Some time ago - TWENTY YEARS AGO - I made a WHDLoad hard drive installer for Jet Set Willy 2 on the Amiga. Making these installers kept me busy for the best part of the 2000's decade in fact.

Recently, it came to light that the installer as released didn't actually work! On a twitch stream, and then in a forum thread, you could see that the player was unable to pick up any items in the game, which is kind of the whole point of Jet Set Willy.

I was puzzled by this as I didn't feel I would have released a patch so fundamentally broken like this. I have standards, dear reader, but of course mistakes can happen.

On my now UAE-ified A1200 system I found an installer binary that didn't match the one on the official WHDLoad site and seemed to work just fine. Strange.

After a bit of digging, I found this email from 2008:

The latest version of the JSW2 patch that is on whdload.de and indeed my own website is 0501.1 released in 2001. But on my WinUAE system (and not my real A1200!) is an updated 2002 version of the installer that I must have been working on, never finished and then forgot all about!
Unfortunately, the new installer isn't yet in a state that I'd be happy to release. The slave works OK (I think) but the rest of the package is not 100% ready [...] I hope that's OK until I get around to finishing the new version properly.

I might suspect I never got around to "finishing [it] properly", but after contacting the maintainer of WHDLoad he sent me installer source code that I had sent him in 2005. 2005? The protocol was to send an installer binary along with the source code, but neither the 2002 or 2005 sources matched the released binary even though they all shared the same version string.

I didn't have source control on these packages - this was years before github, or even git - so I couldn't determine what made the broken binary. It's something of a mystery what got released in 2001, and how, and why it wasn't updated in 2002 or 2005 either.

In any case, I took the source I had, revamped it to take account of 20 years of WHDLoad development and added a few other fixes. This should pave over the mystery and make a new, definitive release.

The updated copyright line did give me a chuckle too.

A quare stretchA quare stretch

It was a fun distraction to go back to WHDLoad-ing for a few days. I even updated my Manic Miner installer too for good measure. However, going back to working in CygnusEd was a bit of a mindflip - all the keys are wrong and the mouse doesn't work ike you expect! I'd maybe set up a modern environment with VSCode etc. if this became a habit.

The new JSW2 installer is in final testing now. Just a little late...

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