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Dirk Baeyens

CNNfn: Amiga President & CEO, CNNfn
Unter dem Titellink finden Sie einen vorläufigen Mittschnitt als Textversion von Bills Auftritt.

Nachtrag 02.07.2000:
MP3-Version (1,2 MB) des Interviews erstellt von Kent Seaton (Quelle:

Nachtrag 05.08.2011:
Beim Datenbankimport den Mitschnitt in die Meldung integriert.

Source: FDCH CEO Wire/Associated Press
Publication date: 2000-06-30


STEVE YOUNG, CNNfn ANCHOR, DIGITAL JAM: A computer company once on the endangered species list is making a comeback. Amiga, which won raves 15 years ago but not enough users, is finding a new life after a former truck driver bought the company. Just a few weeks ago, Amiga released a new operating system and a new Amiga computer is due out by the end of the year. But the company's chief has his sights on something bigger. He wants Amiga in computers, PDAs, cell phones, everywhere.

Joining us now to talk about Amiga's rebirth is its president & CEO Bill McEwen. This really is a cult computer, isn't it?

BILL MCEWEN, PRESIDENT & CEO, AMIGA: Oh very much so. There's quite an active following. In fact we've been very surprised to have the support of numerous people and even larger corporations wouldn't even know Amiga's existed in. It's been very exciting.

YOUNG: I remember going to stores in the '80s that had Amigas. They were very advanced for the time with dedicated graphic tips. That was one of the big deals, right?

MCEWEN: Absolutely. In fact, that's where, especially in the United States, it's still in use by many studios, Disney (Company: The Walt Disney Company; Ticker: DIS; URL: , Warner Brothers, Universal Studios. We even got words at some folks down in Atlanta CNN still use Amigas for doing some of the video production there.

YOUNG: I want to bring in one of your debotees, Dick Van Dyke, who's in Malibu, California. And how many Amigas do you have?

DICK VAN DYKE, CELEBRITY: At the moment I have four, Steve.

YOUNG: What do you do with four Amigas, Dick?

VAN DYKE: Well they all network together. I'm using also some of the better known computers, which I'll get rid of as soon as the new Amiga comes out. Hi Bill.

MCEWEN: That's right, Dick.

YOUNG: There's no operating system Bill. We'll be able to do what?

MCEWEN: Well this is a different model than what we've traditionally. Most operating systems today are tied to a chip set. In other words, Windows is X86 based. Macintosh is PowerPC. Our new operating system is independent of the processor, so when a developer writes to the new Amiga software, it will automatically run currently on 14 different processors. And it will also run not only on our own operating system in a native format, but in a self host environment it will run on Windows, on Linux, on Windows CE, on OS9 and other products. In fact right now, the exact same OS runs the Motorola (Company: Motorola Inc.; Ticker: MOT; URL: P1088 JAVA SmartPhone.

YOUNG: Dick, everybody of course knows you as a wonderful performer, comedian. Are you really a digital guy? Do you follow this tech talk?

VAN DYKE: I cannot follow the tech talk. I'm a graphics artist, Steve, and I started out with the Amiga and it Wall Street the only game in town for the graphics back then and still as far as I'm concerned, the only one. But I'm not a technician, so I need a forgiving computer that will cut me a little slack, and Amiga does that.

YOUNG: A graphics artist. Are you designing stuff for TV, for films, or for print or what?

VAN DYKE: I do animations, composites, I do special effects. I've done a little work from my own television series. I'm really an amateur, but getting better.

YOUNG: We need you to send us some files. We'll put them on the air and look at them.

VAN DYKE: Well I'd be tickled to death.

YOUNG: Bill, it sounded to me as if there were some similarities to what that new company TransMed is saying about emulating stuff in software and being able to run on any kind of operating system.

MCEWEN: In many ways we can run on the TransMed chip itself. We're taking what made the Amiga so great in its multimedia capabilities, its library classes, everything that Dick enjoys with the Amiga, and we're extrapolating that from the chip set so you don't have to be bothered about having the greatest chip because the operating system takes care of all that for the individual. Folks at JAVA One saw the operating system running on a Sega Dreamcast, on an LSI Logic (Company: LSI Logic Corporation; Ticker: LSI; URL: set top box, on an X86 machine running Linux, on a Windows machine, and from armed computing, their new prospector notebook computer, and the code was all identical across all machines.

YOUNG: Dick, I saw in a research note that you leave you ravishing house there in Malibu and drive into LA for Amiga club meetings. What are those like?

VAN DYKE: Well we have people who have been with Amiga. Some people who've been with Tim Genesis new tech-the toaster, which so many of us still use for our graphics, and to trade ideas, and to show each other our work. It's just kind of a social event.

YOUNG: Is it a little weird though, I mean like a Star Trek convention?

VAN DYKE: Not quite that nerdy, but we're bad enough, Steve.

YOUNG: Bad enough. OK. Well thanks very much to both of you for joining us tonight on DIGITAL JAM. The Amiga is a cult thing that just won't go away. There are by the way something like 7 million. How many of them do you have in inventory?

MCEWEN: Well there's an install base of 7 million, and then we still have the A1200 model that people can still go out and buy today. We've got about 17,000 of those in inventory now.

YOUNG: OK. Well Bill, Dick, thanks so much for joining us.

VAN DYKE: Thank you.

MCEWEN: Thank you, Steve.


To order a video of this transcript, please call 888-CNNFN-01 or use our secure online order form located at WWW.FDCH.COM (Federal Document Clearing House, Inc.).

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