03/31/21: NE Disc App v2.3.0 & NE Disc App Notification Service v2.0.0 released

No real functional changes with these two releases but it finally moves both projects off of Java 8 to Java 15. Just right after Java 16 was released! :) Originally, I was going to upgrade to Java 16 but due to internal changes to the JVM in 16, Lombok doesn't work correctly anymore without some not-so-pretty pom additions that cause a whole bunch of warnings I'm not risking putting into production. Java 17 is due to come out in September and it's a long term support version that I can sit on for a bit. That gives me a little while before either Lombok figures out how to work with the new Java changes or I de-lombok the project so it continues to work with the new versions of Java. I'm definitely going to miss the easy annotations for getters, setters and constructors if I have to go down that route.
List of ticket changes are in the NE Disc App Change Log.


03/26/21: COBOL Guest Book Web App Released

I know, it's weird to see two back to back updates on this site like this. I was playing around with the idea of creating a simple web application using GnuCOBOL and decided to create a simple Guest Book demonstration. I put up some screen shots as well as links to the GitHub page and local download in the COBOL files section.

I also put together a live demo site that's running the code. It's running locally on a VM so I can't guarantee any uptime (basically how the site was hosted in the late 2000s that caused so many problems). I tried to find some free host that could support a compiled executable cgi file that wasn't perl, python or php but came up empty handed.

Anyway, here's the link: Live demo site

03/25/21: New QB File : Peanuts (again!)

Peanuts is a game that Logan Glasson submitted to this site back in 2008. Due to the unstable nature of this site at the time because of it being hosted at my house, I thought I had lost this file for good when my server's hard drive died. I managed to resurrect a copy of it from my old half dead server hard drive. It's a fun game and I'm glad I was able to find it again. It's available for download in the QBasic file section.

03/13/21: D&D Dice Roller COBOL file updated

After using the D&D dice roller app again in the D&D session I was playing tonight, I made some modifications and fixed up the code a bit. The randomness of the original version wasn't 100% reliable as it seeded on just the millisecond value of the time. The new version sets the seed at the start of the program based on the whole integer time value. The following random function calls then get the next value in the sequence based on the original seed instead of pulling each time with the seed of the millisecond value where potentially you could pull from the same millisecond and get the the same seed value. Source download is in the COBOL files section.

03/10/21: NE Disc App v2.2.0 & v2.2.1 Released

I'm not really sure how it got started but after the last release, I got sucked into fixing things here and there with the NE Disc App site. I think it started after I noticed a bug while testing the last release where system accounts could access the admin pages of other disc apps if they had a shared owner (not introduced in that release, it had been there the whole time!). Anyway, lots of random bug fixes like that have been completed as well two new "features" (if you can call them that). Admins can now preview their mailing list HTML changes before saving them as well as I added a link to the disc app management page on the homepage for users who are logged in. Oh! and I guess something somewhat of note is that on the appearance admin page, the "changes saved" messaging is finally in the box that the changes were saved for instead of at the top of the page. This finally closes a ticket that has been open since the site went live almost a year and a half ago.

Alright, I'm just rambling at this point. Full list of changes can be found in the NE Disc App change log.

03/01/21: NE Disc App v2.1.0 Released

Just a small release for the NE Disc App. There were some minor changes I wanted to get pushed out there for some security reasons, so I put this release together. Full info can be found in the NE Disc App Change Log Entry.

02/20/21: Happy 22nd Birthday NE!

Wow. For 22 years I've been updating this website now! It's been a pretty busy year with a potentially record breaking number of releases. This past year, I've had a larger focus on COBOL programs as well as new files in languages not released for before on this site like batari BASIC for the Atari 2600 and Visual Basic.

NE Releases since 02/20/20:

02/18/21: NE COBOL Editor Release v0.14-RC1

Initial release of the NE COBOL Editor is out. It's a useful little text editor I wrote in Visual Basic 3.0 for Windows 3.x to handle writing and updating COBOL projects. I wanted a decent COBOL text editor to write code with on my 486 but there doesn't really seem to be any that aren't DOS based (even then, the Programmer's Workbench that's included in MS COBOL 5.0 isn't great.) Though it's written for Windows 3.x, it should work on any version up until Windows 10 as long as it's 32 bit.

Editor's Features: Source files, executable, screenshots and demo video can all be found in the Visual Basic files section.

02/10/21: Zombie Crisis Release v0.3a for Atari 2600

This is definitely a surprise release. I just realized that I never actually put the latest Zombie Crisis release on the website. I guess I was originally going to wait until there were a few more changes before posting it but now that it's been 5 months since I last really worked on it, I figured I should probably release it now before I forget forever. The latest download can be found on the Atari 2600 projects page.

02/04/21: CRSSR Release v0.35

Well, I have one of the two applications ready for their first release today! CRSSR (COBOL RSS Reader) is now officially released. I didn't go with a v1.0 release as I feel like there are probably still bugs floating around as well as I would like to add a paging feature to the item and feed lists so you can have more than one screen of data. For this release, I have uploaded both the source and the deb package. You can use either to build/install the application. The downloads can be found on the COBOL files page.

01/29/21: NE Disc App Release v2.0.0

As promised, a new NE Disc App release this month. (I know, I can't believe it either... something being released on time!). This new release has some fixes to input validation as well as two new features. One new feature is that when a message board is created, the owner will receive a "welcome" email of sorts that contains useful links as well as some how-to steps. (Example Welcome Email) The other new feature is the ability for admins to upload their own favicon. Uploaded favicons can only be up to 640Kb in size but this option helps admins get around issues where some favicons were only located elsewhere under HTTP (causing a security warning in browser) or not available at all outside their hosted domain. Only a few fixes here and there on the plate for 2.1.0 and no targeted release date as of yet for it.
NE Disc App Change Log post

In other news, I should have NE COBOL Editor and CRSSR released for the next update. I'm actually pretty happy with how both of them turned out so far.

01/19/21: NE COBOL Editor (VB3.0)

I made some more progress on the NE COBOL source code editor written in Visual Basic 3.0. I haven't had a ton of time to work on it but currently, you can navigate the directory tree and open files. You can also turn on and off the area lines on the text editor in the options menu. Still need to work on file saving as well as creating a new document through the file menu. All in all, this should be a pretty quick "project" to finish.

I added a screen shot from it running on my 486 here: Here

01/16/21: CRSSR Update as well as new VB3.0 Project?

A bunch of work has been done on CRSSR. I'm just about ready to release the first version of it as pretty much "complete". Hopefully that will happen within the next week. In the mean time, I uploaded a video to YouTube and have it posted to the COBOL Projects Page if you're interested in seeing its current form. (You can also build the current version hosted on GitHub if you'd like to try the current version out.)

A new Visual Basic 3.0 project came about because I currently don't have anything on my 486 in the way of an text editor that works well for writing COBOL applications. Sure, I can use edit.com or notepad, but with COBOL requiring text to start in specified columns, it becomes a game of counting spaces until you're in the right spot. No screen shots just yet, but it's a COBOL source editor that has lines on the text area where the different areas start/stop. I guess if there's anyone out there that's also looking for a COBOL source code editor for an x86 class machine, this will be for you!

12/25/20: Happy Holidays!

I have a small release update scheduled for the NE Disc App in January that has some bug fixes as well as some changes based on suggestions received. There should be an update on that sometime next month. Other than that, CRSSR is now in the COBOL projects page (finally). Progress is still moving on that front, be it a little slowly.

12/20/20: Basic NE Home Page for old browsers

The current site hasn't really displayed properly on old (read:vintage) browsers since the redesign to use an iframe instead of ugly copy & paste html pages everywhere. Because of this, I decided to throw together a simple home page for old browsers that don't support Javascript, CSS or possibly even the iframe tag. It also doubles as a better mobile experience as well. Link to see the page is below as well as a link to the related forum post.

I also worked a bit more on CRSSR (COBOL RSS Reader) and added release dates to all the files in the Qbasic files page.

NE Basic Home Page
Related Forum Post

11/24/20: NE Disc App v1.6.0 Released

Next release of the NE Disc App has gone live. This release adds back the ability to set the buttons to images instead of just text values on the Disc Apps. It also adds working site map xml files for articles and forums. Fixes beyond that mostly include security updates and minor quality of life updates. I wanted to get this one one out before Thanksgiving weekend as I may not have time to make another release for some time after this. It was actually sparked by a typo in my RSS xml file on the live site that breaks the new CRSSR project. I fixed it locally so I could keep working on the project but needed it to go live as well to work with some real world data. :)

NE DiscApp Change Log Link

11/19/20: VB Hellbent and CRSSR Update

The Visual Basic Win16 Hellbent is now "sort of" released. I say "sort of" because it's in the same unfinished state that it was in back in February this year. It seems unlikely that I'll get around to finishing it any time soon or ever. That's not to say there's nothing of note in its current form. It's actually pretty playable. The whole battle system is basically completed (minus bad guy type variations) as well as the generic first screen of the overworld. The download contains the full source code as well as the needed VBRUN300.DLL and a compiled executable of the game. Download link and screenshots can be found in the new Visual Basic files section.

CRSSR is still going strong. I had a little hiccup due to some COBOL weirdnesses where the code compiled without any error but for some reason the working storage record data was corrupted in a way that it displayed fine to the console but trying to view that same text data in a screen caused nothing to be displayed. Long story short, if replacing multiple strings in a record, make sure to only specify "all" once.

For example, use this:
inspect WS-RECORD replacing all
	"STRING_TO_REPLACE" with [spaces|low-values|etc]
	"STRING_TO_REPLACE2" with [spaces|low-values|etc]
	"STRING_TO_REPLACE3" with [spaces|low-values|etc]

Instead of this:
inspect WS-RECORD replacing 
	all "STRING_TO_REPLACE" with [spaces|low-values|etc]
	all "STRING_TO_REPLACE2" with [spaces|low-values|etc]
	all "STRING_TO_REPLACE3" with [spaces|low-values|etc]

The second way will work fine in the console "display" outputs but won't display anything using a screen defined in the screen section (at least if it's saved to a file and then loaded like I was doing).

Wow, this is a long update! I also uploaded some screenshots of the work in progress: Here

11/10/20: CRSSR - COBOL RSS Reader

I was trying to think of a new project to work on in COBOL and thought maybe a command line based RSS reader would be fun to make. With the new RSS feature added in the latest 1.5.0 release of the NE Disc App, I have RSS feeds to test around with so I figured "Why not?". Seemed like to me the perfect fit for an ancient programming language like COBOL would be parsing and viewing an obsolete and now seldom used XML based syndication format!

GitHub Project Link (NE site page coming soon)

10/20/20: NE Disc App v1.5.0 Released

It's been a while since there was a new release of the NE Disc App site (last release was in April). A lot of new features and bug fixes were taken care of in this release. Most notible is the new RSS feature, some additional admin options for hold permissions and a new admin report email that owners can subscribe to.

Update is posted to the NE Disc App site as well as the change log there but here's the post to the NEMB thread about it as it has some screen shots and such that the locations don't have: Link

9/11/20: Zombie Crisis / Zombie Attack - Project Updates!

I added a projects page for my Atari 2600 homebrew. This section has some screenshots as well as links to the latest downloads and related forum posts. I also posted the download for the second beta which had a a small feature change for difficulty settings. Page can be found to the left under the "Projects" link.

I also (for some reason) decided to fix the build process of the Zombie Attack Java project from 3 years ago. I was able to get the game running again with out too much of a headache. Now that the game is buildable, I finally released a demo of it. The demo doesn't include any new changes since the project went idle in 2017 but I figured it would be nice to have some sort of release of it. Downloads for that can be found in the Java files section and Java projects section of the site.

Never thought I would be updating TWO "Millennium Crisis" projects in one day!

9/1/20: Zombie Crisis - Atari 2600 Homebrew - Beta Release

Here's the first beta release of my first Atari 2600 homebrew. I posted it to AtariAge forums. Please check the link below for more information. I'll be updating the site later with the proper project's page and such but for a quick 4:30am update this is easier. :)

Zombie Crisis Atari Age Forum Post with Download Link

8/25/20: Zombie Crisis - Atari 2600 Homebrew

I started working on programming for the Atari 2600 for fun this summer (again.. last attempt was ~2012). I decided that Millennium Crisis was still free as there hasn't been a final release on the C++ or Java attempts yet. I figured that would be a good starting point to figure out how things worked on the Atari 2600 as I wouldn't have to really worry about the story or the game play so much as it would mimic what I already have completed previously. So far, things are going well. I'm still working on creating a proper demo to post to the AtariAge forums. At the point I'm at now, it shouldn't be more than a few days before I do so. When that happens, I'll update here as well.

I picked up a Harmony Cartridge which allows you to play ROM files from an SD card on real hardware. This has helped a ton in making sure that the game I'm writing will work correctly on real hardware once It's complete. The game is currently written in batari Basic which I spoke about in an earlier update. It's a cool language and has been a fun experience so far. Hopefully people dig what I've been working on.

Link to related forum post

7/19/20: NE Disc App Source Code and others made it to the GitHub Arctic Vault!

GitHub made a time capsule out of it's public repositories that had at least one star and had activity in the past year or were popular (250 stars I think?). This time capsule was sent to an archive near the North Pole in Svalbard Norway. Surprisingly, some of my code actually made it into the archive! The repositories archived are NE Disc App, the NE Disc App Notification Service and Wry Parser (of all things). The criteria for entry was really low but it's still cool that something I wrote is archived out by the North Pole for who knows how many years.

Link to GitHub's Archive Project Homepage
Link to related forum post

6/29/20: batari Basic Sprite and Play Field Creator / Editor

I started working on a quick little project to help generate batari BASIC (bB) sprite and play field data. Having to type it in manually was sort of a pain so I figured it would be easy enough to create a simple tool to generate these data statements. The program is a Java Swing application and should basically run on anything. Link to the github project below as I haven't had time to create a proper section in the projects section.

Also added a small COBOL program I wrote a few months ago that rolls dice for D&D. It's a command line application where you can feed it strings like "1d20+5" and it will give you the straight roll number and the roll with the modifier added. I've used it in a couple of D&D sessions so far and it's been pretty decent.

Link to bB Sprite/Playfield Editor on GitHub

6/22/20: NE File Utility Release Candidate 1 Released

I figured I've made it to a point where a release candidate of the NE File Utility project is far enough along that it's appropriate. All file management functionality exists as well as compatibility modes for DOSBox and IBM PC/XT keyboards. There may be some errors still floating around that will need to be fixed as they pop up from testing but this version is more or less what the final version will be. Download link can be found on the Qbasic projects page link below.

Link to Qbasic Projects Page

5/19/20: New QB Project: NE File Utility

After the last NE Disc App release, I started working on a DOS Shell like clone written in QB 4.5. I have no real reason to create this application but it's something I've never actually attempted before (besides "Doors" projects through the years but those never actually made it to dealing with dir/file management). So far it's coming along quite well and more or less fully functional. There's still features and menu options to finish implementing but a release should be coming soon.

Link to Qbasic Projects Page

4/25/20: NE Disc App Release 1.4.1

Another new release for the Disc App site. This was more of a little fix that grew larger than expected. It's mostly admin enhancements and some bug fixes. None of the changes should really affect any regular users. 1.5.0 release has tickets planned for it but currently there is no immediate release date info. It will probably be a few months before that release goes live.
Link to release notes

4/21/20: NE Disc App Release 1.4.0

New release of the NE Disc App software that includes an easy streamline way for new users to create an account and a new message board in one form. It also gives me the ability to block offending IP addresses on a site wide basis. There are also many quality of life updates included if you're interested reading about. These can be found in the release notes on the forum here: Link to release notes

4/1/20: Wry Monochrome Qbasic Release!

So, no update on my VB 3.0 project. I've been side tracked by working on my vintage computers as well as I decided to make an updated version of Wry that worked on my IBM XT. It started as just a SCREEN 12 to SCREEN 0 fix and ended up having a bunch of new features and fixes.

New features/fixes:
 * All menu options now have a "return to menu" option so you don't
   have to actually pick an option to get back.
 * "Are you sure you want to quit" screen is fixed so it works right.
 * All screen calls have been change to screen 0 for monochrome compatibility.
 * Color calls have been slightly modified to look better on monochrome.
 * Bunch of random spelling errors have been fixed but definitely not all.
   (No grammar was fixed or even attempted to be fixed.. that's a lost
   cause. haha)
 * Game now requires you to beat first 3 episodes to unlock episode 4.
 * Game stats are now saved even after quitting. You can see the stats
   after Ep4 is unlocked under "Game Secrets".
 * Game secrets main menu is fixed so you can quit from it and it remains
   unlocked after leaving it the first time.
 * Random stack trace reductions were made where it was possible to do
   quickly. The game still suffers from it though due to the nature of the
   code base. Hopefully the saved stats will help make this tolerable.
 * Check marks now appear on the episode select screen for episodes completed.
 * Some changes to text alignment here and there as well as some update
   text added to some areas. (Ex: website url)
 * Probably a bunch of little things I'm forgetting about.
Download is in the Qbasic files section: Here

Vintage computer related posts complete with images: -Erik

2/21/20: Happy 21st Birthday NE!

I can't believe I've been updating this site for 21 years now. That's insane! It's crazy how quickly time flies by.

I started working on my VB 3.0 idea. It's coming along nice-ish. I haven't touched Visual Basic since High School back in the early 2000s so it's been a bit of a learning experience. I've also found a way (though I still need to test it to verify) to compile my Win16 app as a Win32 app so it will run on 64bit Windows (All the way up to Win10!). When I'm done, I'll post compiled binaries for Win16/Win32 as well as the source code. I don't want to announce what the "project" is yet. I'm hoping to be done with it by the end of next month.

2/4/20: Recovered source code of C++ RPG v0.0.25!

I was digging again through old floppy disks and copying off any data that I could find that was interesting and I stumbled across a copy of the RPG v0.0.25 program that's been in the C++ file's section for about 15+ years with the last update being because the source code got corrupted. The version I found on the disk was an earlier version than what's in the files section but has the full uncorrupted source code.

I added the found code to the lost files section in the archive section of the site. It has two versions. One version contains a modified version that should compile today (Did it locally today) and the other version is the original file from the disk that's missing one of the header files.

Not really anything of interest, it's just sort of cool to find some code that you thought was lost forever 15+ years ago. (Similar story to my QB Terror project which it's lost source file was found almost exactly 3 years ago to this day)

1/24/20: Another DiscApp Update 1.3.0

Admins can now choose to add flare to their posts. There is also a new CSS option that lets admins enter the CSS file on the appearance maintenance page instead of having to choose a built in option or link an external CSS file. Other than that there was a bunch of bug fixes and 'nice to have' enhancements.

There's a few more bug fixes (like activity sort only works on a per-page basis) and some very low priority new features left in the backlog. After the next 1.4.0 release, I picture future releases coming much slower as the to-do list shrinks. There are a whole bunch of visual improvements that can be done on the main site itself (homepage, account modify page, etc) so who knows... I would like to take a small break to work on my Win16 VB 3.0 idea.

1/12/20: Yet another NE Disc App Release (a few)

More Disc app updates with some enhancements to the instant email reply notification as well as other bug fixes and config related changes. Email replies now get sent to an email queue instead of blocking the thread that posts the message until the message is sent. Another thread runs in the background that handles that queue as needed.

Also added viewed message history to registered users. Now if you're registered, you can have your read messages remembered and they will be displayed as read regardless of what computer you view from or if you clear your browser history. Users have the option to opt out of this feature as well as clear any history that is currently saved in their account settings page.

Going to just link the project's page because I compiled the list of all the release notes until now there for anyone who wants to read them.


1/1/20: Happy Holidays and Happy New Year!

NE Disc App is now on release 1.0.2. This release fixes some search issues as well as adds instant email reply notifications to those who provided an email in their message. There are some other tweaks here and there but that's the bulk of the changes.

Work was a nightmare this year and I wasn't able to continue more on my December programming challenge. Wry HTML Beta 3 is the latest version there is still. I'm not sure how much more effort I'm going to put into it as it's mostly 100% of the way there. I will add some links later on to the web projects section linking to it. I have some other fun ideas up my sleeve which I may take a stab at so we'll see. (Possibly VB 16-bit.. we'll see)


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