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<.text dst="cache/ds" face="Copperplate Gothic Bold" size="40" shadow shadowblur="3" shadowcolor="#00000080">Divine Software: AHI

The End of an Era

As of today, Martin Blom, the author of AHI, will cease all his computer activities, including the development of AHI, the de facto retargetable audio standard for AmigaOS. The first official release of AHI was in 1996, the second the very same year, followed by version 4 in 1997 (version 3 was never released to the public). The last released update of the core device was released in November 1997, although new or bugfixed drivers have been made available for download until recently.

During fall 1998, Martin started a campaign to raise money for a PowerPC card, in order to develop a PowerPC version of the system. In December 1998, Martin ordered his Cyberstorm card, and the development of the PowerPC version began early this year. In late January 1999, the PowerUp version was finished.

What went wrong?

Unfortunately, the PowerPC version, which had the mixing routines rewritten in C for portability reasons, was not any faster than the old m68k version. Not surprising, some might say. But yes, it was, because the slowdown was not due to context switches (there were none), but simply because the mixing routines were written in C instead of Assembly language. Sure, a high-level language will always be less optimal, but the underlying hardware should make up for that: a 604e/233 compared to an 060/50.

After this failure, the first Martin had ever encountered, Martin became seriously depressed. He had never failed on a programming task ever before. Ever. To find out that there was a problem he could not solve simply broke him. After a long treatment by various psychiatrists, they all came to the same conclusion: The only way for Martin to make his way back to a normal life again, was to end all computer activities. For good. And so he did.

The future

From now on, Martin will do what he does best: music. Sure, he was an excellent programmer, one of the best in Europe, probably, but that's nothing compared to his musical talent. His voice is a pure gift directly from God; I kid you not. For more information about the recently produced album, Martin's first, please visit Divine Records web pages.

The official press release issued by Martin can be found, eh, there. You just missed it.

The source code

So, what will happen to AHI in the future. At present time, nobody really knows for sure. Martin himself hopes that somebody talented enough will continue development, but that seems highly unlikely; who could possibly take as good care of AHI as Martin did?

The GPL release

Nevertheless, Martin has decided to release the full source code of AHI under the GNU General Public License and the GNU Library General Public License. The core device will be released under the library license, the utilities under the normal license. The drivers and examples will continue to be in the public domain, which means that developers are free to chose any license they prefer for their drivers or AHI enhanced programs.

Register

Before you download the software, please take the time time to fill in this form! It is very important for us to be able to track down who has downloaded the source code.

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Download now!

Please note that this is a snapshot from the CVS server, it was never intended as a release. Therefore, none of the driver or example source code is present in the archive. Martin was in the middle of transferring all source code components from SAS/C to egcs when he became mentally disturbed. The PowerUp code relies on ugly hacks and are said to crash on many systems. It does work on Martin's own computer, though.

Do not upload the source code to Aminet or any other file server until a "real" snapshot or release has been made. I think we all owe Martin that much.

Martin Blom & Divine Software: AHI audio system, the GPL/LGPL release. [Download].

CVS server

As a service to interested developers, Divine Software is hosting a CVS server where selected developers can get read and write access to the sources.

If you feel you're talented enough to continue the development of AHI, don't hesitate to contact Divine Software at <martin@blom.org> or by phone: +46-12-77451999.