It was some years ago that I watched The World at War, the 26-episode documentary series on World War II that first ran on British television in 1973. Despite all the revelations of the years that followed its appearance — not least the role played by computing pioneers like Alan Turing in breaking Axis codes and quite possibly saving millions of lives in the process — I still consider it the definitive film history of the war. When I was flipping through the supplementary materials on my DVD set of the series, I was struck by something one of the producers said: that 1973, thirty years after the events in question, was the perfect time to make the series. Enough time had passed that wounds had healed or at least been scarred over sufficiently to give a certain perspective to the many participants in the war who were interviewed for the series, but not so much that they were mostly dead.
I mention that today because Brian Bagnall, a great supporter of this blog, has been doing largely the same thing for the history of Commodore that The World at War did for World War II, and the same absolutely perfect number of years after the actual events in question. No, this history is not of quite the same earth-shattering importance (some of the most hardcore Amiga loyalists might argue about that), but it is important in its own way to preserve these memories now, while we still can. Brian has a Kickstarter in its final days for a book which will chronicle the later history of Commodore and the entire history of the Amiga line. He’s also working on some cool bonuses as well, like a history of Jack Tramiel’s early career and the pre-PET Commodore, including the Atlantic Acceptance Scandal that I at least am dying to know much more about. He’s doing quite well, having already earned several times his minimum goal of $15,000 Canadian. But there are still stretch goals on offer, and more is always helpful on a project like this one. So, please help him out if you happen to have the necessary combination of interest and financial wherewithal. Don’t do it for the children; do it for history! You have four days left.
July 11, 2015 at 7:37 pm
just finished reading your book on the Amiga, immensely enjoyed it, thanks so much! Also thanks for the post on Brian’s Kickstarter campaign, I would have missed it without your post! Forwarded the info via my blog :-)
July 15, 2015 at 11:50 am
I have a very slight personal connection with Turing and the WWII cryptographers – during the war my grandfather was stationed at Bletchley Park, centre of the entire project.
Unfortunately he was a humble accountant for the Pay Corps, and had no idea whatsoever about any of it until everyone else did… Apparently he used to come home on leave complaining about the officers and bigwigs disappearing off into the big house with their young ladies.