diskMAGazine (Sep 1991) : amexpo.txt

                      "The Online Magazine of Choice!"
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 July 29, 1991                                                  Volume SP.1

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 > 07/29/91: AMReport  #SP.1      The Online Magazine of Choice!

                      -=* Amiga World Expo Orlando *=-

     -GVP A3000 PVA         -COLORBURST             -FUSION 040
     -PROGRESSIVE 040       -DPAINT IV              -NEW TEK & TOASTER
     -CHROMA KEY            -CSA 40/4 MAGNUM        -The Editor's Desk

                            -* Exhibitor List *-
                           -* Dealer Responses *-
                    -* Products, Prices & Availability *-

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                           TODAY'S NEWS ..TODAY!


 > AMReport's Staff              The regulars and this week's contributors!

                            Publisher - Editor
                             Ralph F. Mariano

          -----------         --------------           ------------
          Robert Retelle      Charles Hill             R. ALBRITTON


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The Editor's Desk

This issue of AM-Report is a special edition that covers the happenings
at Amiga World Expo in Orlando, Florida this past weekend (July 26-28).

The show happened, and it looked  like a success to me.  Granted,  this 
is only the second computer show I've  ever been to, there were  crowds
on the two days that I was there  and almost  every booth was  jumping.

There were three  companies  showing off a total  of four  68040  based
accelerator boards for the Amiga  2000 and 3000 computers.  There  were
24-bit graphics boards  galore (HAM-E, Colorburst, DCTV, Toaster, GVP),
new software, new hardware...heck, you could even buy Toaster t-shirts,
Amiga hats, towels, tote bags, etc!

Nearly EVERYBODY had some form of give-away  going on, and  both  Amiga 
World and Amazing Computing were giving out complimentary copies of the
current issue of each magazine.

The dealers I talked to were quite happy  with the level  of excitement
and the number of people who brought  negotiable items  (cash, check or
credit cards).

This issue lists all of the  exhibitors present, what  they were  doing
and what they said they thought of  the show.  Special interest is paid
to GVP, EA, and  Amazing Computers (the store, not the magazine) due to
the new *major* products they unveiled at the show.

For those who weren't  there, your bank accounts will  thank you (there
were so  many NEAT items  for sale)!   I was smart  and told my wife on
Thursday night to hide all the credit cards, check book and excess cash
until Monday.  She put up with a lot of pleading and begging Friday and
Saturday night!

Large screen monitors (20"+), matrix  displays and wall  displays  were
everywhere.  Last time Amiga Expo was in Orlando, a person could easily
spend $10,000 on gadgets. Now, you could easily spend $50,000 and still
be wanting for more!

Read and enjoy!


                             LIST OF EXHIBITORS

Amazing Computers ------------------ Dealership (Orlando & Tampa, FL)
Amazing Computing ------------------ Magazine (Fall River, MA)
Amiga Video Magazine --------------- Video Magazine (New York, NY)
AmigaWorld ------------------------- Magazine (Peterborough, NH)
Avid ------------------------------- Magazine (Sunnyvale, CA)
Amiga Video Graphics Guild --------- User Group (Simi Valley, CA)
Axiom ------------------------------ Software (Rochester, MD)
Blue Ribbon Soundworks ------------- Software (Atlanta, GA)
Breadbox --------------------------- Newsletter (North Hollywood, CA)
Centaur Software ------------------- Software/Hardware (Lawndale, CA)
Central Coast Software ------------- Software (Austin, TX)
Computer System Associates (CSA) --- Hardware (San Diego, CA)
Creative Computers ----------------- Dealership (Lawndale, CA)
Creative Equipment ----------------- Dealership (Miami, FL)
Cryogenic Software ----------------- Software (Rochester, MD)
Eagle Computers -------------------- Dealership (Melbourne, FL)
Electronic Arts -------------------- Software (Tampa, FL) *
Graphically Speaking --------------- Software (Palm Beach Gardens, FL)
Great Valley Products (GVP) -------- Software/Hardware (King of Prussia, PA)
Haitex Resources ------------------- Hardware (Charleston, SC)
Helpdisk --------------------------- Software/Video (Jupiter, FL)
I.DEN ------------------------------ Hardware/Video (New Britain, CT)
ICD -------------------------------- Hardware (Rockford, IL)
Inovatronics ----------------------- Software (Dallas, TX)
JVC Professional Products ---------- Hardware/Video (Elmwood Park, NJ)
Kids Computers News ---------------- PD Software (Westbury, NY)
M.A.S.T. --------------------------- Software/Hardware (Lawndale, CA)
Memory World ----------------------- Dealership (Bensalem, PA)
Merlin's Software ------------------ Software (Orlando, FL)
Microsearch ------------------------ Hardware (Houston, TX)
Moonlighter Software --------------- Software (Orlando, FL) *
New Horizons Software -------------- Software (Austin, TX)
NewTek ----------------------------- Software/Software (Topeka, KS)
Programs Plus and Video ------------ Dealership (Chatham, Ontario, Canada)
RGB Computer & Video --------------- Hardware (Riveria Beach, FL)
Roctec ----------------------------- Hardware (Orlando, FL) *
Safe Harbor ------------------------ Dealership (Waikesha, WI)
Soft-Logik Publishing -------------- Software (St. Louis, MO)
Space Coast Amiga Users Group ------ User Group (Cocoa, FL)
Supra ------------------------------ Hardware (Albany, OR)

* EA isn't really in Tampa but they were sharing a booth with Amazing
Computers (the dealership) whose main store is in Tampa, FL so that is
how they were listed in the program.

* Moonlighter Software was sharing the same booth as EA, GVP and Amazing
so they were listed as being in Tampa.  However, I know Moonlighting is
in Orlando as the main programmer is active on local BBSes.

* Roctec really isn't in Orlando and the address they listed was that of
a local Orlando dealership (AmiComp Multimedia Center).

40 exhibitors from 16 different states and two countries.



Amazing Computers is a computer dealership  with it's  headquarters in
Tampa, Florida and a second store in Orlando.  They have a small ad in
the back of Amiga World and Amazing normally.  They are NOT affiliated
with Amazing Computing, the magazine.

I am familiar with Amazing as they  are my key dealer here in Orlando.
They are Amiga specific (the Orlando store  carries MS-DOS PD software
in a back room) and keep a good stock of items on hand.  For the Expo,
they went all out.

Amazing Computers shared the booth with Roctec,  Moonlighter Software,
GVP and Electronic Arts and  thus had the  second biggest booth at the
show (behind  Creative Computers).  They had an array of  professional
video hardware (cameras, editing  tape decks, computers, etc.) out and
plenty of people on hand who knew how to use it all.  Demos  were non-
stop, except when they answered questions or took requests.  They were
taking pre-orders for Deluxe Paint IV (see the EA notes) and the A3000
PVA from GVP (see the GVP notes).

Being a dealership, there isn't much to tell  about them.  They didn't
release any software or hardware (though their booth-mates had a field
day!). I did interview the Orlando manager to try and get his feelings
about the show.  The summary is in a separate article.


Everybody knows these guys.  Amazing  is the magazine that  also puts 
out AC/Tech Journal and the AC/Guide to the Amiga.

Amazing had a subdued booth in the middle of  things where you  could
subscribe to  either  magazine (the  regular  or the tech);  purchase
certain  back issues; pick  up a complimentary copy of the  latest AC
(not tech, though); or  just stop and chat.   The folks were friendly
and seemed pleased with the crowd.


Amiga Video Magazine  is a one-hour television  show dedicated to the
Amiga.  It broadcasts the first Tuesday of every month on Satcom F1R,
channel 11 at 8:00 pm Eastern Time.   A subscription to  AVM on video
tape is also available.

AVM had back issues of  their program  for sale  on VHS format  video
tapes  as  well  as  a  new   product  tape  entitled   "Multimedia?"
for order and a video  on the Expo  itself (still in prodcution) that
could be ordered.


Everyone knows  these  folks, too.  AmigaWorld  puts  out  AmigaWorld
magazine as well as AW Tech Journal (bimonthly).   AW also has a host
of video tapes on most every subject dealing with the Amiga.  AW also
has books on Amiga Vision and AmigaDOS 2.0.

AW had the first booth through the door (it was there show!)  and was
giving away free copies of the August issue.  They  had a sale  going
on their Amiga videos (reduced prices) and were showing demo tapes on
a large TV monitor (about 30").

AW had a drawing where you could win a set of video tapes.  As in all
the drawings, I don't know who won but I know who *didn't*!


Avid is short for Amiga  Video Journal dedicated to -- you guessed it
-- Amiga Video!

Avid is in a magazine format  on newsprint  quality paper  using  two
colors (black  on white) with a  third on the cover.  It is  about 34
pages long, lists for $4.95/$5.95 (US/Can)  cover and $36/$44  for 12

Avid was at the Expo selling the current issue and back issues of the
magazine and answering questions. The booth wasn't all thay busy, but
that was because Avid is a relative unknown and  customers were being
hogged by the "glamour guys" of NewTek, GVP and the rest.

The copy I picked  up (May 1991)  looked pretty good.  Granted, video
isn't my  strong  point,  I am  interested in it.   There  were eight
major articles, an editorial and some  advertising  (video specialist
companies like Kara Computer Graphics and Microsearch).  The articles
were well written, though  Avid is more of a  newsletter than a full-
fledged magazine -- don't expect Art Buchward.  There were one or two
typesetting errors I noticed,  and also a type or two  but everything
was readable (and accurate as far as I could tell).

Avid looks promising.  While I  don't  know  enough  about  video  to
recommend a magazine, I'd suggest  looking at it for  yourself if you
are into that sort of thing.   Avid can be reached at (408) 252-0508.
They are a monthly magazine (12 issue a year) and claim a publication
rate of 10,000 copies a month.


I must've overlooked these guys.  The program listed them as being in
booth  #226 --  but   there  was  no   booth  #226  on  the  diagram!


Axiom was showing off version 2.0 of their program, Pixel 3D. The new
version included a number of improvements  over 1.x and also included
input/output to  all major  3D formats.  I was pretty  impressed with
the look of  Pixel 3D, but couldn't  push my way  in to get a  closer
look as the booth was usually pretty crowded.


Blue Ribbon was showing Bars & Pipes Pro and had a studio musician by
the name of Mike Torres on hand to demo it properly. The music coming
from their booth was good, and Mike seemed familiar with the product,
as everything went smooth when I was there.

There was a wide array of sound equiment on hand to back up the soft-


Breadbox is a newsletter  dedicated to the  Video Toaster and Toaster
users.  Actual  copies I could  not find,  but brochures  were at the
NewTek booth and  were being  handed out to  anyone who  would  stand
still long enough.

The Breadbox style is similar to that of NewTek -- hip in a computer-
nerd sort  of  way.   It looks  interesting  and IS the only  Toaster
specific mag on the market.

A 12-issue (monthly)  subscription is  $30  and a  four-page  preview 
issue is free for the asking by calling (818) 505-1464.


Centaur Software is a distributor for a lot of European games as well
as the "official" North  American  distributor of  M.A.S.T. products.
Colorburst was  there (see M.A.S.T.), as were  new versions of B.A.D.
and Pixound as well as some videos and other software.


Central Coast  Software (CCS) is now a  division of New  Horizons and
was  showing  off  Quarterback,  QB Tools,  Mac-2-Dos and  Dos-2-Dos.


CSA was  there  showing off their  68030 based  accelerators for  the 
Amiga line (A500, A1000 & A2000).   They had special  discount prices
on these accelerators for the Expo.

CSA was supposed to show off their 40/4 Magnum  68040 accelerator for
the A2000, but I  must've missed it.  68030 accelerators  were every-
where but I didn't see the Magnum.


This dealership is the world's largest  Amiga dealer and had  by  far
the biggest booth of the bunch.   Everything imaginable for the Amiga
(except the esoteric stuff) was laid  out on long tables and on sale.
CC always seemed to have a big crowd.


Commodore's largest  Amiga  Dealer in the  Eastern U.S. was  doing  a
brisk business selling everything from software and hardware to caps,
towels, shirts and bags  with the Amiga logo.  The  GVP A3000 PVA was
on display and CE was taking advance orders ($1,995).  They said that
they were expecting them in by August 26th.  GVP seemed to agree with
that date.  (See GVP)

Creative (based in Miami) was selling  A3000 16/50s for  $1799, which
is $50 less that  the Power  Up price!  A3000 25/50s were  going  for
$2,199 which is also less than Power Up!  Needless  to say, they sold
out pretty quickly.  CDTV was there ($899 the first two days, $799 on
the third) doing the Psygnosis demo.

Creative always had a large crowd.


Cryogenic was sharing a booth  with  Axion (Pixel 3D) and was showing
off their 3D  Professional  2.0 software.   The Axiom  and  Cryogenic
products compliment each other  nicely  (Pixel 3D is  a  renderer and
3D Pro is a  model designer).  Again,  this  booth  was  cramped  and
crowded (with  both  people and equipment)  so  it was hard for me to
get a good look in.


Another dealer, Eagle had a  spiffy booth  that  was attracting a lot
of attention with their  running demos of  DCTV and others on a large
screen  television (about 30").   They  seemed  to be doing  a  brisk


EA was sharing a booth with  Amazing Computers  (Orlando & Tampa) and
demoed DPaint IV in a  seminar.  Spec sheets  on DP IV were there for
the taking.  The spec sheet had the following facts:

DPaint IV ($179 Retail -- $60 upgrade from DPIII)
shipping  in August  for the Amiga and it works with v1.3 and v2.0 of
the operating system.  1 Mb of RAM  is  required and a hard  drive is

New  features  include:  HAM,  morphing,  enhanced  gradients,  a new
color  mixer,  tinting  &  translucency,  stencil  paint mode,  a new
animation control panel (VCR-style)  and  a  light-table  effect  for
"seeing through"  frames  of animation  (similar to Disney's Studio).


This Amiga newcomer  was  showing  off  a  seven-disk  collection  of
fonts (regular  and Toaster  fonts),  animated  backgrounds, clip-art
and other video goodies.   Video  Clipse, Vol. I  is  worth a  closer
look if you are into fonts.


GVP was sharing a booth  with  EA , Moonlighter,  Amazing  Computers,
Roctec and others  and  drawing a large crowd to see their new 24-bit
graphics board.

The A3000 PVA (Professional  Video  Adaptor) is a...well, it is a lot
of boards combined into one.

First off, it is designed for  the A3000,  utilizing  both  the Zorro
bus and the video bus  (plugs into both,  since they are inline).  An
adaptor for the A2000 is available.

What does it do?  What  doesn't  it do!  The PVA  gives  true  24-bit
color  to  existing  Amiga  resolutions  (up  to  768x525)  including 
overscan.  The PVA outputs RGB at  31.468 KHz (multisync)  and 15.734
(VGA) rates; composite video  (NTSC or PAL  depending  on the board);
or S-Video Y/C  output.  [So  claim  the  specs,  only  the  two  RGB 
connectors are on the back of the board.]

The 24-bit graphics  are a  frame  buffer -- 12  bit  double-buffered
graphics are available for animation.

The PVA acts as a scan-doubler/deinterlacer  when  used  through  one
of the two RGB ports.  External live  video can  be grabbed in  real-
time (1/30 sec  per  frame) with  24-bits of  color accuracy.  An RGB
*and* an analog genlock are  provided for  overlaying PVA graphics on

Picture-in-Picture (PIP)  can be  viewed in a  window but  the source
must be RGB, not  composite.   The PVA is bundled  with the following
software:  Macro Paint-PVA,  Caligari-PVA  and Scala-PVA.  These  are
PVA aware  counterparts of the normal  Amiga  versions.  The Caligari
demo was impressive.

GVP has been shipping  beta-test units to  developers, and expects to
ship consumer units in August.  Retail  price is $1,995  and a couple
of dealers at the show were  taking  orders  for  that  exact  price.
Dealers expect to have units for sale by August 26th.

GVP and two  dealers were  demoing  the  board, and damn  did it look
impressive.  $1,995 is  a bit steep,  but  this board does a LOT.  No
mention was made as to  whether the  A2000  adaptor would cost extra.


These  guys were demoing X-Specs 3D  and  X-Specs TV,  which included
a  television   interface.   There  was  some  interesting  software,
including something  that did quick  3D wireframe models of equations
for viewing by X-Specs.  Real neat effect.


Helpdisk was showing off their  series  of  interactive  tutorials of
DPaint III, Imagine  and  PageStream.  They are  soon to  release one
for AmigaDOS 2.0.


These people were  showing  off  matrix  monitor  displays  and  wall
display for use in video.  They did have some  good stuff  going  and
it looks as if a couple of  the other  exhibitors  took  them  up  on
some of their ideas.


ICD was showing off  their  line  of  products  for  the  Amiga.  All
their RAM expanders, drive  controllers, accelerators, etc. were  on
display and for sale at some GOOD prices.


Inovatronics was showing off  a new  version  of CanDo  and seemed to
be generating  a  lot of  interest.  Also  for display  and  sale was
their  line  of programming  tools,  including  PowerWindows, Cape68k
and InovaTools 1.


JVC was  showing off  some  rather  expensive  editing  equipment and
cameras.  There  were  two Amiga 2000HDs there, but most  of the time
they were  sitting  idle (if not OFF)  and it gave me the  impression
that they were there only 'cause it was an Amiga show.

Granted, they DID have some nice equipment.


A massive PD collection for th e Amiga,  this  booth  was very active
and constantly had a couple of Amigas  displaying  the  X-Copy screen
while duplicating PD disks for customers.


Memory and Storage Technologies had  a  booth right  next  to Centaur
Software and was displaying  CDTV (not sure why),  their line of disk
drives, SCSI controllers  and ColorBurst.   Yes,  I actually saw this
product working,  and it  does what  it  says  (24-bit Amiga screens)
though M.A.S.T. had it hooked   up to an  A3000  and a 1084S  of  all
things!  I would think  that a multisync  would be much better (there
was some color crawl  noticable, but  only  if you were  less than 3"
from the screen).

The specs on Colorburst are as follows: 

24-bit graphics display in  Amiga  hires  (640 x 400) including over-
scan (768 x 480).  A  24-bit  overlay is  also possible  when using a
384 x 480 screen for a total of 48-bits of graphics.

Colorburst is an external  box that  hooks up to  the  RBG  out  port
on an Amiga and contains its  own RAM and video  processor.  It comes
in NTSC and  PAL (also, I  think,  SECAM) flavors  and outputs  to  a
15.75 KHz (VGA) monitor.

Colorburst claims full 24-bit  scrolling  and  that the  display  are
accessable by the  custom chips.  The  demo  I  saw displayed  static
images only (but they were impressive).

I did notice a "rippling" effect in  some elements of  some pictures,
but I assume a better monitor  would handle that.   Colorburst  ships
with CBPaint,  a 24-bit paint  program  that  operates in  real time.


Chips, chips and more  chips.   These folks had  some  good  deals on
SIMMs, ZIPs, GVP  4 meg SIMMS, math  processors, main  cpus, crystals
and most anything else made of silicon.


Supposedly sharing a booth with EA, GVP, Amazing  & the  gang, I must
have overlooked this  one, too.  Merlin's  was  supposedly  showing 3
new  software  titles:   ProTextures, a collection of  IFF24 textures
designed for  mapping;  Transporter, an  animation  control  program;
and Store Manager, a  point-of-sale  program with  inventory control.


Showing off  ChromaKey, a device that  allows the Amiga to use Chroma
Key type effects.  This booth  was hopping,  with live demonstrations
going on at all times.

Things went nicely, but  something  must've been  misadjusted  on the
monitor I was watching, because there  was an  aweful "zipper" effect
on the edges of a  black jumpsuit  a  woman was  wearing.  Funny, she
absolutly refused  to  cooperate in  locating  the error by  removing
the jumpsuit.  :-)


Showing off AmiBack 1.04, the  hard  drive  backup software,  ML  was
sharing the booth with GVP, EA, et al.   This  section of  the  booth
was always busy, but it is hard to  tell  about what,  since  ML is a
local outfit and many  of the  locals (Orlando area)  stopped  by  to 
say "hi".


Showing off their  own  line (ProWrite,  QuickWrite, DesignWorks)  as
well as the newly  acquired Central Coast  line  (Quarterback & Tools,
Mac & DOS 2 DOS) they  were quite  busy.   A beta version of Flow 3.0,
and idea organizer was being displayed quietly.


The Toaster was there, in both incarnations.   NewTek was giving away
stuff (drawings),  but not a  Toaster.  A  lovely lady named KiKi was
"manning" the booth.   A 4x4 matrix display was  showing  off Toaster
demos and effects.


This Canadian dealership was showing off  Real 3D Professional/Turbo,
a European ray-tracer;  and CAPS XL, a European  computer aided video
presentation system.  Both looked nice, and I  was impressed with the
quality of the renderings of Real 3D.

The Fusion 40 from RCS Management (also Canadian) was on  display and
for sale.  This is a 25 MHz 68040  board for  the A2000.   Specs  are
available in  their  ads  in  leading  magazines.  (Yes, it is FAST!)


Showing off video edit systems (AmiLink) that  control both consumer
and professional VTRs & production peripherals.  AmiLink can control
of NewTek's Toaster, too.


Roctec had a minor display in with the  Amazing gang which consisted
of their line of drives, mice and RAM cards.  The RocGen genlock was
also on display.


Showing items and selling stuff. A smaller booth than other dealers,
but no less active.  Good deals, too.


Showing off PageStream  2.1 to  anyone  who would  stand  still  long
enough.  They also had  drawings  for  a PS 2.1 giveaway.  Extras and
font disks were everywhere.


Selling PD, signing up members and offering  free advice.  These guys
were just generating good will all around.


Quietly showing off  their line  of  products and handing out fliers.
While their booth was directly across from AmigaWorld's one, and thus
the first in the door, it was pretty much quiet. I doubt Supra cares,
though.  With five dealers  within 500' selling Supra  products less 
than Supra, how could they expect to sell a lot?  There was no stock
evident, so I  assume  they  realized this beforehand and  were just
there to answer questions (which they did cheerfully!)


                             68040 ACCELERATORS

While both Progressive and RCS Management 68040 boards were there for
display and sale, I couldn't find the CSA Magnum board.

Since the RCS Fusion board has been  advertised  so heavily,  and the
spec sheet  readily  available in  the ads,  I'll only  touch  on  it

A 25 MHz 68040 board with 4 Mb to 32 Mb of 32-bit RAM on an A2000 cpu
card, the Fusion 40 claims  to be  about 3 1/2 times faster  than the
A3000/25.  Tests  were made  by rendering  the  same 24-bit scenes on
different machines.


Progressive Peripherals & Sofware had two different boards available.
One, the Progressive 040/2000  is a 25 MHz  68040 board  that goes in
the A2000 cpu slot.  It is  software switchable between the 68000 and
68040, can use 16-bit RAM  or 32-bit  RAM (Static Column  SIMMs) with
2, 4 or 8 megs of 16-bit  RAM and 0, 2, 4, 8, 16 or 32 megs of 32-bit
RAM.  The board runs at 28 MHz asynchronously.

The 040/3000 plugs into  the A3000 cpu  slot and  uses the RAM on the
motherboard.  A 20+  year whisper  fan is  included on  the board for
extra  cooling.  The  board  runs  at  25  MHz  synchronously  and is
switchable between the 68030 and 68040 on  the 25 MHz  version of the
A3000 ONLY!  The 16 MHz model can't software switch!

NOTE:  The brochure states  that both  versions of the boards REQUIRE
ADOS 2.0 *IN ROM* TO WORK. A 1 year warranty is given on both models.

I didn't get prices on any of the above boards.  (Sorry!)


The dealers I talked to  (Amazing Computers,  Eagle & Creative) were
all pretty pleased with the response.   People were  spending money,
even ordering products not yet released (DPaint IV & the A3000 PVA).

Things were busy all three days,  with the exception of the first 45
minutes after opening each day. Everyone seemed to want to sleep in.

I didn't get any "official" attendence or sales figures, and I won't
speculate. Things just seemed busy all the time, and exhibitors were
kept on their toes.

Keep an eye out for the GVP  PVA board,  it is  a beauty.  DPaint IV
looks good, too,  as  do  some  of  the  European  software  titles.


That's it for my review of the show. I hope those who attended liked
what they saw and  that the  exhibitors got  what they  expected.  I
enjoyed it and woud definately  go out of  my way  to attend another

Questions  on  specific  products  should   be  directed   to  their
manufacturers  for exac t answers -- I  can only tell you what I saw
and heard.


\XX/ AM-Report International


 > A "Quotable Quote" 



                  AMReport International Online Magazine
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 AMReport              "YOUR INDEPENDENT NEWS SOURCE"         July 29, 1991
 16/32bit Magazine          copyright   1991                  Special Issue
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