By Kevin Hisel, Amiga Web Directory
The Amiga99 show was held in St. Louis, Missouri on March 12, 13 and 14, 1999. I attended the show on the 13th.
Below is a report on what I saw and who I talked to. Thanks to Bob Scharp, Show Chairman, for putting this show together and for all his help on behalf of CUCUG. Bob and his very lovely wife Diana are the driving force behind Amiga99!
Sorry about the length of this report (there was a lot to see and to report on!) and the number of pictures. I have tried to keep them small for loading time sake and I have split the report into two pages, but it will probably still drive many of you crazy. To see a more detailed image of any picture, simply click on it.
I arrived at 11:00am on Saturday and people were lined up to get in, almost spilling out onto the street! Luckily my exhibitor badge allowed me to shamelessly cut the line and enter the show floor. Inside the hall, I surprised at how "nice" everything was. The exhibit hall was well organized, tables were draped and the hall itself was nicely appointed with lots of wood and lush decoration.
As the ravenous Amiga hoards were let in, you could hardly walk around due to the crowed aisles. We have not yet received the official attendance figures but we would not doubt it if the number was even larger than last year. (Update: rhw numbers are now in. 1,142 people attended the show this year, a 14% increase over last year.)
Many of the top Amiga companies were at the show but there were some noticeable absences. The companies and organizations who did show, did so in an enthusiastic way, though.
When John Zacharias started using his Amiga for e-mail he
was very frustrated that all of the features he wanted from an e-mail
client were not available all in one program. AEMail is a mail
client designed to read, process, compose and send e-mail from an
Amiga computer over the Internet. It provides an easy to use graphical
interface designed specifically for the Amiga. It connects to an
Internet server through AmiTCP or any TCP/IP stack compatible with
AmiTCP. This includes TermiteTCP and Miami. It uses the
AmigaDOS editor, ed, or any other editor of the user's choosing for
developing email messages. No other external programs or modules are
required. The POP3 and SMTP protocols are built into the program. I
thought the interface was nice (despite the fact that it does not
require MUI) and especially noted the
easy-to-navigate tool bar.
Don Hicks, publisher of the only Amiga-oriented glossy
magazine in North America, Amazing Computing/Amiga, was very
busy in his booth selling the latest issue of Amazing (March
99) and offering subscriptions. the previous evening, Don was busy
videotaping all of the goings-on at the various speeches and other
show events. The highlight of Friday evening was the rousing speech
given by new Amiga president Jim Collas. Don said that it is very
likely that Amazing would be publishing the finished video tape, so if
you could not make the banquet, you can still see all of the
activities for yourself. Watch the What's New page of the Amiga Web
Directory for the availability announcement about the video.
The fine folks at Amiga Atlanta were showing off their newest
creation, a video feature highlighting a group of Amiga computers
which are still actually being used at NASA to control critical
mission details. The video takes us into the Hangar AE complex where the
Amigas are called upon to assist with many spacecraft launches, even
the Space Shuttle. The 11 min. (approx.) video is available from the
club in VHS PAL and NTSC formats. Check out the feature, The Secret in Hanger
AE on AAI's web site for a preview.
AntiGravity was extolling the virtues of their latest killer Amiga
clone, the Boxer-based Neila Phase - 498, a decked-out '060/66 Amiga
machine with lots of bells and whistles for not a lot of money. This is
a pretty machine that when it comes out should be an interesting contender
in the Amiga clone market.
Payroll Plus is an Amiga-based program to control and track
the payroll costs of your company. Author Richard Brewster (in
the red tie) began writing the program four years ago after
discovering that no one had offered the kind of package he needed in
his own business. When he first started, it was necessary to purchase
the venerable SuperBase database program on the Amiga. Now
Payroll Plus is using a special runtime version of SuperBase,
thus making it a completely independent stand-alone application. The
latest version now available offers many new features and updates.
One of the busiest booths at the show was Compuquick. Randhir
and Sarla Jesrani were constantly helping customers with questions
about the merchandise they were selling in their booth--and they had a
ton of stuff. Compuquick was selling Amiga A1200 Magic Packs, NewTek
Video Toasters and Video Flyers, Spectrum video boards, hardware
accelerator kits for all Amigas, AmigaDos 3.1 upgrade kits and gobs and gobs
of Amiga software and accessories.
CUCUG hit the show floor offering memberships and renewals and the
booth was pretty busy with people signing up to join the group. We
also offered fans of the Amiga Web
Directory the attractive, official AWD T-shirts which were also
quite popular. Many thanks to CUCUG member Don Shaffer and his lovely wife,
Kay for their help with the booth this year.
Here we see the famous Amiga Web Directory shirt being shown off by Amiga Inc.'s General Manager Jeff Schindler. Sure, Jeff you can have a free shirt if you send us a complementary AmigaSoft 5.0 machine when it comes out!
Many of the visitors to the CUCUG booth congratulated us on the
success of the web site, quite a number of them noting that the Amiga
Web Directory is the first page they look at when they turn on their
This vendor was showing off its line of custom-designed Amiga-oriented
T-shirts and other clothing items. According to Chris Holt,
Digital Quill (no relation to the Amiga software package of the same
name) specializes in digital image transfer and can produce T-shirts,
sweats, mugs, mouse pads, plaques for organizations from just about
any kind of artwork--digital or not. So, if your group wants its own
logoed merchandise, check out these guys.
Amiga cartoon artist Eric Schwartz and his father Ron were
offering a variety of what appeared to be used hardware and software
for sale as well as a selection of articles including some of Eric's
fabulous artistic Amiga creations.
One of the more active areas at the show, were the Gateway Amiga
Club's Consignment Tables. Show attendees were encouraged to bring
their used hardware and software (no copies!) to the consignment area
and offer it for sale to the hordes of other Amiga fans at the show.
This was a unique opportunity for buyers and sellers alike and with a
minimal 10% commission due GAC for their services, everyone profited!
The club was also selling its GAC Originals
Collection. We're sorry, but we did not get the gentleman's name in the photo.
I stopped by and had a very nice chat with Frank Davis and
his lovely wife, Carol. Frank and Carol have run their
mail-order company since 1986 and originally supported only Sinclair
Computers(!) from the UK. They also published Update Magazine
for nine years. Four years ago they started selling Amiga used
hardware and new and used software at computer shows in the Midwest.
This has been a success for them and they have decided to continue and
expand to as many all Amiga shows as possible. They also plan to
increase the amount and variety of Amiga software they sell at other
computer and Ham Radio shows. Their wide line of merchandise is now
available on line at their web site. Check it out!
Go to Page 2 >>>
Copyright, 1999, CUCUG - No Reposting. All photography Copyright, 1999 Kevin Hisel