04/11/23: Perl SDL Graphics DemoA long time ago, back in 2006, I was working on an RPG game written in C++ and using the SDL graphics library. You can find all the info related to that version here. Unsurprising, it never got very far and I only managed to create a very basic graphics demo application.
Recently, I stumbled upon the Perl SDL module on CPAN and decided to give it a try using the old C++ graphics demo as something to try and recreate with it.
Thankfully, the Perl SDL module is pretty nice to use and putting together the demo didn't take much time at all. I even added some small enhancements to it. The full write up and video comparing the two versions side by side can be found here.
03/13/23: NE DiscApp 4.2.0 ReleasedA few updates for the NE DiscApp site. First of all, the whole main site received a complete overhaul of the look and feel. I also went through all of the different use cases on the main site (creating an account, creating an app, changing password, etc) and hopefully made them a bit more intuitive and user friendly where needed. There were also some bug fixes here and there.
Most of the changes in this release has the Perl NE DiscApp site to thank. While working on that side project I noticed a few things I overlooked with the Java site. I also used the main site styling from the Perl site on the production Java site. Full run down of changes are in the change log post.
02/20/23: Happy 24nd Birthday NE!Wow. This site has been around now for 24 years. That's crazy. I never thought some random Geocities page I made back when I was 13 would still be around after all this time. Cheers to another year come and gone.
It's been sort of a light year in the way of releases. NE DiscApp had some cool changes this past year. DiscussionApps can now be configured to use BBCode. I've also opened up testing to a new image attachment feature. Most of the second half of the year has been Perl related. At work, I use Perl quite a bit but never really carried it into my hobby world. I had a large Perl project at work this year and for some reason that got me on the Perl kick outside of work as well. The latest DiscApp Perl version is completely unnecessary and pointless but I decided to do it out of curiosity. The original site was written in Perl so I was interested in trying to do the same. The link below is fully functional but as of the time of this update, it's very slow rendering DiscussionApps. I think it's a factor of my recursive thread generation code being slow and the database being hosted on one side of the world while the web is hosted on the other. I'm currently working on a way to speed it up a little bit but I don't expect much to come of it.
NE Releases since 02/20/22:
- COBORDLE - COBOL Wordle - COBOL - 04/29/22
- Santa's Delivery Rush - QBasic - 12/24/22
- NE DiscApp Stats Website - Perl - 12/27/22
- NE Disc App v3.0.0 to v4.1.1 - Java/Web - Throughout the year
New NE Projects since 02/20/22:
- Halloween Game - Qbasic - 10/17/22 (In Progress)
- Perl RPG Net - Perl - 08/19/22 (In Progress)
- DiscApp Perl Version - Perl - 02/10/23 (In Progress)
12/24/22: Santa's Delivery Rush Released!The Qbasic project Santa's Delivery Rush is finally done! It's available to download from either the Qbasic Projects page or from the Qbasic Files page. I'm glad to see this game finally released. Hopefully someone finds it fun to actually play.
11/08/22: NE DiscApp notifier migration and Qbasic Halloween GameNE DiscApp notification service migration to the main code base has been completed as well as deployed to production. (Link to Change Log post). So far, it seems to be working perfectly without any resource issues due to the extra load on the server.
In other news, Around 10/10, I started a Qbasic Halloween game that I was trying to get done by Halloween. I had basically the whole game done to a point that it was good enough for a demo of some sort but I didn't have any levels except for the test ones I created. It's a shame I missed the deadline (just like Santa's Delivery Rush) but the extra time has been good to expand some ideas, tweak some issues and create actual levels for the game. I'm hoping to wrap up coding of everything in the next week so I can spend the later part of November polishing up the final bits of Santa's Christmas Rush so it's ready for this December. ( Link to related forum post on the new Halloween game)
10/05/22: Lots of Perl and some NEDiscApp host changesWell, I'm still working, albeit slowly, on the Perl version of RPG_net. I still don't have a good name for it yet, though I have now added a Map Maker which makes world creation a bit easier. One snag I've ran into is how I want to handle the battles so that they won't get out of sync with the clients. I was originally thinking of maybe keeping it action/RPG style where you don't enter a battle mode but I also feel like maybe a turned based battle would be a nice twist. Example: When you're in battle and another player sees you in a fight with an enemy on the main world map, they would be able to join the battle as it was happening by running into it. That would also perhaps make the code easier to have more complex battles as well. We'll see though...
In other news, Heroku (my host for NEDiscApp) is shutting down all its free services on 11/28/22. This means the Perl test website (Archive Link) in the previous update and the NEDiscApp notifier will go offline. The test app doesn't really matter, but the Notifier will need to be migrated into the main website codebase before then. I'm hoping to have that done by 11/1 so there would be ample time to test if things for some reason go sideways with the extra overhead of having the notification service packed into the already large main codebase.
That said, I also found a replacement for Heroku's free service called Koyeb. It doesn't have all the bells and whistles but it does let you spin up docker containers for free. I'm currently using it to test the server for the Perl RPG_net project. So far, it's been great. The only catch is that they don't offer databases (yet).
And finally (yeah, this is a huge post...), I stumbled across the full NE re-write Puckdropper wrote in Perl back in 2006. I have it running on a VM and it's now currently online just for historical sake. No guarantees how long it will be accessible though. Being that it uses cgi-bin and such, I've decided to self host it. Related forum post and Direct link to site.
Also, with the Perl website being loaded up on the VM, I redeployed the COBOL powered GuestBook website: Link.
08/19/22: Atari 400, Perl, and NE DiscApp releaseA decent amount of updates this past month. Puckdropper gifted me his Atari 400 computer and accessories. I've been messing with it for the past two week working on getting it back up and running. After chip swaps, cleaning, new RAM upgrade, it's almost there. The journey with that can all be read in the related forum post.
At work, I've been having to write a lot of Perl lately. I used to use Perl quite a bit back in the mid-late 2000s but for some reason I sort of lost contact with it over the years except for a random script here and there. Well, I decided to dive back into it full on head first and have been working on some "test" projects. I created a test web app on my host that can generate a QR code from a string or post a message like a simple Guest book. (Link: http://perl-test.herokuapp.com/ (Archive Link))
The other Perl thing I've been working on is a bit more complex. It's yet another remake of the C++ project "rpg_net". Which first popped into existance back in 2006, then reborn in 2018, then also spawned the unfinished offline Java version of Zombie Attack and the Atari 2600 demake Zombie Crisis. I think I either need to finish one of these versons or come up with a new idea for a game. haha. Anyway, this one has a client application and a server applcation. Currently clients can connect to the server and load up to the same ASCII style map where they can run around. No project page yet, so here's the GitHub link.
Finally, NeDiscApp version 3.7.0 and 3.7.1 have been released. Some good changes in these releases. Details in Change log posts.
07/11/22: NEDiscApp 3.4 -> 3.6 Released & NE File Utility UpdateI guess I didn't make any updates here when v3.4 and v3.5 were released. Now v3.6 is also released! The latest release fixes what I believe to be the last HTML rendering differences from the original site besides the new enhancements I've added over time. Also in 3.5, I finally fixed the sub thread formatting and behavior so that the replies are in the correct order and that it doesn't display the whole thread tree if reading on a sub branch. Full rundown of changes are on the Change log.
In other news, I started messing with the idea of adding mouse support to my QB project NE File Utility. So far, the mouse can be used to open of the file menus and also clicking away from an opened menu will close it. The way the code is laid out, adding mouse support in a sane manner will be a bit tricky in spots. Hopefully it doesn't become too much of a headache before I have to get back to finishing Santa's Christmas Rush.
06/01/22: NEDiscApp 3.3.2 ReleasedThis is a small release that I had originally planned to have released about a month ago but was delayed due to hosting issues. No real feature changes in this release. It's basically just updating to Java 17 LTS. Release notes
04/29/22: COBORDLE ReleasedI'm a little late with update as the game has been released for a little bit now. I was inspired by Graham's QB Wordle clone so I decided to make my own written in COBOL. I finally added it to the COBOL Files Section with links to the GitHub repo, screen shot and video, a download link and a link to the forum post. It might be worth checking out even if you don't plan on downloading and building a copy for yourself.
I've also been going through and updating / adding to to my COBOL Example programs repo on GitHub. I've been adding more comments describing how each example works as well as a quick ReadMe rundown for each program. Hopefully doing so will make the repo more useful to people besides myself.
04/11/22: NE DiscApp 3.x versions ReleasedMore versions of NE DiscApp I didn't originally plan on releasing are now released. I got on a roll with new features and just kept going. The latest release is now all the way up to 3.3.0 and there's still a few more changes I want to make before I call that "done" for a bit.
Link: Change Log for more info.
I other news, Mike Hawk from Mike Hawk's QB Page has released a fantastic version of Columns for QB4.5. You can download a copy from the Pete's QB Forum post or from his website.
03/09/22: NE DiscApp 3.0.1 ReleasedI didn't plan on having another release so soon but I put together another quick bug fix release with some small/quick to fix issues I found after testing the 3.0.0 release. Rundown of the fixes I did can be found in the link below.
Link: Change Log post.
03/07/22: NE DiscApp 3.0.0 ReleasedThis update should be the release of Santa's Delivery Rush but I felt like I needed a small break from that project. Now that I've put together this release of NE DiscApp, I'll head back to SDR to finish it up.
NE DiscApp 3.0.0 has some much needed bug fixes as well as a few new features. The site overall should be much more mobile/tablet friendly. I also added the ability for admins to quick edit user permissions from the thread edit page (this was a feature in the original DiscApp that had not yet been implemented yet). Finally, threads that continue past the configured depth where the link "x more comments" is shown, now highlights for new messages posted in the threads under that link. Previously, this would not be highlighted at all which would make it hard to tell if any new messages were posted in those deeply nested conversations unless you manually went and checked for a reply.
Full run down of the changes can be found in the Change Log post.
Also, not NE related but there are so few QB releases these days that I feel like it's worth mentioning. Graham from Graham's World Wide Web Server has created and released a version of the game Wordle written in QB called "WorDOSle". It's really good. The download can be found at his website. There's also a thread at Pete's QB Forum.
02/20/22: Happy 23nd Birthday NE!I can't believe another year has gone by! It feels like this past year flew by at light speed. Most releases where in the early part of the year. Once summer started to come around I found myself invested in new larger projects that are still ongoing. There are unfinished releases of these projects available but I figured it would make more sense to separate them into their own list as there is no official release for them yet.
As you can see COBOL and QBasic were the languages of choice... even mixing a bit together with COBOL BASIC Interpreter! :)
NE Releases since 02/20/21:
- Scrolling ASCII Engine and Editor - QBasic - 03/04/21
- ROT Password Encrypt/Decrypt Example - QBasic - 03/05/21
- D&D Dice Roller v1.0 - COBOL - 03/12/21
- COBOL Guest Book Web App v1.0 - COBOL - 03/26/21
- CRSSR (COBOL RSS Reader) v0.50 - COBOL - 10/11/21
- NE Disc App v2.1.0 to v2.7.0 - Java/Web - Throughout the year
New NE Projects since 02/20/21:
- COBOL Roguelike - COBOL - 07/21/21 (In Progress)
- COBOL BASIC Interpreter - COBOL - 12/06/21 (In Progress)
- Santa's Delivery Rush - QBasic - 02/20/22 (In Progress)
02/15/22: Yep, still working on SDR. QB Projects Page UpdatedSlowly still making progress on Santa's Delivery Rush. Now that it's well past Christmas I figured I could take some time to add some more "fit and finish" before the final release. There's now bonus stages and such as well as the original level line up. I'm down to only needing to make about two or three more levels before that's all completed. I also finally gave it its own spot on the Qbasic Projects Page.
01/21/22: Santa's Delivery Rush still in the works. Links page updated.I'm still chugging away (slowly) on the final version of Santa's Delivery Rush. It's currently down to thinking up levels to create. I currently have about half of the levels done. That probably makes it sound like the rest could take a long time to finish, but it shouldn't be so bad seeing that all the actual programming is now completed.
In other news, I updated the links page with some new links as well as reorganized them based on category. Each category is now in alphabetical order too.
01/07/22: Happy New Year! More demos of Santa's Delivery Rush Released.I made a bunch of changes over the past week or so on the code for Santa's Delivery Rush. There's been a ton of bug fixes, collision detection changes as well as the controls have been completely re-done (for the better). Latest demos are easiest to get from the replies of the forum thread linked below for now. I also put a link for the latest demo released today. I'm thinking this might be the last demo before the full game is released... We'll see though.
Link to download: Santa's Delivery Rush Demo v0.28
Forum Post: Forum Release Post with Screen Shots
To run the demo, load XMAS2021.BAS and run that from the directory you extract all the data files to.