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Sourceforge [In]Secure Login

GNU Robbo 0.66 Released

Vintage Computer Magazine Scans

PipePanic for ZX81 at Bletchley Park!

PipePanic for ZX81 0.1.1 Released

ZX81 Software development

sz81 2.1.6.1 Released

sz81 2.1-4 Released

sz81 2.1-3 Released

sz81 2.1-2 Released

sz81 2.1-1 Released

GNU Robbo 0.65-1 for Zaurus Released

Other pages available: 2013 to 2011 | 2010 | 2009 | 2008 to 2005.

Sourceforge [In]Secure Login

Posted: 2010-11-15 @ 23:59

At some point in the past I have stupidly unchecked the check-box that stops the Firefox message-box from appearing that says "You have requested an encrypted page that contains some unencrypted information" although admittedly it's a very irritating message-box. Recently I've implemented a greatly improved security policy regarding my computer and personal information and I decided to regenerate my public key for my Sourceforge account. I noticed that although Sourceforge uses secure https for user login, it is unfortunately compromised by including unencrypted information. I did manage to find a mention of this issue somewhere (I can't find it now) that said that it's been looked at, the username and password fields are safe and therefore it's OK, but I personally don't find this acceptable. I'd rather be reassured by glancing at the locked padlock in my browser.

Armed with Adblock and NoScript I decided to track down the offending data and give it a good boot up the backside. Within Firefox I pressed Ctrl+I, then selected the Media tab and looked for something that was using http instead of https. I didn't have to look very far since it's currently the topmost item -- http://b.scorecardresearch.com/p?blablabla... -- which embeds an unencrypted image within the otherwise encrypted page for the purpose of market research. Fortunately this is right up Adblock's street and as I don't appear to have any use at all for scorecardresearch.com I decided to block *scorecardresearch.com* entirely. The result? My Sourceforge login is now uncompromised and I've stopped a market research company from spying on me.

GNU Robbo 0.66 Released

Posted: 2010-11-15

The GNU Robbo Team have released GNU Robbo 0.66 which now includes support for Alex (a Robbo clone), the Czech language and Maemo 5 Fremantle .

I've been testing it for a while and I managed to release the source package and my GP2X and Zaurus binary packages all at the same time.

For the complete changelog, screenshots and downloads please visit the GNU Robbo website .

Vintage Computer Magazine Scans

Posted: 2010-09-23

After digging out my old computer magazines I found that many of them are in demand by magazine preservation websites and so I've been busily scanning several of them. Currently I've scanned a few issues of New Computer Express and PC Leisure , but I have several other early home micro magazines I'll be adding over the winter.

More details here.

PipePanic for ZX81 at Bletchley Park!

Posted: 2010-07-23

Below is a photograph of PipePanic running on a real ZX81 at the National Museum of Computing at Bletchley Park, England (photo © Shaun Bebbington and used with permission).

The game is running in demo mode (attract mode) and an early draft of the cassette inlay can be seen on top of the television (go here for the latest version of the inlay).

PipePanic for ZX81 0.1.1 Released

Posted: 2010-07-14

After a swelteringly hot couple of months I've managed to complete my first machine code ZX81 game. It's one I've written before, firstly in JavaScript and then C+SDL and I have improved the engine by animating the fill with greater resolution; ironic considering the ZX81's display is 32x24! The only major change I had to make was to the board size: reduced from 10x10 to 8x8.

Pipe pieces are placed using a cursor and so I've designed the menus to operate using the same system. What you can't see from the screenshots below is that I've implemented a random transitional fade between screens which often gives the appearance of morphing.

The engine -- written from scratch -- abstracts the keyboard hardware by maintaining an event generating and queuing subsystem which supports per-action key repeating, event polling and user event pushing (similar to SDL). Some useful functions include blink_register/unregister that manage blinking parts of the screen, and string_write that accepts embedded formatting characters for source data compression/expansion and write position direction. These things I have carefully constructed to be reusable and to speed-up further game development.

PipePanic is part of the sz81 project and can be downloaded here .

ZX81 Software development

Posted: 2010-05-02

I'm now going to take a short break from developing sz81 because I'd like to explore cross-assembling ZX81 machine code programs on my desktop computer and so I've created an assembly template for use with the *NIX cross-assembler z80-asm .

[UPDATE 2010-07-14] The template is now part of the sz81 project and can be located here .

I have a definite idea for a simple but addictive game that I'd like to realise on the ZX81 since it would be the ideal platform for it, and there's a possibility I may write a classic game that I'm already familiar with.

sz81 2.1.6.1 Released

Posted: 2010-04-30

The project's really coming along now and I've just added some important runtime options. A save state system will be the next feature to be implemented and then the command line interface is going to be re-engineered to present some static options graphically at the start.

I'm still using my aging Sharp Zaurus SL-5500 and so I always create a package for this device (supports the later VGA models too) and I'm happy to see that several people so far have managed to find it :) I've just found out that the OESF forums are back online (I thought they were gone forever!) and so I'll post this news on there too.

More details here .

sz81 2.1-4 Released

Posted: 2010-03-08

Changes:

  • Converted non OSS timing to use a more portable SDL timer.
  • Added an icon based control bar with several useful options.
  • Added ZX bitmap fonts and a bitmap font engine for future use within the GUI.
  • Added Chris Young's AmigaOS4 specific code.

More details here

sz81 2.1-3 Released

Posted: 2010-02-27

Changes:

  • Added mouse/stylus interactivity to the keyboard with adjustable opacity and autohide on newline.

More details here .

sz81 2.1-2 Released

Posted: 2010-02-17

Changes:

  • Added new keyboard images.
  • The renderer now centres the emulator regardless of resolution.

More details here .

sz81 2.1-1 Released

Posted: 2010-02-14

sz81 is an SDL port of Russell Marks's z81/xz81 ZX80/81 emulator.

Additional features over z81/xz81 :-

  • Runtime switchable scaling between 320x240, 640x480 and 960x720
  • Runtime toggling between a window and fullscreen on supported platforms
  • Support for portrait orientated screens 240x320 and 480x640
  • User-definable (actually currently developer-definable) keys
  • Joystick to keyboard remapping (the GP2X build uses this feature)
  • Maximum porting potential since it only requires SDL

See the project page for more information and downloads. Since I want it to integrate with the existing z81/xz81 project I'm maintaining it as a diff patch which the user is required to apply (instructions provided).

The port is complete now but I may add some enhancements for portable devices later (my SDL code has complete control over the emulator and it's begging for additional functionality). It includes Makefiles for the Sharp Zaurus and GPH GP2X and can be successfully built for these devices if you have the necessary SDKs installed.

GNU Robbo 0.65-1 for Zaurus Released

Posted: 2010-01-07

GNU Robbo 0.65-1 for the Sharp ROM Zaurus has been released. Please visit the GNU Robbo website for downloads.

For more information about this specific port you can visit this thread on the OESF forums.