Old words from the Author
Even more webserver blues!
Just as it wasn't enough with the server problems I experienced earlier this year (which resulted in me having to create a new domain and upload all site files again), I actually had to encounter even more problems this year as well!
Every once in a while I like to enter my sites just to check that they are up and running, and one day I discovered that this site was gone. Then I logged into my webhost account where I found the following message regarding my site: Suspended (Suspended for violating 20%+ CPU usage limit for more than 1000 times. Please upgrade to our premium UNLIMITED hosting at www.hosting24.com to get your account reactivated.)
Whaaat!? was my first reaction, because after all, this site is not THAT popular! After doing some thinking, I could come up with two possible reasons why this had happened:
1. My Amiga911 Maker program turned out to be more popular than I first thought of, something which led to a lot of downloads of the lha archive files from the server.
2. My site includes a lot of pictures, and it was quite possible that a lot of people were simply hotlinking to them.
Both scenarios could potentially cause a lot of strain on the webserver, and so I decided to come up with solutions which fixes these issues. But the first priority was to create a new domain and upload all site files, so I did this - only to experience that the new domain got suspended after a while as well (due to the same reason as mentioned above). The conclusion was then that something else had to be the main reason for the problems I was having.
This happened at the same time I was about to make the release of Amiga911 Maker 1.46 official, so as a temporary solution I created a new domain for hosting the Amiga911 Maker pages only, I also made sure that the lha files could be downloaded from alternative sources as well.
After a while I started thinking that there could also be a third reason why my domains got suspended, maybe uploading a lot of files in a short time to the server via ftp resulted in a lot of 20%+ CPU violations? Anyway, since it suddenly was possible for me to reset my rhz1.comlu.com domain, I did this and decided to have another go at uploading all site files again. But this time I decided to try an alternative method of doing things, because the web based site control panel includes a "1 click website restore" tool, this allows the user to upload the entire site as a single zip file, and then it will automatically be extracted afterwards. So I added all site files to a new zip arhive and used this tool for uploading it, something that went just fine.
Hopefully this only resulted in one 20%+ CPU violation (plus maybe one for the zip extraction). But if there are more site problems or suspends now, I think I'll start looking for another free web host.
The new Amiga911 Maker site
Even though moving all Amiga911 Maker related stuff to another domain was only meant to be a temporary solution, I have now decided to make this change permanent, and this also means that there are no longer any Amiga911 files to be found on this website (a few are replaced by some html redirection pages instead). The easy link is still as before: http://rhz1.com/amiga911maker, while the direct link to the site is: http://amiga911maker.site11.com. As a result of the new site, I have also plans of making a facelift of it some time in the future.
added on thursday the 1. december 2011.
Amiga911 Maker v1.46
It is now possible to download a new version of the easy to use boot disk creator Amiga911 Maker from this site, and for a list over all changes in v1.46 you can take a look at this page.
You can also read more about the program on the main Amiga911 Maker page.
added on thursday the 6. october 2011.
Amiga911 Maker v1.38
Version 1.38 of the easy to use boot disk creator Amiga 911 Maker is now available for download from this site, A lot of work has been done on it, and since the list of all changes almost is as long as a bad year, I will only mention the most important ones here:
* USB support! Yes the Amiga911 boot disk can now include all files required for running a usb stack after booting, and both Poseidon and Anaiis is supported.
With Poseidon you will be limited to using usb hubs and mass storage devices + usb mice & keyboards (optional) only. Furthermore Trident prefs will not be used because of disk space limitations, and a special cut-down version of poseidon.library will be included on the disk, This library have been supplied to me by Chris Hodges, and I have his permission to include it with the Amiga911Maker distribution.
Anaiis support is a bit experimental at the moment. I can get it to work with usb mice and keyboards, but not properly with mass storage devices, the reason for this might be compability problems with my main A1200 (040 CPU), and unfortunately it is my only Amiga with usb support at the moment.
* This version of Amiga911 Maker introduces a new System0 dir & System0.lzx archive which are optional. They can contain files that patches the system and requires a reboot upon booting the Amiga911 disk. One example of this is a newer scsi.device used with LoadModule.
* Three file managers are now supported, so in addition to FileMaster3, you can also choose DiskMaster2 or Ordering.
* The Amiga911 boot disk can now contain all the files required for setting up harddisks larger than 4GB. This includes IDEfix and/or newer scsi.device.
* The boot disk can now also contain FastFileSystem (original or patched), SmartFileSystem and/or ProfessionalFileSystem (PFS2/3).
To read more of the changes in Amiga911 Maker, just scroll further down here or go to this page instead. You can also read more about the program on the main Amiga911 Maker page.
added on saturday the 21. may 2011.
This site is now up again!
Everything seems to be working fine, and all broken links should now have been fixed. But why was the site down? Well, to make a long story very short, I was suddenly having problems with accessing my files via ftp on the server where this site was hosted, and I tried everything that was in my power to do in order to fix this, but to no avail.
As a last attempt, I tried to use the Cleanup / Reload Account tool, but that didn't help either. Now there was no files present on the server and I was denied permission to upload anything.
So I finally gave up, and I created a new domain instead. Next thing was to change from "rhz1.site88.net" into "rhz1.comlu.com" in over 900 html files, and thanks to my good old Amiga 1200 this went much faster than I first thought it would (less than an hour). When I was finished, I uploaded all files to the new server.
But it turned out that there was still some work to be done, and this mainly consisted of fixing some broken links in a few html pages. I also decided to update a few pages + create two new ones, the first one can be found in the Nostalgia section and it contains some old Workbench screenshots, you can access it here. The other page contains a small collection of Nigerian 419 email scam letters which you can find here.
Amiga911 Maker progress report
A LOT of work has now been done on this program, but there are still certain things that needs to be done before the next version can be released. I'm not ready to reveal all details of the changes yet, but I can mention some of the stuff that's new:
* XPK crunching. When creating a boot disk of the Low-mem type (which are meant for Amigas with less than 2MB RAM), the majority of commands and libraries will be copied directly to the disk instead of being added to the LZX archives. These files can now be XPK crunched instead, this will lead to smaller files which in turn leads to more stuff that can be included on the disk.
* Three file managers are now supported, so in addition to FileMaster3, you can also choose DiskMaster2 or Ordering.
* Reading and writing ADF disk images is now possible after booting the Amiga911 disk, this can easily be done by using TransADF + a simple script I have created, this script is in the same style as mARK where it uses the RequestChoice and RequestFile commands.
* The mARK script has been updated, and you can now view the contents of archives. You can also specify file(s) to extract from archives in a text string gadget, and wildcards is supported as well.
* Selecting items from the Workbench menu is now a bit more advanced, one example is that if you click a file or drawer icon and select Shell from the Wb menu, the Shell that opens will have the path of the icon you selected. Likewise if you click the icon of a text file and select Ed or JanoEditor, the editor will open with the selected text file.
* Salvaging files from faulty disks can now be done by adding DiskSalv2 to the boot disk, but have in mind that if you want to do this on a harddisk, certain limitations applies: It will only work on harddisks with FFS partitions that are max 2GB in size, and only on the first 4GB of the drive.
* CD-ROM support is enhanced, you can now configure the device and unit to be used, and Amiga911 Maker will automatically create a proper mount file.
* Several small script files have now been joined into a single larger file. this will reduce the RAM usage with a few KB after booting the Amiga911 disk.
added on sunday the 17. april 2011.
Due to the LhA 2011+ bug that became appearant at the beginning of this year, I decided to do some more work on AnArchiver (which is a Gui for handling file archives). The result of this is a new small update that can be downloaded from both this site and Aminet. You can read more about AnArchiver in the AnArchiver page, and you can download both the main package + the update from the Downloads section of this site. Or if you prefer to download from Aminet, you can find the main package here and the update here.
added on thursday the 20. january 2011.
Amiga911 Maker v1.3
First of all I would like to wish all visitors of this site a Happy New Year! Next I would like to mention that a new version of Amiga911 Maker is now available for download from this site, and hopefully it will also be available from Aminet soon.
Here is what's new in version 1.3:
* Fixed a problem which could occur when formatting disks in Amiga911 Makers "Create disk" GUI on AmigaOS 3.5 based systems without the BB2 update.
* Added support for NSDPatch to be included on the disk. This patch together with something that patches scsi.device (like IDEfix) will allow you to use large harddisks (over 4GB) on your Amiga.
* Now the compactflash.device file will actually be included on the boot disk (if you have selected so). For some reason or another this file was missing in the source archive used by Amiga911 Maker.
* The TD64 patching of FFS (FastFileSystem) is now optional.
* Two versions of FileMaster3 are now supported: V3.2 which can be downloaded from Aminet and V3.1 (B11) which can be downloaded right here. The main difference between these two versions is that although the most recent version contains some new functions, it also contains some new annoying bugs as well, and in addition, the file size is slightly larger than the old version. It's up to the user to choose which version to be included on the boot disk, just have in mind that if both versions are present in the Resources dir, the old version will have priority over the new one.
* The compression used with the LZX archives are now optimized to the absolute maximum possible, this may now reduce the disk space used with a few KB.
* Replaced the Aros backport version of reqtools.library with the original Amiga version, the reason for this is because the old library file is smaller and is compatible with all processors of the 68K family.
* After checking what additional files that needs to be downloaded, the text or html file that can be generated by Amiga911 Maker will now include links that leads to the actual pages where the files are located instead of directly to the archive files.
* Since support for creating boot disks meant for other AmigaOS versions is planned, the most common files are now present in a new source archive which are used by Amiga911 Maker. This is to make sure that future versions of the Amiga911 Maker distribution will be as small as possible by avoiding lots of duplicate files.
* Various improvements & bug fixes.
You can read more about Amiga911 Maker here.
added on saturday the 1. january 2011.
Amiga911 Maker v1.0
The very first version of Amiga911 Maker are now available for download from this site. The program is not entirely finished yet, among the things that are missing are the actual disk creation stuff (format, install & copy files to the floppy), so currently this has to be done manually by the user. Another thing is the documentation in the Amiga911 Maker distribution which at the moment are very minimal, the reason for this is that I decided to do things differently for this project, where I would first write the documentation in html format to be hosted on this site, and then later use this stuff to create an AmigaGuide file to be included with Amiga911 Maker.
For those of you who haven't got a clue about what this program does, here is a brief explenation: Amiga911 Maker is a program that can create a boot disk which contains various drivers and tools, it is mainly intended for people who wants to set up a harddisk to their Amiga in a quick and easy way, or who wants to boot up a system in order to fix a broken Workbench installation, or maybe even restore files from a system backup. The disk can contain drivers which allows the user to easily transfer files from PC to Amiga in various ways like: PC formatted floppy disks, CD-ROMs burned on the PC or by using a Compact Flash memory card together with a CF to PCMCIA adapter.
More information about Amiga911 Maker can be found here.
For a long time I have wanted to do something with the font used on this site. Up to now there haven't been any fonts specified in the html files, and this in turn have meant that the "Times New Roman" font has been used by most Windows based browsers for viewing this site. The problem with this font is that it's way too small, and because of the way it looks, the text becomes a bit harder to read. After reading about recommanded fonts for usage in html pages on various places on the net, I decided to try out the Arial font since this seemed to be recommended a lot.
Right now there are only a few pages on this site that uses the Arial font, but this will be changed in the near future.
Some final thoughts about Lost - Season 6
It's been a while since I watched the very last episode of Lost now, so I have had the time to let things sink in a little, and I must say that although season 6 was great, I do feel a bit disappointed with it. This season lacked much of the twists & turns that the previous ones had, and the constant change of alliances became very tiresome in the end (something which is quite typical for the last season of many TV shows). The majority of unanswered questions was answered, but not all of them. Some questions couldn't be answered since they simply would have led to new questions (like who built the large statue?).
One thing that really surprised me was that there were so many of the Lost characters who actually did survive in the end, because I was fully prepared that all of them apart from one would die, and that the last remaining lostie would end up as the new leader/protector of the island.
My biggest gripe regarding Lost has to be the fate of John Locke, because almost all of the main characters in Lost who died experienced a somewhat heroic death where they saved somebody else. This happened with both Jack Shepard & Sayid Jarrah, and even Charlie Pace did this by saving the unborn child of Sun & Jin (by causing the events that led to Sun leaving the island). But what about John Locke? Yes he did save the others by turning the frozen wheel, but that was also all he had to do, there was no reason for him to die!
But still, the worst part is actually how he died, because during the first seasons of Lost, the John Locke character was gradually built up from being in the lowest point in his life - to the top where he ended up as the new leader of the Others. Then right before his death he was at an even lower point in his life, where he would have commited suicide if he had not been killed by Ben Linus. I must say that I really hate the way the John Locke character was built up and then teared down again in Lost, .
John Locke often talked about his destiny, but in the end it turned out that his real destiny was quite simply to be a tool in the hands of The Man in Black/Smokemonster/Samuel so that he could set his plans into action. In other words, John Locke was nothing more than a simple pawn in a chess game who died for nothing.
That being said, despite the fact that the last season was a bit on the weak side, and despite the fact that I didn't like the way the life of John Locke ended, I must say that Lost is among the best TV shows ever created, and although I already had downloaded all episodes, I still bought the season 1 - 5 DVD box sets of Lost, and I will also soon buy the season 6 box as well.
added on tuesday the 16. november 2010.
The Amiga911 Boot Disk (update)
Since there is no way the Amiga911 disk can be made legal to distribute (because of copyright issues), I had to come up with an alternative solution which allows people to create the disk themselves. I could have made some instructions which describes how the user can do this manually, but since most people probably would have found this to be a rather long, complicated and tedious task, I decided to drop this idea.
Instead I started working on a program that allows the user to create a boot disk in a rather easy way, the original idea was to make a simple program that would re-create the Amiga911 disk to be exactly like the one I had created earlier, but when I started working on the project, one idea after another of stuff to implement kept popping up, and the result is a bit more advanced program which I have decided to call A911 Maker.
You can read more about this program here.
Some further thoughts about Lost - Season 6
I was able to download & watch the first episode of season 6 even before it was aired on TV, this was because it was shown at a beach in Hawaii, and some guy filmed the whole thing and made it available on the net. Since I'm a big Lost fan, I just couldn't resist it - I had to download this file when I heard about it, Now I don't expect the audio & video quality to be perfect when downloading CAM videos, but this just have to be the worst thing I have ever encountered! Although it was filmed at an angle, the video was not too bad (when considering it was CAM), but the audio was a different story. Most of the time it was impossible to hear what the actors were saying because of the loud traffic sounds in the background :-). But still I'm thankful to the person who decided to share this with the world.
It seems like my little theory about John Locke was wrong since it actually was the fake Locke who ordered Ben to kill Jakob, and it was the real Locke in the coffin. But still there is one thing that puzzles me: Why didn't Jakob cross out Locke's name in the ceiling inside the cave? Surely he must have been aware of that he was dead. Hmmm... something tells me that we haven't heard the last of the real Locke yet, or maybe this is just wishful thinking from my side since John Locke is one of my favorite characters in Lost. Another thing that puzzles me is why Jack was told to put his fathers shoes on the dead Locke by Eloise Hawking.
At the time of writing this, there are five episodes left to the season finale of Lost, and some questions have been answered, but a lot remains to be answered like the big statue, we now know how it was damaged, but who made it and why? And what was the reason for wiping out the entire Dharma team? What was Ben Linus up to alone in the jungle when he was caught in Rousseaus trap? Who made the frozen wheel? And who was Henry Gale?
I will be really disappointed if these questions isn't answered during the last episodes of Lost.
One last thing: When I was reading about the actor Terry O'Quinn who plays John Locke in Lost, it turned out that he was the one who played the psychotic serial killer in the 1987 horror/thriller film "The Stepfather" (not to be confused with the 2009 remake). This is actually an old favourite of mine, and I simply have to see it again. You can read more about this film on wikipedia, and here is the opening sequence on youtube.
added on sunday the 11. april 2010.
A new year has just started!
A new year with new possibilities and hopefully new content on this site. For starters I have made some changes regarding the layout of this site, but if you are a returning visitor you might notice that basically the style is still the same, the reason for this is that it isn't easy to let go of things that one has built up from scratch (the majority of web graphics are done by myself for example). So this site will still use the same color scheme and main logo in the future as well. I have cleaned up the top and left frame a bit, and if there is one lesson I now have learned about tables, it is that if pixel perfection is required, it's best to let the graphics to the job of deciding the width and height of table cells instead of specifying it in the html file (even if this involves using transparant spacer images). For the thing is that various browsers have their own ideas of exactly how high/wide a cell should be based on the info given in the html file (the end result will differ). An image on the other hand is always constant since for example a 250x100 pixels big png file will always have a size of 250x100 regardless of the browser used.
There is one section of this site that really needs an overhaul right now, and that is the Videos section which currently lies in ruins. Most of the links are dead and the layout used on the pages are a bit on the ugly side. Something will happen here in the future, and most likely various video clips will either be hosted on this site or on YouTube. As for the actual html pages, I will have to use a system which makes them easy to maintain, and it will most likely be based upon the software used for making the pages in the Pictures section.
Lost - Season 6
Season 6 of Lost will start on 2. February in America, and thanks to the torrent technology, I will hopefully be able to download the first episode 1-2 days later. I just simply can't wait until the last season starts here in Norway. There are a lot of questions in the Lost universe that needs answers, and hopefully we will get them in the last season. There's one thing I'm sure of - not everything in Lost is what it first appears to be, and I'm certain that we are in for some very big surprises. One thing I've been thinking about lately is Locke, because what everybody seems to assume is that the Locke person who ordered Ben to kill Jakob is fake, while the dead Locke in the coffin is the real one. But what if it's the other way around? And if so, why did Locke order the murder? Can it be that Jakob is the bad guy and his nemesis really the good guy? We'll just have to wait and see.
Anyway, since I'm a big Lost fan I thought that my site should reflect this, and I have decided to let Vlad & Elizabeth in the horned green thingy that was present on the top of this very page rest for a while (maybe for good), and let a new Lost inspired thingy take it's place.
The Amiga911 Boot Disk
Lately I have been working on a new Amiga project called Amiga911, this is a boot disk which contains various drivers and tools. It is mainly intended for people who wants to set up a harddisk to their Amiga in a quick and easy way, or who wants to boot up a system in order to fix a broken Workbench installation. The disk contains drivers which allows the user to easily transfer files from PC to Amiga in various ways. Legal reasons prevents me from making this disk available to the public, so now I'm going to start working on some sort of an install script which will make the users able to create the disk for themselves
More information about the Amiga911 Boot Disk can be found here.
added on wednesday the 27. january 2010.
Pretties For You.
Now there are forty years since the first Alice Cooper album was released, the year was 1969 and the album was entitled "Pretties For You". Back then it was the actual band that was called Alice Cooper (AC went solo in 1975), and on both this album and the follow up, the musical style was both somewhat experimental and a bit psychedelic. In other words, this album is not exactly everybodys cup of tea, and for people that are curious about Alice Cooper's earliest works, I would recommend some of the later albums instead. But still I must admit that I actually like this album, and the favourite track has to be "Sing Low, Sweet Cheerio". I can also mention that live versions of two of the other songs; "Fields of Regret" and "No Longer Umpire" are present on all the countless variants of the "Toronto Music Festival" live bootleg album that are floating around, but here the tracks are called "Science Fiction" and "Painting a Picture" instead. These live versions are very sloppy even for live versions to be, and I must say that the studio versions sounds much much better.
But to celebrate this event, the start page of this site will feature the cover from the Pretties For You album for the rest of the year. You can find more info about this album here.
Some more work has now been done on AnArchiver, and the result is a new main package instead of only an update. There are two reasons for this, and the first is that I have for a long time wanted to replace version 1.58 which can be found on both this site and Aminet, the reason being that this version is a bit buggy and I simply hate the thought that somebody will just install and use this version without installing any of the later updates. The current version of AnArchiver is quite stable, and I think it's a good idea to make a new main package of it.
The second reason is that version 1.58 only includes icons of the ColorIcons type, and this meant that users of AmigaOS 3.0 and 3.1 was stuck with 4 colour icons only. I don't know if it was naivity or arrogancy, but I did belive back when AnArchiver 1.58 was released that "everybody" was using AmigaOS 3.5/3.9 then. I later have come to realize that there actually are a lot of AmigaOS 3.0/3.1 users out there, and even I have a Amiga with OS 3.1 now. So with this new version of AnArchiver I wanted to include support for ALL versions of AmigaOS 3.x, and this comes in the form of there being both ColorIcons, NewIcons and MagicWB icons included with the new AnArchiver package, there is also a small utility included which allows the user to easily switch between the icon sets.
You can find out more about what's new in Anarchiver 1.60 here.
A new Amiga has now been added to my computer collection. I have for a long time been curious about the Amiga 600, and when I found one for sale on a online auction site, I decided to buy it. There are two things that makes the A600 a bit special: One thing is that it's the smallest Amiga ever made (meaning that the numerical part of the keyboard is missing), something which in my opinion makes it much more practical when compared to the massive A500. The second and more negative thing is that it's the Amiga model which is hardest to upgrade, the reason for this is that the trapdoor expansion port can only be used for adding 1 MB of extra Chip RAM (leading to a total of 2 MB). For Fast RAM the only option up to now has been to add a SRAM card (with up to 4 MB) to the PCMCIA port, but these type of cards are both very expensive and hard to find nowadays. Another thing that makes the A600 hard to upgrade is that with the exception of the Kickstart ROM, it uses surface mounted chips only - meaning that it ain't so easy to just replace the chips.
But the Amiga 600 does however have two major advantages over the Amiga 500, one is that it includes a built-in RF modulator - meaning that it's easier to connect it to a TV display, and the other is that it have a built-in IDE interface - meaning that adding a harddisk is rather a piece of cake.
Up to now, the upgrades I have performed on my A600 includes adding a Compact Flash card to be used as a harddisk and a 2.5" IDE - CF adapter, and I have also added a A603 Memory Expansion. I have also added my name on the list for a A608 Fast RAM Expansion. I'm not sure if I will bother to upgrade the OS since I think it's cool to have several amigas with different OS versions, and now I got one A1200 with AmigaOS 3.9, one A1200 with AmigaOS 3.1 and one A600 with AmigaOS 2.1.
More information about the Amiga 600 can be found here.
added on thursday the 10. september 2009.
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