Main Line Computer Users Group - December 1998 Issue 199

**** DECEMBER 1998 ***************************** ISSUE #199 ****

VILLANOVA UNIVERSITY, ST. AUGUSTINE CENTER

MEETING STARTS - 09:30 - DEC 07

! SPECIAL HAVE FUN MEETING !

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THIS MONTH'S CONTENTS

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MAIN LINE 64/128/PC USERS - Room 110

In addition to this month's special feature - see the description below - we hope to have some fun items for more than comic relief! During the first half hour, we'll have the announcements and some Q & A - but we have to allow time for the main features. Then, starting at 10:00 and continuing each half hour thru 11:30, we'll have a door prize drawing (for 8-bit, PC or Amiga users).

At 11:30, following the door prize drawing, we'll have the 50/50 raffle drawing (assuming YOU ALL buy those tickets!). In that same time frame, we'll break out the deli tray and everyone can enjoy some treats. Thru all this, we hope folks will have a chance to chat and enjoy the main feature!!!

[continued on page 3]

MAIN LINE AMIGA USERS - Room 210

We had a nice turnout of members at our November meeting which started with a general discussion. We followed the discussion with the completed viewing of the Catalyzer I video. We didn't stop to emulate any of the presentations on tape, and were therefore able to finish viewing the video. We do have the Catalyzer II video to show sometime in the future.

For December we will focus on celebrating the coming Christmas holiday season. (See Emil's writeup elsewhere in this issue.) So, any presentations will be on the lite side. On the agenda will be a general discussion with maybe a focus on the newly announced next generation Amiga, the Catalyzer II video, and MAYBE a presentation of Amiga Forever on a PC

[continued on p.5]

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! DECEMBER'S MAIN FEATURE !

Photo guru Layton Fireng will bring in his PhotoSmart scanner. He'll show it off - then attendees will be able to scan their favorite 35 mm slide or negative to get images to view on the screen and files that can be manipulated to your heart's content! So, bring in your favorite (and a floppy or Zip, if you want a file) and have some fun!!!
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GEOS User's Tip#2

[continued from November]

From now on you'll have to use your backup system disk. Now you better order geoMakeBoot for sure before you ruin your backup disk. You have to be able to boot up GEOS in order to use geoMakeBoot. Order it now before it's too late!

If you are one of the smart ones and have been using boot disks that you made with geoMakeBoot, try booting from another disk and see if you still have problems. However, if this disk is a copy of your problem disk, then you might still have trouble. In that case, get your original GEOS disk out and make a new boot disk with geoMakeBoot. Then test again. Hopefully you've fixed the problem.

If booting from new boot disks gets you nowhere, maybe the problem is somewhere else.

FINDING BAD HARDWARE

Finding a problem with your hardware can sometimes be a challenge. Just like we did when we suspected a bad file, let's start suspecting bad hardware and get rid of it.

Is your RamLink giving you trouble? Disable it and boot up from a floppy or the HD and see if the problems go away. If you normally boot from your RamLink, read the previous portions of this article and redo your RamLink partition. Keep a backup of your RamLink partition in case you have to restore it. This is the easiest way to fix the problem. CMD's MCOPY program (outside of GEOS) can copy a whole disk to your RamLink partition. When you know you have a working boot partition on your RamLink, make a backup of that partition with MCOPY to a floppy disk or to a partition on your hard drive. You won't be able to boot from that copy, but you'll be able to recopy it back to the RamLink partition if the need ever arises. Here again, I'm stressing backup, backup! It's so much easier to make a whole disk backup of the partition than it is to recreate it from scratch. You might forget how you did it the first time and will just be in for a lot of work and frustration. Disk copying is simple. Creating from scratch is a pain.

This isn't saying that your RamLink is a source of trouble, but there are things happening that might not be readily obvious. Let's say you just added a SuperCPU to your system. When you disable the SuperCPU and run a program from your RamLink, you might be in for trouble. Did you install that jumper wire? You better do it to be safe. The SuperCPU can control the RamLink without the jumper wire since the RamLink is mostly controlled entirely from the SuperCPU. But when you disable the SuperCPU, you're now relying on all the signals to the RamLink to pass back and forth through the SuperCPU. Some critical signals may be a little bit weaker than they should be. I don't know all the technicalities of this, but without that jumper wire, you might corrupt portions of your RamLink while using it with the SuperCPU disabled. What will get corrupted? Your files of course. You'll discover the bad ones when you try using them. And it might all be because you used the RamLink one time without the SuperCPU being enabled. Do it right and it'll work for you.

Printer interfaces can be trouble. But usually they just lock up the serial bus. Your computer will seem to just stop instead of actually crashing. But unplug the thing anyway while you're trying to figure out where your problem is.A drive can be a source of trouble. The drive itself might not be a problem but maybe the software that controls the drive is.

This would be the disk driver.

Disable or turn off one drive at a time until your problems go away. If all of a sudden your troubles disappear when one of your drives is out of the system, then you can figure out why that drive gives you trouble. If you suspect the disk driver, then you might have a bad copy of Configure on your boot disk. Delete Configure and filecopy a good copy in it's place. When you delete a file that is suspected to be bad, like Configure, it's a good idea to validate the disk before you put a new copy on it. Remember the discussion with overlapping files? Delete Configure then validate to fix the file that might be overlapping Configure and then reinstall a new copy of Configure. If you don't, you just might add to your troubles somewhere else without realizing it right away. This can happen with any bad file. Always delete the bad file, validate, and THEN put a new copy of the file back on the disk. It's ok to recopy over a good file, but not a bad one. You never know what problems you might be creating for yourself.

SUMMING UP

In reality, this article just barely scratches the surface on locating problems. This is a very challenging subject at times and can really make your life miserable. It's nice when we don't have any problems at all, but anything can happen and it always happens at the wrong time. If you can figure out your troubles on your own, then you'll feel proud of yourself.

Remember certain things. Your system always worked before, so why is it giving you troubles now? Figure it out, there's a solution somewhere. Don't just keep on using a system that's giving you a problem. Fix it. What have you done recently that might be the problem. It'll be obvious when you figure it out. If you get completely lost, don't give up. Someone nearby may have had similar problems. Perhaps you can find an online source to post a message of help. Maybe you belong to a local user group and someone in the group might be able to help.

The best thing about this is when you finally do fix your problem, you might have enough knowledge to help the next guy. Your own experience can really be a benefit to others. Share that knowledge, that's what this computing business is all about.

This page was updated on February 10, 1998 at 11:00 am. Material on this page is Copyright © 1998 by Maurice Randall Permission is granted to Commodore related publications to reproduce this article without permission as long as the source is mentioned.
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This GEOS tip was downloaded from Maurice Randall's website, the author of geoShell and Wheels (new GEOS upgrade OS). Check out the site at: people.delphi.com/arca93/

While things have been a bit slow on the site, hopefully it will be more active when the launch of Wheels 128 has been completed.
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DIRECTIONS FOR ST. AUGUSTINE CENTER MEETING ROOMS

Meetings in the St. Augustine Center at Villanova University. The 8- bit and PC sessions will be in Room 110 and the AMIGA meeting in Room 210.

Enter from the ITHAN AVENUE main gate, then proceed to the 2-level parking building adjacent to St. Augustine, on the Ithan Avenue side.

NOTE: maps on our webpage -
http://astro4.ast.vill.edu/mlcug/index.html

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64/128/PC/Amiga Meetings  1998/99  Steering Committee Meetings
                      January 09 *                      January 13
                      February 06                       February 10
                      March 06                          March 10
     * = second Saturday     ** = third Wednesday
******************************************************************
 EDITOR: Emil J. Volcheck, Jr.   1046 General Allen Lane
                                 West Chester, PA 19382-8030
(Produced with C-128/SCPU 128, RAMlink, HD-40/85, 1571, FD-4000, THE
WRITE STUFF 128, XETEC Super Grafix, Canon BJ-200ex, Swiftlink and
Motorola 288 modem)

          MLCUG BBS: 610-828-1359 (300 --> 33600 bps), 24 hr/day
                WWW: http://astro4.ast.vill.edu/mlcug/index.html
          PUBLICITY: Robyn Josephs 565-4058
        DISK ORDERS: Charlie Curran 446-5239; Bill Bacon 441-5908
  VILLANOVA SPONSOR: Prof. Frank Maloney, Dept. of Astronomy

MLCUG STEERING COMMITTEE:

          PRESIDENT: Emil Volcheck   388-1581
          SECRETARY: Charles Curran  446-5239
  TREASURER/MEMBERS: Dewitt Stewart  623-5145
    AMIGA SIG/SYSOP: John Deker      828-7897
           INTERNET: Peter Whinnery  284-5234
           DATABASE: Layton Fireng   688-2080
           AT LARGE: Tom Johnson     525-3440
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ANNOUNCEMENTS & SPECIALS
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HAVE A HAPPY HOLIDAY SEASON - WITH OUR BEST WISHES FOR THE NEW YEAR!

IT'S THAT TIME OF YEAR! - yes, another year has rolled around and the dues renewal period has arrived! Since we are managing to keep a reasonable bank balance - and the costs for the newsletter have held about the same - we are holding the dues at the $15 level. That will be true if we GET ENOUGH RENEWALS; so turn to page 10 - fill out the renewal form and send it along with your check to Stew Stewart!

As of November 18th, we had 18 renewals (a bit less than the same time last year). We hope that renewals will get up to our 1998 level so that we are able to continue to provide support for users of our various systems (Commodore, Amiga and PC).

If you know someone who has recently joined computing - or recently converted from one system to a PC or Amiga, please let them know about us. We'll have plenty of extra copies of the newsletter at the meeting to let you spread the good word!

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BBS OUT OF SERVICE

by John Deker, SYSOP

As I was composing this month's newsletter, the BBS was out of service with hard drive problems. The problems started with an effort to upgrade the BBS last May. At that time we upgraded the hard drive and associated SCSI interface to use a 2 GB Connor hard drive. The SCSI interface is Commodore's A2091 board upgraded to handle the larger drive.

Since the upgrade we have routinely experienced loss of the message base and other files almost every two months as a result of block read errors and cross linked files. November's disk errors were the most extensive I've seen to date. So, I decided to shut the BBS down until we get a replacement drive and SCSI interface. As of this writing, I have the replacements in hand -- DKB's RapidFire SCSI interface and a Quantum drive. By the end of this weekend, November 22, the BBS will hopefully be up and running again.

The club management is sorry for any inconvenience or loss of BBS data.

$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$
$ TRADING POST $
$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$

FOR SALE: MLCUG has a lot of hardware and software that is available for you to purchase at very attractive prices! By the time you get this newsletter, the listing should be updated and POSTED on both our BBS and our webpage. This new listing has ALL items priced. Check out either of the site postings. For items, you can contact Charles Curran to make arrangements to purchase (610-446-5239).

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64/128/PC MEETING
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For a change, our November meeting had a series of successes - and only one failure. Murphy must have been on vacation!

Following the usual announcement period, we had a wide ranging discussion and dealt with a number of questions and problems from the 14 attendees. Following that, we ran a number of short demos with the club's new PC.

First, we ran a small utility to test the year 2000 compliance of the hardware (BIOS). The PC passed the test (the first PC I have tested that did!) - a good showing.

Note: as a part of this year 2000 check, we also ran a short utility, called WIN95Y2K.EXE, from Microsoft, that updated two files (winfile.exe and command.com) to make them Y2K compliant. This utility is available on the club BBS for any Win95 user that wants to improve the Y2K compliance of their operating system.

Second, we took a real flyer. For our December meeting, we need to use a SCSI scanner; so we had to install a SCSI card in the PC. During the previous month, we had acquired an Adaptec Model 2910 PCI Fast SCSI card. For this cold turkey demo, we powered down the computer, removed the side panel on the case (it is a simple snap-on), plugged the new card into one of the empty PCI slots and powered her back up. In this instance, Windows 95 did what it is supposed to do, namely; it recognized the presence of the new card, assigned it resources and installed a driver for it from the collection of drivers that accompanies a Windows 95 installation. With that success, we can now hope that the card will do its stuff and handle the scanner (see elsewhere in this issue).

Third, we got a successful connection of the ethernet network interface card (NIC) to the Villanova University ethernet LAN (with an assist from Prof. Maloney to handle the on-line registration of the NIC with the VU network).

Fourth, we fired up the Norton Anti-virus software (previously installed) and had it go out to the internet (via the NIC) to update its virus definitions file. That was quick (due to the ethernet LAN speed) and successful - we then had it scan the PC for any virus activity (which was negative, as expected, since little had been installed on the machine in the last several months).

So far so good, then came the failure. As at last month's meeting, we tried to access the club BBS via Charles Curran's cell phone and laptop. We did succeed in getting a brief connection, but it soon dumped us off and we could not get back on. Charlie is able to regularly use the system from his home; so the meeting room/building at VU is not offering a favorable reception environment, it seems. We'll keep trying, but our hopes are not high!
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YOUR FORTUNE FOR TODAY

"I get up each morning, gather my wits, Pick up the paper, read the obits If I'm not there I know I'm not dead; So I eat a good breakfast and go back to bed"

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BOOT/EMERGENCY/RESCUE DISKS - III

[continued from November]

2. RECOVER-IT by Remove-It 95

A more extensive rescue file set is created by this utility - which you activate as follows (assuming you have installed Remove-It 95 on your computer):

- START - Programs
- Remove-It 95
- Recover-It 95

When Recover-It is run, it will ask you to insert up to three (3) floppy disks - at its prompts. Since they will be formatted and written over, again use disks with no important files on them, or blanks.

NOTE: you will be asked to give a name to the first disk in the set. The default is RECOVER-IT (see below). But, you can give it any name you like - up to ten (10) characters. BE SURE you put that name on the disk label; so you will have it for the rescueing. If you provide the wrong name, Recover.exe will abort!

Here is a listing of an example file set from the Recover-It disks:

 Volume in drive A is RECOVER-IT
 Remove-It 95 Rescue Disk set (#1 of 3)

AUTOEXEC BAT        11 11-09-97   3:42p
CMOS     BKU       128 11-09-97   3:42p
COMMAND  COM    93,812 08-24-96  11:11a
IO       SYS   214,836 08-24-96  11:11a
MSDOS    BKU     1,641 07-07-97  10:10a
MSDOS    SYS         0 11-09-97   3:41p
PARTBOOT BKU     2,560 11-09-97   3:42p
PCI      VXD    42,247 08-24-96  11:11a
RECOVER  DAT       988 11-09-97   3:42p
RECOVER  EXE    18,164 11-09-97   3:42p
SYSTEM   INI     1,972 11-09-97   3:23p
TRACK0   BKU    32,256 11-09-97   3:42p
USER     DAT   151,812 11-09-97   3:36p
VMM32    VXD   709,450 11-19-96   9:58a
VNETBIOS VXD    27,221 08-24-96  11:11a
VREDIR   VXD   156,749 08-24-96  11:11a

       16 file(s)      1,453,847 bytes

 Volume in drive A is RECOVER#2
 Remove-It 95 Rescue Disk set (#2 of 3)

BTCCDROM SYS    15,792 07-04-96  10:41a
EMM386   EXE   125,495 08-24-96  11:11a
NDIS     VXD   116,301 08-24-96  11:11a
SYSTEM   DAT 1,195,560 11-09-97   3:33p
SYSTEM   DRV     2,288 08-24-96  11:11a

        5 file(s)      1,455,436 bytes

 Volume in drive A is RECOVER#3
 Remove-It 95 Rescue Disk set (#3 of 3)

AUTOEXEC BKU       790 09-23-97   3:35p
COMM     DRV     5,856 08-24-96  11:11a
CONFIG   BKU       710 09-23-97   3:34p
HIMEM    SYS    33,191 08-24-96  11:11a
ISAPNP   VXD    11,333 08-24-96  11:11a
JAVASUP  VXD     5,712 01-31-97   8:25a
KEYBOARD DRV    12,688 08-24-96  11:11a
LMOUSE   DRV    81,424 10-31-95   7:00a
LMOUSE   VXD   101,995 10-31-95   7:00a
MMDEVLDR VXD    11,844 08-24-96  11:11a
MMSOUND  DRV     3,104 08-24-96  11:11a
MMSYSTEM DLL   103,248 08-24-96  11:11a
NDIS2SUP VXD    23,744 08-24-96  11:11a
POWER    DRV     1,920 08-24-96  11:11a
VFD      VXD     5,857 08-24-96  11:11a
VGAFULL  3GR    14,624 08-24-96  11:11a
VNETSUP  VXD    19,129 08-24-96  11:11a
WIN      COM    24,503 08-24-96  11:11a
WIN      INI     8,630 11-03-97   7:20p

       19 file(s)        470,302 bytes

Compared to the Win95 Start Up disk, or the ERU, many more critical files and data are kept. Noteworthy are the contents of your CMOS, information on the boot sector of your hard drive, your CD-ROM drivers, the Config and Autoexec files - and all the device drivers, and such, that are referenced by your startup files.

With such a rescue tool, you can recover from a larger disaster than many other "rescue" systems.

To use this particular recovery tool, you simply boot with the first disk in the set and follow the prompts. And, REMEMBER, that you must enter the CORRECT DISKNAME after booting is complete and before the rescue starts.

Good luck - hope you never need any of this stuff! But, if you do, then the preparation will be well rewarded!

[so ends our tale of avoided woe!]
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IMAGINE IF INSTEAD OF CRYPTIC, GEEKY TEXT STRINGS, YOUR COMPUTER PRODUCED ERROR MESSAGES IN HAIKU!

"Having been erased, The document you're seeking Must now be retyped."

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   _   __      _  <>_  __      _
  /\\   |\    /|| ||  /  `    /\\
 /__\\  | \  / || || || ___  /__\\
/    \\_|  \/  ||_||_ \__//_/    \\_
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By John Deker, AMIGA SIG Leader

along with the Siamese System. To do these last two items any justice will require networking the A1200 to the PC.

I would like to remind everyone that it is again time to renew your club membership. Remember that it is only a measly $15, just enough to pay for copies of this newsletter to mailed to your home every month. So, take the time now to fill in the form on the back of this newsletter. You can either remit at this month's meeting or follow the instructions on the application and mail your application & check to Dewitt Stewart.

MEETING OVERVIEW

Since the primary thrust of November's meeting was the presentation of the Catalyzer I video, there's not a whole lot I have to say about the meeting other than it was a chance to become aware of some of the capabilities of ImageFX, one of the premier graphics manipulation packages for the Amiga. In no way was the presentation intended to make you a competent ImageFX user. Instead, raising your level of awareness was the intent.

The high lite of the presentation for me was the opportunity to gain an insight into how to use the ARexx interface to automate the creation of animation effects. Knowing what capabilities exist within ImageFX gives me the knowledge to look for these features within the manual and documentation without having to read either one at great length. I hope others who attended the presentation came away with the same impressions.

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     A M I G A   U P D A T E
        -News and Rumors-
    (An Occasional Newsletter)
======================================
SPECIAL EDITION! - 98114
AMIGA'S OS PARTNER REVEALED!

Editor's Thoughts and Introduction:

We're very pleased to bring you this special edition of Amiga Update, in which we present the long awaited news about the Amiga's partner company for development of the next generation operating system. From our point of view, this looks like an excellent choice, one which should make all Amigans very pleased. Check out the details below for yourself. We think you'll finish with a smile on your face.

The announcement was made Friday night, making Friday the 13th a lucky day for the Amiga.

Enjoy, Brad Webb, Editor

THE NEW PARTNERSHIP...

At Computer '98, currently being held in Cologne, Germany, Amiga Incorporated has kept their promise and revealed (November 13) the company which will be their partner in developing Amiga OS 5.0 for the next generation machines. That company is the Canadian firm QNX Software Systems Ltd., makers of the realtime operating system QNX. What follows is information on QSSL, obtained from their website (http://www.qnx.com/, and more in depth information direct from on-line question and answer sessions involving key Amiga Incorporated personnel in Cologne.

A LOOK AT QSSL

QSSL (QNX Software Systems Ltd.)
Corporate Headquarters
175 Terence Matthews Crescent
Kanata, Ontario
Canada, K2M 1W8

QNX RTOS

QNX is a realtime, extensible POSIX-certified OS with a lean microkernel and a team of optional cooperating processes. This flexible architecture lets you scale QNX down for lean embedded systems, or scale it out to create a virtual super-computer orchestrating hundreds of processors.

QNX/Neutrino

QNX/Neutrino is a POSIX microkernel that can be scaled to a standalone system as small as 32K or as large as 4G. A subset of the modules available for our full OS are now available for QNX/Neutrino - with more being added every day. Currently QNX/Neutrino is being designed into deeply embedded applications such as telecom/datacom devices, industrial controllers, office equipment, and consumer electronics. We've also recently announced QNX/Neutrino with support for symmetric multiprocessing. This allows the same code base used in tiny embedded devices to be easily scaled up to large distributed networks of SMP clusters.

QSSL COMPANY OVERVIEW

QNX Software Systems Ltd. was founded in 1980 by Gordon Bell and Dan Dodge to develop, maintain, and market the QNX realtime operating system. Privately owned and self-financed, our company has been profitable each and every year. It has also enjoyed exceptional growth. In fact, over the past decade, we've expanded our corporate headquarters four times to handle increases in staff and production. We have over 40 distribution partners that serve almost 100 countries worldwide. To support our thriving distribution network in the European Community, we have a division, QNX Europe, located near London, England. Our corporate headquarters, which houses facilities for R&D, sales and marketing, and customer training, is located in "Silicon Valley North" just outside Ottawa, Canada. Business Philosophy

Our approach to business is based on the firm belief that all dealings with us should be simple and convenient. For instance, we make our software modular from a technical as well as a pricing standpoint so that customers can keep costs to a minimum by ordering only those modules their target application needs. We strive to make our service and support the best in the business. We offer a 24-hour online conferencing and update system, a third-party solutions directory, and an international technology conference. We deliver three levels of technical support with varying degrees of phone, fax, and email support. And finally, we offer hands-on training as well as consulting services.

ANSWERS FROM AMIGA INCORPORATED...

The following sections have been edited from logs of IRC conferences held at Computer '98 and posted on the User Group Network website ( http://ugn.amiga.org/). We have edited them to save space and correct typos. Where important for understanding, we have left some questions in the text. Brad}

FROM JEFF SCHINDLER, AMIGA INC'S GENERAL MANAGER

I want you all to understand that Dr. Allan Havemose is head and VP of development. So Allan will be working with QNX as our next generation foundation OS we will be building the next Amiga architecture on top of QNX low level OS

The QNX OS is a microkernel RTOS that is fully protected. It is network\Internet centric supporting distributed processing. We will be adding information to our website amiga.com covering the QNX soon.

We have many months of work ahead to add things like a gaming kit, multimedia, gui, ... to the foundation os ... we are planning a 24bit true color object oriented architecture ... we have many things in the definition stage at this point as we work with QNX.

As many are aware we have been looking for a partner for the last 9 months. Dr. Havemose has been evaluating all the os possibilities for the best technology to fit the next amiga. I have been evaluating the companies to see if they would make the best working relationship and business partner. QNX was the winner in our minds by a long long way, then we had to negotiate how we would best work together. Most of the QNX engineers are Amiga people and have owned Amigas and many still use them, so they are very excited for this new opportunity. Both QNX presidents first home computers were Amigas

We will be building on top of the QNX foundation and QNX is working on adding many low level features to support our plans for the new architecture. It will take several months to have the development platform ready to start programming apps to then months following this we will release our first version

MARKETING DIRECTOR BILL McEWEN ON QNX AND THE FUTURE

Last night we announced the OS foundation partner. QNX!

We were able to give breakdown of the OS, and see a demonstration of its capabilities. We will be placing the presentation and information on the web site by the end of the month. The team for the NGAmiga, will be announced soon, again we are in final specification stage with our partner, and we need to make sure that the teams can accomplish their tasks. We have spent over 18 months on market research, the target market is still Gaming/Internet. According to IDC this market will see 96% growth over the next 10 years, while PC growth will stall in the next two years and decline.

DEVELOPMENT'S DR. ALAN HAVERMOSE SPEAKS

Question: What advantage will QNX give us?

Dr. Havermose: Several. most importantly it is a fully protected OS with processes and threads. Also the networking capabilities are very impressive. For instance, qnx supports transparent networking, where you can move an applications from one computer to another one without any special programming. Full support for TCP/IP, with java enabled browser. Microkenel architecture,where all device drivers run in user space havemose scalable from 100k rom with no disk to 100s for SMP systems networked. Powerful ...

The classic OS upgrade is scheduled for release in the first half if 99. We have not given a real schedule for the new Amigas. We will first create a "development system" this will be followed systems. My focus right now is on the development system.

In OS 5.0 Networking is standard. Browser is standard. Java is standard.

Question: how many people will you/amiga inc hire for development?

Dr. Havermose: Outside the QNX development group I will probably initially hire under 20. More later.

Question: Will amiga os 5 have the same structure as older amiga os version! I mean C: libs: startup-sequence and so on? and the same device names and so :)

Dr. Havermose: We haven't made those decisions yet. QNX's layout is different but very logical, so it will likely be somewhere in between.

We did a quick survey at qnx. More than 60% of all engineers have or had amigas! They fully understand what Amiga is, was and what I want to do ! Very important to me.

Some confusion here. People often use the words kernel and OS as synonyms. That is not the case. We will use must of the qnx as our FOUNDATION. Amiga will add OpenGL, multimedia, user interfaces configuration and lots of the user experience stuff.

Question: With recent chip announcements and developments, is the MMC still a good option? TB GA

Dr Havermose: Assuming the MMC means the "mystery" chip. Yes, but we have multiple choice of of chips. havemose QNX works on both intel, PPC, mips, and several risk processors. So we do not have to make a choice yet and we haven't.

We are working on an "amiga on a PCI card". We plan to use that for the development system. We are investigating an emulation option as well, even though I personally think that the AmigaPCI should havemose be sufficient.

Question: Do you intend to use the X Window System, as QNX seems to support it now?

Dr. Havermose: no.

Question: What exactly is an "OS partner"? What parts of the QNX OS do you find interesting? What parts of Classic AmigaOS can we expect to show up in AOS 5? Eh, ARexx? :)

Dr. Havermose: qnx will provide kernel, file system, device drivers etc. Amiga will provide gui, graphics, 3d, multimedia, video etc.

Question: Realtime OS means that now my multitrack audio/midi project will not loose sync?!?

Dr. Havermose: Exactly. We can do a context switch will full context save/restore in less than 1 micro second. havemose This allows us and you to use the OS to synchronize video and audio.

Question: Since the writer of glowicons works for SGI too, does this imply any further implication between SGI and Amiga?

Dr. Havermose: no.

Question: What functionality did you show in your demo last night of QNX-OS?

Dr. Havermose: We moved an application from one computer to another live. It was running on PC1 and at the press of a button, it began running on a second system. We played doom running with 1/2 of doom on one PC and the other half on the other PC. This was doom on QNX, not Windows. Showed the multiple languages. Booted the entire OS with internet support, browser, word processor and an animation off a 1.4 MB floppy.

qnx is mostly in embedded applications. They are in cisco routers, IBM's pervasive computing initiative, nuclear powerplants, the space shuttle, etc. Stuff that cannot crash ! Very impressive customer based.

We will introduce new UI technologies which combined with the new OS and networking will put the havemose Amiga back in the lead again. The system can boot from a 100k rom without disks. It can boot using a bootrom plus a HD, every config is possible. Graphics memory has no limitations,other than to do 1208x1024 in 24bits with double buffering you will need 4 to 8 MB.
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Copyright 1998 by Brad Webb. Freely distributable, if not modified.

FUTURE MEETINGS

If you have either software or hardware for your Amiga that has taken your fancy, please bring it to our attention. I'm sure your specific interests will be of interest to others. Let me know if this is the case at the next meeting, or leave me email on our BBS. Remember, a user group is only as rewarding as the sum of the efforts of its individual members.