Patrick Aalto's Projects

Kotiteatteri (2016)

This page is in Finnish, and it describes the home theater I built in the spring of 2016, after I moved into my current apartment. It has a lot of pictures so it may be of interest to you even if you don't read Finnish.

Piro (2015)

Piro is the name of my Raspberry Pi-based robot I built in the summer of 2015. My goal was to use this small robot to learn about robotics programming, and also to learn ARM NEON programming.

This project has it's own web pages at http://piro.patrickaalto.com

rpix86 (2013-)

rpix86 is a PC emulator for the Raspberry Pi computer. It's purpose is to allow you to run old DOS games on your Raspberry Pi.

This project has it's own web pages at http://rpix86.patrickaalto.com

DSx86 (2009-2012)

DSx86 is a PC emulator for Nintendo DS, DSi and 3DS handheld game consoles. It's purpose is to allow you to run old DOS games (and even some Windows ones) on your Nintendo DS. Running DSx86 on your Nintendo DS requires you to have a flash cart, and an SD card to store DSx86 and your DOS games on. DSX86 recently won the Homebrew Bounty 2011 competition organized by the GBATemp site!

This project has it's own web pages at http://dsx86.patrickaalto.com

Snow Fall (2002-2004)

In 2002-2004 I worked on a 3D animation fan film, called "Snow Fall", which is based on the events in a similarly named chapter in Iain M. Banks' novel "Against a Dark Background". This chapter tells a story of a young space pilot who is trapped in a badly damaged spaceship after a battle. I managed to create a teaser trailer (SF-Tsr-HQ.avi, 5.6MB) for the film, after which I realized how much work creating even a 15-minute animated short film is, and slowly got bored with the project. I do have all the source material backed up, so it is possible I will still continue this project at some later time.

Snow Fall has it's own web pages at http://snowfall.patrickaalto.com

BNR, BNR2, BNR3 (2001-2002)

The idea for BNR ("Binary News Reaper") came from my growing frustration with the newsreaders I used, namely WinVN and Microsoft's Outlook Express. I found that both of those programs had some major problems when downloading binary news articles. I was also looking for a small (as I thought at the time) project to improve my knowledge of Borland's Delphi environment, which we began using at my daytime job. After I got the basic program working, I started using it instead of those aforementioned programs when downloading binary articles, and began adding new features as I went along.

At that time there were no other multi-threaded news reader applications, so for a while BNR was the best binary downloader in existence. In 2002 I got bored with the project, mainly because it worked well enough for my own needs, so I gave it to Jeff Snavely who then began maintaining and improving it. Nowadays there are much better alternatives available, so this project is rather obsolete. BNR still has it's own web pages at http://www.bnr2.org.

LineWars (1989-1994, 2009)

LineWars is probably the most widely known of my hobby projects. I originally released the LineWars 1 in 1989, and got it included into the PC-SIG collection of PC programs. The LineWars II was released in 1994. It was a much improved version, and it even got a distribution deal by Safari Software, which was a subsidiary of Epic Megagames. In 2009 I even ported LineWars to Nintendo DS!

LineWars has it's own web pages at http://linewars.patrickaalto.com

Music Compositions

I do occasionally compose (if you can call my toying with a MIDI keyboard that) simple MIDI pieces, just for my own enjoyment. I used to have a Roland LAPC-1 (an internal PC card version of the famous MT-32 sound module) and later a Roland SCC-1 sound card to do this with. In case some of you are interested in hearing my songs, I have included them here. They are meant to be played with Roland GS-compatible equipment, but they might sound approximately correct on other General Midi synths, too.

Since nowadays the de-facto music file standard is MP3 instead of MIDI file, I have included MP3 versions of my music, and added some files where the original MIDI file is either not available (TREKMO) or won't sound correct (due to my using synth-specific SYSEX sound banks).

Song MIDI file MP3 file Description
Seaside Dreaming seadream.mid (17KB) Seaside Dreaming 1992.mp3 (13MB) This is an old piece from 1991, originally meant for Roland MT-32, but I modified it for Roland SCC-1 during the summer of 1992.
Nostalgia nostalgy.mid (23KB) Nostalgia.mp3 (5MB) This is a song I composed in March 1993, and I even uploaded it to some FTP sites and got some positive feedback.
Warm Pad warmpad.mid (26KB) Warm Pad.mp3 (7.3MB) A silly name, I know. Composed a few months after "Nostalgia", this is a rather slow and melancholic piece. It is also one of my better pieces, I think.
Mad Symphony madsymph.mid (37KB) Mad Symphony.mp3 (7MB) This is an old Roland MT-32 piece that used extensive SYSEX sound modifying. It is a nice mixture of angry and mellow tunes, and it was even used at one time as a theme music by a World Championship Wrestler! NOTE! The MIDI file is for Roland MT-32 or compatibles, not for current General Midi equipment! You can only play it using Munt or a real Roland MT-32 -compatible synth!
Music from TREKMO N/A TREKMO.mp3 (7MB) This is music from my TREKMO demo, from the summer of 1994, and played on a Gravis Ultrasound sound card.

Other projects

A PC demo called Trekmo (1994), with which I took part in the Assembly '94 PC demo competition. It was coded during June - July 1994, and shows a 3D-rendered battle scene with Starship Enterprise and a Romulan Warbird. It got 115 votes which were enough to put Trekmo to the 13th place in the final rankings. The complete results of the demo competition are listed here.

MidiTracker (1991). In the early 90's it was very popular to play MOD-style music (which originated on the Amiga) on the PC machines (as the PCs at that time were not fast enough to play any MP3 music). I did not have a SoundBlaster card at that time, but I did have a Roland LAPC music card and an Akai X-7000 sampling keyboard, so I got an idea that perhaps this MOD format could be converted to Midi and perhaps even in such a way that the digitized samples could be sent to my sampler. This is how MidiTracker got created.

You can download MidiTracker here as MTRACKER.ZIP if you wish to experiment with it. It needs a Roland MPU-401 -compatible MIDI interface in "dumb UART" mode to be able to play the music. It will launch in demo mode if you don't have that. The zip file contains documentation and also the Borland Turbo-C sources for it and a couple of MidiTracker Songs based on music by u4ia as used in my LineWars II game.

Accounting software (1987-2000). My parents did accounting for a few companies in the 1980's and early 1990's, and they asked if I could make a better accounting software for their uses than what they had been using. I originally coded a simple accounting software using Turbo Pascal, but then ported it to the Clarion Professional Developer 2.0 in 1988. My father used it for all his accounting needs up to last year, when he was finally forced to move away from a 16-bit DOS program with a new laptop that came with 64-bit Windows 7. The software UI is in Finnish, in case you are wondering. :-)

I used to run a small consulting company called "AP Konsultointi Ky" (AP is obviously short for Aalto Patrick), which is why the copyright statement says that. The screen copy is very recent, I used DOSBox to take it. Luckily the Clarion developer, even though created in 1988, did not suffer from any Y2K problems and works fine with years >= 2000.


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