Report: VISCORP Meeting, 19 May Toulouse

From: Christophe Decanini
Newsgroups: comp.sys.amiga.misc
Subject: Report: Toulouse meeting
Date: Fri, 24 May 1996 16:42:50 +0200

Freely distributable (you can write it in better English if you don't change the sense). I promise that I will do it for the people who were angry about the fact that it was in France and who said they could not come. My English is very bad, I have to practice a lot so you have to make efforts to understand me. I may have misunderstood some things but I think I caught the most parts of this conference. Perhaps there may be a few mistakes.

Thank you to my girlfriend Christine who helped me in the translation.

The people from ESCOM who were present: - Bill Buck (president), Don Gilbreath (CDTV), CARL Sassenrath (EXEC), David Rosen, Raquel Velasco (very pretty) Eric Laffont (Consultant in France for Viscorp), Petro Tyschtschenko (president of Amiga Technologie).

The program schedule:

8h00-10h30      VISCORP conference
10h45-12h30     Consulting Internet report
16h15-17h15     Press conference
17h30           Coktail

Bill Buck's speech:

Bill Buck opened the conference. He said that Viscorp wanted to go on supporting and selling Amigas. He added that in 1997 there would be more Amigas sold than there had ever been. Viscorp will support Amiga clones like Draco and the Phase5 computer. Buck has received more than 2,000 e-mails and said he was sorry that he could not answer all the people. The Walker project was not possible before the end of the year, so it's been aborted. There will be a new OS before the end of the year which will integrate networks. It will be provided with TCP/IP, PPP, SLIP, FTP, SMTP, etc. RISCs projects are maintained but VISCORP is thinking more in the line of the Digital ALPHA processor than of the PPC.

Bill Buck showed us the ED Set Top Box. It was not the new one with the Amiga chipset but a 3-year old model. You operate it by a remote control. There are 2 faces: 1 for the control ,another one for a mini keybord. It works on TV. You have to clic on a graphic menu to choose what you want to do: My directory, Info lines, go online, gameroom, pay for view and a setup. You can record the people you are communicating with. You can use Compuserve services (forum, info ...). You can send FAX, internet E-Mails. Ed is genlocked so that you can see video behind the ED display. There is a system that enables you to pay with credit cards. Interactive TV (you watch the film you want) was not available (you need cable). There will be a Web browser. VISCORP showed us the prototype of the new ed main board with Amiga chipsets.

It is based on 68EC20 like A1200 (it may change). There are 4Mb Fast RAM, 2Mb CHIP. You can add a keyboard to it (they have to decide if it's an Amiga or PC keyboard). Viscorp will keep floppy & hardrive controlers on this board. The OS includes all network capabilities (also a browser). They want to increase AGA power. ED could be sold by Telecom companies. ED is able to handle ISA CARDS???, Tuner, cable, MPEG, CDROM, Ethernet, ISDN, DVD, DBS.

The Internet report showed that there are Amigafans all around the world:

22% USA
37% West Europea
8%  EST Europea
5%  ASIA
6%  Australia
1%  Africa

The Amiga fans said:

1: Don't let us down.
2: I like my Amiga.
3: I will buy a new Amiga if it stays an AMIGA.
4: They don't want to devellop for Ed if they don't have new Amigas
5: They want to spend their money for an Amiga that beats PCs.

Their Wishes:

1: Hardware to be more powerful.
2: AGA improvement.
3: Good prices.

About Phase5:

VISCORP said they tried to contact them but Phase5 didn't answer.

About actual Amigas:

They are still in production. They will be sold until the next Amiga generation.

I was at the devellopers forum. The main questions and wishes were:

- CE approval?
- When ED available?
- When 1200 available for UK?
- Who will write the new OS.
- What tools for PowerPC.
- Standard libraries tools.
- Object oriented standard tool for GUI/IFF.

Members of Viscorp took into account these questions and will respond in a near future. They said that they would put RKM 3.1 on the net (via Viscorp site). It will be translated in many languages. An effort will be made for an object oriented standard tool for GUI and IFF. VISCORP insisted on the way that new Amigas had to exist because ED devellopers will use Amigas. They said that if you develloped a software or a game that would be used for ED you would gain money each time your software were used. They showed us a 68060 board (for 4000T) that they would sold (I don't know if it is alone or with A4000T).

Unofficial news & rumors:

There will be a middle range Amiga (not '30, not '40, so let me think about '60). For that project VISCORP is trading with Micronik. The Alpha Amiga (300Mhz model) will be sold for less than 4000US$. The AGA power should be increased by 3 or more.

People thought:

The people who were here was divided. Some of them thought that Viscorp was a great thing for Amiga future. The others said that Viscorp would only support ED or that ED could be a commercial mistake like CDTV. AT has components for 1 million (1200, 4000) Amigas, so they have to sold them quickly before the next generation (good side) or perhaps before nothing (bad side).


There was a "live" IRC during the meeting. The person who was typing was someone had been taken in the crowd. Sometimes Carl took her place. I don't know if this IRC has been published on the net.

Surprise !!!

A user came with his A1200 + 1260 board. He has changed the 50 Mhz oscillator for a 64Mhz one. It has been working for 3 months without any bugs. My 60@50 Mhz has 92000 Dhrystones (AIBB test with 68000 code), his has 118000!! (Don't forget that in Motorola's specs P90 has 75000 (checkit give the same result) and 68060 has 210000(=optimised code) He will try soon to put a 80Mhz oscillator (=150000 Dhrystones).

Bill Buck ended the conference saying that "Viscorp will support Amiga."

Hope for ALPHA and PPC powerfull AMIGAs!!!

Christophe Decanini

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