January 12, 2013

Erlangen Computer Disaster 2013


after i had to setup my Mac from backup, there are some bits left worth to note:

Restoring from Time Machine Backup was very reliefing and worked with almost no hassle; ignoring the fact, that for some reason restoring the last snapshot did not work, but the 1 hr older was not really worse. Worse was, that the backup was > 10 days old, because it's done on an external drive which i don't want to power up ever 15 minutes, which it does if left mounted. So it's mostly unmounted.

curious: iMail marked ~ 2000 mails as unread. I had to "read" them again.

silly: Restoring my LAN setting did not work. I had to correct it manually when i discovered that my Mac k1.spdns.de/ was not reachable.

bugger: 2 days later i discovered megabytes of web server error messages, because my script couldn't store preview thumbs in the preview folder. I had to correct permissions. I think this did no harm except that preview images were created anew each time a page was accessed.

that really sucks: Today i noticed that the current download version of zxsp was not in the download folder. :-/ I had to create it anew. Now it's slightly larger again, this really depends on what i have compiled in when i compiled Qt. This is a little bit silly; do i actually need a Qt installation for each project, so that the libs included in the app only contain the binaries the app actually uses? And then, of course, i made an error in the deployment process and built the pre11 app with an internal version of pre12. And some folks have already downloaded it before i noticed this mistake. For that reason there won't be a version pre12, the next will be pre13 for the sake of the "check update" function.

    ... Kio !

p.s.: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KCRqAzCevsY

p.p.s.: And there's a new background for the blog. :-)

January 9, 2013

Good News & Bad News


short story:

  1. My Mac is online again. 
  2. There won't be a PowerPC version of zxsp unless something very unlikely happens.

long story:

I tried to create a PowerPC version of zxsp for all those who have a nicely working Mac and don't want to buy a new one just for Intel's sake.

I need to compile Qt, because the precompiled version is Intel-only. done.
I need to figure out which options to use for ./configure. done.
I tried to compile. failed.
I'm lacking a PowerPC compiler.
I'm researching in the net. done.
Checked whether there is something i can install with MacPorts. riente.
I need to install XCode 3.2.6 to get a powerpc gcc and thereafter XCode 4.0 to fix what's messed up.
I found XCode 3.2 on my Snow Leopard install disk and installed it. Asked me to quit iTunes. iTunes wasn't running. Couldn't be quit. Couldn't be force quit. Mac couldn't be shut down. 
Power cycled my Mac. done.
Installed XCode 3.2 without having started iTunes before so it couldn't leave some trails in the system. worked.
XCode 3.2 provided an older version of the powerpc gcc. grrr...
I tried to compile zxsp. failed.
I searched, found and downloaded XCode 3.2.6, whoopy 4.1GB. done.
I installed XCode 3.2.6, or, erm, at least, what it liked to install. Basically everything except the development tools itself. grrr...
I checked whether i still could compile zxsp. failed.
I installed XCode 4.0.5 from the AppStore. done.
I checked whether i still could compile zxsp. failed.
I checked whether i could use XCode. Basically yes.
I tried to compile a project. Initially failed, but after updating some settings worked. done.
I checked whether i still could compile zxsp. failed.
I tried to compile Qt 4.8.3 from the saved sources. failed.
Meanwhile i had disposed the XCode 3.2 installation. But i thought, i could have saved the slightly older powerpc gcc files. I looked into the bundle of the XCode installer on the Snow Leopard disk and installed only those packages which seemed to be appropriate. If they were installed, i didn't find them.
I installed XCode 3.2 aga...
Kernel Panic.
Mac rebooted.
Kernel Panic.
Mac rebooted.
Kernel Panic.
Mac rebooted.
Kernel Panic.
I booted from the Snow Leopard installation disk.  ok.
Checked file system. ok.
Restored from Time Machine backup. 1h later: Failed.
Restored from older Time Machine Backup. 3h later: worked.
Booted. ok.
Checked online state. k1.dyndns.org not responding.
Checked local web server: running & serving.
Checked DynDns IP assignment. ok.
Fixed LAN settings. k1.dyndns.org online again.
Downloaded Qt source. (Qt stuff wasn't in the backup) done.
Compiled Qt. worked.
Compiled zxsp. worked.
Will i give it another try? Not on this Mac.

I'll accept a donated Mac Mini or similar...
(That's the very unlikely thing to happen...)

    ... Kio !

January 7, 2013

zxsp 0.8.0.pre11: Debugger


i hope you had a nice trip through 2012 and arrived well in 2013.

What's new in this version?

Ad-hoc assembling in disass view
I still worked on the debugger and added Ad-hoc assembling in the disassembler view.

If you choose "Edit" in the button group and then click on a disassembled instruction you can immediately enter a new Z80 assembler opcode. While the line is valid it is shown in green and while it is invalid in red. If you hit "Enter" while it is valid, the current opcode is overwritten with the new data. If the new opcode is shorter or longer than the overwritten opcode, then NOPs are added to align the opcode end to the old opcode boundaries.

  • I have fixed some cosmetic issues in the memory editors. Now they zip to a full character size after a short moment after you have resized a window. 
  • The view which has keyboard focus is highlighted with a light green border and only here a blinking cursor is displayed.


Though there are still a lot of ideas around the memory views, i'll consider this section "finished" for now and will probably work next on TC2048 screen modes.

I have checked whether i can make a G4/G5 version based on Qt. This is possible but requires me to build a Qt library from source, with proper settings. I think i'll do it, because there are still some people out there with PowerPCs, but it may take a while.

Switch to Qt 5.0 will take a while too. They have not yet even confirmed the bug. You could do me a favor and vote it up: bugs at qt-project/28804.

I'll suspend work on zxsp for a while to work on my hardware projects. I need a switch to something else now. I'll be back in ~2 months.

    ... Kio !