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COMPUTER REFERENCE LINKS

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Texas Instruments TI99/4A (1979-1983)
A 1983 book on the Texas Instruments TI99/4A Home Computer by Stephen Shaw: Getting Started with the TI99/4A. A report on a TI99/4A emulator for the PC, PC99
Other TI resources on this site, with links to a publicity photo of the computer, some music in .MID format originally composed for a very early TI module, and a memorial sample of the monthly columns of the late Jim Peterson, a longtime supporter of the TI99/4a computer. also a review of PC99 and some programs for it.


LINUX
Linux content is on a separate Linux page. .

Older Computers:
Emulations of very early computers can be FTP'd from Manchester Computer Conservation Society, including the first stored programmable computer, the SSEM, now rebuilt and working twice a week in Manchester. Another early British computer, Colossus (predating Eniac), was hard wired for one task- dealing with Enigma messages- lovely description of how Enigma worked and was deciphered.

Creative Computing was one of the computing magazines I first read and subscribed to. What a delight- at last glance 35 issues on the web plus the three books "The Best Of...". Read computing history in Creative Computing.


Modern PC: For good old fashioned fast text web browsing in Linux, w3m is excellent.

Search for computer software vulnerabilities by vendor (including open source) from Security Focus (It looks a small page but the 600k drop down box makes loading slow).

I have some links to streaming audio sites | Our 1998 PC specification

Want a free Windows programming language? Goto MSW Logo - and program for anything from a Pentium with W95 to the latest NT, ME or XP. The Windows 3.1 for a 286 version may still be available on this link.
The Great Logo Adventure(here as a 3.6 megabyte zipped download from archive.org), supporting MSW Logo.
I have discovered and now use sdlBasic which exists in a 2012 build for win32 and deb and in a 2007 build as an rpm. You can see some of my programs at Stephen's sdlBasic routines.
There remain some excellent programs for DOS which cannot be run in Windows XP, or for a smaller number, in Dosbox under Linux or Windows XP. To run in a native DOS operating system you may need to get a copy of FreeDOS or Balder, one flavour of which runs from a floppy with no hard disk install or partitioning.

Web Archive allows you to see web pages as they were from 1996 onwards. This site can be in heavy demand, expect delays or non availability. [site unavailable fairly often, keep trying] Use the form on their front page or use this form instead:

Type in the URL in this box for last cached page OR if none cached, current version if available:
. Show All will list all cached versions.
.

My favorite 32 bit Windows media browser is the free Irfanview. Huge list of supported formats of images, animations and sounds; includes the special overview.pcd file format. Irfanview also has some image editing options and scanner (Twain) input. It is quite small, with plug ins in a separate zip file- you can delete any you don't need after unzipping.
Although written for Windows, I was surprised to find many parts of Irfanview (up to version 4.33) work fine in Linux using Wine (up to vn 1.1.9). I recommend NOT using the Associate file type option on a Linux box. There may obviously be problems with files that use external viewers which are less receptive to Wine but I am happily using Photoshop 8BF filters with it and also the OCR plugin. Irfanview makes viewing and editing jpeg image metadata really easy (EXIF, and IPTC). Details of using Irfanview on Linux. (Linux native programs GIMP, fotoxx and gthumb are of course excellent - and exiftool is the Linux metadata reader/writer but console only).

PC Support Links:
New to the web? Help with manually preparing your web page - which can be much more efficient than using any web tool,
can be found at w3schools.com Help with html, css, xml, and lots more. The site works well without inline frames and without javascript except the "try this" portion. Please don't create Flash websites- they are disabled unfriendly (images and javascript seem to rule), remarkably prone to security problems, almost invisible to search engines, have questionable privacy, and most browsers are deprecating Flash for HTML5 (except youtube connected Android). web site coding reference

Javascript I really don't like websites that use flash, no way, no sir. Hate 'em. And I'm not at all fond of websites that insist on javascript when they really don't need to - if your content can be made visible without script, make it so. If you want to add bells and whistles with script, by all means do so. But there do seem to be some web sites that really really do need javascript. Here are some that I like.

Information presentation in dynamic graphic format is interesting- here are a couple:
Wikipedia edits presented graphically and sonically at L2W where added data is bells, data removed are strings, green circles are anonymous edits, white circles are registered edits and purple circles are automated edits.

Google maps has used javascript for ages, but Streetview requires flash- however a notice on their website suggests that flash APIs are deprecated and to be removed in September 2014. In the meantime although they still use flash on maps.google.com, other site owners can use a javascript interface to access streetview, no flash required. It isn't as smooth as flash, but hey! I found a number of web sites using the javascript interface, and they don't actually tell you they differ from google maps by not needing flash! Here is a simple map / streetview page I have put together- nothing very pretty, but it works.

British Rail fares- all of them- with all the detailed limitations for each fare, an American website that really puts a lot of data into view. For some destinations/fares that are restricted on where they are sold, (eg only sold in Greater Manchester, only sold by Chiltern Trains), it may indicate "No fares available" and you will need to research the availability yourself.

Lancashire Complete at first looks like just another mapping site, but this has everything mapped (nearly)- the grit bins, the lamp posts, bus stops, post offices, pharmacies, when bins are emptied for a particular property, old aerial shots- but only for Lancashire. Still a worthy web site. HOWEVER they use an oddly variable javascript- using Opera and telling the site we are using Firefox prevents full map view, so they are not serving standards compliant css. In common with so many sites there are hundreds of coding errors- mostly from external CSS from arcgisonline.com - in this case the culprit seems to be an invalid value for property zoom: "ght-tabs .dijitTabRtl,.dj_ie7 .dijitTabContainerLeft-tabs .dijitTabRtl {zoom: 1;"

Google maps can be used without javascript but they have a collection of -specialist- maps which require javascript, with variably transparent overlays covering say 1946 railways or 1896 road layouts. I liked the Mars and Moon maps too. So- explore the value added Specialist mapping

Mirrorservice.org is a UK based ftp mirror site with files from many sites. The new hardware is now installed (2013) and the mirrors updated. Apart from Opera (browser) it seems to be almost entirely Linux / Unix software. The old dos / windows material has gone. There is no search facility. This is the mirror service offered by the University of Kent and will be very fast for Uni students connected via Janet.


Check the links and syntax on your web page and more at Addy and Associates site. They require that you do not turn off referrer logging.

Make a long URL smaller

Webcams in Manchester, England: London Road Manchester TfGM webcam- looking South down the A6 with Piccadilly Railway Station to the left. You may see yellow trams running to and fro under the station. The distant bridge carries the railway from Piccadilly to Oxford Road.
webcam at Stockport College has a low refresh rate, normally directed at the Edward Street entrance of Stockport Town Hall but could be looking at the Railway Viaduct or elsewhere, (or turned off or not refreshing...) hosted at webcams.travel. If it is pointed at Edward Street, the car showroom on the right sells Lamborghinis.

Further South, in the Peak District, from Wunderground Weather: Whaley Bridge

Statistics for visitors to this website
In November 2013 the OS and Browser stats are based upon 494 visitors (525 in July 2013):
                          3/11   11/11     2/12      7/12    7/13   11/13
Operating system: MS.....84%.....75%.......69%.......67%......56%....58%
                  Apple..10%.....14%.......11%.......14%......22%....20%
                  Linux.. 6%..... 8%.......13%.......11%......12%....11%
                  Android.............................................7%
                  Other...0%..... 3%....... 7%....... 8%......10%.....4%
Note: Users of Opera Turbo will always be reported as Linux.

Browsers- Note that these can be spoofed:
                IE........36%......38%.......31%.....28%.....23%....16%
                Firefox...36%......30%.......31%.....25%.....21%....27%
                Chrome....20%......16%.......20%.....22%.....23%....24%
                Safari.... 8%......10%.......10%.....12%.....19%....17%
                Opera......0%.......4%........4%......5%......7%.... 7%
                Webkit.............................................. 7%
                Other......0%.......2%........4%......8%......7%.... 2%


The most popular sections of the web site (page views out of a total of 994
 pages served) in November 2013 were:
  TI-99/4a section 482 views (48% of total);
   A new section on WW2 had 112 views but this will rapidly diminish.
    Moomin 90 views, Poco a Poco 74 views, St Thomas 36 views, 
  The Moomin page received 9% of page views, a reduction on July's 11% 
  but still 10% when excluding the new section surge.
  The Poco a Poco page was the third most popular area at 7.4% of page views
(8.4% when adjusted for surge to new section).

An increase in page views of 89% of which 21% was due to new content as a one-off 
initial surge. Other areas have seen a general increase except Magic Boy views 
have disappeared (8 views).


Over the month as a whole there was a reduction of 6% of visitors compared
to July 2013, but an increase of 89% in page views.
 
From 400 visitors reporting on javascript: 91% of visitors 
were content to have javascript universally on, a fairly static proportion. 

Go to Stephen's Index Page


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