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Since I have the necessary hardware at hand and some spare time, why not?
I can make an image of basically any 3.5" floppy disc, from any PC/musical instrument/old machinery, excluding Extra High Density/2.88MB ones. I may get a 5"1/4 drive too, but don't count too much on it, and I surely won't be bothered with flippy disks.

So if you have some documents written with an old word processor on an 8 bit home computer, or sounds samples for an old synth, etc., this may be the right occasion to get them in a format ready to be used in an emulator, or converted in some ways.

This is not in any way some kind of pro service, just a friendly favour.
I offer no warranties, and take no responsibilities of any kind -- if you have very delicate items, sensible/reserved data, etc., asks some reputable service that do this professionally.
I obviously won't pay anything to receive the package (postage surcharges, duty imports, etc.).

I'll receive the disks, try to read them and make the image files available to you, within a reasonable time.
Afterwards, successfully imaged or not, the disks will be disposed and not sent back.

If you'll be supremely happy with the results, I'll eventually gladly accept only a postcard from your city, or some beer money ;D , but it's absolutely NOT needed.

You need to be an active member with some activity on the board (not an account just created yesterday, so to speak).

It will be probably interesting just for someone in Europe, due to shipping costs, but I don't really know.
I may also stop accepting new requests at any time (imaging already agreed upon will be honoured of course), depending on how much work this may turn out to be.
If you are interested, just send a PM.

A nice practical demonstration of the level of optimiziations and features of moderns C++ compilers:

Living Room / The backfire effect
« on: May 03, 2017, 01:31 PM »


A SeqBox container have a blocksize sub/equal to that of a sector, so can survive any level of fragmentation. Each block have a minimal header that include a unique file identifier, block sequence number, checksum, version. Additional, non critical info/metadata are contained in block 0 (like name, file size, crypto-hash, other attributes, etc.).

If disaster strikes, recovery can be performed simply scanning a volume/image, reading sector sized slices and checking blocks signatures and then CRCs to detect valid SBX blocks. Then the blocks can be grouped by UIDs, sorted by sequence number and reassembled to form the original SeqBox containers.

Tools are in Python 3.x, so they should work just about anywhere. I tried on a server with Linux, Win 10 PC, Raspberry Pi, Android.

Set up a 21 profile to receive paid messages from people outside your network. Keep the money, or donate it to charities like Black Girls Code.
It's like LinkedIn InMail, except you get paid!

An interesting experiment...
I found about it when, just overnight, I started to see tweets by various notable (and non) people that activated an account. I have seen asking prices from 1$ to over 100$.

Will it gain some traction or be just a passing fad?
Don't know, but the idea to reach some otherwise unreachable person may have some appeal. Surely it works as an anti-spam! :)

Interesting presentation, and memories!  ;D

At GDC 2016, Provinciano elaborated on exactly how he did it, and in the process shed light on how he reduced memory usage down to 4MB, increased performance to run on a 486 PC, reduced disk space to fit on a single 1.44MB floppy, and finally ported the game to MS-DOS itself.


The other video/talks referenced in the video are also interesting.

Saw this series of articles mentioned on OSNews. Fascinating read indeed.

Why I’m writing a Windows 3 Emulator
I’ve decided to write a 16-bit Windows emulator. It’s a bit of crazy idea, but hear me out…


  • It’s like DosBox in that it’s emulating the CPU — but unlike DosBox in that it’s not emulating other low level hardware.
  • It’s like Wine in that it’s emulating the Windows API — but unlike Wine in that the CPU is emulated instead of running on a physical processor (remember Wine stands for “Wine Is Not an Emulator”).
  • It’s not like VirtualBox or VMWare or other virtualization software as it’s not emulating or virtualizing low level hardware.

General Software Discussion / MS-DOS Player for Win32-x64
« on: April 29, 2015, 06:36 PM »
I actually discovered this one very recently, and thought that maybe it can come handy to someone.
It's basically an MS-DOS emulator that let you run on the fly 16bit executables on a 64bit Windows machine, without creating a separate environment (like when using DOSBox, or QEMU, etc.).
Various versions are included, emulating a 486, 286 or 086 CPUs (the simpler the CPU, the faster the execution).


MS-DOS Player for Win32-x64, by Takeda Toshiya

If you feel adventurous, on the websites there are a number of other emulators, for example one for CP/M.  :)

Living Room / Anyone getting a Pebble Time?
« on: March 19, 2015, 03:33 PM »
I was pretty interested in the Pebble for some time, but never quite enough to actually buy one.
When they announced the KickStarter campaign for the new Time, I finally decided and backed it right away.

KickStarter - Pebble Time - Awesome Smartwatch, No Compromises

I like the fact that it don't try to do everything, but just few fundamentals things, and doing them right.
Plus the SDK is really well made, and can be used entirely from a browser.

Living Room / Elite: Dangerous
« on: August 21, 2014, 09:39 AM »
Anyone here playing?

Official site:

Comparision with the original: Elite 30 years later: Comparing screenshots from 1984 and 2014

Check this video to get a feel of some of the things that can be done:

Elite + Voice Attack + EDTracker

General Software Discussion / SQRL (Secure Quick Reliable Login)
« on: February 21, 2014, 11:10 AM »
What about this?
I admit I am not very fond of Mr. Gibson (mainly due to the tecnobabble about Spinrite and the whole personal firewall thing), but this seems interesting.

Secure Quick Reliable Login
Proposing a comprehensive, easy-to-use, high security replacement for usernames,
passwords, reminders, one-time-code authenticators . . . and everything else.
Gibson Research Corporation - Secure Quick Reliable Login

Another information site about it:
SQRL - An Illustrated Guide

This seems quite an interesting development:

Develop in the Cloud - Auto-Threading Compilers Are Here
Recently, Jared Parsons pointed me toward some research (PDF) conducted by Microsoft Research, and accepted for publication at OOPSLA. (Parsons is a co-author.) The team writing the paper also implemented the concepts as an extension to the C# compiler.

The key difference between FP and Microsoft's approach is that where FP tries to eliminate mutability, the Microsoft team only tries to track it. One core concept, referred to as reference immutability, in part allows the compiler to track mutability and make decisions about what code can be parallelized and what cannot. The result is a C#-like language that can be written normally (single-threaded), which the compiler auto-threads where it deems it beneficial. This is extremely interesting. It's a game changer. It's also real.

Parsons told me in an email:

In some ways I see FP as kind of an extreme answer to the problem of multi-threading. People find that unexpected state mutations are causing race conditions and they decide the best idea is to eliminate mutable state altogether. I think the the key is making the state mutations visible and controllable.

The team claims it's written millions of lines of code, creating a web server, an MPEG decoder, and many other applications. This, in Microsoft's usual style, demonstrates that the language is capable of real production use (or abuse). Unfortunately, Microsoft does not have a release date set at this time.


IMDB Entry - Micro Men (2009)
In 1979 Clive Sinclair, British inventor of the pocket calculator, frustrated by the lack of home investment in his project,the electric car, also opposes former assistant Chris Curry's belief that he can successfully market a micro-chip for a home computer. A parting of the ways sees Curry, in partnership with the Austrian Hermann Hauser and using whizz kid Cambridge students, set up his own, rival firm to Sinclair Radionics, Acorn. Acorn beat Sinclair to a lucrative contract supplying the BBC with machines for a computer series. From here on it is a battle for supremacy to gain the upper hand in the domestic market

A nice TV production about some very interesting times.

An interesting post linked on OS news:

JLOUIS Ramblings - Getting 2.5 Megalines of code to behave

I cannot help but speculate on how the software on the Curiosity rover has been constructed. We know that most of the code is written in C and that it comprises 2.5 Megalines of code, roughly[1]. One may wonder why it is possible to write such a complex system and have it work. This is the Erlang programmers view.

General Software Discussion / BubbleRand v1.03
« on: May 12, 2012, 05:54 AM »

This is just something that started out of playing a bit with the Python Image Library.
Nothing especially original: photo bubbling is around by about 2 years, and probably that too wasn't a new thing.

Anyway, the idea is to start from a photo and a mask, created with the preferred bitmap editor (only red & blue pixels are significant):

and auto generating something like this:

Since the generation of the bubbles is automatic, a number of frames can be created, and then an animated GIF can be assembled with a number of tools:

Mini-Reviews by Members / SNS-HDR - Mini-Review
« on: April 27, 2012, 08:17 PM »
Basic Info

App Version Reviewed4.1.19 Lite
Test System SpecsWindow 7
Supported OSesWindows >= XP + Net Framework >= 3.0
Upgrade PolicyFreeware
Trial Version Available?Aside from the Freeware Lite version, there are trials for the Home & Pro
Pricing SchemeLite: Freeware - Home: 30 Euro - Pro: 85 Euro
Relationship btwn. Reviewer and Product none

Anyone that like to play with HDR imaging, or photo retouching in general, should give a look at this program by Sebastian Nibisz. The website is in Polish, but Google Translate does a good enough job to help understand, and the download or changelog (it's update quite often) are just a click away.


The main point is: it just works (I have heard that somewhere...), and works very well.
It basically just need to know the images to operate with, and it start crunching pixels. Being command line driven, it's possible to just drag some photos over a link to it, or use it for batch operation, call it from scripts or other applications, etc.

A simple GUI is also available, just to ease the process of launching it.


The other versions have instead a complete GUI, witch let tweaks a lot of settings like the others HDR tools around usually do. But I do like the simplicity of the Lite version.

The just run it approach is almost refreshing, compared with some other programs that often need a lot of works and tweaks to come up with a good result. The simple presets of the Lite version are very effective, and do works very well in most cases.

The hi lights of SNS-HDR are probably the accuracy of the automatic alignment & deghosting of the photos to be combined, and the quality of the natural images that it can produce (versus the over-the-top ones that often are associated with HDR).
It's also possible to get surprising good results even starting with one single exposure!

The only real annoyance I found is the speed, or lack of it. But it's not really that bad: probably is more that I had been used to the amazing speed of another similar program, Oloneo HDRengine.

In conclusion: great image quality. Super easy to use. Free.

General Software Discussion / Fuzzy Hashing with ssdeep
« on: April 27, 2012, 01:18 PM »
Long time no post! :)

So, here an humble try at contributing something interesting.
I discovered ssdeep just some days ago, and already found it very useful in a couple of different situations.

Quoting from the site intro:
ssdeep is a program for computing context triggered piecewise hashes (CTPH). Also called fuzzy hashes, CTPH can match inputs that have homologies. Such inputs have sequences of identical bytes in the same order, although bytes in between these sequences may be different in both content and length.

So, point it a directory with a lot of files in, of any kind, and it can produce a list of related files: various versions of the same executable, all the documents of certain kind, and so on.
It also include a library with a few exported functions to easily take advantage of its features from other applications.

General Software Discussion / Google+
« on: June 28, 2011, 07:18 PM »
Will be the right time for Google's take on social web?

The Google+ Project - Learn more

The Official Google Blog - Introducing the Google+ project: Real-life sharing, rethought for the web

Something seems done really well, like the Circles metaphora to categorize people in different groups - something that Facebook just don't do (right).

BTW, if anyone have an invitation to spare...  :Thmbsup:

I'm searching a simple application that could, potentially, be used to record hours of audio, directly in MP3 or OGG format.
Bonus points for something that could record in a loop, i.e. keep always the last xx hours, or minutes, etc.
Nothing really needed aside from that; will use some other software to edit the "raw" audio after that.


Found the other day searching around for some lightweight CMS:


Screenshot - 1_30_2011 , 6_18_19 AM_thumb.png

Stacey is a lightweight content management system.
No database setup or installation files, simply drop the application on a server and it runs. Your content is managed by creating folders and editing text files. No login screens, no admin interface.

Python / PyQuick - Up & running with Python quickly
« on: January 15, 2011, 08:14 PM »
I was interested in starting to play with Python for quite some time, but never actually found the time / inspiration to do it.  :-[
Found these videos around Xmas while random-zapping on YouTube ;D and got hooked!  :D

So, here I am recommending this brief series of videos by Nick Parlante to anyone who want to get the hang of Python.

Here's the link to the first video:
YouTube - PyQuick - Google Python Class Day 1 Part 1

And the associated webpages:
Google's Python Class - Python Introduction

General Software Discussion / Z-Type - Type to shoot
« on: January 11, 2011, 09:20 AM »

An HTML5 game... Genius! :D


Say someone can connect over a internet cafè provided Wi-Fi, but don't fully trust the connection, fearing that there may be sniffers around.

Is there any (preferably) free VPN service that can be used on the fly to make a secure connection?
Speed would not be important at all - just usable would be OK.


General Software Discussion / Stop Forum Spam
« on: March 29, 2010, 07:00 AM »
A nice service that collect info about forum spammers.
It offer the ability to search for IP, username and mail address, and also expose a simple API for integration with forum software.

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