- Series: Commodore
- Hardcover: 548 pages
- Publisher: Variant Press; 2nd edition (December 15, 2010)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0973864966
- ISBN-13: 978-0973864960
- Product Dimensions: 6 x 1.4 x 9 inches
- Shipping Weight: 2.1 pounds
- Average Customer Review: 72 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,525,591 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Commodore: A Company on the Edge 2nd Edition
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About the Author
Brian Bagnall is the author of numerous computer titles, including Core LEGO Mindstorms, On the Edge, and Maximum LEGO NXT. He is also a frequent contributor to Old-Computers.com, an online museum dedicated to recording and preserving computer history. He lives in Winnipeg, Manitoba.
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The only reason I'm not giving it 5 stars is because the author doesn't seem to have a lot of technical knowledge. He still does a good job describing computing concepts to a wide audience, but with a little more understanding of the concepts, it could have been better, especially since the target audience for this book is likely made up of people that are very tech savvy and have probably owned a 64 or other Commodore product.
Mr. Bagnall does a good job of recreating the excitement, despair, joy, frustration, genius and folly of product development and existing in a chaotic corporate environment in the "wild west" days of computing. He does a good job of presenting all points of view without bias IMHO.
The writing style is not great, IMO. It is mostly prose just meant to allow a lot of quotes from mostly the same group of people to hang together. Nevertheless, it is a thorough, and very interesting read on the beginning of the personal computer era. Moreover, it is not an Apple or PC centric view. It gives Commodore its proper due and provides the counterpoint to the Woz fairy tale in which Apple invented the personal computer. It's a miracle that Apple survived the C64.
Anyway, I liked the book as someone who grew up with a C64.
This book covers the history of Commodore until the departure of Jack Tramiel, at the time when the Plus/4 was introduced. The book ends with a promise of a second volume called "The Amiga Years" or something like that. So I guess this book might be considered "The Jack Years". It didn't cover the C128/128D, or the semi-mythological C65, and doesn't mention topics like Q-Link, so I hope that the second book will talk about those. My own personal interest in Commodore ends with the 8-bits, having no interest whatsoever in the Amiga (then, or now), so I'm not totally devastated.