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The Future Was Here: The Commodore Amiga (Platform Studies)

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The Future Was Here: The Commodore Amiga (Platform Studies) Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

andlt;Pandgt;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 andlt;Iandgt;The Future Was Hereandlt;/Iandgt;, 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.andlt;/Pandgt;

Synopsis:

Within the history of computing, the last thirty years have been defined by the ascendance of the personal computer, a device that finally brought the power of computation out of laboratories and corporate technology centers and into the purview of the individual user. That thirty years has seen a blur of technological advances in both hardware and software as computers have gotten smaller, faster, more powerful and more complex. In fact, so much has happened so quickly and been so dramatic in its effect on everyday life that we often forget to think about just how we have interacted with these machines over time, and how those interactions have come to define our experiences with these machines. In this regard the ubiquity of these tools, which often sell millions of units, and the almost constant state of change in the field of technological discovery often leaves us taking for granted just how different it has been to experience these machines at different points over time. This book aims to defamiliarize some of the most ubiquitous objects in the history of personal computing, allowing for a better understanding of the historical shifts that have occurred in the design and material experience of these computers, and to get visitors to start thinking about the cultural moments that have come to be defined by our interaction with these material objects.

and#160;

Objects to be examined include:

Commodore 64

Apple Macintosh Plus

Palm Pilot Professional

Apple iPad

Microsoft Kinect

Synopsis:

The last forty years have seen the rise of the personal computer, a device that has enabled ordinary individuals to access a tool that had been exclusive to laboratories and corporate technology centers. During this time, computers have become smaller, faster, more powerful, and more complex. So much has happened with so many products, in fact, that we often take for granted the uniqueness of our experiences with different machines over time.

The Interface Experience surveys some of the landmark devices in the history of personal computingand#151;including the Commodore 64, Apple Macintosh Plus, Palm Pilot Professional, and Microsoft Kinectand#151;and helps us to better understand the historical shifts that have occurred with the design and material experience of each machine. With its spiral-bound design reminiscent of early computer user manuals and thorough consideration of the cultural moment represented by each device, The Interface Experience is a one-of-a-kind tour of modern computing technology.

Synopsis:

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.

About the Author

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

Product Details

ISBN:
9780262017206
Author:
Maher, Jimmy
Publisher:
MIT Press (MA)
Author:
Keramidas, Kimon
Author:
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Location:
Cambridge
Subject:
Video & Electronic
Subject:
Games-Video Games
Copyright:
Edition Description:
Paperback
Series:
Platform Studies The Future Was Here
Publication Date:
20120413
Binding:
HARDCOVER
Grade Level:
from 17
Language:
English
Illustrations:
60 figures
Pages:
344
Dimensions:
9 x 6 in

Related Subjects

Computers and Internet » Computers Reference » General
History and Social Science » Sociology » General
Hobbies, Crafts, and Leisure » Games » Video Games
Reference » Science Reference » Philosophy of Science
Science and Mathematics » History of Science » Computers

The Future Was Here: The Commodore Amiga (Platform Studies) New Hardcover
0 stars - 0 reviews
$29.95 In Stock
Product details 344 pages MIT Press (MA) - English 9780262017206 Reviews:
"Synopsis" by ,
Within the history of computing, the last thirty years have been defined by the ascendance of the personal computer, a device that finally brought the power of computation out of laboratories and corporate technology centers and into the purview of the individual user. That thirty years has seen a blur of technological advances in both hardware and software as computers have gotten smaller, faster, more powerful and more complex. In fact, so much has happened so quickly and been so dramatic in its effect on everyday life that we often forget to think about just how we have interacted with these machines over time, and how those interactions have come to define our experiences with these machines. In this regard the ubiquity of these tools, which often sell millions of units, and the almost constant state of change in the field of technological discovery often leaves us taking for granted just how different it has been to experience these machines at different points over time. This book aims to defamiliarize some of the most ubiquitous objects in the history of personal computing, allowing for a better understanding of the historical shifts that have occurred in the design and material experience of these computers, and to get visitors to start thinking about the cultural moments that have come to be defined by our interaction with these material objects.

and#160;

Objects to be examined include:

Commodore 64

Apple Macintosh Plus

Palm Pilot Professional

Apple iPad

Microsoft Kinect

"Synopsis" by ,
The last forty years have seen the rise of the personal computer, a device that has enabled ordinary individuals to access a tool that had been exclusive to laboratories and corporate technology centers. During this time, computers have become smaller, faster, more powerful, and more complex. So much has happened with so many products, in fact, that we often take for granted the uniqueness of our experiences with different machines over time.

The Interface Experience surveys some of the landmark devices in the history of personal computingand#151;including the Commodore 64, Apple Macintosh Plus, Palm Pilot Professional, and Microsoft Kinectand#151;and helps us to better understand the historical shifts that have occurred with the design and material experience of each machine. With its spiral-bound design reminiscent of early computer user manuals and thorough consideration of the cultural moment represented by each device, The Interface Experience is a one-of-a-kind tour of modern computing technology.

"Synopsis" by , 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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