A day at the lake...

My summer vacation has begun and finally, I find some time to relax at the lake reading the past issues of the A.B.B.U.C. magazine.

The www.abbuc.de website is also finally back online with the new design. The forums are also almost ready and should be online in a few days.


Goodbye Jason Kelk / T.M.R. of Cosine

Words cannot express the sadness I feel since I've read the incredible news. I was really hoping so hard, Jason could return back home for some time at least. After all his braveness and hard fighting against this horrible disease, he was the one who had deserved that. 

As a tribute, I have created a mini-mirror of his "formatwar.net" website which he ran between 2009 and 2017. The last snapshot available on the Wayback machine is from July 2019 and I've used it to create a live mirror of the three main pages and the Edge Grinder project, which was my first touchpoint with Jason. I really loved the idea of having a dedicated site for coders where they and discuss hardware platforms and coding on a friendly and at the same time competitive level. He brought people from all platforms together and instead of starting flame wars they all discussed and learned from each other. And Jason was always there in the middle as a calm and mindful moderator. Unfortunately, the content of the forum itself was lost in a disc crash in 2017. Back then, I didn't think Edge Grinder was possible of the Atari 8-bit and Jason proved me wrong when he released Callisto in 2012. It is not actually Edge Grinder, but it is built on the same foundation and concept and I consider it one of the technically best shot'em ups for the Atari 8-bit. Again, he approached things from different angles than Atari coders normally do and the result is just outstanding.

Many people are paying tribute to Jason in their personal way out on the internet now. Here's a collection of related links, if you want to know more about Jason, his work, and his contributions to the retro scene and demo scene. 



Goodbye Alphons Klüpfel

Our longtime 2nd chairman Alfons Klüpfel left this planet on 2021-06-03 and went on his way to other dimensions. We don't know if he will travel first to Terry Pratchett's Discworld, or to the planet IRATA, but he will be missed. As a haven of tranquility, an open ear and advisor at our meetings, as an initiator and drive of projects, and a tireless translator and author for the ABBUC magazine. We will not forget Alfons, his work is visible in all areas of ABBUC and will remain so. Here is his advice for us:

"When you think of me, don't be sad. Rather tell about me and dare to laugh. Leave me a place between you, as I had it in life."

Back to the Future

Today I found a funny picture taken at the A.B.B.U.C. annual meeting on October 26, 2019. I was wearing my 1980's CASIO CA-851, as one should at a retro event. At some point, I was wondering about the date and pushed the date button and I was struck by surprise. It was the "THE DATE", the very date when Doc Emmett Brown and Marty McFly went back in time on 1985-10-26 in Back to the Future. So why was my watch doing that: Well when the watch was created in 1980, nobody thought it would be used after 1999. So they only used two digits for the year and hence 1999 is the last year you can set the clock date to. My solution to the problem is to use the perpetual calendar. I set the clock every new year to that year between 1980 and 1999 which uses the same sequence of weekdays. And for 2019 that was 1985. So I literally went "back in time" myself that day, to the year when the future was about to begin. Because in 1985 I bought my first computer :-)

Site Update

  • The new section hardware has been added to the Atari 800 category and my scan of ezcontents' excellent Atari 800 XL PCB remake is the first entry. It helps a lot in finding the correct component on a populated board.
  • All "capped.tv" links have been removed from productions since the corresponding website is down. Going forward I'll try to provide youtube videos where they are missing.
  • FAQ, Bad Apple HD, and other articles with been enhanced with more details, better wording, and fixed links.
  • AtariROMChecker has been enhanced with and the "Atari ROM Patcher" tool to display, compute and fix OS checks sums for Atari XL/XE computers. Also, typos and swapped columns in the documentation have been fixed. Also, the disk images are now single density, so they also work on Atari 810.



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