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Dave Cox's Report on the MicroMart Fair

As reported in the previous article the MicroMart Computer Fair drew crowds of computer Geeks and Amiga users. For a more personal perspective on this year's event read Dave Cox's report on the event.

Dave Cox's Report
Just got back from the MicroMart Computer Fair at the NEC in Birmingham, where I finally got to play with OS4. (I've seen all the show reports, photos, and screenshots, but there's nothing like getting your hands on the damn thing. IT'S REAL!!! ).

I arrived just before the show opened, and was inside before too long. It was a bit smaller than I'd expected but there was plenty to see and bargains to be had (although not everything was cheaper there)

I knew Eyetech were going to be there and decided to look for their stand. I expected it to be tucked away in some corner, but actually it was actually a decent sized booth along the perimeter, and covered in Boing ball posters. I immediately spotted Fleecy Moss, Alan Redhouse, and Sven Harvey (Stellar Dreams) along with Robert from Total Amiga Magazine and a few others. I was one of the first punters to arrive and Mick Sutton showed me around his OS4 setup. I played with the preferences and a few classic 68k apps. Although the graphics system was still in 68k emulation (non-JIT installed) the system felt quite responsive, no worse than the Win98 box I'm typing at now. Mick said the OS4 (alpha) version on his machine was about a month old (with new updates being released daily he hadn't wanted to risk updating it before the show). The GUI really is a big improvement, and very configurable, and new features such as The Grim Reaper are very welcome (even if it is getting harder to make it appear!)

The MicroA1 is a really nice board. Alan Redhouse had a removed the guts of a Samsung DVD player and fitted a spare MicroA1 into it to show the possibilities of the tiny (Mini-ITX) board size. Another (functioning) MicroA1 was running Linux, Mac On Linux with OSX, and a Windows emulator (?) with Media Player playing some tunes. I want one of these now but Alan said I'd have to wait until April!

Another A1, this time a XE (in a very funky case, that got alot of attention), was running Linux with UAE and some classic apps. And of course the two machines with OS4. I spent most of the day hanging around the stand and it was funny to hear the reactions from the PC crowd, but there was quite a lot of interest.

Only two weeks 'til the Bath show so I can get another fix. Maybe see some of you there.

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