Diary of an Amiga fanatic

Tag Archives: Annotate


I really enjoyed the interview with Petro Tyschtschenko in BoingsWorld episode 34. A lot of interesting stories from Petro and better yet he is working on a book about his work at Commodore. He hopes he can release it in April next year. This is a must have book. The stuff you will read in there will just blow you away.


Pietro Ghizzoni (owner of the Amos Pro sources) has released the Amos Pro sources into the public domain. The sources can be (direct link) downloaded here. By now they should also be available on Aminet. For Amos fans, me included, it is a great moment to look at the sources. It is written in 68k assembler and using the classic hardware a lot. For a nostalgic trip I probably reserve some time to browse through the sources.

It is that time of the year again. What I am talking about? Christmas of course. We just had our Christmas tree delivered this morning. Normally we pick it up ourselves with the car but with our new Mini that was just not possible. Not only would it not fit but I would also not put it in the car if it would fit. There is no way I will mess up the car. It was also really cheap to have it delivered. You just have to find the right seller.

Till today we had some nice snow which makes everything look really great. Not only that it makes you want to do Amiga stuff because of the nostalgic feelings it brings back. Sadly it started to rain late last evening and even now it is poring. But I am sure we will have some cold and snowy weather again soon. With some hot coco playing classic Amiga games and browse through other stuff as well. What better way to go through the Christmas period.

I ran into another (as it would seem) issue with Aros regarding the pen colour. You might have read about the issue with the syntax highlight regarding Annotate and C programming and I got the feeling it effects everything. I was playing around with Amiga Guide files and when I set the pen colour the text colour remains the same. That got me really worried. It would be a real issue for me if it effects everything. I am hoping it was my poorly coding attempt at tackling Amiga Guide files but I am afraid it is not. Hopefully I will find out soon if it is me or Aros.

I did this for the first time last year August. You can read it again if you like. I thought it was time for a part 2. Week 45 experienced by me with you the reader in the front seat.

Monday 5-11-2012

My last day of my holiday before I have to return to work. I enjoyed a good 3 weeks of holiday which is about to come to an end. I had the opportunity to play a lot with Aros, writing for my blog and playing a lot of classic games. Sadly from tomorrow on I would have less time for all of this. Still I am determine to do as much coding for Aros as I can. I am currently trying to get the syntax highlight to work with Annotate. There is some kind of issue with Aros which causes issues with the pen colors. So if I set certain key words in the C syntax to certain colors it will be different the next time I reboot Aros.

Atari Flashback

Yesterday I came across the Atari Flashback for (I think) €17,50 but since I don’t know anything about it (except for it being a modern classic Atari device to play classic games) I did not pick it up. Anyone know this was a good deal or maybe has some nice, or not so nice, stories about this device? I did see newer versions of this device on the internet.

I had a few more coding attempts which was not bad. Still getting used to Zune (MUI clone) but I got to open two windows at the same time. I had some crashes at well bringing VirtualBox to a complete halt. But currently I got two windows open which will be the basis for my further attempts.

Tuesday 6-11-2012

Reality hits hard on your first day back at work after your holiday. What is noticeable right away is the lack of time again. I managed to have a quick peek at my e-mail and visit the Aros-Exec site around midnight. Not that I came back from work at midnight. It takes me one hour to drive to work and also (well yeah) one hour back home. Normally I am home a bit after 6:00pm. When I came back I had to hit the road with my wife for her business and we came back around 10:00pm. Still had to cook dinner so it got to be a long day. We grab something on the road of course but you want a decent dinner as well.

Wednesday 7-11-2012

Today I managed to catch up with the BoingsWorld podcasts. I finished both episode 32 and 33. As always great shows. It is in German so it is only for those who understand German.

Sadly there was no Ernie & Locke in episode 33. I do hope they return in episode 34.

Thursday 8-11-2012

Today was all work as I did overtime which left me with no free time at all. And that on the third day back after my holiday. It suddenly, like it was not already there, daunted on me that time is just going to be very limited for me to pursue my Amiga endeavours. Hopefully I can find some kind of solution that will leave me with enough time to work on my Amiga stuff. Fingers crossed!

Friday 9-11-2012

Weekend! As I thought and already reported the free time was just like I thought it would be, just about none. But it was not a bad week all together. Coincidence or faith, you decide, with the first Bucket Diary style column I was talking about the new car we got. I am going to do the same in this part. We won’t have a new car this week but we kind of sealed the deal so to the speak. Hopefully it will all happen next week so we got a really cool car.

We started with season 3 of The Walking Dead. Great start of the season and right away me and the missus are hooked. So much that we watch into the early hours of Saturday morning. Great start of the weekend if you ask me.

Saturday 10-11-2012

Saturday is always a busy day for the missus as she buys new products for he business. With me “tagging” along we have a very busy day. I “tag” along with her a lot and I enjoy it. Her business is growing so fast she is unable to supply all demands. Demand overshadows stock which is not a bad thing if you ask me. She is already thinking about expanding the business even further. Her wish is for me to join her business. I can’t tell you how excited I am about joining her.

With episode 4 of The Walking Dead finished we are left hungry for the next episode which will be broadcast tomorrow Sunday the 11th. Sunday, also known as the last day of the weekend. This Sunday I will clean the car and also the garage for this upcoming week when hopefully we have our new car.

Some time ago I wanted to use remote desktop so I could take over my Icaros desktop when I would be sitting downstairs with my laptop. The downside of course is that you have two computers on and also I found it to be a bit slow and also the resolution was not that great. With very little time I don’t want to sit upstairs in my office every day instead of sitting downstairs with my wife in the living room. Some of you might know how that is. You work all day and the few free hours you have in the evening are used upstairs (or a different room) which can lead to some issues with the missus. So better would be if you can do the work in the living room so you sit with the missus. My wife is never without her laptop for long so we are both busy but if I can join her in the living room it just works so much better. So remote desktop was not the solution so what now?

I can of course install Aros on my laptop but I need to use Windows so that is not an option for me. Also I don’t want a dual boot system. I suddenly remembered that in the past I ran Aros within Windows so after posting at the Aros-Exec site I was directed to the Windows hosted version. Soon it became clear that I could not run it in full screen so that was not the solution for me. I started to think about a virtual emulator like VMWare that will allow you to run a different operating system within Windows. I used VMWare before in the past. But it is not for free so I Googled for open source alternatives.

I came across VirtualBox from Oracle. (** The site seems to be not accessible for some days already) This just rocks and it turns out this is even discussed in the Icaros manual. The problem you will run in to is the resolution. You can’t set anything resolution in the Prefs settings for the screen mode. But as always there is a solution for this. Over at VMWAros you can find the solution for the screen resolution. I have the same resolution (1366×768) so I could just follow the instructions and now I am running it full screen. The speed is perfect and switching between VirtualBox and Windows a lot has no influence on the speed.

With having Icaros running hosted I thought about my issues with not having a C syntax highlight editor. What if I can have a shared folder available on both Windows and Aros? This way I can use a C syntax highlight editor on Windows and save it to that folder and right away compile it. I use SMBFS on OS4.x to mount these Windows shares to exchange files. Sadly due to the buggy network on my A1SE it is far from being the best solution. SMBFS can also be used on Icaros and again it is described in the Icaros manual. Sadly there is a problem with VirtualBox in combination with Windows 7. Files on Aros will be truncated in the first 49 bytes or so. Sadly this will prevent me from using this as a solution. I have not tested it yet but this would also affect a FTP connection. So using a FTP client on Aros to connect to a FTP server on my Windows 7 installation would also cause issues. I guess this is the first “major” issue I have found with Aros.

Currently I am playing with the syntax highlight settings of Annotate. You can change it to your liking. Sadly there are some issues with Aros when it comes to setting the colours. There is a solution that requires you to run a script that calls a utility that fixes the colours issues. I have done this but I am still experiencing issues. For example if I set something to yellow the next time I reboot it will have the colour red. When I reboot again it will have another colour. It could be, and I guess it is, that I am filling it in wrong in the syntax file since for example comment in my C source file keeps its colour. I hope this can be sorted soon. For now I am over the moon with VirtualBox and Icaros. It runs really great and I can switch between Aros and Windows 7 without everything coming to a halt. If I can have the syntax highlight issue with Annotate fixed nothing can stop me from doing some serious coding.

A lot of people would love to program on the Amiga but won’t, or try but quit right away because it “seems” to be difficult. It certainly is not difficult but it can be made looking difficult. I have read plenty of tutorials and seen so called example code which made me run away and throw in the towel. But after reading and studying them over and over again I started to understand some bits and pieces. It was not me that just did not get it but the way it was explained or presented. If done differently I would have understood it much earlier. Another issue I always come across is that how come my code to do a certain task is looking differently compared to someone else’s code? There are “1000 ways” of doing a certain task and you just have to pick the one you feel comfortable with. I have been trying to get it exactly like the other(s) programmer(s) for too long. Even changing my code after I created it to look more like theirs. But now I stick to my way even if my code is different. But sometimes you actually pick up some new ideas by looking at other code so certainly don’t stop looking at other code.

Why am I writing these tutorials? By writing it I hope people start getting back into programming after giving up at first. Or maybe you always wanted to start but never did. Make sure you don’t get stuck at hurdles I had a lot of trouble getting by and which might make you want to stop. Also the fact that there is a serious lack of programming information out there. Remember to never give up if you hit a rough spot in your programming journey. Just step away from it for short moment and dive back in it again and you will see you will get by that hurdle. Another valuable asset is having a mentor. Someone you can contact when you just don’t get a certain part and who can explain it to you in a simple way and make you understand and continue with your journey. There is no greater feeling when you suddenly start to understand a topic you never could before. I still experience this often and many more will come.

If you have suggestions or need help please let me know. I would love to get feedback on my tutorials or if you have some suggestions regarding topics I could discuss please let me know. If you are an experienced Amiga programmer and happen to read the tutorials and see errors or have a better suggestion on how to do certain tasks please let me also know. I am also still learning so I am always open for feedback. Some topics I might discuss would also be new to me so I am bound to make an error or two somewhere down the line.

For starters I suggest you have a look at “Start programming – The totally free way” at OS4 Coding

It is an introduction to programming on OS4 emphasizing on the “free” part. It talks about Codebench as the (free) integrated development environment (IDE). Unfortunately Codebench needs AmigaOS 4.1 Update 1 or later and since I have OS4 running I am unable to use this.

Another free editor with syntax highlighting is Annotate. It works on AmigaOS 3.x, AmigaOS 4.x, MorphOS 1.x and AROS.

I use Cubic IDE  from Dietmar Eilert myself. It is not free and currently it costs Euro 49,90. There are special discount sales often which allows you to buy it at a discounted price. Usually around Easter and Christmas Dietmar sells it at a discount price. I am really happy with Cubic IDE and also the support from Dietmar. Every time I needed some help he was really quick to reply with the solution.

You would have to do some extra work to get the Amiga OS4 SDK to work with Cubic IDE. Trixie wrote a tutorial on how to get the latest OS4 SDK to work with Cubic IDE. SDK stands for Software Development Kit. The Amiga OS4 SDK contains everything developers need to take advantage of all the new AmigaOS 4.1 features including updated includes and autodocs.

To sum it up you will need the below to start programming on Amiga Os4:

– The Amiga OS4 SDK (Software Development Kit)
– Editor which can be a simple text editor with or without syntax highlighting or a IDE package (Integrated Development Environment) which contains a editor and various other tools

In this series of tutorials I am not going to teach the basics of the language C. There are other sources that are doing a great job on teaching you this. So instead of teaching the basics of C we start right away with programming on OS4. For me one of the best books that taught me programming in C is Sams’ Teach Yourself C in 24 hours from Tony Zhang. I would suggest you also check out the Amiga C Programming Tutorial from Michael Ness. I should say this is a must that you read this tutorial. Some of my first information can also be found in Mike’s tutorial but we will dive further into OS4. Till next time when I show you how deep the rabbit hole goes.