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As Classic Amiga owners find it more and more difficult keeping their machines going, and obtaining spare parts etc, many are unfortunately forced into buying new computers. For some the AmigaOne will be the machine of choice, but for others it may be one of the many pre-built machines on offer. However many will continue to run Amiga software etc using one of the available Classic emulators. The following list of replacement machines is not designed as a definitive list, but simply a guide to what is available, and what things you should be expecting from a new machine.
Personal Desktops

These computers are typically a box type system with 2GHz or faster processor, a minimum of 3 PCI slots for expansion cards, a CD-ROM, DVD-ROM or combo drive, an 80GB or better hard-drive, 256MB or 512MB of memory, hi-resolution graphics card with 17" monitor (often LCD), internal modem, keyboard, mouse and external speakers, installed with Windows XP Home Edition or similar, and various other software.
Business Desktops

These computers are typically a box type system with 2GHz or faster processor, fewer slots for expansion cards (if any), a  CD-ROM, DVD-ROM or combo drive, an 80GB or better hard-drive, 256MB or 512Mb of memory, hi-resolution graphics card with 17" monitor, internal network card, keyboard, mouse and internal speakers, installed with Windows XP Professional or similar, and various other software. These machine are generally less suitable for playing games.

These are purpose built systems often designed for complex high-speed graphics work, (such as animation, 3D rendering or video editing etc), scientific calculations, or some other specific purpose. Typically they have high speed processors such as the Intel Xeon, so do not run standard Operating Systems, and are definitely not suitable for home use.
Thin Clients 

These are simplified systems which use standardised components to reduce hardware and software duplication across a business network. In a Thin Client environment users can be upgraded quickly and inexpensively by updating application software hosted on servers, not clients. Not only is it a more controlled and secure environment, but technical support costs are greatly reduced. These are definitely not suitable for home use.

These are purpose built systems that usually have two or more high-speed processors, 1GB or more of memory, many will hard multiple large hard drives (160MB plus using RAID or SCSI), while the graphics cards will be minimal. The operating system and other software will be specifically designed for server operation and security will be high, and may be used for a variety of server applications such as Authentication, DNS, DHCP etc.
Personal Notebooks

These are becoming one of the computer industry's fastest selling machine types. They can all operate from either battery or mains, with high speed processors producing minimal heat and current consumption in battery mode, often with a second processor for mains mode only. Many of these have DVD drives or even combo DVD and CD Writer, instead of CDROM drive. Their memory is becoming more generous, with good graphics (although this is limited by the resolution of the LCD screen - generally the bigger the better and Active matrix or better. Many opt to lose the floppy drive to save space. Prices have dropped considerably, and the value for money is improving, so sales are expected to increase 100x by 2010.
Business Notebooks

These computers are designed for business use and tend to have a lower specification in terms of all of the bits offered, except when it comes to networking facilities which can be comprehensive and cover most options. Because they will typically be dragged around more than the average personal laptop, and without the extra bells and whistles to worry about, they are often more rugged.
Power Notebooks

These computers are designed for those who need power and portability, and have a wallet to prove it. Expect them to use high-speed CPU's, 1GB or more of RAM, DVD writer, possibly a bass sub-woofer builtin and many have large screens in 16x9 format, not forgetting the large (and often heavy) batteries. They are not suitable for the typical user and therefore have limited appeal.
Business Tablets

These computers are designed to provide enhanced portability in that they are designed to be used on the move, by writing or interacting with the screen using a small pen. Some have built-in CD or DVD drives, and detachable keyboards while others have the drives built into a docking station. Data written onto the screen can be stored in its original form and used like a normal document, or can be converted to text or graphics if so desired. This combined with builtin WiFI networking and other facilities for a fraction more than a notebook, makes this an ideal choice for someone on the move.
Personal Digital Assistants (PDAs),
 Pocket PCs and Organisors

These devices are designed to be held in your hand yet have the power to do more than a desktop machine of just a few years ago. They are all battery powered, and some have mains adapters. The main limitation is their small screens. The can readily talk to other computers via the USB port, while others also have Infrared and/or WiFi capability, while others even work as GSM phones as well. Most have no hard drives, but they can be added via an expansion slot as can additional memory. The future of PDAs has not yet been defined,  but the addition of bluetooth and WiFi enables them to communicate as well as normal computers or even via the cellular network and do things that up until now have only been dreams. Next to notebooks and tablets, this will be the next area of growth and quantum leaps in capability, and why Amiga Inc are so keen to target this market.


Copyright 2005 Amiga Auckland Inc. All rights reserved.
Revised: June 21, 2005.