Your leaking thatched hut during the restoration of a pre-Enlightenment state.


Hello, my name is Judas Gutenberg and this is my blaag (pronounced as you would the vomit noise "hyroop-bleuach").


decay & ruin
Biosphere II
dead malls
Irving housing

got that wrong

appropriate tech
Arduino μcontrollers
Backwoods Home
Fractal antenna

fun social media stuff

(nobody does!)

Like my brownhouse:
   still require a heroic librarian effort
Sunday, January 23 2011
Ah, the day after the big party! There was nothing left to do because the thing I'd had to do things for was done, and it had been a complete success. I still had a few dishes in the sink, but they didn't take long to wash.
Somehow I ended up getting stuck in another software installation vortex, this one involving BasiliskII, the most useful of the various 680X0 classic Macintosh emulators. (I'd had it working some years ago, but something about my installation had gone bad since then.) Now that I have all my old Mac software ripped from floppy disks, I needed a classic Mac with a large amount of hard drive, and the easiest way to get that was with an emulated Macintosh (the only real use for an actual classic Mac built in the early 1990s is to copy old-style 800 kilobyte floppies; for some reason no modern disk drive can do that). The vortex part came when I tried to run various bits and pieces and kept getting errors yelling at me about missing .dll files. For some reason the Basilisk II literature wasn't stressing the need for a very important prerequisite: something called gtk+ 2.10.13. It seems there's a whole world of Windows software migrated from the Linux world that needs this library, and what makes it tricky is that Basilisk does not work with the latest version of gtk+ (which I had). You have to uninstall that and then install the older version (and you can only have one version installed on a computer at one time). Before I realized gtk+ was a whole mess of interrelated .dll files, I tried downloading the files individually as needed, but that's a foolishness. There might be a hundred individual files, and they all have to belong to the same version or things don't work. There are many websites that happily offer individual .dll files for downloads, but mostly these appear to be traps for DriverDetective and other swindleware. Then, of course, there's the possibility that botnet farms offer free .dll files to unsuspecting downloaders. There could be all sorts of nefarious code in a file that claims to be a particular .dll.
I was finally able to get BasiliskII working, including networking. This solved a few lingering issues with coralling all my old floppy data together in one place. (I'd had to use an iMac G3 with a USB floppy to read some of the more marginal disks, though that had only worked with 1.4 MB floppies.) There's so many duplicates and so much stuff trapped in old CompactPro archives, whipping this archive of classic software into shape will still require a heroic librarian effort. But as I'd repetitively swapped disks over the past week, I'd been reminded of some gems in there, some of which I have never seen in the realm of PC software. These included an inorganic chemistry lab emulator, a molecule drawing program, and an intuitively simple GUI-based digital electronics emulator. Somewhere in there is also a primitive gene sequencing application that had come with a special ADB-based keyboard dongle to prevent piracy (not having that dongle, I'd disassembled and cracked the software to make it unnecessary).

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