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 And immediately I got a message that due to customers complaints, it was withdrawn from the catalogue.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

Scala for the Impatient

If you are interested in Scala, and you’re impatient (who is not these days…) this could be something you’ve been looking for:

I haven’t had a chance yet to go through it anything more than briefly, but the book looks very promising. “Scala for the Impatient” concentrates on Scala itself and how to get up to speed, not on general programming matters, which is good.

I wrote this book for impatient readers who want to start
programming with Scala right away. I assume you know Java, C#, or C++, and I won’t bore you with explaining variables, loops, or classes.

[Copyright © Cay S. Horstmann 2012. All Rights Reserved.]

It costs you no money but, as usual, the deal is to provide an email address in exchange. And I think it is worth one.