Unless you've been on vacation for the last six months, you've undoubtedly heard the news: AmigaDOS 2.0 is up and running, the Amiga 3000 is shipping, and Commodore's latest marketing innovation, CD("don't say computer")TV, is soon to be slipping Amiga 500s into the stereo racks and home entertainment centers of unsuspecting consumers everywhere.
The most interesting thing to note about CDTV is not what's inside, however. There's nothing new about the Amiga 500 hidden within CDTV's sleek black case, and CD-ROM drives have been readily available for Macs and PCs for quite some time. What makes this product so unique is its exterior design and the way Commodore intends to market it.
CDTV's controls are a hybrid of a VCR's and an audio CD player's; most of the machine's input comes from an infrared remote with such buttons as Play, Stop, and Pause. While a traditional computer keyboard will be available, it will not be standard CDTV equipment.
In effect, CDTV is Commodore's first entry into the mainstream consumer electronics market. Its intended shelf partners are audio and video products made by such companies such as RCA, Sharp, and Sony. As with any new product design, Commodore's biggest problem will be explaining CDTV to the public. It's not a VCR (although it does hook up to your television set), it's not a CD player (playing audio CDs is just one of its talents), and it's not being marketed as a computer (even though it runs Amiga DOS 1.3).
Arlan Levitan recounts his experiences with CDTV's unveiling in this issue's "Abstractions." If you'll remember, Arlan broke the CDTV story way back in the June issue of Amiga Resource. Although Commodore promises that well over a hundred CDTV software packages will be available by the time you read this, Arlan's not entirely convinced. Of course, Mr. Levitan is rarely entirely convinced of anything.
One bit of news you may have heard even if you have been on vacation for the last few months (assuming you vacation in Disneyland or Disney World) is that Disney's Animation Studio is finally out. Disney is actually selling the program at both of its theme parks. (Visit Mickey and buy an Amiga program!) Because of an under-the-table deal between AmigaWorld and Disney, in which AmigaWorld promised to tout the product on its September cover if Disney withheld the program from all other magazines for a period of three months (thanks, guys), our in-depth review of Disney's Animation Studio has been unavoidably postponed. Look for it in an upcoming issue. We've got two of our best people putting the program through its paces as I write. Along with the review, you'll also find an interesting interview with the program's author, Leo Schwab.
In the meantime, all you animation afficionados should check out this issue's feature, "Rowland Animation." Ben and Jean Means tell of their visit to one of the most unique public schools around, Rowland High, where students are using Amigas to create award-winning animations. This southern California school has received national acclaim for its work. In fact, one of the students' animations will be appearing on television this November as part of First Lady Barbara Bush's literacy campaign. Look for it.
And now for some news from a little closer to home: The results of the Amiga Resource $10,000 programming contest are finally in. I must admit that with all the changes going on here at COMPUTE, it took us a while to announce these, but the votes have been cast and the winners have been notified. Check out "The Envelope, Please" in this issue for the official results.
You'll find Mike Duppong's first-place winner, Field of Domination, on this issue's Amiga Resource Disk along with the honorable mention Disk Scan, by Russell Caslis. Of course, we can't possibly fit all of the winners on one disk. You'll just have to wait for the rest.