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Williams was born in North Carolina in 1787, moved to the Missouri frontier, and began trapping while in his teens. He served in the War of 1812, was in Indian trader, an itinerant preacher, scout, explorer, and mountain man. Williams, as Favour points out, was the most noteworthy of the hundreds of mountain men in the Missouri River Country. Equally important is the revealing portrait of the mountain men and their lives. In Bill Williams, the author found those unique traits possessed by this singular group of men who led a young nation through uncharted lands to a rendezvous with the Pacific.
Bill Williams' image was unlike that of the typical hero. He was a study in contrasts. Williams was tall and redheaded, dirty and disheveled, had a knowledge of Greek, Latin, and comparative religion, and ate primitive frontier food including raw calf legs. Physical strength, ability to endure thirst, scanty rations, and fatigue counted for little unless a mountain man also had determination, courage, and fortitude. Williams and a few others possessed all of these traits yet the majority of mountain men, including Williams, died of disease, hunger, Indians, or exposure.
Williams emulated Indians in dress, deportment, speech, and conduct. If being taken for an Indian was the highest compliment a trapper could receive, it wasn't such for Old Bill Williams. Whether it was lifting a scalp, hunting buffalo, or stalking an enemy, Williams did it better than any Indian and was pround of his sobriquet - Master Trapper. Williams stood out from his contemporaries regardless of the method of comparison: bringing in the most fur, outfighting and outdrinking anyone, or simply living past his 61st birthday.
Williams' six decades of life spanned the fur trade era and through his eyes the author presents that adventurous time with clarity and understanding. Williams traversed the West, battled the Ute, Apache, and Blackfeet, wandered the great mountains and parks of Arizona and Colorado, and blazed new trails. His horse stealing excursions were a legitimate enterprise by fur trappers' standards. He excelled in this field and stole hundreds of horses from California to Mexico, including horses owned by unfriendly Indians.
As a guide to Fremont's fourth expedition, which sought a railroad route through the Southern Rockies. Williams' place in history is circumscribed. After this expedition, Fremont castigated Williams, blaming him for the failure to cross the Rockies in midwinter. Williams had warned Fremont that a crossing in winter was dangerous yet went with him anyway. Eleven men froze to death. Favour tends to whitewash Williams in this incident but any blame is needless as nature wouldn't permit a crossing by anyone that winter.
After that disaster, Williams continued to guide parties across the frontier. In March 1849, Williams and Benjamin Kern were murdered by Utes evidently seeking revenge for a previous attack on their village by a contingent of the U. S. Army. When the Utes discovered they had killed Old Bill, they gave him a chief's burial.
Old Bill's death was denied by many Indians. For years they told tales of a majestic mountain Elk, with a slash of red across its crown, serenely grazing in Colorado's South Park, stopping from time to time to gaze intently toward the Southwest - toward its namesake Arizona's Bill Williams Peak which stands alone on the skyline along the western boundary of a frontier long past.
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The book also devotes a chapter to parts of previous drafts that included many scenes that were never filmed, mostly due to production costs, as well as notes and commentary about them. The most notable almost-scene is the time machine room, where the resistance sends Reese to 1984, and the second Terminator to 1994. Another abandoned moment is the T-1000 wreaking havoc at the Salceda camp (the trailer-park/junkyard-looking place in the desert) following the departure of the three heroes. This scene would've shown more T-1000 morphs and 'gags'. Like the photos that correspond with the final script, the storyboards of these lost moments are shown along with the script to give you an idea of what each scene would've looked like.
I found the most interesting part to be the introduction by co-writer/co-producer/director James Cameron. He talks about the grind of completing T2 in just a year, and probably his most profound revelation about himself: that writing the script is his least-favorite part of movie production. I found this little revelation to be rather ironic, because I always felt that his scriptwriting ability is his strongest suit. Well, maybe not with 'Titanic', but that's me.
Sadly, just about all of the stuff discussed in this trade paperback, and then some, has been incorporated into the Special Features disc of the Ultimate Edition DVD. If you've already entered the digital age of movie technology, this book is pretty much just a relic of the pre-DVD era.
work is just soooo busy, and with this book you get a cd containing 21 components (actually, there's even more than that if you count some of the neat experimental ones!). I'm not even gonna try and work out how much development time this cd will save me, but I can't advise it enough - i really hope these guys bring more of them out. To be honest i've only looked through about half of these components so far, but i'm still blown away -
check out tool tip, the dynamic text 'stringthing', and the XML/actionscript converter especially - i didn't even realize i needed these things until now! The chapter on the movie loader is just a killer too. And there are also more 'crazy-stoopid' ones, like pattern generators and image modulators. What can i say, buy it and hope these authors bring out a sequel! Tons of fully-documented components, tons of examples, i'm a happy
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Finally, this book is divided into 9 parts, one for each author, each one got his own way of coding and that is funny to see how they solve different problems, they got their touch !!
So, designers, coders get this book !!!!!!!
Particularly, I found the chapters on video and 3D, runtime 3D, "bezier creatures", and the set interval enticing. You should see the chapter on runtime 3D! A _full_ library of 3d code that is extremely easy to use (including incredibly insightful comments in the code). You do not need to know much math to make some crazy effects. Also the chapter on video and Flash enlightened me as I did not know of flash's capabilities in this field.
So, in the end, get this book! It is awe inspiring.
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This book has beautiful, colorful pages and many contributors, some with great ideas - learned from some imagination and from some trial and error.
Yet this one book fails considerably. Great opportunity, great idea. But no math is really taught, no basic technique is really given. What can be found is only a mixed bag of ad-hoc math solutions to produce some nice effects and little meat.
What is wonderful about this book is its potential. What is tragic about this book is its end result.
This book is one of the few that assumes some background in or appreciation of math as a tool for developing algorithms. It's not a book for everyone, and one reader rightly pointed out that it's not a primer in math. So if you don't have math savvy, this book may not be your cup of tea. However, from what I saw, one need not be a math whiz to work through the different kinds of interesting algorithms contained in this book, and you will learning something about both Flash and math.
One of the best lessons this book can offer (besides the sheer joy of experimentation even though you're not sure what you'll create) is how to use different elements of geometry and a little algebra with Flash to do some very interesting things. After beginning by following instructions to make a snail spiral, I quickly found myself doing my own experiments by changing different vectors, values, colors and whatnot just to see what would happen. I was surprised by my own results, and then I took elements from different chapters, mixed them together for even more new discoveries.
This book is not a paint-by-the-numbers book, and unless you like to explore for the sheer joy of the exploration and learn something for no particular reason other than it's sort of cool, the book is not for you. It is not a "practical" book in the sense that if you learn how to create a Flash site for some suit, but it is very practical if you'd like an invitation to discover concepts in their own right.
Finally, I found it ironic that such a book using Flash 5 would be published almost exactly at the time Flash MX was unveiled. Well, the algorithms are even more appropriate for Flash MX because you can do so much with movie clip drawing methods with MX that were not available in Flash 5. It's probably not even going to have to be revised for Flash MX because the kinds of people who would buy this book would have little problem in taking its wisdom and doing even more with it in the new Flash.