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blog:2023-07-26

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Jul 26th, 2023

In my last few blog posts, I've been writing about some of my favorite typed-in games from the good ole days. One in particular was from my first computer book, “Using The Commodore 64 In The Home”, which I bought soon after my parents gave me my C64. No longer having that copy with me, I wondered if it was still out there, somewhere, which it was. Even though I do have a PDF of the book, I would have really enjoyed having a physical copy of the book, which I could thumb through and reminisce. However, the prices people were trying to sell it for where, quite frankly, ridiculous to me. And the condition of these old copies of the book were “well used”, at best.

So, I looked into the possibility of using print on demand services, like found at Lulu, to see if I could make a new copy of the book for myself from the PDF file I had. But, when I tried to use the PDF file, the Lulu interface informed me that the resolution/format was not acceptable. I then tried the printing services over at Staples and even though they would accept the format, the results would be a pretty rudimentary printing of the book in spiral bound format. It would also be a little bit on the pricey side to do this way, but sure, it would give me a physical copy of the book.

I wondered if I could do something to get the format into something acceptable by Lulu, as it seemed like they really did good work and would do so at a much reasonable price. So, I started experimenting on the PDF.

After some time, I was able to find some document editing software (for my Linux desktop) that allowed me to extract elements from the PDF and turn it into text. The difficult part was getting the BASIC code transferred into something useable, while maintaining all of the PETSCII characters. After some more trial and error, I was able to come up with something that I could use to produce a “clean” PDF of the book that Lulu would accept. The real question was, how was it going to look after all was said and done?

Well, today my reprint of the book, “Using The Commodore 64 In The Home” arrived and, I'm quite pleased to say, it really looks good! It's not the same dimensions of the original, but I think if you hadn't seen the original printing, you probably wouldn't notice. The text looks great, as well as the BASIC code.

For the price I paid, including shipping charges, I think the cost and work to produce it was worth the final results. I'm quite please and very happy to have this book back on my bookshelf. Flipping through the pages brings back a lot of good memories.

Link to book on Lulu

C64 In The Home Cover C64 In The Home Index C64 In The Home Inside

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blog/2023-07-26.txt · Last modified: 2024/04/17 16:18 by David