Who We Are

The Jay Miner Society is an organization dedicated to the fostering of the spirit of the the Amiga. Working to the philosophy of Excellence through Simplicity, we are a user organization that has decided to finally take control of its own platform in order to guarantee its future. Our motto: we are the Amiga!

The Amiga has had a strange history. Years ahead of its time in both the hardware and software spheres, it enjoyed a wonderful period during the late 1980s and early 1990's when it was the pre-eminent choice for the discerning computer user. And then disaster, Commodore going under, ESCOM going under and the Amiga foundering, despite the valiant efforts of the community itself.

There lies our inspiration. Despite no official development, no marketing, the Amiga continued to survive, continued to expand, continued to develop. Over the past twelve months it has become apparent that the Amiga is no longer something to be owned by any one company, it is owned by the users and the developers - we are the Amiga, and whether Amiga is owned by a supportive parent company or not, we intend to push our platform forward.

JMS is a primarily user-driven initiative that has been coalescing for nearly a year. Its birth was an amazing process, probably impossible before the age of the Internet. A broad cross-section of Amigans - some well known, including Carl Sassenrath, Dale Luck, Dave Haynie, R J Mical and other 'Amiga legends' - and others less so - users, writers, developers and dealers in the US, Canada, Europe, Africa and Japan - batted various ideas and aspirations back and forth on a closed mailing list (ARise) for some months.

At the heart of the discussion was the issue of computing in the Amiga spirit. Remember that at that time Gateway wasn't even a gleam in anyone's eye as respects the Amiga's future! Like all Amigans (and not a few users of other platforms too) we had real concerns about the direction personal computing was moving - more complexity, extravagant waste of resources (with consequently less stability and functionality), fewer alternatives, 'dumbed-down' software with little flexibility. This is the exact opposite of the elegant promise of the Amiga envisioned by Jay Miner.

We all understand that the Amiga has been badly neglected and has fallen behind in many ways. Still we would like to see improved support of existing machines and, what is more important, accelerated work toward next generation Amigas (and/or their descendants and siblings) and a common 'Next Generation' OS for them.

Since the long anticipated purchase of the Amiga's assets by Gateway 2000, we have seen a renewed interest by the industry, and along with that we intend to help GW2K to recognize the Amiga and the community for what they are, a unique resource, a unique customer base. We would like them to work with us to move the platform forwards into the new millennium, and they have stated an interest in doing exactly that. All we know is that we are the Amiga and after a few years of having our platform torn apart and left to die, we just aren't going to stand by and watch anymore.

What we are is an attempt to bring the Amiga community together, to provide some focus, and a possible path into the future. We want to expand the platform, move it towards an open platform concept in both the hardware and the software arena, to see it push hard into those areas which are crying out for a simple, powerful, elegant solution. That is our agenda and we hope that the community will rally round and join us. We are no longer just consumers, we are adventurers and we want to ensure that the adventure continues.

To summarize, our goals have been:

  1. To form a non-profit association of Amigans, organized to protect and advance the Amiga and its software, open to representation/contacts with the other major user/interest groups. This would be a place to organize the voices of like-minded Amigans and to get them heard. R J Mical, Dale Luck and Carl Sassenrath visited Mrs Carol Miner on 1 May 1997, and obtained her permission and blessing to use the name "Jay Miner Society for the Advancement of Personal Computing". The Society was legally incorporated on 14 August.
  2. To launch and support an Industrial Council of engineers and developers to discuss and possibly organize appropriate development projects. The IC was officially launched as the 'Industry Council for the Open Amiga' at the 1997 World of Amiga, in London, UK. Gateway 2000 directly contacted us, and has twice expressed interest publicly our ICOA initiative. Recently, ICOA and JMS representatives were invited, along with several other representatives of the Amiga community, to an initial meeting at their South Dakota, USA Head Office.
  3. To bring together a 'council of elders' consisting of some of the high profile 'creators' of the Amiga who've been involved in discussion on the ARise list. We hope that they will be able to provide some authority as people who 'have a clue', as opposed to bankers, lawyers, corporate bean-counters etc. We would hope they would help be a unifying force in the fragmented community.

Current discussions involve the enhancement of this website, formation of a joint user/owner PR scheme, establishment of JMS by-laws, an official newsletter, user group outreach and membership drive, and setting of guidelines for working groups (teams attacking special projects).

All pages on this web site are copyright 1998 Jay Miner Society.