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© 1997-2006
Gareth Knight
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The Walker concept

Developer: Escom/Amiga Technologies
First seen: 19th October 2002

A symbol of the post-Commodore era or a glorified vacuum cleaner? Since it was announced in 1996, the Walker has evoked a strange reaction among Amiga fans - a strange mixture of reverence and criticism. The case design, created by Frog Design, presents an overwhelming European feel that depicts a curved elegance - an increasingly important theme in the mid 90s computing market.

Although the Walker was killed when Escom entered liquidation and abandoned by Viscorp in their planned Amiga purchase, the Gateway-owned Amiga International & the standalone Amiga Inc. remained in possession of the concept designs and schematics for the prototype. On July 29th 2001, Merlancia Industries announced the purchase of the Walker design, along with the MCC, for use in their 'Radian' PPC-based machine. In recent times Thendic France have also promoted the notion that the Pegasos board could be sold in a modified Walker case. The original Walker may be dead, but its spirit lives on!

It is with much gratitude that I would like to thank Raquel Velasco, Bill Buck & Nicholas Blachford of Thendic France for providing these concept designs.

Walker - veriante 3

Walker: Version 3
The design, labelled as 'variante 3' on the sketches, appears to be an early version of the Walker case. Although the dimensions are correct and there are many recognizable features of the actual prototype (drive bays, reset button, raised appearance), it lacks the vents and legacy expansion of the final design.

Walker - variante 6

Walker version 6: Tower
A combination of the Walker helmet and a full-size AT tower case. The naming convention suggests that version 3 & 6 is one of many similar case designs that were proposed at the same time. Based upon these designs the Walker v3 case design was chosen, most likely due to the economics of producing a new Amiga. However, it is possible that an upgraded Walker variant would have been housed inside a full tower case.

Similar to the previous designs the top-half of the case can be detached. It is likely that enterprising third parties would have used this feature to sell additional drive bays, similar to the Infinitiv range. Also note that the reset button has been moved above the floppy drive.

Walker tower in full colour Walker version 6: Tower
A coloured version of the Walker tower case. It is a fair bet to predict the final version would have been black.
Phase 2 - desktop

Walker phase 2: Desktop version
This appears to be the design chosen to be the public image of the new Escom Amiga. The design shows a clear evolution of the above design, expanding upon its curved appearance and providing space for peripherals at the front and back. In this design it is obvious that the top-half of the case can be removed if the user wishes to upgrade their machine.

Of particular interest, the top-left design shows two unlabelled expansion slots that are not present in the prototype cases shown at the various Amiga shows over the years. These spaces were most likely intended for the Zorro/PCI expansion. When compared with the internal view it is evident that a riser card would have been required to allow the expansion boards to be angled out of the back of the case.

phase 2 - tower Walker phase 2: Tower version
As a follow-up to the original Walker model, the concept design shows an upgraded design that would allow the use of 6 internal cards (Zorro, PCI, or a mixture of both).
Walker keyboards

Walker keyboard: version A and B
The image shows two potential keyboard designs for the Walker. Unlike the black A4000 keyboard that usually appears with the Walker, these designs show the potential for combining new shapes with the familiar Amiga layout.. The bottom image (labelled variante A on the original) is reminiscent of similar IBM keyboards, while variante B (top) is influenced by early Microsoft ergonomic keyboards. Both designs continue the curved appearance that is common among Escom computers.

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Last Update: 25/10/2002


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