Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Chess for Android v4.1

I just released version 4.1 of Chess for Android, available at Google Play or as direct download (including a version with network/SMS permissions). The new features include:
  • Ability to send SMS messages (PGN, FEN, UNICODE, engine analysis)
  • Ability to enable/disable built-in book (useful when imported engine book should be preferred)
  • Larger engine analysis font
  • Further localization and internationalization
To send an SMS, long-press the notation window, and select "Send SMS", which pops up the window shown below. Simply fill out the phone number (which will be remembered for next time), and select between PGN, FEN, or UNICODE format (or engine analysis of an imported engine). Pressing the "Send SMS"  button will send the text message. The concise FEN format will be useful for correspondence players, since it can be directly copied and pasted by the other player (I have not implemented an SMS listener yet).


The UNICODE format sends the current chess position using UNICODE characters, as illustrated below (without fixed-width font, this may not always display as nicely).


♜♞♝♛♚♝♞♜
♟♟♟♟♟♟♟♟
   ▧   ▧   ▧   ▧
▧   ▧   ▧   ▧   
   ▧   ▧   ▧   ▧
▧   ▧   ▧   ▧   
♙♙♙♙♙♙♙♙
♖♘♗♕♔♗♘♖

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Commodore 64 still runs!


Like many others, I learned Basic and 6510 machine code on the Commodore 64, a present from my dear grandfather and parents. Although nowadays one can relive the good old times with emulators, such as CCS64 or Vice, and a cross-assembler, like my own win2c64, nothing beats the real deal!

Today I tried to get my old Commodore 64 and 1541 disk drive, bought in Europa, running again. A few 110-220V adapters, a S-Video cable, and some PAL/NTSC settings later, I have my old friend running again. What made me extra happy is that the 1541 could still read the 5¼" floppy disks with my old programs that I wrote back in the eighties, such as the music editor on the screen shot. I am going to try to copy those onto my hard disk, so others can run these in an emulator.