Tuesday, July 26, 2016

And now for something completely different: Join me at Vintage Computer Festival XI

A programming note: My wife and I will be at the revised, resurrected Vintage Computer Festival XI August 6 and 7 in beautiful Mountain View, CA at the Computer History Museum (just down the street from the ominous godless Googleplex). I'll be demonstrating my very first home computer, the Tomy Tutor (a weird partial clone of the Texas Instruments 99/4A), and its Japanese relatives. Come by, enjoy the other less interesting exhibits, and bask in the nostalgic glow when 64K RAM was enough and cassette tape was king.

I'm typing this in a G5-optimized build of 45 and it seems to perform pretty well. JavaScript benches over 20% faster than 38 due to improvements in the JIT (and possibly some marginal improvement from gcc 4.8), and this is before I start doing further work on PowerPC-specific improvements which will be rolled out during 45's lifetime. Plus, the AltiVec code survived without bustage in our custom VP8, UTF-8 and JPEG backends, and I backported some graphics performance patches from Firefox 48 that improve throughput further. There's still a few glitches to be investigated; I spent most of tonight figuring out why I got a big black window when going to fullscreen mode (it turned out to be several code regressions introduced by Mozilla removing old APIs), and Amazon Music still has some weirdness moving from track to track. It's very likely there will be other such issues lurking next week when you get to play with it, but that's what a beta cycle is for.

38.10 will be built over the weekend after I'm done doing the backports from 45.3. Stay tuned for that.


  1. Texas Instruments TI-99/4A with extended basic cartridge and memory computer was one of the first computers I wrote games and paint programs on.
    Also used Atari 600/800 XL computer with special circuitry hack on the video output check to plug in my Radio Shack green crt monitor and wrote basic and assembly language code and games and a word processor with home made fonts.
    Also built and programmed assembly and basic on my Sinclair ZX80 computer.
    Then I went to purchase a 16mhz AST 286 computer for $3000 at a computer store and the associate said, how about an Apple Macintosh computer? I said, what? that's a toy.
    He showed me Quark Xpress 1.0 and HyperCard and imagewriter printer and I was sold for life. Bought a Mac Plus with 4MB memory and external 20MB SCSI hard drive, Quark and ImageWriter.
    Wow, those were the days. Wrote programs using Microsoft Basic for Macintosh and used a Farallon MacRecorder to record audio for games and scanned photos using imagewriter Thunderscan.

    1. Forgot to mention that we have a children's camp and we still using the program I wrote in the 1989 to quiz the children on bible knowledge.
      We still have 4 working units from a Mac 512 to Mac Classic and they are all networked using Farallon PhoneNet Localtalk adaptors talking to MacOS 8.1 Performa box as server of files and audio clips.

      Bible Computer Game Photo http://libertycamp.org/images/2016CampFlier_32.jpg

  2. +1 for the ATARI 600/800XL. I never gave up on those (have plenty here and in another city). AtariAge.com is a wonderful community for those of us who are still passionate about the platform (and still code for it). :D Also- A big Kudos to Cameron for TenFourFox! He has kept my PPC macs current (on tope of all other legacy apps) and I'm very much appreciative of his efforts to keep the platform alive. -AbbotKinneyDude.


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