Brian King, the man from Seattle, has been a long time supporter of UAE. He entered the team in 1996 and is known as one of the main guys behind WinUAE, which he maintained for more than 5 years. He gave up due to a lack of time and handed over to Toni Wilen.
Brian was interviewed by Malc Jennings from Amiga Legal Emulation.
Q: To start off, have you ever owned a real Amiga?
A: Yes. Several Amigas in my lifetime. Started with a used A1000, graduated to an A2000 with 040 accelerator. Eventually got an A1200 with 030 accelerator, and then briefly had an A3000T before it got stolen. Finally ended up with an A3000 here.
Q: About how much per year did/do you spend on hardware/software for the Amiga?
Q: What made you decide to code/help code an Amiga emulator?
A: It just seemed like a great way to keep the Amiga alive, especially combined with the rapid pace of PC-hardware development and CPU speed, when compared to the high prices and slow speeds of newer Amiga hardware.
Q: What is your main role in the team?
A: I primarily just work on the Windows port of UAE, from Linux. I have added some core features to UAE (such as Picasso96 RTG support), by implementing them first on WinUAE.
Q: Are there any other projects you are working on at the moment?
A: No, my full-time job keeps me far too busy.
Q: Are there any new features users should expect in the future releases of WinUAE?
A: Still hoping for AHI audio-support, along with better/faster Picasso96 support.
Q: How many people are working on WinUAE in total?
A: Five or six. Bernd Schmidt contributes the most, via the core UAE code on Linux. Toni Wilen contributes alot of the disk and custom-chip emulation, including AGA support. Bernie Meyer did the JIT engine on Linux, which I ported into WinUAE. Bernd Roesch has been contributing alot of small fixes and enhancements. And I tend to do the "dirty work" of merging all these things together into a packaged installer.
Q: For the technical people out there, what language(s) are/is used to code WinUAE?
A: C and Assembly.
Q: Do you use any other programs during the development of WinUAE?
A: VisualC++, GCC.
Q: How much progress do you feel WinUAE has made over the years?
A: Limited progress, based on the amount of time I have to contribute to it. In some areas it's gotten a lot better (application support, emulation speed, compatibility) and in some areas it's gotten worse (custom-chip emulation speed).
Q: What is/was the most difficult part of the Amiga to emulate?
A: I imagine that the interaction between the custom h/w is the most difficult, with copper/disk/sprite/sound all churning away simultaneously. Toni or Bernd could answer this question better.
Q: How much experience do you have as a programmer?
A: 15 years, with all sorts of languages: BASIC, Forth, 680x0 Assembly, Pascal, Fortran, C, C++.
Q: How long have you been working on WinUAE?
A: Too long! <grin> About 5 years now?
Q: How do you feel about the legalities surrounding the emulation of the Amiga?
A: I understand the copyright issues, but it's a shame that an older version of Kickstart isn't freely available. It would save me so much time answering the typical e-mail of "Where do I get a Kickstart ROM man?".
Q: I know how you feel! anyway ... Have you ever developed software for anything other than the PC?
A: Yes. TRS-80 Colour Computer I, II, and III. Also Amiga software.
Q: Which do you prefer, Windows or Workbench and why?
A: I prefer Windows, but only barely. Mostly due to superior development tools and capabilities of the OS, such as memory-protection.
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