Thursday, December 17, 1998

Dec 17 1998

Woohoo! My paychecks came in yesterday (one from IBA and one from PRC), so I ran out and bought a Sound Blaster 64, Microsoft SideWinder Force Feedback joystick, Sony microphone, and a CompUSA 17″ monitor (the latter for my Mom). They all installed flawlessly, and the joystick comes with a three-month subscription to Fighter Ace!

64-bit sound does make a difference; sound quality is much clearer and cleaner; you can hear more in the sound. Next, I’m going to buy a copy of BeOS — hopefully I’ll be able to install it without having to blow away my current system. Looks like I can, and run Windows programs thanks to Bochs. Unfortunately, Be has just come out with a new release that completely changes their binary format on Intel-based machines, meaning that all the software out there will have to be recompiled. So I’ll have to wait awhile for any interesting software (they have DOOM ported to BeOS!). Still, might be wortwhile getting now so I can get used to it and any quirks, and to be fair this new version hasn’t even officially been released yet. And on the gripping hand, I can always download the source code and compile it myself. >:-) Ahh, I love operating systems that come with their own compilers.

There’s a story over on Yahoo! Daily News about a new programming language called Squeak. It’s a child of Smalltalk (a highly object-oriented language), it’s completely open source, and some of its proponents are talking about making it just as easy to use for a 5-year-old as a 25-year-old. It uses the same write-once-run-anywhere system of Java, with a Squeak virtual machine sitting there running the program. So it looks like an interesting competitor to Java. It’s already been ported to Macintosh, Windows, WindowsCE, and a number of Unix variations. It’s also free.

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