 
wanted to hear from them again. We are going to set up 
an end user advisory committee which will report 
directly to tlie board of directors. We will ha\'e users 
telling us what they want from their machines and 
what they want this company to do. 

It's not going to be a company which is run 
under a dictatorship by one person deciding what the 
market wants. We will ha\'e input from the field. We 
will have one board position for the US and one for 
Europe. So we will have two seats on the Board of 
Directors v\'hich the end users report di rectly to. We feel 
this will give us a sense of reality when it comes to the 
computer market. 

In addition we understand how importantthede\'elop- 
ersare. The first thing we will announce after acquiring 
Commodore will be a de\'eloper's conference here in 
the US and a developer's conference in Hurope. We 
want to make sure the developers are back on-board 
with us. They are crucial to any computer being a 
success. 

You gave the trustees 4 to 6 \veeks if they do say yes. 
That puts yoLi in the middle of September, is tliat 
correct? 
That's correct. 

Although actually it could be as late as the end of 
September. Where does that put you on the schedule, 
when would you be able to make the announcement, as 
soon as they tell you or will there be some things thai 
have to be checked out first? 

The second our bid is accepted, we will make a public 
announcement. There will be a lot of legal work to make 
sure the patents, copyrights, and trademarks are free, 
clear and transferrable.That process might take three to 
four weeks of la wver to lawyer i\'ork. In the interim ^ve 
will be able to put the marketing plan into effect, 
announce the developer's conference, begin to book 
advertising space, and mo\'e forward. E\'en though it 
will hinder us for four weeks begin to get the public 
behind us again. 

Currently there are no plans to join forces with the UK 
management bu\'out, this is an either/or situation at 
this point? 

At this timecach party has gone their separate direction 
and wn will continue to do so unless something is 
brought to our attention. 



20 



A2iiAzi!>/G Computing 



AC: 
Alex: 

AC: 
Alex: 



AC: 



Alex: 
AC: 

Alex: 



You'iv not lotnlly discoLintinj; Ihe opporliiiiity? 
In (his bLisiiiL'ss with Commodore, you ne\«r discount 
any opportunity. 

So where do you feel th is company can go? Do )'ou ha ve 
projections of whnt you could bf selling a y^'ar from 
now? 

I think we can tiring it back lotheglorydaysof Commo- 
dore. It's going to take a lot of hard work. I think we 
have to understand that the Amiga is a different ma- 
chine. We don't want to be an IBM, we don't want to be 
a Ct)mpaq. We want to he the best graphic computer on 
the earth. We want to attract the creative artist, the 
hobbyist, the game player, as well as have the best 
multimedia applications for our machine. In order to 
accomplish this, I think marketing and engineering 
have a lot of work ahead. 

So you intend to turn engineering loose and listen to all 
the projections and possibilities that thev can come up 
with, is that sale to sav? 
That would be safe to say. 

What would vou like to get across to the Amiga users 
out there? 

One thing we bring to (he table is that u-e understand 
the technology. VVe'\'e used the technology since 1985. 
We have been associated with Commodore si nee 1979. 



AC: 

Alex: 
AC: 



Alex: 



AC: 



market share in Europe. As a matter of fact with these 
people at liberty to do whate\'er is necessary in those 
markets I would expect our market share to increase. 
Which is one big reason why you're doing the 
developer's meeting over there also? 
That's correct, 

Ciulside of the fact that it is taking so long for the 
trustees to decide, do you sec any problems ahead? 
Other than the legalities, mo\'enient, so forth and just 
the fact that things take time, are there any complica- 
tions, things that you see trouble with or things that 
give you concern? 

No, I really don't. It's been really a simple equation of 
what the company is worth, making sure the legal 
hurdles are cleared, and making sure the money is in 
place. Once all those things are lined up, it's a matter of 
lotting the legal people do their job. 
In your mind, doyou perceive that the UK market is still 
going to be a games market, while the US market is a 
graphics and \'ideo market or are you going to intro- 
duce CD32 here? Are we going to see real support for 
development as n game platform? What are y"ur im- 
mediate projections? I understand you spoke about an 
advisory board so it would not be one man's decision. 



"Our plans call for offices in the UK, Germany, and Italy. We have 

talked to some of the l<ey people within the Commodore 

European operations, These people have been very successful in 

what they do and they have agreed to join forces with us to 

make Europe as successful as it was in its heyday. So I do not 

expect to lose any market shore in Europe. As a matter of fact 

with these people at liberty to do whatever is necessary in those 

markets I would expect our market share to increase." 



We have seen e\'er\' place Commodore has failed and 

why they have failed. We understand why the user is 

frustrated. If we are given the opportunity and some Alex: 

support, 1 think you will see an incredible turn around 

in how a company responds to its customers. We can 

work together both as a manufacturer and a customer 

to make something great. 

AC: When we infervie\ved Mr. Pleasance he commented on 
the fact that S.S':., (his term) of the market was in liurope, 
if we agree that these are the correct figures, you are not 
going to turn your back on the European market. How 
are you going to handle the European market, just 
tlirough distribution or are yoi[ going to have an office AC: 

o\'er there? Alex: 

Alex: Ourplanscall for offices in the UK, Germany, and Italy. 
We ha\'e talked to some of the kev people v^'ithin the 
Commodore European operations. These people ha\'e 
been very successful in what they do and they have 
agreed to join forces ivith us to make Europeas success- 
ful as it was in its heyday. So I do not expect to lose any 



but it still is one man's vision that starts everything. 
What do you envision? 

When it comes to the game console market in the US, we 
are at a disadvantage when compared to Sega and 
Nintendo. Howe\-er, the CD32 offers some incredible 
technological ad\'ances to which neither of the other 
units come close. Since we are not going to have the 
same marketing dollars as Nintendo, we need to sell 
our units on price and performance. To that end, we 
have been negotiating with distributors of electronic 
products, and we have commitments so far to put the 
CD32 in 15,000 retail outlets in the US. 
15,000! 

Yes, 15,U0U «'hich shows you u'hat can be done by 
picking up the phone and having conversations with 
people. Having somebody go out and sell the product 
that people believe in. So e\'en though our dollars are 
less in the market, the potential of the product in tliis 
market hasn't even been approached. 
On the A4000 or video unit, 1 think the prices ha\'e to 



October 1994 



21 



comu ill line \vilh comparable PCs even though our 
miithines aro much more powerful. 1 think 
vidcographers in the professional market want to buy 
machines from people they trust and understand the 
market . The A-1000 doesn't have enoLigh siots to meet 
the needs of the average videogrnpher, mo\'ie studio or 
even the hobbyist. New products ha\'c to be brought 
into this line. 

You're talking about the 4000 tower? 
I'm talking about the 4000 tower, 
isn't that available though. Wasn't that finished? 
Alex: The4000 tower was finished. It wasshipped. It has gone 
through FCC approval and would be one of the first 
products we ivould bring onto tlie market. 
Justas an aside there wasa rumor that Commodore had 
failed to pav a royalty fee which created an injunction 
against them, not allowing them to ship machines. 
Would that be a problem? 

Yes, there was an injunction against Commodore and 
yes new management would have to have that resolved 
before shipping new product into the US. 



AC: 

Alex: 
AC; 



AC: 



Alex: 



AC: 



Alex: 



AC: 



Alex: 



AC: 
Alex: 



company is moving forward. We have a few surprt.ses 
which could be brought along qLiickly. 
This \vill be the Amiga b)' CBl? CEl will be the parent 
company? 

At this time, that is the decisicm. Thai could obviously 
change. 

Now just a little background. You've been in business 
how long? 

We were selling the Commodore Pet 2001 with the 
"chiclet" sty lekevboard, most people a re not old enough 
to remember that machine which is quite scar\'. 
1 never used one but I was around. 
1 sold the Vic 20 for Commodore which was very 
successful. Then we were marketing the Commodore 
64. We manufactured game cartridges and a modem 
cartridge for the Commodore M. We were actually the 
first producer of game cartridges for thai platform. 
With the advent of the Amiga, we became an .'\miga 
retailer. We were then assigned the exclusive distribu- 
tion of Amigas in Latin America. Based on our perfor- 
mance. Commodore asked us to perform the same role 



'I hate missing CInristnnas in the US, but I think the US market needs more 

preparation. We need better bundles, better packaging, and i wouid 

rather do a good job than a haif hearted job." 



AC; You would have to make a ne\v agreement with who- 
ever owns that patent? 

Alex; That iscorrect. These negotiations under way. Sol don't 
see a problem there. 

AC: How soon until the UK starts to see CD32s? 

Alex; We have enough CD32s finished right now for that 
market. There ^vill be sufficient supplies to meet any 
Christmas demand. 

AC; In Europe? 

Alex; In Europe. 

AC: But you're not intending to brijig any into the US until 
February? 

Alex: We won't have enough units available. I hate missing 
Christmas in the US, but I think the US market needs 
more preparation. We need better bundles,better pack- 
aging, and I ivould rather do a good job than a half 
hearted job. 

AC: 1 low can the Amiga community help you or assist vou 
to get the U'Ord out if \'ou receive the go ahead? 

Alex: Just by getting the word out and letting e\ervone know 
tliere is new management that belie\'es in the .Amiga. 
By showing someone what their Amiga can do. I think 
that's the most important thing to getting sales going. 
Also let the de\elopers know you are in the market to 
buy product again, they need to know the consumer is 
ready to buy product and support the market. 

AC; Do vou foresee a marketing campaign before vou have 
product? 

Alex: Yes, I would introduce auxiliary products immediately 
like the 3.2 operating system to demonstrate that this 



in the US market and in a very short period of time we 
became one of the largest Commodore distributor 
worldwide. 

AC: Soyoii fuel you ha\'e the background to make this work 
as far as distributing and knowing whatconsumors and 
dealers need. 

Alex: That's correct. We're ready to explore unique opportu- 
nities with the prodLict. We belie\e that the Siile of one 
unit is as important as the sale of 1,000 units and we'll 
work just as hard for each sale. 

AC: What about the engineers in Norristown? Are you 
willing to promise them the moon and a couple of 
planets to stav? 

Alex: Most of the engineers who are up there don't need the 
moon. They are there because they belie\'e in the Amiga. 
If the\' can believe in the leadership, thev are willing to 
work 24 hours a day to make the Amiga successful. We 
are willing to promise them someone who will listen to 
them and somebody who understands how important 
they are. 1 think that is a lot more important to those 
guys than the moon. 

AC: ,^^v last words or anything I might ha\e missed vou 
would like to add? 

Alex: I think vou've pinned me up against the wall and have 
gotten e\'ervthing! (Alex laughs.) 



•AC* 



22 



Amazijvg Computing 



VideoStage Pro 

Revicmcd by Douglas j. Nakakilmra 



Oxxi's VideoStage Pro ($179.95) is a new multimedia authoring system 
for creating interactive and non-interactive presentations. It's ideal for 
kiosk applications and with a genlock, VSP's font handling capabilities 
make it an awesome video titling program. 



Main Screen 

A "show" consists of "slides" containing graphics, titling, 
sound e\'ents, ARexx calls, genlock events, or play-control events. 
Thumbnail versions of each slide, with a user-definable name, are 
displayed on the main Storvboard screen. .A slider gadget can be 
used to scroll tiirough the Storyboard, if it has more than the 
maximum displayable thumbnails — 15 for a standard size screen. 
Small transition icons separate the thumbnails. Transition and slide 
times are also displayed, with resolution to one video field (1/60 of 
a second for NTSC or 1 /50 for PAL). Two shows can be in memory 
simultaneously and vou can instantly swap between them. 

Arranged \'ertically on the right side of the screen are icons 
representing the various types of slides. A user-definable tray of 20 
transition icons appears at the bottom of the screen. A show is 
created by simpiv dragging icons onto the Storyboard. You can 
temporarily store and retrieve slides off the Stor)-board in the 
Gallery or drag unwanted shdes into the trashcan. 

Transitions 

The full bounty of available transitions arc displayed on their 
own window. 0\'er 60 different transitions are pro\'ided, including 
wipes, fades, and scrolls. You can even do transparent scrolls, 
where, for example, see-through text scrolls over or behind an 
existing slide. {Currently, this feature doesn't work properly on 
non-AGA machines.) A small animated example of the currently 
selected transition is also displayed with a short description — 
detailed context-sensitive help is only a click away. 

Transitions have a special record mode that lets you automati- 
cally sot slide timing using the mouse as a show plays. This is great 
for syncing graphics with audio. 

Time Line 

l-roni the Stor\'board, vou can go to the Time Line. Here vou 
can graphically adjust the tuning of all of the slides and rearrange 
the play order. Since different types of slides may run in parallel 
(e.g., graphics and music), there are separate tracks for each type. 
For precise editing, zooming capabilities are provided. .Most of the 
editing functions a\'ailable on the Storyboard can be used here. 

Not only does the time line show you the length of slides, but 
also transition and overhead lengths. Overhead items include file 
loading time and object movement preparation. 

Graphic Slides 

IFF anims and pictures can be loaded as graphic slides. Widi 
anims you have full control o\'er looping, playback length, speed, 
etc. VSP ships with some pre-made images to use as background.s 
and Scala backgrounds will also work. A slide's resolution, screen 
mode, and depth can be changed at any time. 



VSP can also generate gradient backgrounds (stunning H'ith 
AGA). There arc different variations and the colors are user- 
definable. It will also make tiled backgrounds using IFF brushes. 
Se\'eral are provided and you can even make your own. JEK's 
ProFills is a good source for additional brushes. 

Objects 

Te^t as well as nine different built-in objects can be placed 
onto a slide. Shapes include rectangle, ellipse, star, heart, and 
arrow. Outline, drop and cast siiadovvs, and embossing effects are 
available. The objects can also be rotated and sized. Four levels of 
antialiasing are featured. Any combinaHon of objects can be 
grouped together to allow application of \'arious effects to a set of 
objects. Outline width, shadow depth and direction, and font lino 
spacing and kerning are adjustable. Additionally, a "brush bank" 
capable of holding 20 IFF brushes is featured. Brushes cannot be 
resized, however. 

Interactive buttons can be easily placed on a screen. A button 
can be a rectangle, bru.sh, and/or text. Buttons can trigger ARexx 
scripts, sound, or iransfer control to another event. 

Color Palettes 

To accommotiate the fact that a slide can consist of se\'eral 
elements (e.g., background, text, brushes, etc.), each with its own 
colors, VSP feature.s a complex dynamic color palette scheme. A 
slide's color palette is divided into two parts: "fixed" and "assign- 
able." Generally, fixed colors are adjustable by the user and used 
for text and shapes, and assignable colors are for the backgroiuids, 
brushes, gradient and antialiasing colors, etc. — "assignable" refers 
to the fact that VSP assigns the colors. The number of fixed colors 
generallv depends on the maximum number of colors for a 
particular slide, but this can be set manually. 




Flying Text: An Example of text actor in flight. 



October 1994 



23 



[M 



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lISlEE^ij: 



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Gallery 



in 



The Slide Transition requestor. 

The colors for ii biickgroiind im,ige can only got into the 
assignable range, if the iniage is loaded as a pattern (not as a 
picture). Colors used in an IFF brush go into the assignable area, 
unless they already exist in the palette. If a brush uses a fixed color 
and that color is later clianged bv the user, the effect may only be 
temporary- VSP may subsequently reassign the brush color. If all of 
the assigned colors are used up, the closest existing colors arc used. 

If an image is loaded as a pattern, its resolution should match 
the slide's, or it will be repeated to make up the difference. If an 
image is loaded as a picture, then the slide assumes that image's 
resolution, depth, and color palette, and the slide's entire palette 
becomes fixed. 

Acting 101 

One of the true highlights of this program are its object 
transitions. Any object, brush, text, or button can appear on the 
screen using one of over 60 transitions. Animated things are called 
actors. VSr has a cool feature thai lets an actor come in a piece at a 
time. Text can automatically fly in one letter at a time or using the 
grid mode, the actor is divided into pieces based on a user-defined 
grid. Moreover, you can overlap the pieces so that several are 
mo\'ing at the same time. This accomplishes the transition faster 
while still retaining the effecl. The pieces can optionally be made to 
appear to grow as they fly on. Actor animation can be previewed 
frame bv frame using tape recorder-like playback controls, plus a 
scroll bar. 

A ver\' unique aspect to some of the actor-mo\'cs is an 
overshoot and return effect. The object can fly in and overshoot it's 
destination — just a bit — and then come back to the correct spot, as if 








WW 



l]^!LILiJ^aM*K| 
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iGaliery 



The Main Soryboard screen. 



The Timeline screen. 

connected to a rubber band. This gives these transitions more 
character than achieved with straight-forward wipes. VSP includes 
some handy tools for quickly arranging the location of various 
objects as well as their plav order. 

Titling 

Any Amiga font can be used including color fonts and outline 
CG fonts, Textcan use gradient fills and be styled with bold, italic, 
underline, outline, and drop and cast shadows. There arc three 
levels of antialiasing available. 

Text can be manually placed on a screen, or automaticallv 
justified. ASCII file import is featured and will automaticallv size 
the slide to fit the amount of imported lext. This is a godsend for 
doing scrolling credits. Furthermore, a special Hollywood-style 
alignment is featured ^vhere text separated bv a tab are left and 
right-justified using a different font for each side. 

Audio 

VSI^ supports 8SVX samples, including the programmed- 
playback format. This is where a single sample is programmed to 
play various parts in a certain sequence. Tile only program I know 
of that supports this is Oxxi's AudioMaster IV, though someone 
told me it is part of the IFF standard. It is more or less what is being 
done with music modules and VSP also supports Noisetracker, 
Protracker, and Soundtracker formats. 

When You're Hot, You're Hot 

VSP will automaticallv inform you when you are using 
colors that are too hot (i,e„ illegal) for NTSC and PAL video 
standards. Color palettes are fully editable, so you can bring any 
graphic within standards. 

All standard .^miga displays are supported, including 
merscan and virtual screen modes with auto-scroll. VSP is 
compatible as much as possible with 24-bit graphics cards, but the 
actual show should be displayed on a standard Amiga screen, ECS 
chipset genIoc!<s, CVP's G-Lock, and Digital Creations' SuperCen 
are also supported. 

Saving 

There is a special save option that will save all subordinate 

files, or user-se!ec table groups of files, to a single ciirectory, liven 

the fonts can be included in the save. You then create a small ASCII 

config file and set the icon tool types so the player program can find 

all of the relevant files. This allows you to create transportable 

Hoppy-disk shows. For larger shou's, a Syquest drive would u'ork 

nicely. 

(continued on page 27) 



24 



Amazing Cojuput/ng 



IMAGINE 3.0 

Rcviciv Inj Marc HoffDuin 

Difficult to believe, but true, is the fact thdt personal computer 3D render- 
ing software has grown so powerful that it is now rivaling and even con- 
quering areas once dominated by $70,000 - $100,000 workstations. At one 
time content with simple image and procedural texture mapping, the 3D 
artist is now faced with particle system animation, lens flaring effects, depth 
of field, and a myriad of other features never even heard of a few years ago. 



Since ils lasl relcnsc of va'ruicm 2.0ovL'r two ye.irs ngo, Imagine 
from Impulse, Inc. hns badly nueded ,i fnco-lifl to keep pace with 
this incredible explosion of new features on competirij; products. In 
many ways, it has done fust that. With the nmv animation tools, 
coupled with the new rendering tools, Imagine 3.0 can plav with 
the best of what's out there. But even with all this pmver, there are 
still some places where some cleanup \vork is in order. 

Sti what's new in Imagine 3.0? First, the program supports the 
68040 chip, with all of its caches turned on. A little publicized fact 
was that Imagine 2.0 did not function fully uith the 6HI)40: the 
copyback data cache had to be turned off, or the program would 
crash the machine. Disabling the copyback cache reduces 68040 
performance, and as many 3D users know, skn\-ing down the 
computer while rendering an animation is not at al! desirable. St), 
by supporting the 68040 chip's copyback cache, the software 
naturall)' runs faster. Another general enhancement is the added 
support for the AA chip set. Now, instead of displaying images in 
the standard HAM and 16-color hi-res modes of the liCS and' 
original chips sets, users of A1200 and A40l)0 computers have the 
option of using 256-color register and 262,144-color hf.^MS modes. 
A third feature that is nice to sec crop up Is a verv well-done 
manual, right down to the spiral binding so that if can be laid flat 
on the desk. 

In the area of rendering and animation, manv ne\\' enhance- 
ments and features ha\'e been implemented to increase the 
program's power. Just some of these include: new texiures, lens 
flare effects, global "haze" effects, depth-of-field, new light shapes 



and light textLires, a spline editor, particle systems, new ways to 
control acceleration/deceleration, "bones," and a new upgrade 
policy. 

Starting with the new textLU'es, Impulse has added a \'ery 
high number of high (.-(ualitv realistic textures; 100 of them, to be 
exact. What makes these textures so exciting is that thev are 
modeled after real-\vorld phenomena, ranging from concrete to 
electricity (Figure 1). In previous versions of Imagine, the Liser 
was limited to four image maps and four procedural texture 
maps per object, Linless other axes were grouped to the main 
object and told to appi)- their textures to the main object. This 
process of adding image and texture maps can become quite 
cumbersome and \'erv inconvenient. In version 3.0, the user can 
apply as many textures and /or image maps to the object as 
desired, limited by memory constraints, of course. 

Imagine 3.0 now supports lens flaring effects to simulate the 
u-ay light behaves on the outside surface and inside area.s of a 
caniera lens. The user can specifv which lights will flare and 
which ones will not; the intensitv, the si/e, and spacing between 
the flares; and the number of octagonal and circular flares to 
produce in the image. Along the lens flare \'ein. Imagine 3.0 can 
now produce a global haze. VNlien applied, this effect wiil 
surround any bright object with a ha/.e of light, based on a 
predefined color. 

One feature that 1 for one am reallv happy to see added to 
Imagine is the ability to simulate depth-of-field. Due to the 
perfect nature of the camera "lens" in pre\'ious \"ersions of 



The Window of Life 
created with Imagine 3.0 




October 1994 25 




Figure 1: 

These textures are modeled after real- 
world phenomena, ranging from 
concrete to electricity. 



Ininginc, every object in ii given scene was lenderetl in perfect 
clarity and focus. Unfortunately, this perfection cnu lead to 
imperfection in nitiny images and animations, as the arlist may 
\vish to blur the background or foregroimd for the purpose of 
emphasizing some area of the image. In a real camera, the lens is 
not completely perfect; due ti> the ability to increase or decrease the 
size of a camera's aperture, the pliotographer can decrease or 
increase the cJepth of field, respectively. Imagine's rendering cus^ine 
can now simulate this effect, and the results are \'er\' con\'incing. 

For interesting lighting effects, Imagine 3.0 has new light 
tvpes, and .stmie new textures to go alone with them. The actual 
shape of the lights can be changed to square or circidar; the 
advantages of these shapes becomes apparent when the light rays 
are forced into a parallel mode, more commonly known as a 
spotlight. .A. square or circular area is projected onto a surface. To 
maximize the aesthetic effect of Shese lighting schemes, Impulse has 
added four lighting textures: French Window, SoftEdge, Strobe, 
and a Venetian Blind te.xture. The French Window and Venetian 
Blind textures simulate the shadow that would be cast if light were 
shining though these types of windows. The Strobe texture cycles a 
light from one color to another. The SoftEdge texture, contrary to its 
name, does not cause all shadows cast to have soft edges. Instead, it 
causes the edges of a light to be fuzzy in nature. The other two 
window textures make allowances for the soft-edged look as well. 

A new editor called the Spline Editor has been added to aid in 
the creation of objects requiring smooth, orgaiiic curves. The spline- 
based objects are then com-erted to polygon based objects, because 
Imagine is still not able to directly render spiine.s. The objects can be 
extruded in different wavs right inside the editor. Another nice 
feature of this editor is the ability to load in Postscript fonts. Now, 
very high quality' fonts cair be rendered without the distortion of 
their bitmapped based cousins. 

A long-awaited addition to Imagine is the ability to manipu- 
late a particle svstem. Imagine .'^.0 comes through with this. 
Particles, as handled in version 3.0, can be a set of predefined 
geometric shapes or custom objects. The software applies these 
objects to tlie faces of other objects, and can be oriented in several 
different ways. Take a sphere, for example. The standard primiti\e 
sphere in Imagine consists of 528 faces. If one of the standard built- 
in particle shapes is applied to the sphere, say the pyramid, then 



every one of the faces on the sphere will be replaced with a 
pyramid. That means that now there are -"iZS pyramids. These 
pyramids can then be animatecH in many different ways in the 
Imagine Action Editor. They can be made to rain, explode in a 
timed fashion, emit from the original object (such as a comet 
emitting a trail of particles), and can be subjected to forces such as 
gravity and wind. All in all, this feature opens the door for some 
very interesting possibilities. On the down side, the particles cannot 
interact ivith each other on the basis of say, object collision. 
According to Impulse, this feature takes far more time to compute 
than it's worth, and so it was left out. But they also say that they arc 
working on a way to circumvent this problem, and that this feature 
mav show up in a later version. 

Earlier versions of Imagine allowed for limited control of 
acceleration /deceleration of an object along a path. Unfortunately, 
it w-as not vcrv casv to create this acceleration anywhere else, such 
as within an object metamorphosis. All that has changed now. 
Almost every animated action within Imagine 3.0 can be made to 
accelerate/decelerate, from a simple object translation to object 
sizing, to the afore mentioned morph. Objects can now be made to 
Associate themselves with other objects as well. For example, say 
that a jet aircraft is attached to a coniplex spline-based motion patli. 
In order to get the camera to follow the plane (other than behind it) 
ivith all of its dips and arcs, a second path would need to be 
created. Hou'cver, in Imagine 3,0, the camera could be "Associated" 
u-ith the plane, and would therefore follow the jet perfectly while at 
the same time keep the same pre-defined relative distance from the 
jet throughout the animation. 

To round out the power list is "Bones." Having nothing to do 
with being a 23rd centurv physician, the feature allows the Imagine 
artist to form a skeletal structure within contiguous objects. The 
skeleton is formed by using a scries of grouped axes, and faces 
called "subgroups" are attached to the axes. When the axes are 
rotated, the faces of the object will then follow. Animated human 
forms crv out for this feature. t!efore this feature was implemented, 
"breaks" between limbs ivere always present; e.g., the area where 
the arm attaches to the body. Now, the u-hole object is contiguous, a 
co\-cring of triangles that will obev the "bones" beneath them. A 
problem arises with this strategy, howc\'er. In traditional Imagine 
texture and image mapping teclmiques, the texture or image was 



26 



Amazisg Computing 



iiijppcd to tliL' nbJL'Cf's iixis, which is fine if tho obji.'ct's tridnglos 
don't move around too much. Using Bones, the triangles wiil move, 
stretch, and distort beyond belief. The result is that the triangles 
will appear to slide underneath the image or texture. To remedy 
this problem. Imagine 3.0 can "lock" the image or texture to the 
triangular faces of (he object on the basis of what is called a "state". 
A state is information stored within an object regarding its 
grouping, shape, and properties such as color or reflecti\'ity. States 
can be morphed to and from one another, and therefore the 
different bones posihons can he morphed between each other. 
Because of the locking to one state throughout the morph, the 
image and texture mapping information sticks to the individual 
triangles of the object. That way, no matter how much the object is 
distorted, the texturing will stay glued to tlie object, and not its axis. 

Impulse has decided to change its upgrade policv. In the past, 
the company has upgraded the software at least once a }'car, and 
between 2.0 and 3.0, the stretch has been o\-cr two years. Now, thev 
will offer upgrades about four tin-ies a year foi- a prepaid foe of 
$100. 1 called Impulse to ask them what \vc can expect in the new 
uf>grade, ;vhich should be out by the time this review hits the 
presses. Here is what the representati\e told me: New Spline Editor 
functions, new Stage Editor functions, new textures, better DXF 
support, and .some general clean-up work to make things operate 
much more smoothly- When I questioned hnpul.se on the future 
implemctUntion of AREXX, the}- told me that no initial plans are 
being made. 

This review would not be complete without some gripes. 
When 1 received my copy of Imagine .^.O, I began to notice some 
strange things happening. First of all, when 1 tried to do some 
rendering, the mouse pointer really began to slow down and "jerk" 
across the screen. 1 ne\er did quite figure out what was causing this 
to happen. Another problem I found was that diminished intensih' 
point light soui-ccs do not cast shadows, o\'en though they arc 
supposed io, and they used to do so in earlier versions of Imagine. 1 
don't know how this one got passed the debugging team. Also, 
although the lens flare effect is a very welcomed sight, it just 
doesn't seem to go that extra step to make the effect complete. What 
I am speaking of is the "star" flaring effect seen in man)' LightWave 
renderings. A call to Impulse reassured me that the siar seen in 
those renderings is not a lens flare, but is instead the effect caused 
by a special lens filter. But I have seen this star show up in my own 
photographs, and my camera has no filtere of any kind. But even if 
Impulse's statement is true, that isn't the point; the fact is that the 
users of the software are going after effect. While Impulse argues 
semantics, competing products will pass it by. Perhaps adding on 
entire library of procedural "lens filters" would not onlv soke the 
problem of the Lick of a star lens flare, but would add ntimerous 
other possibilities. 

Despite the problems with Imagine 3.0, 1 for one am not 
tempted to gi\e it up. The features included in the software are top 
notch, and with some additions and bug fixes, 1 believe that the 
Mott\\'are will be even tnore complete. Only time will tell. 

I would like to thank The Computer Room in Aurora, CO, for 
the use of their A4000 to finish typing this article. I i\'0uld also like 
to tliank Ray Ward in McCook, NE, for the use of his A-4000 to 
render the opening picture to this article. 

•AC* 

Imagine 3.0 

Impulse, Inc. 

8416 Xerxes Avenue North 

Brooklyn Park, MN 55444 

(612)425-0557 

Fax (612) 425-0701 

Inquiry #206 



(continued from page 24) 
Requirements 



X'ideoStage Fro requires a hard disk, IMB Chip and 2MB of 
Fast R.'\M, and Amiga DOS 2.0 or greater. 

Versus Scala 

So how does VideoStage Pro compare to Scala MM300, the 
reigning Amiga presentation champ? Well Scala is definitely a 
much more refined product and has more overall features than 
VSP. Scala's interface is more streamlined making it generally 
easier and faster to create pre.sentations. Scala also has much 
greater built-in control over external devices, like laserdiscs, MIDI 
instruments, etc. 

Scala does more behind-the-scenes U'Ork with palettes, which 
allows better transitions between slides with different resolutions 
and depth. (VSP will sometimes have to fade to color I) first before 
doing a transition.) Scala also lets you import brushes, add styling, 
and resize them. Objects can also wipe off a page, as ivcll as on 
with Scala. 

Scala lets you piay music and anims directly from a hard 
drive, and supports special anim formats geared for faster 
playback, features VSP lacks. Scala also has a full ARoxx com- 
mand set, where VSP can onlv execute ARexx scripts. 

However, VSP has some great feahn'es that vou \von't find in 
Scala. Tlicsc include the overshoot and piecemeal object transi- 
tions, transparent scrolling behind objects, animated demo 
transitions, scrollable preview, timeline, on-iine context-sensitive 
help, multiple in-mcmory shows, and gradient background 
generation. VSP is considerably less expensive too: S180 \'S. $400 
for Scala. Best of all, \'SP is not copy-protected in anv wav! Tlie 
VSP player program is freely-distributable. Both the Scala main 
and player programs are dongalized. 

VideoStage Pro-h 

Oxxi will be releasing VSP's big brother VideoStage Pro+ 
($499.95). In addition to all of VideoStage Pro's capabilities, VSP+ 
featrn-es the ability to update remote player sites using modem, 
serial port, or network connections. Batch file transfers can be 
scheduled for any time. Time-sensitive e\-ents can be set to only 
show on certain dates, days, and/or times. VideoStage Pro+ also 
supports encapsulated Postscript chp art. Interactive features, 
including ARexx implementation, are much more robust than in 
VSP. (VSP- is to VSP what Scala InfoChannel ($2,300) is to Scala 
MM.) 

A Lot To Like 

There is a whole lot to like about VSP and i'\'e just touched 
on its many features. It's applications like this that exemplify how 
powerful the Amiga really is. Competition is good, and VSP and 
VSP+ will pro\ide some for Scala, especially considering Oxxi's 
aggressive pricing. 



•AC* 



VideoStage Pro 

Oxxi, Inc. 

P.O. Box 90309 

Long Beach 

CA 90809 
310:427-1227 
Inquiry #208 



OcroBLR 1994 



27 




tips 

hints 

workarounds 



suggestions 



updates 
fixes 




Audiomaster IV and the A4000 

Rav Dnbkov\'ski of Chestorland, OH sent EMail with a note 
regarding Audiomaster IV, the Perfect Sound digitizer and the 
Amiga A4000/40. He writes, J'lii using Andioiimster IV with a Perfect 
Sound digitizer. On the 4000/40, it samples okay, but plays back the audio 
at a fast rate. I called Oxxi ami afkfd iftlw new update (for AmigaDOS 
3.0) U'outd fix this problent, and they said "no" njid coldly told no: to use 
some other product! Anyway, I've tried tweaiciiig tlie 'CPU' setting to 
nccommodatc faster processors, but it makes no difference. Auyo]ie else 
report this problem? 

At this point, no one else has reported the problem or any 
possible vvork-nrounds. How about it readers, any ideas? 

1960 Monitor Driver Revisited 

James R. Ollick and Dan Kno^vlton both wrote via EMail to 
suggest another alternative monitor driver originally mentioned in 
the June, 1994 Bug Bytes. Mr. Ollick writes, / have <? 4000/040 and a 
1960 moniior. I have had the same problem with DblNTSC not centering 
on mil monitor. 1 used MonEd, a PD program that has sliders tlinl let you 
change the position of the screen and otlier parameters, then saves the 
changes to the monitor file. I suggest copying the monitor file first, to save 
an unaltered version just in case. MonEd can be found on CompuSenv. It 
worked just fine for me. Dan noted that he found the program on the 
ImageNet BBS, (401) 822-3060. 

Slow Spin-up Problems Witti A4000 Hard Drives 

Mr. Ollick also has a problem with an IDE hard drive. He 
writes, / added a second Iwrd drive to my 4000. It is a 540MB IDE 
Seagate. It takes longer to spin up than the 4QW allows itself to check for 
hard drives connected to the system, tlierefore I have to warm IkwI in order 
to use it. Tliere are several PD programs (i.e.: BATTMEM)for the 3000 to 
change the time the 3000 looks far hard drives. They change tlie battery 
backed RAM (or is it ROM) and make if look for hard drives for 2 seconds, 
thus resolving the problem. These programs do not work on the 41X10. I 
was wondering if there ivas someone that kneiu of a 4000 specific program 
to fix this or if there is a programmer out there that could address this 
problem. Postbig this problem on CompuServe has reivalcd that there arc 
others who Irnve this problem with large hard drives on their 40011s. 



Quarterbacit Technical Support 

Gordon Hadyk sent l;Mail regarding an upgrade note for 
Quarterback in the July 94 Bug Bytes. He \vritos, / read in the July 
issue o/' Amazing Computing about the Quarterback 6.0.1 upgrade that 
allows an A2000 ivilh Supra Turbo 18 to work witli Quarterback using 
conipression. I have such n configuration and Quarterback 6.0. Unfortu- 
nately, Central Coast Software/New !-lorizons seem to be gone. Do you 
know of any way to get a 6.0 to 6.0. 1 patch, or a copy of 6.0.1 ? 

Any comments from anybody that might know of either 
Central Coast's whereabouts, or of the possible licensing of their 
products to any other vendors? 

l\/lultiple Hard Drives and the A3000 revisited 

John Korczyk sent EMail with a simple solution to adding an 
additional hard disk internal to the A3000. He writes, / added a hard 
drive to use with my Golden Gale card. 1 just placed // on top of the floppy 
driir. I used a thin piece of plastic screwed to the normal mounting holes 
on the hard drive to keep it from moving around and slid it down between 
the floppy drive and the support for the daughterboard. 

Chinon High Density Drives and the A4000 

Terry Booher of St. Petersburg, l-'L sent a lax regarding 
comments by other Bug Bytes readers who have noted their use of 
Chinon 357 drives in Amiga 3000 CPUs. He writes, Recenlly I had a 
group of individuals who came in and purchased the Chinon 357 1.44 
drives. After sroeral attempts at trying to get the drix'es to work. I 
contacted Chinon. At Cliinon I talked to a Mr. Nogtichi wlio told me the 
drives iimdd not work as a 1 .44 in the Amiga. I then returned to the 
group and asked them where they got the information. They referred to an 
article you wrote in Amazing Computing August 93 issue. In an effort to 
tr\/ and help them I told tliem 1 would contact you. 

In addition to the August '93 issue, I also received render mail 
regarding the Chinon 357 drives that was published in the February 
1994 issue. !n that issue, Mark Odell identified two specific models, 
the FB-357A (for the ASOllO) and the Chinon FZ-357 (for the A4000, 
but it \vi\\ fit in the A2000). It would appear that the 357 series drive 
has more than one design, some of which arc Amiga compatihle, 
and some of which are not. If you have found Chinon drives that 
work in your Amiga, iet mo know the specific model number, being 
sure to include any prefix or suffix letters, so that others wishing to 
order drives can obtain a working replacement. 



28 



Amazing Computing 



A 1000 Floppy Drive Issues 

Pat Fish of Uticn, NY writes regarding the AlOOO, Workbench 
2.x and floppy drives. He notes, I'm nmiiing an AWOO with version 
2.04 of the Kkkstmt OS, ZKickcd into RAM (no ROMs) and WB 1.1 
with n DFh (AirDrkv) dint Spirit Tcdiiwlpgy's SMB X-RAM card and 
Shfir HDA-506 hard-drivi- intfrfatY using a 130MB RLL hurd-driiv, T/ic 
HDA-506 lets the Amiga use IBM XT liard-drive controllers like iSic 
Scientific Micro Si/slems, OMTI and DTC controllers. Tiiis let earlif 
Amiga 1000/500 users use cheap IBM hard disks. 

Thotigh I tiave far fewer crnslics under 2.1 timn i did under 1.3, 1 
hmv Iven experiencing theflcppt/ R/W errors mentioned in the past few 
AC Bug Byte colwnns. Mosll)/ the errors an during a torite; the si/sleni 
ccniphiins about sectors SSO, SSI, SS2, etc. Tiiis happens so often thai my 
floppy drives are nearly useless for writing. Thongh it happens before n 
disk is full, I get tlie (unscientific) impression that a full disk exacerbates 
the problem. I'm using Set Patch 1.3li (24-Sep-90), sliould I have a higher 
version? I (mtight this system used, so 1 can't be sure thai every command 
used (like SetPalch) is 2.1 software (maybe SefPalch 1.3S is a 2.04 
Icfloi'er?), Despite wtiat's said on page 30 oftlie July '94 issue of 
Amazing Computing, typing in "SefPntch" doesn't get me a list of 
patches. It merely says that SctPatch is already installed. 

Extra nolc: Due to the Spirit system's limitations I have to boot off 
tlw 1.3 ABOOT: partition first. My Startup-Sequence ZKicks 2.04 into 
RylM, then reboots. 

Reading old disks written under 1.3 seem to work fine. I never use 
ilic FfS on floppies. The occasional read error seems onh/ to occur on 
floppies iohich Imve previously had the above-mentioned write errors. 
Sometimes clicking on retry xeorks: other times liitting cancel allozi's the 
-write operation to finish with no sign of error (strange eh). ! have my other 
AlOOO which I swapped in place of the second-lmnd AlOOO. The same 
errors occurred so 1 really doubt llial it's a CIA chip problem, as has been 
hypothesized by an AC reader Incidenliilly, my original AlOOO has an 
internal Spirit Raw/Clock board with 1.5 MB installed. It also lias the 
PLA chips on the Kickstart daughterboard properly grounded-just in case. 
It's noteworthy to repeat that both AlOOOs act thesame. (I doubt it 
matters but the only programs in mil WBStartiip drawer are: AssignX 
ClickToFront DrngIt PowerSnap SM ToolsDaemon.) 

1 wonder if anybody has tried testing DiskCopy to see if it runs hilo 
the satne sort of errors. If my experience is any benchmark, the problems 
don't sho7o up during the diskcopy. but only after i/ou tn/ to use the cop\/ 
of the disk. Maybe other AC readers can test this, so ive can track down 
the root of this 2.1 Floppif problem once and for all. 

Aii\' comments, readers? 

More Comments on WB 2.1 and Floppy Drives 

Pat Fish also notes. One reader claimed that 2.1 increases the step 
rate of the drive heads, causing the problems. This seems unlikely for 
several reasons: The early Ainigas (all lOOO's) had high quality drives 
which could handle exceedingly fast step rates, biter Aniigas -weren't 
aiivays as lucky. Incidentally jnany earlier DD driivs have NO trouble 
using a HD floppy as a DD floppy. Liter DD drives have reliability 
problems when using these HD floppy disks, assuming they can even 
format them. 

The PD "StepRate" program reduces the number of cycles betiveen 
step-pulses from 3(K)0do-wn to 1200. The change leas ivrif audible: tiie 
drives went from the usual Amiga sound of'gronkgronk" to "biz zip". 1 
Imve never seen an AlOOO have problems -with theloioslep raleofl200 
cycles. Most 5O0's and 2000'$ and the models that followed them require 
their step rates be no loiver than 2600 to 1600 ifthei/'re lucky. If one 
replaces the 1000 dri've -with a neioer model, the hrw (faster) step rates may 
cause errors (and I ID floppies stop -working reliably as DD floppies). 



1 lanv personally used "StepRate" at It's minimum luilue of 1200 on 
both of these AlOOOs (the original is a 1985 non-EHB model) under KS 1.2/ 
1.3 and WB 1.2/1.3. Never Imve they giiv)! me R/W errors. Nor have any of 
my lOOO-o-wning friends teho use copies of my customized WorkBcnch disk. 
My A500 with KS 1.2 and WB 1.3 howrver, can't take a step rale under 
2600 -without occasionally running into a problem. 1 used to sell Amigas, 
and the lOOO's seem impervious to low step rales. 

The step rate is a big factor in giving the Amiga it's distinctive drive 
noise. 2.1 actually sounds like the step rate is SLOWER, not faster. At 
toorst, if it does lozver the step-pulse delays, it's not doing it hi/ much. 
Certainly not enough to account for these errors. 

When niultitasking w/floppy drive activity (under 2.04 and above) the 
driivs seem far less responsive than under 1.3. This may imply that 
something in the OS was changed that giivs Ihe driivs some-wliat lonvr 
priority. Even checking for a disk and reading the disk.info is slower. If 
you're doing something, and inseii a disk, it can lake surprisingly long for 
Ihe Amiga to notice it, read the disk info and place it's icon on the WR 
screen. Also, floppy aclii'ity can come to a temporary halt under 2.1. 
(Example: lake a disk -with a lot of files on it; SlioioAII by l^ilename, 
snapshot the window to show as many files as possible. Close it's window 
and eject the disk. Open up heavily populated partitions or other disks and 
vietv all by fdc- name. Noio re-insert the prcx'ious floppy, open it to gel a 
directory listnig. .As soon as your pointer becomes iwaitable, try mtwing 
around one of the other loindcrws. Your floppy iinll stop as the system re- 
lists the contents oftlie window. Even dragging a zvindoiv around quickly 
can cause the floppy drive to stall or stutter. It appears that the Blitler's 
priority modes are being used differently. 

I ha-oe a theory which is beyond my ability to substantiate. Maybe 
other dei'dopers can look into it. Using Syslnfo2, 1 benched the speed (not 
drive speed) under KS 1.3 and 2.04. 2.04 seems to "throiv away" 10,000 
cycles per second, -which could explain why 2.04 and above seems so much 
shnver. Amigas using the 7.159 MHz bSOOO's are -oisibly sloieer under 
2.04. Users on faster Amigas might not have noticed the change. I also 
know that the way in -which multitasking is handled has become more 
conservative; supposedly more reliable, which is why multitasking becomes 
so sluggish and jerky under 2.04 (and abca'e). Often, nndtitasking seems to 
halt: -when under 1.3 the same actions are nearly fluid. It's possible that the 
combination of changes to the multitasking prioritization, changes in DMA 
allocation, and Ihe step rale all combine to give us the errors -we 2.1 users 
hiwe been seeing. I also have a sneaking (but again unsubstantialed) 
suspicion that HD controllers may play a factor, depending on lioio they 
handle DMA. Maybe all 2.X users experiencing the infamous floppy errors 
could mail in their configuration along toith a list of peripherals. If any 
other users have AlOOOs ivith the Spirit peripherals, Ihey can contact me at: 
pfisll@erc.cat.syr.edu More from Pat next month. 

New Internet Address! 

That's all for this month. If you ha\'c any workarounds or bugs to 
report, or if you know of any upgrades to commercial software, you 
may notify me by writing to: 

John Steiner 

c/o Amazing Computing 

Box 2140 

Fall River, MA 02722 
...or leave liMail to 

John Steiner on Portal 

73075,1735 on CompuServe 

Internet mail can be sent to 

73075. 1 735@compuser\'e.com 

FAX John Steiner at (701)280-0764 

(8:30 A.M. to 5:30 P.M. Central time, Monday-Friday) 

•AC* 



O era BLR 1994 



29 



FRACTAL GALLERY 



by D.L. lUchanisou 
Myriad Visual Advcuiureg 



Travel in an infinite universe with 
Fractal Pro and Mand2000, 



Almost everyone enjoys and appreciates fine art, but most of us don't have the 
skills to create beautiful pictures. Whether you're in this category or not, 
welcome to the Wonder World of Fractals. With fractals the compviter creates 
the pictures for us. What we contribute is a good eye for color and composi- 
tion, and a curiosity to find out "What if". 

You may be saying, "What the heck is a fractal?" An oversimplified re- 
sponse to that is: a fractal is a picture created on a computer by mathematics. 
Fortmiatelv we don't have to be mathematicians to work with fractals because 
we have software programs which do the calculations for us. 



All the illustrations in this FRACTAL GALLl£RY were created 
on ii bnsic Amij;<i 4000 in Hi-Res. Two softu'nrc programs were 
used, l-'ractiil Pro and Main.12()0(l. l3(Hh programs are very easy to 
use, and vet their potential for wirietv is infinite. Since the concept 
of infinity is so difficult for the human mind to grasp, let's put it in 
terms we're more familiar wWh. if e\'ery man, woman and child in 
the world created a different picture \vith these programs, we 
would onlv scratch the surface of the possibilities. Or another way: 
we could create a different picture for every dollar in the national 
debt and still find new and exciting areas to explore. Get the 
picture? 

Before you reach for the phone to have me committed, check it 
out for yourself. You, too, will be amazed. 

Fractal Pro and Mand2(K)0 are two very different approaches 
to the same goal: to create beautiful fractal pictures and animations. 
However all Fractal programs have one amazing characteristic in 
common, and that is, every time we zoom in closer on a fractal 
picture, new details are revealed that were not previously visible. 
So by zooming in again and again we can disco\'er all sorts of new 
designs. And that's how all tlie pictures in this Fractal Gallery were 
created. In fact, most of them started from the same pictiu-e, called 
the basic .Mandelbrot Set. 



Working With Fractal Pro 



this: 



One of the most rewarding \vavs to work with Fractal Pro is 

Select one of the basic Mandelbrot formulas, (we 
ha\e 5 to choose from) and render a Lo-Res, 
HAM-6 picture. Lo- Res renders much faster so 
we'll stick with it till \ve find a picture to keep, 
then we'll switch over to Hi-Res or 24 bit for Ihe 
final render. 

Pick a spot on the basic picture that looks 
interesting and zoom in, to the 16th power. 
Render again bv selecting the DRAW button. In 
order to zoom in, ive position a small rectangle on 
the picture, then the area within the rectangle will 
be enlarged to the full screen. 
Zoom in again and again, until we find shapes nnd 
colors that we like. It's possible to zoom in to the 
Kith power up lo 15 times before the picture 
begins to break up. And every zoom reveals new 
details, not before seen. 
If we get more black area in the picture than 
desired, trv selecting a higher color COUNT. 
When we find a picture with shapes and patterns 
that we like, select the lulia formula that corre 



30 



Amazisg Commuting 



Fraelal Pro Examples 

Creape (left). Eye (below). 
Pedals (below left), ami 
Platter (hottoni) an- all 
examples of fractal ail 
created with Fractal Pro. 



Cerape 




Platter 



October 1994 31 



Hi Res Ham: 

Tlie iinapies on tliis pajje were 
created with Fractal I'ro in 
Hi KesHam6. 




Target 



32 AMAZf.\G CoMPuri,\G 



HiResAGA: 

The images on lliis page were 
cr(;tit«r(l wilh iVlaiid 2000 in 
Hi K«s ACA. 







OcTOBt-K 1994 33 



Maiid2000 Examples : 

Abaloiie (Irl't). Sparkle 
(below). an<l Slalacliles 
(bottom) arc all exam])lcs of 
fractal art crcalcd with 
Maiul2000. 




Stalactites 



34 Amazixg Comfltisg 



sponds with the MiindulbriU sft \\ e'v u lu'cn using. U's 
the Julio, or "J" hutloii bL'side the "M" button. 
Wlxen changing to Jiiliii do not chiinj;e any other 
settings. 

6. Render the Julia picture iiiid, if we like, begin 
zooming in on it. 

7. When we're satisfied with the composition, fry 
experimenting with colors. Select one of the 3 
bnsic palettes provided, or the Negri tive versions 
of them. We can elect to load a palette from 
another source, such as a picture made from a 
paint program. We can also change individual 
colors in each palette if we choose. 

8. When the final picture is saved on disk, it 
automatically saves the X,Y,W parameters with 
each pictiire so that we can load it again at any 
time and continue v\'orking. 

Fractal Pro offers several ways to add even more excitement to 
the pictures by adding motion. The simplest, and one of the most 
fascinating, is color cycling. Take another look at the pictures in this 
gallery and imagine 4096 colors cycling. Awesome! 

We can also atJd motion by sequencing a zoom in or out, a 
straight move in any direction, or a combination of both, using 



tlie screen. Composition is easy to control because the entire piclLire 
can be clicked and dragged in any directiotx. 

We can zoom in a.s many times as wc want, the only limiting 
factor seems to be, the farther in we zoom, the longer it takes to 
render, and this can be substantial. 1 have had pictures take up to 
three hours to render on an AAOW u-ith 0-1(1. Hut that's extreme. 
Most pictures render in one or two minutes, or less. 

A neat feature is that when a picture is sa\'ed, it creates an icon 
which is a small repiresentation of tlie picture saved. Fim to see, but 
not particularly useful. 

Mand20t)0 has limited animation capabilities, mostly a straight 
zoom in or out, but it does so in an imaginative way. It only renders 
kev frames, and all in-betweens are simple screen zooms. This way 
it can create e-xtremely long zooms in only a few minutes. To quote 
from ANIMATION 202, "You get the feeling of traveling through a 
Fractal Universe at warp speed". 

People ask which of these tivo programs I prefer, and 
truthfully I camiot choose one over the other. 1 would not part with 
either. Mand2000 is more fun for doodling and has a wider zoom 
range, hut Fractal Pro offers more control and better animation 
capability. 

Can fractal pictures be used for anything other than framing? 
Absolutely. They can be mapped onto the surface of 3-D objects, 
thev can be loaded into a paint program, sized and repeated to 



Fractal Pro offers several ways to add even more 
excitement to the pictures by adding motion. 



Tvvcening. The other way to animate, and definitely my fa\'orite, is 
Cascade. Using Cascade, elements of a Julia picture can actually 
change shape and fioiv into a totally different pattern. Like 
everything else in the program, it's easy to do, and tlie manual 
clearly explains the steps. 

I discoverecf Fractal Pro while working on my newest 
instructional video, A\'lMATlON 202; FRACTAL 1-RFEDOM, and 
had the pleasure of meeting its creator. Dr. Daniel Wolf, of 
MogagcM in Santa Maria, California. Fortunately for us he is an 
Amiga user, because Fractal Pro is not available for any other 
platform. He docs continue to upgrade it for the .'\miga and the 
current version is 6.07. 

While Fractal Pro is a carefulK- calculated program with ^^n 
organized manual and precise control over all featiux's, Vland2000 
is more of a carefree, click-for-fun tvpie of progi-am, with no 
manual. Documentation is available, on screen, by highlighting the 
selected subject in the menu bar and pressing the t-lELP key. 

Mand2000 Experiments 

What makes Mand2UU0 so much fun is its simple "double click 
to zoom" feature. With the pointer in the area we want to enlarge, 
double click the left mouse button and the picture will zoom in. The 
exact spot on the picture that u-as selected moves to the center of 



make all kinds of patterns anci borders. Or they can be rendered as 
digital elevation maps for loading into fractal landscape generators. 
13ut that's a whole other hall game. 

Fractal Pro 

MegageM 

1903Adria 

Santa Maria, CA 93454 

(805)349-1104 

Inquiry #200 

Mand2000 

Cygnus Sofiware 

33 University Square #199 

Madison, Wl 53715 

Inquiry #201 



•AC' 

Please Write to: 

D. L Richardson 
c/o Amazing Computing 

P.O. Box 2140 
Fall River, /WA 02722-2140 



October 1994 



35 



Screen Saver Wars 



DesktopMAGIC: 
The Kitchen Sink Screensaver 

By Douglas /, Nakakilmra 

The Amiga is blessed with many great screensavers in the public domain, 
available for the price of a download. However, DesktopMAGIC is much more 
than just a collection of screensavers. It also features the ability to trigger audio 
clips when certain events occur. I have seen several PD utilities that do this, but 
DesktopMAGIC's implementation is by far the richest implementation yet. 



Hardware Requirements 

DesktopMAGIC runs iindur Amig.iDOS 1.3 and up. 1MB of 
RAM and o Ivird disk nre rL'CDmmendud, but it will also run if vou 
have a second floppy dri\'e. It supports tjic original, fnliLinccd, and 
AGA chipsets, plus graphics cards that have Workbench emula- 
tion — my Retina Z2 board worked fine. 

Installation 

You can optionally install all of the screensavers or only the 
ones that will work properly on your system. The installation 
program H'ill automatically add a line to vour User-Startup file, if 
you want DesktopM.AGlC to automaticallv load when you boot 
your computer. Although the manual does not mention it, you can 
also drag the DesktopMAGIC icon to your VVBStartup drawer. You 
must add the tooltype PATH="<D1R>" to indicate where the 
program is located, like PATH="Work:DMagic". 

Main Window 

DesktopM.AGIC includes about 30 screensavers referred to as 
"effects." Most of them include some type of audio when in\'oked, 
which makes them infinitely more entertaining. 

You'll recognize some of the effects which ha\'e been pat- 
terned after popular PD screensavers. Some of the more interesting 
effects include an aquarium, a Tetris-like screen, a floating analog/ 
digital clock, cockroaches, worms, blinking eyes in the dark. 



D^wff I 



De^opMA^jJ;: 



Audio V| 



8l«nc t r(> 
Ch«cktir«dH4ci 

gurtdin, 



jFiyino BrgJhfact " 



f — Opt I prti t 
i oiobAl 



Hdtkvv I Effect I 



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a.'M;»'rT'ul» ift, pt*y B 






j BUZZER. H IN 



K>vi I Pro|jf-*i^ I T**et I Unr I 



i 



The DesktopMAGIC interface 



fireworks, flying breakfast food, lightning, melting Workbench, 
custom message board, puzzle, and starfield. You can also use your 
own animation or picture with audio, there is a password- 
protected Screensaver that provides a small amount of protection 
against unauthorized use. I'd hke to sec a password protection built 
into DesktopMAGIC itself, so you could have a password on any 
effect, rather than just one. 

The main ivindow contains a scrollable list of all of the effects. 
Defining the effect to use is as easy as clicking on it. There is also a 
'demo' button so you can pre\'iew the effect. Some of the effects 
ha\'e their own special options. There is a gadget on this window to 
bring that requestor up, if applicable. Some effects require vou to 
set their options in the demo mode. 

Effects are triggered after a defined amount of time passes 
without mouse or keyboard input. This time amount is set using a 
slider gadget on the main window. The volume level can also be set 
here, as well as the task priority. The task priority conies preset to a 
low priority to prevent conflict with other programs. There is even 
a mousc-nccelerator option! 

The CPU Idle feature is verv nice. .All of the effects use some 
amount of CPU resources. This setting allows you to set a mini- 
mum available-CPU-resource level. If at the time the effect is 
triggered less than the minimum is available, a black screen is used 
in lieu of the effect. This screen requires no CPU usage. 

The Manual 

The 44-page manual includes detailed information on every 
effect. This includes a description of the effect, explanation of its 
options, information on CPU usage, and what displavs the effect is 
compatible with. The color cover gives the product a very profes- 
sional look. 

Audio 

Oi\e of mv few disappointments with DesktopMAGIC is that 
it doesn't use tracker-style mod files (i.e., sound tracker, 
noisetrncker, MED, etc.). Instead, the four included "tunes" were 
created with a program called "Face the Music." Apparently, this 
program has the ability to play 8 channels instead of the standard 4. 
However, the developers of DesktopMAGIC are currently working 
on supporting tracker-style modules. Tace the Music is currently 
or\ly available in Germany, but I am told that FTM mods are 
a\-a!lable on Aminet, if vou have access. 



36 



Amazing ComputiiSG 



Although DcsktopMAGIC supports stondard ll-l- iiiidio 
samples, the ones included with Iho progf.ini <iro in HSN format. 
According to the manLinl, tliis formal is used for Atari and 
Windows computers. A small CLI utility to play these samples is 
provided. However, I was able t» play nnd edit these samples with 
standard Amiga tools, though the playback speed was not quite 
right. 

Trigger Happy 

DesktopM.'VGtC also features the ability to trigger an audio 
sample when a defined e\ent occm's. The program comes with 89 
different short samples, including alarms, horns, yelling, animal 
sounds, etc. The triggering events arc divided into five categories: 
events, keys, program, text, and time. 

Events include system alerts, ASL file or font requestor, 
system message window, screen opening/closing, window 
opening/closing, disk insert/remove, system beep, left/ right 
mouse click, starting DcsktopMAGlC, and user time-out. 

Each of these can be independently turned off or on. This is 
good since having sound piayed even,' time you click the mouse 
can get real annoying! Most of the events described abo\e are self- 
explanatory. The user time-out will play a sample after a specified 
time of keyboard or mouse inactivity. You can also set how often it 
should be repeated. 

With each defined audio sample, you have the option of either 
playing it from RAM or disk. RAM samples will load into RAM 
when DesktopMACiC is started, so you'll want to utilize this 
setting only for frequently occurring e\-enls. If a subdirectory in the 
DM_Souiids directory is selected, samples within that directory will 
be played ai random when the event is triggered. Only one 
directory comes set up this way and contains touch tone telephone 
samples which are triggered by pressing any key on the numeric 
keypad. 

Audio samples can be assigned to any keys on the keyboard, 
including qualifier keys like Alt, Ctrl, shift, and left/right Amiga. 
Samples can also be assigned to special groups of keys like Fl-FlO 
and numeric keys 0-9. The default settings make your keyboard 
sound like you are t}'ping on a typewriter, with some added effects 
just for fun. 

If you assign the proper touch-tone telephone samples to each 
key on your numeric kevpad, you can hold a telephone receiver to 
your speakers and dial a phone number from your Amiga 
keyboard! I was skeptical when 1 -ivas first told of this, but I've tried 
it and it works. These samples are in a subdirectory of the 
DM_Sounds directory by default. You'll have to manuail)' copy 
them up to the DM_Sounds directory to be able to assign them 
individually. (Too bad the numbering order on computer kevpads 
and telephones are different.) 

You can also trigger audio when a specified program is run. 
Tlie Selection of the desired programs is easy using a file requestor. 

Audio can even be trigger based on non-casc-sensitive text 
appearing on the screen. This can be input from the keyboard or 
generated from a program. How about an applause sample e\'ory 
time Amiga appears and maybe "boos" for PC or Mac? I'll warn 
you that you need to choose the text carefully. Any appearance of 
the text string triggers the sample, including in menus, requestors, 
titlebars, etc. It can get annoying if the string is too common. 

You could use this text feature to play a certain sample when 
your 3D rendering program finishes a picture. Tliis assumes that 
the program displays a string of identifiable text when the 
rendering is complete. 



The Time category turns your Amiga into a cuckoo clock on 
steroids. You can trigger audio every hour A.Vl or I'M, everv hour, 
midnight, e\'ery quarter, half, and tliree-quarter hour, or a specific 
time. You can optionally have it play the sample the same number 
of times as the hour, in classic cuckoo clock fashion. 

No Conflict 

Because there are so many programmable e\'ents, it is likely 
that a second e\ent could be triggered before a sample triggered 
from a prior event is finished playing. DesktopMACiC allows you 
to set the priority for each audio event. The second sample can wait 
for the first sample to finish, the second sample can be ignored, or it 
can override the first sample. 

Under AmigaDOS 2.0-h, DesktopMACiC is a commodity and 
can be deactivated using the Commodities Exchange program. The 
hotkey that brings up the main window is configurable as is the 
hotkey that immediately in\'okes the Screensaver effect. Although 
the manual indicates otherwise, the left and right Amiga keys are 
LCO.VIMAND and RCOMMAND, respectively. There is also a 
weird bug that occurs if you type an unacceptable Effect hotkev, the 
DesktopMACiC hotkey will eventually change to SHIFT F2. 

You can also set the effect to trigger when the mouse pointer is 
in one of the four corners of the screen. On my o\'er-sized Work- 
bench screen with my Retina, this only \vorkcd for the top-left 
comer. However, all four corners seemed to work \vith standard 
Amiga resolutions seemed. .Additionall)', both the effect and audio 
triggers can be independently toggled on or off. 

According to a spokesperson at Mediadesk, Delrina has 
contacted them to possibh' port some of their licensed screensa\'er 
effects over to the Amiga. This would be an exciting e\'ent if it 
happens. Mediadesk is also working on offering the abilitv to create 
your own effect modules. 

The only significant problem I had was if I quit the program 
and tried to run it again. 1 could not run another program if it 
opened a new screen. This only happened with my Retina, 
standard Amiga displays did not exhibit this problem. 

Summary 

This program excels in ease of use and features. The manual is 
exemplary. You could possibly try to do what DesktopMACiC does 
using several PD programs, but you wouldn't get the smooth 
integration of operations nor the configurability of DesktopM.A.GIC. 
There is reallv nothing in DesktopMACiC that hasn't been 
conceptually done before on the Amiga; however, the 
DesktopMACiC package is so complete and well-thought out, it is 
easily worth it's price. 

•AC* 



Mediadesk 

1875 S. Bascom Ave., Bldg 116, Suite 204 

Campbell, CA 95008-2359 

(510)548-7117 

(800) 30- M DESK 

Inquiry #204 



Please Write to: 

Douglas J. Nakakihara 

c/o Amazing Computing 

P.O. Box 2140 
Fall River, MA 02722-2140 



October 1994 



37 



creen 



ver 



Wars 



MaxonMAGIC 2.0 

reviewed by Hciuiiu^ Valileiikaiiip 



Over the past few years, screen savers have become very popvilar in the 
PC and Macintosh communities. They evolved from simple utilities that 
merely blank the screen (avoiding phosphor burn-in from long periods of 
unchanging displays) to audiovisual spectaculars. Now MaxonMAGIC brings 
these types of high-powered screen savers to the Amiga. As a bonus, this 
package includes a system sound manager far more comprehensive than the 
spartan Sound preferences editor. 



Shipping on one disk, MaxonMAGIC is easily installed on 
either floppy or hard drive systems with convenient Installer 
scripts. You ean choose wliich parts to install, so even users vvilhout 
hard drives c.in lit it on their VVorkhench hoot disks. Typically 
consuming about 2t)0K of R,'\.V1, MaxonMAGIC is compatible \vith 
all IMB .Amigas, including those with graphics boards that offer 
VVorkhench eimiiation. But a few features require at least 
AniignDOS 2.0 or tlie native Amiga chipset. 

Screen Savers 

When )ou first run MaxonMAGIC, the main interface v\-indou' 
for the screen sa\ers appears. This window basically consists of 
Effects and Options sections. Lffects lets vou select which of the 
installed .screen saver modules to use. The 20 a\-ailable modules 
span the spectrum from an atjuariLim stocked with fish to a 
complete dissolving of the screen displav. Options contains Global, 
Hotkey, and Effect groLips that alter the way the screen savers 
work. 

Global settings include the time interwil from the last user 
input to screen saver activation, the sounti \'oltime lo\'el, and mouse 
acceleration. Power users will like the abilitv to change a screen 



sa\'cr's priority and how much free CPU time must be available 
before activation. These last two settings prevent complicated 
screen sa\ers (such as Ac]uarium) from slowing down computa- 
tion-intensive background tasks {such as raytracers), I'rom the 
Hotkev section, vou can define keys to open the \vindoiv ancH start a 
screen saver on demand. 

The Effect group contains different settings gadgets depending 
upon which screen sa\x"r is chosen. Some screen sa\ers also have 
configuration opticms accessible througli the Demo button. But 
most aiknv vou to use sound samples and music. While sound 
samples can be synchronized to screen saver e\'ents such as 
fire\\'orks explosions, music plays continuously. Only one works at 
a time, as music preempts sound samples. 

You can save the settings of each screen saver as well as those 
of MaxonMAGIC itself. After you configure the program, it will 
subsequently run without opening its window. However, the 
window can he opened via hotkey, an entry in the tools menu, or 
Exchange, since the program is a commodity. 

As for the screen sa\'ers, yt>u do get a healthy selection. They 
are generally attracti\e, but thev offer no ACA-specific enhance- 
ments. One thing I don't like is that the Aquarium, Plasma, and 



WofHiitrnzii Sittetfi 



01 Wflfifcwiai 




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1 IteMMAGIC 



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Choosing effects (above left) and sounds (above right) is easy with MaxonMaglc's user interface. 



1 I J 



38 



AMAzixa CoMi'ar/\G 



Rniii modules insisi on using a 15KH/. scruL'ii, despite the I'licl lliiil 
mode promotion is on and all the others got along with my 3] Khz 
display. There's no good reason for requiring tliis. 

Sound Manager 

MnxonMAGlC's other niiijor feature, the system sound 
manager, is activated by pressing the Audio button on ihe main 
window. Tliis manager is really quite amazing. It allows you to 
assign sampled sounds to many different activities (triggers) 
including system events (opening/closing vvindo\v,s and screens, 
djskchiinges, etc.), keypresses, liumclied programs, text output, and 
even specific times. Imagine hearing a siren when an alert occurs or 
a chime every hour on the hour. The possibilities for creativity here 
are limitless. By contrast, the Sout\d preferences editor is limited to 
assigning a sound to the dispbybcep function. 

The sound manager interface is as intuitive as the screen saver 
interface. All you have to do is select a trigger group, a trigger 
within that group, and a sound to assLK-iate with it. If multiple 
triggers occur, MaxonMAGlC is sophisticated enough to process 
them according to your specifications. So the first sound can be 
played followed by the second, the second can cancel the first, or 
the second can be ignored altogether. 



WarUxiKti Scr«Ti 


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One of fhe many MaxonMagic Screen Saver choices. 



In future versions, MaxonMAGlC really should have AGA 
support for 256 colors. Also, it would be nice to have more screen 
saver modules - perhaps some fractals, kaleidoscopes, slide shows, 
and ANIM players - and a larger selection of sounds. You get 57 
samples in the proprietary IISN format, although you can use any 
standard IFF 8SVX samples as vvell. Only one music file is included 



The sound manager interface is as intuitive as the screen saver 

interface. Ali you have to do is select a trigger group, a trigger v^ithin 

that group, and a sound to associate with it. 



Conclusions 

Maxon.MAGlC's documentation often refers to program 
interface items by different names than the software does. 1 suspect 
the manual was written for an earlier version. Nevertheless, it still 
docs a primarily good jtib explaining everything. Aside from 
documentation problems, the only software problems I experienced 
were two unexplained SS0000t)04 alerts (illegal instructions) caused 
by the Aquarium module and by pressing Quit. I wasn't able to 
replicate either one. 



with the package though, and MaxonMAGlC requires music in the 
esoteric FTM (Face The Music) format instead of the uni\'ersal 
MOD format. 

Overall, MaxonMAGlC is an interesting product It is one of 
the first commercial screen savers for the Amiga, and it is better 
than any noncommercial ones !\'e seen. .Another strong selling 
point is the truly unique system sound manager. Although 
MaxonMAGlC is good now, it would be even better if it imple- 
mented some of the suggestions of the previous paragraph. 




A sample of a full-screen Image (color image shown In black and white). 



MAXON Computer GmbH 

Industriestr. 26 
65760 Eschborn, Germany 



Distributed in the USA by 

Oregon Research 

16200 S.W. Pacific Hwy. 

Suite 162 

Tigard, OR 97224 

(503)620-4919 

(503) 624-2940 fax 

Inquiry #205 



Please Write to: 

Henning Vahlenkamp 

c/o Amazing Computing 

P.O. Box 2140 
Fall River, MA 02722-2140 



•AC* 



October 1994 



39 



CmmM^Afn^. ..Ho-] 



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Amiga formats 1.76MB with 
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A2000/M(DOO S145 



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Disii Expander immediately without any problems. Disk Expaner does 
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iworks with all drives including, SCSI, IDE. Floppies and &i 7.<^ '■} 
even the RAD diskl. ^mf Mf 



Use a VCR as a backup storage device. TWo hundred 
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•95 



IDSffltpSiKS S Fast. Assembly language programmino 
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M49 



clarlSSA V2.0 ACA 

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PageStrcain3.a $224 

rne Ultimate oeswop puolismng programi PagesStreamS provides professional 
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NO FPU S79 

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Create Bitmap and outline fonts for all your programs! 

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exx 



by Merrill Callmuay 



Error Traps and Interrupting ARexx Programs 



What are Arexx Interrupts? 

Wc ha\-L> all heard on TV, "We interrupt tliis program to bring 
you a special message..." Computer interrupt;; are functionally the 
same. Whenever something occurs that needs immediate attention, 
such as an error, or a break signal from the user, all operating 
systems and programming languages pro\'ide a means to trap 
errors or deal u'ith the situation dynamically before the program 
terminafes. ARexx is no exception. 

When certain conditions occur within ARexx its internal 
interrupt s}'stem allows you to trap errors or detect c\-cnts such as 
pressing the Ctrl-C keys (You pre.ss the control key and the C kev at 
the same time). A Ctrl-C break is an asynchronous event. Synchro- 
nous events occur when the program detects sometliing like a 
syntax error during its run time source code scan. Asynchronous 
events occur simultaneously in parallel and synchronous events 
occur in series, one after the other. ARexx can handle both types of 
events. If (and only iQ a particular ARoxx interrupt event is enabled 
in the program source code, the internal interrupt system will 
transfer program control to a label with the same name as the 
enabled interrupt or condition, once it occurs. For example if you 
want the program to trap a user induced Ctrl-C break, and branch 
to it.s corresponding subroutine label whenever the user presses 







I .1. 



* r*' :♦■ 



■ 1 



>v 






■::^ 



Ctrl-C, then at the beginning of the program place an insfruction: 
SIGNAL ON BREAK^C 

to enabic the interrupt trap. If the user presses Ctrl-C during its 
execution, the program will immediately branch to a label 
BREAK_C: (NOTE; It will generate an error if the label is not 
found). If the trap is NOT enabled, then AmignDOS (and not 
ARexx) terminates the program with the error code set to 2. 
AmigaDOS-requested BREAK_D, BREAK^E, or BRE/\K^F user 
interrupts may also be enabled with SIGNAL ON, but in case they 
are not enabled, these Amiga DOS requests are simply ignored; 
AmigaDOS will not terminate the program, nor will it branch. 
SIGNAL OFF [condition] is used to disable interrupts. Once an 
interrupt is triggered, this will also disabled it. 

Whenever an error trap is enabled, there must be a corre- 
sponding subroutine labelled with the same name as the interrupt 
in order for program contnii to transfer there in the event of the 
interrupt. For instance, the program will attempt to branch to a 
label ERROR: if an error occurs and if the ERROR interrupt is 
enabled with a SIGNAL ON ERROR instruction in your code. You 
may put any code you want to execute after the label, such as an 
orderly exit or a custom error message. Some may notice that 
ARexx does not follow standard (IBM/SAA) REXX practices iti that 
there are no CALL ON [interruptl instructions enabling a RETURN 
from the trap subroutine. If a trap is to return and continue the 
program u'here it left off, then an explicit SIGNAL label mstruction 
{used as a CO TO) is necessary, as we will see. 

Traps act like circuit breakers in an electrica! .system. Once the 
event trips a branch to the trap subroutine, then exactly like a 
circuit breaker, the interrupt must be re-enabled to trap such an 
event a second time. If your program anticipates another interrupt, 
it is a good idea to place a SIGNAL ON instruction at the end of the 
trap subroutine before branching back to the main program, or else 
re-enabie the traps immediately after the label in the main program 
to which the trap branche.s. 

The SIG.NAL instruction has as its interrupt subkeyvvords: 
13REAK_C, BREAK_D, BREAK_E, BREAK_F, ERROR, FAILURE, 
FIALT, lOERR, NOVALUE, and SYNTAX, The correct syntax for 
using SIG.NAL with, for instance, a control-C break is to use 



42 



Amazing Computing 



SIGNAL ON BREAK_C h\ lurn on {LMT.ibk') thu intcrrupl, .iiiti ,i 
SIGNAL Ort- BREAK_C instructimi U> lurn it off (disnblo) it nsain. 
All the rest follow the same syntax; 



LM5KL: 

BRLAK_C; 

BREAK_D; 

I5RLAK_F.: 

BREAK_I-: 

ERROR: 



TRAP 

INTERRUPT 
BREAK C 

I'rogriim doft'cts user presses Ctrl-C. 
BREAK_D 

I'rognim detects user presses Ctrl-D. 
BREAK E 

Program detects user presses Ctrl-E 
BREAK_F 

Program detects user presses Ctrl-F. 
ERROR 

A host command rctiiriiH non-/ero code. 
FAILURE 

A liosl command returns i-AILURE: 

RC>= FAILAT le\-el (Set by OPTIONS). 

HALT 

Program detects external HALT request. HALT: 

lOERR 

Error detected in input/output system. lOERR: 

NOVALUE 

Program uses an uninitialized \ariable. NOVALUE: 

SYNTAX 

Syntax or execution error detected. SYNTAX: 



What happens during an interrupt? 

I'irst, .ARexx dismantles all active control ranges, which are the 
ranges in DO loops, IF instructions, SELECT, or INTERPRET 
blocks; or for interactive TRACEs. Then ARexx transfers control io 
the label specified by the enabled interrupt. Since the active control 
ranges are dismantled, you cannot use an interrupt to jump into a 
control structure such as a SELECT block. If you are inside .m 
internal function, and an interrupt occurs, it is safe to use SIGNAL 
without affecting the environment of the calling program. 

Special Variables 

KC, the special Return Code variable, plays a part in inter- 
rupts. RC is set to the error code (for SYNTAX interrupts); or 
severity level (for ERROR interrupts) of the condition that caused 
the interrupt, and you may therefore check RC immediately after 
your label statement if vou want to know about what caused Ihe 
transfer. There is another special v.iriable called SIGL which returns 
the line number that was being executed at the time of the 
interrupt. Use these two \ariables to get information about errors in 
tire trap subroutine. 

Command Utilities 

ARexx has several command utilities which pro\'itie control 
functions which operate outside tlie ARexx program. Command 
utilities are invoked just like an\' .-VniigaDOS command from a Shell 
or Cl.l. A command utility also ma)- be invoked from within an 
AKexx program as an Amiga E)OS command. Either AmigaDOS or 
the ARexx resident process will recognize them. Tire HALT trap 
above corresponds to an e\ent triggered by the command utility HI 
(for Malt interrupt). Four command utilities arc relevant to our 
discussion. 



HI sets the global halt flag which sends a halt request to all 
acti\-e ARexx programs. Each active ARexx program will immedi- 
ately exit unless its HALT interrupt has been enabled. If it has been 
enabled, the program branches to the label HALT: and continues 
there. .After all currently active programs ha\'e received the halt 
request, the flag is cleared. 

RX is used to start ARexx programs from a CLI or Shell. 

TS forces all active ARexx program into interactive trace 
mode. This flag remains set until cleared by the TE command utility 
vvhich turns off global interactive tracing. We w'M see the use of 
these in traps later. 

Using SIGNAL as a GO TO Statement 

A second way to use the SICN.AL instruction is 

SIGNAL labelname 

or 

SIGNAL VALUE expression 

which evaluates the expression if supplied and jumps to a label 
with its value; or .simply jumps to the supplied labelname if it is a 
literal string. This is exactly like a GO TO instruction in other 
languages. For instance if you have a need for the program to jmnp 
to a label called "Instead:" then use a SIGNAL Instead instruction. 
If the label name is the result of an expression, then the SIGNAL 
VALUE expression acts just like a computed GO TO, jumping to 
whatever label the evaluated expression indicates. Use a GO TO 
only when absolutely necessary, or your code may suffer. Stick to 
structured programming (using only IF THEN ELSE; DO WHILE; 
SELECT; and DO UNTIL constructs). You will be better off. It is 
pnn-able that structured programs can perform any logic you need. 
The exception is using SIGNAL to jump back to the main program 
after an interrupt. 

An Example of the Use of Interrupts 

Here is a little program that will demonstrate what we ha\'e 
just discussed. It contains an example of the use of every interrupt 
except the lOERR interrupt. I couldn't get my system to misbeha\-e 
in order to trap this one! The program also demonstrates the use of 
SIGNAL properly used as a GO TO statement and as a computed 
GO TO. Although the program does nothing except demonstrate, 
you could use it as a pattern to insert error traps in your own code. 
Tlie listing shows Int.rexx a demonstration of Interrupts in ARexx. 

The Code 

The program generates error, failure, novalue, and syntax 
errors. It also enters an endless loop to allow you to halt it in 
\arious wavs uith breaks or halt interrupts. Each time an interrupt 
condition is raised, the program branches to the label of the name of 
the interrupt. After pausing for you to read the messages, it waits to 
P.AKSE a "dummy" answer (not used) and signals the next 
interrupt condition where it left off. 

The program first sets the FAILAT kn'el at 20, using the 
OPTIONS instruction. Any RC of 20 or more will be trapped and 
sent to the FAILURE: label. This option is not mentittned in some 
ARexx documentation. The difference between an ERROR (any 
return code greater than zero) and a FAILURE (any ERROR at or 
over the FAILAT level) is to help distinguish usually fatal failures 
from less severe mistakes. In this example, 'RX' is a valid command 
utility used to launch ARexx programs, only the program does not 



October 1994 



43 



exist. Since the RC of a non-existent program is lower thiin 20, oiilv 
an EKKOFi is generated, and Hie program brandies accordingly. 
Next we try to launch <i totally bogus command, ■[■OOBAR', and 
generate a FAILURE, because RC=20. Each time the program 
returns to the place it left off by using SIGNAL as a CO TO. Note 
the way we can use SIGNAL VALUE to evaluate a concatenated 
expression which becomes "PAIL", causing ttie program control to 
jump hack to that label in the main program. 

Next, after the label UNI:, we enable .NOVALUE. Try to enable 
NOVALUE at the very start of the program. Do you get different 
results? The reason is that NOVALUE takes precedence o\-er 
ERROR and FAILURE, because the initial Al^exx scan looks for 
uninitialized variables first thing. Vou must be careful to enable 
traps as you need them in the order of precedence. Most of the time 
an uninitialized variable will cause no harm. If your program needs 
to trap this condition, it i.s usually done locally near the place an 
uninitialized variable may cause a problem, followed by a SIGNAL 
OFF NOVALUE to disable it again. 

The SYNTAX condition may occur frequently, too, because it 
is found during the initial scan of the program at run time. When a 
syntax error occurs, RC contains the ARexx error code. Note the 
way we may use the ARexx function, ERRORTEXT(RC) to display 
the error message. In this example, we have an invalid argument to 
the function B2C() converting Binary to Character. It should be 
composed only of Os and Is, but contains a 5. 

Next the program starts an endless loop which you may 
terminate with any of the Ctrl-C, -D, -E, or -F user interrupts, or vou 
may open another shell and issue the command utility, HI to stop 
things. You may also want to try the command utility TS to force an 
interacti\'c trace of this loop, You may end the global interactive 
trace u'ith the command utility, TE. Once the program enters 
interactive trace, you may issue (at the prompt +> ) any ARexx 
instructions. If you enter SIGNAL FINI or EXIT it will terminate 
this loop. 

Now )-ou know hou' to use the .-\Rexx Interrupts. With these 
tools, you need not be afraid to tackle large projects. Vou have the 
means to make your .f^Rexx programs user friendly, able to trap 
likely errors so that the program will not terminate, but handle 
exceptions gracefully. 



LoiftllnK 



/* Int.rexjc Dfijno of interrupts 
/■ set the fsilat level •/ 
OPTIOKS FAILAT 20 
Shi 'FAILAT aet to 20,' 

/' turn on the interrupts •/ 

SIGNAL OK EREAK_C 

SIGKAL OH BREAKJ 

SIGNAL OH BREAK_E 

SIGNAL OH EREAK_F 

SIGNAL ON ZRHOR 

SIGNAL ON FAILIIBE 

SIGNAL Oil HALT 

/* error •/ 

'RX' nonexistent. rexx 

FAIL! 

/• failure •/ 

'FOOBAR' 

ONI: 

SIGNAL ON NOVALtlE 

/* uninitialized variable •/ 

Shf -iaV 

i'.V 



SIGNAL OH SYliTiX 
/* syntax error */ 
SAY 'charaEZC (101151' 
c!iar=B2Cll0115) 

LOOP: 

SAY 'PRESS (ctrll-c, D,B, or F to atop endlesa loop...' 

SAlf 'OR open another shell and do a HI comaand . . - ' 

SAY 'OR open another shell and do a TS command. ' 

SAY 'After interactive trace fltarts, Isoue EXIT at prompt. 

/* atucJc in an endless loop..."/ 

no FOREVER 

HOP 

END 



FINI 






SAY 


DOMEr- 




EXIT 







/* IHTERRDPT LABELS 


FOLLOW •/ 


BBEAK_C! 




SAY 


CONTROL C BR3AK detected 


SAY 


Line'SICL 'HC= 


RC 


SAY 


Press [Rtn] to 


continue. 


PARSE 


PULL answer 




SIGNAL FIMI 





aaEAK_D! 

SAY 'COKTBOL D ERSAX detected,..' 

SAY 'Line'SIGL 'RC^'RC 

SAY 'Press [Rtn] to continue,' 

PARSg PULL answer 

SIGNAL FINI 

BREAK.. E! 

SAY 'CONTROL E BREAK detected...' 

SAY 'Line'SIGL 'RC='SC 

SAY 'Press [Rtnl to continue.' 

PARSE PULL answer 

SIGNAL FIBI 

BBSAK.Fl 

SAY 'CONTROL P BREAK detected.,,' 

SAY 'Line'SIGL 'RC-'RC 

SAY 'Press [RtnJ to continue,' 

PARSE PULL answer 

SIGNAL FINI 

ERROR: 

SAY 'ERROR detected,.,' 

SAY 'Line'SIGL 'HC='RC 

SAY 'Ptess IRtn) to continue.' 

branch='AIL' 

PARSE PULL ans'rfer 

SIGNAL VALUE 'F' I Ihranch 

FAILURE: 

SAY 'FAILUSfi DETECTED' 

SAY 'Line'SIGL 'BC-'RC 

SAY 'Press [Rtnl to continue.' 

PARSE PULL answer 

SIGNAL BKI 

HALT: 

SAY 'EXTERNAL HALT detected..,' 

SAY 'Line'SIGL 'l«;='Re 

SAY 'Press [Rtnl to continue,' 

PARSE PULL answer 

SIGNAL FINI 

NOVALUE : 

SAY 'tININITIALIZED VARIABLE detected...' 

SAY 'Line'SIGL 'EC.'RC 

SAY 'Press [Rtn] to continue.' 

PARSE PULL answer 

SIGNAL SYH 

SYNTAX: 

SAY 'SYWTAX ERROR detected...' 

SAY 'Line'SIGL 'Error'RC':' ESROaTM(T(RC| 

SAY 'Press IRtn] to continue.' 

PARSE PULL ans-,(er 

SIGNAL LOOP 



•AC* 



Please Write to: 
Merrill Callaway 

c/o Amazing Compufmg 
P.O. Box 2140 

Fall River, MA 02722-2140 



44 



A.MAziyc; Comfl'Tisg 




cli 



by 

Keith Cameron 



directory 



Readers' Reactions 

In my last column I included some script files and other input from several 
readers. I'd like to continue along the same lines in this column. Personally, I 
find that there is only so much that one can learn from a book or manual. I 
know that I have learned probably 90"/o of what I know of the Amiga from 
other users. This was especially true in the early days, as documentation was 
very poor. And, judging by what many of my readers say, they feel that the 
manuals haven't changed a great deal. 



From liniL' to timo, I liii\'o advised nny rcMdcrs, especially those 
who are just beginiiing to use computers, to be sure to make 
backups of their diskettes and to use the backups rather than the 
originals for their daily use. In fact, in some places I have worked, 
we have made backups and then put the originals in fire-proof 
safes to protect them. Let's face it — some of that software is \x>ry 
cxpensi\'e. 1 lia\'e gone on to recommend that the originals should 
not be u,sed except to make more backups when needed. Eric 
Palmquist of California has written in to correct me. 

Eric is one of tliose people who makes me wonder ^vhy he is 
even reading my column. I'm not complaining: I'm glad such 
people do read my nrticle. but in one brief letter, Eric demonstrated 
that he is probably far more knowledgeable about computers in 
general and the Amiga in particular than 1 ^vill ever be. According 
to Eric, a copy of a diskette mav actually be superior to the original. 
I'm not about to try to explain what Eric wrote — it is far too 
complicated. In short, though, he argues that binary non-linear 
recordings deteriorate over time. Because of this deterioration, the 
most recent copy is actually the best copy as regards quality and 
accuracy. What Eric wrote is enough to convince me, so I stand 
corrected. 

Maxwell Daymen of Colorado wrote in to comment on a 
statement 1 made in a previous article concerning cutting and 
pasting from the Shell. In my article, 1 said something to the effect 
that you could not copv from the Shell and paste to a word 
processor. Maxwell executed the DIR command in his SJicll, 
highlighted the listing, then hit right-Amiga/C to make a copiy. He 
then went to his favorite word processor (f roWrite) and pasted 
using right-Amiga/V. Maxwell goes on to explain that all software 
that claims to support \'ersion 2.X or later should also support the 
standard Amiga clipboard. This enables anything copied to the 



Amiga clipboard to be copied to the clipboard of that particular 
application. According to Maxwell, since the advent of version 2.X, 
this is becoming more and more common. Prior to that, many 
specific applications used their own buffers for cuthng, copying, 
and pasting. 1 tried cutting from the Shell and pasting to a couple of 
other word processors and found that Maxwell is right. 

Thanks, Maxwell and [;ric, for setting me straight on these 
matters. It just goes to show that I learn more from other users than 
from manuals. Now I'd like to share some script files that two 
readers sent in. 

Terry Cripe is a Lutheran minister in Ohio. Terry needed a 
script file that would search a disk for a certain topic, or word, to 
help him when lie was writing his sermons. Before sharing this 
script file, let me point out two things. First, since 
liEQUESTCHOICE and REQUESTFILE are used, this script file will 
only run under version ."5.0. Second, Terry has been unable to 
discover a way to input the search word or phrase in the program, 
instead, he must include the search word or phrase as part of the 
command line. Here is the script file. 

lab start 

set Number 'requestchoice "SEARCHFile" "Which drive?" 

dfO mdhtl mdhl none' 

lab check 

if val SNumber eq 1 

skip dfO 

else 

if val SNumber eq 2 

skip mdhO 

else 



OcroBEK 1994 



45 



if \'nl SNiimbor uq 3 

cd mdhi; 

set fiiiimc 'rcqucstfilo noicons' 

skip bugiii 

else 

quit 

end if 

lab dfO 

cd dfO: 

set (iiiinie 'ruquestfilo noicons' 

skip begin 

lab mdlio 
cd mdhO; 
set fniinie 'request! ile noicons' 



eclio " " 

quit 

else 

list >riini:p S? lformiit="protect %S -d" 

^vait 2 sec 

execute r.ini:p 

echo " " 

echo " " 

echo " " 

echo "OK Done. Files in this directory are no^\- Protected.' 

echo " " 

echo " " 

echo " " 

end if 

quit 5 



lab begin 

search Sfname "Sword" >pipe:SEARCHFile 

more pipe:SEARCHFile 

echo "You searched *"Sfnaine*" using the^vord/phrase 

* "Sword*"." 

echo"" 

ask "Do you wish to search another file on this drive?" 

if warn 

skip check back 

else 

ask "Do you v\ish to .search another dri\e?" 

if warn 

skip start back 

else 

quit 

Once you ha\'e this typed in and saved, you are then ready to 
start searching. At the command prompt, vou will need to type 
SFTENV WORD folkuved l^y the U'ord or phrase \'ou want to 
search for. Tei'ry gi\-es the example of VVATtiK, which would 
appear in this manner: 



SETENV WORD WATHR <RETURN> 

By the way, SETENV is an AmigaDOS command used to work 
with global variables. 

Finally, Peter Oppenheimer of my neighboring state of New 
Mexico wrote in with two script files that concern deleting or 
protecting files. First, here is the script that n ill protect files from 
deletion. Peter calls this script "nod". 



; "nod" for "NO Delete" 

failatlO 

echo " " 

echo " " 

ask "Protect from Deletion .All files in this directory? .ANS: y/n ? 

'return'" (on one line) 

if not warn 

echo " " 

eciio " " 

echo " OK, forget it." 

echo " " 



Peter's second script is called "yod", and it allows the user to 
make files in a directory deletable. Here is how it looks: 

; "yod" for "Yes, Of course you can Delete" 

failat 10 

echo " " 

echo " " 

ask "Change protection bit of all the files in this directory to allow 

deletion? y/n ? <return>" (all on one line) 

if not warn 

echo " " 

echo " " 

echo " OK, Won't do it." 

echo " " 

echo " " 

quit 

else 

list >ram:p #? lformat="protect ''iiS +d" 

wait 2 sec 

execute ram:p 

echo " " 

echo " " 

echo " " 

echo "OK Done. All files are now Deletable." 

echo " " 

echo " " 

echo " " 

end if 

quit 5 

.Now for my disclaimer. I have changed verj' little in these 
script files. Whether they work on your machine depends on the 
system you have. You may find it necessary to make some changes 
to adapt it to vour particular setup. 

1 appreciate all of your input. Most of all, 1 appreciate \our 
reading my column. Until next month, keep on computing! 



•AC* 



Please Write to: 
Keith Cameron 

c/o Amazing Computing 
P.O. Box 2140 

Fall River, MA 02722-2} 40 



46 



Amazisg C<)AH'UTr.\ a 



Aladdin-4D Tutorial #10: 

Lens Flare Creation and Use 



R. Sluviiiii^ Mortier 



ADSPEC's Alaeidin-4D has the most spectacular and variable on-board 
Lens Flare mode of any Amiga 3D software package. That is due to the fact 
that A4D Lens Flares are not locked in by the software itself, but instead 
determined by any bitmap (including IFF animations) targeted to it. The 
image of the "Flare" (in A4D they're called "Flares" instead of "Lens Flares") 
can be absolutely anything (including text or a logo if you like). 



Just to remind von what a lens flare actually is nnd isii'i. It 
isn't a light iisult, but is the result of light on a cninera leii.-i or on iho 
lens of our eye. I'm sure you've looked op at a street light and have 
seen an aura around it, or at video footage that shows spots wlien 
the camera is aimed at some angle to the sun. These are anomalies 
of the viewing mechanism (camera or the eye) and not the light 
"object". Very spectacular effects can be created by manipulating 
lens flares, I'll share some info on a special lens Flare bitmap option 
later in the article. Right now, let me clue you in on the extensive 
nature of A4D's Flare requester and the associated "Texture List". 

Options without end 

When it's time to add a Flare in A4D, tlio initial process begins 
by accessing the Flare requester, which is located under the 
"Polygon" heading in the menu bar. There are tuo choices: Flare 
Add and Flare Alter. The second choice holds if you want to 
reconfigure the Flare's parameters. The Flare Requester is a simple 
enough affair (See Figure 1). Al llie top is the familiar timeline bar, 
allowing you to determine exact!}' where a Flare appears in the 
animation. By selecting "Add" you can also layer as many Flares as 
you'd like, or have them all appear sporadically for a frame at a 
time, giving you flashes and/or sparkles. 



Tliere are five separate toggles in the center of the requester 
that effect the added 1-lare in ways you should become familiar 
with: 

ZBut — if ON, the Flare is partially obscured by polys in 
front of it. 

Obscur— if ON, effects the way Flares are seen through 
transparent polvs. 

SEdgcs — Flares will completely disappear when they 
leave the render screen. 

ObsTm — (Obscur must be ON) if OFF, Flares lose 
strength if they pass behind transparent polys. If 
ON, Flares will be seen right through the poly. 

Size — there are two choices, "Relative" and "Fixed". If 
Fixed, the input areas below that refer to height 
and width relate to the render screen size. If 
Relative, the relative distance is taken into 
account. 

Next comes Entry /Fxit \alues for five items: 

Flare Width Percent — render width of the Flare bitmap 

(can change o\ er time). 
Flare height Percent — render height of the Flare 

bitmap (can change o\'er time). 



[ ji^r i^^l' yiafiTCTjj'jjj-TiU'i'iiiit -BiH-fcm-tiSi 




riAr*> Uidth Pci 
rtare Height P. 

Orrftot X 

orr»et V 



^^ 



Hatch Entry I 



mtth L*>t Cn4t I 



<vc'«" TwM 



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^^ 

mM 
iniiirn 



«*J1**A — 5 

■ I Jin 



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8K«pMithii I rpjutig r^ H t 



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Off I on I PTf I mt ' >^''t'"' 

Entry Eh It 
























muTitmi I nt\<r\ uii Lull I 



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Figure I. The A4D Letts Flare requester is as full fealured (and 
similar in use to) the other timeline requesters. Separate start 
and end parameters can be set lo allow a Flare to change 
over time. 



Figure 2. By moving the red timeline to only half of its possible 
width (which in this case indicales frame 30 of a 60 frame 
sequence), you can guarantee that the Flare will disappear 
after half the animation is rendered. 



October 1994 47 



Relative Distance — if sizo is set ki ■'KL'lnli\x'", the FUiro 

is IrLvitred like a 3D object in space. 
Rotation Angle — yes, all Flares can rotnte over time! 
Offset X / Offset Y — offsets the bitmtip nway from the 

tni'j^L'ted l-'kire. 

The number of cycles (cyclic or periodic) can be set accordiiii; 
to timeline or global parameters. Periodic cycles loop back on 
themselves, reversing direction over the length of an animation. 
There is also full C-Spline ("Control" Spline) possibility in the 
reL|uester. What this makes possible is internal looping of the 
animalion within its ovifn timeline, A4D offers C-Splines in every 
pos.sible animation and object movement situation, so learning the 
process by which OSplincs are manipulated once holds true for all 
C-Spline controls. 

Gotta tiave them textures! 

No bitmap texture, no Rare object. It's that simple. The 
program reads the bitmap as a luma signal, which gives a Flare its 
reflective light qualit)'. A4D renders bitmaps in such high quality 
that even when you come in extremely close, the smoothing is 
amazing. This means that a Flare bitmap can move in an animation 
so that its target point renders at perhaps five or six times the 
bitmap sixe, and you'll still sec an even gknv minus the jaggies! 
This is a most telling effect when used to create explosions or other 
bursts of light. Pi.\el edges are smoothed right up to screen sized 
dimensions. 

BitMaps with a Flare 

So where do you get the right bitmaps for Flare effects. Well, 
one source would be the library' of special Flare bitmaps that come 
with the software. Then of course, there are the purists who are 
determined to draw everything they use from scratch. But I've 
discovered another way to get awesome Flare bitmaps, although it 
nieans owning another piece of software. 

ImageMasterRT 

ISIacklielt Systems has been in the Amiga image business for a 
very long time. Their best known software is a package called 



»iirni;n;»i.»i»iT:rTTiMa 



EndC 
JB-Ji: 



J POHrPl I lr*«?C 



Cnlrv Eh It 



■ tfn_J Utf 1 PIT I iv.t!iiLJ -Pf-f, J OTI I 
Color,. ... . ■ \'~~ < — 

Strvnvth. . . . | fc 

r I ( r» Df I I 






,<-Mr Uttr I Htdth. 



Trac ._0r4»ntdt Idn 



rtn: Colof*. ' 



H»ttti I JU91l«4XialJ 



gKI M' 
J±JJd 

UlUlQj 



itt.m 









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Ltant 



4 »Tornwjp 



Figure 3. As with any other object, Flares con be texture 
mapped, in fact, they MUST be texture nnopped in order to 
take on the shape of the bitmap. The texture can also be an 
animated series of IFF frames, allowing you to create Flare 
explosions, super-novas, and any optional glowing Flare 
object you can conjure up. Multiple textures can be mapped 
one on the other using the "add" function In the timeline. 



ImageMasterRT (the "RT" stands for "Re-Targetable", meaning that 
it can address various 24-bit Lxiards as output in addition to 
standard and ACA Amiga screen modes). ImageMasterRT is one of 
the best image processing programs on any platform, and definitely 
one of the best on the Amiga. It's a very complex piece of software, 
but for our purposes here, if contains two modules that are just 
right for creating ITares for A4D: Asterize and Annular. Asteri^e 
produces star effects, and Annular produces glowing rings (See 
Figure 5). 

ImageMnster expects you to load in a graphic (and it accepts 
many file formats). I always use either a HAMS picture or a 24-bit 
IFF file (it'll load JPEG'd images jusi fine). For this tutorial, I 
suggest that you first generate a completely black picture in your 
fa\'orite painting program, and save it out to disk. Then, after 
booting ImageMaster, import that same page as your canvas. 
ImageMaster has dozens of nested menus and requesters, .so pay 
close attention while 1 tell you ho\v to get lo the place we need to 



Figure 4. The most 
extensive software 
anywhere for creating 
asterized stars and annular 
rings, Ihe very stuff of Lens 
Flare objects, is the 
awesome ImageMasterRT 
package from BlackBelt. 




48 



AiiAziNCi Computing 




Figure 5. Here's a sample of the numerous varieties of lens Fiares and Annular Rings 
that you can create in ImageiVlasterRT. 



I created a whole library of asterlzations ar^d 

annular ring bitmaps witli ImageMasterRT and 

saved each out as a 24-blt brush. Mapping 

them on A4D Flares was an easy task, and 

gave me some spectacular animated results, 




aCL-ess. We nre looking for the "Astcrizf" ^ 
and "Annular" Spt'cia! FX modules. They 
are nested as follows from the main screen: 
Process / Special l-x / and then to the 
set'ond of the tvvo Special Vx screens. 

Here you will see both needed 
modules. Clicking on either one will blank 
the screen, allowing you to draw an area 
that will be the target of the effect. Once 
vou have done this, and depending which 
of the two you selected, their parameter 
menus will appear. 

If you've chosen "Asteri/e", the 
following choices are available (along with 
an interactive graph of the shape): Vertical 
Clare, Four Star, Hex Lens, Oct Lens, Solar 
Flare, f-vcn Clow, Sparkle, and Flash. Each 
of these can be manipulated any number of 
ways, my favorite being to draw on the 
graph of the chosen asterization. 

Annular (Annular Rings) gives you 
these additional possibilities (also with 
interactive graphs): Fven Glow, St. Elmo's 
I'ire, Flat Glare, Bright Ring, and Halo. 
These can also be altered by toggling four 
subsequent options: Additive, Reflective, 
Hold Circular, and Radial Fade, Both 
Asterizations and Annular kings are open 
to palette manipulation and the setting of 
the dimensions of their radial "arms" when 
appropriate. 

1 created a whole library of 
asterlzations and annular ring bitmaps with 
ImageMasterRT and saved each out as a 24- 
bit brush. Mapping them on A4D Flares 
vva.s an cas}' task, and gave me some 
spectacular animated results. These t^vo 
softu'are packages were made for each 
other, especially when it comes to securing 
the right bitmap for an animated Lens Flare 
set|Lience. Bv the way, the Annular Rings 
also make wonderful planetary rings when 
used in A4D to orbit a planet. 

FNJOY the exploration. Sec you next 
time in ROMiilan space... 



•AC* 



Please Write to: 

R. Stiamms Mortier 

c/o Amazing Computing 

P.O. Box 2140 
Fall River, MA 02722-2140 



Figure 6. An A4D rendering of one frame of a 60 frame animation with ImageMoster 
bitmapped Lens Flares end Annular Rings in place. 



October 1994 



49 



amiga telecommunications 



ZIS? 



3=C 



Ynu may ruciill that at tlic end of last 
niontli's On Lino I mcntioiiL'il that we 
would visit a now [iot\tt>rk lliis month. 
Well, we all know the old quote about "The 
best laid plans of mice and men..." 
Apparently as I was typing those words, the 
network was unpluHgini; its phone linos. 
The National Videolext Network has at least 
temporarily suspended operations. This 
may change by the time yoLi road this 
article, due to the lead times inherent in 
maj^^a/inc pulilishirig. If NVN returns to the 
on line community, we will visit them at 
thai time. 

The other major information ser\'ices, 
America Online and Prodigy, both require 
machine-specific front end software that is 
not av,iilable for the Amiga. Since this 
concludes our tour of the Amiga areas of the 
major services, we \vill shift gears some- 
u'hat and look at some of the software 



available on the services we ha\'e covered. 
This ck>es not mean we are going to ignore 
that grand collection of networks known as 
the Internet. It is only that the Inlcrnet is sti 
different from the systems we ha\e 
previously visited, that a division seems in 
ordei'. 

The ftirmal for the column \vill change 
also, with the majority of space being given 
to mini-reviews of downloaded programs. 
At the end of the reviews section will be file 
numbers/names of the programs and the 
services where 1 found them. If you see 
something listed that you decide to 
download for voiirself, keep a couple of 
things in mind, hirst, due to the time delavs 
mentioned above, there may be a newer 
version of the program a\'ailable by the 
time you read about it. You should always 
do a search of your favorite system's data 
libraries before downloading files 1 



ReodZ^ I.BSa S 1991-19?3 Thonas KrghbigU HU Rights ResoFi^g I ESI Igj 
Sourer lnAg«^ Pat t <?p» ; |Hor k : ppin n t I V^P i c t urB.,^guTut . Hjw ^ | ChOQftfr | 
Source fr^ne Count : f~ ~ B'[ Start : j ~\ 



»«t Picturi? Pattern; |R»r> IHsti;tut} 



■■L 



TJ 



D«Bt Fin Inat ion; f 
Device: PI 



^^ Choose I 



-SL 



Co lor 



J Mntr: _C*J Pgf autt 1 



_J _Chooiae | 



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-EL 



2St, 



^ 



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If tgh Qua I i tv 
Run "Conwer-t" 
Lock Palette 
Ordered D it her 
fys DHhtfr 

Bcgiin Convigr s « on 



x:n 



I Daublg Utdtli 

I Halve Uidth 

I Halu« Heiiiht 

I Rotate 90 Drqrccs 

I NISC Ltnlt 



J w.r: Ol 



Wo Lacg 



J 



J 



I Delete Sour-te'^ 
I Hide Conversion 
I Oon' t Piiu^e 
I Hait for- Source' 
I P iin<|-Pong flnin 
I Kn Loop Tranes 



Qui t 






tete2 ' 



Prog 



ZO 



T«li;3 

"33 I 

Hordp»rf ect 



mention. Secondly, if a program is 
.shareware, please support the author and 
send in the requested share\vare lee if you 
like the program and use it. This will 
encourage the programmers to keep 
working on quality .software for our 
favorite computer. To this end, I will 
mention a program's status (shareware, 
freeware, commercial demo, etc.) in the 
descriptions. 

Rend24 

What do you dt) when the graphic i^ile 
yoLi have is in the wrong format? Maybe it 
is a 24-bit IFF file (hat you need to con\'ert 
to MAN4, or maybe you downloaded a GIF 
format file you want to view in HAMS. 
While there are commercial programs 
available, such as ASDG's Art Department 
Professional, the casual user has trouble 
justifying their expense. Enter Rend24, by 
Tlromas Krehbiel. This shareware program 
(S30 requested) will do all of the above and 
more. Its original piLrposc was to run in 
the background while Lightwave 
generated 24-bit ll-l' frames. As each frame 
was saved to disk, Rend24 would read it, 
con\ert it into an Amiga display format, 
pack it into an animation file, and then 
wait for the next frame. 

The current \'ersion, 1 .05a, among 
other things can \'icw JPEG files directly. A 
graphical front-end makes use of a simple 
point and click matter. Choose an image. 



Rend24 converts 24-bit IFF files to 
HAM, GIF to HAM8, and more. 



50 



AMAZli\(i COMI'UTIMC 



and a dostiniilion, Icll Ri.'nd24 how you 
want to change the format, and away it 
goes. You won't ha\'0 to wait forever for the 
conversion. While some processes take 
longer than others, all are reasonably quick. 
All Arnica video modes are supported, 
including all of the .AGA mode.s as well as 
HAM-E and DCTV formats. Two t\'pes of 
dithering are available for your images, one 
useful for grevscale images, one for color. 
You can also change the vertical and 
horizontal sizes, rotate Ihe images, and 
more. 

Rend24 runs on any Amiga, including 
systems running Workbench 1 .3, and there 
are no specific memory [■ec]iiiremcnts. 
Remember that 24 bit images require a lot 



Viewtek2,l, also by 

Thomas KrehbieL is a 

program designed to 

mal<e viewing 

grapiiic and 

animation files quicl< 

and easy, no matter 

wliat their format. 



VideoStage Pro 



Low-cost , Full-featured 
Interactive Authoring System 

VideoStage Pro sports dozens of features not found on an>' other author- 
ing sy.stem. An easy-lo-usc interface, wide varicly of professional 
quality transitions, timeline view and niceties such as automatic checking 
for video "hot colors" make creating animated titles and syncing sound 
1(1 graphics and animiilions a snap. Over 60 transitions, backdrops, ibnts 
and button brushes give you the tools to get you started today! Plus use 
any of your own IFF or Anim 5 files. Support for several sound formats 
ncluding AudioMnstcr and MODS. Create siand-alone kiosks or add 
remote control feature of VideoStage Pro + and remotely manage mult- 
iple kisoks via modem or networks plus scheduled show jilay and more; 



"Video Stage Prn is clear and very easy lo gel [he hang of. It's probably 
easier to use than the Workbench." 

"VideoSuige Pro can be used on se many dilTerenl levels. You can create 
snaz/.y logos for your home videos, or produce professional presentations" 
.\iiiiKii Format March 1994 



VideoStaoe Pro $179.95 MSRP VideoStage Pro -t- $499.95 MSRP 



Upgrades from VidcoTilter or ANIMagic to VideoStage Pro available 



rJistribiued in Caiiada b_\ 
Info Touch S\ stems. Inc. 
#l()5-m8.T7Kth Ave. 
.Surrey. BC V.^W 2Y2 
Phone: 6(M-572-46.i6 



Published by 0\\'u Inc. 

PC Box 90.109 

Long Beach, CA 90809 

Phone:310-427-1227 K^A,A,l lUC. 

I-AX- il0-427-0971 '-■'" ''"' '^'^""^ Disk! 



Oxxiin 



Circle 159 on Reader Service card. 



of room, and Ibe anthor recommends at 
least three megs of ram for 768x480x24 
images. Since the only Chip ram used is for 
the actual display of an image, this should 
not be a problem. 

The distribution archiv e includes the 
program, documentation, three libraries 
that are used by the program, and a script 
to install them in your 1-ibs drawer. Also 
inchided is a small version of the following 
pi'ogram. 

Viewtek 

Viewtek 2,1, also b\' Thomas Krehbiel, 
is a program designed to make viewing 
graphic and animation files quick and easy, 
no matter what their format. A copyrighted 
but freely distributable package, the large 
archive contains eight \-ersions of the 
program, a general purpose version, and 
specific \^ersions for each of se\-en different 
display cards. The documentation is in 
AmigaCuide formal. Workbench 2.0 or 
higher is required. 

When used from the Workbench, XT 
opens a standard A5L requester for your 
selection. It will automatically decode the 
tvpe of file vou are trying to display, and 
make any ciianges necessary depending on 



vour hardware. Tool Types are used to give 
the Workbench user the same tlexibility as 
the Shell command line. This tlexibility 
includes specifying delays, animation 
speed, memory usage, and more. 

Where? 

these programs con be found in all of 
die Amiga sections of the \'arious networks. 
In the AmigaArts section of CompuServe, 
look lor R\'DLnA.l.HA,and VTEK2I.LHA. 
in the Starship libraries onGlinie, Rend24 is 
file #18420, and Viewtek is file #22806. On 
Delphi and Portal, the simplest way to find 
the files is to do a kevword search. The 
systems then display the appropriate files 
and ask if you wish lo download. Use 
Reiid24 and Viewtek as the keywords, 

Rend24 is i31,456 bytes long, and at 
2400 bps will transfer in about 1 1 minutes. 
Viewtek is 434,441 bytes and will keep your 
modem busv for about 35 minutes. 



How to reach me 
R.HaysS 
RHAYS 
72764,2066 



on GEnie 
on Delphi 
onCompuSei\e 



InlerNet users, the quickest response 
will probably occur if you use: 
R.HA YS5®GEN I E.G H1S.COM 
For U.S.Mail: 
Rob Hays 
P.O.Box 194 
Bloomington, IN 47402 
Please include a SASE if you need a 
personal reply. 

If vou run an Amiga specific BBS, send 
me the information callers will need to 
access your s\'stem. Phone numbcr(s), 
modem speeds, softu-are settings, etc. As a 
service to the Amiga community 1 will 
include the infcn'malion 1 receive in this 
column from time to time. Send the info to 
any of the addresses alxive. 

Tliai is al! tor now. Next time we will 
take a look at ray tracing software and 
more. See you on line! 

•AC* 

You May Also Write to: 

Rob Hays 

c/o Amazing Computing 

P.O. Box 2140 
Fall River, MA 02722-2i40 



October 1994 



51 



!■ I- 1° hi 



Feedback 

Letters to the Editor 



The Amiga Remains Prime Tecinnology 

Were the Amiga's Probiems 

all Commodore's fault? 



Dear AC, 

Seldom do I differ with the Bandito, but I cannot agree vvith 
his opinion that the Amiga is an un-adoptable orphan. Tlie time is 
not ripe for the passing of our favorite creative tool. In many \'erv 
important ways, the Amiga is still in a class by ilself. The competi- 
tion has been building on inlorior foundations. As an Amiga 
software developer, 1 am encouraged about the passing of Amiga 
technology into new hands, (although 1 mourn the lost jobs at 
Commodore). 1 plan to immediately increase my support and 
dc\elopment. 

Sometimes 1 must use other computers, and the more I do, the 
more I love my Amiga. The top-of-the-line software for the Amiga 
equals or excels what is a\'ailable for other computers: 
VideoToaster, OpalVision, Montage, Final Writer, SBase. ARexx, 
and the many superior paint, animation, hypertext/media, music, 
etc. programs give us a wealth of inexpensive and creative tools 
unrivaled on any platform. Add to that the millions of dedicated 
users, hundreds of inno\'ati\e software and hardware developers, 
and this combination hasn't been matched. Sometimes 1 ask 
myself, e\'en if I \vas rich and could afford any other computer 
system, would I trade? When I look around, 1 don't e\-en find a 
close second for my needs. Could 1 enthusiastically recommend 
anything else to another creati\e person? 1 don't think so. 

The .Amiga has a lot of intangible assets in all the people who 
use it and support it. These may not easily fit into a financial 
forecast, but must be recognized by the new Amiga technology 
ovvners. We are not easily discouraged. The pasture doesn't look 
greener on the other side, and isn't likely to for a number of years. 
Add to this, the liLige collection of softv^'are in the Fish collection, 
the ivide variety of development tools, the loyal and enthusiastic 
customer base, the many applications for the Amiga, the hundreds 
of TV stations daily displaying its capabilities and the industry- 
shaking peripherals by ground-breaking companies like NewTek, 
GVP, OpalTech and others how could it be prudent and rational to 
drop the Amiga now? Its possibilities are belter than ever. If you 
have been studying the future direction of software, it happens to 
be in the new kinds of network parailel processing described in the 
book Mirror Worlds. This type of softv%'are will run best with 
processor and memory efficient operating systems that multitask 



superbly. Hmm....know anything like that? We now have the 
language to get started in TorqueWare. 

The Amiga has had nine years to de\-elop, mostly left alone by 
the blind mass of computer manufacturers trudging in the 
footprints of lliM. We have developed a huge storehouse of 
capabilities that will be difficult for newcomers to match. The 
.A.miga was ahead of it.s time when it came out nine years ago, and 
is just now coming into its prime. 

lack Seav 
owner-Neuralink 
Lubbock, TX 



Commodore .Marketing.. .the cause of our troubles? 

I'm writing this article on our excellent, exciting Aniiga 4000 
computer, On the othei- side of the room, one of my children's 
friends is enjoying (he e.'tccllonce and excitement of our .Amiga 
1000, which has enjoyed the attention of all of the neighborhood 
young people since 1986. Despite the fact that these two computers 
embody just about everything that computer users have sought for 
the past ten )'ears, the children who get tLirned on to computers by 
using our Amigas live in homes and schools where the Amiga is 
never considered a viable option to purchase, i could almost echo 
the cry I've seen in print so often, "If only Commodore \vould get 

off their 's and market it right, then Amiga sales would be 

more than enoiLgh to SLipporl the product". Notice 1 said, "Al- 
most". With 20/20 hindsight, I'm seeing a bigger culprit than 
Commodore marketing strategy (or lack thereof). 

When Commodore introduced the Amiga 1000 in 1985, the 
company was taking a daring step at a crucial time in the short 
history of computers. Here's how it looks from mv perspective. 

During the fifties and sixties, as International Business 
Machines grew from a small accounting equipment company to the 
worldwide leader of a new industry, the image of white-coated 
IBM intellectuals was iconified in movies and TV, an image of 
barrier-breaking progress. This image was both lauded and feared, 
but it became thoroughly integrated with the American self-image. 

Those computers were mainframes, and belonged to the realm 



52 



Amaz/.\g Computing 



of huge corporations and government agencies. Bureaucracies 
u-ere tlic only entities that could command tlie large amounts of 
money necessary to build, program, and maintain computers. Tliey 
employed intellectiinls to actually run the machines, an uneas\' 
partnership that put man on the moon and computer-generated 
bills in e\ery mailbox. This time period also solidified a distinction 
of new'ly-povverful intellectuals from "ordinary people", whose 
lives u'ere shaped bv more traditional forces of society. (You've 
run into those forces — "It's WHO you knou', not WHAT )'OU 
know" is one of them.) 

This situation caused frictiim. Depending on your vicupoint, 
it ran a little like this: 

WE were intellectual and forward-thinking, while 
THEY \vere "bean-counters" and "yes-men". 

OR 
WE were civilized, businesslike or professional and 
THE^i' were "nerds" and "egg-heads". 

In the se\-enties, some small electronics start-up companies 
managed to break some barriers and offer computers that individu- 
als could afford. These "micro-computers" (Altair, Radio Shack 



game changed. 

When the IBM PC was introduced by IBM, Intel, and 
Microsoft, t!ie concept of personal computing swept througli the 
IBM marketing channels, reaching and encapsulating people who 
woLild never find out thai other options existed for them. 

IBM's PC junior was a computing flop and a marketing 
success that gave the first real hint of the weirdness thai was to 
follow. It was a watershed e\'ent that sent a clear message to all 
micro-computer manufacturers. It showed that IBM could 
somehow manipLilate the market even without a viable product. 
Tlie whole world (almost) stopped and waited to see what IBM 
would do next. Apple introduced the ground-breaking Macintosh, 
but the world still waited. 

Competing micro-computer companies reacted in different 
ways. Tandy sidelined its Color Computer line in favor of PC 
clones. Tandy's background still showed in their user-friendly 
desktop and their continued emphasis on color and sound, but the 
spark was gone in the name of compatibility. Texas Instruments 
backed out of tlie mass market completely. Several other compa- 
nies disappeared. Apple, buoyed by its consistent, conHnuing sales 
of high-priced Apple He's to schools, doggedly promoted the 
Macintosh— a totally mouse-driven, graphical environment. 



The quirky thing is that while computer hardware and software are 

physical versions of fast-changing intellectual concepts, those social 

forces involved in large business and mass marketing run on fame 

and fortune —that is, social position and money, 



Model lOU, Commodore PET, etc) were marketed to hobbyists and 
enthusiasts, who built and programmed them for the fun of it. 
They made their computers into tools that ^vere increasingly useful 
to them, and these early s\'stems matured into products like the 
Tandy (Radio Shack) Color Computer, the Apple He, Texas 
Instruments TI-9y, and the Commodore 64, a spunky, durable 
machine that sold more units than any other computer in the world. 
(And that, unfortunately, got the attention of the mainframe makers 
and users.) 

Maybe it was inevitable, but the low prices, appealing 
graphics, color, and sound that promised micro-computing a 
potential main-stream market also moved it into a market where 
the rules of success were different. In this market, quality i\'as 
defined in different terms. The decision to buy a convputer ivas not 
as likely to be made by an interested, intellectual experimenter 
making purchases for his or her o\\'n use, but by someone who was 
either part of a bLU'caucracy and buying for a bureaucracy or 
someone \vho was an inexperienced individual getting along by 
using the standard social crutclies ("What does everybody else 
have?"). 

Tlie quirky thing is that while computer hardware and 
software are physical versions of fast-clianging intellectual 
concepts, those social forces involved in large business and mass 
marketing run on fame and fortune — that is, social position and 
money. It's a completely different frame of reference. There is 
really only one computer company that's been around long enough 
to be socially dominant in the public unconscious — IBM, the old 
mainframe company, which by the end of the seventies was 
starting to be interested in the potential of micro-computers. IBM 
channelled part of its established resources into the game and the 



stubbornly maintaining its identity as the "computer for the rest of 
us". 

Atari and Commodore didn't backpedal, but pushed forward 
into new territon' «'ith the Atari and the Commodore Amiga. They 
brought the best of all possible computer worlds to the market — 
graphics, color, sound, mouse-driven interface .'^ND a command 
line interface. In addition, the Amiga pioneered built-in speech, 
multi-tasking, modular program functioning, and file sharing, all 
with 512k of memory. Mulri-tasking, in particular, was a little- 
understood and technically difficult accomplishment that is just 
now being attempted by the current crop of computers. No one in 
the non-Amiga world seemed to realize what it was for, but once 
vou got used to it, anything else was trash. This ums the bold step 
that Commodore took, to invest everything in the future of 
compuHng, not to conform to the prejudice of the marketplace. I 
shudder to think what the world of computers ivould be today if 
they, too, had taken the safe route and become builders of PC 
clones. 

Early Amiga users never dreamed PC's could be competition. 
How could we take a 2-color, dull, hard to learn, computing 
environment seriously? What we didn't know was that the Amiga 
was just as invisible to the mainstream world. The Amiga was not 
"what everybody had". (Neither was the IBM PC, but the force put 
in motion bv name recognition isn't subtle enough to recognize 
that). Amiga ad\'ertising ser\'ed only to whet the public appetite 
for e.Kcihng computers. At that point the cultural immune system 
kicked in and sound bites like "Amiga is just a game machine" and 
"Nobody was ever fired for buying IBM" were enough to bring any 
^vayward stragglers back to the PC fold. Amiga may have looked 
like fun, but colors and sound couldn't have any use for the serious 



October 1994 



53 



SOMETHING EXCITING IS HAPPENING IN 

ST. LOUIS 

SATURDAY, OCT. 29"" 
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USING AMIGA COMPUTERS 

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Order classes by Oct 1 & get one free admission to the show 
for each class ordered. Mail check to G.A.C. Name classes 
desired and state your name, address & phone. Allow 3 weeks 



professionnl, could they? Brnnd-new cotnpaiiit's cmild sell FC 
clones by the thousands, but that's becnusc thu mass niindli.>s.>i mind 
called them IBM-compatible, and the name-recognition still held. 

The most effective strategy in PC advertising has been n social 
ploy that's old as the hills. The PC-clone companies simply refuse 
to admit that Ihey have any competition. And it works. Once, just 
once, 1 saw an advertisement for a prominent PC clone that said it 
could run Windows "as fast as a graphics machine". The ad ne\'er 
ran again. 

So has it always been a lost cause? Was there ne\-er any way 
for our favorite computer to be accepted for its capabilities? 

Actually, it almost happened. It took an effort of miiltina- 
tiona! proportion to keep the Amiga down, Commodore made the 
Amiga functional in 512K RAM on a single floppy, but it \vas 
crying to use more. (The real breakthrough came ivtth 1MB RA.VI 
and any hard drive.) When the Amiga was iiitrodiiced, the price of 
RAM chips ivas aboLil S3 each, cheap enough that Commodore 
could realistically introduce a machine that could utili7,e 8MB of 
RAM. Hard drives were expensi\'e, but they u-ere coming down. 
Can vou imagine the impact if the first A1 0011 owners had up- 
graded to higher R.AM at the onset instead of several vears later? 

At the exact time the Amiga was introduced, "American 
computer and chip manufacturers", which doesn't mean Commo- 
dore, lobbied President Reagan and the US Commerce Dept. to 
investigate the "dumping" of cheap Japanese R.AM chips. (Intel 
was a big part of these firt>cecdings.) A trade agreement was 
reached on July 30, 1985 that caused the prices to double, triple, and 
quadruple immediately, effectively keeping a\'ailabte RAM in the 
hands of corporate buyers and keeping She .Amiga community 



waiting Lo realize Ihe polenlial only they could see. (PCs, bv the 
way, couldn't use more than 64(1K.) CJiip prices reached as hi"h as 
5\5 each, settling around S12 at the end of two years. In November 
1988, NcwTek was quoted as waiting to ship its Video Toaster 
"until the price of chips comes down." 

.At the end of that time, when prices began lo fall and Amiga 
users raced to buy R/\M, the world received the announcement that 
"Windows" would lie available "real soon now". Well, it wasn't 
soon, and it didn't run, {and it stili doesn't, quite) and it would 
invoh'e huge amounts of equipment (new computers, neiv 
processors, huge hard drives, massi\'e amounts of RAM), but the 
news \vas enotigh lo keep the IBM world focused on IBM- 
compatible ntachines. Somebody's purposes were served, don't 
\oti think? 

Was it deliberate or coincidence? Who can sav? Some things 
are bigger than we are, and hard to see, much iess to deal \s-ith. 

-At any rale, I've been uncoinfortable with most of the 
Commodore bashing that goes on. From a personal perspective, I 
have had almost 10 years of working with a highly-advanced multi- 
media computer, an experience that ivas not available from anyone 
but Commodore. The Amiga is an integral part of my Hfe, and I 
have the Amiga community, especially Commodore, to thank for 
that. I want to say thanks lo the many people who pul so much of 
their lives into what turned into a thankless job. They really did 
change the world. Is this a swan song? .Arc wq looking at the end? 

Not unless we dump everything and run. Some people wilt 
do just lliat. I don't know about yours, but my computer still has a 
lot of life in it. We can extend that life by continuing to support 
each other and the developers \\iio work for us. We can USE the 
tools ive have on our Amigas, spending a little more time in 
making ourseh-es proficient u-ith what we ha\'c. 1 kne)w it's the 
Americaii way to check the newest catalog to buy more pov^■er, but 
you get more satisfaction from being effective at using the power 
you already possess. I'm not sure what hardware I'il be using in 
the year 2001), but 1 expect lo be working with Amiga. By that time, 
ive should be able to run Amiga on any platform we want, as long 
as we remember that we want to, 

Sincerely, 

Margaret Hettinger 
Lebanon Jet, KY 

l\'/j//c / pcrfoiinlhi do not share nil of Ms. Hcffirrjji-r's ric7K, I bclkiv il is 
iiiipoitiiiit lo avi^idir v'Imt flic lm> fimi. Then' mr ii hi c/" rra.soiis for lln- 
/lj»/yrj reairiug fiidi nil nboitiiimbU' turn ofcivulf. Ccrluittli/ Coniitioiloiv 
mid its iiiiiiiagi'iiicnl Inroc a fair porliou of the bliviic. Hcdwer, nutrket 
factprs, economic frniifs, public acccptaua:, iircnll phrnscs for n portion of 
our Iii<c> ii'hich i^forcivr mil of our control. !l is itii nrca ivlicrc nv read 
rttthcr limn ncl. )s jf n conspiracy betavcii fvople toilb a separale ai^emhi, 
or if il llic imliirnl result ofclmos in action? 

Wlintever tlic case, as Ihc Atuii^n is preparctl for its next ciifri/ iiilo 
the nnirkclplace. ivc must be prepared lo reco;.;niie iittd counter Hie forces 
Ms. Hettinger described whether thep arc iipparilious ofapnthv, or Hie best 
Itiid phms of others. — Ed. 



If you have a letter for Feedback, send it to: 

Feedback 

do Aiunzittg Computing 

P.O. Box 2140 

Fall River, MA 02722 



^4 



AAf.lZIJ\'0 COMPV'IISG 



DIGIIAL IMAGE SPECIAL FX.PART XIJ: 



Custom Textures Background And Texture 

Maps Made Easy With Your Favorite Image 

Processing And 3D Animation Software 



by Williaiv Frawley 



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Figure 1: Using Aladdin4D's Gas feature (A-Top), creating 
background images is easy (B-Middle). For a more subtle 
look, consider cropping a section and enlarging it <C- 

Bottom). 



Caught amidst the burgeoning profes- 
sional texture market catalyzed by the in- 
creased storage capacity of CD-ROMs, we 
Amiga artists, animators and graphic design- 
ers may easily neglect our favorite tools of 
the trade for their own ability to manufac- 
ture many of these same types of computer 
generated imagery such as 3D image maps 
and backgrounds for video titling and desk- 
top publishing projects. With a few simple 
procedures, you can be producing your own 
background images and texture maps to add 
that all important detail required for quality 
results. 

For example, with a few clicks oi the mouse, .Madclin4D's 
extremely well-implemented gas feature can create a full-screen, 
softly diffused nebula ideal for use as a subtle backdrop for video 
titles or even inclusion into a full-color brochure. Additionally, for 
those 3D animators like myself biased toward sci-fi thome.s, your 
preferred image processor under AKexx control can readily 
produce an image of randomly-placed greyscale panels. This image 
could then double as both a diffusion and specular texture map to 
give your fleet of starships that professional "Babylon 5" look. 
Finallv, for (hose of vou u'ith flatbed scanners or \'idoo digitizing 
capability, take the time to explore your surroundings for objects 
with interesting surface properties. These surface textures once 
magnified may provide vou with just the riglit reflection map for 
your client's flying logo. 

Once you become familiar with the teehniLiues described 
below, you'll be hard-prossed not to come up with a new texture or 
backdrop for your latest project. So read on grasshopper. 

Backgrounds Courtesy Of Aladclin4D Gases 

Actually, thi.s month we'll just be getting our feet wet with this 
most excellent feature of .■\laddin4D. Next montli's topic, inciden- 
tally, will serve as a temporary shift in tliis column's emphasis from 
2D image processing toward 3D animation and modeling tech- 
niques beginning with a complete tutorial on Aladdin4D gases. For 
now hoivever, we'll take a look at just what we need to know to 
create a nice, nebulous background of swirling colors. 



October 1994 



55 




^V^^L 



tj^^.-^- 




Figure 2 (above): Scanning or digitizing aluminum foil in various 
stages of crumpledness (A) provides an excellent image for 
reflection mapping onto a 3D object (B), thus providing virtual 
clues to the object's reflected environment. 



To begin, run A!iiddin4D (I'm iisirii* version 2.1 in) and crente a 
gas using tiie menu item Polygon/Gas/Add. Ymi should now Lil> 
looking at the Gas Object Control requester (Figure 1 A), For our 
purposes here, let's try to create a blue gas with red turbulence. 
Briefly tlien, if vtiu're totally unfamiliar with Alnddin4D gases, JList 
remember that turbulence is the frnctallv-created stringlike 
filaments running through the more-or-less solid base gas. It is this 
aspect that determines the o\'orall "character" of the gas. While in 
the Gas Object Control requester then, change the following 
parameters leaving e\er)'thing else at its default; 



ATTENUATION: Solid 

TURB 2ND COLOR: 235, 0, 
STRE.NGTH: .1 

SAMPLI-:S/FIX: U) 

TURBULFNCIi: 1 

1-Ait this requester and notice the box rotating in Ihe center of 
Ihe view screen. This is the bounding box for the gas wliich should 
still be in the selected state. Press the space bar to stop the view 
rotation. Tliere are three absolute requirements in order for a ga.s to 
render — it must have some Transparency in its Attribute list, il 
must be Phong shaded, and the Render Oplions must have .selected 
both Transparency and Phong, Let's take care of these now. 

With the gas stil! selected (bounding box edges are red and 
white), select the Polygon/ At tributes... menu item. Work )'our way 
to the AttList Member Control panel after creating a new Attribute 
List in the AttList Control requester, Once there, change the color of 
tlie base polygon (gas in this ca.se) to blue with the RC;i3 sliders 
(0,0,255) and set the Transparency to 1. Exit this control panel, 
rename your Attribute List to 'TSkicGas" and Accept (he next two 
requesters. 

While the gas is still selected, open the Shading .Assign panel 
with the Polygon/Shading... menu item. Turn on Phong and exit 
lliis requester. Now open the Fill Defautis control panel under 

With a flatbed scanner or video 

camera for digitizing, creating a 

versatile reflection map for your 

3D objects is a breeze. Simply 

scan or digitize a piece of 

aluminum foil in various stages of 

disfigurement 

View/Render Options... in the menu and activate Light, Fill, 
Texiurcs, Phong and Transparency. While still in this panel, select 
the Sot Screen Mode button and choose the appropriate screen 
mode that you want your image to render in. 

Now before rendering, we ixecd to si/e the gas so it fills the 
entire screen. For this, select the Resize toc>I (3rd up from the 
bottom right) and drag out the gas bounding box both hori/ontally 
and \'erlicallv past the edges of the view screen. Now vou ctn 
tinallv set the gas with a click of the right mouse button. Press Shift- 
V^l to render the image. 




Amazi.\g Computing 




After a while, you should now hnvu your first background gas 
imnge in the bag (Figure IB). Because g.ises talce a relatively long 
lime to render, even on an '040, consider lowering the Samples/Pix 
parameter in the Gas Object Control panel. There will be less detail 
to the gas, but will render much faster. For a variation, experiment 
with the Turbulence parameters, or for a more subtle backdrop, 
consider importing this imnge into .in image processor, cropping 
out a small portion of interest and scaling that section to full screen 
size (Figure IC). See AC Volume 8, No. 7, July 1993, p.43, "Explor- 
ing Remap: A DCT\' Tutorial" for further discussion of this 
technique. 

Scanning For Image Maps 

In 3D modeling and animation, image maps (or textures in 
desktop publishing parlance) are responsible for adding realistic 
surface qualities to otherwise sterile, lifeless models. These 
photographic textures can either be purchased commercially or, as 
we shall see, created "in-house." As texture maps, these images can 
be used in a variety of mapping schemes — displacement, clip, 
transparency, luminosity, bump, diffusion, specular, reflection and 
color. Reflection mapping an object, for example, is particularly 



These photographic textures 

con either be purchased 

commercially or, as we shall see, 

created "in-house," 



useful for creating metallic-like or reflective surfaces. Because a 
reflective surface inherently lacks any immediately visible qualities, 
reflection maps provide the object with environmental clues to 
simulate true reflection. [Author's Note: This topic will be co\'ered 
extensi\-ely in future coKmins.] 

For example, flying logos are often seen with glints of light 
beams travelling across its shiny, metallic surface. What gives the 
surface away as being metallic are the apparent reflections of the 
object's immediate surroundings. Reflection mapping accomplishes 
this by pasting the desired image, or reflection map, onto the inside 
of a virtual sphere surrounding the entire 3D universe. Thus, the 
content of an image to be used in this manner is very important. For 
the glints of light effect described above, white diagonals drawn 
over a black background are usually considered. Otheru'ise, a nice 
fractal noise-like pattern does very well for simulating non-distinct 
surroundings. 

With n flatbed scanner or video camera for digitizing, creating 
a versatile reflection map for your 3D objects is a breeze. Simply 
scan or digitize a piece of aluminum foil in various stages of 
disfigurement (Figure 2A) and save the resulting images for later 
use as reflection maps. As Figure 2B illustrates, the undulating 
patterns of light and dark from the reflection map seen on the 
surface of the logos aid in the illusion that the surface has reflective 
properties; when in fact no actual ray-tracing whatsoever is being 
done. Ultimately, if reflection mapping is an option over ray-tracing 

Figure 3: Using Lightwave 3. 1 's new Displacement mapping feature, smoothly shaded patterns ideal for background textures 
are a snap. After creating o greyscale Image in DPaInt (A-Top), use f^/lodeler to make a tripled and heavily subdivided plane 
with the Box tool (B-Below A). In Layout, resize the plane to fill the screen (C-Below B) and load ttie image you created in 
DPaint. Use this image as a Displacement map on the plane object, adjusting the Texture Size for tiling (D-Bottom). Add color, 
specularity and smoothing to the Surface and render the result (E-Lett). 



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October 1994 



57 




Circle 110 on Reader Service card. 

take it. You'll save .i considet\ible ntfUHiiit of time u'hon rendering 
multiple frames in an animotitm. Incidentally, this is a LightWave 
created image. Let'.s now turn to LightWave and DPaint to create a 
more mechanicallv-looking background image. 

More Background Images Using LightWave And 
DeluxePaint 

1 must say that LightWave is undoubtedly THE most powerl^ul 
3D software available for the Amiga, and possibiv, dare I sav it, for 
any platform (sa\'e for SG platform of course). Of the many features 
new to Version 3.1, the ability to displacement map an object is 
extremely valuable, allowing one to create/alter objects that would 
be ver\' difficult to do with traditional modeling methods. 
Displacement mapping works by actuallv displacing, or shifting, an 
object's points, and hence polygons, a distance determined by the 
pixel value of an associated greyscale image. Brighter pixels have a 
greater effect on the object, darker ones leave the area undisturbed. 
With that in mind, we'll use DPaint to create an image which will 
then be used as the displacement map for a plane of polygons in 
LightWa\e. 

Enter DPaint in a 16-color, HiRes mode and arrange a 
greyscale palette. Set up a Range from white to l^lack witli the grevs 
in-between. Noiv using a series of four alternating horizontal and 
vertical Fill Types with the greyscale range you just created, draw 
out the sides of a beveled tile with the Filled Polygon tool as shoivn 
in Figure 3A. Complete the tile with a solid white rectaiiglc over the 
middle. Save this image as BevelTile. 

Enter Modeler and 2D plane in the Face \'icw using the Uox 
too! with as many X and Y segments as memory will allow, I used 



TIIO X 100. Triple these polygons and then Export this object to 
LightWave as Plane (Figure 3B). 

Enter LightWa\-e and resize the Plane so that its edges fill the 
entire screen and just beyond (Figure 3C). Create a keyframe for 
this object. From the Images menu, load in the BevelTile image that 
you created in DPaint. Now access the Objects menu and use this 
image as a planar Displacement Map on the Z-axis, setting the 
Texture Size to .1 and .1 on the X and Y axis, respectively (I'igure 
3D). This effectively tiles the image over the plane in a 10x10 
configuration. Depending on how many polygons you were able to 
subilivide the plane into, you may need to alter the Texture Size for 
more or less tiles. In other words, the more polvgons are in the 
object, the finer the detail becomes when those polvgons are 
displaced. 

Now in the Surface menu, change the object's color to your 
liking, add 25% Specularity, and turn on Smoothing. In the Camera 
menu, arrange your desired preferences for rendering. Leave 
everything else in the scene at its default and render the image. You 
should shortly have a nice, beveled tile background (Figure 3E). If 
desired, adjust the Lighting angle for more or less shading and 
highlights. See how versatile displacement mapping can be? If you 
wish, you can save this scene as a template for making background 
textures and each time simply change the image lo be used as (he 
displacement map. Let your imagination take over. 

ADPro, ARexx, and Hull Panels 

Another u'av of adding surface detail to 3D objects is through 
diffusion and specularit)' mapping. Similar to displacement 
mapping, these surfacing techniques again use the luminance 



58 



Amazing Computing 




Figure 4: With the help of ARexx and ADPro, the included macro _HullPanels.adpro produced a greyscale image to be used as 
a Specular (A-Top Left) and Diffuse {B-Bottom Left) texture map for a spaceship's hull surface in Lightwave 3D (C-Above). 



variations of nn image map to modulate the diffuse and specular 
levels of an object's surface properties. Diffuse maps determine 
what areas of the object's surface absorb or scatter received light. 
Higher diffusion values, in tliis case lighter areas of the image map, 
will scatter light more effccli\ely, thus giving Ihe object the 
appearance of being more fully lit. Specular maps are used to alter 
the surface's apparent hardness, indicated by Ihe amount and 
degree of the surface highlights. Again, high specular levels 
produce a harder surface like metal or plastic. 

As listed at the end of this article, f've written a basic ARexx 
macro for .ADPro to automatically create an image exeniplifying a 
typical texture to be used as a diffuse and specular map for the hull 
of a ship. This image of randomly placed greyscale piinels would 
then be used as a diffusion map to modulate the shading of an 
object's surface color ivith the luminance variations of the map. The 
advantage here is that if you wanted to change the color of the 
entire object, vou would simpK' change the Surface Color \'alue 
without Ka\'ing to recoloreach panel in the image map. Similarh', 
this .same image could then be used as a specular map to modulate 
regions of hardness, hence specular higlilighting, of the object's 
surface. This would break up the light reflections for more 
convincing surface properties (1-iguro 4C). Thanks Mojo. 

Using ARexx on a A2tl0ll equipped with a GVP '040 accelera- 
tor, I was able to create a 752x480 panel textured image map with 
_HullPanels.adpro in under 42 seconds (Figure 4A). 1 can onlv 
imagine how long this \\'ould ha\'c taken by hand. For further 
realism however, 1 ivould supplement this image with additional 
CListom blemishing like exhaust or bin-n marks in another 24-bit 
paint program like Imagel-X or OpalPaint, Using this ARexx macro 



merely provides a nice base image of random panels to start things 
off. Again, I've commeixtcxl the code fairly well so you can figure 
out what's going on. However, I did run into one problem... 

A Word About ADPro's BackDrop/BackLine ARexx 
Implementation 

It doesn't work. At least, as of this writing, not correctly. When 
1 attempted to throw in some gradient panels for variety, the ARexx 
implementation for ADPro's gradient BackDrop and Backline 
loaders wouldn't accept the gra)' \-alues, or in Backline's case, the 
directional orientation either (only the NW and NE parameter 
actualh' i\'orked). The values that were used came from the 
configuration file that was saved when ADPro was last used 
manuallv. 1 haven't yet called Tech Support on this matter so there 
is still hope. 1 will definitely try to refine this macro for more and 
better random detail, but to do so it will need con\ersion to one of 
the more versatile image processors with regionalized painting like 
IniageFX and OpalPaint. Don't hesitate to play around with the 
parameters to see what \'ou can come up with though. 

Epilogue 

As you can see, with the appropriate software there are 
numerous ways at your disposal for creating various background 
images and texture maps in a pinch, especially for those on a 
budget. Stay tuned next month when we'll begin our journey into 
the world of 3D modeling and animation. 



October 1994 59 



IMITIALI2E VMI*B!.ES. Since we're starting with a dark 
urey backgro-jna, the subsequent panois i^iei will he 
solid white or a gradient with a variable Mix value 
resulting in ijanels ranging from very light grey to the 
initial bac5cground eolor. 



** __HullPanelfl. edpro 

*• SVER: _HullPanelB.adpro 1.1 (July 1.1994) 



DESCKI?TIOSl 

This ?J>?ro macro creates a grayscale bitmap of various* 
sijed rectangles to b« used as a ship hull image/cextutfl 
map (ie. color, dlEfusion^ specularity) in toosc 3D 
modelling and animation software such as Lightwave^ 
Aladdin4&, and Imagine . 

HEQtJlftEHEWTS ; 

Hone this time! 

HOTE; 

For convsnience. X put all HY macros in the "CoOTiandsJ" 
subdirectory and prepend them with an underscore "_" so 
that they will sh^w up in the "User Commanda" window of 
the ADPro interface and the underscore flatus them as 
being written by me, 

CREDITS : 

willian Frawley {aoroe portions adapted from asdg siacroe} 



KiOMii!"! /• lit Mhite panaltSSV BasaValue •/ 

MaxMin-lS /• 75^ Mhlte panel * SSH BaseValue •/ 

LowM=H%20 /■ Hininam Panel height is S\ oi Image height ■/ 

HighH-H^S /■ Maximum Panel height is 12.5^ oE Image hgt •/ 

/' This next line randomly determines the unifnEm height 
•• of all panels, ranging from 1/10 to 1/4 of the height 
•• oi the entire image map. 
•/ 
PanelH.RAHDOM I LowH, aighH, seed I 



OCfsetXid 
OffsetYit 
BaseValSO 



/• Top-Left offsets for panel placement "/ 

/* Grey value for initial bacj^ground map */ 
/* Alternatively, use RAHDOHi 1, 150, Seed) ♦/ 



PillV=255 /• Color Value (white! o£ each Bacltdrop panel •/ 

/■ composited over the initial background map */ 

MaxD.VMOQ /• Hondom * of detail elenents mai lii of W •/ 

DOffsetX=l /• Top-Left origin for detail panel placement •/ 

BHixslOO /• Mix all detail panels at lOOH for contrast •/ 



Create Background 



OPTIOHS RSSOLtS 



ADDRESS "ADPrc" 



Loader "Backdbop- "Dummy- M H GRAY FILL Basev BaaeV BaseV 

IF (RC -= 0) THS.1 DO 
ADPR0_T0_FK01!T 

OKAYl "Sorry, BACKDROP Loader railed ! " 
CALL ErrorOut 10 
IQItl 



HL = 'OA'X /• Shorthand Hex representation of a Linereed */ 

THOE a 1 

FALSE = 

TempDefaulte = "T;Teflq>ADProDetaults" 



** Save the current environment. 



SATO DEFADITS TeTODcfaults 



Ask Oser For Seed # For Random Huiftber Generator 



GetHuj^ber '"Enter Seed tt ..."' 1 1 999 
IF (EC -- 01 THEH DO 

ADPRO_TO_FE0NT 

OKAYl "Sorry, No tt Entered! - 

CALL ErrorOut 10 

EHD 
SeedcADPEO_HESlJLT 



*• Ask Oser For Image Dimensions 



GetNumber '"Enter WIDTH of image"' 7S2 50 16383 

IF (RC -= (^) THEH DO 

ADFRO_TO_FR0NT 

OKAYl "Sorry, Bo It Entered 1" 

CALL ErrorOut 10 

END 
W=ADPEO_HSSaLT 

CetHumber '"Enter HEIGHT of image" 4 BO 50 16393 
IF (RC -o 0) THEN DO 

ADPRO_TO_FEOHT 

OKAYl "Sorry, Mo # Entered!" 

CALL ErrorOut 10 

END 
B>ADWO_EESaL':' 



•* Create Panels 
*/ 

DO WHILE OffsetY<H /• Process until reach bottom H •/ 

DO WHILE OE£setX<W /• Process until reach right side W ■/ 

Panelw.HA!TO!M(W^50.tA10,Seedl /• Between 2-10% o£ « •/ 

Mix=RAKDOH[HinMix,WaxMix,Seed) /• Composite % *f 

CALL Fill /* Uncomment the following when bug fixed */ 



/* As of yet, I still cannot get the ARexx veraton of 
** BACKDROP gradient and BACKLIWE to work correctly. 

Type^EAMDOM ( 1 , 4 , Seed 1 
IF Typec=2 THES CALL Pill 
IF Type=3 THEK CALL BackLine 
ELSE CALL Gradient 



of£setx=0£fsBtX*PanolW 
EHD 

SeedsRANDOMd, 999, Seed) 
O£faat)C=0 /• 

Of faatYzOffsetY+panelH 
E^<D 



/• Draw next Panel here */ 
/■ End DO OffsetX •/ 

/* Reset Seed ^ for next row ■/ 

Reset left start panel position */ 

/• Start next row here */ 

/• End DO OffsetY •/ 

/* Reset for detail panel loop *t 



'" Create Detail 
•/ 

DO WHILE offsetYeH /• Process until reach bottom H •/ 

DTotal«RANDOH(l,MaxD,Seed] 

DO i = l TO DTotal 

DOffEetX.RAHDOHfDOffsetX,DOfEsetX*WMJTotal,Seed) 
DOffsetY=EAKDOM[ot£BetY«l,OffsetY*PanelR,Seed> 
D«ldthiEA.>nxsj(S,VPi20,Seed) /* S pixels - SH W •/ 

DHeight sRANDOM ( 5 , Pane 1H%2 , Seed I 

DValue=RAllIOM ( 1 , 255 , Seed 1 



60 



Amating Computing 



operator "RECTANGLE" DOffsecK DOtfsetY IWidth DHeight , 
"-1" DVfllue DValue DValue DMix 

IF (ac -= 0) THEN ITE^TE 

rwf f3etX=Vf"5tDTotal«i /• Next placement here •/ 

geed=RAHl30H{l, 999rSeedJ /* Resec Seed # for next pass '/ 

EHD 

D0ffB0tX=l /■ Reset horiz offset to lefthand aide -/ 
OffsetYsOffsetY+PanelH /• SEart next row here */ 

Seed-RAHDOM(lr999,Seed) /• Reset Seed # Eor next pass »/ 



Okayl "Finished! 
CALL ErrorOut 



/**** n **************** t«t9ttr9lrli*liliir'^lrii^'»if»**** *»* t******** / 
/* IHTEMIAL ?UHCTIOHS */ 

J****»1l1l****************»f*1t±«fl1rt»rll*' ****************•****/ 

ErrorOut; 

PARSE ARG ExitCode 

IF (exists; TempDefaulta )} THEH DO 
LOAD_aEFAtJLTS Temp Defaults 
IF (RC -= 0) THEN DO 
ACPPO.,TO_FHONT 

OKflYl "Error restoring Setting's." 
EHT 

ADDRESS COHMAND "Delete >NIL:" Ten?! Defaults 
END 

EXIT ExicCode 



Loader "BACKDROP" "Duirany" PanelW PanelH GRAY FillV FillV, 
FillV COMPOFFSET OffGStX OffEetY COMPHIX HiJC 

IF (RC -= 0) THEH DO 
ADPR0..T0_FROKT 

OKAYl "Sorry, BACKDROP Loader Failed!" 
CALL ErrorCniC 10 
END 




NEW one hour instructional video 

by D. L. Richardson 
FRACTAL FREEDOM . . $35 

Also available 
ANIMATION 101 $25 

Or get both for only $50 

MYRIAD VISUAL ADVENTURES 

1219 N.W. 79th Street 
Oklahoma City, OK 731 14 




Circle 1 15 on Reader Service card. 



Loader "BiCKLIllE" "Damy" PaneXW PanelH GHAY Pos "H", 

GBAWALS a ll c COMPOFFSET OffsetX Offsety COMPHIX 100 



SsIiMIDOK(l,2S3,Seedl 
b>RAHDOK<1.255,Seedl 
c=BABBOK{l,255,Eeedl 
d=RMJBOKa,255,Se«ll 

Loader "Backdrop" "Etummy" PanelW PanelH GRAY "UL" a a a "UR" b b b, 
"LL- ecu "I,B" add COMPOFFSET OffsetX OffsetY COMPMIX 100 



IF (aC -= 0) THEH DO 
AI>PKO_TO_.FtiOm 

OKAYl "Sorry, BACKLINE Loader Failedl" 
CALL ErrorOut 10 
Em 



IF (RC -B 0) THEN tX> 
ADPHO_TO_FH0MT 

OKAXl "Sorry, Gradient backdrop Loader FailedJ" 
CALL ErrorOut 10 
END 



•AC* 



flETDHH 



POB=RAHDOK(1, 100, Seed) 
a=0 

b-RAIfI)OH[:,255,Seed) 
c»25S 



/• Middle color position •/ 
/* 3. componeacs of backline •/ 
/• greyscale values */ 



Please Write to: 
Wiliiam Frawley 

c/o Amazing Computing 
P.O. Box 2140 

Fall River. MA 02722-2] 40 



October 1994 



61 



Video Transitions using ARexx 

In/ ja^-oji R. Hardy 

Writing a script may seem like an imposing task at first, 

but if it is broken down into a few concise sections the 

task becomes much easier. 



Art Depiirtmont Professional is a powerful tool for professional 
Amiga users. It is not a toy, yet can be enjoyable to use. ASCG 
included a large number of interesting effects, but no easy way to 
use most of them in an nnimntion. FRED is great for simpler tasks, 
such as combiniti}; a large luimber of frames into an animation, 
however; when it comes to creating brand new animations, it can 
be difficult to achieve the desired results even with the included 
tutorials and scripts. 

The best way to get all the power oitl of most of the operators 
is to write an ARexx script to control them or use one of the 
programs now available to help automate the writing process. After 
all, who would want to perform an operation manuallv on a 500- 
frame animation? But contrary to what a large number of people 
may think, writing and designing an ARe^x script is easier than 
neurosurgery. 

The purpose of this article is not to leach the ARexx basics, but 
rather to help someone who uses ADPro and would never consider 
using ARexx for anything. Writing a script mav seem like an 
imposing task at first, but if it is broken down into a few concise 
sections the task becomes much easier. 

To simplify the task, it is useful to divide the writing process 
into three areas: the idea, or what you want the script to accom- 
plish; (he theory, or u-hich operators in combination can be used to 
give the desired effect; and the actual writing of the script. 

Getting an idea can be the hardest of the three steps - after all, 
the effect being produced should be both effective and visuallv 
pleasing. One way to get inspired is to walch a T.V. channel which 
may ha\'e a fair number of visual effects, such as a home shopping 
channel or a pay-per-vie\v advertisement channel. 

Once }'0u ha\e an idea, ],'ou must decide how to implement it. 
Unfortiinatelv, there are few shortcuts. However, if \ou have e\en 
a \'ague impression ol how lo accomplish the effect, yoti should go 
into ADPro and try out a few scenarios to manually approximate 
vour theories. This will help vou decide what works or at least 
what doesn't work. Often, it is quite helpful if you draw the effect 
on a piece of paper and then work from the drawing instead of 
from memory. 

rinoUv, we haw come to the implementation of the theory. If 
you ha\-e ne\'ci- used Afiexx before, I would suggest that you look 
tltrough the scripts which come \vith ADPro. They can pro\'ide a 
wealth of information about how to write your own ARexx .sci'ipt. 

Howe^'er, in order to get an idea, you must be aware of the 
capabilities of the program. Therefore, a few examples of ADPro 
effects will be pro\-ided to help vou get some ideas. 

Compositing 

ADPro not only provides operators to manipulate iiidi\idual 
images, but also gives the user the abi!it\' to composite two images 
together. In all of the examples, compositing is the basis for the 
transititms. We will start with the simplest transition - the fade. All 



that is invoK'ed is changing the "fade factor" in each frame. To see 
how this is accomplished, take a look at Script #1. 

Tlie roll operator may seem like a fairly simple operator with 
little use by itself, but it does have some definite uses — especiallv in 
transitions between two screens. For example, one transition that 
can be created using only roll wotild be a "push" style transition, 
ivhere it appears that one image is pushing the other off the screen. 
To accomplish this, use Script #2, which uses the principles from 
the first script with the roll operator. 

Of course, composihng can be used in many other ways. In 
fact, if you do a "two-step" eiimposition, virtually any effect can be 
achieved. A "two-step" composition refers to using an intermediary 
image, generally consisting of two colors. For our example, black 
and white will he used, imagine that there is a white circle in the 
middle of a black background. This new picture should be the same 
size as the other two images. 

To start the effect, load the first image. Then load the interme- 
diate image using compositing and allow the transparent color to 
bo white, if you were to \-ic^v the picture nou', there should be a 
circle in the middle of the image v\'hich contains the center of the 
other image. The rest of the screen should be black. Now s,i\'e this 
temporary image and load the second image. Finally, load the 
temporary image using compositing with a transparent color of 
black. If you were to \-iew the resulting picture, there sliould be a 
circle with the center of tlie first image which is surrounded by the 
second image. This example is cssentialiv the same as example four 
in tlie tutorial section of the .ADPro manual, except that this 
example does not use the alpha channel option because some older 
versions of ADPro do not have it. It is important that you under- 
stand ttiis example. It is the basis for the following examples. 

Animated Transitions 

The use of the alpha channel gives an interesting effect, but is not 
terribly useful in its present form for animations. So, we must 
modify it so it v\ill allow us to change the image sequentially. The 
first step is to create a new intermediary image; however, this one 
must be three times as long along the x axis (i.e., if the original 
images are 320x200, the intermediary' one must be 960x200). Now, 
draiv a pure white line on the intermediary image (this assumes 
that the intermediary imago size is 960x200) fi'om 320,199 to 639,0. 
No\v fill in the region below the line with the same white. Then, be 
.sure that the region to the right of the white triangle is also white all 
the wav to the end of the image. This is done so that we may 
gradually change the picture bv moving the intermediary image 
along the x axis i\hen compositing it onto the first image. 

To create this new animation, increment the x position of the 
intermediate image when it is being composited onto the hrst 
image. The parameters for the compositor in ARexx are as follows: 
LOAD |fi!ename| Xoffset ^'offset "i.composition transRed 
transGreen transBlue. See Script #3 for the complete code. This 



62 



Amazinc CoMPvriya 



effctl could also be done in FRED, but would probably require 
more work, and would not be as easy to tweak to get exactly ^vhat 
you want. This is a major benefit of ARexx scripts. 

Of course, this script can be modified in many ways; for 
example, this transition could be performed vertically. Another 
interesting variation of this theme is using a multicolored interme- 
diary image. To do this, create an image with dimensions of 
74Ux2(K). The pixels from 0,0 to 419,199 should be black and the 
pixels from 420,0 to 739,199 should be u'hite. 

This image can be divided into three parts. The first part, from 
0,0 to 319,199 should be entirely black and, when composited, will 
let the viewer see the entire first image. The second part, from 420,0 
to 739,199 should be entirely white, to allow the second image to be 
seen. The third part, the middle, can contain anything you wish. For 
example, it could contain an eagle pulling the second picture 
over the first picture, or anything vou desire. If you have a 24-bit 
paint program, the middle can be quite realistic. 

You may even want to try using a digitized image. The only 
restriction is that the background of this middle section must be 
black if you wish it to be transparent. Another variant would be to 
use the roll operator in conjunction with compositing to give the 
impression that the first image is being pushed away by the second 
one. This \'ariation is shown in Script #4. 

The scripts provided with this article are relatl\-ely simple 
ones. ARexx scripts can be as complex as you desire, with very few 
limitations. The provided scripts should help in overcoming the 
initial hurdles in writing scripts if you are doing it manually, or, if 
you have one of the automation programs, by giving you new ideas 
on how to create new effects. 



LcitD[n]( 



Script #1 



«» A simple script that uses 
•• conpoaiting to go from 
** one Ima^e to anothef. 



ADDRESS "ADPro" 
OPTlOtlS REStlLTS 

numfraoea = 3C 

fadefactor = 

Htartimage = "WorJciPicL. IFF" 

endlmage = "Work : pic2 . IFF" 

animname ^ "Work: Teat Anim" 

DO 1 c»p = 1 to nuir.f r ame s 



Change the weight of the 
image lo be conifioalted. 



fadefactor-fadetactor+lOO/nuinf rallies 



LFORMAT "IFF" 
LOAD atartifflage 



Add the aecond i&wge to 

tha Eirst and remove decimala- 



tmncFade - Cnincl fadefactor) 

LOAD endimage cruncFade 

DiTHEH 1 
REIfiDER ,TYPE HAM 
EXECUTE 

SFORHAf "ANIM" 

SAVE animname IMAGE AP&EJID 



SFORMAT "ANIM" 

SAVE animiiaTiie IMAG2 WRAPOP 



Script #2 



••A sample script using the 
*• roll operatD'r to "puah" 
** one im^ge off the acreen. 



ADDRESS "AUPrO" 
OPTIONS RESULTS 



ntLTi frames - 20 



** Generally zero. 



rightrollval 



•* Generally equal to the 
** width oE the imagea^ 
*/ 

leftrqllval > 320 
picwldth o IZO 

Btarttcnage = -WorlciPicl-IFF'' 
endiinage = "Work :PLc2 .IFF" 
animname = "WOj-kiTestAnim" 
temppic ^ "PJJ^jTen^jPic.lF?" 

DO loop = 1 to numframea-1 



*' increment the roll amount 

•* for the two images and truncate 

•• any decimal value. 



rigbtrollval = rightrol Ival+pic width /numf ranieH 
leftrollval = leftrollval-picwidth/numframea 



truncRlght = truflcUiflherollval) 
tnincLefC = trunc(leftrollvalJ 



LFDRMAT "IFF" 
LOAD star^image 



OPERATOR "nOL.1." "SIGHT" truncRight NO_WRAP 



^" Puts the first image into 

*' a buffer, vhere it is loaded 

•■ later using the compositing 

'• option to add it to the second 

•• image. 



SFORMAT "IFF" 
SAVE teii5>pic RAW 

LOAD endlsiage 

OPERATOR "ROLL" "l^FT" truncLeft KO_WRAP 

LOAD tenrpic 100 

DITHER 1 
REHDEH_TYPE HAM 
EXECUTE 

SFORHAT "ANIM" 

SAVE an i mn a m e IMAGE APPEND 



" ADPro's ROLL operator wiU 

•" not allow an image to be rolled 

•• by the width of the image, 

»• therefore, the final image must 

** be loaded separately. 



LOAD endimage 

DITHER 1 
RENDER .TYPE HAM 

EXECUTE 



October 1994 



63 



SfOHHAT "ANIM" 

SAVE acimiiaiae IKAGE AfPEHD 

SA'/E animname IMAGE WllAPDP 



Script #3 



** A script which uae& a 
** middle 8&W liaatre ae a 
** pattern for a transition^ 



ADDRESS "ADPro" 
OPTIONS RESULTS 



numf r&meB=2'0 



Size of the intermediate inage 



intemiiediBteX o 960 

imageX = 320 /• Picture size •/ 

sizeX i intemediacex - imageX 
whereX =^ /" How mjch to roll •/ 

startpic = "Work : Pic 1 . 1 FF" 

endpic = "Worl";:Pic2.IFF" 

Int&tiaediiite £ "WorkiBackground-ITF" 

bufferfile = "PAMfTenipPic.IFF" /* Temporary file •/ 

animnftiM = ''W3r)t;TeBtAnim'' 

DO loop = 1 to numframea 
LFOEMAT "IFP" 
LOAD Etartpic 



•• i^oadfl and coinpoBites the 

** "transition" Hcreen, then 

*• Bavea it for later conroBitian. 

■* Uflea black as the transparent 

** color so tlie £irst image is 

** unchanged where blacfc existed 

** in the intermediate, but white 

•* was laid directly onto the 

•• original image. 

V 

rouiidX=trunc(whereX} /* Hakes am integer 

LOAD Interinedlate roundX LOO 

SPOBMAT "IFF" 

SAVE bufferfile HAW 

LOAD endpic 



■ * Coii^raa itea the image 
•* saved earlier. 



LOAD bufEerfilQ D 100 255 255 255 



P.EHDER_rYPE KAM 
EXECUTE 



** Changes the offset fof 
** the next frane. 



whereX^whereX-EizeX/(numfrairBB-l) 



SFORHAT "ANIM" 

SAVE aniEQeme image APPEHD 



SFORMAT "ANIH" 

SAVE animnama IKAGE WRAPUP 



Script #4 



■• A script which uses ft 24-bit 

•• intermediate Iniage ae a 

•• pattern for the transition. 



ADDBPSS "ADPro"' 
Oe^lOHS RESULTS 



Width ^ 320 /* Width of the image •/ 

middle - 100 /* width of the middle block */ 

aizeX ^ width * ndddle 

whereX ^^ o /• Generally zero •/ 

startimage ^ "Vi'orkipicl.IFF" 

endinage - "Work : Pic:2 , IFF" 

intemediate - "Work : Calor3ackgroiind. IFF" 

teiEppic = "RAM:Ten5iPic.lFF" /• A buffer tile •/ 

animname = "HorX:TefltAiilm" 

DO loop B 1 to numfr&inefi 



This changes the value reqpiired for 
rolling the first image to the left. 
If it is negative, ADPro does not roll. 

rouxidX = trunc(wherex> 

rollvar = -roundX - middle 

LFORHAT "IFF" 

LOAD s^arrimage 

OPERATOR "ROLL" "LEFT" rollvar NONWRAP 



** Loadg and ccicpoBites the 

** intermediate image onto the 

** original, leaving the original 

** untouched after the roll, but 

** adds the middle image giving 

*• movement (i.e., biplane, logo). 

** Also changes black portion of 

** screen to white for later 

** composition. 



LOAD intertceciate roundX 100 



SFORMAT "IFF'^ 
SAVE temppic RAM 



LOAD end image 



"* Changes value needed for moving 
** the second inage to the left 



rollvar = siiieX + rovmdX 

OPERATOR "ROLL" "RIGHT" rollvar NO_WHAP 



* * Loads and cozcpOBi tes the first 
** image onto the second one. 



LOAC CetiTPic 100 355 25^ 255 

DITHER 1 
REtfDER.TYPE HMl 
EXECUTE 



Change the offset of 
the next fraioe. 



whereK=whereX*s izeX/ (numf rames - 1 1 



SFORMAT "AN IK" 

SAVE animnaiGe IMAGE ASPEND 



SFORMAT "ANIH" 

SAVE Bni]nnaine IMAGE WRAPlfP 



•AC* 



Please Write to: 
Jason R. Hardy 

c/o Amazing Computing 
P.O. Box 2140 

Fall River, MA 02722-2140 



64 



Amazing CoMfurisa 



Two for the Fun of It 

bi/ R. Shnnmis Mortier 

Having fun with BoomBox and Mand2000 

Look, let's not kid ourselves. About twenty-five percent (maybe) of the reasons that 
people buy Amigas is to do the kind of professional applications with graphics, 
animation, and sound that the platform is capable of. The rest "just want to have fun" 
(to paraphrase a song by Cyndi Lauper). Being creative means exploration, and it 
turns out to be very personally empowering to engage in creativity of any kind, and it 
is indeed fun. 



Witli tliat in mind, then, allow me to 
turn you on lo hvo programs that will give 
voii lioiirs of cnjovment. Not tliiit they 
aren't also capable of addressing some \ery 
professional possibilities, but let's forget 
that for the moment. Let mc walk you 
through thom so you can have one heck of a 
good time. 

BoomBox: Fun with Audio 

This program is thrown in as a frcebcc 
by Dr. T's Software when you purchase 
their more major wares. BoomBox' 
documontation's co\'er page even says 
"Interactive Musical Fun", tipping you off 
as to its reason for existence. BoomBox is 
what it says, and its screen demonstrates 
that fact by bringing a big tapc-player-like 
graphic into view. It's covered with 
gadgets, just like the real boomboxes 
carried around on the shoulders of 



gcneration-X music hoppers. The playful 
graphic interface hides the awesome power 
for creative enjoyment that thesoftivarc 
re\"eals as you get used lo its secrets. 

The front of the graphic BoomBox has 
tape player controls just as you would 
expect: Play, Stop, Rewind, Fast Forward, 
and Record. Plav brings up the music that 
you choose from a Load menu at the top of 
the screen. BoomBox comes vk^ith eight 
songs ready to play. Separate volume 
sliders for each of the Amigas four IFF 
sound channels are also available for 
interactive editing of the playback. A visual 
"tape counter" also displays where you're 
at as the song plavs. But here's the real fun. 
There are six possible interactive real-time 
sound effects buttons as well, and a whole 
library of IFF sound samples that plug into 
these activators (you could also load in 
vour own sounds here). Funky, funky. 



funkv! Grunts and moans, shouts and 
groans, riffs from horns and lots more. You 
can insert these sounds at any time o\-er the 
music being played. It sounds so authentic, 
especially if played through a sound 
system, you feel like a studio engineer. 
Your whole interactive session can be 
recorded as you go, played back, atxd then 
saved as a separate song u-hen you're 
satisfied. 

Then there's the "ReMix" screen. This 
is where you can record your own mix, 
change the tempo, and add effects with the 
FX sliders. Current measures can be 
retriggered to play again or even lopped to 
plav in a repetitive cycle. Small circular 
"solo pads" trigger six stored effects as 
well. A separate "Jam" screen is used for 
more creati\'e interaction when recording. If 
you change the fadors during a recording 
session, the playback will move the faders 



Figure I. The BoomBox 
Main Interface, ReMix, 
and Jam screens. 




October 1994 



65 



as you set them. There are keyboard 
equivalents throughout, and some are set to 
play various other effects on specific songs. 
Drum, Bass, and Synth patterns can be 
changed in real time by toggling graphic 
buttons in a special "Back Panel". The 
duration, repeatability, and pitch of effects 
is also under your control. In case you lose 
the manual or forget what you're doing, an 
interactive on-screen help menu is 
available. 

The only negatives that 1 can imagine 
an Amiga boomboxer dwelling on might be 
the fact that this is obviously IBM-first 
software, as witnessed by the quantity and 
variety of IBM references in the manual. 
You are also limited to the music on-board, 
and cannot load in your own (nor is this 
MIDI compatible), Even with all of these 
facts, however, 1 still had a blast with the 
BoomBox. 

MAND2000: Fun with Fractals 

If I were a gambling man, I'd bet a 
silver dollar that you will not he able to put 
this softivare down once you get into it, 
MAND2000 is to video what BoomBox is to 
audio, and it's groat fun as well. The word 
"fun" is directly related to "redraw speed" 
in this case. If you've ever played with 
fractal image generators, you probably 
remember that the speed with which the 
screen redraws can either enhance or 
deflate your enjoyment. MAND2000 has the 
fastest redraws of complex Mandelbrot 
images that I have e\'er seen, and this speed 
allows you to experiment more. Exploration 
of a Mandelbrot image is accomplished by 
zooming in on areas of interest and 



exploring deeper. You can even zoom in 
before an image is finished redrawing, 
^vhich in\'itcs long sessions of exploration. 
If you gel lost, you can even generate a 
picture of the "parent fractal" to see how far 
you've gone and how far you want to go. 
E\'erything about this program is super 
friendly and alluring. 

Although there is what appears to be a 
limited number of fractals that can be 
loaded in from dl.^k, "limitation" is not the 
name of this program. To access the full 
potential of the variables involved, you ivill 
need an AGA machine. That's because the 
real deal, 256 colors, is not available on an 
ordinary non-AGA Amiga. You will need 
256 color displays, and you'll appreciate my 
reasoning, when you see these screens color 
cycle. If this software was available in the 
'60's, I doubt that half the population 
would have returned from Nirvana. 

Let's look at some of the waj's that you 
can manipulate a MAND2000 fractal 
graphic screen. To begin with, there's the 
exploration possible with a normal zoom in 
/ zoom out feature, the increments of 
which can be set. Remember through all of 
this that redraw is very fast, even on non- 
AGA machines (less than 31) seconds in 
most cases). "Box Zoom" is another way to 
explore. With this feature, you control an 
area magnification box that's set to the 
aspect ratio of yoLir resolution. Tiny areas 
can be looked at very quickly, and box 
zooms are possible even in the middle of 
screen redraws. 

Another wa\- of changing things is to 
alter the color palette, perhaps by creating 
new colors or new spreads of colors. Tills is 



*/"t Ir^rU »t*njsp 

Club rill rinv llNIHl«f lltrtit 

_^^ AhvM BBBd latatlon 




especially nice for making smooth color- 
cycling animations. You may also switch 
from Mandelbrot to Julia Set screens, and 
change the variables of the Julia Set "Seed 
Number" while you're at it (and watch the 
graphic change accordingly). 

More? How about changing the Color 
Mapping of the screen, accomplished by 
choosing from four "types" (Repeated, 
Front Spread, Back Spread, Spread, Mono, 
and Filled Mono). The "Mono" settings arc 
wonderful for getting black and white 
drawings to print or texture map with. Not 
to forget, the movement of the entire screen 
at any depth is always mouse-interactive. 
This means that you can interactively pan 
any graphic and watch as the screen 
redraws the new position qitickly. The 
Colour Mapping window also has two 
sliders that effect the graphic: "Skip" and 
"Offset". 

The "P" word 

1 promised that I wouldn't use the 
ivord "professional" in this article, but since 
I've reached the end, I'm going to slightlv 
break that promise. If you want to use these 
programs for professional %'idcographic 
applications, they're both quite up to it. You 
can record hiphop sound tracks from 
BoomBox, and beautiful fractal video from 
MAND2000. All you need in both cases is 
the right recording equipment. In fact, why 
not record some cycling Mandelbrot 
animations with a BoomBox soundtrack. 
Now that would be both fun and exquisite! 
ENJOY! See you in ROMulan space... 



•AC> 



BoomBox 

MSLP; S49.95 

Dr. T's Music Software 

1 24 Crescent Road, Suite 3 

Meedham, Mass 02194 

(617)455-1454 

Inquiry #209 

MAND2000 

MSLP; S49.95 

Cygnus Software 

33 University Square, #199 

Madison, Wl 53715 

Inquiry #210 



Figure 2. You can open as many separate MAND2000 screens as memory will allow, 
and Itiey can all be in Hi-Res as well. Nol only that, but they can all color cycle at 
the same time. 



66 



Amazing Computing 




oomers 



Inf The Baudito 



Alternative Platforms, and Other Things 
Amiga Users Should Avoid. 



[T/ii-'ji' stoft'Hii'iifs and prOfCClioiK prcfCiHeil ii> 
"Roomers" nrc niiiu'y^ in llw iniiffl >i')j>t'. Tl!C 
I'its of iiifoyiiinlhiit nic i^ntlicrcd b\/ ii thinl-jiarli/ 
source from ititi^peis imidc the itiduflry. Al 
press time, tliesc rumors remiuti uncoiifirtued 
and are printed for entertainment value onh/. 
Accortlingly, the staff ami associates of 
Amay.m^ Computing caniiol be held 
rcspoiisiiilefor tlie reports made in this (olumn.l 

Third-Party Developers: 

Caught In The Wake 

Ciimniodorc's demist? has sl'iiI 
several iliird-piirty de\'olopfr.s into rougli 
financt.il waters. Various hardware 
manufacturers have had sizable layoffs of 
personnel, as it became clear that Amigas 
were not going to be returning soon lo rct.iil 
stores and snles of peripheral hardware 
dropped accordingly. Hoiv can you tell the 
financial impact of their losses? Check out 
the advertisements in the magazines — or 
rather, those ads that ii.'sed to bo there. Some 
of the major advertisers who u.'^ed lo bin- 
many pages have reduced or elimijiated 
their ad buys. That's usually a sign that 
they just don't ha\e the nionev to place the 
ads. 

Worse still, development of new 
hardware has been sbwed, if not halted at 
some places. While there's stil! a large 
installed base of .'Xiniga o\vners to cater to, 
many hard-ivare companies depend on a 
large chunk of new users for sales on man\ 
of their items. With new Amiga users an 



endangered species right now, hardware 
sales have fallen. Thus spending on new 
project.'; has been reviewed, and in many 
cases cut back. We can still expect to see 
high-profile projects like 68060 accelerator 
cards, though, since there's likely to be a 
good demand for such items. Even with 
those prospects, though, hardware makers 
are struggling, and many are looking to 
other platforiTis for future sales. 

The software makers aren't in any 
better shape, generallv. Those that arc left 
ali\e are accelerating their de\'elopmenf 
efforts on other platforms. Look al ASDG; 
the\''\'e e\'en changed their name to Elastic 
Realit\' Inc., to reflect their new focus on the 
product of the same name for the Macin- 
tosh and SGI. Oh, wq can expect some new 
wrsions of Amiga software for a u'hile 
from most of the big companies, but count 
vourself luckv if there's more than one 
major new upgrade for any Amiga softivare 
package. Se\'erai prominent Amiga 
developers ha\'e committed to continued 
support for their products, though, and 
that's good news. The best way to look al 
the situation is that those Amiga developers 
v^'ho are still around have weathered some 
\'ery tough times, and they're not about to 
wander off now. Those companies will be 
as loyal to the Amiga fans as the .Amiga 
fans have been to them, which is consider- 
able. 

.And what about maif-order firms? 
There are some nasty tales floating around 
about hoiv some places will cheeriullv take 



vour order, claiming the product is in stock, 
and e\'en charge your credit card for it. 
Then you wait, and wait, and wait... 

How can you avoid being trapped by 
a company like this? First of all, deal with 
someone vou kno\v, when possible. If 
you've had good service in the past, likely 
you'll get il in the ftiture from the same 
company. Get recommendations from 
friends, people at user groups, or from the 
vast electronic community of Amiga fans. 
In any case, be sure you follow up on your 
order. Onh' order through a credit card, 
becatise that way you have more leverage 
(you can stop payment or even get a refund 
from the credit card company if you think 
vou're being jerked around: check with 
vour card provider for their policies on 
this). Make sure vou get the name of the 
person who lakes vour order, :\nd vou 
should make a record of all your calls to the 
company. Get a projected delivery date 
when you order, and then if it doesn't 
come, call and find out where it is. Don't 
ignore it and hope it'll come soon. 

The worst cases of mail-order 
problems have been with people ordering 
entire Amiga systems, whose purchases run 
to thousands of dollars. You can bet they're 
upset when they get charged for the order 
but have no computer to show for it, Siu'e, 
sure, the supply of Amigas is finishing to 
none these days. But there's no excuse for 
charging a credit card if you don't e\-en 
have the product in stock. Watch out, 
villains — The Bandito Knows! 



OcioBKK 1994 



67 



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Yourcomplete ARexx tutorial. Guaranteed to 
make learning ARexx easy. Wth ,ARexx you 
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Where Do You Go 
When You Jump Ship? 

Yes, some Amiga lovalists are 
departing for other electronics, imable to 
bfiir the suspense of waiting to see what 
happeiLs to the Amiga. Now, we mustn't 
blame them for being skeptical; the Amiga 
has a \-crT,' totigh course ahead of it, arid the 
odds of the Amiga becoming a mensurable 
part of the computer market again are long. 
So, in the spirit of the friendly, open Amiga 
architecture, let's give our departing friends 
some guidance as they venture off into 
deep u'aters. 

If what you're looking for is video 
games, the true inheritor of the Amiga 
technology is 3DO. After all, it was 
designed by R| Mical and Da\e Needle, two 
of the original Amiga gu)'s. Yes, it's had a 
slow start, but things seem to be picking up 
for it now. There are nearly a hundred titles 
on the market, and .some of them are pretty 
cool. The price is due to take a big drop for 
this Christmas, too, from what the Bandito 
hears. And they're already working on 3DO 
11, which will go head-to-head with the 64- 
bit systems on the drawing boards from 
Sony, Sega and Nintendo. 

If you're looking for more mature 
games {in general) along ivith some added 
computing capabilities, try a so-called 
"multimedia" PC with a CD-ROM drive. If 
you like having a lot of titles available, this 
one's for vou. You'll even be able to buy a 
3DO add-in carci later (his vear. But be 
prepared for a nightmarish experience in 
setup and installation of every piece of 
hardware and software. 

Yes, PCs are where the games are, 
but the u'ords "ease of use" are unknown. 
You'\'e got to become an expert to have an\- 
chance of getting a remotely usable system, 
or instead have an expert set one up for j'oii 
and handle cwry little problem you hn\e 
(which will be legion). Tirst of all, make 
sure you get an accelerated video graphics 
board, it has to handle both DOS and 
Windows (some cards only handle one, but 
no\ Ihe other, CO figure). Oh, yes, and you 
have to have drivers for every little piece of 
software if vou want them to take advan- 
tage of your card, so check to niake sure the 
right dri\'ers are available. 

As for the operating s>'stem, run OS/ 
2 if you want a more Amiga-like OS 
experience, but make sure you have at least 
16 megabytes of RAM and the fastest PC 
vou can get vour hands on (figure a 50 MHz 
486 at a minimum), because OS/2 is sloo- 
oow. And don't forget your 16 bit sound 
card and double-speed CD-ROM drive. 
Make sure they go together, because 



different CD-ROM dri\'es ha\'e different 
interfaces, as do different sound cards, and 
if you buy at random odds are the CD-ROM 
won't plug into the sound card. That's 
wliat's known as Plug and Pray, in PC 
lingo. Mention autoconfig to a PC user and 
you'll get a blank Ktare in return. 

Unless you want to get a splitting 
headache, btiy a preconfigured s\'stem from 
a dealer or a big company. If your time is 
worth anything at all, it's worth paying 
extra lo have someone set up vour system 
for you. If you really want the experience of 
configuring a PC system with multiple 
components from different manufacturers 
under both DOS and Windows, here's the 
Bandito's advice; get a job as an air traffic 
controller. It's far more predictable and 
much less stressful. 

For general business use, Windows 
on a I'C is (he stand.ird. Mavbe Chicago 
will be better; it can't be any worse. At least 
you'll have a good selection of business 
software to choose from, even though \'ou'Il 
be shocked at how much RAM and disk 
space these programs eat up. Oh, ves, van 
really should figure on at least 4110 
megabytes of hard drive space, since the 
average Windoze program these davs takes 
up about 30 or 40 megabytes of disk space. 
You want a hard drive bigger than 500 
megabytes? It is to laugh, because IDE 
doesn't support that. You'll have lo get a 
SCSI interface card and a SCSI drive. 

For multimedia or video, get a Power 
Macintosh {try next year's models with the 
PCI bus for optimum performance). The 
neiv PovverMacs are very powerful for a 
good price. Stire, their animation ability still 
bites, but it's better than a PC. The software 
tools are the best you'll find outside of the 
Antiga market, though be prepared for 
some sticker shock. You'll have the 
adwintage of easy networking. You'll long 
for the CLI and true multitasking, tJiough, 
when you want to get things done. Try to 
get the new System 7.5; it has some nice 
features to it. 

What To Do 

When Your Amiga Throws A Chip 

What shtmld Amiga owners do if 
their svstem goes south? One of the great 
concerns during these days of dead 
Comntodore is what you do when your 
Amiga breaks. Spare parts will get 
inereasinglv scarce, of course, until and 
unless production resumes. Some Amiga 
parts are standard electronic components, 
but if a custom chip dies, are you out of 
hick? Well, not necessarily. SMC, the 
company that took over Commodore 



68 



Amazing Comphiing 



waiTiinty sorvico, is still performing ropoirs 
on Amig.is, according to reports. And thev 
H'Crc clever enough to stockpile a lot of 
Amiga parts, so they'll be able to continue 
fixing Amigas for quite some time e\'en if 
production never gets rolling again. At 
least, that's the story. The Bandito has 
heard several horrific tales of Amigas 
trapped in retail stores or mvsteriously "in 
transit" while awaiting warrantv repairs 
that never seem to happen. We can only 
hope that this situation will improve if and 
when Amiga production begins again. 

Men (and Women) Overboard! 

In case you're wondering what's 
happened to some of the people from 
Commodore, the Bandito has done a little 
checking on this. Most former Commodore 
employees are finding good jobs elsewhere. 
Scala has hired many of the best; they've 
gotten the cream of the hardware and 
software engineers, bv all accounts. 

As for the marketing and sales folks, 
well, those people can get a job anv-\vhcrc, 
e\'en though they may not want to mention 
their last employer as a reference. Hcnv 
good do you think it would look having 
"Commodore Marketing" on your resume? 
Still, the Bandito hears that most have 
found good positions else^vhere- 

Whnt u'lU happen to ihe former head 
honchos of Commodore, Irving Gould and 
Melldl All? Well, Irving can just retire. E\'en 
if he loses anything in the breakup of 
Commodore {aside from now-worthless 
stock which was never mone\' in the first 
place), you need not pity him. He's worth 
many tens of millions. 

Mehdl Is certainly a multi-millionaire 
after pulling down S2 to S3 million per year 
for quite a few years, so he's not going to 
starve. Let's just hope no other computer 
company will hire him. Here's a suggestion 
for any technical firm that wants to hire 
Mehdl; ask him to format a tloppy disk, on 
any type of computer. Sit back and watch 
the fun! 

Reading The Entrails 

Replay haz)', ask again later. That's 
about the story from even the most inside of 
the insiders these days. As of this writing, 
the trustees alill have not made a decision 
as to the winning bidder for the remains of 
Commodore and the Amiga technology. 
This is not an encouraging sign; It means 
that no one has walked up and made a 
compelling bid. According to what the 
Bandito hears, the trustees were disap- 
pointed by the first round of bids, and 
called for a second round. Those were e\'en 



lovvei'. Seems like the trustees had some 
unrealistic expectations of what companies 
were xyilling to pay for Commodore and 
the .Amiga technology. .And it should he 
noted that the bidders understand that the 
value of the Amiga declines as time passes. 

Let's take a closer look at some of 
what's going on in tius bidding process. 
Though the rumors have been dense, the 
Bandito has managed to cut through the 
smoke and mirrors to get to some of the real 
information, as scarce as that may be. 

First of all, who are the bidders? The 
exact list is a little hazy, but here's the best 
the Bandito could compile: Amstrad, 
Philips, Commodore UK, CEl, Jim Dionnc's 
group and Samsung. There may be one or 
two others, hut apparenth' thev aren't as 
serious as these folks. So \vhat do these 
companies want to do with Commodore, 
any^^■ay? 

Let's start with an interesting fact 
that may explain a lot to you. When the 
European Common Market was really set 
into place with the 1992 agreement, some 
loopholes were left in that agreement as 
part of the political quid-pro-quo that made 
the agreement possible at all. One of the 
nifty little gotchas in the EC agreement Is 
this one: A grandfather clause that lets pre- 
existing offices of a multinational corpora- 
tion get by with substantially lower duties. 
So buying up existing offices lets a 
company save a lot of money when 
importing product Hence the interest 
among megacorps, even Sony, for 
Commodore's European assets. You see. 
Commodore has this terrific network of 
liLM'opean sales offices, and If someone 
takes over Commodore, they now own 
those offices and so they can import 
prodLicts while paying substantially less In 
import duties. And if you're a big company 
like Samsung or Sony, the savings are in the 
many millions of dollars per year. 

Supposedly the trustees have 
allowed more time for bids in the hopes 
that one of the other bidders will be able to 
raise more monev. That's probably Jim 
Dionne's group, and mavbe the Conimo- 
dore UK folks (led by Da\'id Pleasance).. 
Makes vou wonder how e\'enhanded tlie 
trustees are, or how desperate. Also makes 
you wonder how a bidder wltliout enough 
ready cash to make a bid can hope io bring 
the Amiga back into production. 

How much cash does it take to re\-lve 
Amiga production? Well, estimates vary, 
but they are all in the S20 to S50 million 
dollar range. That's Including what has to 
be paid for the rights and what it will take 
to do some production and some market- 



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Amigan 



From Aerospace Engineering to Zoology, 
Scientific Amigan provides articles and 
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POe 60685 
Savannah, GA 



31420-0685 



Circle 112 on Reader Service card. 

ing. No doubt there are other costs in flu-re; 
certainl}' marketing alone could eat up a 
few tens of millions, if done properly. .■\nd 
then there's an engineering effort to 
de\'elop the next Amigas, which would 
chew up another fe^v tens of millions. 

But that's OK, since several of the 
bidders ha\e absolutely no Interest in 
reviving Amiga production, according to 
the Bandito's sources. Amstrad, Philips, 
and Samsung are all just looking for 
\arious pieces of the corpse, and they have 
no Intention of ever offering Amigas for 
sale again. If anything, Amstrad and 
Philips are looking to eliminate competition 
from Commodore, not compete against 
themseh'es. 



October 1994 



69 



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Signals From The Lifeboats 

Here's some intore.sting tidbits 
emi:rging from tlie collapse of Commodore. 
Creditors arc lioping to move bnnl<ruptcy 
proceedings to iMcvv York to take ad\'antage 
of more liberal U.S. bankruptcy laws. Tlie 
mo.st interesting aspect is that u'hispers of 
mismanagement are being hoard, and U.S. 
bankruptcy law allows courts to re\'erse 
manngemcnt decisions taken up to a year 
pre\'iously. Which means that anv hanky- 
pankv with shifting or hiding assets, huge 
golden parachutes, and the like can be 
recovered or amended. Tliis must have 
Mehdi Ali a bit nervous, which is wh\' he 
rudelv hung up on an inquiring reporter. 

Major creditors are owed at least $143 
million, including S28 million to Prudential, 
S5 million to Anchor National Life 
Insurance of LA, and $i5 million to 
Daewoo. Purportedly Mehdi told Pruden- 
tial and Daewoo that he had some deal 
cooking with a foreign investor, and that if 
thev didn't rock the boat in New York 
Courts he could got them 50 cents on the 
dollar lor their debt. When they tried to 
find out more details, Mehdi clammed up. 



Of course, .'\li is no longer "associated" 
with Commodore these days, so mavbe the 
whole thing is nuKit. 

Apparentiv, Commodore UK was 
the only Commodoro division still making 
money when the company died, which may 
be an indication of why Commodore UK is 
interested in carrying on with the business. 
The only problem is that a UK-based 
Commodore may not do as good a job of 
marketing .Amigns in the US as a US-based 
company would (ii,'e've seen liou' good the 
Bahamas- based Commodore did in US 
marketing). We'll just have to see what 
happens, though. 

Mutiny On The Bounty 

For those of you v\'ho believe that 
Kennedy was assassinated by someone 
other than Osivald, hero's a conspiracy 
theory for you: i'ulting Commodore into 
bankruptcy is all part of a slick plot to get 
rid of Commodore's debts while still 
maintaining the product line. How? Co into 
l"iankruplc%', then have a "front" group buy 
up the rights to the .Amiga at fire sale 
prices. Who's behind the front group? Whv, 



good old Irv and cohorts. They begin to sell 
Amigas once more, this time without that 
little matter of S300 million in debt. 

This does happen, but the Bandito 
doesn't think it's likely in this case. Usually 
this sort of thing occurs with much smaller 
companies. Besides, who says Irv wants to 
keep doing this? And don't think for a 
minute that this sort of thing could be 
concealed forc\'er. The news would leak 
out sooner or later, and yt)u can Liet tho 
suppliers who were left holding the debt 
wouldn't want to do business with tlie 
people who caused that problem. No sirroe. 
And the Amiga fans would be a mite put 
out, loo. Still, it's an arriusing and horrilV- 
ing concept, isn't it? 



In Memoriam: Jay Miner 

The I-alhor of the Amiga, Jay Miner, 
passed away Juno 20, 1994, at the IZl 
Camino Hospital in Mountain View, 
California. The cause of death was heart 
failure duo to kidnev disease complications. 

Jay was not only the invcntiv'e genius 
who designed tho custom chips behind the 
Atari 8t)() and tho Amiga, he also designed 
many more electronic devices, including a 
new pacemaker that allows the user to set 
their own lieart rate (which allows them to 
participate in more strenuous activities 
once denied to them). Jay was not only a 
LirilUant engineer, he was a kind, gentle and 
unassuming man who won the hearts of 
Amiga fans e\'er\-where he \\'ent. Jay was 
continually amazed and impressed at what 
people had done with his creations, and he 
Un'etJ more than anything to see the joy 
people oLitaincd from the Amiga. 

We lo\'e you, Ja\', for all the gifts that 
you ha\'e given to vis, and all the fruits of 
your genlLis that you have shared wilh us. 
Rest in peace. 

•AC« 



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genlock every professional needs. Powerful included 
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BMD U.S.— Top 10 for July 


Top 10 CD32 Titles 




July June 




1 3 Labyrinth of Time 




2 8 Microcosm/Chaos Engine Comt 


iQ 


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4 5 Gunsl^ip 2000 (New) 




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List of Advertisers 

Please use a FREE ACReader Service card to contact ALL advertisers 
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Mortal Kombat 

In/ jeJJ jiiiues 




The product thnt helped spnvvn 
recent concerns about overly 
violent video games. Acclaim's 
Mortal Kombat, has finally 
kicked, punched and bled it's 
way onto the Amig.i. With the 
help of Virgin games and Probe 
Software, the Amiga version of 
Mortal Kombat contains all the 
blood-spattering gore that 
made the game so popular in 
the arcade and on the Sega and 
Super Nintendo g.ime systems. 
Like nian\- other beat 'em 
up gatnes. Mortal Kombat pits 
the player against a plethora of 
on-screen opponents. Gameplay 
is against either another player 
or the computer, with the latter 
offering five levels of difficulty 
ranging from pushover (very 
easy) to impossible (very hard). 
Once you've selected your 



opponent and playing opt ons, 
you're off to battle. Combi t is 
viewed from the side, ^vttll vour 
on-screen pugilist of choice 
facing off against vour 
opponent, framed by an e>;otic 
background image of a statue- 
filleci courtyard, throne room, 
or other suitable backdrop. 
Using a variety of joystick and 
fire button combinations, I'ou 
can make your character punch, 
kick, jump, perform flying leaps 
and basicalh' carom around the 
screen in a effort to pummel 
your foe into submission. ' f vou 
manage to defeat enough 
opponents, you'll ha\'e thi. 
opportunity to face off agi'lnst 
the evil sorcerer Shang Tsung 
and his slap-happy four-aimed 
henchman, Goro. 



1 


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Choose from seven characters, each with their own special moves. 



You can choose from 
seven characters, ranging from 
the expected (Jofmny Cage, a 
martial arts mo\'ie star) to the 
liizarre (such as Ravden, a 
thunder god). Each character 
has their own special moves, 
such as Sonya Blade's energy 
wa\'e and Scorpion's foe- 
impaling harpoon. True to the 
original arcade version, each 
character also has a unique 
special move employed to 



inflict a "fatality" on an 
opponent. Used when your foe 
has been beaten enough to 
bnrelv remain standing, the 
fatalities exhibit the most 
violent side of Mortal Kombat. 
Depending on the character, the 
enemy may be decapitated, 
frozen, burnt, or meet any of 
more than a half-do/en grisly 
fates. Inflicting a fatality isn't a 
sure thing — each character has 
a set of secret jovstick/fire 




The thrill of victory is quickly replaced by another struggle as you meet 
your next opponent. 



74 AifAziiVG Computing 



Mortal Kombal opponents ore viewed Cleft and 
below) from the side. Eachi matcti is framed by 
an exotic baci<ground image of a slatue-filled 
courtyard, ttirone room, or o number of othier 
interesting backdrops. 




button combiiititiDii.s that mubt 
be executed in order to inflict 
one, niid the codes dren't listed 
in the niaiiual. Sound effects iire 
top-notch, witli plenty of )'elps, 
grunts and other visceral 
noises. Tlie Mortn! Konibat 
soundtrack feiilures suitably 
griin and violent music to 
match the on-screen action, anc! 



bloodier versions for the A1200 
and CD32. 

So ivhat about the 
violence? If j'ou're a concerned 
parent with young children. 
Mortal Kombat may be too gory 
for y<.)ur taste. Except for the 
gruesotno fatalities, however. 
Mortal Konibat isn'l much more 
violent than any of the Other 



If you're a concerned parent with young 

children, Mortai Kombat may be too gory 

for your taste. Except for the gruesome 

fataiities, however, Mortal Kombat isn't 

much more violent than any of the other 

fighting games on the marl<et. 



digitized speech is used 
throughout the game. Graphics 
are also well-done, with each of 
the characters — digitized from 
real human actors — being 
distinct and easily identifiable. 

As with most new game 
releases for the .'\miga, hard 
drive installation is not 
supported, and both game 
diskettes are copy protectect. If 
you have only one flopp\' dri\e, 
expect to swap disks several 
times during play. If you're 
serious about playing Mortal 
Kombat, you should definitelv 
invest in another t'loppv dri\e 
— gameplay is much moi'e 
enjoyable with two drives. The 
version I looked at was for all 
Amiga models, although Virgin 
is reportedly working on even 



fighting games on tlie market. 
On it's own merits, Mortal 
Kombat emerges as an excellent 
conversion of the arcade 
original and a solid — albeit a 
trifle bathetic — bash 'em up 
fighting game. If you're a fan of 
the original coin-op. Mortal 
Kombat demands a blood- 
soaked spot in \'()ur gaming 
library. 



Mortal Kombat 
Retail Price: About $50 U.S. 
Requirements: 1 MB RAM, 

joystick. 

Virgin Interactive/ Acclaim 

Entertainment 

338A Ladbroke Grove 

London W 10 5AH 

United Kingdom 

inquiry #207 




October 1994 75 



Digital World, InfoComm, 
and ShowBiz Expo 



61/ Dou'^liif ]. Nakakiham 




From top to bottom: A screen shot of 
an Alladin transition, ttie Fast Video 
Machine's interface, NewTel<'s new 
Flyer interface, and the "hidden" 
Amiga 4000 in use at the TAO booth. 



Gawd! Three major trade shows all strategically sched- 
uled during the same week in the Los Angeles area. And 
yes, I was crazy enough to trek out and see each one. I was 
happy to see that the Amiga still had a presence, albeit 
minor, at two of the three shows. Here's a rundown on 
things of interest to Amiga owners. 



Digital World 

Digital World's (.'mphasis is m\ cutting 
edge dij^itiil products. Video, being 
inlierentlv .iriiilog, was not miicii oi'.i focus 
for this sliow, somewhat expliiining the 
absence of any Amigas. CD-ROM was a big 
thing here. Tlionins Dolby and Peter Gabriel 
were there showing their interactive CD- 
ROM prodncls. Companies wore also 
showing stuff from David Bowie and the 
giiy-who-iised-to-be-cailed-Prince. Creative 
people like these should bring some much 
needed life into interactive CD titles. 
Current offerings in my opinion i\n^ all 
iiltitnateiy boring. 

The show was decidedly Mac-slanted 
for some reason. Apple, Radius, SuperMac, 
etc. were all showing their latest and 
greatest things for the Mac. Very impressh'e 
stuff indeed, but not priced for Ihe average 
consumer's poekelbook. IBM had a booth 
there, but it \vas severely out-classed bv the 
Mac-based things being shown. However, 
this is not to say that there aren't some 
cquallv cool things being done on the PC, 
I15M just wasn't showing them. 

SourPC ' 

1 got a first hand look at the i'o\vcrMac 
and a makeshift I'owerPC-powered box 
running Windows NT. The first tiling 1 
noticed was that even running native 
applications, these state-of-the-art machines 
do not appear very fast. Internal floating 
point calculations were quick to lie sure, but 
they really need to work on video display 
speed. It's kind of like a 500 horsepower 
engine in a car that only goes 55 m.p.li.. 

I also saw the Windows emulation on 
the PowerMac. Forget it. It is not for serious 
work. The Apply rep was even trying to 
convince people that it's real purpose was 
for sharing data files betiveen the two 



platfomis. Tlie sluggish performance is 
perfectly undersiandable since Windows is 
not really that fast on a 4,S6 PC. 

Missing Link 

The only link to the .Amiga to be found 
was none other than good old John Dil.ullo. 
John is ninv Director of Marketing ftyr 
Sigma Designs. They were otie of the few 
companies showing anything close to being 
interesting for the PC. Their product 
RcelMagic is an MPEG playback card for 
the PC. They were showing it plaving some 
CD-I Digital Videos. The only real 
do\vnside of the card is that i! only does 15- 
bit color. 

With the ITyer just around the corner, 
big fast hard dri\es will he on the shopping 
list for many Amiga owners. Micropolis 
was showing their new model 1491 '•i.X 
gigabyte 5.25-inch fuIKheight SCSI hard 
drive. It is suppiose to carry a street price of 
around 54,500 — that's 50 cents a megabyte! 

Another new storage product \vas 
I'innacle Micro's 515,000 optical disk array. 
They haw been able to owrcoine the 
inherently slow magneto-optical disk drive 
performance by running four drives in 
parallel. Their product can store 5.2GB of 
data and is capable of fa.4MB/sec data 
transfer rales, which should be good 
enough for most digital video applications. 
The benefit of this piroduct is that the media 
is removable and a set of disks onlv costs 
about $800. 

InfoComm 

InfoConim was more of a consumer- 
based sho^v and accordingly Windows PCs 
u'ere cver\^vhcre. The real big thing at this 
shou' ^vas TVs, TVs, and more I'Vs. CRTs, 
LCD, projector.s, T\' walls, you name it; it 
was there. Got a spare 513,000? How about 



76 



AMAZISG COxMl'LTISG 



a 42-inch Miisiibishi coiiipiilLT monitor for 
your Amiga? It even syncs down lo 15.7 
kHz! NTSC, PAL, SECAM, PC, and Mae 
video modes are supported. One projector I 
saw had a price taj; of niMrl\- S6n,n{in! 

Everyone was Uiuling llieir nonlinear 
editing products, but analog tape was still 
well represented. I had to search high and 
low through the four giant exhibit halls for 
any .-^migas, but 1 did spot a few .'\miga- 
based tape editing svstems. 1 even spotted 
an A4000 cpictly runninj^ an ACiA Toaster 
effect in the Sanyo booth. 

Feral Industries was slun\'ing "Feral 
Effect," a TBC/Synchronizcr with interpo- 
lated video compression (Sl,495). This 
product will work in conjunction with the 
Toaster and compresses \ideo both 
vertically and horizontally with minimal 
loss of picture quality. It is available in 
board or rack-mountable versions. The 



The NewTek rep, James 1 lerbert, iilso 
gave me a quick look at beta x-ersions of 
ToastcrPaint and ToasterCG. ToasterPaint 
was rirnning full-screen HAM8 and had 
many very cool tools. It's been totally 
redone and looked fantastic, CC had some 
neat Postscript font manipulation features, 
like rotations and perspective. All I can say 
is "hurry up NewTek!" 

The Raptor was also being demon- 
strated in the booth. This Lightwave 
rendering machine based on the MIPS 
K44()0 RISC chip is in the biggest PC box 
I've ever seen — it's absolutelv huge! This is 
the same chip used in SGI machines. 

Raptor is really more like two separate 
computers in a single box, as opposed to .i 
multiple-processor single computer. There 
are two drive controllers and tu-o lithernet 
cards in the Raptor, which runs Windows 
NT and uses N'ewTek's ScreamerNel 



However, even with the new CPUs and all 

of the add-on hardware, the Armiga still 

represents the best prlce-for- 

performance platform. 



output is very high quality and solves one 
of the biggest problems with Toaster effects. 
The people at the Pinnacle booth were 
very unprofe.ssional in promoting their 
Alladin video editing system. It wasn't 
enough that one of their reps u'as con- 
stantly bad mouthing the Toaster, but their 
pre-taped demo video had an actor alluding 
to competitors as ho bit into an apparently 
stale piece of bread. C'mon guys, Alladin 
costs $10,000. The 3D transitions are 
absoluteiy stunning, but it's not even in the 
same price range as the Toaster, and is not 
as tull-featured. 

ShowBiz Expo 

I finall\' reacheti nirvana at ShowBiz 
Expo (or was it exhaustion?). WnvTek, 
sharing a booth with two local Amiga 
dealers, T. S. Computers and Century 
Systems, was showing the I'lyer. 1 got a 
half-hour one-on-one demo of the product 
and it really looks fantastic. 

I also found out that de\'ices connected 
to the Flyer's SCSI controller will be 
available as normal Amiga de\ice.s. This 
means you can connect things like SCSI 
DAT drives and non-Flyer committed hard 
disks and use them for normal storage. Of 
course, volumes formatted for the Flyer will 
only be accessible by the Flyer. 



softu'are to network everything together. 
The ScroamerNet license is good foi' up to 
foLu Raptors (i.e., eight CPUs). 

I really coLildn't tell you hou' fast it 
v\'as because I'm not sure how complex the 
scene being rendered u'as. I ha\'e been told 
that it will render frames about 1& to 24 
times faster than on '040 A400() and a usable 
configuration runs around 516,000, if 
memory ser\'es, 

PC Toaster 

1 also saw a pre-release nonlinear 
\ersion of the PC-based Fast Video 
Machine. Price and performance is 
comparable to the Toaster, though Toaster's 
CG and Lightwa\'0 still put it ahead of this 
product. However, it is one of the few 
editing products that can mix an analog 
source v\'ith a digital one. It apparently 
doesEi't care if the \'ideo is coming from a 
tape machine or hard disk; it treats them all 
tlie same. Additionally, it requires no TBCs. 

There was tons of other stuff at the 
shows. However, even with the new CPUs 
and all of the add-on hardware, the .Amiga 
still represents the best price-for-perfor- 
mance platform. Ask any developer \s'ho is 
trying to port their stLiff over to Windows 
how great AmigaDOS is. These are criLCial 
times for the Amiga right now, but 1 believe 
there is a light at the end of the tunnel. 

•AC* 




r^^^^^^ 


Hfi?t«' 




1*12:12:02 PM 




' ^f^'^^/^"" _,., 


-^ b^^^m'-HI 


r 


■ 1 1 



From lop to bottonn: John Dllullo is now 
Director of Marketing for Sigma Designs, 
Alladln's unprofessional "bite" at the 
Toaster, NewTek's Raptor at Showbiz 
Expo, Toaster effects at the Sanyo 
booth, and a view of ttie new 
ToasterPaint. 



October 1994 



77 



Amazing Computing 



I 



3l]j;lili>;lits lni.luiUv 

■'Mjking WaVM". I-iktu^ nn [he wave requcHtLT in P.irt [V uf tliL- 
M.iJilin M.'rii.-s, R. Shdmms MoTtier 

"flnutk in Molion," Animati?d clouds in ScrniTv Anim.nor, hy R. 
^h.miin'^ Morlior 

"Media Mfldnciss,'* Disci*V(.T »vlut il din i.ln iiir ISLir^Att'ipcs, h\' kk'k 
M.in.i^.i 

■'EJjr!.&Pi|H's I'mfc'i'-iinn.il 2,0<" rcvii-vs' by Kick MLm.ivi 
"Hemnuiii Mullil)isl«L 150", A ri'\'iL*w of thi^. j^rc-.it [i>mc(;a tlriw. 
ALSO: Commodort'i, new CD32! 

*► Vol.8. No 11, rCmembtT 1993 

■'Cjnno", This insUillmi''nl ohvlTs duvcltipinj,; a aiMum. objift by 

lonibininj; >c\ ltjI >t.ind.irii C.inDit nt^otts. by Kandy l-inch. 

"HrilliJini-," A n'liifilik- ri-\ ii-iv n( tU\^ hiil nvw [\iini .und .ininvition 

!'r\i>;r.iiil Irmn I Jp^iUil CrtMliimi^. by Fr,inK \kMoh<iin- 

■'Onlinir." VW n\UK\\\K\wn ot tlli^ ninv leki.iimn*ninitMliiMi> cnlumn 

\oT llio Ainin.i. b\ kdb H.-iv=. 

"Gel (jTaphic: l^igit^l tmjge F/X," The inlrnductiitn of AC'S iHvv 

L^r.iphics i.-t4uiiin. by William Fr^wk-y. 

"I'icah-io II", A rf\ii.Mv uf onotif the best new gr.iplikst-.irJs .iwsil.ibli.', 

by\fjrkKi.koii, 

ALSO: WOCA I'iiHJdi-nj: Conimndnrc iniroducts CO-32! I'luh, Ihi- 

iiicri'dilile I ig)ilF{jvit\ .i Vtdvi) TiustcT vmuUliir! 

» \..l^<Ni. I.|.inu.ir\ l'»"4 

l[ii:li|[);liMndiitk- 

"nesigning Holiday Cards". L'iint; your favorite DTI' pm^rjms to 

,:ri.'.iti'holidiiy Ciiird;.. bv I7an Wei??. 

"Accent on Multimedia," Fiot in a seriL's exploring the history .it>d 

iiincL-pIs bt-hmd inuUimi.'di.i. by K Shamms M^irtit'r 

"Primcrj Printer," Rcviinv r»f this Itwend. int*tp<?n.-;i^t?ai!i.>rprinlur. 

in Mcmllt.ilLiis.iy. 

"Cnmmodorp 1942 Monilorj" In-dupth ^liidy nt this liitiiprt'ht'iiMs i* 

\iiii^j p,iint po':k.ij;v. by R Shiimnis Mtirtkr. 

ALSO: Cummodore Shareholdeis Movctnant 

i^" Vol,9, No 2. FebmaT>' 1^4 | 

Hishli^hi^itnchidt': 

"Amlgj on Inlcmet". FmpELir.Tilinn of lnlfTni_n .^nd iN hL-rvivt-h, by 

] k'ianii'k>; ViihV'i-ik.inip 

"!;CS 28/2J Spectrum," A njs ic^v of this hnt j;r.iphii's c.ird fruin G\'r, 

In MLirkIlr!iin.m. 

"Mjgic I.Jititi'rn" A iil-w .ininutitm compiling prn^rjrti for Jill Ami^.i 

.ii>pl.iv n^iKii.'?, by R, ShjLTnms Mojiier. 

"Get Graphic: Digilai linage F/X," Lsing AKt^\^. Opj! P,iint. ADPro. 

.ind I3f]u\ePjinl to prtxese images, by Williiim Fniwlcy. 

ALSO: Exclusive inter\-iew with Lew Eggebrccht! 

• Vol/f. \o.\M.irt.-h 1^4 

ih^liliy;KlsliuktdL- 

"AmiRJ SlJT* 9\ Medicjl Convention". XtedLLil TimllinTttii.l iin iIil- 

.■\ini^.i. by Michjol Tobin, M.D,, 

"CanL>o vs. HELM," 1 lead-to-head review- of \.\\\\ U'Luiinj; Amin.i 

aulhoriiij; syslenis, by Kandy Findi. 

"PP Update/* Tills month, a description nf ^IiTtP<iti7( J.g ,Mid otht-r 

^.hnrL'iv.in.' .lud frecWiirc utilities, by Hcnniiig V.ihlenl:.imp, 

"Scala MMJOn," A ri^xww nf ihi- prup-.im bi'licvod to be 'hot sfufC* 

ttiriinyom'^iiiinginteriKliw niedi.^ ivnrk. by k Sh.!i.min> MortiiLT. 

ALSO: And furlherniore: The Arnica XaVs^ the stage in the 

liroadiviy pii>dui:tion ol The VVhn'ft Tommy! 

•■■ Vul't. \i*4. April |4'N 

Mi!;hlii;bl^ likludt-; 

"Cnoiputer Cafe Scr\'es Up Shasta", The de^ijjn ttMin at Compuler 

C.ifi- LTL'.ite> iiiori\liblL' 'ciin-j-mation" for -a beverage comnicKiaL by 

Kiilvrl \'*ii:i Ikin-n. 

■' Aljddin 4U Revitw," Cnmpn-ben'iis'f Umk .ti Ihi' Lit*''S.t ver>ii5n of 

ALiddin. by K. Mi.imms Morlicr. 

"AC A Chipset jml the AmEgd: CD^' to the Rescue!" Wli.it divs the 

IviturL' hold for CD12 .ird Amig.i y.inn^? ]iiii |jme> \\.\9> the insidt- 

samp, by jftf kuiit-s 

"Sync Tips," Video rieitirns to ihepjgL^of AC feiituringOmn Sands. 

ALSO: Exclusive inlervieiv with renow-ned Amiga jrim Jim Sachs. 

r Vol,9. No^May 1^4 

ttlRhlishtNhitlu.k-: 

"Uesl<tiip PubiiNhing fur Prafit", Ui*ftumedchiH'^: A t.tinple and 

proltt.ible w .IV to bre.ik into tlx" d^^^Ltop piib!i-.hin)i field, by D.ni 

Wlt-v. 

"24-bil Pjiitliitg Techniques," Irmovative Ilp^ and tricks anyont- can 
\i%i' !i>ni.iki' their computer pdinlini:_-i iwik belter, bv Mark I lotlman 



"PD Update," 1 hi-, numth, ,Mi',cnUnll 3.a Moiowla Invaders. Nni' Worhi, 
and niore. by I k-nnm^ Wihknkiimp. 

"MicroBotics MBX-1300Z," A review of thi? handy mrith ctiproce!55nr 
and 32-bit RAM .>dd-on cnrd ff^r the- Anii};a 1200, by Rob Hay^. 
ALSO: The long-awiiited Arnica 4000 Tower is showcased at the 
Cebit show in C.crmany. 

w Vnl fl.Nnfv I mieiw^ 

Eli^hliphtr. Inchide 

"CanDo/ Sek-ci, entt-r, and play music filts, by Randv Finth- 

■'\AB show report," AC (raveb to Lvis Vegas for the latest releast'S 

and announcements. 

"Making an Article Databpse," Create a simple database to keep 

track ni mag.i?itie arUclrs UMnp the HELM authoring system, by Dou^ 

\akakihara. 

"A Survival Guide to CD-ROM Part I/The finilina. (our part w^ie^ 

di-si^nt'd to take theconfgsiiinoiif ol CI5-ROM de\'ict's. by M.irk 

Kk'k.113. 

"Bubbles vs Heal," I'arRo's Primera Color Printer £: Canon's BjC-6011, 

by l>\v'imi Craij;. 

"1994 Reader's Choice Awards Ballot". 

"TypcSmith 2.0," Review, by Merrill Call.3sv3y. 

"Tlie A 64 Package 3.0,." 1 his rew release brings quality C64 

emiilalinii to tlv Amiga, by HL-nr^inj^ Vahlenkamp. 

"Miniqucst 4.5 fr TECHquc^l," Review, by Sh.imms Mnrtier. 

* \\.l-^',>4or, lirly P>'>-l 

"Accent on MultlMcdia Tart IV," This installment inveslij;jles the 
hardware t'^nd nl the .Amiga's inivnhcment in MultiMttiia b\- R. 
Shamm^ Mortier. 

"1994 Reader's Choice Awards Ballot, " Amazing Computing's 3rd 
.innudl Reader's Chnkv .Awards. Cast a \'ote for your favorite product, 
"Brriliance 2.0," A res'iew of ihe Litest update to CHgita! Creations' 
Hril]iLince/irije-Brillianc*tby R. Sllanlm^ Mofht-r. 
"Cocoon Morph," Dev Ware's Ct>ctxin morphinj; program feaivir"."!* 
motinn mnrpliinjij and morebj R Shamms Morfier. 
"FinalWrilerJ.O," New menu itoms mchidinj; Undo/Redo. 
iont/Style Strip and faster graphics arc coscrcd m this upgrade 
review by MemU Callaway, 

"Digital Image Special F/X," Displaced Te'-.turep and other new 
operLitors found in ADPro 2.5 .ire l.■^plorL■d in Part ^ in this series b>- 
Williiini Fr.iU'L-\. 

"Neiv Products & Ollicr Neat Stuff," Mr AMOS Club Pn>grammerM 
Pack, Hie DataFl>er SCSI+. Cinema 4D. IX-sktnpMAGlC 2.1), DICH'^.E). 
Alpha {^amt.Sei]uel vl.2. l-urvof the Hurries, Super Methane Bros... 
Brutal Fi-iotball, Firt- k Ice round out (he itemi^ found in this issu^*'s 
New Producls- 

"Sync Tips," Video color correction with your Amiga by Oran Sands. 
"Diversion/' This month: Hired Cuits from Psygnosis Ltd., Fighter 
Duel Pro 2 from Jaeger Software, and A-Train Construction Set from 
\taxis Software, 

V VoLy. N:o S. August !W4 
F^ighlighth IncludL': 

^'Teaching Writing with Sdia MM300,''Thecdiicfltionjil ..applications 
of Seaki MMUm .i;rc e\plored by Charles F- C*^vnn.^iiigh. 
"Shielding Yourself For Sci-Fi," A tutorial on developing Sci-Fi 
shielding effects usinj; Imagine and Aladdin 4D by Dave Mattlneu's 
and Mare Huffman. 

"Digital Image F/X," t>jiaH*ain! tipsan,d tricks by William Fr.mlev. 
"Batchers," A revii^w of Amig-i batching s^iftware for image 
pToces",in]^ by Shamms Mortier. 

"CD'," Nick FaliJo'ii Championship Ciolf. Bixiy Blo»v> and ^url Nmijas 
bring the movie fun to CD ". 

« Vol."). No.", September 1994 

Highlights Include: 

Reviews of "Toccata", "Snow" Words and Nimble Numfctcn", 

■ Amiga Oberon-2", Take 2, Studio 16 3.0 and ADS16 fioard", .iiul 

Panorama 3.t)" 
"A 2D Animation Prujcct"^ I Iniv (he concept of AMNSbrashes in 
DPainr hdpeil priuliuv .in animation protect by Shamms Mortier. 
"A]addin-4D: Tutorial W", Instancing and CSplin^? vari.itinns are 
covered m this continuing Aladdin 4D tutorial by Shamms MoriitT, 
"A C Exctiisive!" Commodore's U.K. General Manager, Day id 
PlfastWce, shiircs his thoufihth and hopes on his m.in.igement buyout 
attempt for Commodore and the Ani,ipa, 

"Roomers", The B.iindito disciiisses iheCUM turmoil .ind tlu' Amig.i's 
iulurt"— WlK-tv \\e i;et iipM.'t and loin in. 
"Oragonivorld", I iollvwood j;enerates computer imagfs on a 
shi>e;itrmg— Amrga style. 
i\nd mvii^h.much mrtrp. 





l£'//?i 




Commo 
Latest:, 
The A 




]li>;liltj;ht>Ini:liidc: 

"Kl'^v Rjinbitvv Libran," A r^-ut-u in Mtrrill C.ill.iiv,i\ 

"Ail Vim KvLT VVjnlcd'lis Know About Morphinu," Aii in-Jt'p!li look .it 

iiiorpliing hir Iiiiij^ini.' b\ liriino Co^l.i anJ Likui D.irsti 

"Custom 3D Graphics l^ickagel'arl I/' Du-siyiiiiip .i cu&lom 3D graphics 

p.ickjgehy Uurd Moris^-on, 

■Bi4i]d a SeconJ Ju\ stick Port.' A ^rinirlehardiw^ri.' pn-^ectfordti 

iitklilion.il |OVr;tick port bv J.iqLii:^ ! I.illet\ 

AMD LOTS MORE ON DtSK! 

»AC'snX"llVol.r>, \i-. 4 

Hi^!ilij;hK huluJci 

"CuEtiom 3D Graphics I'.ick.ige I'jrt ]l," I'ut the tinishtr^^ toiiihoson wnir 

own tirnpliti-s p.icVtigi.' bv Liiiim MoiisMin. 

"TruBASIC Inpul Masli," An interu'sliiig TruulJASIC iitililv hv T. Ilirri'll 

l\ i-tbrook. ' ' 

"Time Efficieni Animations," Miike up for lust lime with this gf^Jt 

.!iiim.ition iilililv bv Robi-rt Galka. 

"r-«ASIC 5.(1/ A rovit-u iit Ihib l.itfst version of F-B/\S1C bv Jeff Stein. 

I'LUS; CD32 Development Info! 

*■ AC-s IVa i. Vol. 4. No 1 

!lii;hltt;btsltidiide: 

"Artificial Lite," Artificial lii'*?, inti'llij;L'iicL' .md other lechnic.il ttdbit> in 

thi> piL-Ci>, by lolin IiAinL',_ 

"Huge Numbers Part I," C re^itiw nunibor cruncliing, bv Mtchael 

Grifiblin^. 

"Pseudo-random Number Generition/' Gi?ner.itmg btqut'ilfes of random 

niimlxTs— almo:,t, byCrisiopherlenninc?;. 

"Draw 5.41," Door prizt- sek-ction in AM05 PTotL's^;innLi[, hv T. D^irrc-ll 

WV-st brook, 

"I'ropramniiiig the Ainii".! in Asvi-iiiblv I ani^naj^e," Ci>niplL'\ JiLinctioii-. 

.lu i^pl.^rL-.i.in VVilIi.iml' \.v 



"i\ ritini; a FuikItoii Genie tin I'ro Draw/' OlmIl- .i c.ilendnr 
Kt;iii[iiiif;(V!..ivT l"S2. b> Kcilh D. Hronil. 

r At\ IKCIt, VoL 4, No. 2 

tii^hliiihts Include: 

"True F-BASIC," VVh.it do yon get v\'hon you cros^ True BASIC 

with F-UASlC? Yoii'li be surprised, by Koy M. Muzzo. 

"Huec Numbers Part 11," Creative numlvr crunching, by Michael 

GrcibEing. 

"Building an Audio Digitizer," Croats .i simple .iiidio digitizer for 

your Arnica- by John In\ini', 

"A Look at Compression," \'.iniHiH compression lechniqucii iind 

uh.il tlu-y dt> ior you, by Dan WViss. 

"ProgrjiTiminj; the Arnica in Asscmbi>- Ljuguagc/' Usiiij; tin- 

nii,ilhcopnKi.'ssnr, by W'illjam V Wc, 

"Amig.iDOS Sliared Libraries," K\.nnininj; Ani^j;alX'>^ libraries 

iiid ihuir functiiii>, by Danirl Stcnberg. 

*• AC'S TECH, Vol. 4, No. 3 

Highlights Include 

"Amiga k" The proj^ram described in this article originally appeared ns 

ai\ Apple 11 Intt?j;i;'r llasic listing in the magazine Micro in ihe late 197(Hi. 

Here it is, recxxled as an Ami^fl program written in AMOS Sm'ic bv 

Robert Davis. 

"Assembly Programming for the Next Generation of Amiga 

Computers/ Taking advantage nf the incre.T.se».l speeds nf f J,hler 

procesi«irs bv Cl^rl^lophef Jennings. 

"Huge Numbers Part 3," by Michael Cricbling 

"A Simple AmigaDOS Handler," by Stephen Rnndeau 

"A Pair of Pickovcni," rivijarlicli-?. adaplt-d for the AiiitKn Irtim CL^mpuler 

lM.>.tsl-vnHlin.J \ I'ickinorbvhillXee, 



1-800-345-3360 







W/vi^wS'.y 



Kr'\ 





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11 



WHA I H/\Vt YOU IJUtN MISSING? Unvc yiui missed informolioii on how lo .idd poils 
ti) vour Amigii for under S70, how lo v\'ork .irmind Dl^l^l.\c!'llil!t'•i lack of HAiVI support, hov\' to 
deal with seE\'ice bureaus, or how to put your Super 8 films on video tape, along with Amiga 
graphics? Do you know the differences among the big three DTP programs for the Amiga? Does 
the ARfxx interface still pu^^zle you? Do vou know when it's better to you use the CLI? Would 
you like to know how to go about p\ibli.shing a newsletter? Do you take full advantage of your 
RAMdisk? Ha\'e you yet to install an IBM mouse to work with your bridgeboard? Do you knox\' 
there's an alternative to high-cost word processors? Do you still struggle through your 
directories? 

Cir if you're a programmer or technical tvpe, do you understand how to add 512K RAM to 
your IMB A500 for a cost of only $30? Or how to program the Amiga's GUI in C? Would you like 
the instructions for building your own variable rapid-fire joystick or a 246-grayscale SCSI 
interface for your Amiga? Do you use easy routines for performing floppy access without the aid 
of the operating system? How much do vou really understand about ray tracing? 

The answers to these questions and others 

can be found in 
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Dennis Scbaefer Animator and Warrior 

Dennis SLhnctcr writes. prndLices iiml edits some of the 10, 2(1 
and .lO-second commercinls for NBC Biirb^ink in the \'et On-Air 
i'romntion dep.irtmenl, Rtxentlv NRC lounclied .1 new progroni 
where they u'.inled bright new logo cnti'ies into the evening prime 
time brcwdcnsls. For their new series of NBC l\Mcocks, NBC hired 
famous artists and anim.itors to design sorne new four and ten- 
second anini.ited Pe<icocl<s as part of the new graphic look of the 
netu'ork. The ne\v PeaciKks were tlie first aspect of this new look, 
<ind, according to Mr. Scbaefer, have been airing since last season. 
The new I'e.icncks were produced b\ artists such as i'elcr Max. Al 
Hirschfeld. and Dennis' fa\-c>rite, John Kricfalusi, the crealor of Ken 
<ind Stimpy. 

One day while editing with the executive in charge of the 
project, Dennis saw' some nc^\- ones. The\- were v\'inncrs of a contest 
NBC had held for the Macintosh community e.xchi<^iveiy. When he 
saw them he said, "These are prettv good, but 1 could do jusl as 
good on -my- computer." 

The executive said, "Well, go ahead." So he did, and the 
network bought it (changing the original General Electric to Cerveral 
Electricitv'). 

"It took me about three months to finish this proiect, not that it 
was that hard I didn't i\ork on ii everv daw mosth' due to mv h ibit 
of playing Air Warrior on CEnie. (My handle there is "Bug", 



plane nuriiber 2472. Sav "hello" if vou ever stop by there...-!" 

The animation was created using Imagine 2.0 and Essence on 
an .Amiga IDIX) equipped vvilh an 'IWO processor l-'rames were 
stored on SyQuest renxnable hard-drive disks and deli\ered to a 
vicicH) post-production house equipped with a I'oaster. The images 
u-ere then transferred to BetaC^im Si' one frame at a time. The 
soundtrack was written to the finished animation (a process called 
"post-scoring") Dennis' co-\vorker Bruce Buehlnxan on his 
Macintosh-based home recording studio. 

"i'his is my second animation to go out lo \ ideotape m this 
way " Dennis related, "My first was called The On^^iii ofSfvcir> and 
was included in last year's "Amiganiations" tape compiled by 
Aiui<;ii\\'orld magazine. That is the one involving a rather greedy 
hummingbird" 

IX'nnis started his computer fi>;ation with a Commodore' M he 
purchased with monev he made from working with .ABC on the 'S4 
L..'\ Olympics. He bought a 3110-baud modem shorllv after that, 
and has been obsessed with telecommunicating e\ er since. .At forty 
years old, Dennis has been married for 1-1 years to "the lo\e of my 
life... Ph3ilis," Phyllis Scbaefer is a clothing designer in i os 
Angeles. 

What's next? 'I am currently getting shot down a lot in Air 
Warrior waiting for the next bolt of inspiration lo strike. ' 'AC* 



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Complete Today, or telephone 
/ -800-345-3360 nowl 

You may FAX your order to 1-508-675-6002 

Please allow 4 to 6 weeks for delivery ol 
subscnplions in US, 

(numbers 1 through lOOO) {Domesiic ami Foreign air mail rates available on reqiiesii 

Check or money order payments must be in US funds drawn on a US bank; subject to applicable sales tax. 



(numbers I through 26) 
Fred Fish Disks 





so 



Please return to: 



Amazins Amiga 

JL JL COMPUTING C7^^ 

P.O. Box 2140 

Fall River, MA 02722-2140 



Please place order form in an envelope with your check or money order 



Please return to: 



Amazins Amiga 

JL -*. COMPUTING C7j#^ 

P.O. Box 2140 

Fall River, MA 02722-2140 



Please place order form in an envelope with your check or money order 



Amazing, Computing for the Commodore Amiga — 

Your original monthly Amiga resource! 




•■:;^;H.;.T»".: 



STILL THE BEST 
GRAPHIC BUY! 

Crciiic ^iK*ci;n.-uliii' liUL' Liilni ;iniiii;iuoiis on viiur Aniiiiii. 

I'aini. digiii/^e anil Jispkiv hvuiiliful Tull color cumposile 
viiico images on any Amiya. • Capltrri; an imaL-e in 10 
seconds from an> cotor video camera ot stable \ ideo source. 
* rulf-feajtired painL digiii/e and eimversion softuare 
included. • Cojii|iiiiiblc w ith At; A 1 21X1 and 4(XH1 Amijas in 
NTSC/P.AL modes, Two lo four times ilie speed of .ACA 
animations IDC'TV vs. M.\MS( «iih t:reater color and 
resoiuiiun. 

Compatible wiiii all popular Ml. renderinc- and graphics 
packages incltidin!:: .AD-Pro. .-\laddin 4D. .■\miaaVision. 
Briliianee. Calligari. Cinemoipli. Draw4D, imageMasier. 
Imagine. LightWave. MorphI>lus, Real 3D. Scala. .Scenery 
.-Xnmiator. Sculpt. VistaPro. and many others... 

DCTV (NTSC or PAL) 
$299.00 



RGB CONVERTER 

.Allows the use of DITV with standard RGB monitors 
I K1S4) ill siaiidard .NT.Sr or P.AL modes. Also permits the 
use s^rexienial yenlrvks like our SuperCieii 



RGB Converter 
$199.00 



'Ti&.-«fei»';'---i'-S^?Vv..<'*-*>' 



NEW! 




SuperGen ^X 

S-VIDEO AND COMPOSITE 
GENLOCK & OVERLAY SYSTEMS 

SlIperGcn .SX 

■ Only broadcast qualiiy S-Vidco genlock- 
tor less than SI CKX) 

* ,AG.A comiiaitblc. ConiiKitihle w ith all 
Amiga models 

" Two independent dissolve controls 

* Software controllable 

* Notch filter 

SuperGen SX 
$749.00 

SuperGen 2(MI(LS 

* Broadcast Quality 

* For .-\2IKW only - internal 

* Bdilt'iii PriK'-atiip 

* S-Video and Composite Input ^^ Output 

SuperGen 2000s 
$1195.00 




Vide 



ANNOUNCING 
BRILLIANCE VERSION 2.0 

Version 2, II nf Brilliance has been deigned nifli 
piodiicii\ity in mind. Several new fealures enhance this 
already powertiil prognnn. Features like ili/i frara.-.v that 
allows the animator to llip through drawings. Ruh Tfitn Ihat 
makes compositing easier, hmtl and Sure T»tcii ptilki 
eniibling mnch longer and repealable brush moves, l-asler 
and nioie accuiate Tweening. 7'nfi' VVciv option for 
inagnjrication, ,^nd much, iniieh more 

Brilliance! 
The best just got better! 

^W0¥! ^ NOW! 

HOT NEW PRICE 

Brilliance 2.0 

$99.00 

Upgrade LO to 2.0 
$49.00 



Without 

Copy 
Protection 



The 

Kitchen 

Sync 




The Kite^icn .S)nc provides two channels of time base 
coriection - the perfect low cost TBC solution lor the Video 
Toaster'". 

With a Video Toaster, the Kitchen S> ne proxides a compiele 
A/B loll editing system. 

Two coniplele infinite window time base correctors on one 
IBM AT/Aniiga compatible card • Absolute l(K1'-i broadcast 
qualiiy • ComiKniie or X/C \ ideo in • Includes easy lo use 
exlenial contro! panel • .No ivaveform monitor needed • 
Variable speed strobe ■ Treeze Frame, two rock-solid Freeze 
Fields • how power consumption • Lowest TBC price per 
channel • \\ oiks with ciinsumcr grade VCRs 

livii ((inipicU' liiiie Bitse Corrccliirs On One Cardl 

Kitchen Sync 
$1295.00 
Genlock Option 

Required to synchronise the Kitchen Sync to an evlcnial 
vidct> souice. /-. 1 t ^^ i* 

Genlock Option 

$150.00 
S-VHS Option 

Required to enable S-VHS/Hi-S i Y/Ci video outputs, 

S-VHS Option i 

$150.00 i 



FREE SHIPPING 
on all VISA & MC orders in the US. 

COD - Cash only - add $1 0.00. 

Call by 2:00pm PST/5:00pm EST for same day shipping. 



DIGITAL 



T© 



Worldwide DistribuEors and Dealers Wanted. Inquiries invited. 



■J 




Video Slot Box 




INCREASE 
PRODUCTIVITY! 



• Four Video Slots! 
ground only) • 230\V 
drive bays • One .i.5' 



> Three PDAT bus slols (power & 
iwiicliing power supply • Two 5.2.*>"' 
drive bav 



The Video Sloi Box is a revolutionary new [inni-tower that 
espands any Amiga A2(IOfl. A.^OIX). or A-l()iKl to have lour 
complete video slots, three additional VC AT hus ^|ots 
(I'ovi-er aiii! Ground only! for compatible cards such as our 
Kitchen Sync TBC. room for two 5.25 inch half height 
devices and one .^.5 inch device i You can use this room for 



SCSI hard drives, optical drives, noplicals. tape drives, or 
?f_ anything else (hat fits.;, and a beefy 2.vt) watt swilching 
/.'' ptmer supply. 

The \'ltleo Slot Box prn^ ides these .snliitinns; 

y Use the Video Toaster with an .Amiga .'ii.KX Kl, Use more than 
'*• one \ideo slot product in your Amiga. Easily move your 
;,»■ desktop video environment between Amigas. 

■.-' The slots in the Video Slot Box are complete \ ideo slols with 
'^ ail the eapahiiities of the video slot witiiin the Amiga, You 
;-. can place up to four v itieo slot proiiueis into the Video Slot 
>.-; Bov, A front panel selector lets you clioose which paxltict 
is actually ii! control of the video slot wiihin the .'Viniga. 

With poKlitcts thai are "video slo! niaslcrN" such as the Video 
Toaster or a genlock, only one of them can he active ai a 
time. The video slot box allows you t4> easilj' switch 
insianfly between several such prixiuets within one machine 
without havin;; 10 ever swap boiirds. .And switch tbcm wiih 
software! 

Get The Most Out Of Your Amiga 

Video Slot Box 
$995.00 



ALL I 

DieiTAL 

9li^DIGITAL 
916-344-4825 

9:00am to 5:00pm PST M-F 
For technical kfonmtion call 916-344-4825 



IONS P.O. Box 97. FolsomCA 95763-0097 'Phone 91 6'344'4825' FAX 91 6'635'0475 

SuperGen SX, SupeiGen2000s, DCTV, DCTV RGB Converter, Kitchen Sync, and Video Slot Box are trademarks of Digital Creations, Inc. 
Video Toaster is a trademark of Newtek, Inc. IBM and IBM AT are registered trademarks of IBM, Inc. Amiga is a registered trademark of Commodore-Amiga, Inc. 



The Reviews are in 



"The program is so fast 
and flexible that it makes 
its Amiga predecessors 
feel like the old Doodle! 
program on the 
Commodore 64. Nothing 
out there can match its 
feature set, and it's the 
one paint program I've 
used that's so fast that it 
never gets in the way of 
your creativity." 
Amiga Computing, 
October 1993 (UK) 



"For many years. DPaint 
ruled the roost when it 
came to supplying 
incredible graphics power 
at an affordable price, but 
no longer. Brilliance has 
assumed centre stage and 
is now the Amiga 's number 
one art package." 
C U Amiga, 
January 1994 (UK) 



"Brilliance is now — 
leaving DPaint trailing in its 
wake — the best art 
package available for the 
Amiga. It's very hard to 
express why I'm so taken 
by Brilliance, there's just a 
feeling of 'rightness' about 
the way that it works. " 
C U Amiga, 
October 1993 (UK) 



"After using Brilliance for 

jUst a couple of days, I'm 

hooked. It is the only 

package to be released for 

the Amiga which can rival 

DeluxePaint for animation 

capabilities, and it is a 

class act." 

Amiga Down Under 

Nov/Dec1993 

(New Zealand) 



"Excellent! Brilliance is 
loaded with useful drawing 
and animation features, 
but it's not just the sheer 
number of tools on offer 
that impresses. Two other 
big points arise. First, the 
program is very easy to 
use, thanks to its intuitive, 
flexible and well thought- 
out panel system. The 
second major factor Is 
Brilliance's speed. Even in 
HAMS mode, everything 



quickly. 

Amiga Format, 
October 1993 (UK) 



"It took a while, but Deluxe 
Paint I V has finally met its 
match. If you're kyoking lor 
the best AGA paint 
program on the Amiga, 
look no further than 
Brilliance." 
Amazing Computing, 
November 1993 (USA) 



"Brilliance is user friendly, 
doing an excellent job with 
nearly every function and 
option that it offers... " 

AmigaWorld, 
December 1993 (USA) 



WANCE 



Prafessional Paint & Animation 

I DI6ITAL 



JSINOUNCING 
'ERSION 2.0 

h 2.0 of Brilliance lias been 
signed with productivly in mind, 
leveral new features entiance 
lis already powerful program, 
■ eatures like Flip Frames tfiat 
allows the animator to flip tfirough 
drawings. Rub Thru that mal<e 
bompositing easier Load and 
l^ave TweenpaZ/is enabling much 
tonger and repeatable brush 

. Faster and more accurate 

ipg. True View option for 
'n. And much, much 



Brilliance! 
e best just got better! 



"It is solid as a rock. Never 
have I known a first version 
of any program stand up 
like this or be so perfectly 
polished." 

Amiga Shopper, 
December 1993 (UK) 



...Brilliance 
kicked Tut's 
Butt! 




COM PARE! '^^^'^"^^''^^ ^^ Brilliance 



Overall Speed 

Picture Size Limited By: 
Chip RAM 
Total RAM 

Number of Brushes 

Number of Anim Brushes 

Number of Screens 

Levels of Undo 

Levels of Redo 

Load/Save Paths 

Flip Frames 

Realtime Preview Mode 

Full Screen HAM Gradient Fill 

(k/tax # of Colors Gradient Fill 

True 24 Bit Editing 

Load DCTV Pics as HAM 

Max Animation Speed 

Ground-up Design for AGA 
■ Limited only by total RAM 



Slow I Fast 



Still Not Convinced? 

30 Day Money Back Guarantee 

when purchased directly from 

Digital Creations as a Competitive 

Upgrade to Ver. 2.0. 

Call 800-645-11 64 to order. 



DIGITAI 



DitilJiI Crealirais. PO Box 97. l-(.lsom, CA 'J.SVfi^-fKWV 

Product Infomiation VI6-344-4S25 • FAX yi6-635-CW75 • Oixiers 800-645-1 164 



wmm 



circle 1DB on Reader Service canl. 



^^:jS^&i