Amiwest 2018 Show Report
Amiga Kit has been sponsoring and attending Amiwest show in California for twelve years. This year was no different and we were pleased to support the efforts of the Sacramento Amiga Computer Club (SACC) by sponsoring their show for the thirteenth consecutive year. In the past SACC had to charge for entry to the show, but with the sponsorship fee they are able to provide free admittance to any Amiga fan that shows up on the day.
The event spans a total of four days so it was necessary to fly out to San Francisco the prior day. On exiting the airport, Paul Sadlik (OS4 beta tester), Daniel Muessener (Amiga developer) and Trevor Dickinson (A-EON co-founder) met me in Paul's car that he hired. He kindly offered to drive us to the official show hotel in Sacramento which is about two hours drive- thanks again Paul!
The first two days are the traditional Amiwest Dev Con. This is a great forum for developers to come together and share ideas, discuss programming problems and learn about new development techniques. There were about a dozen systems setup by attendees, mostly consisting of X5000, X1000 and some SAM 460/440. Steven Solie organises and leads the Dev Con as he has done so for many years prior. He once again did a great job of putting together an agenda for the two days. This year there was a strong Amiga Developer Team presence with both Hans De Ruiter and Mark Ritter participating.
The Friday evening is the turn of the Classic Clinic. This is an event where users bring along their ageing Classic Amigas which may need upgrading or even repairs. It is a great way of solving any problems by talking to knowledgable users who are happy to help out in practical ways and advice.
Saturday is the start of the show. The day kicked off with speakers giving talks about their businesses. Trevor gave a good account of the A-EON and Amiga Developer Team activities during the last year and outlined our plans for the near future, revealing details about the next version of Enhancer Software.
The Amiga Kit tables were consistently busy through out the day with many existing customers asking questions, looking at our products and chatting to me about their Amiga interests. It was great to put many faces to names that we regularly serve throughout the year on Amiga Kit Amiga Store. It was encouraging to meet new Amiga users. Nethertheless every visitor to our tables received the obligatory Amiga Kit branded pen !
Pizza was provided for lunch during the busy show schedule so I grabbed a few minutes to eat before resuming activities. The afternoon whizzed by and before we knew it the show was over for the day. The room was cleared for the traditional Amiwest banquet dinner preparations.
The banquet commenced early evening. It consist of a two course meal with an award ceremony and guest speaker. A posthumous award this year was given to Chuck Washburn who recently passed away. Chuck was a friend of Amiga Kit helping us out for years with show stock coordination and long term storage. He was always eager to help us and other exhibitors with any questions or problems we had. He would work tirelessly behind the scenes of Amiwest to ensure the show was on budget and ran smoothly, coordinating with the hotel and caterers. He will be missed by all.
This year Amiga Kit asked to sponsor the Amiwest cake and we were invited by SACC President Brian Deneen to make the first cut in the cake before serving to all diners.
The guest speaker was Daniel Muessener. He needs no introduction to many active Amiga users having developed or ported many games such as Wings Battlefield, Tower 57 and more recently Wings Remastered. He has also been responsible for developing the OpenGL ES 2.0 library for the Enhancer Software. He gave an enthusiastic speech, albeit in not his native language, which was met with universal approval by all the banquet diners.
The second day ensued with a brisk start of visitors to our tables. We had a lot of interest in our Arcade Evolution Amiga Joystick which we have been manufacturing for many years. There was enthusiastic questions about the products we plan to release in the coming year for Classic Amiga systems. We handed out a few complimentary Boing Ball Rulers to visitors who expressed an interest in them.
There were a quite a few private exhibitors. Chris Collins presented a table full of historic Commodore calculators which was interesting to see products from their early years. Another notable table was manned by Alex Carmona who showed his X1000 system in a perspex case with LED lighting and LED illuminated cooling fan. It was quite the light show! Other Amiga-like systems were represented. Paul Rezendes presented the latest MorphOS distribution (v3.11) and gave a speech about it.
Before we knew it the afternoon came to an end and the show concluded. It is traditional to attend a farewell dinner before we part ways until the following year. Over twenty Amigas descended on the restaurant which caused a headache for the server. Trevor was kind enough to pay for free drinks for everyone.
In conclusion, Amiwest was an exciting Amiga event with many friendships renewed, great ideas shared with interesting exhibits. If you manage to get the chance, please consider attending next years show (www.amiwest.net).
Amiga Kit and A-EON Technology
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