Coding in a bedroom.

I haven’t been doing much with my Amiga and retro stuff recently. The reason being… I am simply too tired after hit home. Either work is getting harder, or I am getting old ;) Maybe both.

Commuting is part of my daily sickness, but public transportation has an advantage – you can read books. And I do. Kindle device is a great commute companion.

I am multitasking when reading. Or maybe I am multireading, but the spell checker says there is no such a word. Not sure it is a right way to read books, but it does work for me.

IT'S BEHIND YOU: the making of a computer game

One of the mobi files I’ve recently loaded onto my Kindle is “IT’S BEHIND YOU: the making of a computer game“. A book written by Bob Pape, a game coder from the golden era of bedroom-coders. It tells a great story about how games got developed back in the day, in times of Spectrum, C64 and BBC Micro. When Amiga and Atari ST were a high class machines. Highly recommended!

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The Future Was Here.

The Boing BallFew months ago I was searching for Amiga e-books on the Amazon. One of the search hits was “The Future Was Here (Platform Studies)“. It did sound pleasant to my ears. I decided to get a sample. And immediately I got a message that due to customers complaints, it was withdrawn from the catalogue. Luckily rest of the announcement was saying that after some improvements, the ebook will be available again.

After two or three weeks, a next attempt to download the sample was successful. I must say that the formating was not the best I’ve seen on the Kindle. Too much free space on the left side, some words glued to each other (you cannot use the dictionary then), few minor issues with navigate through pages, but all in all, it was not so bad. I can imagine how screwed it was be in the first edition… Lets put the formatting issues aside, move to the meat.

What convinced me to purchase that ebook was pure Amiga-enthusiasm of the author (Jimmy Maher) and his attention to details (The Boing!). Oh, man! It was a weird experience to read something you would write yourself actually, if you only were technically able to do so :) The same feelings, observations, point of view…

The great value of “The Future Was Here” is its broad scope. You’ll get *very* technical details on how the Boing was made, how Deluxe Paint and HAM modes do their magic, how genlock works, but on the other hand you can learn about business aspects, major companies that made Amiga successful and the Scene. Just take a look at the contents table: “Boing”, “Deluxe Paint”, “SSG and Sculpt-Animate”, “NewTek”, “AmigaOS and ARexx”, “The Scene”, “Cinemaware and Psygnosis”. Isn’t it impressive?

Sometimes the advantages are disadvantages at the same time. Here is somewhat like that. Lots of threads and topics make you feel like scratching the surface. The bad thing is when you’d wish to read more about a particular subject, whereas it has been treated superficially in the book. But you simply cannot write a detailed book about everything.

It is really hard to say what I like most (I have to read it one more time:) about that book, but for sure I love the entire story about the Boing Ball. All the fragments about the R.J. Mical’s team are brilliant – you can literally feel the energy and passion they were working with. What I realize too is how the Amiga was cut down on resources such as memory and peripherals before it eventually hit the market. It was great to read though about Scene as something that had been keeping Amiga alive so many years, despite all the business bad moves and missed ideas (I wish someone else acquired Amiga…).

Despite the small issues, it was a good purchase. A recommended read, no doubt.

Here is an on-line addendum to the book: Materials to accompany the Platform Studies volume