Welcome to another Quick Bits article, this time showcasing some of the books I have acquired this autumn. There has always been something truly amazing about books, they will draw you into magical places, far away from everyday life and chores, more needed now than ever before when our attention keeps being hijacked by social media and other brain drain activities. Pull the plug, live and learn, read and learn, important mantras in my life. While I not only acquire books on topics specific to computers, games, and the history, those are the ones I show here on my blog.
Shareware Heroes: The Renegades who redefined gaming at the dawn of the Internet by Richard Moss is a comprehensive, meticulously researched exploration of an important and too-long overlooked chapter in video game history. The book’s 325 pages take you on a journey, from the beginnings of the shareware model in the early ’80s to the rise of shareware’s major players, the likes of id Software, Apogee, and Epic MegaGames until the concept faded into the background as the video game market grew and shifted, and major publishers took control.
Shareware Heroes can be purchased from Amazon or directly from the publisher, Unbound.
CRACKERS: A Saga of Software Piracy by Marco Breddin is a two-volume insight into software piracy in the ’80s and ’90s. Digital visions and copy parties, intrigues and industrial espionage, disk traders, and pirates. The mysterious life of crackers and their scene organizations that helped shape the computer age.
Cracker can be purchased from Microzeit.
The Commodore 64 Collectors Guide to Mastertronic by Colin Poole is a 500-page full-color book covering every release by Mastertronic on the Commodore 64. For anyone interested in collecting, or just needing a nostalgia trip through Mastertronic cassette games released for the Commodore 64 in the ’80s and early ’90.
The Commodore 64 Collectors Guide to Mastertronic can be purchased from Fusion Retro Books.
Open Circuits: The Inner Beauty of Electronic Components by Eric Sclaepfer and Windell H. Oskay is a photographic exploration of the beautiful design inside everyday electronics. The stunning cross-section photography unlocks a hidden world full of elegance, subtle complexity, and wonder. As you visually dissect the components’ insides, you’ll learn about how they work and how they were made. The book has something for everyone to appreciate, whether you’re a seasoned electrical engineer, an amateur tinkerer, or simply a lover of art and photography.
Open Circuits: The Inner Beauty of Electronic Components can be purchased from sites listed here.
Home Computers: 100 Icons that Defined a Digital Generation by Alex Wiltshire and with beautiful photos by John Short is a celebration of the early years of the digital revolution when computing power was deployed in a beige box on your desk. With specially commissioned photographs of 100 vintage computers and a generous selection of print advertising, product packaging, and instruction manuals, readers can recapture the glory days of fondly remembered (or happily forgotten) machines including the Commodore 64, TRS-80, Apple Lisa, and Mattel Aquarius.
Home Computers: 100 Icons that Defined a Digital Generation can be purchased from sites listed here.
Core Memory: A Visual Survey of Vintage Computers by John Alderman and Mark Richards reveals modern technology’s evolution through the world’s most renowned computer collection, the Computer History Museum in Silicon Valley. Vivid photos capture historically important machines including the Eniac, Crays 1 3, and Apple I and II while authoritative text profiles each, tell the stories of their innovations and peculiarities. Thirty-five machines are profiled in over 100 extraordinary color photographs.
Core Memory: A Visual Survey of Vintage Computers can be purchased from sites listed here.
Jony Ive: The Genius Behind Apple’s Greatest Products by Leander Kahney is a detailed portrait of a creative genius and tells the story of how Jony Ive went from an English art school student with dyslexia to the man whose immense insights have altered the pattern of our lives. From his early interest in industrial design, fostered by his designer father, through his education at Newcastle Polytechnic and meteoric rise at Apple, we discover the principles and practices he developed to become the designer of his generation.
Jony Ive: The Genius Behind Apple’s Greatest Products can be purchased from the list of sites here.
The Book of Adventure Games I & II by Kim Schuette Contains descriptions, step-by-step walkthroughs, and maps for many of the classic 8-bit computer titles by the likes of Scott Adams, Infocom, Sirius, Sierra On-Line, Quality Software, Phoenix Software, Advant-Garde, Penguin… Together the 600-page covers 123 games.
The Book of Adventure Games can be purchased on sites like eBay, Amazon, and Abebooks.
The Adventure Companion by Gary Borders features hints, maps, and solutions to some of the earliest and highly successful adventure games, like Ken and Roberta Williams‘ Wizard and the Princess, Infocom‘s first part of Zork and Planetfall, and Scott Adams‘ Adventureland.
The Adventure Companion can be purchased on sites like eBay, Amazon, and Abebooks.