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Seattle, WA, USA

Posted Tue Oct 22, 2019 4:35 pm

Damn, guys. This is a tough one.

Back in 2017 I learned of some amazing software for the Amiga 1000 called KickWork created in 1988, published by Amigo Business Computers. It combined Kickstart and Workbench onto a single disk, and using it for the first time felt like magic to me.

I contacted the creator of the software in 2017, Mr. Rudolph Loew out of New York, and to my shock and surprise he responded to me. He even sold me the 30+ year old software, and I happily paid him for it.

Over the course of a few days that summer, he helped me get it working via an email correspondence we shared. He was extremely professional, courteous and helpful. He had an old-school charm - the kind where if I'd been lucky enough to meet him in person I would have referred to him as "Sir."

I created a janky video about my experience back then, and wrote about it here on AmigaLove. I wanted more folks to learn about this really cool software and I do believe I sent a few more customers his way which I'm sure put a smile on his face after all these years. I know his program put a smile on mine.

Anyway, this isn't about me or promoting my shit.

I discovered the very sad news today that Mr. Rudolph Loew, "Rudy", died on 11 September 2019, just a month ago at the young age of 66. Learning that news hit me hard today, I'm not sure why. I mean I never even met him, but it felt like a distant relative had passed for some reason.

I've reached out to his son and offered my sincerest condolences on behalf of myself and the Amiga community. Rudy was also apparently well-known (and appreciated) in some of the Windows 9x/ME patches realms, too.

Here is a comment he made after I created the video he permitted me to post on the original article. He offered a few corrections on the history as I originally shared it, and I'm reposting it here:

Rudolph "Rudy" Loew:
The company's name was Amigo Business Computers

Kickstart is loaded into a separate 256MB RAM, not the 256MB/512MB that you see. It is not counted in the Product Specification.

I am an Independent Software Developer. I wrote KickWork and gave an exclusive License to Amigo Business Computers. I developed a number of products that they marketed.

I was trying to remove the Amigo branding in those first ADFs I sent you. After all these years I couldn't find my builder software and my A1000 was not available to test.

Unlike the Kickbench that is mentioned in one of the Comments to your Post, KickWork does not write to the Floppy in normal use, so it can be write protected. This makes it suitable for unattended operation where an unexpected power glitch could disable a Kickbench setup. Unattended operation was probably the most important selling point at the time.

It may be of some interest that I made a experimental Kickwork 2.0 and 3.0 for the A1000.

R.I.P. Mr Loew.

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Seattle, WA, USA

Posted Tue Oct 22, 2019 6:02 pm

It occurred to me that I even demoed Rudy’s software to a packed house at Living Computers Museum in Seattle at PaCommEx 2018.

To those in attendance who understood the significance of this software, it generated literal “Ooohs” and “Aaahs.” Thankfully that presentation was recorded. I hope he got a chance to see that.

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Posted Tue Oct 22, 2019 9:21 pm

My condolences to the family.

Rest In Peace.

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Posted Wed Oct 23, 2019 12:40 am

66 years... that's way too early to pass away...

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Seattle, WA, USA

Posted Wed Oct 23, 2019 8:49 am

After talking to his son last night, I learned that Rudy and his son actually watched my (pretty awful) video about his software during the holidays together last year. That really choked me up reading that. I hope it put a smile on his face.

Also, when his son was in 1st grade, he gave a presentation to the class trying to explain to his teacher and fellow 1st graders all about KickWork. He didn't know half of what he was saying, and I imagine none of his friends had a clue. But he knew what his dad was doing was something special, so he gave a little speech about it back then. How cool is that?

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