Generation Amiga: Hello Laurent. Can you introduce yourself to our readers? How did you discover the Amiga platform?
Laurent: Hi. First : thank you for your interview and for your interest in Amiga computers !I’m Laurent Zorawski, 42 years old now, living near Metz in east of France with my wife, our two childs and my wife’s mother at home. I have made some little studies in computer programming and then, I have worked 15 years in computers assembling and reselling (PC) in differents shops. Meanwhile, I have tried convincing some of my bosses for reselling some Amiga NG products like Pegasos 2, MicroAmiga One, Sam440EP/Flex. It has been 10 year since I have been able to resel the AmigaNG products (very difficult for getting in touch with manufacturers directly in these times !). After that, I have created my first company with my brother, but it has been a very very very bad idea !We have been obliged to close this company 2 years after its creation for personnal reasons. I have first discovered the Amiga 30 years ago, when the father of one my friend has travelled to United States for buying 2 Amiga 1000 and came back with it at home in France !! I have been very impressed when seeing the first games on it like Hybris, Stunt Car Racer, Giana Sisters … Since this time, I have always getting in touch with Amiga computers at home.
Generation Amiga: When did you started your Amiga store and what motivated you?
Laurent: After closing our company with my brother, with one investor and friend, Alberto, after some months of thinking, we have decided to create a new computer shop in France : Amedia Computer. This time, we have decided to make directly a stock of Amiga products in it (for Classic Amiga and for AmigaNG too). After all administratives process, Amedia Computer has been officially created the 30th of April 2013 !Straight after creation, our webshop has been made and entirely dedicated to Amiga products, no PC products has never been added on it for the moment. Since more than 15 years, I have always been motivating for creating a computer shop where I could sell Amiga products, which is now a reality ! Also, since no other shop in France is still doing this, I wanted to provide to french people an alternative to all foreign resellers. After two years, one of our customers, Franck BEDNARSKI, has been integrated in our company as the third associate, and with his help, we have added some Atari products to our catalog and we have developped a special plexiglass support for HxC Slim reader, which helps users avoiding cutting the original Amiga desktop cases for integrating these SD readers ! The main motivation is the passion for Amiga computers, the games and softwares on it, the musics made on it …. and the special feeeling when using it or speaking of it with other users !
Generation Amiga: What are your Amiga configurations?
Laurent: Now, we have some A1200 (desktop and tower), two A500, one A600, one A1000, one Sam460cr, one FPGA Arcade replay board, one Mist board. We would appreciate getting some basic A3000/A4000 for our tests !
Laurent: X5000 are good products but quite expensive. A1222 will be a good alternative when AOS 4.1 / 4.2 will support it fully. Like all Sam motherboards from ACube (which are all excellent too), it’s a good alternative to PC computer but unfortunately, some basics functions are still missing in AOS 4, like printing, scanning with modern all in one printers. But programming an operating system is quite hard and take a lot of time for debugging it too, above all when maufacturers don’t give their product specifications ! But we must keep positive mind and go on supporting these developments !
Generation Amiga: What are your prefered modern AmigaOS4 games and programs?
Laurent: Mace, Battle Squadron, Ask Me Up (Cocorico !!), Gorky 17, Wings Battlefiels, Swamp Defense 2 for games. For program : OWB, Upcoming Odyssey for example.
Generation Amiga: How do you see the future of Amiga on commercial basis? and why?
Laurent: More and more Amiga classic poducts, Cheaper AmigaNG products. People always want larger choice in products for their lovely Amiga computers and many people doesn’t want to spend more than 700 / 800 euros in a complete Amiga NG, so, the market should go in these directions. Amiga classic product choices are larger since 2 years, many useful products has been developped and it’s a good point. On the contrary, in order to speedup Classic Amiga, I think that FPGA chip will be the best solution, unfortunately, producing such boards and above all, distributing it in a good way is very difficult. There are some very good programmers / developpers for that, but making a good board doesn’t mean it will be well distributed ! These are two really differents things !! Many conceptors don’t want to deal with resellers and it’s a very vey bad choice because producing boards or adapters take a lot of time, and final customers can’t get a good support with the conceptor directly because off that. Even if resellers must make some business, it’s more confortable getting direct contact with an official organization than with one or two lonely guys somewhere on earth ! So, I think that all good conceptors should contact resellers for distributing their products. It would be largely better for all people.
Generation Amiga: What is your favorite programming language and why?
Laurent: Sorry, I’m not a programmer all !
Generation Amiga: What do you think of the today’s Amiga community? Do you have close contact with Hyperion or A-EON technolgies?
Laurent: Amiga community is very kind in general and there are many good projects. There is a place for everyone in it : programmers, developpers, conceptors, resellers and final users ! We do not resell Amiga products as our main activity but firstly as a passion. We always enjoy receiving new products and testing it, this is THE activity which gives us many pleasure everyday, even if it’s very difficult getting and stocking the products. Amiga activity is additionnal to our PC main activity but we do it nearly everyday ! And we love demonstrating it to PC users. We have direct contact with Hyperion and A-Eon, but as we’re not developpers at all, it’s strictly commercial contacts.
Generation Amiga: Thanks for the interview Laurent and good luck with future Amiga projects
Laurent: Thanks to you for giving us a chance to talk about our Amiga passion and Amedia Computer shop. And yes, we have some projects in the future. Thanks and good luck too with your magazine. Laurent, Franck and Alberto from Amedia Computer.