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Old 16 April 2008, 18:20   #1
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My Amiga was a security system

One thing my Amiga did for me is really help me develop my creative side. I really wanted to make it as an Amiga developer, and came up with unique and different ideas on how to achieve that.

One of my projects that actually worked and probably could have been completed to success, had the Amiga took off in markets other than video editing, was a security system. Here is an early working version of the program:

Do understand that I had intended on providing an intro screen with options the user could select; this was more of a "Proof of Concept" to show that it would actually work. It did.

How it works is simple: When started, the user is prompted to enter a phone number where they could be reached. After that, a coundown timer scrolls down the screen. After that, when the left mouse button is pressed, the alarm is activated. It will print out a message with the time, and will use the modem to dial the number. It would also "Speak" a message to the intruder, to (hopefully) scare him/her away. I figured the voice, with a modem dialing and screeching dot matrix printer springing to life, would scare most people away.

Now, a burglar wouldn't walk in and press a mouse button. The idea was to actually read from the joystick port, and I'd take an old joystick and connect a normally open magnetic door switch from RadioShack to that. With a joystick, I could potentially have nine zones that could be monitored (8 directional + fire button). At one point, I had this completed and was going to change the program for that after I made a demonstration, but I was told there wouldn't be a market for it, so it got shelved.

Would anyone be interested in me finishing this program?
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Old 16 April 2008, 18:39   #2
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You know, the market has not exactly grown since 1989 :-)
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Old 16 April 2008, 20:10   #3
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Funny, exactly the same idea I had back in 1995, but because I lack any programming skills, all I did were some nutty hardware projects involving riping joysticks&radios apart and using'em as door&window security check system with a digital clockthat started to "ring" when the door&window had opened, connected at the end.
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Old 17 April 2008, 17:39   #4
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5h00n4y, sounds like a neat alarm!

Another program I wrote was a wake-up alarm clock, which made use of the Amiga's sounds and voice. I was working the night shift, and the shift would change; I thought it would be nice for my Amiga to wake me up, letting me know how much time I had to "Snooze" if I wanted to.

I was always thinking of ways the Amiga could serve as an "Assistant" in real life challenges. Alarm clock, security system, and when I set up my BBS, I envisioned all kinds of uses beyond what we were using BBS's for. One of my biggest dreams was a "Bookless" school environment. A student could log onto a BBS run by a school to download their homework assignments, complete them, then upload the completed assignments. They could do the same for their essays. The content of text books could be reduced to disks. There would be a "Terminal" on every desk in the school. No more big heavy backpacks; just a few disks in your pocket, and maybe a lunch. I always thought the Amiga would be ideal for this; the 3.5" 880k disks offered generous capacity in their day and ought to have been able to hold the contents of a textbook. The mix of graphics and text would further facilitate this, and the multitasking meant that a "Textbook" disk could be open while a student "Worked" on a project in another window. The capabilities of the Amiga had me believe that it would be suited for a wide variety of classes, from music and art, to drafting and business.

All I needed to make that dream a reality was to expect the world to change and to think like me.
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