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Posts Tagged ‘cross-platform’

Setting up a free C64 emulator for retro game fun

August 8, 2018 Leave a comment

I just installed the C64 emulator VICE on an old Windows laptop and set it up with shortcuts for some old time games that I used to play in the 80s.

My 6 year old son really likes Donald Duck’s Playground where you do odd jobs as Donald to earn cents and dollars to buy playground equipment for your nephews and let them play:

Setting up the game required the download of a zip archive containing a *.d64 image file that can be autostarted by VICE. I created a desktop shortcut to the x64.exe file in VICE with the path of the d64 file as command line parameter. That gives you a shortcut that will start VICE and autostart the game right away. Add the -fullscreen option to start the emulator in fullscreen mode.

I had to enable keyboard mapping for Joystick 2 as shown on the WinVice c64-Wiki.

VICE is a cool emulator that runs on Unix, MS-DOS, Win32, OS/2, BeOS, QNX 4.x, QNX 6.x, Amiga, Syllable or Mac OS.

Games I might try next include Spy vs Spy, Aztec Tomb, Q-Bert and I few others. :)

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Zulu – Certified OpenJDK 8 builds for all operating systems

May 5, 2015 1 comment

You might have heard that Java is Open Source. And then you noticed that the Java SE downloads from the Oracle website are not actually Open Source. Maybe you also heard about OpenJDK.

So how does this fit together?

OpenJDK is an Open Source implementation of Java and Oracle Java engineers do work on Java with the OpenJDK community and and within the OpenJDK projects.

But source code needs to be compiled into executable binaries to be useful for end users. And that’s where things get dicey …

Where to find OpenJDK builds

For a long time there has been no reliable source for certified, well-supported builds of OpenJDK for all platforms.

The various GNU/Linux distributions, like Fedora, Debian, etc, have provided OpenJDK builds for a quite a while now, but for Windows and MacOS there were only some unofficial, often outdated hobby projects without reliable security updates.

Zulu – Open JDK builds

zulu-duke

This changed within the last 2 years: JVM vendor Azul Systems first released their “Zulu” line of free OpenJDK builds in September 2013, mainly targeting Windows Servers and the Microsoft Azure cloud. In 2014 they added support for Linux, MacOS and Java 8, as well as Docker images. All Zulu builds are certified against the official Java SE TCK. The focus is on the JDK and servers, without browser plugin or webstart.

The Azul website does not clearly state their security update policy for their free builds, but they offer deb and rpm package repositories that seem to contain latest builds of OpenJDK that match the current Oracle JDK update versions. Also, their engineers participate in the community and allegedly contribute back to OpenJDK.

Zulu – OpenJDK 8 for Debian stable

For Debian stable (Wheezy or Jessie), Azul is a convenient way to install OpenJDK 8, since the Debian openjdk-8 package is currently only available in Debian unstable and hasn’t even made it into the Debian testing yet.

Here is how I set up the Azul deb repo and installed their OpenJDK 8:

sudo apt-key adv --keyserver hkp://keyserver.ubuntu.com:80 --recv-keys 0x219BD9C9
apt_source='deb http://repos.azulsystems.com/debian stable main'
apt_list='/etc/apt/sources.list.d/zulu.list'
echo "$apt_source" | sudo tee "$apt_list" > /dev/null
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install zulu-8

Please note, that the package installation automatically sets the Java related system alternatives to the Zulu ones. So right after zulu-8 installation the java version in your system path will be something like this:

oliver@basement:~$ java -version
openjdk version "1.8.0_45"
OpenJDK Runtime Environment (Zulu 8.7.0.5-linux64) (build 1.8.0_45-b14)
OpenJDK 64-Bit Server VM (Zulu 8.7.0.5-linux64) (build 25.45-b02, mixed mode)

Using libgdx for cross-platform app development

January 28, 2014 7 comments

I am looking for a framework that allows me to develop modern apps (mobile, web, desktop) all from one Java codebase. I prefer Java because I know it very well, it is already cross-platform and a statically typed language that allows IntelliJ, Eclipse and Netbeans to be better than any dynamically typed scripting language editor could ever be.

Currently my favorite is libgdx. I am planning to use it with IntelliJ Community Edition and with Maven.

By using RoboVM, libgdx even supports iOS.

For user input (forms) libgdx provides the scene2d.ui widgets. I hope that will be sufficient for most of my UIs. Now I just have to get OpenGL to work on my Linux box …

Categories: apps, games, intellij, java, maven Tags: ,