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Vieumikro 2001

Untitled Document

Daniele ForsiPIANETA AMIGA 2001
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.

Pianeta Amiga entrance

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".

People waiting to get in

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.

Amiga 1000 with Side-car, Vortex external hard-disk, two external 5.25'' FDDs and an Easyl Tablet interface...

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 "collectors" prices.

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 !)

What could be more italian ? A "bouncing ball" Fiat car !!

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 games.

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 year).

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 !

Daniele Forsi.

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