Last updated 1996.11.20
I don't think I overstate the issue when I say that the reason I have a pretty good job today is because of the display hacks and animations I made for the Amiga computer.
I first saw the Amiga back in 1985. It was at SIGGRAPH, which had the good fortune to be held in San Francisco that year. They brought it out for public display the day after its public unveiling in New York. As they rolled through the demos, it was quite clear it was a powerful machine. But when they showed Boing, my jaw hit the floor. In that moment, I saw that all the ideas I'd had floating around in my head for the last several years were now possible. The machines were no longer an impediment.
One of the nicest things about the Amiga was that it rewarded experimentation. On a PC, if you decide to try out some unusual trick or technique, you're usually rewarded with Windows doing something completely wrong (if you're lucky) or, more typically, Windows crashing. PCs are non-deterministic. They yield to programmers very rarely, and then only grudgingly.
Not the Amiga. If you saw a certain relationship between system components, and decided to write a program to exploit it, chances were that it would work. Amiga was incredibly well thought out, and there were very few areas that were confusing or cumbersome. By doing what you expected (at least from a programmer's point of view), it rewarded your own clear thinking and encouraged you to do more of it. Amiga was more than happy to do something cool for you.
Many of these hacks are the results of my own explorations of the machine. I wasn't necessarily trying to accomplish anything, I was just goofing off. Much to my surprise and delight, they became rather popular at the time. For those of you still with Amigas, I hope you still find them entertaining.
As of this writing (1996.11.20), this collection isn't quite exhaustive (I have yet to dig through all of my old floppies to find some of this stuff). So consider these pages as "work in progress." This will be as much a journey of discovery for me as I hope it will be for you, as I unearth some of this old stuff and think to myself, "I wrote this?"
Copyright © 1996 Leo L. Schwab. All Rights Reserved.Leo L. Schwab / Digital Spellweaver / email@example.com