I'm Retro

(2021, March, 12th - 05:27am)

I am diving into the wealth of material from the early to mid 90's when a close group of friends used to meet for anything at all, but in this case mostly Amiga related business. I had so many plans for myself and projects to do, but as for many people, life happened.

In the early 2000's, I had a project going to try to analyse all existing amiga modules that are existing. My prototype before things went south with my health. My arthritis that has a very unpredictable mood with years I could barely even move. My prototype came as far as picking apart every single module file I had and stuffed its parts into a mySQL database, then I could search for any of the fields by text and select which song I wanted to listen to - if the rebuild matched the MD5 hash that I had collected from the original song prior to picking it apart.

Then around 2010, I wondered about the genealogy of music trackers. What are the differences, bugs, similarities, etc? I had ideas for a tool that disassembled the binary files, to manually analyse them and base older analysis on making next ones easier. Hell, I even thought to go through every single existing demo to see if songs match so you can find more specific dates and which exact playroutine they were using, to replicate exact the way the song were actually made due to minor differences in generalised playroutines that are widely used. That endeavour ended with an almost completed disassembler and a basic HUNK loader to open the binary files for disassembly.

Now, in 2021, I am having the itch again. The project is bigger than ever. Now I am planning to just make my software point at a directory, then it will go through everything thoroughly and analyse whatever it finds. Currently, it scans HUNK files, image files like adf and hdf and files withing them. This implements a full Amiga DOS file system, but without the bits needed for writing, like the bitmap tables is irrelevant unless you are looking for a free block on the disk to where to write data, and who cares about the hashing function to look for files, when they are ready indexed and prepared in a local table inside my program. It is read only!

So I digressed a tiny bit today. I ripped all my personal Amiga floppies to PC around 15 years ago. They are all stored on my Google Drive as well as double copies on DVDR, and probably on some spinning HD drives as well. It is the same archive that some of the rarer (not any more) Syntex and other few members and non-members modules come from, and my utterly ridiculous 'Roadzanity' intro by Atomic. I am being overly critical about myself now, though it was the only thing I ever actually released despite calling myself 'coder'. There is a lot of other material as well that I am planning to go through. If I find anything of interest, I will post it here.

The fact that they are stored in the cloud makes it relatively easy to go through, although Google Drive haven't got a single clue how to read anything but .txt files. Source code? nope, .iff files? njet, but I stumbled upon a document about AGA that is pure text. I thought to look for it online to see if it was available. It was available as a .guide file, but the document I found is pure text and was released about a week before by the same people. I am sure it is there, just not where I was looking, but here it is in case it is of historical interest: