Mr. Compton,

         Because there is such a variety of what users want in
 packaging and expandability of the Amiga, I would think there is
 really only one way to go with it. Put the Amiga on a board or two
 like any expansion board. We already have CPU cards, ram boards, and
 other expansion boards. What should take the location or place of the
 standard mother board is what the A4000 daughter board is, what the
 high-flyer board is - a slot board.
         Certainly by just focusing on improving the electronic
 technology of the Amiga in the form of an expansion board(s) while
 leaving it open for others to package it, power it, expand it, etc..
 will contribute greatly to making available the resources (otherwise
 spent else where) to improve the technology. This will also take alot
 of expectations off of the owner (VIScorp) of the Amiga Technology as
 to how it should be packaged, expanded, even marketed, etc..
 Expectation no-one has really been able to meet, due the variety of

         Maybe I don't know enough about the integration of the Amiga
 electronics but I would think it can be put onto one board or board
 set (like the toaster).

     The external or attached devices - The mouse has been redone by
 others and monitors have been built by others. Even the power supply is
 nothing special. The Keyboard may be the only external device to keep,
 but in some Amiga units even it has been replaced and even removed
 altogether. But the Keyboard is the one place where the trade-name can
 be shown. Some want IDE, others SCSI or SCSI-II/III, and there's zorro
 slots, ISA slots, etc... From the A1000 to the A4000T there is the
 constant end user request, expandability. Another request is to improve
 the technology, bring it upto and beyond what other systems have (this
 is founded in the base technology of the tri-processors - the custom
 chips team-working).

         There really is only one way to give everyone what they want.
 Simply produce an Amiga board with an expansion connector that allows
 one to add what all they want via an expansion board of which third
 parties will produce a variety of. An open-ended design that is only
 one board. No more need to re-manufacture or re-tool, leaving this up
 to those who are going to do it anyway (yea, I did the piggy-back ram
 mod. to my A1000 and later added an insider board).

         The only time there is a need to redo the Amiga board is in
 improving the technology, not in re-configuring old technology to fit
 some case or product idea. The board/unit should be such that it need
 not be re-done just for a new product or case. That of the Amiga that
 is open to change (within the current, not new, technology used)
 should be made external to the board as an add on expansion.

         If you want a laptop, CD32, Tower, Desk-top, rack-mount, ED,
 etc.. Build it yourself or buy it from someone who does or will. Who
 knows maybe someone will even come up with the idea of building a case
 set that may be attached to each other like blocks to form a desk-top
 or stood up for a tower, with the ability of the drive bays to be
 turned accordingly. Maybe even the ability to add spacers and brackets
 for a rack mount. Power Supply blocks of different power, drive blocks
 of different drive count compacities, expansion blocks of different
 number of boards. External port blocks with different abilities, etc...
 But the basic blocks would be the Amiga Block, power block and the
 external port block. The Amiga Block would have connectors for only
 monitor, audio out, mouse (1), and keyboard. The Amiga block would have
 a fan and a power LED, but no power supply, no floppy drive, no
 parrallel port, no serial port, no drive bays, but it would have the
 expansion edge that can be accessed from either side (or top and bottom
 if turned this way) due to the small expansion board the Amiga board is
 attached to. And feet are attachable where one migth need them as well
 as the blocks having a way to secure themselves together. The width of
 such a unit would of course be that of handeling an installable drive
 and it's depth, well you get the idea.

         What has got to be the biggest complaint of Amiga users is that
 this or that should have been done this way or that way hardware wise.
 Well maybe it's time to let them have only themselves to complain to.

         Maybe it'll cost a little more, at first, but it is in
 quantity that the price should fall, not in redesigning it to have
 less or different ability. Everyone wants a lower price, but I can only
 wonder what the price would be if the A4000, A4000T, A1200, CD32 Amiga
 board was only one board instead of 4 or more boards. Certainly
 quantity is important, and in looking at divide and conqure I can only
 wonder if so many Amiga boards haven't contributed to the fall. Again
 That which is different about these boards, not size but configuration,
 should be put on it's own board and leave the KEY AMIGA board without
 built-in limitations (leave that to what all is attached).

         One might think that doing such would cause to much of a split
 as to expansion compatabilities. But I believe it is more likley to
 cause  some standards to be set. No hardware expansion developer needs
 to redesign packaging. Hardware development is better focused on what
 goes into the hardware abilities, not outer shell. Package developer
 are the ones to design and build complete units such as the CD32,
 desk-top, tower, rack-mount, ED, lap-top, etc.. or such unit parts as
 the Block idea above. Actually the largest Amiga based machine is
 probably some coin based game machine in which it (Amiga) is hidden
 (like so many Amiga based machines - including those hidden under some
 skirt at a trade show -> Scala 100 for the IBM platform was being
 demo'ed buy such a hidden Amiga.) In the Video/Film industry it (the
 Amiga) was hidden, even to the point of just covering the Amiga Logo
 up with a Toaster logo and selling it as an external device for the

         Sooooo.... Go with the flow and let's stop trying to second
 guess or put constraints on those whom all have good ideas as to how
 to package the Amiga, because they are going to do it anyway. Put it
 on a board that has an open-ended connector. A board that has such
 demensions that make it very versatile in use. And this is half of
 what the Amiga is really all about. The other half being the OS.

         I believe an advantage to doing this would be a reduction of
 advertising/marketing cost or expectations of VIScorp. As the Amiga has
 been, it's been mostly up to the third party developers to promote it
 anyway, so  open the door and let the idea of value added reselling
 really take place. It's those whom sell to the end users that hear what
 the end user wants, so let them build what the end-user wants. Don't
 force on the seller constraints that are not needed. And certainly
 don't force on the end-user constraints they would rather not have.

         Personally my perspective of Emerson is that they are a
 company whom has produced such devices that are known not to last as
 long, but are generally cheaper to buy. Fine, but don't let it rub
 off, Don't let this be a reason for not allowing higher quality
 devices from being produced using the Amiga. Who really cares as to
 how the Amiga is used, so long as it is used enough to finance
 advancing the technology of it. And this include the OS.

         In summary, don't try to second guess what people want to do
 with the Amiga, how they want to expand off of it, package it, but
 simply allow them to do so, while focusing on advancing the technology
 of the chip set and OS. Design or spec out a building block case type
 set and let everyone have at it.

     The Idea is only buy what you want, can afford, need - granted this
         may overall add to the casing and number of fans but no-one
         can complain about not having enough space, power, cooling,
         etc. Thru standard and quantity, cost will not be that much
         more but versatility will out do such costs.

         Product #1a - The Amiga Board/card

         Product #1b - The Amiga Standard CPU/ram board/card
                         -replaceable by third party accellerators (as
                         it is now)

         Product #2 - The Amiga OS

         Product #3 - The Amiga Keyboard

         Product #4 - The Amiga Mouse

         Product #5 - The Amiga board block case w/basic ports
                         (large enough for the CPU/RAM board)

         Product #6 - The Amiga power block w/built in fan

         Product #7 - The Amiga port block (parallel, serial, and a 2nd
                               mouse port that can be switched to serial)

         Product #8 - The Amiga drive block w/fan and interface card
                               options (SCSI, IDE, etc..)

         Product #9 - The Amiga expansion bus block (holds four cards)
                                w/fan mount.

         Product #10 -The Amiga block connector kit (includes a card
                                 edge for connecting two blocks and
                                 hardware for securing blocks together)

         Product #11a - 11? - various sizes of Amiga block cases

         Product #12a - 12? - various sizes (to fit #11) of pass thru
                                 boards w/expansion slots.

         Third party hardware developers following/using the block
         concept will figure out things like feedable fax/copy blocks,
         card swipe blocks, camera blocks, ups/battery  block, etc..
         If the block concept is done right, someone will figure a way
         to easily add an LCD Display, with a keyboard mount, to the side
         and you'll suddenly have a portable Amiga.

         What blocks would the A4000 have? It has an expansion block
         (mine contains a Video Toaster, Emplant card), a power block
         (that I know can be put into at least half the space of the
         expansion block), a drive block (that I know could be put into
         a block the size of the expansion block), an Amiga and CPU/RAM
         Block (also fitable into the size of an expansion block w/room
         to spare), and a port block (1/4 or less of the height of the
         expansion block). And I can add additional Blocks as needed. As
         well as an LCD Display and Keyboard mount Without having to
         Buy another system to become portable.

         Fact is this would possibly be smaller than the Portable Case
         I saw, though it might be a little heaver. As far as a lap-top
         goes, someone will build it and plug an Amiga Board into it.

         If there is any one thing about the Amiga that attracts
 people, it would have to be what they can do with it. And there is no
 way for any owner of the Amiga technology to see what so many will do
 with it, before they do so.

                            Thank for reading,

                                    Tim Rue


Copyright © 1988, 1994, 1996 Timothy V. Rue