J. Peterson's Writing About Electronics, Reviews, 3D Modeling, etc.

Category Archives: Software

Software development.

Mac Software Lives Again

Back in the mid/late 1980s I wrote a couple of cool (to me at least) Macintosh Applications.

Macintosh Pico

This is an image processing language demo based Gerard Holzmann’s book Beyond Photography – The Digital Darkroom. The app lets you interactively type expressions in Holzmann’s language and see the results in another window.

Wallpaper for the Mind

This app creates chaotic patterns based on a formula published in Scientific American‘s Computer Recreations column. You can vary the formula’s parameters and instantly see the effects on the pattern, as well as zoom and pan around the results.

These were both implemented as fun demos. Neither app had much in the way of commercial potential, so I gave them away for free. Both were originally written to run on 68K Macintoshes running System 7, typical of the late-80s. Read on to learn about their new lease on life.

read more »

Backup Software

I started working with computers when they were much less reliable than they are now.  Old operating and file systems frequently lost or corrupted your data, teaching you the importance of a backup copy.  Then the fire at our house reinforced the importance of offsite backups.  The $50-150 a year cost is cheap insurance against losing all your creative work, financial and (ahem) insurance records.

A few months after the fire I set up our computers with CrashPlan. We used it at work, and it worked very well at home. But this summer CrashPlan announced they were pulling the plug on home usage, and their commercial offerings weren’t very economic for few home PCs.

CrashPlan gave plenty of warning their home service is discontinued, but watching smoke roll in to Silicon Valley from the 2017 North Bay fires was a grim reminder. To my surprise, it took a few tries to get find a reliable replacement. Here’s my experience.

read more »