Held in Empoli, Italia on the 21st October 2001
Review by Daniele Forsi
Today I went to "Pianeta Amiga" with a friend.
"Pianeta Amiga" stands for "Planet Amiga" and it's
the only Amiga two-days show held in Empoli, Italy. For the past five
years, I have never missed it.
At 10.30 we buy the tickets, but there are no gadgets this year. We get
in and our first feeling is sadness (like for last 3 years...). Fewer
stands, fewer people and all the speeches were held yesterday !
We start our first round with the big stand of Virtual Works with their
usual big stock of CDs (a little smaller than last year) and among them,
the software development kit and assorted hardware with an A570 in the
corner. I get the price list and ignore the A570... On the same stand
they have the Amiga XL OS, CrossDos, CrossMac, software for DTV and some
high level hardware (both technicaly and in terms of price) such as PCI
slots for A1200, GVP SIMMs and daughter boards that I don't know...
Then there is Haage & Partner stand presenting hybrid mother boards
with Zorro/PCI slots put in a tower case (the man from H&G is interviewed
by a local TV). I ask nothing because he will answer me in English (reading
and writing is different from listening and speaking, isn't it?). Sadly,
there are no leaflets for us "only english-readers".
Then along the second wall of the exposition room we find :
- a small stand with Cloanto (empty at this time)
- a stand with a well known man (I saw him there before, but I can't remember
the name of his company). He presents some "untested" hard disks
at 10,000 lire, a new 30 GB HD at 233,000 lire an A500 power supply at
30,000 lire and an A1000 for which I don't ask the price... Later I heard
that he asked 200,000 lire plus some other hardware stuff.
- a small stand with mainly new (not second hand, I mean) software
- a small stand with a boy and a girl from Massa, who try to sell us a
feet stand but I put my feet on the Pentium III case, honest :-)
- another small stand with a boy with colored hair (a light colour I don't
remember, maybe yellow, but my Workbench has only 4 colours, so it might
have been remapped to another colour in my mind :-) ). He demonstrates
some "educational" cards to be used with satellite decoders
- and finaly, the small stand of the Italian magazine "Enigma Amiga
Life" with back issues... The editor is there.
Along the third wall, dividing the expo and the conference area, there
is an area for second hand trades, including 4 or 5 items proposed at
Along the fourth wall we find :
- a big stand with PPC G3/G4 computers. Later they ran a demo with loud
music and woke up the sleepy audience, gathering some people, just like
at SMAU (you make noise and people come to see what's happening)
- a big stand with software and hardware (Italian people)
- another big stand with software and hardware (Fa.Amiquipment from Germany)
with the white Amiga International mouse at 20,000 lire, Zorro II IDE
controller (Buddha) at 99,000 lire instead of 109,000, and an A1200 M/B
in a tower case with software for 449,000 lire.
On my second tour, I ask the German man info about the Buddha IDE controller
(which I understood), and about the A1200 tower (which I didn't understand,
they don't have literature to read or take away, what a pity).
On my third tour, I am about to ask Virtual Works if they Amiga Forever
4 in stock but I resist :-). Then we walk to the Cloanto stand : they
have Amiga Forever 4 and I can't resist (I try to buy it but they are
giving it away for free !)
Finaly, we return to the German man and I buy myself a white Amiga mouse
and an IDE controler. As a gift, the guy gives me 3 CDs with demos and
Then we go again to Virtual Works to ask about the A570. Expecting a
100,000 lire price tag I get a 40,000 answer with an offer for the SCSI
module at 86.000 and the 2 MB ram expansion at 40,000 (IIRC), with a price
cut if buy everything. Mmmmh... I decide to try to use the RAM I alreadly
have and I buy the A570 with the SCSI module for 100,000. But since I
have only one A500 I don't think I would buy some more A570s (maybe next
At 12 o'clock we leave the exposition, and after some brain storming,
we go to the Chinese restaurant, exactly as we did the last 3 years :-)
In the end, I spent more money this year and less time than ever. There
were less stuff and less people, but I am more satisfied (maybe because
I bought something). There also was less stuff but most things were of
a higher level. There were not any retrocomputers either (except the A1000
for sale), but there were some retrogames (but nothing really good, apart
A320 Airbus in German at 20,000, but as I don't understand German...)
Let's hope that Pianeta Amiga 6th edition will take place next year !