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Archive for the ‘Software’ Category

Archive.org is publishing a series a programs, that allows any Mac-aficionado to return to 1991 and play around with old software on a modern computer. All you need is a browser, and – like me – you’ll be playing Crystal Quest again. The only drawback: I had a Mac IIsi in those days – with a colour display, and Crystal Quest comes up in a monochrome version…

And don’t worry if you do not like Crystal Quest: the site contains already a nice collection of programs, including games.

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It has been a long time since I needed one, and it turned out that I did no longer have one available (installed) on my current machine: a hex editor. But there is ample choice on the web. I tried two of them: first Hex Fiend, from ridiculous_fish. You wouldn’t tell from looking at the homepage of the site, but the author(s?) has written serious code – and explanations about them to boot. Hex Fiend works well, and can supposedly handle very big files. That could come in handy.

My second test concerned 0xED, a tool (the only one?) by Suavetech. It has a somewhat different user interface, probably because it is a bit older. It works quite well too. Like Hex Fiend, it displays selected bytes in different interpretations, but it has more of them. As an extra, you can even write your own plugins to display your selection – that might come in handy if your dealing with somewhat more exotic data than text or numbers.

0xED examining its own download file

For the moment, I’ll leave 0xED on my disk.

 

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Brent Simmons isn’t a new name in this blog – I have cited his name several times since 2001. A few days ago he wrote:

It’s been years since I could build the Frontier kernel — but I finally got it building.

[…]
The high-level goal is to make that tool available again, because I think we need it.

The plan is to turn it into a modern Mac app, a 64-bit Cocoa app, and then add new features that make sense these days. (There are so many!) But that first step is a big one.

“Frontier Is Interesting”, says Jim Roepcke – click to see what he writes

It’s an interesting development, from several viewpoints. I wrote some of my first “web applications” in Frontier, and that makes that Frontier will always have a special place in my book of tools. It’s also nice to see a relevant piece of software evolve so that it continues to run on modern hardware and OS’s. At some point, I will certainly download and run a copy on my Mac.

But the question is: do I want to go back to developing stuff in Frontier? Do you want to?

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Just three months ago, I bought a Galaxy S7 smartphone, then the absolute top-end phone in the Galaxy range. Since then, Samsung has announced the brand-new S8, and Google has already release a preview of Android O.

The Galaxy S8 looks great, and I could have regretted buying an S7 if the S8 was not so expensive!

Ars Technica has a nice, enthusiastic write-up of a first “Hands-on with Android O—A million new settings and an awesome snooze feature“. I’m sure Ron Amadeo and his colleagues will add more details about the upcoming release in the coming days and weeks, detailing performance enhancements, support for keyboard devices, and more.

But why should I care about Android O, when Samsung seems to be incapable of bringing the previous release to the best phone in its current line-up in the shops? First announcements of a possible upgrade dat back to mid-2016, and Nougat has already been seen on a number of markets. So come on, Samsung! Make it happen in Belgium. I really want to see Nougat on my S7 ! Android O can wait a little longer ;-)

Google made Nougat for me, indeed!

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Yes, Americans are lucky – at least, American users of unlocked Samsung smartphones running Android. Ars announced that “Samsung commits to monthly security updates for unlocked US smartphones“. That means that it is possible to run Android 7 on a Galaxy S 7 (of course it is!)… but I’m still waiting for the upgrade.

PS. I could add another screenshot to “illustrate” my story, but it wouldn’t show anything that you haven’t seen on March 2

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Yup, the browser (in combination with serious hardware, of course) is an operating system. And JavaScript is good enough to run real applications, even an operating system emulator. Like this one, an Apple Mac Plus running System 6 or 7:

Click the image to go to the live site

For the non-Apple-minded readers: there’s a Windows 3 emulator as well. But I don’t like that one as much ;-)

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Here’s a screenshot from March 1st, 2017, 20:45 EST. Still no Nougat.

March 1st, 2017 - 20:48 EST

March 1st, 2017 – 20:48 EST

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