Xam Yot

Ego Deflation 101


Last updated: 2021.11.22

This didn't work as well as I had planned.

See, Commodore's then-CEO, Max Toy (who was one in a rapidly-changing series of CEOs Commodore was to go through before cratering), was going to speak at FAUG, the First Amiga Users' Group. It was going to be a big event. So I thought it would be cool to create an animation commemorating Max's visit.

My first thought was to create an animation of a steam locomotive crashing through an old Commodore-64 display, dragging a banner that read, "FAUG Welcomes Max Toy" (a sort of symbolic way of saying, "Out with the old, in with the new"). In fact, one of the models in the source code archive is a reproduction of a C-64 power-on screen. But for reasons I have conveniently forgotten, that idea proved to be too difficult, and I didn't leave myself enough time to do it well. In retrospect, I probably should have stuck with it anyway.

I still thought a locomotive would be cool, though. But I thought just dragging a banner behind it would be too plain. I wanted to do something clever. And then I thought, "Toy! Max Toy! Toy train! I'll make a 3D toy train out of objects which spell out his name! My, won't that be clever!" I was so pleased with myself. I set to work on that very idea.

The FAUG meeting happened a couple days later. It was the biggest FAUG meeting in the history of the club. Max Toy was there. He spoke. He made some oblique comment about the Commodore stock hitting his option price (a remark whose full grim meaning didn't hit me until just recently). When he finished, I slipped my disk into an Amiga and set the animation running.

There I was, in full regalia (cape, hat, the works), in front of the largest attendance FAUG had ever seen, as my colorful and enormously clever animation played out before them...

And absolutely every last one of them failed to understand it.

I do not exaggerate. No one got it. Part of the problem was that I couldn't get the animation player to hang on the last frame (inlined above) long enough, and that was the key to the whole thing. But even so, it was just too damned abstract.

Some people were able to pick out the "Max" from the accordion-like thing on top, but the "Toy" part just went straight past everyone. If you stare at it long enough, you'll see that the engineer's cabin on the locomotive is in the shape of a "T," the Boing ball is an "O," and the smokestack is intended to be a "Y." But if I'd done my job right in the first place, I wouldn't have to explain it at all.

It was not a good day.

BTW, "Xam Yot" is Max Toy spelled backwards. Clever, huh?

Animation Info

# Frames Frame Rate Resolution # Colors Continuous Loop
90 15 FPS 352 * 220 32 No

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