=====+++++ UPDATE +++++===== From time to time just to keep my hand in I have a look at the Amiga Active website at www.amigactive.com and to my dismay discovered that the magazine is no more. The last issue (26) went out for November 2001. A new magazine entitled Digital (issue 1 on the 27th November 2001) takes its place but it is no longer Amiga specific and costs £3.50. =====+++++ END OF UPDATE +++++===== With the near death of the Amiga computer the many magazines dedicated to that machine fell by the wayside one by one until only Amiga Format was left to keep the Amiga community informed. The Amiga community had been declining and so had been the purchase of Amiga Format to the extent that within one year their sales had halved and were dropping further. Then in October 1999 a new kid came on the block in the shape of Amiga Active. Although the Amiga platform was in the throws of a resurrection, to start up another Amiga dedicated magazine in opposition to the long established Amiga Format published by an international magazine publisher, was almost akin to financial suicide. At £4.95 and with a cover CD it seemed almost too good to be true. Yes we even have CD writers and re-writers and sound and video cards. What we don't have is speed, but we have programme efficiency. Oh! Sorry! This should be about the magazine not the machine, but they do go hand in glove. Being a pound and four pence cheaper than Amiga Format this bright new upstart, although slimmer than it's rival, was as good as, if not better than, Amiga Format both in editorial content, information, tutorials and reader's questions and had a good selection of advertisers. In May 2000, with sales at just 11,146 world wide, Amiga Format ceased publication which left the way clear for Amiga Active. By a strange coincidence, when Amiga Format folded the price of Amiga Active went up by a pound. Now that was sneaky, although not really une
xpected by me. Yeh! I know I'm an old cynic. Everything about Amiga Active shouted confidence in the Amiga platform and without a hiccup it reached its first birthday in October 2000 and with a new Amiga on the horizon its future looks bright. Although the style of Amiga Active is a little different to past publications it still feels familiar. It's not surprising really as some of the staff from AF now contribute to AA as do one or two from the other defunct Amiga magazines. O.K. so the cover isn't as glossy as we were used to and at only 66 pages it is a bit thin. (Well if you'd been near death and ill for a long while, you'd be thin.) But these are hard times and we should support a trier until it becomes obvious that the Amiga will not rise Phoenix like or will, as we hope, challenge the might of Microsoft with a new Amiga in the near future. Spring 2001 I believe. If the new Amiga doesn't materialise then Amiga Active will have done its best and will join the rest, in oblivion. But we have to thank the publishers, Pinprint Publishing, for their attempt in keeping the Amiga community well informed of developments at as slim a profit margin as you could imagine. In the meantime us Amiga diehards will hang around for a while to await developments before deciding if enough is enough and abandon a machine that, when it first came out, was well ahead of its time. It can't be such a dinosaur if I can hold my own on DooYoo and the World Wide Web albeit a bit slower than the rest. Then again remember the story of the tortoise and the hare. I look forward to being able to say "Long Live The Amiga" but it will be a sad if it has to be R.I.P., for the magazine as well.
Theres one thing you have got to admire about Amiga owners, there sheer determination not to buy a PC or Mac!. Up until 18 months ago I too was a die hard Amiga user and a secretary/treasurer of SEAL, South Essex Amiga Link but I gave moved to the PC for one simple reason, I just couldn't afford to run an Amiga any more!. I don't know about the rest of the Amiga community but the 20 or so people in the club just couldn't see that they were throwing good money after bad. There was one guy who spent £650 on PPC card but after installing it I went around and had a look at it wasn't as fast as my PC (which was only a Cyrix 300). The whole PC package which consisted of the 14" monitor, keyboard, mouse, modem, 4 gig hd, cyrix 300 processor and 64mb ram only cost £489!. To make matters worse there was only 2 real applications that took advantage of the PPC card plus a handful of freeware or shareware apps that made nice plasma piccies!. The Amiga has gone from owner to owner and still no new machine, When commodore sold it to the now defunct Escom we were promised the earth, Amiga technologies, the next owners also promised a lot. In the Amigas prime there were two great magazines that stood out from the crowd, Amiga Format and CU Amiga, unfortunatley neither are still around and the new kid on the block Amiga Active seem to have a captive audience. The magazine, if I can be brave and call it that, for it is little more than a leaflet, on the whole is quite well written and well designed. The cover CD (yes! Amiga's had CD ROM drives!) consists of ageing shareware and program demo's and not a great deal else. The magazine is really overpriced for the size and I wonder how long it will be before this new publication goes to the great Amiga Mag graveyard. If you have an Amiga and want a monthly fix of news and reviews of new (?) products this really is your only choice, but there really isn't anything in here that you could'nt sour
ce from the net (including the cover CD software). I think if this mag is to survive it really needs to either lower the price (which I am told by friends in S.E.A.L who have spoken to the editorial team is not an option because of the low circulation) of improve the content a great deal.
AmigaActive is the UK’s only remaining mainstream Amiga Magazine. Published by a new Publishing company (PinPrint) Being the only Published Amiga magazine in the UK it has a 100% market share. So what is it like then ? Well coming from a new company I didn’t know what to expect when I first got hold of a copy. It really is a god read a nice blend of humour and serious. The magazine is full of useful information about all of the Amiga world and more besides. I found out about Planetarion from the magazine. It has also helped me decide on new hardware and software. So If you have an Amiga get hold of AmiActive as well as being full of information it comes with a CD every month. A Must