It has been almost two years since I've done any work on this site. Between my borderline health and the variety of other projects I've been working on the site has been on the back burner for far, far too long.
Site Redesign in progress
First as you can likely tell is I reskinned the site. I'm not entirely wild about the "Noctua" browns, but the joke overly bright blue and needlessly dark green before it were never really "serious" designs. If anything that bright blue -- which laughably was DARKER than these browns -- was a kneejerk overreaction to people's complaints about the "retrocomputing green". I've also gone through and written an all new responsive layout handler using more modern techniques that should be a better showcase for all those things I keep talking about on web development forums like accessible design, semi-fluid elastic responsive layouts, and so forth.
Second I'm going to be adding Disqus to the news article/blog pages and a few select subpages. I'm not 100% happy with how big the scripting for it is (I suspect if I bothered I could do it in a quarter the code or less) but it's functional enough and of all the choices out there seems the least crappy. Not exactly high praise, but what can one expect with scripttardery. Likewise some social media links (probably just FB and G+) will be added as several projects are going to be approaching completion soon and it might help get things into the hands of interested parties. I figure I'll be implementing it this weekend (aka after Christmas).
More DOS games coming soon.
I'm going to start writing up progress reports on updates to my DOS game engine, which will first be used on an all new version of Paku Paku. There are three other games currently in development but since i'm using an all new codebase for audio and video I figured first I'd stick with a known quantity on gameplay and game logic. So stay tuned for updates on that.
Just to give myself a bit of a challenge I've written a version of Paku Paku for the Commodore 64. I'd call it a port, but there is so little code in common apart from a few bits and pieces, it really is a whole different program.
Check it out on my Paku Paku C64 page.
UPDATE! 14 NOV 2012
I've added a page where you can Try the Commodore 64 version in your browser using JaC64, a Java based emulator. It's not quite as nice as running it in VICE or the real hardware as said emulator is a bit buggy, but it gives the less adventerous of you a chance to see the game in action.
Like the PC version which uses HTML and CSS3 to make a rough approximation of a Tandy CM-11 display without images, I took the time to make something that looks a wee bit like a Commodore 1702 monitor using the same techniques.
Just a quick update... over on the Vintage Computer forums I was asked by a user named "kiyotewolf" to put together a quick tutorial on how to set up the JAVA version of DOSBox as the existing documentation is a bit... nonexistant...
Been a LONG time since I've updated any of my personal websites -- and I've got 'projects' all over the place online -- My DOS Pac Man clone that's getting a new update, the HTML5 Canvas demo I was playing around with, and a whole host of other things that I should probably get under one roof.
On top of which, I've now got a lot more free time on my hands since stepping down as the server monkey and developer for the official Battletech website. Wish them the best in their future endeavors, but I no longer have the patience or desire to be quite so involved daily in supporting the game.
So, what's new for updates?
Paku Paku - Version 1.6 adds a whole slew of new features, the most important being the addition of MPU-401 MIDI support, mostly for the Roland MT-32. It also sees some major bugfixes to gameplay and AI dragging it closer to my original intent. See the Revision History for a complete list of all changes.
For those of you not familiar with Paku Paku, it's a game I created using the graphics library I made for the 2011 Retrochallenge Winter Warmup. It's your basic "Pac Man" clone, but it has a target system of an original 4.77mhz PC with a CGA card. It operates in the undocumented 160x100 16 color CGA mode, along with support for said graphics modes on newer cards like the EGA and VGA. (which normally you can't do). It also supports a wide array of sound cards - PC Speaker, Adlib, CM/S (aka Game Blaster), Tandy/PCJr, and now MIDI.
More importantly the game comes with full Turbo Pascal 7 and assembly source code.
Damned shame the parts of HTML 5 that have anything to do with actually marking up a page are 100% grade A manure.
New Site Skin - The general concensus about the old skin was either that people didn't like the retrocomputing joke of monochrome green, or they flat out just didn't get it... so here's the nice boring blues that everyone and their sister are using for websites.
This new skin makes use of a lot of CSS3 properties, so IE8 and earlier users will get a slightly less appealing version of the page... but that's the nice thing about CSS3 is that if used properly, I can have all the nice wiz-bang graphical effects while swinging an axe at using images for such appearance -- and stil have a page that while not as attractive, is at least still functional and usable in legacy browsers.
Which is kind-of the point of HTML in the first place... you build with progressive enhancement, so you get graceful degradation when all those "gee ain't it neat" features aren't there.
Hopefully updates will be coming more often (no more two year gaps) as I'm gonna launch a Retrocomputing subsection... and probably a forums.
After a rushed week of development, here's my Pascal website ready for your perusal. I've put up my glKernedFont project which is the start of the game I'm writing in SDL/OpenGL, and the SDLTexture unit I'm planning on building - which for now only does gradients.
So feel free to look around, I made up a links page to some good Pascal resources, I'm hoping to build that section up a bit further, and as with any site if you have any comments/questions/flames, feel free to nag me through the contact form.