We founded Hundred Rabbits with the goal of building a platform that could enable us to dedicate our time to the creation of free & open-source software such as Grimgrains and orca, as well as contribute to the open-source projects of others.
dotgrid and left were both originally created to be used internally, but have evolved into mature applications used by thousands of creators. The development was done with their source code available publicly from the start, which allowed for collaborations that benefited all users.
Our intermittent internet connection makes for unpredictable release patterns, and spotty technical support, but helping users to fix their issues and modify the software to better suit their needs, encourages people to help each other to find solutions, and submit revisions for everyone to enjoy.
The energy required to power tools such as Xcode and Photoshop keeps growing, and the large and incessant updates have often long stopped adding worthwhile improvements. While fashionable devices and protocols exacerbate planned obsolescence, bloated software increases energy usage and shortens the lifespan of computers.
We have decided to focus on documenting, and archiving, means of reusing and repairing older devices and programs. All of our tools are designed to work offline first, operate with little-power on older devices and operating systems. Operating this way, we can keep creating content while off-grid, and when our power and connectivity is limited.
Back in 2016 when first operating on a sailboat, we experienced frequent failures with both software & hardware, largely due to our small energy storage and lack of reliable connectivity. The solution was to create tools that would be better suited to the limits of our situation. The objective was to replace the bloated, closed-source or subscription software that we were using to do creative work, such as Photoshop, Xcode and Ableton. We were somewhat familiar with web technologies, so we decided to build our programs on this new up and coming framework called Electron.
While solving some of our issues, Electron was rapidly increasing in size and soon joined the rest of the software that we wanted to do away with. Our focus shifted toward reducing our energy use, and to ensure reliability we began removing dependencies.
To transition toward our new goals, we developed offline web versions as temporary stand-ins while researching ways to build more resilient software. We eventually ported our tools to C, but while we had achieved ideal energy usage, portability was still an issue, so we kept looking. We learnt 6502 assembly, seeing players run our NES game on all these different platforms gave us a new idea.
And so, in 2021 we began designing a small virtual machine with a focus on implementability; meaning that moving forward, the applications themselves will no longer need to be ported. Instead, to make any one program available on a new platform, the emulator is the only piece of code that will need to be modified, which is explicitly designed to be easily implemented.
This is where we are now. uxn may solve our cross-platform issues, while being extremely light. It took us a long while to get here, we hope that one day the Uxn versions of our software replace the desktop and web versions [16.05.21].
Go slow, and fix things.