Part of VAMPIRE USERS INNER VIEW series

by Hugo Pereira of Vampire Telegram Group

Hi Vojin, can you introduce yourself ?

Hello Amigans, My name is Vojin Vidanović (cyrill. Војин Видановић).  My professions are social worker, University teacher and reggae music lover 😊 I live in Belgrade, Serbia (used to be Yugoslavia, when I was born). I am 42.

Private interests and hobbies are nature and walking, Healthy food, Vinyl’s and old school hi-fi, Retro computing (Amiga, Atari, Classic MacOS), Poetry.  My spiritual choice is   Rastafarianism and Orthodox Christian, I am single, with no children.
In Amiga forums after 2000 and local Serbian BBs of 90s, I use short nick vox. It was created the first time I had to enter a hi-score name on local Arcade or personal computer 😊

 How long have you been using the Amiga?

About 1994 I obtained A1200 barebone and 50 floppies. Once I bought 2.5” 80MB silent hard drive I could install most of it and still have breathing space to work. Later expanded it to 020/28MHz/4MB FAST/800GB 3.5” externally powered hard drive and CD ROM and modem. Had better computer experience and  joy  then 16Ghz, 16GB + 4GB VRAM. 1TB SSD and 2TB HDD beast with Athlon 4x 880K  and Sound Blaster Audigy. Tried to render, used Dpaint, enjoyed AmigaOS 3.5 a lot. OS 3.1 for me was loadwb or get to games, I disliked its too spartan look, even I enjoyed long filenames, versatility, abilities to edit icons, datatypes and libs etc.

In East Europe, even in liberal Yugoslavia, there were no personal computers on sale. Our computer industry existed and heavy taxes were put, computers could only be imported piece-by-piece or found in “Commission” shop individually. No software support existed. I believe people living under so-called “peoples social democracies” know and have lived the same and even worse, even East Germans, Polish or Russians great nations. We were self-learning, grabbing every bit of info, sharing whatever we could get. But the tradition of computer magazines, meeting and with modems, bulletin boards flourished. Amiga’s were smuggled, but at least at 2X prices.

So I have struggled 1986 to start with ZX Spectrum, falling in love in 1991 with a cheaper  C64. Once my friend in 1992 got mighty Amiga 500 with monitor and memory expansion, I have experienced multimedia and real operating system. If he did not get that A500, my next Computer dream computer would be Sinclair QL, I was keen on it even in 1996. I hear the Linux kernel maker learn to code m68k ASM on it, maybe we could ask him to revisit it for 68080 kernel 😊

I have not become a musician, animator, or coder. Amiga (even games) helped me to learn English, link with other Amigans (so rare), participate in local demo scene (Scene Strikes in Belgrade, shout to Corrosion) as a member of Trancetherial and Zaiebani (Shaban in Space and Blackhill Experiment). I was the admin of forums on “Fear of no carrier” local Amiga/DOS BBBs on New Belgrade (Shout goes to Spider!). I also befriended DJ Nick, Amiga techno DJ that played at techno parties. To Amigans, he is known for 1997 Warped demo and music for Capital Punishment. At that time he used max pimped PowerPC Amiga to make music, demos, and videos, work on local TV and produce trance and drum and bass, DTP books with Page Stream.

He today makes a lot for children but has designed Page Stream website and best OS 4.1 skin  (Crystal Theme) and some gorgeous Amiga skins. Even he tries to beat influencers on YouTube with such smashing hits as “Mommy loves baby” and “Chickens” or my favorite “Ide Zmija”. I am a pink elephant driving hilly-billy machine with the Amiga logo in that last one 😊 So I was able to see what creative people can do with high-end Amiga firsthand. At that time, I was unaware of the fiasco with Capital Punishment and Myst porting adventures (ClickBoom sad story … Canada-Serbians trying to revive and milk Amiga scene at the same time …)

Once all went to Amiga Inc, I have tried to revive and support Amiga beyond OS 3.5 I also imported under yet not so normal circumstances. Even I had no hardware I purchased OS 4.1 Classic PPC, OS 4.1 SAM440, paid OS 4.1 beta x1000, prepaid OS 4.2, bought Enhancer package 1, and plan to register MorphOS.

Have been active in Amiga Forums 2003 and ongoing (now only MorphZone, and Vampire forum, even my eyes have seen … Moo Bunny!), and participated in Anti CommodoreUSA campaign. I have supported multiple initiatives, websites, Kickstarter, ports and I am even a bronze supporter of Amigaworld.net, even I have earned unlimited restriction (timeless permaban) to post when I criticized Hyperion.

So we can say I love to support but expect decency and results. I have a Hollywood license, EMOTION Video player license, Amiga Forever, two AmiKit XE (one is Vampire) , Viva Amiga, Loriano Pagni`s Ducky Zero keyboard with Amiga and Serbian keys etc. So I do try to support Amiga production worldwide, as much as I can from the African economy in East Europe of peripheral globalization and semi-feudal capitalism.

What is your current configuration?

Have couple of machines, I do love and care. Had a Playstation 3 too, but ex took it with her 🙂 Damn, it was strongest PowerPC machine!

DAILY HORSES FOR JOB, GAMING AND SURFING:

22” Desktop PC, half obsolete in 2021 – Win7 / LMDE4 / AmiKit XE

6” Xaomi Mi Max 3, will be replaced by KaiOS phone or even Symbian

LIVE AND LOVE:

20” iMac G5 1GB, 60GB HDD, Mac kbd and mouse

MacOS X Tiger and MorphOS

32” USED Vampire V4SA, 16GB CF, no microSD, wired kbd and mouse, 512MB RAM, USB Blaster, 2 free DB9 ports ☹

GONE OR RETIRED

USELESS: AmigaOne x1000 Nemo board, 4GB RAM, Radeon 7770, SB 5.1 Live, Prism Wi Fi card, Catweasel mk3 and floppy, 128GB SSD

TOOK by EX: Slim Playstation 3, non hacked, legal gaming!

DIED: CBM A1200, 020/28/FPU, 6MB RAM, 800MB HDD, CD ROM hooked on TV 36K fax/modem

PLANNED: None, just few more things for Vampire 4

What are your favorite activities on Amiga?

It was my first typing machine, I loved my pirated Amiga Writer – and still, hope someone can update it!  I live of Text processing – students papers, social workers reports, science articles, materials for students etc. I never accepted Page Stream, maybe I am not DTP guy, even I like such a tool exists on Amiga. Presentation software is also badly needed. And would love to see some such thing coming back. My biggest grunge on Amiga is – no one cares for WYSWYG text processing and my legal CED is too old school 😊 I will test PGS on my used but new Vampire and I hope I will be able to do some of my daily work even there, again. It also opened a communication world to me, as soon as I got modern. Chat/IRC, BlueWave format, simple Amiga browsing, and Aminet leeching, hello! Voyager was my Amiga browser, sorry boys and girls!

Surely I have played a lot. Until 1999 when that Amiga went back to the holy place where CBM is (end of support, M$ would say 😊, it helped me survive and stay sane under OUN sanctions, civil wars, brutal national-fake socialism, NATO bombing and at least high school and half social workers studies. I enjoyed the arcade quality of some games (we need Amiga Vamp remakes of Street Fighter, Pit Fighter, Golden Axe, Altered Beast, and Final Fight – Amiga version sucks!) and not having to spend money on coins anymore. But being able to simulate submarine, tank, fighter bombers was also my joy. I love Bubba Styx, Lost Vikings, Syndicate, Trexx Warrior and Hunter (even all being OCS), Waxworks Transcartica Ishar3 and Hired Guns to this day, and would love to see such games. Also, History LineLaser Squad, Sabre Team, Xcom 1994 AGA, Deluxe Galaga were my thing and still are as I just enjoy Phoenix Point and Warblade, and dream of Amiga Vampire demake.

Thanks to Amiga Translation Org I liked to use Serbian.locale (worked until OS 4.1FE, in FE Update1 Hyperion managed to screw it). MorphOS has a nice Croatian locale nowadays, and Aminet testifies a lot of Serbian/Bosnian/Croatian locales exist. But Amiga expanded my knowledge of English way more than simple apps or games I could use on 8-bits. I liked Amiga was the first multilanguage computer too (combining localized apps and games and mostly “living in English”), had great gfx, music, and speech, even say command was included in … Micro$oft Amiga Basic on my friends A500 😊 Also error and system messages are clear and understandable, as well as OS structure and even what certain files do. Computer one can understand!

In AmiKit XE I am able to use Magellan instantly, my favorite file manager of all times, alongside Dopus 4 (I even think of paying for Dopus on Windows and replacing Total Commander that has been so kind to me, since I stopped using Norton on Wintel). There I love having Directory Opus 4, Homebank, AmigaAmp and Eagle Player, Wet, AmiIRC, NetSurf, PicShow … But also able to access my Steam, VLC, Firefox, Chrome, and Skype without leaving Workbench 😊

On AmigaOne x1000 I have tried all flavors of Linux and all versions of AmigaOS 4.x that worked. I have tried all OS 4 software back and forth until 2018, and as much (and not much) of my old OS 3.x software that could work. I have enjoyed SimpleMAIL, YAM, even Timberwolf, Hollywood, Emotion, Spencer, Tower 57, M.A.C.E and a few nice new applications, or continued “shadows of past” (YAM is my e-mail love, only IRIS can compete)

I use old iMac to learn MacOS X Tiger and  MorphOS I love it, partially IRIS and Wayfarer are very modern Internet solutions, but I dont have registered MOS, so I reboot every 30 minutes ☹ I wish some of the MacOSX PPC apps were available on MOS, as its way faster and resource-efficient.

As an Amiga enthusiast, do you think that the Amiga with Vampire will remains a competitive machine?

My soft spot now is bare and tiny V4SA. I never had an FPGA board so I am very unhappy about how it is not similar to Amiga’s personal computer or any of the computers I had. No HDDs, no DVDs, no SSD, very few expansion ports. At the same time, it is reviving my experience and has the potential to put it to the next level. It is as Amiga as my OS 3.1 and OS 3.5 days were, and all I ever wanted (060+/RTG/12MB CHIP 500MB FAST, 16-128GB storage even 16 bit audio and AKIKO …). If only software improves and gets up to it, I finally have an ugly duckling that produces dreams. Hard to do, but most of the things from my last A1200 backup do work. Even some things I have missed in Classic world. And I no longer wait half a day to single demo scene render in Imagine, Lightwave or real3D 😊

FPGA market has revived all old machines, see MEGA Spectrum or the second coming of Commodore 65 😊 Its nice, interesting evolution of upgradable hardware. I just wish FPGA got so cheap a real board can be done around it with modern and Zorro III slots, running that 080 1Ghz with 1GB RAM, an SSD, and Blue Ray. Would not be a much larger machine, but with all personal computer legacy port and some new.

What is your opinion on AmigaOne X5000?

It is way more positive than with x1000. I wish I have waited for PVR Efficient CPUs to dry out and would save some money 😊  Unlike x1000, it has good Uboot, Ethernet is supported, CPU and FPU is significantly better, RAM is more standard, runs MorphOS too, can accept RadeonRX card and production and support will be longer. X1000 is abandoned as Terron boards, but still has Altivec, more ports. Both share craze of destroying one PCI-E slot and add XMOS chip manufacturer no longer uses onboard to mimic Amiga chip-set exclusivity. It would be far better if FPGA Cyclone was put and GOLD3 chip-set even with dedicated 080 CPU put on.

Transition to PowerPC looked like savior day at that time. It was slow, hardware was unavailable and MorphOS did start it earlier, with AROS approaching. Hardware is not that bad, as my experience with constant milking and not-so-good software support. It was the first time with x1000 I have retired and working Amiga System and decided to keep AmiKit XE (Amiga Forever before it) and obtain myself a Vampire. Besides that, if I haven’t purchased x1000, I might be an x5000 owner. It is way younger than iMac G5 and can run decent Linux, while I still wait for my AmigaOS 4.2, prepaid and promised on early A1-x1000 promo materials 😊 Then maybe I would reassemble Nemo boards needs and try AmigaOS 4.x again, but I am sure it won’t keep me happy enough. Not even with Enhancer 3. No Amiga backward chip-set compatibility, no warp3D, terrible OS 3.x app incompatibilities and constant legal mambo jumbos and outsourcing’s of development, just can’t make it. Worse than Duke Nuke um Forever development cycle.


Finally, do you have anything to say to the members of our community?

I am quite fascinated people worldwide did not abandon Amiga after CBM demise. Here people did it more than in Argentina, the USA, Poland or France. I love all revival efforts and gave them a fair try (even CUSA when they promised to develop AROS – and turned out to be con artists profiteering and history and brands and reskinning MINT as CommodoreOS)

I would love to see concentrated effort, but until that day I am glad some of OS 4.x features are coming back to OS 3.2, that MorphOS is polished and stable and that I can enjoy Coffin and AmiKit XE, while waiting for ApolloOS that needs larger card. I hope you enjoy something similar – an experience of easy and friendly OS, where apps are simple and let you be in control. Tracking, hard drive swapping, notifications, and other distractions are non-existant. I could detect the virus if the hard drive LED blinked on A1200. Now I am sorry V4 early case does not have LEDs 😊 And also I could forgive no on/off switch not on the case, only if it was on bulky transformer 😊

Leave fun aside, I like most of Amiga’s enthusiasts. Amiga companies seem to be more of a trouble. So anarcho-syndicalism unity of users and (hello Synderion! 😊 of Amiga Vampire Team approach bears fruits. It is slow but by Amigans for Amigans. I am looking forward to seeing more of the software they will develop. I wish for a lot more updates and apps for AROS, MorphOS, AmigaOS 4.x users too. It is us that can support it and make it. Think. It is unique, there is no real Amiga company since 1993, some say after selling the team to CBM. But yet you have Amiga. 😊 And I like some claim their children love Amiga Style 😊 We need fresh blood. I was even happy (and sad at the same time) seeing people buying A1-x5000 as their first Amiga or early Amiga FPGA boards. We are not the future unless we create it, but boy we do come from the past 😊 Must be a dream! Call us old fashion, but me nah care! But even without my dreams, I like steady progress, on both the FPGA core and software front, so finally, first time after Amiga Inc took over, I feel the present and the future for Amiga with the Vampire line! Hope you can experience it too!

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