What's up for 1991. (Amiga Resource)
by Shay Addams
Copperman goes country-and-western. This is just one of many surprising, yet bound to come true, predictions of what 1991 has in store for Commodore and the Amiga.
These predictions were made possible by the latest program from Psychic Software (yes, the same software wizards who brought us last year's Mystic Term for telecommunicating with the deceased). An innovative program with countless capabilities, the Amiga Mage can forecast anything from the weather to the final point spread on the Lakers' next game. And for people who don't know what they want to know, Mage offers the most user-friendly feature yet--a special Intuition mode that reads your mind so it can reveal what you unconsciously want to know. All this, and icons too!
But enough hype. As most of you have figured out by now, I've never even seen the Amiga Mage. I'm just doing what lazy software reviewers do: rewriting the press release that accompanied the program. (With dozens of packages arriving daily, who has time to open them all? If it doesn't have lurid pictures of half-naked slave girls on the cover, I won't give it a second look.) And according to the press release, this is what the Mage says about the Amiga in 1991.
The Amiga will finally get an operating system. According to game designers, AmigaDOS (which they often refer to as AmigaDOG) will actually work this time, and they won't have to disable it and write their own operating system from scratch! This could cut development time in half, leading to twice as many new Amiga games by 1992 (unless the designers spend that extra time looking for another excuse to bad rap the Amiga, or even more unlikely, finding reasons to bad rap the IBM).
Commodore president Harry Copperman will give up the corporate mantle and go on the road with Willie Nelson's band. His first live gig will be Farm Aid 1991, where Copperman will play squeezebox and sing harmony with Johnny Paycheck on "Take This CDTV and Shove It."
Because of an obscure subparagraph in United States copyright laws, all commercial software will be recategorized as public domain software by June 30, 1991, thus ending all those frustrating "look up the keyword" sessions, along with all other forms of copy protection. As a result, all USA-based programmers will relocate to Bimini and devise the even more frustrating "Biminese copy-protection scheme."
Imported from Japan, C64 clones will outsell the Amiga, IBM, Nintendo, and Sega combined, forcing software companies to send their designers to Remedial Sprites 101 class in Cupertino.
Jack Tramiel will take over Commodore, but not till he's run Atari even deeper into the ground than he did Commodore. His first official act will be a Jack Attack in which he'll bomb IBM plants in Florida and Texas with tons of unsold CDTV units. He'll then go on to develop the Commodore Plus/68, a 68000-based machine with TextCraft, GraphiCraft, and two other applications built in that's completely incompatible with the Amiga.
The new, improved .info Magazine will publish its first issue that doesn't take a cheap shot at a single Amiga program, peripheral, or even Commodore itself. But a bar-code read error at the post office will send every copy to software developers in Bimini, so no one else will ever know it happened.
Commodore stock will skyrocket when the United States finally takes the lead in the microchip market, but only after Japan is hit by a massive earthquake and sinks to the bottom of the Pacific.
Thanks to innovations in micro-miniaturization, desktop publishing will be replaced by desk-drawer publishing. All desktop publishers who refuse to purchase the necessary upgrades will be deported to Bimini. (In a related prediction, desktop video will be replaced by desktop radio.)
And now for my own predictions: We'll see many more Amiga conversions of MS-DOS games in 1991 as well as more "Amiga-first" titles from USA-based developers. MicroProse has already changed its mind and decided to convert Railroad Tycoon, my favorite simulation last year, and others are bound to follow suit. This is especially true since this is essentially a follow-the-leader industry anyway, and Sierra, one of the strongest Amiga supporters in terms of conversions, is perceived as the leader by many.
The flow of European Amiga software into the U.S. will increase as the Atari ST's popularity wanes over there. As a result, we can look forward to a greater variety of entertainment software this year.
How about hardware, you ask? The Amiga 3000 will gradually garner a bigger share of the multimedia market, mainly because of Microsoft's decision to base its related project on the slow but firmly entrenched 286 chip rather than the zippier 386. As the Apple II, Apple IIGS, and Atari ST die slow but painful deaths, their former owners who don't go MS-DOS will get Amiga 500s, so the 500 will outperform the CDTV and the 3000 in 1991. Naturally, Commodore will decide to kill the machine just about that time. And I will move to Bimini, where the living is easy and the cotton is high.