zondag 21 mei 2017

New album "Soundscapes" released


I am excited to announce the release of my 15-th solo album "Soundscapes".

Here is a tracklist:

01. Mestreechs Volksleed.
02. The Hermit.
03. Roland-TR909.
04. Kol Israel/Am Israel Hi.
05. Soundscapes.
06. Stay with me Tonight.
07. Ave Maria Vocal.
08. Sanctus 2017.
09. Love2Love.
10. Wish you Well.
11. Sweet Heart.
12. Anonymous (We are Legion).

The album is provided as a ZIP file, including the best possible MP3 quality. Including a MU3 playlist and a PDF for the cover.

You can download it here:
 
 
Enjoy!


vrijdag 12 mei 2017

Update on the Amibian Hackaton

INTRODUCTION.

After a couple of days I came to the conclusion that Amibian has only one goal: turn your Raspberry PI into a classic Commodore-Amiga and it does this very well and extremely efficiently.

Unfortunately it has a number of issues.

1. UNRELIABLE NETWORK CONNECTIONS.

The network connections (both Ethernet and WiFi) are very unreliable. I lost connection time and again.

2. NOT SUITABLE AS A GENERAL PURPOSE LINUX DISTRO.

It is not suitable for a general purpose Linux distro on your RPI.

I installed Xorg and the minimalist Fluxbox Window Manager (to be able to run DOSBOX).

To solve issue 1, I installed NetworkManager and its Gnome front-end, which doesn't work right :-(

Additionally I installed the complete LXDE in my despair, assuming that would solve issue 1.

Man, I was wrong. Time and again Amibian "spontaneously" shuts down LXDE and starts yet another instant of UAE4ARM.

WTF?

3. ROOT ALL THE WAY.

Amibian doesn't create a user, you'll run all the time as a superuser. You've got to be !@#$% kidding me!

CONCLUSION.

The are a number of issues here.

1. Raspbian - nor any other RPI Linux distro I know of includes UAE4ARM;
2. Amibian is extremely buggy and not good enough for a general purpose Linux distribution.

I hope general purpose Linux distributions for the RPI will provide UAE4ARM.


donderdag 11 mei 2017

Hackaton: amturingpi goes retro

Introduction.

I've had yet another (48 hours straight) Hackaton, turning my Raspberry PI3 (amturingpi) into a multiple retro computer system, based on the awesome Amibian GNU/Linux distro.

Thanks to the minimalist approach of Amibian it was a quite a easy, exciting and straight forward ride.

I tried turning amturingpi into a multiple retro computer system before, using the RetroPI distro, which miserably failed during the sluggish game controller setup.

Beside that I love emulating my previous 8- and 16-bit computers and it's not necessarily about gaming, yet the computers in general for me.

Amibian.

Amibian is a dramatically minimalist stripped down version of Raspbian, which is the official optimized Debian GNU/Linux spin off for the Raspberry PI computer.

Amibian has only one goal: to turn your Raspberry PI into a classic Commodore-Amiga. Amibian does this very well and efficiently.

I have tried multiple Linux distributions on amtruingpi, yet most of them are too "heavy" for the limited 1 GB RAM and this is where Amibian comes in: no nonsense and overhead. Needles to say I am very excited by this wonderful efficient distro <3
 

OpenMSX.

My first computer was a Philips NMS8220 MSX2 and of course I still love MSX. The only MSX emulator for Linux that I know of is OpenMSX.

I installed it before on Ubuntu MATE for Raspberry PI and figured out that the Catapult frontend GUI doesn't work on the Raspberry PI.
 
Fortunately the OpenMSX developer, known as "VAMPYR" lectured me, OpenMSX has a build in configuration menu: press the menu key (which is in between Alt Gr and right Ctrl on your keyboard).

Thus I installed OpenMSX with:

apt-get install openmsx

And it runs like a charm <3

DOSBOX and more.

I loved MS-DOS and am a huge fan of the FreeDOS project. Thus I tried to install Dosemu, which unfortunately is not available on Raspbian. There for I installed DOSBOX.
 
The problem with DOSBOX is that it requires X11 and a Window manager, there for I installed Xorg and Fluxbox (the most minimalist Window manager that I know of) and fortunately it runs like a charm.

Conclusion.

The Raspberry PI3 makes a great (and cheap) retro computing machine, thanks to the great work of the Amibian team. To get things going requires some (Debian) Linux knowledge and it's a lot of fun.
 
Below a video of my fun project in Dutch.
 
 
 
 

maandag 1 mei 2017

ML2MST Phoenix BBS Revival on FreeDOS



Introduction.

I've been running a popular BBS (Bulletin-board System) from 1987 up to 2002 in Maastricht, the Netherlands. In the late 1990's I renamed Megatone (Landline) BBS to ML2MST, because the local CB Packet Radio community requested me to run a BBS on CB.

In fact I was running two (gratis) online services at the time: ML2MST CB Packet Radio BBS and ML2MST Landline BBS.

I used TSTHOST for the CB BBS and RemoteAcces (RA), FrontDoor (FRODO) and IMAIL mailtosser for Echomail and Netmail support.

RA and FRODO where Shareware, which I never registered. I even wrote RttyE (Remote Teletype Emulator) in Microsoft QuickBASIC 4.5, which I used as a DOOR to work around the non registered limits of RA.

With RttyE, selected users could print messages directly on my (then matrix) printer, after I switched off "Page for Sysop" (chat).

In the late 2000's I came across the Free Software (GPLV2) EleBBS package by Maartin Bekers and played around with it on Linux and later in a Windows XP 32Bit VM.

The latter worked like a charm. Tested it via my Raspberry PI 3B and a number of kind geeky volunteers <3

However, I am a huge fan of FreeDOS and the goal of this project is to run the DOS version of EleBBS via Telnet on FreeDOS 1.2 on bare metal.

Challenges.

There are a number of challenges in this project.

First of all, I need to get FreeDOS to work on Bare Metal.

This works fine so far. I successfully converted my VirtualBox VDI FreeDOS hard-disk image to a physical USB3 drive and my machine, a Dell Vostro 3900 boots flawlesly from FreeDOS 1.2. <3

Now I need my Realtek Semiconductor Co., Ltd. RTL8111/8168/8411 PCI Express Gigabit Ethernet Controller (rev 0c) to work, which failed so far (probably because of the wrong Packet Driver).

I'm wondering if FreeDOS even supports PCI Express devices?

EleBBS works fine with old school MODEMs, connected to a serial port, yet unfortunately most people in my part of the world don't even have a dial up connection anymore. I have a broadband cable connection and a cellphone. No more 20'th century dial up connections.

What's next?

The next challenge is to port the Win32 Telnet Server (TelSRV) which ships with the Win32 port of EleBBS to FreeDOS (GO32V2).

EleBBS is written in FreePascal, which is also available on FreeDOS. The code is Freely available on GitHub.

I haven't seen any Win32 specific code so far in TelSRV, so this should be portable to GO32V2, for FreeDOS, using mTCP.