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Advent Calendar: Door 3 - Joerg van de Loo
For the third door of our advent calendar, developer Joerg van de Loo took a lot of time. His main Amiga-side project is the text editor BareED. Unlike other editors, BareED is a RAM-based and pixel-oriented (not character-oriented) text editor for the Amiga. This means it can display proportional fonts (characters can vary in width) and use real tabs. Also it supports syntax highlighting, which requires a fast CPU (68040 CPU or better).

Furthermore he writes tools like RTF-Riddle for converting RTF files into the HTML5 format. Always worth reading and of great help for other developers are his comments to various software news on A big thank you for that at this point. His anecdote for the third door:

Police - Friday, December 23, 1988

I arrived home late in the evening (at night!) after two weeks of work and immediately ask my girlfriend if she got the necessary cables to connect the monitor, because at the moment everything is only in black and white and also silently. At first, I had operated the Amiga on the TV, but now I am the proud owner of a 1084S monitor, but the accessory pack was not included...

She denies it, and my mother agrees that they both tried everything to get these cables in a hurry, but it was impossible. Bummer. I call a friend, who I know is still sitting in front of his Amiga late at night. He has these cables, but he can't spare them. Again crap. He gives me a phone number of an Amiga hardware developer with a store in the area - I should try there.

I can't sleep in today, it's the 24th of December - but not because I'm preparing for Christmas Eve, but because I can hardly sleep, as I'm racking my brains to find a way to connect the old 1084 S monitor to my A2000(B), because the right cables weren't included. I actually want to call the hardware developer at 7:00 am, but refrain from doing so until 9:00 am. A friendly woman's voice answers and I ask if they have these cables. She refers me to her son. He answers and points out that today is 24 December. Yes, yes, yes, I know. I ask if he has the cables he needs. "Of course," is his reply. My next question is when I could pick them up. He means on the 27th, his mother calls in and says they are closed until the beginning of January. Ouch. I'm about to hang up in frustration when he says he'll be in the shop for another hour. Hmmm, might well be a bit more than 40 kilometres - I could manage that. I agree to hurry and leave a little later.

My Opel Manta with its tuned engine and balloon tyres (but without the foxtail and wiggly wiggly!) doesn't mind this rainy weather, and neither do I, because as a frequent driver who works in southern Germany, I have to cope with completely different weather conditions. Here on the Lower Rhine, however, the drivers are apparently already overwhelmed by this rain. I'm just overtaking and set the guide speed to something above that of motorways. At a junction with a stop sign, I make it a priority eight-way road. Three kilometres further on, a lorry turns left into my subordinate road, so I ignore the stop sign and turn right. The 70 zone is quickly behind me and then it's just straight ahead - so I have to overtake all the time.

Then I am close to my destination and have to turn left. After fifty metres I stop on the right and take out the folding map (yep, there were no sat navs back then). I orientate myself - and it doesn't take long, because I've had a lot of practice at that. As I turn left, I suddenly see blue lights behind me - oh, police on duty - I'll just let them pass. So I put the indicator back and wait for the police car to pass me. 1 second, 2 seconds, 3 seconds - nothing. I look in the rear-view mirror - they are now right behind me! Do they want something from me? I am not aware of any guilt!

A policeman gets out and immediately gets wet because of the rain. He knocks on the window and says "General vehicle inspection". Man, does this have to be now - I'm in a hurry. I open the window and he asks for my papers. I hand them over. He asks me if I know why they stopped me. I answer in the negative. He lectures me: excessive speed, inappropriate driving, running a stop sign twice and if they hadn't switched on the flashing lights, they would have lost the connection. Ouch.

He asks me if I hadn't seen the blue light. I again answer in the negative. I suddenly realise that I am threatened with a driving licence suspension and a fine without the policeman having to point it out to me. I get out - and get wet too. I explain to the policeman why I am in such a hurry - workplace southern Germany, primary residence Lower Rhine, computer, monitor, no matching cables, Christmas, shops closed, black and white, no sound - and all because of the missing accessory pack - and that the shop where I bought this monitor would not be able to supply the missing accessory pack until the middle of next January.

He tells me that this is no reason to disregard the traffic regulations. I point out that I can prove that I drive more than 110.000 kilometres a year and that I don't have any points in Flensburg (at that time this institution still existed), so that my current driving style would be an exception and I would realise that I had screwed up. He just says: "Wait here". He goes to the police car with the papers and gets in.

A short time later he comes back and opens the instruction with: "I have consulted with my colleague. Since today is Christmas Eve and you are reasonable, do you agree to a warning fine of 20 DM?". I can't believe my luck! Of course, I agree! I have already mentally parted with my "rag". I pay the 20 DM and listen to his instructions - although we both get soaking wet. He hands me my papers and wishes me a good trip and a Merry Christmas - I wish him the same, and I mean it! They turn around and I continue my journey.

Soaking wet, I press the bell of the private entrance. The mother of the hardware developer opens the door - and takes good care of me, handing me a towel to dry off. Then she leads me into the actual shop, which is closed today but where her son assembles electronic things. We get acquainted and he has already picked out the cables I need and laid them on the counter. As I look around, I discover floppy disk drives, memory cards and much more. We start talking and after a while, during which his mother interrupts us and urges us to leave, I leave the shop with the necessary cables and a 2 MB loaded 8 MB memory card as well as a second drive.

I drive back, deeply relaxed and looking forward to the coming Christmas. (dr)

[News message: 03. Dec. 2022, 14:24] [Comments: 1 - 03. Dec. 2022, 16:38]
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