RPMint: Performance

One of the first comments made about RPMint was the issue of performance. Specifically that RPM package builds should be done on a PC using a cross compiler. This is reasonably sound advice but not all the packages are going to be cross compiler ready. I have 3 solutions that I think work pretty well though when combined together that I'll talk about.

The first thing is configure cache. I specify as part of the configure script a static configuration file. These options don't (generally) change so there is no reason to recompute them over and over again.

RPMint: What a package wants

One of the challenges of developing RPMint is rebuilding all of the packages using a modern compiler. Sparemint was built with gcc 2.95.3 almost exclusively which is incredibly dated. We are on GCC version 7 now! Unfortunately for ease of use, building software for the coldfire variant is going to require GCC 4.x at minimum.

Announcing: RPMint!

Once upon a time there was Sparemint. A term used to collectively describe a group of RPM packages for FreeMiNT. RPM packages - for those that don't know - are basically just software archives like a zip file with a bit of metadata built in. More importantly the system includes instructions and patches for compiling.

Crawling Out of the Woodwork

I'm still alive and I've noticed that some other people are starting to return and regain interest. It seems that interest in these old computers is cyclical. My Firebee is broken and I hope to repair it but so far I've not found a good way to do so. The components are very small and the one in particular is tough to get off the board, even with a hot air rework tool. The problem it has is a known issue from the first generation machines. To be honest it's such a complicated tiny machine I'm surprised I didn't have more problems.

I'm Back Baby!

In the eternal words of Bender from Futurama - I'm Back Baby! This site has been sitting neglected for a long time and for good reason. Nothing much has been happening. Let's see if I can recount the history. First my Falcon broke, then my TT's both. Then we became expecting our first child. Then we had our first child. Then I had to put everything in attic storage because we were selling our house. Then we moved into an RV and started a full time remote business.

Aging Ataris

Well it seems appropriate that I should comment on our collective ages as my first comeback. It's been 25 years since our first beloved Atari 16/32 computers have been released in the form of the 520 ST, one of which sits on my desk and works fine after the occasional 6 inch drop. It's hard to believe that this computer came out when I was just 4 years old but that's reality. With sad deaths in our community, it's pretty hard to deny that we're all aging and unfortunately so are our machines. After painting our house I moved my office from one room to another.

Firebee

Hello all, just a note to let you know the site is back up and I intend to really bring it back from the dead. In the coming weeks I will receive my firebee. I will fully document all of my experiences with it as a developer and working on freemint for it. There will be photos, videos and other fun stuff over the winter! Keep your eye out!

Coldfire Developer Machines

CANCELLED DUE TO LACK OF INTEREST! Here just for history.

For those programmers who are not so good with hardware, I am posting to offer the possibility of creation of coldfire development machines. They will consist of an M5485EVB which is one of the fastest coldfires available. This EVB comes with the following features:

16MB Boot flash
64MB SDRAM (NOT UPGRADEABLE)
2 PCI slots (1 usable easily)
Real time clock
IRDA
2 10/100Mbit Ethernet ports
USB High speed Host + 4 USB ports
1 USB client port
2 ISA ports (for possible future use)
Onboard CHIPS video controller

Atari Coldfire Information

Well much time has passed since the original rumblings of a Coldfire based Atari clone has been discussed. I'm pleased to announce that after such a long absence of progress things are moving at breakneck pace! Hardly like the Atari community I know ;) but who can complain right? :-P I have officially joined the Atari Coldfire project at http://acp.atari.org. This project has been revived using some original members and many new members to create a coldfire clone.

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