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Old 19 June 2003, 01:25   #21
Twistin'Ghost
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Quote:
Originally posted by Antiriad
Well this kind of confirms my worst suspicions...[snip]...American EAB members, dont take this the wrong way, ill support your thinking on SOME things (as i did in a long running argument over a certain subject with a thankfully now banned former EAB member) but ill always look down on the US gaming scene.
Just keep in mind that the US gaming scene (then and now) doesn't neccesarily bode well with many of us Americans, either. Like Unknown_K pointed out, the Euro scene also had its flaws, such as hanging onto games on tape, unexpanded Amiga (external drive support was typically ignored because European A500 users didn't have them, nor did the programmers!), etc. And let's face it, the Euro market did the same thing when it embraced the PC over an existing Amiga domination. There can be lists of excuses for why the PC made its way overseas, but there are just as many excuses for the US NES/PC domination.

The US market suffers from the effects of the status quo, which is all about marketing to the lowest common denominator. Sometimes I believe the only reason a business starts in this country is for the purpose of getting rich (as opposed to simply being successful). It's dog eat dog and if you don't crush your competition, it's very likely they will crush you, all in the quest for the brass ring.
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Old 19 June 2003, 01:49   #22
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Quote:
Originally posted by Twistin'Ghost
Just keep in mind that the US gaming scene (then and now) doesn't neccesarily bode well with many of us Americans, either. Like Unknown_K pointed out, the Euro scene also had its flaws, such as hanging onto games on tape, unexpanded Amiga (external drive support was typically ignored because European A500 users didn't have them, nor did the programmers!), etc. And let's face it, the Euro market did the same thing when it embraced the PC over an existing Amiga domination. There can be lists of excuses for why the PC made its way overseas, but there are just as many excuses for the US NES/PC domination.

The US market suffers from the effects of the status quo, which is all about marketing to the lowest common denominator. Sometimes I believe the only reason a business starts in this country is for the purpose of getting rich (as opposed to simply being successful). It's dog eat dog and if you don't crush your competition, it's very likely they will crush you, all in the quest for the brass ring.
As far as US companies (and the rest of the world goes) things changed in the 80's. It used to be that companies wanted steady long term growth. Public companies sold stock and when they made a profit (almost all the time unlike today) they paid out the extra cash as dividends. People purchased stock from the well established companies expecting a dividend ever year and a steady rise in the value of the company (and their stock). these people didnt buy and sell stock very often, they just kept it for decades. During the 80's companies stocks were worth less then the company could be hacked up and sold for in pieces. So unethical finacial types started buying up functioning companies and selling the unventory, buildings, property, etc for a profit (basically killing the company and putting alot of people out of work). This started what I see today as the greed in short term gains with long term damage. Comapnies pay out any leftover cash to their CEO and dividends are small if any. The only way investers make any money is buying stock and selling it for more then they paid for it in a short period of time. When you also notice that current ceo's only get paid $1,000,000 for a salary (only LOL) and the rest of their cash is from buying stock at under street price (or getting it free) and selling it you see them pumping up the stock (illegally in some cases) dumping it, and finding a new company to exploit when the old one dies from lack of profits. If the board of directors is also in on the scam you notice the company doing huge layoffs that also make the stock price rise just before stock options are vested and sold. Companies are ruined in short term this way but people with the inside scoop make a killing buying or shorting the stock. Its the same in the US as in alot of other countries.

Alot of companies these days are formed just to get rich quick. If they cant sucker normal people to invest in them they find idiot venture capitalists to do it for them. How many companies in the dot.com era didnt even make a penny of profit in their whole existence, or were given millions in capital for a product they gave away for free (buisiness model that could never bring in profit).

Once the greed dies down and companies get back to long term growth ( will happen sooner or later when free money dries up and now that dividends in the US dont get taxed) companies will get back to trying to make a profit.

End of rant.
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Old 19 June 2003, 02:45   #23
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Quote:
Originally posted by Twistin'Ghost
The US scene on the C-64 was actually cooler than the US Amiga scene, which I always found to be lame.
Exactly how I felt about it. Although the Amiga was a better alternative than anything the PC clone makers made at the time, it was still in the hands of a considerably smaller number than the C64 was. The majority were floppy based systems, unexpanded and after a while looking rather useless to those that bought them thinking they'd continue the same experience they had previously with the C64 on a new generation Commodore platform.
Once 320x200 256 color games became common place on the PC, it was the turning of the tide for gamers to the PC platform and even basic vga sysytems with a hard drive were beginning to look more attractive to those looking at the cost of expanding their Amiga or abandoning the platform altogether.
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Old 19 June 2003, 02:55   #24
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Quote:
Originally posted by Oscar Castillo
Exactly how I felt about it. Although the Amiga was a better alternative than anything the PC clone makers made at the time, it was still in the hands of a considerably smaller number than the C64 was. The majority were floppy based systems, unexpanded and after a while looking rather useless to those that bought them thinking they'd continue the same experience they had previously with the C64 on a new generation Commodore platform.
Once 320x200 256 color games became common place on the PC, it was the turning of the tide for gamers to the PC platform and even basic vga sysytems with a hard drive were beginning to look more attractive to those looking at the cost of expanding their Amiga or abandoning the platform altogether.
Amiga 500 memory (above 1mb) and any HD expansins still cost a few bucks these days so there must have been very few of them around.

Flicker free 640x480 on a good vga monitor pretty much doomed the amiga platform. PC's started getting updated hardware at a faster and faster pace and the prices kept dropping at the same time. 16 bit stereo sound and midi music addon boards with game support really pushed the games toward a PC.
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Old 19 June 2003, 03:28   #25
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Originally posted by Pyromania
In America marketing rules, most Americans buy what they are told too. Attention spans are 15 minutes tops, keeping up with the Joneses is always in vague and peer pressure is digently applied to all those that don't do as their told. Having the same computer that can go on giving you enjoyment and pleasure for 10 years is an impossible concept to most Americans, what it is not new? Thank goodness it is not 100%, Bill Gates is trying hard though. Microsoft spends billions keeping Windows on almost every new computer and makes many exclusive deals to keep the masses in the dark. Don't think so? Read the first chapter from an Ex- M$ employee on this very subject of the war Microsoft fights daily to keep the Windows platform the only choice.
what's even sadder in America is that there are people who can't get over the fact that people in the past made mistakes or did dumb things and went out of business, then blaming the masses for someone else's problems.
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Old 19 June 2003, 03:37   #26
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Originally posted by Shadowfire
what's even sadder in America is that there are people who can't get over the fact that people in the past made mistakes or did dumb things and went out of business, then blaming the masses for someone else's problems.
Please tell me this is not going to turn into yet another M$ vs. Amiga thread. We were doing so well. Take this bullshit elsewhere!
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Old 19 June 2003, 04:09   #27
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Every company that has a product to sell in a competative market uses advertising, price discounts, free samples, or anything else it can figure out to get peaople to A try the product, and B keep buying the product. Some advertisement doesnt even have anything to do with that product being offered.

Some spend millions on advertising, while others twist arms to get their products shown on store shelves, and then other dont do much of anything and hope word of mouth works.

Each company is different because their products go after different demographics and their advertising budget varies alot.

I drink Coke, coke advertisement is everywhere, tell me one person on this planet who has never tried or at least seen a coke can/bottle. Yet this company spends countless millions on advertising every year. And you know coke is doing everything it can to make Pepsi users switch to their product. The fact that Pespis has gained on coke means people have a real choice in what they want to drink, and do so.

Commodore did a good job on killing atari computers in the US. I remember before I sold my C64 that I could get C64 games at the specialty computer store off the shelf, but atari games were special order and had 0 floor space. The PC did a better job of killing commodre (with help from CBM executives) but has not killed off apple. Actually apple has been thriving for years. People have a viable choice and some buy macs.

Some people would say that giving Linux and openoffice out for FREE is an underhanded attack on companies that charge for their software (kind of like japan dumping steel below cost in the US long time ago). To me giving a product away in the hopes that some day down the line you might get some service dollars from it is a crappy buisiness move (unless your a crack dealer).

Consumers are fickle, they will buy your product today and jump to somebody else tomorrow. Its up to CEO's to keep their company going in the direction the consumers are going or go out of buisiness. Some companies make a product that ends up generating 10000x the demand they thaught it would, they are lucky. Some make products that are decent, but find another company beat them to it, makes it better or cheaper and eats their lunch. Thats life. There were alot of factors that made some companies rise to where they are, these same factors eventually tear them down too. The IBM of today is not the same company it was 10 years ago, 20 years ago, or 100 years ago. Their products have changed dramatically since they were founded so they servive, commodore didnt so they are gone.

Hell even Nintendo isnt what it used to be, and poor SEGA is a shell of its former self.
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Old 19 June 2003, 04:44   #28
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Quote:
Originally posted by Unknown_K
Amiga 500 memory (above 1mb) and any HD expansins still cost a few bucks these days so there must have been very few of them around.

Flicker free 640x480 on a good vga monitor pretty much doomed the amiga platform. PC's started getting updated hardware at a faster and faster pace and the prices kept dropping at the same time. 16 bit stereo sound and midi music addon boards with game support really pushed the games toward a PC.
At the time nobody, I mean nobody ever would of thought that the driving force behind the push of PC clones to dominance today was going to be turning the gamers on to the platform. Which is what I believe was a key factor in making developers leave the 8 bitters in droves.
By the time Amiga and ST were out, although superior in every way, it was hard for developers to ignore the numbers of clones out there. Comparing my first 4Mhz IBM PC to the capabilites of my C64 you would never get the impression that the PC would ever become a decent games platform. Even later on when my parents bought me a top of the line 8 Mhz IBM PC-AT with EGA video for $4000 it paled by comparison.
Atari and Commodore sure had a good thing going for a while. Both companies sure had the talent they needed to succeed. I would have preferred for either one to continue on rather then see them both die as hardware companies. They truly had innovative products back then and one could only imagine what they would have brought to market if either company was thriving today.
Things just do not seem as exciting anymore as when you picked up a copy of your favorite computer mag of the time and read about new Atari and Amiga systems coming out. You actually read every word of the article or review.
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Old 19 June 2003, 06:29   #29
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Quote:
Originally posted by Oscar Castillo
At the time nobody, I mean nobody ever would of thought that the driving force behind the push of PC clones to dominance today was going to be turning the gamers on to the platform. Which is what I believe was a key factor in making developers leave the 8 bitters in droves.
By the time Amiga and ST were out, although superior in every way, it was hard for developers to ignore the numbers of clones out there. Comparing my first 4Mhz IBM PC to the capabilites of my C64 you would never get the impression that the PC would ever become a decent games platform. Even later on when my parents bought me a top of the line 8 Mhz IBM PC-AT with EGA video for $4000 it paled by comparison.
Atari and Commodore sure had a good thing going for a while. Both companies sure had the talent they needed to succeed. I would have preferred for either one to continue on rather then see them both die as hardware companies. They truly had innovative products back then and one could only imagine what they would have brought to market if either company was thriving today.
Things just do not seem as exciting anymore as when you picked up a copy of your favorite computer mag of the time and read about new Atari and Amiga systems coming out. You actually read every word of the article or review.
PC's won out because it was the computer for anybody. This happened because nobody owned and directed the PC evolution. The hardware was something anybody could make without a liscence, same with software. There were so many evolutions and revolutions of hardware companies growing out of software companies needs and the other way around. There was no way any 1 company could have competed with the exponentially growing number of software and hardware companies making stuff for the open PC system.

Even early in the PC revolution you had so many choices of OS like msdos, pcdos, drdos, os2, windows,desqview, geos, a bunch of unix I cant even remember. the hardware was completely open and manufactured by so many companies that anybody could get their foot in the door with a decent product and a decent product with a small market share meant a shitload of money to that company. Do you remember when IBM the maker of the platform tried to steer PC's into a different direction with MCA bus and the majority of companies said screw it and went with VESA and then PCI? No company on earth could have done that to commodore when they were in buisiness.

Having a huge base meant prices dropped like a rock on equipment. If apple kept making their own designs like nubus instead of PCI and AGP, not using USB , PC printers, videocards, and monitors where would they be now? They were spending too much money on R&D to keep up. I get sick when I hear about all the tangents commodore went on before they finally died out. It also got alot harder for any company to be a player and really hard for companies to even get in the market anymore since you needed big dollars.

Things dont seem exciting because of the PC consolidation. Cheaper, smaller, faster, more space isnt as exciting as something NEW. Commodre and Atari should have merged at one point and made an open standards computer for gamers, they would still be around today. Gamers are the ones who purchased amiga's and ST's yet both companies pretty much abandoned their markets ( no advertising, many years in between better hardware) trying to be a PC maker competing with each other and dozens of other companies in an area they had no hope of winning. The would have been what SONY is today but better.
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Old 19 June 2003, 06:32   #30
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Re: Amiga and America

Quote:
Originally posted by Antiriad
Why didnt the Amiga take off as much in America as it did in Europe? Or at least as much as the C64 did? Its something thats always mystified me...

I.e, why did Americans go on using their C64s and crappy NES's when 16bit machines like the Amiga (and even the ST) beat it hands down?

Whoa..the NES was not crappy, it was a console and could not be compared to the same market as a computer market and lets face it, Nintendo marketing was superb. CBM? Well we all know about that. When America moved on to 16 bit..we chose the Sega Genesis and Super Nintendo.
16 bit computers did well here, from Atari to Amiga to Apple.
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Old 19 June 2003, 06:58   #31
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@Oscar
Atari's problem in the 16-bit computer world was that rather than innovating with ANY degree of originality, everything was borrowed from something else to make their bastard clone, the ST. It had parts of MS-DOS (with it's 8+3, uppercase filenames, and even comptible file system, amongst other similarities); part of the Mac SE, whom it tried to buddy up with in the DTP market miserably with an awful early Pagestream; and finally, part of the Amiga. Yes, the ST hit the market before the Amiga, but Jay Miner had already been shopping the machine to Tramiel and his cronies. I've heard many variations on the story, but one thing you can bet on is that the slimiest version is probably the most accurate. The ST always looked like a half-cocked, rushed-out-the-door version of an A500, completely unfinished (no shell, no decent OS, no switchable-on-the-fly resolutions, no HAM, no decent sound hardware (instead, just pop in a $10 MIDI port!), no custom chipset, etc. Too often the ST is compared to the Amiga, which is quite unfair to the better machine.

@Unknown_K
In reference to your catalog of unscrupulous business practices used then and now, there are still laws that prohibit certain behavior. One cannot simply dismiss these simply because "that's how business works". And squashing competition cannot be done legally using the methods some use. Anymore than embezzlement can be. Mind you, in some cases a company can throw money at even our government in Washington and superior court judges will slap said companies lightly on the butt. Other times, companies have to fork over 89 million dollars to certain states due to their deeds. But if we are to simply dismiss this behavior as irrelevant or as just another phase of big business, we are slitting our own throats. Unfortunately my opposition to such practices is laughed at, scoffed at, and I am branded a zealot because I don't just accept it and play along. I read license agreements before clicking OK and people call me weird for it. So because the majority decides to piss away their rights, then any and all smarmy business deals are OK because most people don't care.

Welcome to the USA. And ultimately, everywhere else.
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Old 19 June 2003, 07:05   #32
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Originally posted by Unknown_K
The IBM of today is not the same company it was 10 years ago, 20 years ago, or 100 years ago.
IBM of 100 years ago?
Did they make manual typewriters or what?
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Old 19 June 2003, 07:23   #33
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Quote:
Originally posted by Adeptus
IBM of 100 years ago?
Did they make manual typewriters or what?
http://www.digidome.nl/ibm1.htm

They started in 1896 making a punch card tabulating machine for the US sencus. Before this machine it would have taken more then 10 years to count all the data, and the census was taken every 10 years (hence the need for something better).

So yes they are OVER 100 years old. Check the link for a timeline. Didnt commodore start out as a maker of calculators?
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Old 19 June 2003, 07:38   #34
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OK... but they didn't exist as IBM until 1924
(pedantic, I know...)
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Old 19 June 2003, 07:57   #35
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OK... but they didn't exist as IBM until 1924
(pedantic, I know...)
Just proves my point, they changed their name as they changed their focus.
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Old 19 June 2003, 08:13   #36
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Quote:
Originally posted by Twistin'Ghost
@Oscar
Atari's problem in the 16-bit computer world was that rather than innovating with ANY degree of originality, everything was borrowed from something else to make their bastard clone, the ST.......
Granted early systems were crap and not as streamlined compared to Amiga. But compared to other systems of the time it was a very nice piece of hardware. And would have been on my list if the Amiga hadn't been developed. Later systems did have some nice features, like integrated DSP, but it just wasn't enough to save it by then.
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Old 19 June 2003, 08:28   #37
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Quote:
Originally posted by Oscar Castillo
Granted early systems were crap and not as streamlined compared to Amiga. But compared to other systems of the time it was a very nice piece of hardware. And would have been on my list if the Amiga hadn't been developed. Later systems did have some nice features, like integrated DSP, but it just wasn't enough to save it by then.
The original ST was a good home computer for the time, but could have used stereo sound for games. I think the DSP in the Falcon was never used for anything.
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Old 19 June 2003, 14:39   #38
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[i]you ended up getting (well except for my parents who were cheap and got me a Timex 2068). I dont call that peer pressure, just being smart with your money. [/B]
yeahh! a Timex.. thats a Spectrum.. Speccy Rulez! thats really a phenomenon! KnightLore.. thats a pinnacle in videogames story. and was in Spectrum.
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Old 19 June 2003, 17:10   #39
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Quote:
Originally posted by Unknown_K
The original ST was a good home computer for the time, but could have used stereo sound for games. I think the DSP in the Falcon was never used for anything.
I'm not sure either, but I thought it was used by some communication and music software available toward the very end.
Still it showed some forward thinking. It wasn't a feature readily available in most platforms of that era.
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Old 19 June 2003, 18:32   #40
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Big grin AHEM! Cough! COUGH!

Threadstealer!!
Twistin,(as usual), gave some very interesting insights into this issue ages ago...
http://eab.abime.net/showthread.php?s=&threadid=1437

And for good measure heaped endless praise on the resident numbskulls that made up CBM's management...
http://eab.abime.net/showthread.php?...2007#post12007

Sorry I'll go and have a throat drop now!
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