Amiga30 at Neuss and Commodore Fan Club Japan

[Edit 151029] Changed some factual errors about the reason Wings Battlefield got made. Added the names of the MorphOS Team members.

[Edit] You can now read a French translation of this blog post here (with some additional information).

I have been away for over a month meeting my inlaws in Japan. Even though I did bring my Powerbook with me I ended up having very little time playing with MorphOS. But I did get the opportunity to visit a Commodore Fan Club meeting in Okubo (Tokyo) the 20th of September. If you read my old blog post about Japan you know Amiga was never big there, but apparently it had more love than I originally thought. Big enough for a meeting.

The meeting was inside this building (Kantou IT Software Kenpo Kaikan, 関東ITソフトウェア健保会館):

2102

Beyond the glas door I was greated by this:

2101

I followed the sign to this door:

2104

Inside was a couple of Japanese people, plus one Italian living in Japan showing off his A1200:

2105

While me and the Italian chatted about things Amiga the other Japanese where chatting with each other:

2109

It turns out that most of them are ex Commodore employees. High up ones even. And they had even met Jay Miner in the States before he died in 1994. Naturally they are still die hard Commodore fans.

The meeting started, and everyones attention turned to the A1200 which started to show off some games and demos running via WHDLoad:

2110

After that I got a chance to show off my Powerbook running MorphOS (sorry, no pictures). For the Japanese this was the first time they saw it running on real hardware and they where really impressed. They seemed most impressed by the fact that it runned natively (not in emulation) and that it could execute 68k based programs. They all said they would get their own PPC Macs to run MorphOS on it. I hope they will.

After that we was shown a program that was meant to enable Amigas to run Japanese native texts (hiragana, katakana and kanji). They run it in emulation on a laptop but couldn’t get pass the installation. It broke down somewhere. But we still got a laugh as the installation program played an upbeat song when started, something I’ve never seen (heard) being done before with an Amiga program:

2115

After that we got an demonstration of the C64 Direct to TV. A fun gimmic but the included games where mostly crap:

2116

It was a nice meeting indeed which lasted for about an hour. After that we went to a local Chinese restaurant and kept talking about Amiga, computers and everyday life stuff. It was nice meeting the guys and getting some more knowledge about how Commodore was in Japan:

2114

Amiga30 in Neuss, Germany

A couple of days after getting back from Japan it was time to go abroad again. This time to Germany to attend the Amiga30 event in Neuss. I was going there as an exhibitor, showing off our magazine Amiga Forum:

2242

As you can see I also brought my Mac Mini with me, showing off some MorphOS demos. Even though my table recieved very little attention and interest it didn’t matter. I was away looking at the other tables and talking to people as much as I could anyway. It was a pretty big event, and this was the view from my table:

2241

As you can see there was a couple of nice A4000T and A1200T (right) and to the left was the cancelled Walker prototype. This was Petro Tyschtschenkos table and he was busy writing autographs and chatting with people. He is after all part of the Amiga fame. R.J. Mical and Dave Haynie was also there but I never got a chance to even say hello to them. Here is the Walker:

2243

While a lot of people call the Walker a design disaster, I’ve always liked it. With the right specs (it’s specs weren’t good sadly), advertisement and timing it could have predated the much praised iMac. Of course it didn’t happen as Escom went bankrupt before that. There was also a glass framed piece of the first A1200 motherboard that came out of Escom. It was broken from the start, but it was still the first Amiga made after Commodore went bust:

2244

Right next to me sat Daniel Müßener of Cherry Darling/Golden Code. He was showing off his numerous games but also a small demo for an upcoming port of Wings Remastered. As you might know, Wings RM was a Kickstarter game that was bringing the classic Amiga game up to modern standards. After several tries they managed to get it funded and one reached stretch goal was NG Amiga ports (by third party). However, since Wings RM was based on Unity such a port would be pretty much impossible.

This prompted Daniel to make his own Wings clone called Wings Battlefield just to show them. After some time Danile was contacted by the developer who asked him to make the port. Though he can reuse some of his own code for the game the 3D engine has to be for the most part a complete rewrite. Talk about ambitious!

[Edit] See comment below by Daytona675x for corrections about the reason he made Wings Battlefield.

Here is his table (games being played is Battle Squadron and Wings Battlefield):

2245

AmiKit was also there demonstrating their Amiga emulator AmiKit 10 (this one showing AmigaOS 4.1 FE Classic):

2250

You could also buy music CD:s based on Amiga classics:

2259

… some new, original games:

2260

… new cool cases for your Nemo motherboard:

2267

… huge passive cooling for the same motherboard:

2269

… a MIST FPGA computer (hardware emulated Amiga):

2266

… or a bunch of old Phase5 prototype motherboards:

2265

Because I was an exhibitor I didn’t have enough time to look and ask around every table. And when I had time, there was usually already a lot of people there talking to the people in charge, not giving me much change to talk to them myself. The fair was pretty packed:

2252

The highlight of the event has to have been the upcoming X5000 computer. Sadly, A-Eon didn’t let the viewers try AmigaOS 4 on it but instead showed off some demos and movies running simultaneously:

2254

ACube also showed off their new motherboard, codename Tabor. I didn’t get a chance to see it myself though.

In the afternoon, when things was a little less hectic I got a visit from Mark “bigfoot” Olsen, one of the core MorphOS developers (and a terribly nice guy) and we ended up having a long conversation about MorphOS, problems, future plans and whatnot:

2246

The MorphOS table showed off some computers running MorphOS. Here is a maxed out Powerbook 1.67 Ghz and a classic Amiga 4000 running MorphOS 3.8. The last supported MorphOS for classic Amigas is 1.4.5, but the Team has been able to get the latest version to work too. But according to them it’s not a painless process to get it to work which is why it’s not released to the public. To the far right is an iBook:

2257

There was also an ACube SAM 460 running MorphOS on it. The SAM 460 is the first currently selling motherboard that is supported by MorphOS (since version 3.8) in almost a decade:

2256

MorphOS is also working on a port to the above mentioned X5000, which people where allowed to try out:

2258

I also got a chance of course to talk to the other members of MorphOS Team and it was such a nice thing to be able to meet them face to face. In fact, this was the highlight for me since there was so much to talk about. They also showed off a working copy of an upcoming MorphOS port of Pagestream, MIDI support and of course MorphOS 3.10 beta. Plus a bunch of other software in the works.

I wish I had taken notes and more pictures, but there was simple too much to see, do and people to talk to. I had a great time and it was nice to see that MorphOS and the Team are doing such a great job. I hope I will have a chance to do something like this again.

2271

MorphOS Team members (left to right): Antoine Debourg, Guido Mersmann, Nicholai Benalal, Karoly Balogh, Jacek Piszczek, Ilkka Lehtoranda, Pawel Stefanski (squatting), Frank Mariak, Andre Siegel and Mark Olsen.

Advertisements
This entry was posted in Uncategorized and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

16 Responses to Amiga30 at Neuss and Commodore Fan Club Japan

  1. Daytona675x says:

    Actually “Wings Battlefield” wasn’t made to show that “Wings Remastered” could be done. The 3D engine with the compositing z-buffer-hack was done before there was any Warp3D driver for any RadeonHD cards. So probably one of the primary intents of “Wings Battlefield” was to tell the driver guys at Hyperion back then something like “hey, I can get a hardware accelerated z-buffer just by (ab)using the compositing features… so why the heck isn’t there a RadeonHD 3D driver giving me the real thing?” in an elegant way 🙂

    No, the “Wings Remastered” thing happened by “accident”. A backer (Kymon) of the Wings RE kickstarter contacted them because of a problem and by coincidence they talked about Amiga and then he showed them the old preview video of “Wings Battlefield”, which in turn made them ask him to get in touch with them.

    Like

  2. ERwin Van says:

    Could you tell more about the Kana program? Is it available somewhere?

    Like

    • Yasu says:

      Well, they never got it to work at the meeting. But there is a similar program here: http://www.phoenix-c.or.jp/~olfa/jkff/

      Like

      • bszili says:

        Ooh, thanks for sharing this! It’ll be very useful for me for you know what 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      • Erwin Van says:

        Thank you for this link. You already wrote about the program that they did not get to work. My question was about this if it is (still) currently developed, who does it or where there are other information? Then maybe it can be made working. Did it work for other people already?

        Like

      • Yasu says:

        Good question. I think it does work, but that it’s private. Not sure though. But JKFF does work, even if it’s not at all perfect.

        Like

  3. batteman says:

    Hi Yasu,

    Thanks for the report. We want to translate it in french for Obligement.free.fr, are you ok with it ? We’ll make an article on the Amiga30 (your article + some informations from Tcheko).

    I also want to translate the Japan part, but for a next article. Is it OK for you ?

    And thank you for your blog, I like it !


    /me is the unofficial translator of the Yasu’s blog ^^

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Erwin Van says:

    I tried JKFF now and got to see a few characters in YAM but just a little fraction. Most characters were question marks. It did not work in Multiview (all characters where replaced by whitespaces) and others and copy&paste from YAM did not work but this might be YAM’s fault. Regarding its age, progress to it is unlikely. But thanks for mentioning it.

    Like

    • Yasu says:

      I never tried it much because it can only go so far. And most times I need to read Japanese is online, which OWB handles quite well. And if I need to write I got my phone. I’m waiting for a better solution 🙂

      Like

  5. M.zehr@icloud.com says:

    I’m in Taiwan and often go on business trips to Japan. I didn’t know that anyone besides me has an Amiga in Asia.

    How to contact the guys in Japan ?

    Like

  6. Pingback: Wing Remastered Demo | Yasu's MorphOS Blog

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s