Fleecy loved the spanking so much he came back for more :)

Fleecy after a hard pub-crawl

Note: Interviews are the one thing that we do for Clubbed magazine, that we also put up here asap, for you lucky people.Please subscribe to Clubbed, and you can get a whole lot more than just interviews. Check out our Clubbed pages for content and pricing.

Hi Fleecy, thanks again :)

No problem - we are all partners in this - we aren't the silent types either - when we hold a party, we party!!!

Watch out Fleecy, I normally flash my ass (moon) at parties :)
If Dave Haynie`s invited, no doubt there`ll be some guitar-lickin` and martial-artin` :) I studied a rare and powerful martial art myself, and was a natural, so now I`m a brown belt at Martial Fart. Sorry. Crap joke. Oops, and again.

First off, I didn`t get the following essential details last time:


fleecy moss




1 red headed Scottish warrior woman, Elspeth, 2 boys, Seth (9) and Yerran (7) and little Evie (Evangeline) - 1

Fleecy wouldn't give me a picture of himself (other than the two elsewhere on this page :), so he sent one of Elspeth and Evie instead. All together now.... aaaaaaah :) Cute. I'd better stop writing for this caption now or I'm liable to go into some baby-talk crap or something. Aaaargh, too late! Koochy-koo ga ga gu go (oh dear....help) :)

Fave Movie(s):

Silent Running, Red, White, Blue, Contact, Elizabeth, Carry on up the Khyber

Fave music:

Big mix - Classical, Opera (La Boheme), Bush, Goo Goo dolls, Counting Crows, wailing, emotion spilling women.

Fave food:


Fave drink:

Snob here - I love real ale, but you can' beat a good french red wine - St Emilion in particularly.

So, whatcha been up to since we spoke last (just after you `left` Amiga)?

Getting to know Evie, buying a house, getting into a horrendous ERP implementation at work. Trying to work on KOSH when I can. I spent a lot of time chatting with Bill about Amiga possibilities, especially how we would do it if there was an opportunity.

>From what we`ve read and heard about, the most plausible explanations for Jim Collas `leaving` Amiga, are that...

(a) Gateway didn`t realise that he was intent on producing a computer (as well as the information appliances), and were a tad annoyed when they found out (as this would be competition for their own pc`s). It would seem very unlikely that Gateway didn`t know of the Amiga MCC plans though...it`s been nearly two years.

(b) Jim left because Gateway didn`t honour the devolution of Amiga. Possible, as certain divisions at Gateway probably wouldn`t want any competitive computer made, out of their control and influence. Therefore, Jim didn`t see any future there.

(c) The goalposts were moved at Gateway, as they negotiated to produce Microsoft driven STB`s, which would mean that the Amiga (and patents) were purely bought by Gateway as leverage against Microsoft and competitors, to gain position/discounts. If that was the case, then the whole `Amiga developing something` has been purely a sham to fool not only us, but M$. Getting really conspiratorial here, but maybe the M$ STB`s that Gateway will produce, are going to be using all the technology that Amiga have been working on, supposedly for the benefit of the anti-M$ world (which would mean that we`ve all been used - big time). Interesting that M$ have been taking an interest in Linux lately, eh?

We definitely know that Jim didn`t leave because of any immature dickhead`s threats (he`s a bigger, stronger man than that), and didn`t leave of his own volition.


Jim left because Gateway got threatened by MS when they caught wind of the last round of publicity, and the comments that GW was going to take on Amiga. There were also a lot of internal disagreement over direction, and the role of the community, and he was set up, to an extent (at least in my opinion) by those who have now benefitted. With his revenue stream and plan in tatters, what self respecting guy would stay?

Sucks a big one. Nearly everyone was excited by what Amiga said it had to offer.

There was a suggestion of you trying to get Jim Collas involved in AQUA. Any luck, or do you at least know what he`s doing now?

It is always a possibility. I think Jim will surface pretty soon but he is resting now. The GW2K rape left him pretty drained.

Bill McEwan was let go as well, which seems to indicate that they aren`t interested in producing anything, as it`s a numb decision to lose your marketing dude when you`re about to launch new product(s).

Bill got a bad dissing by a "senior employee" out to save his own skin when Collas took over. As a result, they never really understood just how much talent, leadership, and plain downright goodness there is in Bill. As a result they failed to utilise him. He never told me what transpired, because we both agreed when I was dropped that we wouldn't talk about AInc stuff, but his mood started pretty black and just got darker. Release was actually a relief for him, and now we can get on and do what should have been done 2 years ago.

About bloody time, too.

I know you`re a Bill McEwan fan, even though he hadn`t had any Amiga contact or experience before joining Amiga (after you left?). Why is that?

Just spend ten minutes with him. For an American, he has a rare sense of humour, cuts through the bullshit, and enjoys wacky stunts. Schindler got really bent out of shape because I went out to South Dakota one time, and we were all meeting up. I bumped into Bill at Minneapolis airport, and by the time we got off the plane in Sioux City, we were best friends - and Schindler had been his friend for years. He just "gets it". The best compliment I can pay him is I would spend time with him outside of work. In fact, that's the whole point - even work isn't work with him. We do it because it makes us feel alive.

At the moment, until some proof comes from Amiga, it seems the only good thing that`s come out of the last couple of years, is QNX, who seem intent on keeping their word and co-operating with hardware vendors to produce a new computer platform. It`s funny how things turn out, as you suggested QNX while at Amiga, and now there may be a chance that you (and others) will be working with QNX to do the deed, and produce the AQUA (was `Amiga Qnx Uniform Architecture`). How are things moving on that front, and what is the vision? Do you have enough financial backing yet?

QNX is a great product, and we have been trying to get Dan and the crew involved for well over a year. With Amiga Inc finally revealing their true colours, the time is now right to break the community from its dependency habit. We have coalesced a business, technical and strategy document that we have been working on really for over 18 months, even if informally. One of Bill's "gifts" is that he seems to know absolutely anybody who is anybody, and the job offers, and investment offers we have had in this little venture of ours sometimes blow me away. Money will not be a problem.
For us, the Amiga is a philosophy. Elegance through simplicity is it's motto. I spent the last year telling ppl that this was the case, that it wasn't the company but the ideals. However, dependency is a hard thing to kick, and Collas, to his credit, did offer something appealing. The collapse of that though is really the best thing that could have happened for the Amiga - the ultimate slap in the face wake up call.
We want the philosophy to continue. We made and are still making strenuous efforts to get the name, but AInc has now made it clear they will try to wring as much as they can from it, and we need our money for the future. So we will proceed anyway.
However, for the community to survive and prosper, we must break out of the cycle of the past. No more single owners, power focuses, or single points for failure. We see all as working together for the benefit of all, working at their core competencies to produce a variety of wonderful products and ideas based around a common core. We see QNX as producing the core OS and services. We see Rebol as providing the scripting and messaging paradigm. Bill and I see our new company as providing the Amiga experience, from the moment you approach an new machine to the moment you leave it. It is much more than an interface though, although that will be one of the items we work on. It will be an attitude, an empowerment, a model, a habitiat. Included in this is not just how you relate to the machine but how it relates to you, your finances, your home or office, your philosophy. Marketing a reality that is far and away above what exists today. Of course this is all talk and plans at the moment, but that's how it starts.
I haven't stopped though. QNX, Rebol, and our company, which has a working name of Amino at the moment (for many reasons ;-)) are just a small part of it - the core SW part. We also have invited hardware companies to come together to form a hardware reference platform group - core product specs that will enable our SW to run on it, and to allow them to gain from economies of scale. This SW architecture will be called AQUA (Amino Qnx United Architecture).
Our hope is for a co-operating ocean of companies, all doing their bit. With no single authority, we gain the flexibility and protection that has been missing in the past.
Of course, we want to further safeguard our own part of this, Amino. We want to take the company public, but in such a way that the controlling shareholding is distributed widely amongst the community, users, developers, and the like, further protecting our dream in case anyone ever comes looking to buy it out.
We have already sent the preliminary proposal out to our partners in the community, and are talking to many outside of it. We have received nothing but good news up until now. We hope to have Amino up and running in 4 weeks, and our partnership plan is to get a set of products, the second wave (we want to reserve the first wave for the classic Amiga) out within 6 months - no dilithium powered warp capable products, but a good, solid basis that can come to market quickly, and get the community moving again.
In addition, there are other efforts afoot to energise the community, developers and users. As we have already said, we are wanting to see a new model, not just us selling to them, but a dynamic habitat where we all meet, work, play, and have a good time. This cannot be done alone. We will do it together, but this time it will be done by Amigans first.

And last.

If you are intent on modifying the QNX Nuetrino for AQUA, what do you think needs changing and implementing to make it similar in power and flexibility to Exec and the Amiga OS?

QNX is already an excellent product. We wouldn't dream of telling QNX how to make it better. In discussion, the partners recognise it is missing parts, and some parts need some work to bring it to the reach of the masses. As Amino is concentrating on the Experience, we will concentrate on interface, interaction and presentation. We have found though that sound companies know sound best, graphics companies know graphics best and so on. We will be looking to our partners for this.

Some are concerned that there may be many different flavours of Nuetrino on many different platforms, making the market weak and fragmented. Is it possible to have all the different variants compatible?

There will be a single core product that we will sell. Individual companies may create their specific versions but it is understood that they would be for other, very specialised markets. As you say, success comes from working together - multiple flavours would work against this.

It seems that the Linux community is without a host computer now. As a community, they are very technically proficient, so maybe they would be interested in adopting AQUA, as QNX isn`t too far removed from Linux, yet superior. Any chance of getting the Linux community in on the party?

POSIX gives a natural bridge between AQUA and Linux. We hope to provide a compelling reason for anyone to come across to us, especially those who love technology.yone to come across to us, especially those who love technology.

Hopefully AQUA will be multi-media centric, with DVD, audio and video in/out ports, timecode generating software etc etc for producing animations, music, and video`s. What are your visions for the AQUA range (if there is to be more than one)? I assume the internet will also play a big part in the user interface design, to make it easier/friendlier.

No, we intend to concentrate only the soybean manufacturing computer device market. We see it as having a huge potential to keep our company in tofu for years to come ;-) AQUA is just the architecture. We personally are going for 2 markets, the pathfinder market (power user, geek, academic, and technophile), and then the digippl market - technology haters who just want technology solutions in their life but we will run at the first sound of the word computer. The future is moving on, away from workstations, clients, servers etc - it is all about digital content, whether you are building applications, sculpting 3D images, listening to music, searching the web or whatever. Many ppl are still caught up with something that looks like a computer - the initial revulsion by the community towards Digital Convergence was a sign of this, but it is also a misunderstanding - it is about the solution and not the tool. We will fully support, develop and work in partnership with others to push this pathfinder community forwards - our techo-adventurers, and then follow up 12 months later with products for the mainstream. We see it as a wonderful opportunity for co-operation and just plain fun.ainstream. We see it as a wonderful opportunity for co-operation and just plain fun.

What about disabled persons friendly features such as voice recognition, texture-sensitive mice and touch-pads etc...

Amino is concerned with developing the "experience" for AQUA - for all ppl. It goes without saying, and even if we don't do it ourselves, the interfaces and our co-operation will be there for third parties to take advantage of such specialised areas.ies to take advantage of such specialised areas.

Quite a while ago, Team AMIGA set up a work-group for the above disabled-friendly features, and also one for anti-piracy measures. Are you planning on using their research and expertise in AQUA?

We hope to see the up and coming Phoenix organisation as the place where research and findings can be disseminated freely for those who wish to use. If not, then we will take the information directly. The Anti-Piracy WG is especially important to us and I was very distressed when AInc just completely ignored it, as they ignored much of the ICOA.gnored it, as they ignored much of the ICOA.

You mentioned patching up the current Amiga market. The only way you can stop the rot, is to sell a reasonably priced computer, that marries the Amiga ethos to pc hardware. Can you go into more detail on this? And if that`s the first stage, what is the 2nd stage?

Going along with AQUA, we see waves of development. In honour of Jay and crew, the first wave will be reserved for the classic Amiga. The second wave is what we are working on with our partners now. It will be a very powerful system, even at the low end, but don't look for miracles or warp drive. We are calling the HW reference group together, hopefully within the Phoenix organisation to spec out a single sourced common design - single CPU, single high end graphics card, sound card etc - this minimises development time and effort, support and incompatibilities, and means we can hopefully get something out within 6 months from startup. It will give us the powerful foundation we need, to prove the market, to secure revenue streams, and to be able to start designing the third wave, where hopefully we can really go to town.ly we can really go to town.

How much moolah will the AQUA(s) set us back?

Again, Aqua is just the SW component, so I don't know what the actual products will be called. We are looking at 3 products for the second wave, at least on paper, 1 single CPU workstation (<$1299), a multi-CPU workstation (<$1799), and an integrated motherboard, that takes a DreamCast type approach - squash the single CPU workstation down onto a small board, with PCI/AGP headers and allow companies to produce an A1200 like device with a lot of expansion potential - I would hope to see this sell for <$499.<$499.

Where does Arexx sit in the AQUA equation? Would it be possible to adapt Rebol to be an Arexx replacement?

We see Rebol as fulfilling the potential of Arexx, and so much more. Most ppl only know a part of the Rebol story and we will be delighted to be a part of telling the whole. Rebol will be one of the key pillars of AQUA. We only left the R out because it messed our nice water imagery up ;-)

We all know that any new computer platform would have to have some level of PC software compatibility. You believe that Java is the answer. If Gateway have dumped Sun in favour of Microsoft, then perhaps Sun would be willing to join the AQUA project?

QNX already runs Java. WINE already runs PC apps to an acceptable level. We are always willing to talk though.

Java`s main problem is it`s performance hit. I assume you`d be looking at using a Java-chip?

Do you ?

:) Hmmmm. Only with salt & vinegar.

Actually, what about Transmeta? If Gateway have become bosom buddies with M$ again, then they may be out of the Amiga equation too.

Transmeta are a chip supplier, so are Motorola, AMD, Sun and others. I leave that to the HW reference group.

AQUA won`t solely be aimed at the current Amiga market (not large enough to sustain a new platform), so you`ll also need to take chunks out of the pc and Mac user base as well. Therefore it wouldn`t be sacrilege to garner suport from pc hardware manufacturers as well as the Amiga ones, would it?

Not at all. Once you get into this industry you realise that the bigger companies will go anywhere the money is, the smaller ones love an emerging market, and everyone wants to topple MS. Bill has more ppl in his address book than Father Christmas, and as we slowly surface, you are going to be amazed at some of them.

Any new computer also needs killer apps and games at launch. Where in the world are you going to get these from? An original game to show off the AQUA would take at least six months to program (and a port just wouldn`t be any incentive to change computers for).

Games companies want to show off, and they also want to sell a lot. Play fair with them, give them the tools and support, and show them a hungry market, and you would be surprised what turns up. Multi-modal markets also helps a lot, and although the community is our love, and it will be our pathfinder for technology and product, we are also going to take our speedboat around the bigger ponds a la Caddyshack style.

I also still need to get someone to develop Cannon Fodder 3D.

Whatever the final solution, it seems likely that (due to the nature of the current industry) AQUA will have a much larger OS than the current Amiga OS. Does this mean sacrificing some of the small size, cleanness, and efficiency of the code in an effort for semi cross-platform compatibility?

With Carl and Dan on board??? Do you think I have iron underpants on? They'd spank the hell out of me.

Yeah, but you`d love it :)

We intend to develop the best platform out there, and if we have to be off the mainstream, then so be it. We can't expect ppl to come to us unless we present a compelling reason for them to do so.
We may not be able to get the name Amiga, but elegance through simplicity will always be our motto.

Excellent name btw :) Perhaps it would be safer to acronymise it as `Ami Qnx United Architecture`, unless Gateway were willing to sell the Amiga name (very doubtful).

Maybe you now see why we chose the name Amino - and its the building block of life as well. Who could want more? AmIRC doesn't even have to change its name ;-)

Heheh. A Computer on acid :) (Amino Acids). Or should that be Aceeeeeeeed! (anyone who went clubbing in the late 80`s, early 90`s will get that. I hope). :) There you go! Amiga (the company) is the techie Milli Vanilli! (But they can`t `Blame It On The Rain`). Ok, I`ll stop now. cough.

Are there any Amiga patents/traits that are essential in the building of this new platform?

just the desire to do the best, and have fun, irrespective of the sneers of others.

I think we`ve all had years of practice at that.

I`m hoping that Carl Sassenrath (and Rebol), Dave Haynie (and Met@box), and possibly other Amiga luminaries (who truly understand the Amiga ethos) can join forces with AQUA on this.

Why don't you ask them ;-)

I have :) Well, Carl and Bill anyway. Should hopefully have those up asap, but I know they must be really busy.

In fact, the logical partnership would be yourselves, QNX, Met@box, Rebol, Phase 5 and Haage & Partner. Possible?

Absolutely. Don't forget brave Mick as well.

How much do you estimate the cost to design, produce and market AQUA?

We have a very specific set of plans both for the common market, and for dynamic extra-market activity. The innovative nature of both our plans, and the unique nature of the community itself makes it difficult to honestly answer that question. The standard answer is that it costs $20 million to establish a brand-name. We intend to let our products establish that brand-name, and the $20 million would be better spent researching and developing those products. Still, expect some fun - Bill already wants to bungie jump off the Space Needle dressed as a mermaid (although strangely enough, that was before we coined the term AQUA?)

Bill. Seek help immediatly....... it has to be a naked bungee jump a-la `Man From Atlantis` :)

The big question: Timeline to market? When could we buy it, and what competition do you envision?

The existing community and market needs to be stabilised and quickly. The second wave product line will be a good solid foundation for our future. By simplifing, concentrating on maybe a single graphics and sound solution, and going for the base functionality, we believe we can get product out within 6 months. It will easily be performance competitive with the competition (we do have QNX after all), and point the way to where we want to go once we have stopped the rot and began the climb back to the top. Most important is to stop the great developers and users from slipping away. There are as much our partners as are the investors and the companies.
Competition wise, I don't see any. Sounds cheesy, but you have to ask yourself, what are we building. We are building a community and a platform that follows a philosophy. We won't take the cheap, easy or profitable way out if it can be done better. There aren't any competitors that I know of who take that approach or who target ppl who think like that. We win the loyalty of the community because we provide a better product, a better experience.

Finally, common sense meets technological prowess, and the will to make it real.

Are you going to produce a website now, or only when the plans are finalised and backing has been procured?

Once the money is in the account ;-) We don't want to do another iWin, or AInc, mouthing off only to disappoint a few months later. We will be in constant contact with many ppl, and we hope they will spread the word, or at least the news.

Will it be possible for people (like me) to buy shares in AQUA, and put a little money into something we believe in?

That is one of the key points of our company, Amino - I can't speak for the others, but it is a great way to raise capital, show your commitment to the community and protect the future. AQUA is the architecture, remember and it belongs to no single entity.

As you said on the Team AMIGA mailing list, AQUA is a great marketing name. I can envisage a whole range of different AQUA`s ....AQUA Barracuda; AQUA Shark; AQUA Dolphin (also friendly and intelligent) etc etc, possibly even AQUA Storm? :) The designs could afford to be a bit wild and colourful too :)

We are going to insist on it - we dare to be different because we can be, and because it is demanded.

So get your case designs in to Fleecy, ppl. And make it WILD and SEXY :)

So, Star Wars Episode 1 was crap eh? Good for brats, I guess.

It was ok - it was very kiddy. I guess us kids growing up brought all our grown up expectations with it. I actually felt more connection with Darth Maul - he, and his story were far more intriguing to me than a bunch of mutant platypuses throwing plasma filled condoms at an Electrolux mk 17 Clean'N'run. I wanted a far more menacing kick arse type film.

Saddest fact for me, was that the best actor was Jar Jar Binks.....an animation!
The computer effects were fantastic though, as we knew they would be.

Do you get much of a chance to watch British football? If so, what team do you support?

We are obsessed with it. You have never seen a sadder sight than me and another scouser beating the crap out of the refresh icon last wednesday watching the pitiful crap in Warsaw on www.soccernet.com. Take Fowler off and leave that dustcart Shearer on - What the hell? Well also like popping into foreign IRC channels after England or Scotland win and harrassing them - rare since we never win anymore, except against some part time eclair lickers.

afaic, Batty is unimaginative (always chucking sideways or straight ahead), and therefore the midfield sucks and the team has no direction, which leaves the attack in limbo. They need a younger, fitter Gascoigne...someone with guts and talent.

You should be able to tell who I support, given my support for Amiga and other hopeless causes - Everton of course. Just need to get that w**ker Johnson out and we'll be fine.
We play a lot over here - we played in an indoor league and won it, but only because these 2 mexican teams got thrown out for kicking the hell out of each other - sirens, fat wobbly policemen and all the doughnuts you can shake a hairy stick at. In fact our outdoor league starts tomorrow, my kids are in the travel league and even Evie has a footie.

...and don't even start me on the upcoming rugby world cup - no crash helmets, poofy sponges up the jumper and male bras for us....

Well, hopefully everyone will enjoy getting their asses kicked by Australia :)

........need an Australian in your team? I promise I won`t shag your sheep (much) :)

We want to be part of a much bigger team, the community itself..but we have to be honest and you have already failed that...an Australian who won't shag sheep much...pah, next you'll be telling me the Welsh wear wellies because it rains a lot ;-)
stay in touch..

Well, gotta leave some sheep for you to shag on the edge of cliffs (they push back harder) :)
I`m more `into` rubber chickens, myself. Easy to turn inside out for cleaning, too :)

Thanks Fleecy. Good luck btw.

thanks for the opportunity

I'm a rocket-sheep, burning up the skies yeah! 200 degrees...

Check out the rest of our wonderful site (and subscribe to Clubbed magazine).