This interview was taken by Wraggster for ConsoleVision.com.
Wraggster: Where were you born, where do you live and can you tell us a bit about your family, etc?
I was born in Baton Rouge, Louisiana and I still currently live there. My parents are divorced and my dad is remarried. I live with my dad and I have one sister who lives with my mom.
Wraggster:What qualifications do you have?
None actually, everything's 100% self taught.
Wraggster: What made you get into computers? LiENUS: When I was about 10 my dad got a computer from some company called "Quantex". It was the worst computer ever, always breaking and such, so from that I was forced to always be repairing that computer. The most dissapointing fact about it was it had a winmodem. Then when I was 12-13 my dad ordered a new computer from gateway and I had him specificly ask for a non-winmodem. So from there I put Linux on my computer and after about a year I removed Windows 100%.
Wraggster: What projects/coding have you done previous to any Dreamcast programming?
Complete projects from start to finish done by me have been only in Visual Basic :/
I made a wingate clone called BitchGate (never released) and I made a sub7 client in VB that was only released to a few friends. As for other projects I've worked on with other people: The biggest is a project in Delphi that is still ongoing called VCS (Veterinary Care System). It was a custom program my dad had ordered for his veterinary clinic. He got a deal on it from the guy but the guy is never on so I end up supporting it most of the time. My contributions have been simple things like code cleanups and Bells/Whistles. Currently I'm working on porting the entire thing to Linux and removing its dependancies on some comercial controlls.
Wraggster: What made you get into Dreamcast Development?
Well, when the Dreamcast first came out in Japan a friend of mine was saying how cool it was. So when it came out in the USA I was one of the first people to buy one. Initially I only had a Dreamcast, a controller and Slave Zero (awesome game btw). Then slowly I got more Dreamcast accesories. Then sometime in 1999 (I think) Slashdot ran an article on the Dreamcast and they mentioned Marcus Comstedt's site (http://mc.pp.se/dc). I went there, got interested in Dreamcast programming, but at the time my cd-r drive was on the frits. So I asked for a cd-rw drive for my birthday, got it and when the BBA became available, I was one of the first people to order one ( ofcourse I still had to wait like a month to get it). Then when ipslave became available I began working on DreamAmp for the first time.
Wraggster: How did you start and what programs did you use to start coding?
Well, I started shortly after IPslave came out, so I of course used that. I also used GCC on Linux and libdream.
Wraggster: Tell us about your Dreamamp player.
reamamp is currently in a private beta, but I hope to have a completed release of that beta out by the 15th, because I leave for a week to Mexico then. The new beta supports numerous things, including Bug fixes that prevented it from loading beyond 7 files. I also have fixed non 44100 mp3 support, added the beginnings of bba/serial streaming support and added a VGA recenter support like in Smeg.
Wraggster: Do you have any new projects in the pipeline ?
I'd like to complete my modifications to libdream which include backport of kos vfs layer studio library malloc/free. I also have begun some (ie minimal) work on porting fpse to the dc thatl'l be a while before its released (if ever)
Wraggster: What plans for the future do you have for Dreamamp?
Possibly adding support for more file formats but beyond that I dont know.
Wraggster: What programs have helped you on the dreamcast and how significant is a hardware opengl driver and to what programs emus would be made accessible with it?
libdream has helped me as has dlmalloc (a malloc originally for the pc). As for the OpenGL driver it won't assist many emus except "lazy" ports where the person doesnt want to write a ta driver for the emu. as for programs lots! mainly things like a re-port of Quake or if the Quake2 source is released a port of that. but not much in the way of emus will be enhanced by it.
Wraggster: What programs/apps/emus would you most like to see come out on the Dreamcast? Lienus:A re-port of Quake would be great the Quake available for the dreamcast right now is highly illegal. and as i said if the Quake2 source is released a port of that as for emus a psx emu for free would be cool.
Wraggster: Whats your opinion of the new super consoles like X-box,Gamecube,Game Boy Advance and the Playstation 2?
Lienus: X-box isnt all that great i've seen demos in eb it looks no better than a dc. Gamecube well i personally am thinking of getting one because i am a fan of zelda, GBA well the gb is the only handheld left however nintendos backwords compatible trip makes me scared that the gba is being held back by compatibility with the gbc. and playstation 2... well its by sony what else is there to say? it was majorly limited by sony not releasing a proper dev kit. it looks ugly as hell, and no proper anti-aliasing in the first gen games... even the homebrew devers have anti aliasing support on the dc.
Wraggster: Which console looks the best for devving on? Lienus:The GBA because theres already flash carts out kos has been ported there. X-box would certainly be easy to develop on but its just a PC theres no challange or fun there. i am however interested in emulating the x-box and i think i may buy an X-box just for that theres a really nice 1ghz 128mb ram pc by hewlet packard and i think i could make a disk that you pop in there and bootup an X-box game and be able to play X-box games on it ,it would only work on that pc and it would require a removal of windows but i still think itd be cool.
Wraggster:Your thoughts on the Dreamcast Emulation/Development Scene and how can it be improved? Lienus: If certain websites would stop carrying illegal software... other than that if a complete share of information is achieved and perhaps a lil bit more info would need to be gained on the TA.
Wraggster: What are your favourite games for every system you have owned? Lienus: i started with a NES so for that prolly Duck hunt then i got a Genesis (still have this one) for that Sword of Vermillion then from there GB prolly Legend of Zelda GBC Legend of Zelda DX Saturn (Still have this one too and it works!!!) NiGHTS into Dreams Dreamcast (have 2 of these now!!) Dreamamp :) j/k umm prolly PSO (which is also my least favourite)
.Thank you for your time it has been a honour for the scene. wraggster