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Amiga looks to iMac, Palm for inspiration

Concept designs reveal technology direction

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Amiga Inc. has revealed its design plan for two upcoming machines: what it calls "a multimedia convergence computer" and a handheld personal digital assistant designed to operate alongside it. Copyright AmigaThe company refused to give details of the machines' specifications and market positioning, but it's clear from the concept drawings released so far that it has its eye on Apple's iMac and 3Com's Palm as templates. The computer itself sports build-in monitor and speakers, like the iMac, but has a more angular case, reminiscent of Compaq's old PCTV product line. The handheld's 'PC companion' role is clearly Palm-like, but its styling reminded us of an early Apple Newton prototype. Perhaps that's why Amiga has hired Rick LeFaivre, once head of Apple's Advanced Technology Group, the part of the company that developed the Newton OS and its handwriting technology. Still, LeFaivre has also done stints in senior roles at Sun and SGI, so his arrival is something of a coup for Amiga. Amiga president Jim Collas said LeFaivre's appointment "should be a clear indication to the Amiga community that we are dedicated to the development of exciting technology for the new Amiga platform". That technology will have to be exciting indeed if it is to be perceived as something more than borrowings from other companies. ®

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