Monthly Archives: June 2015

GameBase 64 Reorganizer SD version 4 released

GB Reorganizer has had quite an update today. I’ve posted version 4.0 with some important improvements and fixes. Don’t know what this is? Read about it here.

Someone pointed out to me that the Reorganizer was creating empty (no disk) output on archives with .TAP or .G64 images in them. Well, when I originally coded this utility for use with my 1541 Ultimate, the only image formats supported were .T64 and .D64. But that has changed and GameBase 64 is now using quite a few different image formats — .TAP, .T64, .G64, .D81, as well as the ubiquitous .D64. So now these are all recognized and extracted. (Whether or not your chosen device will support the images is a different matter — my 1541-U Mark 1 unit, with my custom firmware, can handle .D64, .G64, .CRT, and .T64 images, but not .TAP or .D81.) Still, it is better to include the files in the output for possible future support by your device.

Another important change for 1541-U users is how filename case is handled. Again, way back in the days of pre-2.0 1541-U firmware, the sorting and searching in the file browser were all case-sensitive, so it was necessary to upper-case all of the output for more useful browsing behavior. Somewhere along the line Gideon fixed all of the sorting and searching to be case-insensitive so this is no longer necessary. But if you are using a really old firmware, such as what was flashed in the old mark-1 units, you will want to restore the previous behavior with the “Ancient 1541-U Uppercase Mode” option. Or better yet, use my custom firmware so you don’t need to. (1541 Ultimate II users shouldn’t need to worry about it.)

I’ve also added a way to save and load your settings. This makes it easier to deal with different output configurations you want to have.

There’s a test mode now, too, which writes out the GameList.csv file but doesn’t build the folder structure or extract the archives.

There are some other changes. Download it here. sd2iec device users shouldn’t feel left out. There are bug fixes in here that affect output for the sd2iec optimized folders as well, so everybody should upgrade.

  • Improved GameList.csv output includes error messages on each folder/game (if any).
  • Recognize and extract .D81, .CRT, .G64, and .TAP files from archives (in addition to .D64 and .T64 files).
  • Change 1541-U folder name case to be mixed instead of forced upper-case. Added “Ancient 1541-U Uppercase Mode” for 1541-U file optimization (uses the previous behavior for file case naming). Use this option if you prefer the old way or if you have a really old firmware and you need it for proper sorting/searching on the 1541-U.
  • Added Test Mode. THIS STILL DELETES ANY PREVIOUS REORGANIZER OUTPUT IN THE DESTINATION FOLDER. This mode does everything except create the folders and extract the files, and you can review the GameList.csv file for results.
  • Added Load/Save Settings function.
  • Some cosmetic changes such as an improved icon design and changes to the faux-C64 status screen, just because.

Commodore: The Amiga Years appears to be back on track!

A few years ago, Brian Bagnall, author of On the Edge: The Spectacular Rise and Fall of Commodore, and Commodore: a Company on the Edge announced that his followup book, Commodore: The Amiga Years was officially cancelled.

Now it seems to be back on.  I was not able to find any official word from Bagnall, either at his publishing website or on his Twitter account, but Amazon is showing The Amiga Years to be scheduled for release in November of 2015.

Get your pre-order in. 🙂 UPDATE June 7, 2015: Looks like Brian has announced a Kickstarter to get this published. It was listed for pre-order on Amazon before that announcement, and if you made a pre-order you may want to see if any of the perks make it worthwhile to cancel and fund the campaign instead.

If you don’t know: The original book, On the Edge, is a single volume history of Commodore which goes all the way to 1994. This is an excellent book and well worth a read, though now out of print.

Bagnall had so much information that he could not squeeze into a single volume that he decided to release a new two-volume history of Commodore. He published Commodore: a Company on the Edge which, essentially, is the first half of On The Edge but much expanded. This is also a great read and should be in your library if you are a computer history buff.

But things did not go well for the second volume (The Amiga Years) and for a long time it looked like we would never see it. But now it looks like we will finally get the “long version” of the definitive history of the fall of Commodore.

Bagnall’s history is great. He sets the record straight about what really happened with Apple and Commodore, showing conclusively that a lot of the “revisionist history” proffered by Apple fans is a lot of nonsense. The reality is that Commodore did more to introduce computing “to the masses” than any other company during its time, and Bagnall’s research and writing does an excellent job reminding us what was going on, and what was so special about Commodore.