Friday, 9 June 2017

AmiKit X Installation

This is just a short step by step guide on how easy it is to install AmiKit X on a laptop.

When we first start AmiKit X we are presented with the welcome screen shown below, let's just press "Next" and see where it takes us.


We are now asked for the folder where we wish to save AmiKit, I will just keep it as the default folder and select "Next".

It seems we are now ready to install, so let's go right ahead.

So far everything is really straightforward with no messing, let's hope this continues, so let's press "Install" ad see what's next.


After just 2 minutes we get the chance to finish the installation process. So press finish and het presto, we are done. We now have our AmiKit shortcut on our desktop.


Double clicking the shortcut takes us to the launch window. Selecting "Launch" we are given our first glimpse on the Amiga Workbench displaying the AmigaOS install choices.

As I have a copy of Amiga Forever already installed so I'll just select "AF Installed" and take it from there and it proceeds to import system files, which takes a matter of seconds, then asks me to reboot.


Now I am taken to the very familiar Screenmode Prefs screen and I'll select a mode that is slightly lower than my laptops native resolution of 1366x768 so I'll select 1280x720.


Now apparently my AmiKit X installation is complete and I have to press "Enter" and get ready to be amazed.


Well I am amazed, after playing with it for a while I realise I am willing to go full screen with this so I just press F12 which opens up the WinUAE properties allowing me to select AmiKit-fullscreen.


And the process of having a fully functional AmigaOS laptop is complete.

In my next instalment I will be going to the next level.

Monday, 5 June 2017

Interview with Ján Zahurančík

1. Hello and welcome from us at BlitterWolf. For our readers could you tell us your name, country and occupation please?
A. First of all, thank you for the opportunity. My name is Ján Zahurančík from Slovakia. I am senior HR consultant and facilitator, and apparently an Amiga freak too :) I am the author of emulation distro called AmiKit available at http://www.amikit.amiga.sk.

Ján Zahurančík

2. When was your first experience with the Amiga and what were your thoughts?
A. As a Didaktik Gama user (our local clone of ZX Spectrum) I was shocked when I saw Amiga in action for the first time. I remember it was an Amiga 500 showing an Eric Schwartz’s animation in a loop in a shop window.


3. What Amiga systems do you currently own?
A. I don’t have any real machines anymore. I went virtual about 15 years ago :)


4. How many Amiga systems have you owned in your lifetime?
A. I had Amiga 500 with RAM expansion and then an Amiga 1200 with Blizzard 1240. I had an AmigaOne too.


5. Do you prefer using Classic or New Gen hardware?
A. Classic as I have grown up on it :)


6. What Amiga Operating System between 1.x and 4.x do/did you like to use most?
A. AmigaOS 3.9 is my favourite one, for the very same reason as before.


7. Have you ever been a member of an Amiga group and if so when and where?
A. Actually yes. It was around 1995, I was part of Slovak demo making group called Reform. My music modules are still somewhere on Aminet :)


8. Did you have your most favourite played games on Amiga and what were/are they?
A. I loved Lotus Turbo Challenge, Another World, Sensible Soccer, Cannon Fodder, Pinball Fantasies, Slamtilt, Syndicate, Mega lo Mania, Civilization, Dune 1 and 2, Elite, Frontier, Hired Guns and many, many more, of course.


9. Best Amiga system of all time for you?
A. Looking back I think Amiga 500 was the best. You simply turned it on, inserted a floppy disk and played the game almost instantly. Without any need to mess with OS. And you could turn the computer off anytime too :)


10. Best Amiga game of all time for you?
A. Every week different game!


11. What are your thoughts about what happened to Commodore - Amiga?
A. I was 14 years old at that time so I hardly noticed it ;)


12. How do you feel towards AmigaOS4 and reincarnations like AmigaOne?
A. I am happy that it’s still alive, in whatever reincarnation.


13. What do you make of the Amiga spin offs like MorphOS or AROS?
A. My previous answer applies ;)


14. What do you think about accelerators like the Vampire?
A. That’s something that makes me want the real Amiga machine again! :)


15. What do you see as the future for Amiga or Amiga like OS?
A. It will be in our hearts forever ;) It seems that the principle of light-weight operating systems is becoming important again.


16. Any further comments to make?
A. Support your favourite Amiga developers, there aren’t many left.

Sunday, 14 May 2017

Interview with Gigi Burdo

1. Hello and welcome from us at BlitterWolf. For our readers could you tell us your name, country and occupation please?
A. Hi, I'm Luigi Burdo, I'm from Italy and I'm in the Iformatic Technology staff for the  Data Governance of one Bank.

Luigi Burdo

2. When was your first experience with the Amiga and what were your thoughts?
A. My first Amiga I was seen was an Amiga 500,  I was 15y old (now I'm 42) and was in a shop of one friend of my father.

3. What Amiga systems do you currently own?
A. Now I have an X5000.

4. How many Amiga systems have you owned in your lifetime?
A. I had in my life all the Amiga classic systems from 500, 600, 1000, 1200, 2000, 3000D, 4000D with 060 and with powerups my best classic machine you can see here https://youtu.be/D3S5aM0ylPc about NG I had SAMs 440, 460, the AmigaOne XE G4 and Pegasos 2 1266.

5. Do you prefer using Classic or New Gen hardware?
A. Classic is nostalgic but not for every day ... NG is for do what is need today ;-)

6. What Amiga Operating System between 1.x and 4.x do/did you like to use most?
A. Really hard questions... but for sure I like more the AmigaOS 3.5 but just because was the new hope after the commodore close. a screenshot of my workbench in 1999 http://spazioinwind.libero.it/averdone/amigaita/users/wb/tlosm.jpg

7. Have you ever been a member of an Amiga group and if so when and where?
A. I was in the Agiba (Amiga Group Italy Bari) in the Bari city south of Italy.

8. Did you have your most favourite played games on Amiga and what were/are they?
A. There are many, for sure I can say one is the Turrican saga, Toki, and all the bitmap brothers games.

9. Best Amiga system of all time for you?
A. Amiga 4000

10. Best Amiga game of all time for you?
A. Chaos Engine CD32 and Gods ... is really hard to choose

11. What are your thoughts about what happened to Commodore - Amiga?
A. God wanna umans have slow technology progress, Amiga was years ahead.

12. How do you feel towards AmigaOS4 and reincarnations like AmigaOne?
A. Is the only way for have Amiga spirit in 2017 and use it in every day use.

13. What do you make of the Amiga spin offs like MorphOS or AROS?
A. MorphOS is really optimized PPC OS is fast and fun, AROS is a funny OS for the one who don't have opportunity to buy NG machine and have x86-64 hardware.

14. What do you think about accelerators like the Vampire?
A. Really cool, want one 500V2 for my 500+.

15. What do you see as the future for Amiga or Amiga like OS?
A. Really difficult to say, over the years all predictions are wrong results.

16. Any further comments to make?
A. Only one... Amiga Rulez 4ever

Sunday, 19 March 2017

Hollywood 7: Eternity Released

In the year of Hollywood's 15th anniversary, Airsoft Softwair, the hardest working men in code business, are back on your screen with Hollywood 7: Eternity. Hollywood 7.0 is a massive update with many new features and bug fixes. The most important new feature is full support for Unicode and native support for 64-bit CPUs on Windows, Mac OS, and Linux. This is especially useful on Linux because using 32-bit binaries on a 64-bit Linux is quite a hassle. On top of that, there are lots of other new features.

Here is a non-exhaustive list of new features in Hollywood 7.0:


  • Unicode is now fully supported!
  • Lots of new functions for dealing with Unicode text
  • Hollywood is now available in native 64-bit versions for Windows, Linux, Mac OS, and iOS
  • Mac OS and iOS backends have been completely rewritten, they are a lot faster now!
  • High resolution ("Retina") displays now fully supported on Windows, Mac OS, and iOS; Hollywood is ultra-crisp in 4K modes now
  • New hardware-accelerated full screen scale mode
  • Faster drawing on Windows and Mac OS
  • Lots of new features in the iOS backend
  • Support for conditional compiling at preprocessor level
  • Switch-Case statement supports fall through now
  • Text can now be laid out in justified lines
  • Lots of improvements in the IDE on Windows (e.g. direct help and syntax highlighting for functionality provided by plugins)
  • Multi-coloured vector paths are now supported
  • Live resizing on Windows and Mac OS
  • Time-stamped events
  • New example scripts
  • 70 new pages of PDF documentation, now 924 altogether!
  • Lots of other changes, optimizations and bug fixes

Hollywood 7.0 is the ultimate Multimedia experience and a must-have for all creative people. Hollywood is available on CD and as a download version. Both versions include Hollywood for all supported platforms (except the Android and iOS versions). It is no longer necessary to buy separate licenses for the different platforms. Buying Hollywood gives you a single-user license for all 15 platforms supported by Hollywood. If you already own Hollywood, you can buy a discounted upgrade version. People who bought Hollywood 6.1 in 2017 can request a free upgrade.

Hollywood is the ultimate bridge between all the different AmigaOS compatible platforms and the other three modern desktop systems, Windows, Mac OS, and Linux! Additionally, Hollywood also supports the Android and iOS platforms. A truly unique feature is the ability to cross-compile native executables for many different platforms including: AmigaOS3, AmigaOS4, WarpOS, MorphOS, AROS (x86), Windows (x86, x64), Mac OS X (x86, x64, PPC), and Linux (x86, x64, PPC, arm). You don't even have to own these platforms in order to compile executables for them. It's enough to run Hollywood on one of the supported platforms and then compile programs for all the others! Only Hollywood makes it possible. If you want to learn more about Hollywood, please visit the
official Hollywood portal which also has a forum for all questions concerning Hollywood.

All this makes Hollywood The Cross-Platform Multimedia Application Layer. Join the Multimedia revolution and get your personal copy of Hollywood 7: Eternity now!

This release was brought to you by Airsoft Softwair - the hardest working men in code business.

Saturday, 4 March 2017

A look into the Commodore Cave!

Hello everyone. :-)


Well it's about time I got a post out for myself. And for the one I'm publishing here I will be blogging about a particular computer museum I visited recently. But what's so special about this particular computer museum you may ask? Commodore computers of course! :-D


The Commodore Cave as it has been neatly named is a purpose built shed to house an electronic workshop and a Commodore computer collection. As well as other electronic items. Perhaps not a cave in the usual meaning of the word, but certainly one in the sense of being a mancave, as we call them now. The building is divided into an upstairs and downstairs section. With downstairs committed to the computer collection as well as a workshop. So I will concentrate on that. It is a private collection and not open to the public. My privilege to see it first hand courtesy of being in the same Amiga user group. ;-)


That's enough of the introduction so let's see what it contains. So I will move from left to right on our tour. I seem to like things in order. :-)

Here is a picture of the corner beside the door where you walk in. Is that the world's first fully 32-bit CD games console? Why yes I believe it is. An Amiga CD32!


Here's a view of the workshop. Lots of useful electronic instruments. That Amiga keyboard is looking good. While an Amiga motherboard is under diagnosis on the right.


Here's is a stack of rack mounts. Now that may not look very Commodore like but see that second one from the top? Not to deceive anyone but that hides an A1200 motherboard. Next to the blue light button is a mini CRT screen pulled from a camera. It's an Amiga test pattern generator.

Here's a collection of Commodore and Amiga software, books, boxes, peripherals, parts and even computers.

Enough of all that. Time to get to the collection. So here's the Commodore Corner as I will call it. First we have a wild card there, a Canon 1614P punched card calculator from 1969. Then starting the Commodore collection is a PET 2001-8 from 1977, displaying a demo. And beside a PET 4016 from 1981, showing the MC (machine code) monitor. I think I froze that one when I visited, me and my typing. ;-)



Following on we have a VIC-20. And next to it is a C64C, concluding the original Commodores currently in the collection. Bringing us to the Commodore-Amiga era and aptly so, the original Amiga A1000 with OCS. Including a PC sidecar expansion. And external floppy drive. Progressing to an A2000. Which is complimented by an A500 with side HD. Going up the ranks to an A3000 and the ECS era. Soon reaching the era of AGA. But not before the couch has eyes. ;-)

And here we are at the AGA generation. My favourite, the Amiga A1200. Now an A4000D is on the desk but OS4 is on screen? Aha, under the desk is an A4000T, pimped up with a PPC CPU card. Next to that is My First Amiga, the A600; almost too small to fit in a few pixels. I don't mean it was my first, which was an A500; but the A600 had the line "My First Amiga" printed on the box. One of the last Amigas Commodore produced. And speaking of being the first and the last, finally we have on display an AmigaOne machine in a standard tower case. Perhaps not a computer in the Commodore line nor an Amiga in the usual sense, but we'll let it share desk space with the other Commodores.




That concludes our tour of the Commodore Cave. As short as it might seem. I hoped you enjoyed the tour. And can look forward to future blogs of Commodore and Amiga computer content. See you next time. Damien :-)

Wednesday, 1 March 2017

InTune Recap

InTune Music Player


I started programming my InTune music player some time ago and was pleased with the way it was heading and with the introduction of MUIRoyale found I was able to incorporate a playlist.

Intune as it appeared on the 10th March 2013

I also struggled getting coverart to display but eventually overcame that issue as well and the software seemed to be coming along nicely.

For whatever reason, I can't remember why I just stopped working on it, today though I thought I'd get back to it, I recently set my Sam440ep up again after not using it for some time and thought this is the time to resume programming.

My problem was then where on earth are the files I need? Since stopping I have had a few new laptops, where I'd saved and possibly lost files.

Thankfully I've been able to find some of the artwork and I have an older version of my software but I'm hopeful that some files are saved on a MorphOS Powerbook I have hidden under the bed, unused for some time.

I'll be happy if within the next couple of days I can get to the position I was in on the 10th March 2013.

Everyone wish me luck at tracking down the files and getting back to the state it was over 4 years ago.

Monday, 27 February 2017

AmigaOS 4.1 WHDLoad Games Part 1



Here you can see me playing WHDLoad games on my AmigaOne X5000 and AmigaOS 4.1FE. Please check my videos:
  • How to configure your Amiga to be able to play WHDLoad games
  • How To Use AmigaInput with USB-adapter

The games I'm playing are: Turrican 2, Foundation The Directors Cut(Not a WHDLoad game but using E-UAE), Shadow Of The Beast, Brian The Lion, Aladdin, Alien Breed II, All Terrain Racing, Lethal Weapon, Superfrog, Silkworm, Ruff 'n' Tumble, Speedball II, Panza Kick Boxing(Graphic problem but cool game).

Here you can buy the USB-adapter: http://www.retronicdesign.com/en/

Here you is another tutorial on their homepage: http://www.retronicdesign.com/en/amiga-mouse-now-supported/

Tuesday, 24 January 2017

AmigaOS 4.1FE Games Part 3


Here is part 3 with more games on AmigaOS 4.1FE. Games: 1941 Extreme Deluxe, A Frog Game, Bermuda Syndrome, Dark Places, Descent 2, Dodge These Balls, FreeSpace2, Gish, Hexen 2, Hurrican, Neverball, Secret Maryo Chronicles.

Here are important places if you want to be able to play games like i do ;) Please buy or donate some euros if you can afford!!
http://www.os4depot.net/ (Download games)
http://amiboing.de/index.php?lang=en (Buy games)
http://hunoppc.amiga-projects.net/ (Please donate)
http://www.amistore.net/ (Buy games)
https://www.amigasoft.net/ (Download games)

If you want to play with Tac2 then you need a usb-adapter. I m using one from Retronic Design. You also have a tutorial how to configure it with AmigaInput.
http://www.retronicdesign.com/en/

A big thank you to HunoPPC, Daniel Müßener, Frank Menzel, Thomas Claus, Michael St Neitzel for still creating great games for AmigaOS!

Interview with Patrick Nevian

The scene is set. We see images of what looks like an abandoned factory where heavy machinery lines the floors. And a woman in gothic garb stands at one corner only outshone by the bright purple of her hair. The focus changes quickly to a man playing an instrument and wait...what! Is that an Amiga A1200?! :-o

It is true! We are watching the video to Shivers in my skin song by dark pop outfit Blue Metal Rose. And there certainly is an Amiga A1200 in the film clip. Sitting on top of a music keyboard played by BMR front man Patrick Nevian. In fact if you know the BMR album Spreading the Seed you will see a note in the booklet which says it is Powered by Commodore Amiga.

In this edition of the BlitterWolf blog we have a special exclusive and interview with Patrick Nevian of Blue Metal Rose. And we will discover how Blue Metal Rose is powered by Commodore Amiga. :-)

1. Hello Patrick and can you give a little introduction of yourself?
A. Hi! I'm Patrick Nevian, music producer,
pianist and sound engineer...and of course
long-time Amiga fan. I´m 37 and from Germany.


2. What's that Amiga doing in your film clip?
A. Well, the Amiga was used in the production for several songs of my band "Blue Metal Rose". In "Shivers in my skin" for example
the drums and baseline were produced
using OctaMed Soundstudio.


So I wanted to give credit in the video as well.

3. How is the Amiga used in your music production?
A. It´s in use in our studio. Of course it´s not the main machine for our studio work, but I still like to track some stuff and/or include some noisy 8-bit samples in our productions. That gives a pretty cool sound from time to time.

4. I know it inspires us but what inspires you to use an Amiga with music production?
A. It´s the old fashioned way of producing music like I did in the early 90´s.

Without the Amiga I wouldn´t be a professional music producer today and it reminds me of the early days of my career. Love it!

5. What musical productions have you used an Amiga with?
A. Mainly for my "Band Blue Metal Rose" It was partly used for the first and second album. Mainly drum and bass programming.

And of course I use the Amiga for all of my Amiga games productions.

6. What other projects are you involved with?
A. A lot! ;-)

I´m the arranger and performer of the Chris Huelsbeck Piano Collection.

Chris also produced a remix for Blue Metal Rose, "Feel you".

Barry Leitch also produced a fantastic remix of our song "Drei Toene".

My company Phénix Noir Productions produces songs and sounds for bands, modern and retro games, companies and much more.

Check out our homepage for more info:
http://www.phenix-noir.de/ENGLISH/index.html


I´m also producing Amiga games. The sequel of "Tales of Gorluth" is out now and its predecessor was rated as the best Amiga game of 2014.

See my Amiga games homepage for more info: http://www.amiworx.de/

7. What is your Commodore story?
A. I was infected by the Amiga virus when I saw "Shadow of Beast" in a store around 1990. I was blown away instantly...We had an Amstrad CPC 664 back then and the Amiga felt like some kind of an alien technology. :-D

I got an Amiga 600 back in 1993, but my brother and friends already owned Amigas by the end of the 1980s.

In 1994 I got a CD32 and in 1996 the A600 was replaced by an accelerated A1200.

The Amiga 4000/060 followed in the year 2000...

8. What Commodore machines are in your collection?
A. Today I still own an A600, two A1200 and a CD32.

9. What would you like in your collection? :-)
A. I fine with my Amiga stuff around.

10. What would be your favourite productivity software?
A. OctaMed Soundstudio and DPaint.

11. What would be your favourite games over the years?
A. Mhh, too hard to tell. There are so many great games.

I still love Pegasus, Black Viper and Turrican III. But there are tons of fantastic Amiga classics out there...

12. Do you have a favourite Commodore or Amiga magazine?
A. Amiga Joker, Amiga Games and today: Amiga Future.

13. How do you feel towards AmigaOS4 and reincarnations like the AmigaOne?
A. I`m not interested in next-gen Amigas. But it´s good to see, that people want to push the Amiga and its technology.

14. And what do you think of an AmigaOS spin off like MorphOS or AROS?
A. I love creativity and creative people. So I think all these spin offs or even our beloved WinUAE are great to keep the Amiga spirit alive.

15. What do think about accelerators like the Vampire and would you like one?
A. Oh yes, I´m eagerly waiting for the Vampire1200 to arrive.

16. What do you think should have been done with Amiga post AGA?
A. An early switch to x86 would have been the right thing.

17. Any other computer or musical things you'd like to tell us?
A. We are currently working on our 4th Blue Metal Rose album.

It is going to be fantastic. Check out our new single "Why Anna": https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K5YOemzPRcI
...and our website: www.blue-metal-rose.com

Thank you for your time! :-D


Thanks a lot. :)

Thursday, 19 January 2017

How to configure your Amiga to be able to play WHDLoad games



This is a tutorial how to configure and use EUAE, WHDLoad, RunInUAE and eGame on AmigaOS 4.1FE. It can sometimes be hard to understand how to configure your Amiga to work with EUAE and old classic joysticks. I am just going to show you the basic configuration to make it work. I want more users to be able to play classic games on their new Amiga computers and with old joysticks.

Here are some sites you need to know about. If you know about more sites with games please add it as a comment under this video.

WHDLoad Games:

Cool sites with alot of games and usb-adapters:

Tuesday, 17 January 2017

How To Use AmigaInPut with USB-adapter





This is a small tutorial video how to configure AmigaInPut with a USB-adapter from Retronic design, so you can play games with your old joystick like Tac-2. Its very easy to configure it but AmigaInPut is very buggy so there is a chance you need to restart your computer several times before you are able to configure your joystick.

I made this video with a USB-adapter from Retronic Design so if you use an adapter from another company it might not work.

Here you can buy the USB-adapter:

Here you is another tutorial on their homepage:

Copyright© 2017 Music by Sascha Theel

Thursday, 5 January 2017

Interview with Jamie Krueger

1. Hello and welcome from us at BlitterWolf. For our readers could you tell us your name, country and occupation please?
A. My name is Jamie Krueger, I live and work in the state of Wisconsin in the USA. I am the owner and head developer of BITbyBIT Software Group LLC, where in addition to developing software for the Amiga computer, we also do custom programming and consulting work.



I started programming about 34 years ago (at the age of 12), and have been programming professionally now for more than 26 years. When asked, I often refer to myself as an "Old School, Self-Taught" programmer, since I never stopped programming long enough to get any "formal" higher level education.
Over the years I have worked as a Senior Software Engineer for Best Power, Powerware, Eaton Corporation, and even Amiga Inc. However, I have operated my own company exclusively now for several years.


2. When was your first experience with the Amiga and what were your thoughts?
A. Wow, that is going back a ways. Well I guess no one ever forgets seeing this amazing machine in action for the first time.
It was back in 1988. I had already been a long time Commodore fan by this time, and had owned the VIC-20, C64, and C128 machines. I went over to visit a friend of mine (also a Commodore fan), who had just gotten this new "Commodore Amiga" machine (an A500).
I knew next to nothing about this new machine, and was basically expecting some nice updates to the existing Commodore 8-BIT line. Nothing could have been further from the truth. This machine was not an update to the current computers, it was a revolution in computing. The Amiga presented a whole new way of *thinking* about what was possible on a home computer.
The first game I ever saw running on an Amiga was a top-down scrolling shooter called "SideWinder." What struck me immediately was that the game running on this machine was not a home computer "port" of an arcade game, it *was* an arcade quality game. Stunning graphics and sound, with a smooth arcade game feel.
After having a blast playing "SideWinder" for a while, my friend booted up "Workbench", and we had a look around the operating system, ran a couple of included demos, etc. Now I was really blown away. This machine had a true *multitasking* operating system! You could play some fantastic music (Amiga MODs) in the background while using a "Windowed, point-and-click" interface to the OS, running dozens of programs at once without having the machine slow down.
Simply incredible. I purchased my first Amiga (also an A500), within a few months of seeing it for the first time (basically as quickly as I could put the money together for it).


3. What Amiga systems do you currently own?
A. I currently own 18 Amiga machines, in various states of usability.
My primary Amiga development machines are:
1 -
AmigaONE X1000
1 - AmigaONE MicroA1
1 - Amiga 3000 (060/PPC Equipped)

Beyond that I still own:
1 -
AmigaONE XE
2 - A4000Ts
1 -
A4000D
3 - A2000s
3 -
A1200s
4 -
A500s
1 -
A1000



4. How many Amiga systems have you owned in your lifetime?
A. About 20. I still have most of them, and I am (slowly) working on restoring all of ones I still have to fully working order. For example, I have four *new* A1200 cases coming from the recent Kickstarter, and I have also supported the current New Amiga compatible Keycaps Kickstarter as well (www.1200.net).


5. Do you prefer using Classic or New Gen hardware?
A. Both really. I still love the Amiga Classic's custom chip set; but while the newer machines no longer have those custom chips, they do offer faster bus speeds, and access to more easily available video cards and storage solutions, etc. I am also quite interested in the X1000's companion Xena (XMOS XS1-L2) chip, and would love to try some programming for it.
I can't be the only Amigan out there that would love to see the Xena chip used to recreate the MC68000 and OCS/ECS/AGA custom chip sets. Pair that with an expansion card for the new Xorro slot that gives you the original I/O ports (video, audio, floppy, joystick, mouse, etc.), and you could in theory run a hardware-emulated Classic AmigaOS machine in parallel with the newer OS on the same machine.
The best of both worlds in one machine.


6. What Amiga Operating System between 1.x and 4.x do/did you like to use most?
A. I currently use AmigaOS 4.x the most, but I also still use AmigaOS 3.x on the Classic machines. So my favourite OS for the Classics is 3.x, and my favourite for the new machines is currently AmigaOS 4.1 FE Update 1.
Looking back, I would have to say that AmigaOS 1.3 was the best to have if you were mostly booting games from floppy, while AmigaOS 2.x introduced a new level of Workbench usability and BOOPSI (Basic Object Oriented Programming System for Intuition), that is the foundation of all GUI systems we use on the Amiga today; MUI, ReAction, ClassAct, etc. AmigaOS 3.x was first brought in with the AGA chipset of course, and further polished the features introduced in version 2.
Basically, I have liked every major revision of the Amiga operating system for it's own merits over the years. However now when I switch back to using OS 3.x on my A3000, I am surprised at what features I have gotten used to having under OS4 that are not there. But hey, AmigaOS4 is *directly* based off the original AmigaOS 3.x code base; so what's not to like.


7. When did you start coding Amiga applications for the Amiga Platform?
A. I would have to say that my first "real" Amiga software project was a program I called the "Car Wars Vehicle Generator", it was a port/rewrite of a program I wrote for the C64/C128 in BASIC. I started it around 1989, and was programming it in Amiga BASIC until I hit a hard limitation with Amiga BASIC, and made the jump to MC68K Assembler.
"Car Wars," (now known as "Car Wars Classic") was/is a pencil and paper combat game published by Steve Jackson Games (www.sjgames.com). The idea of the software was to use the computer to quickly come up with various vehicle designs and print them out for use in the game.
I began work on my first "commercial" Amiga offering, an arcade "shooter" I called "WildFire" back in late 1993 into the early part of 1994. At that time, the game was to be published by RAW Entertainment. However, this was when the Amiga game market really went downhill, and nearly all the software publishers out there were moving away for the Amiga platform to the PC. As a result, "WildFire" was never published.
However, my work on "WildFire" directly led to what would become the SDK Browser and the AVD project. While writing "WildFire" I started creating a system under the working title of "GENESIS", which was written in pure assembler and aimed to wrap AmigaOS API (Application Program Interface) calls, and direct-to-the-hardware code, with a reusable set of higher level functions.


After writing about 750 "wrapper" functions in assembly language by hand, I created a program with a graphical interface which could be used to create the function code directly with minimal user input.
This then led to writing a program that could automate the entire process, essentially saving off pre-parsed versions of the AmigaOS Library APIs to my own custom file format for use in the GENESIS system.
While putting that together, I found that all the information I needed was now available within the AmigaOS4 SDK (Software Development Kit), as a set of XML description files for each of the AmigaOS shared library interfaces.
So, I wrote a parser to read and breakdown these XML files, and, BINGO, the first SDK Browser was born!


8. What made you start coding for the Amiga platform?
A. I simply loved the possibilities that the Amiga offered to the programmer. I still do today.
As a kid, I originally cut my teeth programming in BASIC and 8-BIT assembly language (on MOS 6502/6510/8502 CPUs) and was fascinated by what you could do on the Commodore VIC-20, C64, and especially the C128.
(In fact, nearly 30 years later, I was recently able to acquire one machine I have always wanted to own as a kid; the "Commodore 128DCR," which is a fantastic machine from the 8-BIT era.)
As awesome as it was/is to program for these original Commodore machines, the Amiga was something else altogether.
One of my favourite quotes to explain this is from the COMPUTE! Book "Mapping the Amiga" and can, in fact, still be found on my website today:
"If the Apple II's built-in software and hardware is an apartment, and the Commodore 64's is a townhouse, then the Amiga's is a Manhattan city block." -- Rhett Anderson and Randy Thompson, "Mapping the Amiga," COMPUTE! Books, 1990.
I always thought that was a very good way to think about the vast difference in the generation of these machines.
One of the things early on that enticed me to want to program for the Amiga was the jump from the MOS 8502 8-BIT CPU @ 1Mhz or 2Mhz mode (in a C128), to the Motorola 68000 16/32-Bit CPU at 7.14Mhz in the A500. It was not just the increase in speed of the CPU, it was the whole design. I mean eight 32-BIT Data Registers *and* eight 32-BIT Address Registers in the MC68000, vs. three 8-BIT Registers in the 6502/6510/8502 CPUs. Wow!
On top of this incredible CPU was the Amiga Custom Chips, capable of producing terrific stereo sound, and fantastic "high resolution" 4096 colour graphics and animation. All of which it could do at the same time and, in some cases, *without* even touching the CPU.
However, if I had to pick one thing over all that always intrigued me about programming and using the Amiga computer, it would be the jewel in the crown -- the Operating System.
A home computer running a true, 32-BIT pre-emptive multitasking operating system in the days when most other machines could not *spell* multitasking, much less achieve it. This has always been a driving force for me wanting to write professional software for the Amiga.
Bottom line is, I could see the potential in this machine and just wanted to see what I could do with it. Funny thing is, decades later, I am still, by and large, motivated by the same reasons as when I first saw the machine as a kid.
Maybe that is what I like most about this machine; it keeps you young.


9. Did you have your most Favourite played games on Amiga and what were/are they?
A. Yes, I would have to say that my most favourite computer games growing up, and today, were/are on the Amiga.
I was always a fan of "Black Crypt" by Raven Software, their debut title (unfortunately their last for the Amiga), which had awesome hand drawn graphics and solid programming. A fun game overall. Of course, to be honest, I was also biased in favour of the game, as I was friends with the guys from Raven Software way back when they were first creating it.
But, hands down, the game my friends and I spent more hours playing then I am willing to admit was and still is "Mechforce." Mechforce is essentially a computer version of the original turn-based, "Mech" combat system called "BattleTech."
Now you can still find many other games out there based around BattleTech -- and some of them are fun to play -- but no one ever came close to the same "turn-based" simulation of the original board game as Mechforce creator Ralph Reed did back in the day.
To give you an idea of how addicting this game actually was/is, one of my best friends bought my original A500 (as I upgraded to an A2000) for the express purpose of playing Mechforce.
Even today, we have built dedicated original Amiga hardware machines up as Mechforce stations. We also have laptops running Mechforce via emulation (ie., Amiga Forever/UAE).


10. Best Amiga system of all time for you?
A. That is a hard one. I really liked my original A500 but eventually traded up to the full-size case and expansion slots of the A2000.
Later, while working for Best Power between the years of 1995 to 1998, I bought my first A4000T *and* got Best Power to buy another one for me to use at work.
Among many other things, I used that A4000T to write them a piece of software that was valued at around 1.8 million US dollars; so, I believe they got their money's worth, and I did get to keep the A4000T. :-)
Having said that, I has always really like the original A3000 look and design. In my opinion it was some of Commodore's best work. A powerful Amiga workstation in it's own right, plus one of the most reliable designs. Hence, I am using a PPC/060 Equipped A3000 today, for my Classic Amiga development platform, while my two A4000T are waiting to be rebuilt and put back online.
On the flip side, my AmigaONE X1000 is an awesome machine, which I also use every day. But the way I look at this question, it has two answers; the best Classic Amiga ever, and the Best current Amiga ever.


11. Best Amiga game of all time for you?
A. "Mechforce" :-) See answer to question 9 above.


12. Back to coding, what made you decide to do the SDK Browser and AVD software for the Amiga user base? Were we lacking this type of software?
A. I originally released the SDK Browser back in 2004 because there was no other "AutoDoc" readers out there which parsed out the Amiga libraries themselves and presented, what I would term, an "API Centric" view into the AmigaOS4 SDK.
As I touched on in my answer to the question "When did you start coding Amiga applications for the Amiga Platform?", the AVD (Advanced Visual Developer) project has been a vision (and goal) of mine going back more than 20 years.
Therefore in one respect, AVD (called GENESIS at the time, and written in 100% M68K Assembler) started as simply an advanced set of tools I was building for myself to enable me to put together professional level applications and games quicker, without having to start each project from scratch every time. Simply put, I have always had more projects in mind to do than I ever had time enough to do them. I wanted working prototypes *now*, and fully working versions a few days (and not months) later.
However, while AVD may have started as a system for my own use, some 23+ years later the AVD and FreeAVD projects are all about empowering existing and new developers to write great software for the Amiga platform.
And of course, it still allows me to write more software. ;-)
I feel the Amiga platform is currently still lacking this level of development tools. While we (the Amiga community as a whole) have made some excellent progress (with programs like Simon Archer's CodeBench), over the last few years toward having a modern IDE (Integrated Development Environment) on AmigaOS4, we still have a ways to go, and the need for even better and more complete tools is still there.
I see many reasons for writing software for the Amiga and the Amiga Community. Here are just a few:
* It is fun to write for the Amiga. The Amiga operating system is elegant by design. It simply does it's job as cleanly as possible, and stays out of your way. Having written software for many different machines over the years, it is nice to write for a machine which focuses on allowing the user to do what they want, how they want to do it, and not focusing on forcing the user to work a certain way, or track everything the user does, with the idea to make more money off them in the future.
* From a developer's standpoint, AmigaOS4 based machines are essentially a "new" platform, meaning that there are a great deal of possible software applications as yet unwritten. This is great for developers looking to "break in" with a product in a new market. You can write an application for AmigaOS4 today, and be the only one with that type of app. Conversely, your application could be one of fifty similar products on other "mainstream" platforms.
* Of course, one of the biggest reasons I enjoy writing software for the Amiga Community is simply that *they appreciate it more*.
I have put everything into writing some fantastic software (if I do say so myself) for other groups within the "corporate" world of the years, and gotten feedback like: "That was yesterday, what have you done for me today."
On the other hand, everything I have ever written for the Amiga machines has been appreciated by its user base. I receive thanks, support, and encouragement from the Amiga community for my efforts, and believe me that goes a long way.
In my opinion, every "real" programmer out there (the ones with passion for what they do, for its own sake, and not the people that just think of what they write in terms of "it's just my day job"), wants to provide a solution for something, or demonstrate what can be done, and overall, they *want* people to enjoy using their software.
The bottom line is, a "real" developer appreciates their audience, and is willing to go that extra mile to producing *great* software for an audience that appreciates it, and actually *uses* their software.
We are fortunate to have some very talented people associated with the Amiga, and authoring software for it. Unfortunately, these same people more often than not, have very little time available to spend in front of the Amiga developing software.
At the same time, there is a growing audience of novice programmers who want to write something for the machine, but are at a loss as to how to start.
It is my goal to help bring more professional-level software to the Amiga by helping both these groups -- professionals that need rapid development tools for the Amiga to maximize use of their limited time and novice programmers who need a solid launching platform and graphical building tools to get their ideas off the ground in the first place.


13. Now with New Gen machines being sold again, have you noticed an increase in demand for your products?
A. Immediately, I would have to say that there has been an increase in demand right now, mostly because I have now released new software for the Amiga again after 10 years, and actually started selling it again. :-)
But of course the expansion of number of people that can now run AmigaOS4, be it on new machines, PPC equipped Classic Machines, or even via Emulation (Amiga Forever / UAE), is a big reason to celebrate. We need to get as many people as possible the ability to run the newest releases of AmigaOS; so yes, I expect that part of the demand for the new SDK Browser is due in part to the fact that more people can now run it.


14. Are there any planned updates to your software in the near future?
A. Yes, absolutely. I have several new features that I hope to release before too long for the commercial version of the SDK Browser.
Additionally, the GUI Builder component is a very high priority for me, and I want to get it out to the public as soon as possible.


15. Do you have any thoughts on creating further applications or software that you feel might help our Amiga community?
A. You bet, I have a few other projects on the table which target AmigaOS.
I am also working on a way to bridge AmigaOS3 and AmigaOS4 development tools together under AVD; so you may see AmigaOS3 (68K) versions of some of the AVD components in the future as well.
I am also doing some work for A-EON these days, which I feel will benefit both the Amiga community {OS4(PPC) and OS3(68K) users} and AVD users as well.


16. Have you anything further to say about the future of BITbyBIT?
A. The future of BITbyBIT Software Group LLC, and the potential for it to be a driving force in helping bring more, higher quality, software to the Amiga operating system depends almost entirely on you.
Currently, we have two main projects for the Amiga in the works -- the AVD Suite and the FreeAVD Suite. Included as part of these development projects are the standalone components: SDK Browser, GUI Builder, Text Editor, etc.
For those of you not familiar with these two projects, their goal is to bring a full IDE to AmigaOS4 for use by everyone.
FreeAVD will be made available at no cost. The FREEWARE version of the SDK Browser is part of that project, and has been brought to you free once again because of past (and current) supporters of the FreeAVD Project.
Also, software created using the FreeAVD Suite must, in turn, be released as FREEWARE and may not be sold in any form.
The AVD Suite, however, is sold as a commercial product and will include a license to produce and distribute software with no restrictions. You may charge for your software, distribute it as optional payment software (SHAREWARE), or distribute it as FREEWARE. It's your choice.
I hope to bring more software, like the SDK Browser, to the Amiga in the near future; but I need your help to continue full time development. So, please consider purchasing the SDK Browser (and getting free updates through v3.0.0.0), becoming and FreeAVD Sponsor, making a Donation, or even purchasing the full AVD Suite v1.0 (at pre-sale rates).
See our website: www.bitbybitsoftwaregroup.com for more details.
Thanks for reading, and thanks to BlitterWolf for doing this interview.

Best regards,
Jamie Krueger
BITbyBIT Software Group LLC
www.bitbybitsoftwaregroup.com
jamie@bitbybitsoftwaregroup.com

PS: The SDK Browser will soon be available via the AMIStore!