Almost Unix

Having access to pentium (100?) PC's with internet and zip drives made it possible to do some interesting things, but not yet gave the possibility to do real serious programming, unless I'd have access to a (comercial) compiler++. I tried the GNU suite with the Rhide interface, which works fine for non-unix like apps, but does not have the possibily to deal with network programming (sockets), shared libraries (dll's), multiple type libraries (from other compilers), and working under an msdos shell is pretty far from my dream environment, to put is mildly.

The CYGWIN program environment

After some browsing on the intenet, I stumbled upon an seemingly not too well known package cygwin, that has a unix like shell 'bash', implementing most unix facils (working up to 'ps' and such, but not completely satisfactory, there are even fatal bugs in the multitasking capabilies in y version+machine), but are seriously usefull, with some care taken.

The compiler, as I understand related to the Gnu compiler (it has gcc and g++), is quite neat, it is fast, supposedly can work with various type of .o (.a) files, has no need for endless options and libdefs set to function satisfactory on unix type of programs, and is freely available! It supposedly can even create dll's and most other serious things you'd want from a win95 developers env, and is claimed to be able to compile itself and to allow programming windows user interfaces. I wouldn't say it renders Gnu obsolete (gnu with rhide works smoothly), but it sure is my current choice, being a former unix user.

There is a need for a shared library (cygwin.dll) to make all this passible, which is about half a Meg, but worth having on a system.

First Results (client/server example)

The title sais it: picking up on some basic client server source files, simply typing gcc -o server.exe server.c, etc. sufficed to get a working client server couple in minutes. This is not a winsock type of socket API, but AF_INET,SOCK_STREAN types, which I will now be linking up with the (Cern) ROOT environment, probably with tcl/tk, and possibly with Java, to see what combinations proof fruitfull.

On the rebound

Some drawbacks are also in order: the documentation does describe the (somewhat whieldy) file structure and installation issues, but there is no real good manual, the tcl/tk based graphial debugger seems buggy (but must look at this better). Not considering my two day old experience with it (and therefore my inability to estimate the amount of hidden flaws), with a good manual, and maybe some program examples this could be quite a killer env.

Prelim sound related findings

Just to mention some stuff potentionally interesting for a broader audience: it tried quite some sound processing and playing PD packages, and found there is some good stuff out there (for free of demo's that don't save), will make a list sometime.

The 'mellotron' package allow polyphonic sample playing ver midi of soft-keyboard in real time, and comes with a source set to use it's functionality with other programs, on a variety of machine types. This, and/or the 'socks' sound library should provide a suitable basis to audify some of my ideas in synthesis.