piku's blog

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.


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!

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.

Coldfire News

Hello all, some more Coldfire news. The coldfire boards are in and the donations have been set in stone. The lucky recipients are Didier Mequignon of Aniplayer fame. He will be patching TOS to run on the Coldfire and will be working on Video and keyboard/mouse. This is of course of utmost importance! Alan Hourihane will be receiving one and will be working on linux video stuff which can hopefully be reworked for TOS. Olivier Landemarre will be working on MyAES, TOS and whatever else comes along. Finally we have Nicholas Steele whose generous credentials and time should yield some good Atari stuff.

The Future...

Back again, and this time with an agreement from Freescale to donate a few M5484LITE development boards to our community. I'll be using one, and I'm going to try to get some other guys to take some but there'll be one or two left. The key things we'll need from someone who takes the boards are getting the USB and a PCI video card working on the device. Which means the freemint kernel will need the integrated PCI bios, and USB 2.0 high speed support in order to boot the rest of the system. All this must fit in the 4MB of flash.

What I'm up to Now

It's been a little while since I really updated anyone on anything. I have so many projects, so many things going on so what have I been working on? Well besides a super huge project at work ;), what I've been doing. Well GIM is fairly stable and has had no complaints (and perhaps no users ;) ). The new sparemint site seems to have a lot more interest and that's been consuming my time. Lately the most time has been spent on adding an automatic build system and completely revamping the package upload process. Now there's build farm functionality provided by simplistic shell scripts so other users can contribute. Make sure to read more ;)

Dynamic Sparemint Site Redo

Sparemint Dev Site: I suppose some people around here really don't know me. There's not too much to me really. I suppose there's one thing that can really sum up my complete lack of *professional* programming skills - poor planning. The sparemint site was pretty decent but due to some serious errors in the database schema things were pretty limited. An RPM package consists of the following parts. A source rpm, which when built generates one or more binary rpms. I made several assumptions in the code which were very bad. 1. The binary name will always be a derivative of the source name.