Ced Kurtz's Techman Texts: Andy’s Amiga a cult computer favorite


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  • The revelation that 28 images purported to be created by Andy Warhol in 1985 were recovered from Amiga floppy disks stirred a lot of interest.

    TechMan was interested to see the images (I like canned soup as much as anybody) but even more interested in Warhol’s choice of computer.

    Apparently Warhol got the computer as part of a promotional stunt, but I like to think the Commodore Amiga — known for its sound and graphics capabilities — would have been Andy’s choice.

    Tech Talk: Andy Warhol, neutrality issue and more

    The PG's Ced Kurtz and Laura Malt Schneiderman talk about the latest news in teh world of technology. (Video by Melissa Tkach; 4/28/2014)

    Presumably he had the first Amiga model, the 1000, released in 1985. The Amiga quickly became almost a cult favorite because of its separate processors for sound and graphics and for its multitasking ability. It was a favorite machine for video production and editing, and music production. Although about 6 million Amigas were sold worldwide, about the same as the Apple II, the Apple was much stronger in the U.S. market.

    The Amiga died in 1993 when Commodore went bankrupt, but third-party Amiga-like machines continued to be made.

    Allow me a rant. The announcement by the Federal Communications Commission that it will propose an Internet “fast lane” is a blatant sellout to the big telecoms and a betrayal of the average user.

    It not only goes against the agency’s support of net neutrality but it gives the lie to a campaign promise made in 2007 by President Barack Obama.

    The telecoms have been wanting to squeeze more money from Google and Netflix and other big bandwidth users. This proposal hands it to them. The Internet service providers would be allowed to establish a tiered Internet — faster speeds for those who could afford it and slower speeds for the rest of us. If Netflix has to pay more to get its streaming video to its customers with less waiting and fewer hiccups, guess who is going to provide that extra money they must give to the telecoms?

    FCC chairman Thomas Wheeler, a former top lobbyist for the telecom industry, says he is making the move because the court has struck down every attempt to post net neutrality rules, the last time being the result of a lawsuit by Verizon.

    What the court has said is that the FCC can’t do that kind of regulation unless it qualifies Internet service as a utility, and the FCC says it can’t get that through Congress. It is time we stop thinking of the Internet as some kind of cable entertainment channel and realize it has become a backbone of the nation’s economy. And as such it should be regulated. End of rant.

    E.T go dump. It was an urban legend of the computer age — that struggling Atari dumped truckloads of equipment and copies of the notoriously awful game “E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial” in a landfill during the video game crash of 1983.

    It is a legend no more. Construction crews have uncovered copies of the Atari 2600 game at a landfill deep in the New Mexico desert, near the city of Alamogordo, TheVerge.com reports.

    Thanks for the enhancement. Verizon says it’s “enhancing” its relevant mobile advertising program, which it uses to collect data on customers’ online habits so that marketers can pitch stuff at them with greater precision.

    The company will use an identifier that “may allow an advertiser to use information they have about your visits to websites from your desktop computer to deliver marketing messages to mobile devices on our network.”

    That means Verizon will monitor not just your wireless activities but also what you do on your wired or Wi-Fi-connected laptop or desktop computer — even if your computer doesn’t have a Verizon connection, according to LATimes.com

    The company will then share that additional data with marketers.


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