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The Future Was Here: The Commodore Amiga (Platform Studies) Hardcover – April 13, 2012
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The Future Was Here is proof of just how exhilarating Platform Studies can be. Jimmy Maher has the rare talent of writing technical descriptions that are both challenging and accessible so that, at the conclusion of each chapter, one experiences the rewarding pleasure of having learned and understood something new and difficult.(Doug Reside, Digital Curator for the Performing Arts, New York Public Library)
The Future was Here is by far the best document on the history, technology, and significance of the Commodore Amiga. An emotional read for those of us who were there, while explaining to everyone else just what made the Amiga such a seminal machine.(Jesper Juul, New York University Game Center; author of Half-Real)
Jimmy Maher shows us how 'the Amiga' was a phenomenon not just of hardware and software, but of community and creativity. He digs past easy nostalgia and into the telling specifics, revealing what enabled the Amiga to define so much of the playful, media-rich personal computing world in which we live today.(Noah Wardrip-Fruin, Computer Science Department, University of California, Santa Cruz; author of Expressive Processing)
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)
About the Author
Jimmy Maher is an independent scholar and writer living in Norway.
Top Customer Reviews
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.Read more ›
The Amiga was designed in the early 1980s by a team lead by Jay Miner . The Amiga was based around the Motorola 68000 chip that was also the CPU for the technologically less advanced and considerably more expensive Apple Macintosh. What was special about the Amiga is that it had a chipset that enabled much of the graphics and sound processing to be handled by something other than the CPU. Agnes, Denise and Paula that formed the original chipset. Sprites, blitting and sound were vastly superior on the Amiga to other contemporary systems. The Amiga wouldn’t really be outclassed as a computer for 6-7 years after its release. Today, such a leap forward is unthinkable.
The book covers the Amiga’s creation, the chipsets and the operating system the Amiga used., Next the release of the machine and the ‘Boing’ demo are described. The details of why the Boing demo was impressive and some of the tricks that were used is well described. Then there is a chapter on ‘Deluxe Paint’ which was one of the most famous Amiga painting programs that could create color art that was not possible on other systems of the time. The Amiga’s contribution to 3D modelling - SSG and Sculpt-Animate are then described. There is then a chapter on NewtTek and the HAM system for using all of the Amiga’s 4096 colors.Read more ›
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.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
It focuses too much in a few known facts instead of in the general environment and the machine's features themselves. It goes on and on in thosePublished 1 month ago by Eduardo Zimmermann
This is a must-read for any Amiga lover, and as someone who owned the original 1000 and a 500, I enjoyed much of what was said. Read morePublished 4 months ago by Amazon Customer
Better if you are not familiar with the computing of the '80s. The content is there about the Amiga, but I had to skip a lot.Published 7 months ago by teki
I really liked this book. I never owned an Amiga but I watched it with great interest when the Amiga 1000 came out. This book gives an unbiased view of the Amiga hardware and OS. Read morePublished 10 months ago by HP-15C
Unfortunately my youth was spent with an Atari ST, but I belatedly purchased an Amiga and found it to be an amazing machine. Read morePublished 11 months ago by Mike
Great book. I was an Amiga owner and I really enjoyed the computer. The story make me want to get an Amiga again.Published 11 months ago by Carlos Santiago
I really enjoyed this book by Jimmy Maher. I grew up with an Amiga and was one of the apparently rare Americans to take a more European approach to the platform, playing all kinds... Read morePublished 14 months ago by Matthew D. Barton
This book has some history, but there is simply too much jargon and examples on how to use Deluxe Paint, Sculpt-Animate, ARexx, and Amiga programming. Read morePublished 17 months ago by ElektroDragon