15 December, 2019

Google Chromebooks

A few tips for Chromebook-beginners, from an ex-beginner :P

  1. Plug in your Chromebook device with the supplied power-adapter!

    You cannot power on the device right after unboxing, Google have really made sure you have to plug in the device before the on-board battery is linked to the Chromebook motherboard.

  2. Make a Google account!

    The Chromebook-devices are online account driven. Every detail (logins, wifi-passwords, IoT devices, documents, links, etc.) gets "siloed" into the Google online account cloud storage.

    Allthough you yourself control the encryption passphrase and / or more security (2FA / HW Enc.). And Google does not take ownership of the content you upload into their services, like Apple does with iCloud (yes, look it up).

  3. Share it with friends and family!

    Because the Chromebook-devices are online account driven, they are also easy to swap out (online account contains everything needed to set up just like your previous device) and share between friends and family (easy account-swap directly from control-panel or login-screen.

  4. Enable Play Store to use Android-apps!

    Chromebook-devices are (basically) running Android made for tablets (that sport a track-pad and keyboard). So you only have to sign in to Play Store and every app you use on your smart-phone will be available for your Chromebook, although some apps are not optimized for big screens so actual use may vary.
You really can use both the Android-app version of a service, or use the same service in the Chrome web-browser. Quality of use may vary a bit depending on if the app is optimized for big screens in 16:9-mode (widescreen).

A couple of personal notes:

  • These devices are not fully Stadia-compatible at the time of writing.
  • I could NOT install the Stadia-app ("not compatible with your device at this time").
  • Nor could I launch a game through the web-portal in Chrome.
  • And the chromebook did not recognize the Stadia-controller on a USB connection.

29 November, 2019

Google Stadia

Yes, I was one of the "fortunate" one's that got a hold of a Founders Edition Stadia-pack.

Stadia - Google Photos Album

The pack includes:
  • Google Stadia Founders Edition Pro controller
  • USB-C cable for PC-use / charging
  • Google Chromecast Ultra HDMI-dongle
  • Power-adapter for Chromecast Ultra
  • and some Stadia-stickers 😂

I have to admit, the controller is actually pretty good. Sure, some exceptions do exist, but they are rather minor ("clicky" D-pad, raised buttons, etc.).

Overall it's pretty decent.

10 November, 2019

Amigan Joy

Streaming- / recording-setup
Flylink HD > HDMI splitter > USB 3.0 HDMI capture-dongle. Allowing for FHD (1080p/60Hz) streaming / recording. Hidden on the lower shelf of the top bench with the joyboards and dustcover.

Arcade Evolution Amiga joy-boards
DB9-connected arcade-sticks for the Amiga computers.

Commodore Amiga 500 Rev 6a
Upgraded from OCS to ECS (relative to 500+ specs, HiRes Denise + Fatter Agnus), 1MB chipram and a FlashFloppy USB floppy-emulator board (replacing the 3.5" floppy-drive).

ACA500plus accelerator side-cart
With dual CF-card reader and 7MB fastram allowing the use of Workbench v1.3, v2.1 and v3.1 (/v3.1.4 by Hyperion) and GUI-launching of HDD-installed games with WHDLoad.

29 August, 2019

Happy 28th! :D

Linux. Uploaded to public FTP, 28 years ago today.

28 May, 2019

JoySticks no more...

Competition Pro + ZipStik Joysticks for the Amiga computers.
30 year-old controllers have limited usability, I am fully aware of this... but I didn't think newly re-fitted joysticks would give up after only 2-3 months of use.

They did...

Then again, I am not a little kid anymore. These were built for kids, and surely not anticipated to last for 30+ years.

Guess I'll have to order some arcade-quality joystick-boards. Boards because I really like these kinds of controllers to have a solid base, keeping it from jiggling around in-use. And arcade-quality to ensure they outlast my Amiga-computer for sure.

I already decided on the maker and type.

Arcade Evolution Amiga Joystick

13 February, 2019

~--// AMiGA 500 \\--~

I am finally an Amigan again! Not that emulation hasn't worked the last 10-11 years 😛  almost native speed these days (with input-lag of course).

I have to admit though, having the original hardware cannot be beat.

Original Amiga 500 - Norwegian keyboard version.
512 KB memory-expansion PCB.
RGB>SCART converter cable with L/R RCA sound-plugs.
Getting an Amiga to display (correctly) on a big screen LCD TV (40-60" with decent built-in scaler), requires an RGB + RCA (stereo sound) > SCART adapter-cable, as shown in the picture above. The scaler in the TV also has to support sub-480p resolutions, as the Amiga outputs from 320×256 (mainly used for games) to 640×512 for PAL (704×576 with over-scan).

The video below shows the picture-output in 16:9-format, which is incorrect.

Video of the game "Jumping Jack 'Son", loading a "cracktro"

The video above (excuse the quality, I used my Google Pixel XL to record it 😛 I don't own any fancy capture-equipment / -cards) depicts what was (at the time) a very normal sight.

Back in the day (late 80s / early 90s) cracking crews left a "business card" on their cracked software distributions (3.5" diskettes).

Diskettes loading what is now called a "cracktro" (or "crack intro").

"A small introduction sequence added to cracked software. It aims to inform the user which "cracking crew" or individual cracker removed the software's copy protection and distributed the crack. Such intros grew very complex, sometimes exceeding the size and complexity of the software itself." (ref. wikipedia).

"Crack intros only became more sophisticated on more advanced systems such as the Commodore Amiga, Atari ST, and some IBM PC clone systems with sound cards. These intros feature big, colorful effects, music, and scrollers."

Kickstart v1.3 ROM installed.
Thank the powers that be for aspect-ratio control 😊 running the Amiga 500 at 16:9 did NOT look good (just look at the cracktro-video above for an example), 4:3 please! Thank you Sony!