[openbeos] Re: WalterCon 2008: Change of Plans

  • From: "Michael Phipps" <michael.phipps@xxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: openbeos@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Tue, 22 Jul 2008 13:09:57 -0400

I was an Amiga guy, and I was always very frustrated by the lack of other 
Amigans. Back in the early 80's, there was certainly no clear adoption of the 
PC. Apple ][ was huge, at least in my area. Wintel became popular for a lot of 
reasons. I think that the biggest ones were poor advertising (most people asked 
me what my Omega computer was) and instability and stupidity on the part of 
other manufacturers. Commodore had a great market and plan with the C64. They 
totally wasted all of their brand name recognition with crap products 
(Commodore + 4, for example) and overpricing (Amiga 1000). 

I think that geography might be part of it, too. Back in the early 80's, it was 
easy to find people who had a computer the same as yours - there were only a 
few types and finding people was easy. As the PC started to win more and more 
marketshare, it was very hard to find people and that accelerated the decline. 
In Europe, esp in the 80s when it was split east vs west, it seems that there 
was a lot more access due to higher population densities. That's only opinion, 
of course, since I had never been there.

So, to keep this relevant. :-) 

There are a couple of challenges. The first is *Getting* name recognition (and 
positive name recognition). LinuxWorld and SCALE are the right things for right 
now. Right market, right expectations. When R1 comes out (non-alpha), even, I 
think that small scale in the US would be better. The hobbyist market here is 
pretty pathetic, honestly. People want their computers to DO something, not be 
a platform for development and learning. I think that the US market will need 
complete solutions. 100 apps. If it can't do (nearly) all of what people are 
using XP or Vista for, they won't want it. 

Now, of course, different people use Windows for different things. But I think 
that you would need to get to the point where a lot of people can make the 

The good news is that there is a lot of source code and a lot of documentation 
about how to get those apps, not to mention a lot of people who have already 
created those apps. Haiku is still, by far, IMHO, the best C++ dev platform. 


-----Original Message-----
From: "Cyan" [cyanh256@xxxxxxxxxxxx]
Date: 07/22/2008 13:57
To: openbeos@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
Subject: Re: [openbeos] Re: WalterCon 2008: Change of Plans

> Europeans also have a bigger alternative culture (germans for 
> example, french are more conservative there...), they had Atari,
> Amiga, ... and used them.
> Demo parties using those machines (and PCs) are still huge events 
> in germany, whereas there are some in france, but their audience
> is usually count by hundreds, german parties are much bigger.

I think you hit the nail on the head there. Many Europeans were using
non-PC platforms up until the early/mid 1990s, and thus Windows and 
DOS didn't really enter the picture until Windows 3.11 and DOS 6.22
came along.

Contrast that with America, where as far as I understand the PC has
been dominant almost since day one, with the only real rivalry coming
from the unaffordable Macintosh.

Needless to say, being exposed to the harsh reality of the WinTel
platform is a shock that many haven't recovered from.

As for why the PC was more popular in America in the first place,
I'm not sure. Was it more affordable there? More widely adopted by
business users? Or maybe it has something to do with communications
given that the Americans had free local calls (and thus free modem

It seems rather cliche to chalk it up to the usual suspects --
ergonomics (the PC-AT being a massive industrial "chassis" with a
huge fan-cooled power supply and 5" floppies, the ST being a compact 
all-in-one system with built-in 3" floppy), and politics (the PC 
containing user-selected combinations of components from competing
manufacturers, whereas the ST was an integrated system from a single

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