I don’t like to use Amiga emulation a lot since nothing beats the real thing. But it does come in handy at some moments when I am using my laptop and I want to quickly check something or make screenshot for my articles. Many years ago I also used it and at that time I used a Workbench distribution called Amiga In A Box (AIAB). Its a ‘snapshot’ of a nice-looking Workbench setup for WinUAE. Instead of having the plain old Amiga Workbench 3.1 setup you have a nice looking Workbench with also some extra installed software. Like you have with Amiga Forever or AmiKit but AIAB is not that advanced which is what I like. I need some extra’s but not too much.
Amiga emulation, or AIAB for that matter, is not the main topic of this column. The reason I brought it up was because of ACE Basic Compiler. To my shame I have to admit that I completely forgot about it and that I never ever tried it in the past. I do remember reading some raving reviews about it at that time. But this was also the time it was very difficult to get software that was out there as freeware and shareware. Since there was no internet (yes kids) you had to place orders and since there was also no paypal or similar options (yes again kids) it was rather difficult to place orders.
This week on the Facebook page of AmigaWeb.net I saw a posting of Barry Walker regarding ACE Basic Compiler. After reading Barry’s posts I got intrigued and wanted to know more. Since he said he was the moderator of the Amiga ACE mailing list I had to subscribe to it. David Benn is the guy that actually wrote ACE Basic Compiler. After subscribing to the list I was already in talks with both of them from the first minute. At the same moment I also installed AIAB so I could istall ACE Basic Compiler and try out a few things. Over at Green Amiga Alien Guide you can download AIAB and also read the installation instructions.
After trying out some examples and trying to get to grips with ACE Basic Compiler I got more and more excited about it. I barely scratched the surface of what is possible so I am really keen to learn more. If there is some interest I might consider doing a project about it explaining how it works and get people to program in ACE. It does look to my like a great beginners program language for people that want to get into programming on the Amiga. I would really suggest you subscribe to the ACE mailing list to begin with. See you there!