Unglue the books

We have lately been focusing on finding and asking permissions for Amiga-related books, to be released under various Creative Commons licenses. For those who don’t know, Creative Commons is a standard license for releasing items that is not source code, for free usage, as long as any changes also are shared, and the original work is attributed. There are a few different variants, from a Public Domain variant to others.


It has been an interesting journey, and has gone very well. A large portion of the former Amiga-book back catalogue has now been given permission to be released under Creative Commons.

So why do this - a lot of the material is already out there, in scanned forms, on various sites

Yes, it is - but, the short answer - we try to make the books free under a liberal usage license - once and for all, legally. Besides inspiring other authors, and respecting the original author/or/and copyright holder, this also leads to many other benefits - archival and preservation is certainly easier, and the possibility for the current retro tech interested community wishing to dive into the literature and tech of yesterday. If we get tired of the project, someone else can pick it up. It can be hosted on GitLab, and we won’t get scary take-down notices.

What is your goal

  • Almost all books that were published about the Amiga should be available in a repository, under a free usage license, with permission from the author, publisher or other copyright holder.

  • We want each book to have a high quality PDF and an AsciiDoc-version that is easily generated to an online-version, pdf, e-book and AmigaGuide (for the retro heads).

  • In the long term, contact the other sites that hosts these books for retro joy, but without legal permission, and tell them that these are now under x license, and it would be great if they added that information. Hopefully that will inspire more retro books to be free, as in freedom.. We want to cooperate so that we can enjoy the best retro scans.

  • Do this for another platform or two? Add more general programming languages books? We have the contact details to many authors now, and they also wrote books for other platforms, Atari ST, C64 etc.

What are your future plans?

There are a few items in the backlog we are still waiting for, and we hope to clear this in the future:

  • There are still a few Amiga authors we haven’t been able to find, or have found, but they haven’t replied to us reaching out.

  • A few (3 that we know of) of the books are still copyrighted to major houses like Pearson. Possibly, these could be bought loose. Major publishing houses are harder to talk to from a hobbyist perspective than a smaller one though.

  • We are still hunting the Compute Publications Rights, and have been given permissions from a few authors, and the potential Copyright holders. I will add a few of the books soon.

  • As for the Future Publishing ones, we have been given permission for a few of their Amiga books.

  • And.. a lot of books were originally published by Commodore themselves. We are in contact with Mike of Cloanto and hope to get an ok to release a few scans at a time with Cloanto’s permission. At least he didn’t say no to us yet:).

  • We are still looking for a few books in physical form, and would gladly receive any donations for these books, see our books page.

What can I do to help?

  • We are still looking for a few books in physical form, some hard to find, and would gladly receive any donations (not monetary) for these books or scans of these books, see our books page.

  • We need help with cleaning up and adding index etc to PDF scans

  • We need help with proofreading and clean up AsciiDoc-fixes so that we can have more books in online versions. Look at how fancy they can be. Online example generated from AsciiDoc

  • Do you feel like writing an AsciiDoc-extension that generates AmigaGuide?

  • Do you host one of the sites that have a lot of PDF:ed material for the Amiga? Let’s work together on the same scans and make them the best ever. You can get access to the GitLab-repo, link to it, contact me.

  • Are you an author or publisher? Please let your obsolete tech books be released under Creative Commons or Public Domain.

Books we are looking for at the moment - do you have any of these and would like to donate or scan for us?

  • The Complete Commodore and Amiga Sourcebook - Jeffery Stanton - ISBN 0912003537

  • First Steps Amiga: The Ice Cool Guide for Absolute Beginners - Paul Overaa - ISBN 1855500086

  • Demomaker handbook, 1991, Abacus

  • Total Amiga Amigados - By Bruce Smith - Oct 1995 - 416 pages - ISBN 1873308566

  • Blitz BASIC for the Amiga: A Complete Programming Guide - Neil Wright - 1995 - ISBN 1850585377, 9781850585374

  • AMOS in Education - Ann Tucker, Lee Tucker

  • Mastering Amiga Workbench 2 - by Bruce Smith - Sept 1992 - 320 pages - ISBN 1873308086

  • Insider Guide Series: Amiga 600 - by Bruce Smith - Jan 1993 - 256 pages - ISBN 1873308140

  • Amiga Workbench Booster Pack - by Bruce Smith and Paul Andreas Overaa - Feb 1996 - 512 pages - ISBN 1873308418

  • Insider Guide Series: Amiga 1200 Next Steps - by Peter Fitzpatrick - Nov 1993 - 256 pages - ISBN 1873308248

  • All about the A1200, Produced in association with Amiga Computing

  • Insider Guide Series: Amiga Workbench 3 A-Z - by Bruce Smith - May 1994 - 256 pages - ISBN 1873308280

  • Mastering Amiga DOS 2 - Volume 1 - by Bruce Smith and Mark Smiddy - August 1992; 2nd edition - 416 pages - ISBN 1873308108

  • Mastering Amiga DOS 2 - Volume 2 - by Bruce Smith and Mark Smiddy - Forward by Barry Thurston, Technical Director, Commodore Business Machines (UK) Ltd. - August 1992; 2nd edition - 368 pages - ISBN 1873308094

  • Secrets of Frontier Elite - by Tony Dillon - Sept 1994 - 128 pages - ISBN 1873308396

  • Secrets of Sim City 2000 - by Andrew Banner - Feb 1995 - 128 pages - ISBN 1873308477

  • Nyckeln till Amos - elevdata - Patrik Holmström.

Authors we are looking for at the moment, could you help us locate them?

  • Wrote Amiga books for Data Becker and Abacus - Andreas Massman, Stefan Dittrich, Stefan Maelger, Andreas Grote, Jens Abraham, Guy Wright, Christian Kuhnert, Chris Zamara, Nick Sullivan, Thomas Tai, Holger Hahn.

  • Wrote for Kuma Publishing about Amiga Intuition - Mike Nelson

  • Wrote a Modula-2 book - Mike Lawrence

  • Wrote books for Bruce Smith Books, - Robin Burton, Peter Fitzpatrick

  • Wrote books for Compute! - Edward H. Carlson

  • Wrote books for Compute! - Chris Metcalf

  • Wrote books about ARexx - William "Bill" Hayes

  • Wrote 1001 series with others: Dave Prochonow

  • Wrote assembler books for Tab books: Jake Commander

Now, off to the Books