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The Future Was Here: The Commodore Amiga (Platform Studies) [Englisch] [Gebundene Ausgabe]

Jimmy Maher
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4. Mai 2012 Platform Studies
Long ago, in 1985, personal computers came in two general categories: the friendly, childish game machine used for fun (exemplified by Atari and Commodore products); and the boring, beige adult box used for business (exemplified by products from IBM). The game machines became fascinating technical and artistic platforms that were of limited real-world utility. The IBM products were all utility, with little emphasis on aesthetics and no emphasis on fun. Into this bifurcated computing environment came the Commodore Amiga 1000. This personal computer featured a palette of 4,096 colors, unprecedented animation capabilities, four-channel stereo sound, the capacity to run multiple applications simultaneously, a graphical user interface, and powerful processing potential. It was, Jimmy Maher writes in The Future Was Here, the world's first true multimedia personal computer. Maher argues that the Amiga's capacity to store and display color photographs, manipulate video (giving amateurs access to professional tools), and use recordings of real-world sound were the seeds of the digital media future: digital cameras, Photoshop, MP3 players, and even YouTube, Flickr, and the blogosphere. He examines different facets of the platform--from Deluxe Paint to AmigaOS to Cinemaware--in each chapter, creating a portrait of the platform and the communities of practice that surrounded it. Of course, Maher acknowledges, the Amiga was not perfect: the DOS component of the operating systems was clunky and ill-matched, for example, and crashes often accompanied multitasking attempts. And Commodore went bankrupt in 1994. But for a few years, the Amiga's technical qualities were harnessed by engineers, programmers, artists, and others to push back boundaries and transform the culture of computing.

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The Future Was Here: The Commodore Amiga (Platform Studies) + Volkscomputer. Aufstieg und Fall des Computer-Pioniers Commodore: Die Geschichte von Pet und VC-20, C64 und Amiga und die Geburt des Personal Computers
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  • Gebundene Ausgabe: 328 Seiten
  • Verlag: Mit Pr (4. Mai 2012)
  • Sprache: Englisch
  • ISBN-10: 0262017202
  • ISBN-13: 978-0262017206
  • Vom Hersteller empfohlenes Alter: Ab 22 Jahren
  • Größe und/oder Gewicht: 23,4 x 16,1 x 2,9 cm
  • Durchschnittliche Kundenbewertung: 5.0 von 5 Sternen  Alle Rezensionen anzeigen (3 Kundenrezensionen)
  • Amazon Bestseller-Rang: Nr. 38.313 in Fremdsprachige Bücher (Siehe Top 100 in Fremdsprachige Bücher)

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"At once challenging, rewarding, emotional, and insightful...a compelling read for those interested in the Amiga platform, as well as those interested to learn more about the culture of computing."--John F. Barber, Leonardo Reviews

Über den Autor und weitere Mitwirkende

Jimmy Maher is an independent scholar and writer living in Norway.

In diesem Buch (Mehr dazu)
Ausgewählte Seiten ansehen
Buchdeckel | Copyright | Inhaltsverzeichnis | Auszug | Stichwortverzeichnis
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Format:Gebundene Ausgabe|Verifizierter Kauf
"The Future was here - the Commodore Amiga" is neither a dry reference manual, nor a nostalgic fanboy's review of his beloved computer platform at the time of his adolescence. In nine chapters the author covers all important aspects of the history of the Commodore Amiga home computer: The first prototype showcasing the famous Boing! demo on the 1984 WCES and the people behind it, over its rise to success as a supreme gaming machine (especially in Europe) and a video art tool in the late eighties, to its fall after the bankruptcy of Commodore.

It includes a technical account of the custom chips that made the Amiga platform so unique (meet Paula, Agnus, Denise and its friends) with a focus on its graphics subsystem guided by a review of DeluxePaint and a tutorial about the making of the popular shooter game "Menace". Other chapters are devoted to the sound capabilities of the Amiga and for its time revolutionary multitasking operating system.

Written in a rather technical tone that becomes a little comical when the author describes the juvenile subculture that was the Amiga cracker and demoscene, the book provides nevertheless a compelling read for anybody seriously interested in the origins of our modern multimedia computer world.
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5.0 von 5 Sternen Ein sehr empfehlenswertes Buch 24. Februar 2014
Von ady
Format:Gebundene Ausgabe
Anders als viele Retro-Computing-Bücher, die hauptsächlich in Nostalgie schwelgen, ist dieses Buch angenehm technisch. Es geht auf die grundlegende Architektur des Amiga ein und betrachtet verschiedene Aspekte der Maschine anhand bestimmter, wichtiger Anwendungen. Grundlegendes Computerwissen reicht aber allemal aus, um an dem Buch seine Freude zu haben.
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5.0 von 5 Sternen tale from amiga&devitz 2. April 2013
Von klaus
Format:Gebundene Ausgabe|Verifizierter Kauf
like amiga&learnz about to dev//goez side to secretz of dev//old but now rightz to getz skillz of old chipstylez// mfg
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3.0 von 5 Sternen A good read for computer historians 26. September 2012
Von K. Medearis - Veröffentlicht auf
Format:Gebundene Ausgabe|Verifizierter Kauf
I loved this book... and dislike it, too. let me explain. In this book, I was looking forward to reading about the development and progression of the custom chipset and OS that made the Amiga a joy to use and envy of all my nerdy friends. I expected to read about how developers/users pushed the machine to its limits to astounding results. Unfortunately, there is very little of that in this book. In fact, the author dedicates chapters to describe limitations and shortcomings of the machine.

I would have loved to have seen a chronology of the Amiga as a platform, from OCS to ECS and AGA and plans for future chipsets (and what related Amiga products are available today, even if only loosely though companies such as Commodore USA). Instead, most of the book focuses on the original Amiga 1000 design and limitations (a machine that was quickly replaced by its successors, so the author's choice puzzles me). There was no serious credence given to the expandability of any of the machines, implying that most owners had little more than the stock amount of RAM and no hard drive.

There is also a strange selection of programs analyzed. An odd amount of text in this book is dedicated to the functions of the Deluxe Paint series. Although mildly interesting, it is not what I had expected to be reading about in this book.

I doubt you'd know by this book that 90% of the Amiga's games even in 1994 looked far superior than most PC games. From 1985-1995, who owned a PC set up that could compete? PC's/sound cards/graphics cards were still expensive. And PC joysticks were crap unless you were playing a flight sim! Playing a game on a PC was an exercise in configuring your machine for hours to execute directX appropriately while hoping that everything you owned was compatible. But these are topics for another book, I suppose.

Why is there a detailed study of Menace? Not the best Amiga game by any stretch. He mentions a far superior looking/sounding game, Shadow of the Beast -- that would have been an excellent study! Why wasn't the CD32 discussed? Or higher end machines like the 4000/040?

Most folks who would be interested in buying this book would likely have used and loved the Amiga, but this book reads almost like an outsider's curiosity of the machine in retrospect, rather than a labor of love. Did the author ever own an Amiga "back in the day?" He admits to using emulators for most of his work on this book. This makes for a rather dry read. And what is with the extremely distracting choice of referring to all Amiga users in the feminine (I've never met a female Amiga user. I suppose some existed. somewhere.) It made me continually read the text again trying to think "who is the author referring to? Did he mention a female user by name earlier and I missed it?"

If you are looking for a fascinating platform study, read "Racing the Beam" -- it's about the Atari VCS (aka Atari 2600). Jay Miner essentially developed both the 2600 and original Amiga. But the Atari book is more fun to read -- how programmers did so much with so little. You find youreself "pulling for" the Atari, the little machine that could. However, "The Future Was Here" reads more like "the little machine that should have." I LOVE the Amiga (I still have my 2000 and it still works), so I just hoped for a little more here.

If you don't mind a rather indifferent view of the Amiga 1000 system and are in need of an Amiga retrospective, check out the book. It isn't bad -- but seems to be "the little book that should have."
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5.0 von 5 Sternen Amiga Forever! 6. Juni 2012
Von Ali son of Khalil - Veröffentlicht auf
Format:Kindle Edition|Verifizierter Kauf
The Amiga was the second computer that I ever knew after the programmable John Sands Sega SC3000H. I fell in love with my Amiga 500 as a child so it holds a special place in my heart. In all honesty no computer has ever left such a profound lasting effect on me.

Jimmy Maher, thank you for explaining away the mystery. I have always known that the Amiga was a beautifully designed and built machine, but I never knew the technicalities of what made it so superior to the Macs, Ataris and IBMs of its time. I have always wished that the Amiga never died, thanks for nothing Commodore.
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4.0 von 5 Sternen The platform that deffined our computing generation. 8. Juli 2012
Von D. Raymond Harlan - Veröffentlicht auf
Format:Kindle Edition|Verifizierter Kauf
Great read, I really enjoy the level of detail & research Maher had put into writing the book. Well worth the efforts. If I had to give one criticism I would say he used the pronoun 'she' in place of virtually every pronoun. While there is certainly nothing wrong with that, it felt a bit overused in the text. Even in places where he was talking about the overwhelmingly male audience in the demoscene he'd still use 'she' for the examples. I know many will/may disagree but this is just my opinion. But in total a very well researched piece, worthy of anyone with an interest in the platform that revolutionized and brought many new possibilities to the computing options of the 80's.
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5.0 von 5 Sternen I like the book 3. Juni 2012
Von roman baranovic - Veröffentlicht auf
Format:Kindle Edition|Verifizierter Kauf
I have really enjoyed reading this book. It brings to light many of the events and details about Amiga. I have got my Amiga in 1990 as 16 years old. I lived in Czechoslovakia. At that time I did not have a chance to learn the story about Amiga, it was just a game computer for me. Thanks to this book, I can much better appreciate what I was part of.
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5.0 von 5 Sternen This book needed to be written. 29. Juli 2012
Von Jeremy Moskowitz - Veröffentlicht auf
Format:Gebundene Ausgabe|Verifizierter Kauf
If I had unlimited time and resources in my life, I would have written this book. It is exquisitely detailed, but not overly so. There are working examples from the author if you care to take a deeper dive. The facts are accurate, and the "positioning" and analysis is thought out and well reasoned. In short, there's a lot to like about this book if you were an Amiga enthusiast. But the more important reason that this book should have been written (and now is) is for when future historians want to take a reasoned approach to understanding why things unfolded the way they were. IN 50 years, this book will hold up with the technical accuracy, attention to detail, cited references, and "just enough" detail to tell the story in an accurate and easy to read way. Thanks Jimmy for the book, and more importantly, future historians of the technology will thank you too.
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