The Lunduke Journal of Technology
The Lunduke Journal of Technology
Lunduke's Weird Computing News - Oct 30, 2022

Lunduke's Weird Computing News - Oct 30, 2022

Haiku Week is coming, FreeBSD 12.4 & financial woes, Ladybird browser improvements, and running classic Mac Software... without MacOS.

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It’s time for some weird computer news! None of that mainstream, Big Tech mumbo jumbo. Just the weird, fun, alternative OS and retro stuff!

Haiku Week is coming!

From November 9th through November 16th, The Lunduke Journal Community will be celebrating “Haiku Week”.

Much like with our previous “DOS Week” and “Command Line Week”, this will be an opportunity for all of us to embrace the wonderful world of the Haiku operating system (originally started as an open source replacement for BeOS).

There is a very real possibility that our Haiku Week will line up with the Haiku Beta 4 release (which is “imminent”). So make sure you’ve got your account setup and come join in the fun!

FreeBSD 12.4 hits Beta

The first beta release of FreeBSD 12.4 have been released:

“The first BETA build for the FreeBSD 12.4 release cycle is now available. ISO images for the amd64, armv6, armv7, arm64, i386, powerpc, powerpc64, powerpcspe, and sparc64 architectures are available.”

The final release of 12.4 is expected during the first week of December (a little over a month from now). After which the release process for FreeBSD 13.2 is set to begin in January.

The 12.x line is continuing support for the previous major release (as 13.x is current) for those still using it.

In related news, the FreeBSD Foundation is falling dramatically behind in their fundraising goals — having raised less than 10% of their annual budget.

“Our goal this year is to raise at a minimum $1,400,000 towards a spending budget of around $2,000,000. As we enter the last quarter of 2022, our donation total sits at $167,348”

What that means for the viability of continuing to fund the FreeBSD Foundation remains to be seen. But it doesn’t seem great.

Ladybird adds support for more websites

Last week we briefly touched on the rapid progress that Ladybird (the web browser engine and project that began within Serenity OS) has been making.

In the few days since then, Andreas Kling (the head honcho of Serenity OS and Ladybird) has continued to showcase current improvements to how major websites are rendered in their new web browser. Including YouTube, Google, Instagram, and Google Maps.

The results are nothing short of outstanding. Take a look:

Screenshot of my YouTube channel in the Ladybird web browser. It looks pretty broken, but it's clearly recognizable.
New screenshot of Google looking very good in the Ladybird browser.
Screenshot of Taylor Swift's Instagram profile viewed in the Ladybird web browser.
Screenshot of Google Maps in the Ladybird web browser. An info card for the Apple store at Union Square is open.

Why I bring this up:

This is, quite possibly, one of the biggest shake-ups in the modern computing world… and it is happening rather quietly. Under the radar of most of the tech press.

A brand new web browser (and engine) — developed entirely from scratch — is rapidly gaining significant compatibility with modern websites. Not only is this a massive win for Serenity (as modern web browsing is one of the major obstacles for new OS adoption nowadays)… but this could become a competitor to Mozilla and Google. Quite possibly very quickly (at least if the current development speed is maintained). All without the baggage of legacy code that those companies are saddled with.

MACE - Mac Application Compatibility Environment

I recently discovered MACE… and was intrigued.

“The goal of M.A.C.E. project is the create an runtime library and executing environment for old Mac applications, similar to Apple’s deprecated Classic environment, but without needing any ROM images or System Software binaries by Apple.”

Running classic Mac applications — on a modern OS — without ROMs or the Mac System Software? Cool!

According to their (rather extensive) July 2022 status update, they are working towards a full release:

“We will continue working on the missing features as always, trying to reach the goal of a generic runtime release as soon as possible. We also will try to find solution for the binary file distribution in near future, so anybody interested trying the new features out could do that as soon as possible (especially considering the last released binaries are already getting quite old). We will keep you updated on this blog on our progress as always.”

Want to really blow your mind? Here’s a screenshot of MACE (which, again, no system software used) running SoftWindows (a PC emulator for 68k Macs)… running Windows 3.1.

That’s my kind of weird. Now, here’s hoping the development team can get a release out so we can all play with it.

This reminds me somewhat of “Executor” — a similar “run Mac software without MacOS” application that was released for DOS (and Linux).

Executor 2 - Game
Playing Solitaire. For MacOS. In DOS. Via Executor.

Seriously. That sale. It’s rad.

Got a sale going right now on Lunduke Journal Subscriptions!

  • Founding Member Subscriptions: $75 / Year (normally $125)

  • Lifetime Subscriptions: $200 (normally $350)

For the details on how to take advantage of it, see this post on