One of our editors recently received a call from a worried reader who was on the verge of buying an Amiga 2000 when he noticed the MS-DOS emphasis in COMPUTE!'s new format. Was the Amiga market dying?
The answer is a definite No. COMPUTE! has stepped up its MS-DOS coverage to reflect changes in the home computer market in general. But the Amiga market is still strong and growing, and its future looks good.
For one thing, Commodore is finally marketing the Amiga. By now, you've probably seen the multipage ads in Life, Newsweek, and Time, or the "Stevie" commercials.
Other good signs came from the November COMDEX show, where Commodore announced the Amiga 2500/30, an enhanced 2500 with a 25MHz 68030 coprocessor card. The 2500/30 retails for $4,699 and is faster than Sieve Jobs' NeXT workstation in many applications.
With national advertising, hot new hardware like the 2500/30, and price cuts of 10-15 percent on most of the Amiga line, Commodore's future looks bright.
COMAL Is Cool
One of my favorite computer languages is now available for the Amiga: COMAL. You'd think the last thing the Amiga needed was another programming language, with APL, ARexx. Assembly BASIC. BCPL. C.C + + Draco, Forth, FORTRAN, ICON, LISP, Logo, Modula-2, Pascal, and PILOT already available. But COMAL is a unique language that combines the ease of BASIC with the structure of Pascal.
COMAL's statements are similar to those in Amiga Basic, but the language also has procedures, a CASE statement, and turtle graphics similar to those found in Logo. While AmigaCOMAL is an interpreted language, an inexpensive compiler is available.
If you used COMAL on the Commodore 64, you'll find it easy to port your programs to AmigaCOMAL, since it follows the Common COMAL standard. New in AmigaCOMAL is the ability to write packages (collections of external functions that you can reuse in other programs) in COMAL itself. More seasoned Amiga programmers will be thrilled to learn that COMAL makes it easy to link in machine and C functions.
If you're frustrated by Amiga Basic, but you can't see getting into C, grab AmigaCOMAL. The COMAL interpreter is available for $99.95 plus $3.00 shipping, and the add-on compiler and developer's documentation cost an additional $34.95. Or send a self-addressed, stamped envelope with 45 cents postage for a booklet with more information on COMAL. Send orders and inquiries to COMAL Users Group USA Limited, 5501 Groveland Terrace Madison Wisconsin 53716.
Electronic Arts has finally released an upgraded version of DeluxePrint II that supports Workbench 1.3 printer drivers. The program hit the Amiga market earlier this year with a resounding thud when people discovered it only supported the 1.2 drivers.
The new version also adds support for large font directories. While DeluxePrint II 1.1 is a solid performer, it still has some quirky behaviors, such as its insistence on having a floppy disk in DF0: even if you started the program from your hard drive.
Still, if you want to print greeting cards, banners, letter-heads, or signs, you can't beat DeluxePrint II, especially if you have a color printer. EA will send the 1.1 upgrade free of charge to version 1.0 owners who send both their art and program disks to P.O. 7578. San Mateo, California 94403-7578. DeluxePrint II 1.1 retails for $79.95 and is available from Electronic Arts, 1820 Gateway Drive. San Mateo California 94404; (800) 245-4525
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