Some really uplifting reading; the Bandcamp 2016 year in review.

…every aspect of Bandcamp’s business was up in 2016. Digital album sales grew 20%, tracks 23%, and merch 34%. Growth in physical sales was led by vinyl, which was up 48%, and further boosted by CDs (up 14%) and cassettes (up 58%).

Unfortunately, times are not so great for the artists overall with the rise of streaming services.

As more people subscribe to music rental services, the already paltry rates paid to artists are going down (and no, artists don’t necessarily make it up in volume).

Buy your music directly from independent artists, and don’t let the record companies decide what is available to you!

Source: Everything is Terrific: The Bandcamp 2016 Year in Review « Bandcamp Daily

The awesome people at Internet Archive have released a huge collection featuring thousands of emulated games, demos and applications from the Commodore Amiga home computer, running in the browser through the magic of emulation.

I’d still recommend a good emulator, like FS-UAE or WinUAE, to actually run these games without a lot of stuttering sound and hangs, as the in-browser emulation is not exactly optimal, but at least it works to showcase the vast number of great software that ran on the Amiga.

Amiga Juggler demo

Amiga Juggler demo

Link: Software Library: Amiga : Free Texts : Download & Streaming : Internet Archive

The Internet Archive is always a source of awesome retro-computing goodies.

The Malware Museum is a collection of malware programs, usually viruses, that were distributed in the 1980s and 1990s on home computers. Once they infected a system, they would sometimes show animation or messages that you had been infected. Through the use of emulations, and additionally removing any destructive routines within the viruses, this collection allows you to experience virus infection of decades ago with safety.

Malware Example: KUKU.COM

Source: The Malware Museum : Free Software : Download & Streaming : Internet Archive

A couple of years old – but a very interesting story on NPR about the SDF community, where my site is hosted.

Before Facebook and MySpace transformed how we interact online, there was another kind of Internet: the SDF network, made up of users connecting via phone lines and code. Around the world, 30,000 computing enthusiasts still use that network today.

Source: In Noisy Digital Era, ‘Elegant’ Internet Still Thrives : NPR

Opera Software today released version 8.50 of their great browser, and with this release they’ve the removed ad-banners and licensing fee, effectively making Opera a free browser! That’s free as in free beer, not as in free speech by the way… Still, for those who have wanted to use Opera full time but have been put off by the ads there’s now no excuse! Go ahead and download it!

Opera - feel free

Opera – Feel Free

Apparently they are doing this to increase their user base over time, and while they will lose quite a bit of revenue from doing this, they hope to gain it back in the long run from increased use and building of their brand. I’m not too sure how clever this is economically though, since my opinion is that that Opera will remain a browser for the more technically adept, while casual computer users are often put off just by the sheer amount of options and the small number of complex sites who don’t work.

But – I’m keeping my fingers crossed for Opera in the future and that the number of people using opera will grow with this bold move.

Opera Software are celebrating their 10th anniversary today… and they’re having a big party where they also are giving away free licenses for their browser as long as the party lasts! While you’re there you can have a look at the milestones page for a rundown of company history, and also see how the browsers look has changed over the years.

MultiTorg Opera (v1.0)

MultiTorg Opera (v1.0)

I’ve used the Opera browser since version 5, which came out in 2000, and been a registered user since 2001. In my opinion Opera surpasses every other browser I’ve tried in terms of speed, usability and customization options, and now there’s no way I’m using anything else for browsing the internet.

Happy Birthday Opera – and all the very best wishes for the next ten years 🙂

Opera Software today released the Opera web browser version 8.0. I’ve been waiting for this for quite some time, since the first beta version was announced in late 2004.

Opera 8 released!

Opera 8 released!

Major improvements include:

  • Voice support using XHTML+Voice. I’m probably not going to use this feature much myself, but I’m sure there are many people who would love to play with it.
  • Support for the XmlHttpRequest object, which means that Google’s Gmail service is now (almost) fully supported. This feature has been quite important to me, and now I’m finally able to use Opera for GMail.
  • Improved standards support, including support for Scalable Vector Graphics, which is pretty cool.
  • New and improved security measures, with a special “security bar” to better detect spoofing attacks.

Full list of improvements are available in the changelog as usual.

Since I actually bought a license for Opera (7.2) in September ’03, I can use it to register the new version as well which is great news to me. And it sure seems that demand for the new version is high, since the Opera website has been down for most of the day because of all the traffic…