Amiga Forever DVDs.

A package awaited for me at home. I was little puzzled because it has been sent out from US. Didn’t I order it at Cloanto, Italy? No single word about content on the envelope made me wondering what the hell is that…

Do you like to unpack postal packages? I do :) Let’s do it.

Amiga Forever 2013 - coverAlright! This is my Amiga Forever Premium Edition copy. A low quality cover (I am not a pedant, but hey, it should look better!), 3 DVDs in the box as promised. Wait… what’s that smell? Burned DVDs? Come on.

Anyway, my laptop’s old DVD drive did not have any problems with reading them thus far. This is the most important thing. A nasty taste has not vanished yet though…

Amiga Forever 2013 DVDs

Cloanto makes this possible.

I was planning to buy Amiga Forever a year ago. It is not a heck lot of money, but you always find something more important you really need to spend that 50 euros on (fifty, because the Premium speaks to me louder than Value or Plus editions).

Another obstacle was Windows as the primary OS for the Amiga Forever platform. As I am a Linux user, I don’t consider Cloanto doing right thing investing so much in M$ software. Spending €50 on soft I won’t be able to run on my Linux based laptop, is not necessarily the best use of that money. Yeah, I know I can boot from DVD, I can extract Amiga stuff easily, but the player and all these utilities will be useless.

There are another important aspects, however. Respect to heritage, so called legal aspects, and something called convenience :) I do have A1200. It is not fully usable, and I have to use emulator instead. I do have images of my A1200 ROMs and rights to use them. I do have images of my Workbench 3.0 disks. If I wanted to use WB 3.1, it wouldn’t be legitimate anymore. Moreover, I would have to “pirate” all the additional stuff to make my system as usable as my original system back in the day. Which in fact died along with my Amiga hard drive…

I know, it may not sound convincingly to everyone, but it is how I feel about it anyway. The Cloanto offer looks great for people who needs an Amiga emulator environment ready to use, without additional hassle. And I know who I pay to.

Last click in the Cloanto shop, and I could download the Windows installer. DVDs will be shipped soon. MSI file… What I can do with it? My Linux is an Ubuntu based distro – OS/4 OpenLinux (another Amiga motive :) I decided to install Wine, 1.7.2. Without much hope I ran the installer. It started. The license key and ‘next’. Progressing… Few minutes later it is done. I felt little embarrassed. Does it work? :)

TBC…

Goodbye Patrick.

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This is a first post after another long pause, but I would really prefer to keep quiet.

This post is a farewell to Patrick , the guy who was one of the first guys I met on this blogosphere. Always kind, friendly, full of energy and so dedicated to his Amiga and programming passion.

Patrick passed away in an accident. My deepest condolences to his family.

I will miss you, Coder.

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I hope his Coder’s Blog will be preserved. Here is more info his wife, Jinnie, shared with the Amigaworld community.

I am done for today. No more bad news please.

A reason to buy an Android tablet?

I don’t have a tablet. Neither an Android clone, nor iPad. My wife does. An iPad. Useful to watch some videos in the kitchen sometimes.

Out of a blue…

I found a reason to backup an Android tablet purchase in near future. Not really sure how it feels to “touch” the Amiga Workbench, but I bet someone will review that soon – Amiga Forever Essentials for Android

I believe there are lot of, more or less legal, emulators for Android already. With Cloanto however, it gets a great foundation.

Spring is coming (I hope).

March 15th. I would expect a completely different view outside, but it is what it is. Snow. Again.

Same applies to this blog. It meant to be a vehicle for my revival as an active programmer and coder, whereas… Silence. Again.

Luckily it is not so bad . The fact that I write so rarely here is a sum of various elements, but it does not mean I am dead yet. Neither literally nor figuratively. Which is a good thing. At least to me.

So called business requirements has changed and I had to abandoned Haskell. Since some time now, C and C++ refreshment took it place. Something useful for my work and hobby (yeah, Amiga) as well. It’s been a quite long time since I wrote my last complex application in C, so it will be fun for sure. Moreover, the C/C++ standards has evolved much. But it will be a potential objective for the future. Not something I worry about at the moment.

There is a common belief that every programmer has to learn a new programming language every year. What about brushing up something from the past? It can be lot of fun and certainly will perfectly work for your brain mechanics.

Remember Forth for example? Guess what I did use as a manual when I tried to explore it back in early 90s… No Internet, no professional books (yup, I was living on the wrong side of the Iron Curtain). Just Atari 130XE with a disk drive. The answer is – a disk monitor. If I am not wrong it was an app called Watson. It was a journey through hundreds of experiments, endeavors and hacks. Luckily after a month or two a local Atari paper magazine started a Forth course.

I never became proficient in Forth, like in dozen of other programming languages.  I believe however, that the attempts alone made my engineer soul happy. It just helps the ball rolling. Despite what your manager might say to you, work is not only money. Technology you work with should keep you smiling. Happy hacking.

Two letters long, but a full blown Operating System.

I’ve been using GNU/Linux as my primary OS of choice for 12 years now. In the beginning it was Slackware, then Debian for a short period of time. Next came its mutation – Ubuntu, that lasted for few years. After the infamous Gnome revolution, like “hordes” of other Ubuntu users, I’ve migrated to Linux Mint.

After a year in relative calm and peaceful life, my old IBM ThinkPad T60 said “it’s enough”. Well, actually it was me who said that. Maybe I am an old fashioned, middle age freak, but I don’t feel good if a 3GB RAM system is swapping when barely running a browser and few small apps in the background.

I know, web browser is a beast nowadays, Linux kernel likes to cache as much as it can, and there could be gazillions of other reasons why my system leverages the benefits of the swap space. But… I simply don’t like it. It was a time to find an alternative.

There are several options of Linux distros that are shipped in somewhat less demanding packaging. No Gnome, no MATE, no Cinnamon, no KDE. And no XFCE, cause it never did look&feel right to me. After several clicks here and there, I found a candidate – CrunchBang.

That nice looking, minimalistic, but perfectly polished, Debian based distro did simply appeal to me. Before I ran a full backup of my /home, and got rid of entire /, I’ve tried it live booting my system with an USB stick. Three sessions and the decision was taken – a green light to install the system on the disk.

Maybe this is silly, but after few days with #!, I feel like using Linux again. It is simple, compact and… acts like an Operating System. Not like a gigantic application that eats all my sparse resources.

An alternative OS for masses?

Eat triviality

I cannot say I follow all the things that have been happening in the Amiga and post-Amiga world in the last years. Time is the most limited resource we have, indeed. Thanks to the Old School Game Blog however, I learn about Icaros, an amazing AROS distribution.

Some time ago I installed Icaros v1.4.5 on top of the KVM emulation stack and was simply amazed. What the both AROS and Icaros guys did is a pure, wonderful hack in an old meaning of this word. Since I don’t have a spare machine (and neither money after my wife got her iPad this Christmass ;), I could not install it on a bare hardware. Whereas Icaros was barely usable on my Thinkpad T60 (single core :), T410 is enough to try stuff.

Today (after midnight actually) I found out that Icaros 1.5 has been released. List of enhancements is impressive. I decided to give it a try. On T60 first. This post is a proof that it works reasonable well! I write these words using OWB, on Icaros 1.5, hosted on VirtualBox this time (it looks like a better choice), launched on Linux Mint. An interesting stack for a single core, 3 GB RAM pretty rusty machine, isn’t it?

From time to time, things get frozen but I am not shocked with that. System looks great, Janus works out of the box (I tried only two sample games shipped with Icaros), the overall look&feel is better that in 1.4.5 I would say. The hours the dev team spent on the new release were a good investment. Great stuff. Bravo!

An alternative OS for masses? Maybe not now yet, but the direction is a right one. Time to get involved?

By the way, Happy New Year to all of you!

P.S.
I don’t know if this is a bug in OWB or something wrong in the middle, but I cannot copy&paste the URL. It simply does not get copied to the buffer. Ah, also the OWB spell checking does not work for me.

Work and life balance…

It’s been a while since I made last note here. Despite plans and promises I’ve been making to myself, I failed again. Making a progress on coding (a general term, isn’t it?) and writing about it, is something I understand as crucial for self-development as an engineer. And what about that? Rather not much lately…

Work consumes too much from my 24/7 scheme. It doesn’t mean my work won’t let me to make any progress at all as a software engineer. Evolution and progress is an integral part of my profession and the role I’m currently in, no doubt. But is this the direction I see myself moving in a long term… Nah.

The bottom line is: I must book some time to do stuff that makes me a better developer, and I must do this on a regular basis. And it must be as important as work. Period.

Wish me luck.

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