6/24/97

 copyright 1997
By: Timothy Rue

E3 1997 observations and other perceptions.
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I went to E3 and from what I got out of it, the show only gave more weight
to doing a modular system. I'm actually supprised it hasn't been done.

There is a gap between low end set top boxes, game consoles and the $1500
- $2000 US dollar priced PC systems. There is the statement that the buyer
has opted for the higher price of the PC's but later a statement was made
that for new CPU's the system cost is above $2500 though Intel's next CPU
will be at a $2500 system. There seems to be a bit of a tug-of war here,
could it be that the consumer opted price is really just the maximum
dollar the consumer is willing to pay in trying to find the optimum price,
performance and length of time a system will hold value? I think maybe so.

There is a question of how to move the gaming industry and it's consumer
to the higher priced PC's. The gaming kids are growing up but there seems
to also be a contridiction here in moving -everything- to the internet,
where lower priced systems will access the power of the internet.

In Andy Grove's (Intel) keynote and afterward press conference, he
supported the push to moving -everything- to internet based servers.
Intel is also working on a graphics processor.

Andy also used the term - open modular concept, though only time will tell
if he was using it in the same way I do. Again, security on the internet
is a big issue (brought out again as it was at Comdex.)

The Gaming industry - The talent qualification are not keeping up with the
growth. Talent compensation is becoming something of a forest in options
and company compensation plans. The goal is to keep the talent happy in
the work environment while doing such things that help lock or motivate the
talent to stay with a company.

In the gaming industry the market is 90% male but the age level seems to
be going up some. 10% is female but the thing here is that girls have
different interest and the gaming industry really hasn't done much towards
their interest.

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Looking at Gateways direction, it's clear they are pursuing the internet
market and the consumer end in providing the complete home studio
connection to the internet. Nothing wrong with this but it's not all there
is, though it does address the general consumer and worker.

I visited Gatways store here, just outside Atlanta. I was impressed,
walked out with a smile.

With A.I.s broad licensing I would imagine the Amiga technology is or will
be integrated into the industry where ever it may be of an advantage. This
is good for technology, though I'm sure there will be Amigians who'll
resist.

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This last Christmas didn't do so well with set-top boxes. The internet did
hit a limit in it's growth but in time, when the right kinds of services
and consumer values become available, the growth will pick back up. I'm
sure this is nothing new to those leading this direction. I suspect the
problem has been in the speed of it's evolution, the bringing out of better
value for the dollar so quickly after consumers have made an investment.
Many are learning to wait for technology to stabilize in what they buy so
they don't feel shorted in their investment.

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Overall, there seems to be problems, concerns and contridiction in much of
what those in the industry, and many facets of, are saying. Yet no-one
seems to be willing to look at or address the obivious and simple
solutions.

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The Amiga Community:

There appears to be a level of stubbornness which is keeping the Amiga
community from taking a clear hard look at what is evolving. Perhaps there
is a feeling of fear contributing to all of this. Perhaps I'm wrong in my
perception.

The Amiga has alot of value in what it can contribute in the way of
solutions needed. But these values may be being constrained as a result of
not looking at what's coming.

The IARS survey, though I can and do recognize the amount of work put into
this effort, I must also look at the limitations. The survey does not take
into account what is evolving. It has been produced by the responces of a
limited set of those who know of the Amiga, many who are not completely
looking at what is coming. The survey does not take into account what the
future can be, the real value the Amiga has in providing solution in the
industry and fields using the technology produced by the computer industry
(focus seems to be limited to the Amiga only, not how it fits in with
everything else). There is a quality to recognize about the Amiga
community, but within this community. And that quality is of knowing there
is something better, more productive, about the Amiga than found elsewhere.
But the fault is in not recognizing there are many who would quickly join
in this recognition if they only knew of the Amiga.

I feel that the direction of the ICOA "might" be one of having to narrow a
focus and to much expectation of return for this focus. Perhaps resulting
in wasted time in trying to deal with issues which will and should quickly
become moot, once viewed in the light of the bigger picture of what is
evolving, and needs to be applied for solutions in the industry. I could
be wrong about ICOA, for in the current early stage, much can change and
my perception could be wrong.

In any event, when the needed changes in the computer industry happen, 
leading to modular hardware easy to connect and software openness, then
there will be a real need for an organization addressing mapping and 
navigation of resources.  

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Hardware:

The foundation for hardware development is physics.

Hardware technology is going to continue to evolve, producing faster and
faster computation. But as this has been happening the speed barrier get
passed in this or that way, causing the need for additional speed of this
or that facet to have little, if any, additional benefits. I.e. - You
don't need a super computer to do word processing.

As the speed barriers are passed in each facet, each facet will become
a stable and standardized component of a systems front end. Such
components are of course the general display devices (highest quality
speed barrier to pass being the human eye), general input and output
devices (i.e. keyboard, mouse, mic, camera, touch screen, speakers,
printers, modem - net connection), and general data storage and retreval
devices.

Behind all of the above, the front end, are components of raw computing
power and specialized and/or field specific oriented devices.

The only thing the complexity of connecting the above does, is to generate
non-productive expenses, losses, stress and frustration, at the user end.
I would estimate that for every dollar the connection "expert" makes there
is an additional five to ten or more dollars non-productively spent or
lost in this existing complexity. People have better things to do in their
many fields of work and play than to have to also be an expert at
connectivity of computer components.

Connectivity is nothing more than data and control signal transfer or
communication, and power (electricity). How many lines of connection are
really needed?

There is a gap between the game console/set top box and the higher priced
PC's. Only an easy to connect, additive, modular design of system
components will fill in the gap. And in such a manner the buyer will not
only feel comfortable about their investment value, but will be able to
evolve it as they evolve their needs, and without as much sacrifice as the
current trend inherenty contains. Applying a modular design of system
components has a long and growing list of advantages, far out doing what 
we have had.

This solution is so obivious that it's beginning to widely expose the
self limiting greed and/or ignorance of the computer industry towards the
consumer.



Software:

The foundation for software development is human creativity. The ability
to define the objective and apply creative direction to reach the
objective.

Though there is a fundamental level of logic such creativity must be
founded on, this logic can be automated away from a developers need to
know. (i.e. an individual - image developer - using an image processing
programs, need not know anything about the programming language used to
produce the program.)

In the same way of automating away from the developer of an image, the
underlying details of programming, so can programming code be automated
away from the application developers. Allowing the application developer
to better focus on reaching the objective rather than the underlying code
details. There are many whom know what they need in the field they work in
but have no education or experience in software engineering to create what
they need. But they can certainly define the objective, know what
exceptions to allow for and put things together.

Actually, to have a genuine field of software engineering is to recognize
that the software engineer is not so much the one of producing end
applications but one of producing the tools used by application developers.
If this ability didn't exist, then anyone who uses a computer would need
at least a degree in computer science.

The only way to solve the current development problems, a work load
growing faster than available talent, is to make development much more
automated and simplified, and allow the educated user to create, alter and
tie together the applications they need.

To do this is only a matter of recognizing the fundamental gears and
bearings of how we do things, regardless of what we may do, and to make
available these gears and bearings as a tool set core. From here it
becomes the task of the genuine software engineer to produce the data,
processes (knowledge bases, if you will, of the underlying programming
language(s)), interfaces and programs required to create an application.
Giving the application developer or applications integrator such
interface(s) to define the objective. Interestingly enough, much of what 
is needed already exist. What is lacking is the gears and bearings to tie 
it all together.

These fundamental gears and bearings have long been identified. No less
than about nine years ago. But should have been identified much sooner.

The only possible reason for software engineering to not have evolved to
make use of these fundamental gears and bearings, to better evolve
software development is of creating and/or supporting the wall between the
application developers and users, creating work for which they may charge.
But this is back firing as the work load grows beyond the education and
talent of those in the field of programming. And this of course leads to
problematic and faulty software and it's resulting non-productive expense.

Object Oriented Programming is perhaps the most obivious attempt to keep
this wall between the application developer and the user. All arguements
for and against OOPs' set aside, there remains the concept of putting
things together, of which we all do everyday. What other possible reason
is there for not having more in the way of component applications for
which the end user is allowed to tie together?


Security:

This is perhaps the most contridictary issue of all, as the push to move
everything to the internet exist on one side with it's security issues of
major concern, on the other side is the reality that if you want something
to be secure, simply don't make it accessable.

It has been proven over and over again that any firewall we create in the
environment of computers, we can also break thru. The only real protection
is in not making something accessable to those who will break thru it. It
doesn't take a rocket scientist to know this, but it seems to take a
rocket scientist to convince others of a security level that will never
really exist. Not to mention it takes a rocket scientist to understand the
rocket scientist explaination.

The concept of "piracy" is also a security issue. But the truth is
beginning to show from the concerns of security on the internet. That it's
really not the typical end user commiting such acts of piracy but that of
those in business to make money. I believe it'd be a fair but general
estimate that for every dollar of value pirated by the user not generating
a profit from his act, there is at least a hundred times this amount of
pirated dollar from within the industry.

For those who doubt this, take a good look at the continuing number of
infringment law-suites in the computer industry. Patents, copyrights and
lawsuites have become currency and game playing moves in the industry.
Sometimes going above the law in effect. Even the legal system supports
and gains from wrongs done. As an example of the machinery here, consider
how there is currently evolving a payoff from the tobacco industry to
the government in return for insurance that the consumers will not be
allowed to sue this industry out of business. But the government makes to
much from the payoff and taxes on the products to hold to supporting the
people of which it is suppose to protect but instead collects taxes,
backed by force, from.

Remove the wall between the software developer and end user in application
development and application integration and what is it that then becomes
piratable? Ideas! Individual Creative efforts! The wall only helps hide
that this has been going on all along. Piracy against those who have good
ideas and solutions but weak in defence support. But to take the wall down
also reduces the time and energy spent in application development, and
thereby reducing losses. This taking down of the wall has a wide-scope
accountable recursive effect that will reduce even further the losses,
until it converts to an impossible to loose situation for everyone.

This fabricated illusional wall between the developer and end user has got
to come down. There is no valid reason for it to exist. It is built on and
with illusions only. This wall has been far more destructive than the
Berlin wall but upon it's removal recovery can happen much more quickly.
It's only a matter of inherentance to see who the party is that is
responsible for it's creation and continued existance.

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In Conclusion:

The problems that exist today in the computer industry, the causes are
exposed by the contridictions causing the problems in the first place. The
problems are growing to the point of needing to be addressed or otherwise
resulting in the industry getting itself further and further into the
corner of which it has been using against the consumer. Contridiction
becomming undeniably obvious to the consumer. The problems the industry
has created are already beginning to backfire.

To the Amiga community:

There are those within the Amiga community, and those outside of this
community who will join in once they learn of the Amiga benefits, who have
the knowledge, talent and experience to turn around and face the future to
cause many advancements to happen. The only option to this is to continue
doing what much of the industry has been doing, having their back to the
future while doing this over here and that over there to corner a small
profit, while causing non-productive expense in constraining those with
the knowledge, talent and experience to bring about many advancements and
needed solutions in many more fields than there are qualified programmers
for or in.

Turn around and face the future, lead and enjoy the excitement of
advancements, or have your back to the future and follow with problems,
stress and non-productive expenses.

I've said this before and I'll probably say it again, "Those who don't,
they won't understand those who do, as those who do leave those who don't
in the dust."

My communication effort are far from being constrained to the Amiga
community. And although many have stated they don't understand my efforts
or communication of the fundamental gears and bearings mentioned above,
it's obvious there are those who do understand.

You can bet I'm playing greed against greed. A technique that is actually
more valid, real and effective than the application of such dishonest
concepts as reversal and denial. So real that I can state it openly without
losing it's power.

3 S.E.A.S

TVR





Email: timrue@mindspring.com

Copyright © 1975, 1988, 1994, 1996, 1997 Timothy V. Rue