And just like that, before I even realize it, two whole years passed since my last post on this blog. No matter how many times I promised myself to be consistent and fill up these lines and pages with topics I find interesting, always something else distracts me. I should pause everything else and write what I like to build.
You might think "What is this post right now? Is it a reboot post?". Actually yes... and no! For sure I'd love to write more posts from now on, but it is also a recap of what I did the last couple of years. I will try to keep it short, as much as I can.
So, what have I done? As you may have guessed from my other posts, I have a passion for the old Amiga computers developed by Commodore a lot of years ago. All these years there is a strong and vibrating community keeping the platform alive and rolling. And there are modern successors of those computers which are based on quite exotic hardware using PowerPC CPUs and more recent peripherals, like the Radeon RX graphics cards.
As an active member of this community, I want to contribute in every way I can, but also build my knowledge even further, letting my creativity flow. During these two years, I got myself more in learning how to code in C, using the AmigaOS API to create various applications. This is quite in contrast with my daily work in web development, where we do not care much for memory management and addresses or the proper manipulation of files and paths.
I am really proud of a project named MediaVault (main post screenshot), which is an open-source application built from the ground up, helping users to discover online radio stations and podcast channels, marking them as their beloved for easy access, as well as listening to them. An application like that was missing from our platform and helped me learn how to access Rest APIs with Curl, parse JSON data and present them to the users. Currently, I am working on the next big feature which is about discovering and accessing media servers on the local network, like PleX, Jellyfin etc., helping the user to find songs he would like to listen to or movies to watch on his computer.
I also ported a great minimalistic editor called LiteXL, which is available for Linux, Windows and macOS, developed with C, SDL2 and Lua 5.2. I managed to port it to AmigaOS 4 and MorphOS 3, working quite well and becoming my daily driver on development. That was my first port of such an application and during that process, I learned quite a lot.
One of the things I love to do is to create the necessary tools that help developers to be creative and focus more on their personal projects. With that in mind, I got involved in updating the AmigaOS 4 Software Development Kit (SDK) with a release from the company that develops the OS back in December of 2021. But didn't stop there, as I already provided a much newer version where almost everything is updated, with new versions of GCC being compiled, along with many other components. But to be clear here, I am not the one who created all this software on my own. The included software is open-source, developed by a lot of people in the Amiga community, and which I gathered, organised, compiled, cleaned up and packaged in a way that everything is orchestrated as well as possible and is easy for anyone to install and use. And all of that was beta tested by a lot of people who helped me to find issues and fix them, for which I am grateful. A new release will happen sooner or later.
What else? Let me think. Ah yes...
For a long time, I wanted to build awareness around these computers and operating systems, explaining to people how these are working and what anyone can do with them. But I wanted this to have an active connection with the viewers, so I decided to create a Twitch channel and run some weekly streams on this platform. So far I run more than 38 live streams from 90 to 150 minutes long each one of them. During these streams, I explained how AmigaOS 3 and 4, as well as the latest MorphOS, are set up, how they are working and the philosophy behind the way they are working. I showed a few available applications, how to use them so to be creative, productive or just for fun.
Besides the live streams, which remain available on my YouTube channel for anyone to watch, I set up a ko-fi page for people to stay up to date with what I am working on and support me in the development if, of course, they like what I am doing. But because I am part of a great community, it felt mandatory to me to think of other developers as well. That's why I introduced a schema where 50% of every month's donations would be donated back to the community. So, every month a developer or a project is selected by me and supported, letting everyone on my ko-fi page know about it with full transparency.
This post is already getting too long and I have so many things to share, but it is wise to stop here and let you discover more stuff at my ko-fi page, and if you like what I am doing, please consider donating.
Thank you for the reading.