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news from around the world



volume 7, issue 2, spring 1992

A publication of commodore electronics limited - nassau, bahamas

Company News

The Commodore Success Story and

From Desktop Calculator to Multimedia Magic

It’s a line-up everybody in Germany knows: "Profi-Line" PCs, Amiga 500 through Amiga 3000, C64, CDTV —- big names which helped Commodore attract the atten- tion of the computer world last year as the company celebrated its 20th year in Germany.

A lot has changed in 20 years. Remember PET 2001 and VC 20? This was the lineup in the 1970’s, the machines which helped launch Com- modore internationally. Today, they are almost forgotten. So, too, is the fact that the company actually got its start in 1958 in Toronto, Canada, repairing and servicing office equip- ment. In those days, electronic infor- mation technology was in its infancy. The PC was just a gleam in Com- modore’s eye.

The company as we know it to- day got started in 1960 with the es- tablishment of Commodore Business Machines Inc. in the U.S.A. At that time, the company adopted a new thrust. This was the dawn of a new era; the changeover from manual to electronic data handling in the US. business community was just getting started. Calculators and large, main- frame computers replaced manual business equipment. Demand mush- roomed, not only from large-scale in- formation handlers like banks but also from mid-sized companies. There was constant demand for faster, more powerful equipment.


Commodore Braunschweig Factory

The big breakthrough came in 1967: Commodore introduced the first electronic desktop calculator. The effect on banking, on inventory control, on financial markets was dra- matic. To speed development of even more sophisticated products, Com- modore opened the first development laboratory in what would become the renowned Silicon Valley of Northern California.

Commodore Germany Frankfurt


Company News European News Canadian New

Amiga News Editorial

CDTV News Market News Financial News

Commodore International 1

That’s how California became the cradle of the first Personal Com- puter Commodore unveiled at the National Computer Conference in Dallas in 1977. The PET 2001 was the technological marvel of its day with a whole 4K of RAM on the motherboard! What was truly revolu- tionary about the PET 2001 was its price only $595. (U.S.) That gave birth to a motto which is still basic Commodore philosophy: Better Technology at Lower Prices.

Commodore PET 2001

Successful Growth Strategies

In the years following the intro- duction of PET 2001, the develop- ment of computer and _ data- processing technology surged forward with dramatic speed. Commodore

Commodore VIC 20

made a key, strategic move: It segre- gated its consumer microcomputers

2 Commodore International

Company News

and professional systems into sepa- rate divisions. The PET 2001 be- came the basis of the 8000 series of computers for technical and commer- cial use; and Commodore filled the gap in the consumer market with the VIC 20 (VC 20 in Germany). The VIC was an instant hit because of its ability to display color pictures and graphics. By 1982, more than one million units had been sold world- wide. The first ever computer to sell that quantity in one year.

C64: The World’s Most Successful Computer

The 1980s was the decade of furious development in the computer sector. In 1982, Commodore created another sensation with the introduc- tion of the Commodore 64, or C64. The C64 made computer technology affordable for any household. It was

Commodore 64

a hit in universities, and even used by major companies. Because of its ex- cellent color and graphics capabilities not to mention its affordability the C64 is still in use today despite the advent of more powerful desktop computers.

More than 400,000 C64s were sold in fiscal 1990-1991. No doubt about it this was the machine that popularized the small computer. More than 11 million units have been

sold worldwide, making the C64 the best-selling desktop machine in the history of the industry.

The Founding of Commodore in Germany

As Commodore developed a worldwide reputation, it became a major force in developing the Euro- pean computer market. Ten years af- ter the establishment of Commodore International, the company estab- lished a German division (Com- modore Buromaschinen GmbH) in 1971, with offices in Hanover. Later, the company would relocate to Frank- furt.

Over the next few years, Com- modore also established subsidiaries in France, Great Britain, the Nether- lands, Sweden, Italy, Switzerland, Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Norway, Portugal and Spain. It didn’t take long for the German operation to emerge as a locomotive for Com- modore’s European sales thrust. Al- most from the start, the results in Ger- many have been consistently strong, with steady growth.

But Commodore is doing more than selling computers in Europe. It is also manufacturing in Europe. In 1980, a production and development facility was established at Braun- schweig, Germany, a first for Com- modore in Europe. This was in line with the company’s preference for its Own production rather than sub- contract the work or license out its brand names. Since the Braun- schweig plant opened, it has handled European production of the Com- modore PC and Amiga lines.

Market Leader in Microcomputers and the Amiga Phenomena

After a successful launch into the MS-DOS market in 1985, Com- modore has kept bringing out a Steady stream of new products. The key words here are PC and Amiga. The earlier decision to target the pro- fessional market has been paying off handsomely, enabling Commodore to emerge as an undisputed leader in German microcomputer sales. It ranks second in the European market for professional application and fifth among U.S. manufacturers, according to the market research institute Dataquest.

Spurring sales is Commodore’s innovative multimedia technology, which integrates the computer func- tions, plus digital sound and high- grade animation and video in a single unit. That is making Commodore the market leader in multimedia technol- ogy. BYTE, a leading U.S. computer magazine, describes the Amiga 3000 as "an impressive machine." For three years running, the Amiga 500 has been selected "Computer of the Year" by the German computer maga- zine CHIP. In 1991, an international panel named the Amiga 500 the "Eu- ropean Computer of the Year" for the second year in a row. This European award the Grammy or Oscar of the European computer industry only made its debut in 1990.

Company News

Changing Trends in the 1990s

Besides the mass-market 500, the Amiga family consists of the 2000 and 3000, which are designed for the professional market. Sales efforts in Germany have been re-organized into four divisions: PCs, Networking, Amiga and Consumer Products. Each of these divisions has claimed a major market niche. Big business cus- tomers like Thyssen, Batelle-Institute and the German Federal Railways as well as universities and many mid- sized companies report great satisfac- tion with their Commodore systems because they are able to tap the con- siderable know-how and experience of each division.

In 1991, the German company unveiled "Profi-line" a line of prod- ucts spanning the four divisions. There is a model in Profi-Line for every user. The SL 286 is ideal for

German Federal Railways

beginners, the high-powered tower (T486 -25C) provides the power and. multi-tasking capability that profes- sionals and smaller business require. At the high end are Amiga 3000, Amiga 3000T and Amiga 3000 UNIX, new product lines which are bringing more and more professional users and larger business over to Commodore. With its complete net- working product, including Amiga 3000 UX workstations and Intel- based servers, Commodore is setting a new standard for systems for busi- ness and industry.

Now CDTV Commodore’sNewest Multimedia Innovation

Another example of the Com- modore strategy to keep developing new markets with new-concept tech- nology is the company’s world- leading initiative with CDTV. CD- ROM technology allows storage of huge amounts of data on compact discs that look just like the kind of CDs used for playing music.

CDTV, or Commodore Dynamic Total Vision, is the marriage of CD- ROM with Amiga technology, which means that graphics stored on a CD can be brought to the screen with stunning clarity and brilliance.


Commodore CDTV

This is multimedia carried to new heights. Following on its long suc- cess story with PET 2001, VIC 20, C64, Amiga and Profi-Line, Com- modore is poised to define the multi- media product of the 1990’s. For many months now, leading computer journals have been talking about CDTV. For many users, it has already set a new standard for a multimedia application.

There’s no doubt about it. At age 20 and 30 respectively, Commodore Germany and Commodore Inter- national are poised for success, ready to meet the challenges facing the computer industry right into the 21st century.

Commodore International 3

Commodore is No. 2

in Europe

A total of 7.5 million personal com- puters were sold in the European market in 1990. This is the figure released by the British market research organization, Dataquest, in its study of August 1991. According to the study, the Frankfurt computer manufacturer, Commodore, with a market share of 12 percent, was No. 2 in the European market, just after the market leader IBM with a 15 percent market share.

In the second quarter of 1991 alone, a total of 1,775 million computers were sold in Europe according to Dataquest. With 11.6 percent market share, Com- modore continues to hold its position as No. 2 in the European computer market. As Commodore’s German Managing Di- rector, Helmut Jost, said when opening Commodore’s latest office in Warsaw, Poland, these figures emphasize the com- pany’s ability "to expand dynamically and successfully in spite of a worldwide stagnating computer market".

A comparison between the Com- modore sales figures of the second quar- ter 1991 and those of market leader IBM clearly indicates that, with IBM computer sales totalling 14.8 per cent market share, the company was only just able to main- tain the edge over Commodore. Another competitor, Compaq, a company that as recently as 1989 ranked second in the Eu- ropean market with a 9.5 per cent market share, fell back to fourth position with a 6.4 per cent market share in the second quarter of 1991. Other major suppliers, such as Apple and Olivetti, have clearly lost their grip on the European market.

The position of the Frankfurt com- puter manufacturer stands out even more if one was to base the turnover figures and market share on the German Desktop - PC market. According to the latest in- formation released by the market research organization, International Data Corpora- tion (IDC), the PC industry’s sales turnover in Germany in 1989 amounted to around two million computers. Thus, contrary to previous, more pessimistic forecasts, PC sales experienced another

4 Commodore Intemational

European News

boom during 1990. German reunificaion, in particular, had a favorable effect on PC sales. As.a result, 1990 PC sales to mar- ket research organizations rose by close to 30 percent compared with the previous year’s sales. With a market coverage of 27.7 percent, the IDC study clearly shows Commodore to be market leader - in terms of volume of completed deliver- ies in the German PC market. Says Jost: "As far as turnover is concerned, the company chiefly owes its No. 1 ranking amongst the top ten suppliers to the in- creasing market acceptance of the profes- sional product line sold under the trade- mark of "Profi-Line", as well as to the company’s reorganization into separate PC, Networking, Amiga and Consumer Divisions."

According to the company, the rapid growth in sales was also largely due to the Amiga product line. The company clearly managed to hold on tight to its strong position in the market despite the selection process forecasted by leading re- search institutions, which had already been well underway by 1990 and which will continue to escalate throughout this year.

However, Commodore is also gain- ing an increasingly bigger market share in another market segment. Commodore has become firmly established in the fiercely competitive and highly promis- ing European Notebook market with its portable computer line.

The Notebook C386 SC-LT launched on the market in the spring could even develop into a market hit amongst the range of mobile secretaries: It was the first and may be the only portable computer on the desktop com- puter market that comes with a modem and provides access to a BTX and data transmission facility. Says Jost: "On ac- count of the increase in sales in all our product sectors, we are very optimistic about the company’s future in spite of the increasingly widespread trend in this in- dustry to oust the weak from the market."

Commodore Has Some Impressive Partners in


To get to be market leader in Ger- many Commodore has naturally acquired some impressive partners who use our products. Some of these customers are noted here:


In the years 1988-1991, over 300 Commodore computers were installed by the DAG nationwide. These units are op- erated in the areas of word processing, bookkeeping and also File-Server in the network. The DAG operates exclus- sively Commodore computers on federal, land, and regional levels.

German Railways (Deutsche Bun- dersbahn"):

The German Railway has also worked with Commodore systems since 1987. Important to the decision of the German Railway were the efficiency and compatibility of the Commodore Profi- Line products. All systems from the 286 to the 486 PC are, with the use of special cards, equipped with low-radiation moni- tors (according to the Swedish standard) with increased picture repeat frequency. The Commodore products correspond to the German Railway-standard under con- sideration of economic aspects. Already over 4,000 professional Commodore sys- tems are in operation at the German rail- way. They are similarly used as Stand- Alone standard systems, as in the area of office communications and connectivity to the diverse German Railway main- frame, locally as well as remote (for ex- ample, over the German Railway’s own X-25 network). Commodore has thereby the largest share by far in installed PCs with this customer. Among other impor- tant customers for Commodore, Germany are the BATELLE INSTITUTE with over 200 sytems, BEWAG AG, DILLINGER HUTTE with 150 Commodore PCs, MAHO AG with some 200 systems, NOELL AG, RHEINBRAUN AG and VOGEL VERLAG.

Commodore Opens Office in Poland

Computers made by the Ger- man Technology Group of Com- modore are to facilitate the eco- nomic recovery in Poland and Eastern European countries. Hav- ing opened its doors to the West and having initiated reforms de- signed to restructure the economy, Poland has given a clear signal to the Western industrialized nations. It is this development that the Frankfurt computer manufacturer, Commodore, has now responded to: By opening up the first repre- sentative office in Eastern Europe, the company has indicated its con- fidence in the Polish and Eastern European economy.

Says Helmut Jost, Managing Director of Commodore Germany and Vice President of Commodore International on the company’s commitment in Poland: "By having a representative office in Warsaw, at a time when Poland and Eastern Europe are experiencing a difficult rehabilitation phase, our company is making available the entire range of technical expertise and know-how of an internationally operating conglomerate that has taken us 30 years to acquire." The leading principle is to create a solid and future-oriented basis for con- ducting business by building up a genuine partnership between East and West as far as EDP is con- cerned. For this reason, the con- cept of cooperation between the Polish economy and Commodore comes first. Says Jost: "Modern computer technology is also a pre- requisite for economic growth. Commodore is putting all its bets on partnership and fairness, not least through its policy of affordable

European News


In any case, the starting condi- tions for a fruitful cooperation are favorable, indeed: Demand for modernization and the willingness of Polish companies to invest in new and modern computer tech- nology is greater than ever before. Even more so now that this market is faced with complete restructur- ing following the disappearance from the market of East German computer manufacturer, Robotron, whose products were once leading in the Polish and Eastern European PC markets. A challenge which Commodore is ready to accept with all its technical expertise and know-how. Large firms, medium- sized and small businesses, but al- so schools, banks and insurance companies as well as municipal services are increasingly resorting to Commodore solutions. By opening up its representative office in Warsaw, the Frankfurt technology group is able to satisfy the growing demand.

For this reason, Commodore will now be represented on the Polish market with its entire range of products in order to be able to meet the market requirements. Thus, the beginner’s models C64 and Amiga 500 for the school and training sector will be just as read- ily available as professional PC and network solutions for the in- dustrial sector. This means that the product lines of the four cor- porate divisions, PC Division, Networking Division, Amiga Di- vision and Consumer Division, that are available in Western Eu- rope will also be sold on the Pol- ish and Eastern European market. Says Jost: "With our effective and low-cost range of information technology products we want to be actively involved in supporting the rehabilitation process of the Polish economy."

Commodore Warsaw opera- tion will be headed by Andrezcy Draczowsky who will handle distribution, marketing and sales.

Commodore International 5

Dr ay



World of Commodore 1991 Continuing the


In December 1983, celebrating 25 successful years in business, Com- modore hosted the first ever World of Commodore in Toronto, Ontario. The three year old VIC-20 had already sold over 1.5 million units to become the industry’s first "platinum" seller. Its successor, the C64 launched in August 1982, was shipping over 40,000 machines per month, well on its way to becoming the number one selling computer of all time with sales to date of over 15 million!

As the first North American inter- national computer show orchestrated by a single computer company, World of Commodore was an ambitious un- dertaking. With the help of show managers Hunter Nicholas Inc., it was a resounding success attracting over 25,000 attendees. It was also the smallest World of Commodore ever.

At the second show, held in 1984, new products and new ideas were everywhere. One of the most innova- tive was the MusicMate from Sequential Corp. of San Jose, CA. They introduced a musical keyboard that connected directly to the Com- modore 64, a forerunner of today’s elaborate musical peripherals.

1985 was a watershed for new products from Commodore. First and foremost was the launch of the Amiga 1000 perhaps the most exciting new computer of the year. Also intro- duced at WoC-III was the Com- modore 128, a higher performance home computer that was compatible with the C64’s 6000 software pro- grams. In addition, Commodore took its first steps in the MS-DOS arena with the launch of PC10 and the PC20.

In 1986 Commodore displayed its vision of the future of computing. Both the C64 and C128 were to in- clude GEOS, an early version of the graphical user interfaces that now dominate computing. Another prod-

6 Commodore International

Canadian News

uct almost overlooked in 1986, but a vital component in Amiga computing today, was the Amiga Genlock 1300 that enabled Amiga computers to integrate with external video sources. On the MS-DOS side Commodore joined the 8026 fray with the PC40 equipped with a full 1 MB of RAM.

1987 saw attendance jump over 40,000 for the first time as WoC grew in popularity. Enthusiasts flocked to see the two new Amigas the power- ful affordable 500 and the expandable 2000 which offered DOS compatibil- ity for the first time. Real-time 3-D animation became a reality on the Amiga with the introduction of VideoScape 3-D from Aegis.

Celebrating Commodore’s 30th birthday, the sixth annual World of Commodore in 1988 was a showcase for the diversity of Commodore’s product line. The C64 continued its amazing run by actually improving on 1987 sales! The Amiga joined the VIC-20, the C64 and the C128 in the ranks of Commodore’s million sellers club. And the Commodore PC60, based on Intel’s 386 chip, helped make Commodore Canada’s second largest manufacturer in the MS-DOS marketplace.

In 1989 the Amiga truly came of age. While the C64 kept selling and Commodore’s PC computers gained acceptance in business and govern- ment markets, World of Commodore *89 was a coming-out party for the Amiga. Developers showered the market with software that took ad- vantage of the Amiga’s unique capa- bilities in color processing, anima- tion, sound and video. For Amiga fans, this was your show!

Last year Commodore took an- other step into the future of comput- ers. Hailed as the C64 of the nineties, CDTV merged CD-ROM technology with the Amiga operating system to make interactive TV a real-

ity. Competing for attention were NewTek’s incredible Video Toaster, an add-on card that turned an Amiga into a video production studio, and Commodore’s own Amiga 3000, a sleek, powerful new Amiga.

The 9th Annual World of Com- modore carried on the tradition. Tak- ing place on December 6, 7 & 8th last year, the show was again produced by The Hunter Group in conjunction with Commodore and was held at Toronto’s International Center. Many of the exhibitors from previous years returned with new and improved products and several new companies may turn into long term successes.

Highlights of the Show

With around 30,000 people at- tending the show, one of the major highlights was that attendees were invited to make their own rock videos using an Amiga with Toaster and a Pioneer Laser disc.

Also featured was an Amiga Art contest using Deluxe Paint IV. Con- testants were given 45 minutes to draw a picture which was then print- ed using a Sharp color printer. At the end of three days approximately 200 entries had been submitted. The renowned artist, Charles Patcher, was commissioned to do the judging and choose a winner.

Overall with around 70 exhibitors showing off the wide world of Com- modore computers and the very ex- tensive back-up of peripherals and software, the show was once again a great success. To Commodore it was a wonderful showcase and to the attendees an unique opportunity to evalulate all there is available to enhance their Commodore computing in 1992. Congratulations to all in- volved in making the show a success and part of Commodore life in Canada.

Commodore Teams With Kawai to Co-Market Computer Music Systems

Commodore Business Machines Canada Ltd. and Kawai Canada Music Ltd. have announced a co-marketing arrangement designed to facilitate the sales and purchasing of computerized music systems.

The deal calls for joint marketing support and bundling of Commodore’s Amiga computers and Kawai’s electronic keyboards, music software and MIDI de- vices. "This type of arrangement goes beyond simply promoting a concept. To- gether we are delivering a straight for- ward, easy to implement solution to a rapidly growing marketplace," comment- ed Tom Shepherd, Commodore’s Director of Marketing.

Consumers currently deal with four sources to get a computer, a keyboard, music software and a MIDI interface. By bundling the four components, Com- modore and Kawai are ensuring compati- bility and providing consumers with a functional home recording studio at an attractive entry price.

"Our expertise in the music industry, particularly electronic instruments, and Commodore’s experience in multimedia computer application creates a definite synergy," commented Rob McCardle, Kawai’s Division Manager, Consumer Products. "The fact that we are both ex- perienced in selling to the home market is a benefit as well."

Co-marketing arrangements at the manufacturer level are a growing trend in the retail business. The bundling of prod- ucts from different vendors to offer a complete solution has traditionally been done by dealers. When done at the man- ufacturing level, packaging and product design become part of the mix.

"Our approach to the home market is to create packages that are usable in the home," added Shepherd. "By creating and delivering applications that appeal to the creative side we are going beyond the traditional belief that people will actually balance their cheque book or file their recipes on a home computer."

Initially, two bundles are being made available to both Commodore dealers and Kawai dealers. The "FunLab" music sys- tem combining a Kawai FS680 keyboard, FunLab Music Software (including a MIDI interface) and an Amiga 500 com-

Canadian News

puter with a monitor. The "FunLab Ju- nior" package combining a Kawai MS710 keyboard, FunLab Jr. Music Software (including a MIDI interface) and an Amiga 500 computer with a mon- itor. Established in 1927, Kawai is a world leader in the manufacture and sale of pianos, electronic organs and electron- ic musical instruments. The company, with over 5,800 employees worldwide, also produces sporting goods, toys, furni- ture, housing products, and fabricated metal.

Canadian Broadcasting Centre to Feature Amiga Computers in Touchscreen Building Directory

The Canadian Broadcasting Corpo- ration (CBC, Canada’s state-owned radio and TV network, has contracted with St. Claire Videotex Design Limited, Toronto, to create, configure and install a building directory for the new Canadian Broad- casting Centre, using a network of 40 Amiga 3000 computers from Com- modore.

The new office tower, scheduled to open in June, will be equipped with an Amiga-based interactive touchscreen building directory that locates any indi- vidual, department or project team, and provides animated directions.

The Amigas will be mounted in attractive wheelchair-accessible kiosks throughout the facility. First-time users need only to touch a screen in response to video or audio clues (in English or French) to begin a self-guided tour of the directory. Experienced users may bypass interim steps with "wildcard" entries that immediately call up specified informa- tion.

Donna Bevelander, senior project planner, said CBC desired a sophisticated electronic building because of plans for the building’s size, the network’s large and constantly changing workforce, a steady flow of guests and vendors, and the CBC commitment to a bilingual workplace.

"The Canadian Broadcasting Centre will encompass 1.7 million square feet on 14 floors, each of which covers 3 1/2 acres," Bevelander said. "We are consol- idating offices, production and broad- casting facilities that are now in 28 loca-

tions around Toronto. The building will house approximately 3,200 employees."

A Multilingual Facility

"Had a traditional building directory been erected, employees and visitors would get off one of the 23 elevators and face a 10-foot by 20-foot wall of tiny text in two languages and little arrows that didn’t tell you anything," Bevelander said.

"With the St. Clair building directory in place, employees and visitors will get off the elevator and find a friendly touch- screen that asks you if you prefer your in- formation in English or in French."

St. Clair Videotex is a designer, de- veloper and producer of custom interac- tive multimedia solutions for corporate and public sector clients.

H. Douglas Peter, president of St. Clair, said they chose the Amiga comput- er for the CBC application because it of- fers flexibility, multitasking and un- matched multimedia capabilities.

"We will need to integrate and fre- quently update information for the cen- ter’s system from various databases the PCs they use to process telephone direc- tory information, the way they use to process architectural information - and the Amiga 3000 is flexible enough to do that," Peter said.

"We also have to maintain a 99.9 percent service level, meaning the system has to be accessible to users virtually all the time,” Peter said. "With the Amiga’s multitasking capabilities, we can achieve that by running the program that updates information, monitor system performance and analyze user preference in the back- ground, without interrupting users."

"St. Clair also was sold on the Amiga’s multimedia capability. Its built- in multimedia tools allow us to mix text, graphics, animation and audio to create an unusually good level of communica- tion between the user and the informa- tion," Peter said.

In addition to the 40 Amiga 3000s located in kiosks, hardware for the CBC installation will include an Amiga 3000 Master Station and an Ethernet LAN. Software for the installation is comprised of AmigaVision authoring language, St. Clair’s Control Panel, ProSound audio editor, CDTV and Deluxe Paint for graphics, an AutoCad and dBase/ Super- Base interfaces.

Commodore International 7

Commodore Delivers on Multimedia Computing


When Commodore introduced the Amiga in 1985 and established practical multimedia computing, many thought of the technology as destined only for spe- cialized markets. Unlike some of history’s "visionary" technologies that never man- aged to find a market of reasonable appli- cation, multimedia is delivering on the promise that it heralded five years ago.

The U.S.A. market for computers used in multimedia-type applications is expected to grow to about $11.4 billion by 1995, according to Desktop Presenta- tion. Multimedia technology has grown steadily through an increasing number of applications, and has a large and loyal audience.

As a result, many major computer manufacturers have plans to provide a multimedia class machine before 1995. Sales of interactive videodisc courseware (a key multimedia application for all markets) have already exceeded $500 million and are projected by SK & A Research to grow to $2.5 billion annually by 1992.

The "promise" of multimedia origi- nally was a new capability utilizing mul- tiple forms of media to design and develop programs that helped sell a product in a store, sell management on a new project, and educate students in exciting, interac- tive ways. Multimedia now has come to mean that and much more.

What Is Multimedia?

Commodore defines multimedia as: "A method of designing and integrating computer technologies on a single plat- form that enables the end user to input, create, manipulate and output text, graph- ics and audio and video, utilizing a single user interface."

Multimedia integrates basic informa- tion processing with animation, sound, color graphics and video. There is a mis- perception that multimedia is a single ap- plication when it is really a technology or group of technologies.

The Amiga was designed as the first microcomputer with multimedia capabili- ties and is poised to maintain its technol-

8 Commodore International

Amiga News

ogy leadership in the 1990s with its line of delivery and development products in- cluding CDTV Multimedia Player, the Amiga 3000 CPU and the AmigaVision authoring system.

What Can Be Done With Multimedia?

Early multimedia users included graphic artists, professional video and music users, and producers who took ad- vantage of the Amiga’s superior graphics capabilities and multitasking ability.

Educators also developed interactive video presentations -- video and computer programs running in tandem under the control of the user, providing full motion video and sound.

Interactive video applications are popular and effective in the following segments:

¢ Education, where $4-5 billion in federal U.S.A. funding is available for basic skills, adult education and correc- tional training, according to Educational Turnkey Systems.

¢ Corporate, industrial and gov- ernment training, with computer and re- lated hardware expenditures of about $1.8 billion annually, according to Train- ing Magazine.

¢ Retail point-of-sale, with expect- ed sales of about $200 million, according to Exhibit Builders Magazine.

The initial growth of multimedia was slow in-part because the technology lacked an easy-to-learn, simple-to-use authoring system. Although versions of authoring systems are available for a number of computers, they generally re- quire the knowledge of complex pro- gramming languages well beyond the reach or patience of the average user.

Thanks to AmigaVision, multimedia is no longer for the computer elite. Ami- gaVision is an iconic, flow-chart-based authoring system that takes the confusion out of authoring multimedia presenta- tions or courseware. The Amiga’s com- petitive pricing makes it accessible; and together with the affordable Amiga- Vision, the Amiga provides an attractive

price performance in a multimedia ma- chine.

Where is Multimedia Now and Where is it Going?

Multimedia applications used to be expensive, physically unwieldy and uni- versally complex. Through the evolution of a number of technologies such as video projectors, videodiscs, CD-ROM and authoring software, multimedia is be- coming more than just the latest industry buzzword; it represents the most signifi- cant new application area for personal computers.

With the Amiga, Commodore is a leader in a number of markets, including 3-D animation and modelling, paintbox and character generation. For example, in the professional video market, the Amiga’s share has grown to nearly 70 percent of the animation segment, ac- cording to Sheer & Chaskels on Re- search. Keyboard Magazine says the Amiga has a 15 percent share of the pro- fessional music market.

The machine’s integrated technol- ogy, storage capacity, graphics chips, ver- satility, on-board 4-voice, 2 channel au- dio and multitasking make it an ideal per- sonal workstation for demanding profes- sional applications in key markets.

Computer-Based Training

Computer-Based Training (CBT) is of great interest to education, business and government markets. With CBT, the learner determines and affects a pro- gram’s flow and content by responding to instructions at predetermined points.

So much of CBT is self-directed, it is important to be able to develop pro- grams that are highly interactive. Though self-directed CBT won’t substi- tute instructors, thousands of school teachers and instructors who struggle with overcrowded classrooms will use it to provide more tailor-made learning pro- grams for students. Students will be able to spend more time improving particular needs and enhancing specific talents.

Professional Video

Fastest growing in the video seg- ment is the computer-based graphics industry. Computers primarily used in this segment are character generation, paint and 3-D modelling animation systems.

Presentations and Displays

The Amiga’s ability to perform real-time animation makes it the com- puter of choice. For example, in Hol- lywood it was used to develop titles for "Three Men and a Baby"; and in Miami, the national Football League’s largest electronic scoreboard is con- trolled and animated by the Amiga.

Amiga News

Professional Music

The professional music market comprises $53 million in computer equipment, according to Keyboard Magazine. This segment includes music teachers and students, musi- cians who use electronic or synthe- sized music, composers and song writers.

These users have turned to the Amiga because of its built-in four- voice, two-channel audio and the machine’s line of professional soft- ware and MIDI interfaces with the ability to handle real-time sequencing and digital editing.


Usually this editorial is about Commodore but this time it is about the dramatic effect that computers can have on the lives of less fortunate people. Next to this editorial is a piece written on a computer by Michael Wells who was written off by much of society as being not only "physically handicapped" but also "mentally retarded". When you read this piece you may find this latter statement hard to believe. Because of his "physical challenge" every letter had to be tapped out with a rod at- tached to his head.

I got to know Michael through my wife who has been helping him. Michael is a Bahamian who since birth had no physical control over his arms and legs and can "hardly man- age the very simplest grunt of "yes" and "no" for speech. Everyone assumed he was also mentally handi- capped as he had no means of com- municating. This was not true. Michael taught himself to spell by watching Sesame Street. But until the computer came along all he could do was attempt to communicate by tap- ping at letters on a big board while someone watched. A microcomputer has dramatically changed this and his life, as you will realize from this arti- Cle. The article is done by a man who

for the first 20 years of his life had an impenetrable wall through which he could not communicate with the world. But for his own incredible de- termination, hidden intelligence, hap- py nature and a computer this might still be so.

For 16 years I have been involved with microcomputers since launching the Commodore PET in the U.K. For all the amazing things that have de- veloped from the start none can probably match in simple human terms the ability of wordprocessing to open a window on the world. Michael is a remarkable human being who because of his almost complete physical handicap could well be con- sidered mentally retarded. Michael would also have never written the article I include here. Indeed Michael could probably have never communi- cated with me when I have met him other than with his infectious and remarkable smile. Technical progress and human progress make a happy marriage. Please read Michael’s article.

Christopher "Kit" Spencer Editor

Commodore Worldwide News Commodore Electronics Ltd. Sassoon House

PO Box N10256

Nassau “= Bahamas

Being Physically Challenged Does Not Mean Mentally Retarded

When people see a person in a wheel chair, they assume that person is mentally retarded. Some people don’t know the difference between mentally retarded and _ physically challenged. Just because a person is in a wheel chair does not mean that

the person is mentally retarded. A physically challenged person can think for him or herself, they have ambitions, just like any normal per- son. They can be just as intelligent, they can make important decisions, they can even be creative. He or she might not be able to talk, to express their thoughts, but that does not mean they don’t understand what is going on around them. Their brain works just like any normal person, although the rest of their body may not. Peo- ple need to stop judging the book by its cover: they should read the book before they pass judgement. I’m a physically challenged person. When people see me they assume that I’m mentally retarded, but I’m not men- tally retarded. I’m just physically challenged. That goes to show that even doctors don’t know everything. People just don’t understand that a person could be physically challenged without being mentally retarded. People should treat a physical chal- lenged person as normally as possi- ble, and not think of a physically challenged person as being mentally retarded.

Michael Wells

Commodore International 9

Amiga News

What Videography Magazine Had to Say About the Amiga

Perhaps an indication of just how important the Commodore Amiga has become to the video industry was illustrated last year when the North American magazine Videography devoted a 30 page