Agent Palmer

Of all things Geek. I am…

The Underappreciated Innovator: A Review of George Lucas: A Life by Brian Jay Jones

George Lucas A Life by Brian Jay Jones

Before I picked up George Lucas: A Life by Brian Jay Jones, I had seen most of his movies and presumed to know much of his story building an empire, making movies and innovations. And well, I was wrong. I knew very little, but I know more now, because the book is a fantastic read.

As biographies go, specifically unauthorized ones, this one may be one of the best, because it is so well researched that citations at the back of my hardcover copy merit 51 pages to list them all. Here’s the other thing, I didn’t know it was an unauthorized biography until I read the “Acknowledgements” at the end of the book. That’s how in depth and well written and thoroughly researched it is.

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‘Console Wars’ and How the Revolution was, in fact, Pixelated

Console Wars by Blake J Harris

Despite the fact that Console Wars by Blake J. Harris is about Sega rising to the top to dethrone Nintendo before slowly, painfully, and publicly falling out of consoles all together, this book is mainly about marketing, big ideas, and Tom Kalinske.

Now, I don’t mean that as a slight. Kalinske is a fascinating individual; the man came up with He-Man when he was at Mattel, after all. But the book does generally paint Nintendo as the bad guy despite the fact that Nintendo ultimately wins or at least won the 1990s.

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Antitrust still presents Argument that is Anything but Binary

Antitrust still presents Argument that is Anything but Binary

There is something equally timeless and out of date about the 2001 film “Antitrust.” Despite this or because of it, the thriller is still interesting to watch and enjoy.

As the fictional tech billionaire in the film, Gary Winston loves to say that things are binary, and this film fits that description. Sure, it is fiction, but at its core there is a discussion that takes place all the time under the surface: when it comes to software, you’re either open source or you’re not.

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“iWoz” is the Great Autobiography of Steve Wozniak by Steve Wozniak with Gina Smith

"iWoz" is the Great Autobiography of Steve Wozniak by Steve Wozniak with Gina Smith

There’s something to be said for telling your story in your own words. In 2006, Steve Wozniak reached that point at age 55.

In his own words, he wrote, “I think it’s time to set the record straight. So much of the information out there about me is wrong. I’ve come to hate books about Apple and it’s history so much because of that. For instance, there are stories that I dropped out of college (I didn’t) or that I was thrown out of the University of Colorado (I wasn’t), that Steve and I were high school classmates (we were several years apart in school) and that Steve and I engineered those first computers together (I did them alone).”

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In constant pursuit of “The New New Thing”

The New New Thing by Michael Lewis

“The New New Thing” by Michael Lewis is a fantastic trip through the history of Silicon Valley, and beyond that it’s the story of Jim Clark.

He starts by stating that “this book is about a search that occurs on the frontiers of economic life.” But it is also about the history of economics and the technological advancement that brings about growth and change, not just for economics and the market but for everyone.

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