The Lunduke Journal of Technology
The Lunduke Journal of Technology
Lunduke's Weird Computing News - Oct 23, 2022

Lunduke's Weird Computing News - Oct 23, 2022

Z80 Computer, Solitaire via Gopher, OpenBSD, PumpkinOS file browser, and Ladybird Web browser. What a week!

On Wednesday we talked about the “Normal” computer news.

But today is not Wednesday. Today is Sunday.

Thus we do the only logical thing… we talk about the “Weird” computer news.

Alternative Operating Systems. Retro computing. And funky stuff that most people will never hear about… but are mind-melting-ly awesome.

Solitaire via Gopher

This isn’t exactly breaking news — it was made back in April — but it was news to me. Plus… it’s so ridiculous and awesome that it deserves to get talked about.

Someone built a functional game of Klondike Solitaire… on Gopher. Yeah. That Gopher (the one before HTTP and HTML). Not kidding. Take a peek:

solitaire card game being played on gopher

Think about that for a minute. Think about the limitations of Gopher. Then let your brain slowly melt.

From the genius behind this work of art:

“In the 1990’s a text based system called “Gopher” competed against the World Wide Web.

The web won.

However Gopher is still around today and so I decided to make a version of Solitaire that you can play over Gopher!”

So grab a Gopher Client, and head to gopher://

OpenBSD 7.2 released

OpenBSD doesn’t get enough love. It is a truly impressive operating system. And their glorious leader (Theo de Raadt) just announced the new 7.2 version.

And, as is often the case with OpenBSD, the release notes are *ahem* rather extensive.

But this little bit certainly jumped out at me:

  • New/extended platforms:

    • Added support for Ampere Altra

    • Added support for Apple M2

    • Added support for Lenovo ThinkPad x13s and other machines using the Qualcomm Snapdragon 8cx Gen 3 (SC8280XP) SoC.

Plus… check out the release artwork!

Pumpkin OS gets file browser and resource editor

I continue to be excited about the prospect of getting my hands on Pumpkin OS — a system that runs PalmOS applications in a multi-tasking, multi-window environment. Basically a “Desktop PalmOS”. It’s nuts.

Well the developer recently teased another feature of Pumpkin OS:

“I was reminded that every OS should have a "file browser thing" and maybe one resource editor or two, so here is a first try for #PumpkinOS.”

Super cool. When I asked the developer when he might make a public release, this was the response:

“Soon I hope... there are so many small things to tweak.”

Am I excited to try it out? You bet, I am.

Zeal 8-Bit OS for a new Z80 computer

In “because you can never have enough operating systems for 46 year old CPU architecture” news…

Zeal, a brand new operating system for the Z80, has just been released. From the project’s GitHub page:

“Zeal 8-bit OS is an operating system written entirely in Z80 assembly for Z80 computers. It has been designed around simplicity and portability. It is inspired by Linux and CP/M. It has the concept of drivers and disks, while being ROM-able.”

The “inspired by Linux and CP/M” bit already had my interest. But there’s more…

“…this project is in fact part of a bigger project called Zeal 8-bit Computer, which, as it name states, consists of an entirely newly designed 8-bit computer. It is based on a Z80 CPU.”

Seriously. Check out the “Zeal 8-bit Computer”.

Ladybird Web Browser continues improving

I’m a big fan of SerenityOS. Love the design. Love the passion of the developers and community behind it. Love the amazing, breakneck speed of their progress.

And I’m also a big fan of the web browser project that evolved as an off-shoot of SerenityOS: Ladybird.

Obviously a brand new, from scratch web browser has a lot of work ahead of it in trying to render the “modern web” properly. I mean, heck, it takes Firefox roughly 200 Bazillion Gigawhompers of RAM to render a simple blog nowadays.

Just the same, Ladybird is making huge strides towards rendering modern (and commonly used) web sites correctly. Here Ladybug is rendering Wikipedia almost perfectly (a few minor little issues):

Screenshot of the Wikipedia front page in the Ladybird web browser.

And here is Ladybird’s take on GitHub:

Screenshot of the Ladybird GItHub repository viewed in Ladybird.

Not too darned shabby!

The number of issues stopping me from being able to use Ladybird full time are dwindling almost by the day. Darned impressive!

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