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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Truth about personal computing,
This review is from: Commodore: A Company on the Edge 2nd Edition (Hardcover)It is hard to find a document telling a neutral point about personal computing. Everywhere you find Apple as the pioneers of personal computing, when the truth is they were not relevant until much later. If you want to know how history is, and not what some people would have liked it was, try this book.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The best non-fiction book I've read,
This review is from: Commodore: A Company on the Edge 2nd Edition (Hardcover)My review is based on the 1st Edition.
If you are a fan of Commodore and are interested in the stories behind it I can't imagine you not liking this book. It has some great stories, and I was very impressed with the amount of infomation.
This one is an expanded version of the 1st edition and has more pictures, though it stops at the Amiga. There is another book coming out next year that continues from the Amiga's release.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Absolutely recommended!,
This review is from: Commodore: A Company on the Edge 2nd Edition (Hardcover)I recently purchased the second edition of this book and was absolutely blown away by the level of detail and great writing style. I just couldn't put it down before I turned the last page, literally! The level of detail and personal accounts/views of all these famous people is presented in a way that everyone will enjoy, not just computer enthusiasts. There is a bit of technical information and backround on the computer chips etc., but it never gets to a level of say a design document or dry technical manual. It is a well written account of Commodore's golden days, as heard from the mouth of those famous people who were making history. This book has more than any article or internet site that you could find today. It even includes a bit of "where are they now" at the end.
As said by one previous reviewer, it ends where Jack Tramiel is forced out, but promises a second book to come in 2012, I can't wait!
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars I adore the book. However....,
This review is from: Commodore: A Company on the Edge (Kindle Edition)I bought the original edition and must have ready it at least six times. As my copy is getting a bit tatty it seemed the ideal opportunity to upgrade to a kindle version.
As has been stated by other reviewers, this is a very different book from the first edition. Bagnall finishes with Jack Tramiel leaving commodore, excluding the creation of the C128 and the Amiga years.
Trust me, you will really enjoy this book.
This version appears to have more input from Kit Spencer, giving greater insight. I look forward to the second volume.
There are several things, however, that prevent me from giving it five stars:
In the introduction he mentions revisionist rewriting history to exclude commodore from the early days of the computer industry. However, Bagnall makes reference to Sinclair's "junk computer" and states in a later chapter "Despite the similar look and price, the ZX Spectrum dominated over the C116 in the UK. However, the C64 continued its domination of the ZX Spectrum, making the C116 redundant."
I am not aware of the C116 ever being released in the UK. It was the C16. Also, as someone who worked in retail at the time my recollection is that the C64 and spectrum both sold roughly 50/50 in the UK, with the spectrum possibly selling more. The spectrum sold over 5 million units (excluding a huge number of clone machines)in it's 10 years life.
It is understandable that this book is written with a North American point of view, but I worry that an uninformed reader would believe Sinclair were a small footnote in the computer industry. Where did the UK stats come from?
But as I said, great book!
5.0 out of 5 stars Real history for the masses,
This review is from: Commodore: A Company on the Edge 2nd Edition (Hardcover)A detailed history of pre-Amiga Commodore
A lot has been written before but this has an element of real fact drama.
Lacks a few more pictures but almost beyond fault.
I lived through all of this watching first hand the rise and simple use your imagination joy thats mostly been lost in the big budget industry thats become of my now past;favourite pastime.
Read it and learn apple this will happen to you
Get the Amiga years
4.0 out of 5 stars Fascinating insight into the birth of the personal computer,
This review is from: Commodore: A Company on the Edge 2nd Edition (Hardcover)Having owned a C64 in my teen years, and having learnt BASIC and assembler thanks to it, I found this history of Commodore irresistible reading.
Technical detail is a bit scarce for the technically minded, but the story of the people behind the machines and the many dramas that unfolded through the company history make for compelling reading and provide some interesting business lessons.
Sadly this book covers up the C64 and not much more, I hope the second part about the Amiga years is soon available on Kindle.
5.0 out of 5 stars Yes, it is different to the 1st Edition. And definitely worth getting!,
This review is from: Commodore: A Company on the Edge 2nd Edition (Hardcover)Having been a long time Commodore user I was most curious what drove this company. And utilimately what killed it.
When the first edition came out I was most curious and bought and read it. It was great! A true eye opener.
So, when this second edition came out I wondered if it was worth getting. Was there anything different? Well the answer to both questions is "Yes!". It is most definitely worth getting.
This second edition puts into context what Commodore were doing in relation to the rest of the industry. Playing with Digital Cameras in the early 80's. What competitors were doing at the time when the C64 came out.
Well written, great insites, and good stories from the people who were there at the time.
Worth getting even if you have the first edition.
5.0 out of 5 stars Impossible to put down - an excellent read,
This review is from: Commodore: A Company on the Edge 2nd Edition (Hardcover)This is a history book with a writing style and narrative to put action novels to shame. For the subject matter, it is difficult to imagine a more streamlined mix of interview material, fact finding, character insight and just plain good storytelling. And as if the story wasn't interesting enough, every other page Jack Tramiel comes along and does something out of the ordinary, just to keep you reading how that turned out.
Even though I missed out on Commodore during the 8-bit era (I could not afford the C64), the passion and affection behind the products is so evident, page after page, that after reading this book I am more fond of the C64 than if I owned one!
Minor gripes: sporadic spelling and grammar mistakes (in a 2nd edition?), and a rather persistent belittling of Wozniak's work at Apple.
All in all, this is a must-read for anyone even remotely active in personal computers during the late 70s and early 80s.
The second part of the story is eagerly awaited.
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent read,
This review is from: Commodore: A Company on the Edge (Kindle Edition)I grew up with the C64 and then the A500 etc. This book is a fascinating insight into the history of Commodore as a whole, right from the first computer that they made. Not only is it insightful in terms of the history of C64 etc. but also the culture at Commodore and how Tramiel ran the place with an iron fist. Funny and informative, with interviews from techies and non-techies that worked there, if you're a Commodore fan, you should definitely buy this book.
4.0 out of 5 stars You can't stop reading,
This review is from: Commodore: A Company on the Edge 2nd Edition (Hardcover)The book is very good, I am struggling to put it away even that I know it's late.
It would be nice if it had more images and detailed technical info but I guess you can find it on the internet.
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Commodore: A Company on the Edge 2nd Edition by Brian Bagnall (Hardcover - 6 Jan 2011)
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