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Interview with Jacek Rzeuski
Posted with permission from AmigaFuture, February 2001
Interview with Jacek Rzeuski

The following interview was done by the German paper magazine Amiga Future in February 2001. Posted with permission.

Could you describe your company and the important people of the company?

I'm a private Amiga developer.

Since when do you work on/with the Amiga?

Since 1987 I think...

Do you work together with other groups or companies?

Not, but few years I ago I was writing for small Amiga development company.

And what Company was this?

The name was Arrakis Software. We've been mainly writing educational software for Polish market. But we also did word-processor Leto and Wolfenstein-type game Cytadela. There was ImageFX clone in the works but has never been finished (it was in 100% in asm which resulted in damn fast working but very slow development). Me and my friend were working on very advanced word-processor based on MS Word and PageStream concepts. We're quite advanced with that but the project collapsed. Few years later WordWorth became close to our effort but it still lacks of some features that we've planned.

What kind of software do you produce?

Freeware only. Currently I'm working on Directory Opus 4 and partially on YAM2.

Can you tell us what you would like to change in future versions of Directory Opus 4?

Tricky question. I follow up users wishes mainly.

YAM? What would you like to improve in the "best amiga tool" YAM?

There's a few improvements already done. The whole team of YAM developers is about 15 people now. Some are working continuously, some (like me) are not. The list of required improvements can be easily written by every frequent YAM user.

How long are you Amiga-User?

Since 1987 as I wrote above.

Why are you developing software for the Amiga, and not for the Macintosh for example?

Because I love writing for AmigaOS and I know it the best. I also own a PC but I'm not interested in developing under Windows.

What is your latest product and what are your plans for the future?

See above for current projects. For the future? I don't know. Probably I'll stay with current projects because I don't have enough time to develop for Amiga. I have to earn for living and it's impossible with Amiga :(

What will you release in the next few weeks?

Next version of Directory Opus 4 for sure.

And what are the features of this new version?

For nearest future I plan to finish XAD support and make standard localization for easy translation to different languages. I'm going to fix small bugs concurrently.

What are your favourite games for the amiga?

I don't play anymore. Because of lack of time and interest. In the past I loved strategy games: Settlers, Civilization, HistoryLine and some arcades: ie. DeluxeGalaga.

Is it your main job to work for the Amiga, or is it just a hobby? If it is a hobby - what's your main job?

Amiga is a hobby. I work as a telecommunications specialist for Poland's national telecom.

What kind of things (software, hardware, and so on) are you missing for the amiga?

Faster hardware (PPC based) and PPC OS for it. I love MorphOS idea.

Do you think that MorpOS has a chance?

Yes, I do. One of the strongest arguments against it is incompatibility with Warp3D which could be done. On the other hand Warp3D is the only argument for WarpOS. MorphOS is already compatible with PowerUP. If there could be done WarpOS compatibility then the PPC kernel war would be finished. Unfortunately (according to Ralph Schmidt) it can't be done easily (if ever) because WarpOS breaks some rules in PPC API.

For what kind of processor do you develop your software: 68k or ppc?

Currently 68k but I've tried PPC (PowerUP). I'm monitoring MorphOS progress. Unfortunetely due to my current job I have to work on PC under UAE which doesn't give me any possibility to develop for PPC. Anyway my PPC Amiga is waiting for me at home.

Will you support the AmigaNG in future, or are already working on a project like this? If yes, please tell us about it.

I don't plan to support AmigaNG because it has nothing in common with the Amiga I know. For me it would be the same as starting writing for Windows platform.

When the AmigaNG is available, will you still support the classic Amiga?

Yes, through the MorphOS most probably.

Will you port a PC-game to the Amiga?

In fact I did it already. Check my Freecell clone on Aminet. It's based on Win95 one. I didn't have any access for orginal sources so in fact it can't be named a conversion but it looks like that.

Will you release other projects on other platforms?

If yes then it will be MorphOS certainly.

What do you think about Amiga's present situation?

It's insane. AInc. goes into wrong direction. First bad move was neglecting phase5 efforts and approving WarpOS as official PPC kernel. Next they've decided to compete on PC/console market leaving classic Amiga unsupported. Even if they'll succeed they're not willing to support classic AmigaOS and its successor: MorphOS.

Do you think that OS3.9 is the right way or would it be better to leave the Classic Amiga with OS3.5 and only make a new OS for the NEW Amiga?

OS3.5/3.9 are not a new OSes! They're only minor updates to it. In fact they're a compilation of Aminet programs and patches. The latter were introduced into new SetPatch. No PPC support at all (even animation player is 68k based).

What do you think about the latest news about the AmigaOne?

I don't follow them too much but in general they assure me that I'm right that they're not going to do anything for classic Amiga users. In fact they want them to die.

What's your opinion about the idea to release Amiga games generally on CD? And what's your opinion about the future of the DVD on the Amiga?

CD/DVD is very good medium because of its capacity, price and availability. It should be continued. No real Amiga user uses diskettes these days. I even know some which don't have floppy drive at all in their Amigas.

DVD in today's Amigas could only be used as data storage. For playing movies from it we need new PPC based motherboard with PPC AmigaOS. The only alternative for that is MorphOs for now.

Which Computer/OS do you use in private?

Actually I use the most PC laptop under Win98SE but in free time I develop on it under WinUAE. I'm going to install Linux for UAE-JIT for speed. On weekends when I'm home I'm working on my Amiga of course.

What is your opinion about the situation of the amiga?

Very bad. Mainly because of AInc moves. The only real Amiga supporting companies are Elbox (hardware), MorphOS team (OS), Hyperion and Pagan (games) and H & P. Thanks God that we still have quite large base of individual developers.

What do you think about the SDK?

A joke. For any real developer it doesn't offer everything what's needed to build real software. I could only treat as a preview or demo but what serious company releases such incomplete SDK?

Does the new Amiga-OS (AmigaNG) have a chance in the big pc-world?

Not at all. Windows seems to be unbeatable. Linux people tried but even with huge hype and publicity they didn't manage to become a real threat for Redmond giant. Nor AmigaNG will. IMHO it could make some mess on settopboxes and consoles market but recent announcements from Microsoft about their X-box will demolish that plans. And please remember what destroyed Amiga: games and too much Commodore's attitude to them and other Amiga opportunities haven't enough priority.

Does the AmigaOne damage the Classic Amiga?

Definitely. I only hope it won't destroy it. I hope that Amiga people will stay resistant against AInc's marketing.

What's your imagination about the future Amiga?

MorphOS or die.

Does the Amiga Classic have the same chance as 1985 (the best computer of the world)

Today it's not too hard to build outstanding computer architecture and invent brilliant OS. The problem is how to convince software companies to build big enough application base for it. And even then there's a problem how to convince users (business and private) to move to it. Marketing and pricing could not be enough.

Does the AmigaNG have a chance in the war with Mac and PC? The same chance as 1985?

With Windows? Absolutely not. With Mac possibly. With Linux - rather not. The funny (?) thing is that it will fight with current Amiga also.

Do you have a homepage? What's the url?

No, I don't have one nor time to build and maintain it.

And where can the user download your software? Only from Aminet?

That's the main resource. For DOpus I've created a webpage and acquired a webmaster for it who maintains the site.

Is it better to reach you by e-mail or snailmail?

Definitely email.

And which email adress?

How do you like the "Amiga Future"?

I don't buy it. I get all my Amiga news from Internet and sometimes I even write to Polish Amiga magazine (called eXec).

What do you think about the bad situation at phase5?

They were killed by AInc/H&P alliance on WarpOS and because of that they lost liquidity and that didn't allow them to finish their great plans on G3/G4 cards and AmiRage-K2 computer (which was going to be much more outstanding machine than AmigaOne).

Do you have a mascot?

Not unless I can call my Amiga as such ;-)

What are your hobbies?


What is your favourite movie?

The Matrix.

What do you think about those long and troublesome interviews? :)

They're great for 4-hours long train journeys home ;-)

What would you like to say to the software-pirates?

Because of them me and many other talented developers have to earn money for living in other ways which don't allow them to do what they like the most: developing for Amiga.

Some final words?

Keep Amiga spirit alive!

Regards, Jacek

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