Posts with tag: retro-computing

My Amiga 1200 Checkmate 1500 Plus build - Why, how and lots of pictures!

Mon Feb 12 2024

A few weeks ago, I finally got around to building my Amiga 1200 build in a Checkmate 1500 Plus case. For several reasons, I have wanted this for a long time. The beautiful case, the nice keyboard garage, easier to fit on my desk and more. So this time I want to show you some pictures, share some thoughts, and maybe introduce you to a world of the Amiga hobby if you have not seen much of it before. Hopefully you will find it interesting as well.

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Debugging GameCube applications/games (in Emacs)

Fri Jan 13 2023

In the last article, we discussed running Linux on your GameCube. This time we will look at debugging your regular applications/games (i.e, not running inside Linux, but directly on your GameCube). While GameCube is an older platform, it can still be interesting to explore. Some creative coders might also find the technical limitations inspiring. No matter why you find the platform interesting, you might need to debug your applications. Let's see how, and also how we can make it the most comfortable.

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Booting GameCube Linux from SD card

Mon Dec 19 2022

Running Linux on all sort of devices seems to be some peoples favorite hobby, including myself. While there are not that many use cases for Linux on a 20 year old games console, it is still fun to run and seeing what it can do. There is a certain charm in seeing Tux and a wall of text instead of Super Mario for some time. The various information GameCube linux is also a bit fragmented, so it would be good to have some it collected. If you think this sounds fun, then keep on reading to set up your own GameCube Linux box as well!

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Bit tricks - Counting the number of 1 bits (Kernighan algorithm)

Sat Oct 22 2022

It's been too long since the last bit tricks article, so I thought I would share another one! This time we will look at a simple fun bit trick to count the number of 1 bits in a binary string (e.g, a 32 bit integer). This algorithm was discovered by Brian Kernighan of Bell Labs and C fame. Unlike the previous algorithm presented in my bit tricks series, this one requires some branching.

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Summer learning tips! - Programming, DevOps and retro

Wed Jun 29 2022

Summer means that time off work are coming closer and closer for some of us! In my off time I enjoy using extra time on learning and reading. Today, I will share with you some tips for topics that I enjoy, that you could look into if you want to look at something new.

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Debugging GameBoy Advance (GBA) programs/games in Emacs

Mon May 09 2022

There are not many articles on debugging GameBoy Advance C code around the web, and most of them seem to be about debugging in VSCode. While VSCode is good, it is far from the awesomness that is Emacs! Debugging GBA code with Emacs is far easier than you would think, and in this article I wills how you how.

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Bit tricks - Absolute value without branching

Mon Feb 14 2022

Bit trickery is always interesting! Sometimes you can use them to avoid branching (like if-checks), other times they are useful to save a few CPU cycles to avoid expensive operations. The absolute value trick I will show you here, is mostly to avoid branching. Why would you want to avoid branching? Many newer processors, from the mid 90s and onward, do something called pipelining to achieve a form of instruction level parallelism. While a classic processor fetch an instruction, decode it, then execute, a pipelined processor can fetch the next instruction while the previous one is decoded. You can have multiple operations like this almost in parallel. If we have to branch, like for an if-check, we might not have fetched the correct next instruction anymore, and might have to fetch new ones (for the whole pipeline). This can be an expensive operation. Calculating absolute values is a problem where we often have to have a branch (an if-check for smaller than 0).

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Retro programming (mostly games) Youtubers you shoud check out!

Fri Oct 15 2021

Todays post will be a bit shorter and different. We all need some inspiration sometimes, and I think there are few things more inspiring than the tricks used in older video games as well as the hardware that made them possible. From the clever BSP (Binary Space Partitioning) tree rendering algorithm in Doom, to the clever \(\frac{1}{\sqrt(x)}\) algorithm in Quake 3, there are tons of interesting tricks used in games out there! (know I only mentioned id Software now, but what can I say, I LOVE them! Also I wouldn't want to spoil what is coming from TT below). Sometimes I just enjoy watching some videos about these clever tricks, and also how the hardware worked on these systems. In this post I will share with you two of my favorite Youtubers, and also some notable interesting videos from them. Maybe you will be inspired too, and maybe you will also learn something!

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Sir Clive Sinclair (1940-2021)

Sat Sep 18 2021

A giant in the field of affordable computing has passed away. Thursday the 16th of September, it became known that Clive Sinclair of ZX Spectrum fame had died after a longer period of illness. His inventions stretches far and wide, with watches, home computers, electric vehicles and other contributions to consumer electronics.

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Summer book recommendations 2021

Wed Jul 28 2021

Summer is a great time to read some books and releax! A lot of us have vacation time or similar where we can enjoy our time in the sun, or inside on a rainy day. So without further ado, today I will give you ideas for some fun books to read this summer!

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