Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
As regular readers of comp.sys.amiga.advocacy know, certain topics
come up for discussion regularly. This document, assembled by the finest
Amiga minds on this side of Chickenmilk, Wisconsin, explains the answers
clearly and accurately, so people don't have to argue about them anymore.
SECTION I: Computer Performance
1. Which is better/faster, 680x0 or 80x86 CPU's?
Generally, the relative speed of a processor is found in the second
digit of the model number. For example, the 68000, 68010, 68020,
68030, and 68040 all have an "8" as the second digit, so they are
all roughly the same speed. Similarly, all the "80x86" processors
have a "0" as the second digit. This implies that all 680x0
processors are faster than their 80x86 counterparts. But everybody
knows that anyway.
2. What does the "x" mean in "680x0"?
The "x" means "extra fast". The 680x0 processor, to be released
sometime in 1993, is the fastest processor ever made by Motorola.
3. What is a "SPECmark"?
Every computer has bugs. Sometimes, one will escape from inside the
computer case, so you have to catch it and squash it. The small,
bloody stain made by the bug's smashed body is called a "SPECmark."
Generally, SPECmarks can be removed by soaking your computer in
warm, soapy water.
SECTION II: Mine is better than yours, nyah nyah!
1. Should I buy an Amiga or a Mac? ...or a NeXT? ...or a PC? ...or a goat?
Deciding which computer to buy is a very personal issue. It is
difficult to get two people to agree on the same brand, let alone
the same model.
Our panel of computer experts has come up with a sure-fire,
failure-proof method for buying the right computer. Simply follow
these steps exactly, and we guarantee that you will choose a computer
with appropriate power and capabilities.
(1) Make a list of the software packages you want to run.
(2) Examine your finances, and decide how much money you can
afford to spend. Suppose this is N dollars (or whatever
units of currency you prefer).
(3) Go to the bank and withdraw N units of currency.
(4) Go to your local computer dealer.
(5) Wave the N units of currency in a salesperson's face,
yelling "I can get my computer much cheaper by mail order!"
Then walk out, looking smug.
(6) Go home, and put the money under your mattress, in a box
(7) Mail me your home address, and tell me which days you will
be out of town.
(8) Later that night, make a human sacrifice to the god M'Bitu
under the light of a full moon.
(9) Stand on one leg, tilt your head upward, and yell
"Vooshie vooshie vooshie" repeatedly until you get tired.
(10) Say the word "SPECmark" to several computer-literate people,
and then nod knowingly.
(11) Ask someone else which computer you should buy. Better yet,
crosspost to ten or twelve USENET newsgroups, asking people
which computer is best. Remember to write "No flames,
please" at the bottom of your article, and leave the
"Followup-To" line blank.
2. Does the Mac OS suck?
When the Mac was first introduced, it filled a void in the
IBM-dominated PC market. Filling a void is analogous to eliminating
a vacuum, so technically, the Mac does "suck" in that sense.
The problem with this argument, however. Commodore's
top-of-the-line Amiga 3000T has a 2-fan ventilation system and
therefore sucks in a big way. This means that the "Amiga vs. Mac"
argument is right back where it started, with the score tied 1 to 1.
Rather than using this reasoning, it is generally safer just to yell
"Macs SUCK" and then run away without explaining.
3. If fast PC clones cost less than an Amiga, why should anyone buy an
Amiga owners are a strange bunch. On the one hand, they are
creative, knowledgable, and friendly. On the other hand, they
are a strange bunch.
Nobody knows exactly why people buy Amigas. Many famous researchers
have puzzled over this issue for years, without success. The
best-known theory was proposed by Professor Reginald Wanker of Snoot
State University. His 415-page paper, entitled "The Phenomenon of
Amiga Ownership Among the Tree-Chewing Gibbons of Antarctica" says,
essentially, that Amiga owners are "a strange bunch" with "very long
4. Which is better, Windows or Workbench?
The consensus on USENET is that one of them is DEFINITELY better than
the other. All of the evidence supports this belief, so nobody
argues about it anymore.
SECTION III: Commodore
1. Who is Irving Gould?
Irving started out as a simple janitor's assistant and rose to become
the reigning czar of Commodore Business Machines. His annual salary
is reportedly forty-five zillion dollars per hour. Nowadays, he
spends most of his time playing with his CDTV and recruiting
Marketing people in local wineries.
2. Why doesn't Commodore do XXX?
Because it's illegal.
3. Commodore stock just went [up|down]!! Is this [good|bad]??
4. Why does the Commodore Marketing Department never advertise the Amiga?
They DO advertise. Just not to humans.
SECTION IV: Blatant Commercial Announcement
<KABOOM!!> <CRASH!!!> <OGLI-OGLI-OGLI!!!!!!> What are those bizarre
SOUNDS?!? Could it BE?!?! YES!!! Introducing...
The most *compatible* game in EXISTENCE!! BLAZEMONGER 2.04 runs on
ANYTHING: Amiga 500, 500+, 600, 1000, 1500, 2000, 2500, 3000,
3000T, CDTV... under EVERY version of the Amiga OS! Even TOTALLY
BROKEN versions with THOUSANDS of KNOWN BUGS will run BLAZEMONGER
2.04 with NO DIFFICULTY!! Is your computer monitor broken? Is the
CPU fried? NO PROBLEM!!! BLAZEMONGER 2.04 will run on ANYTHING!
Heck, BLAZEMONGER 2.04 is so compatible it runs on TELEVISIONS,
MICROWAVE OVENS, LIVE GOATS, and even HUMAN BODIES!! Just stick the
BLAZEMONGER 2.04 boot disk into your mouth, bite down HARD, and BOOT
Buy BLAZEMONGER 2.04 today at your local purveyor of "ViolentWare"
products! Look for our special store display: a twelve-meter-tall
statue of the Grim Reaper being run through a CHEESE GRATER into
a VAT of BOILING TAR. Yum!!
SECTION V: Religious Issues
1. Which is better, C or assembly language?
Both C and assembly have fallen out of style. Most serious
programmers nowadays use a new language called "BLORT".
BLORT lets programmers use whatever combination of languages
they want, all mixed in the same file. For example, a typical
BLORT program for "hello world" looks like:
MODULE HelloWorld(defun write (x) (SAY #? > /dev/tty))
while ((c = getchar()) != EOF)
MOVEM $r0 0x287BA9
task body is accept stdout end;
128 FORMAT "%s\n"
"hello world" << 128 when not Thursday
Keeping with the humorous "GNU Software" tradition of recursive
acronyms, "BLORT" actually stands for "Blort Lort Ort Rt T".
2. Is copy protection good or bad?
Most companies nowadays agree that copy protection is bad. However,
due to pressure from users who want the benefits that copy
protection provides, companies have reluctantly added it to their
Some companies who don't use copy protection have reported problems
due to European "cracker" groups. These groups buy all the
legitimate copies of the software, add copy protection, and then
hide the disks in deep, underground vaults so nobody can use them.
Obviously, this hurts sales -- when ordinary users go to the store,
they discover that all the software is gone.
SECTION VI: Other Questions
If you need the answer to a question, but it is not found in this
document, look for the article "Frequently Unasked Questions" (FUQ) which is
posted forty times a day in the newsgroup comp.sys.amiga.vapor.
Special thanks to everyone who contributed information for this FAQ
article: Denise Agnus, Ozzy Ozbourne, Richard Nixon, Linus Pauling, Phyllis
Schlafly, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, Bill Griffith, Alan Turing, Vlad the
Impaler, Kimba the White Lion, and the BLAZEMONGER "Customer Service"
| Dan Barrett -- Dept of Computer Science, Lederle Graduate Research Center |
| University of Massachusetts, Amherst, MA 01003 -- barr...@cs.umass.edu |
Copyright 1992 by Daniel J. Barrett. All rights reserved.
This article may be freely distributed, but may not be included in any
publication without the written permission of the author.