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watchsmart's picture
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Your old version still has a following, as a lot of users find it much more stable than the later JIT versions. Actually, the speed enhancement can actually make things run too fast on modern systems, so we recommend it be turned off.

We wrote a guide sometime ago for people who still want to use it - https://www.emaculation.com/doku.php/basilisk_142_setup

Lauri's picture
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Who remembers Bill Condie? He still has his old Delphi forum up Smile

The other day I remembered it; and I dropped a cryptic message, to test his memory Smile You can enter the Delphi forums as a guest if you like:

http://forums.delphiforums.com/macwindos/messages/?msg=931.35

Surprisingly, he also has a very old picture of me online. Haha! Is it really possible that I was once that young?!

https://billcondie.com/MacWinDOS/

Lauri

adespoton's picture
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Wow! That page is a blast from the past! Did Bill used to have that page up somewhere else? I remember seeing it back around 2006, but not at that URL.

Lauri's picture
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I remember seeing that page back in 2000. At archive.org, the earliest reference is 2002, so maybe Bill moved it at that point of time, I'm not sure Smile

Lauri

watchsmart's picture
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Bill started his site on Xoom (remember that... it was NBC's attempt to get into the free website game):

https://web.archive.org/web/20001109152300/http://members.nbci.com/macwi...

His article from 2000 is fun:

"BASILISK beats the bunch

I've held off on Basilisk. I didn't need it. Fusion did everything I had to have and, besides, it seems there was a new Basilisk "Build" every other week. Life was too short . . . So many programs, so little time.

WindowsMe has changed all that. Fusion doesn't run except in DOS, and there IS no DOS. SoftMac has yet another update coming up. It works in Me, barely. I only discovered that when I went for a shower forgetting to Force-Quit SoftMac -- and there was a Mac screen when I came back!

Yeah, it took that long Smile

So despite what Emulators Inc boss Darek Mihocka says on the subject, I happen to LIKE Windows Me. Needing to do some fast Mac stuff, and not prepared to do an uninstall of Me, I turned in desperation to Basilisk -- and am an instant convert. .

Many thanks to Marc Hoffman for his excellent how to install it article with screenshots you'll find here. It helped me get up and running fast.

How fast is it? Some say Fusion-DOS is much faster. But on my 450MHz P3, Basilisk is at least as fast as Fusion/SoftMac -- and probably faster. Both run Photoshop, Quark and Word with ease, and are equally mediocre with the older Explorer and Communicator. But Basilisk goes one better with the Windows My Computer on its desktop for instant cross-platform file exchange, and I can even save to my Windows CD-RW.

I'm told it's ROM-sensitive, but the only problem I've had is with minimizing the screen, causing B2 to crash and sometimes taking Windows with it. Still, it was handy to have the Norton CD around. First attempts to run IE, OE, and Netscape all crashed me, and a restart brought a question mark.

Where we'll be a year from now is anyone's guess as Apple readies its radical switch to Unix with OSX."

watchsmart's picture
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I pop into Bill's forum about once a year to check on him. He's got an interesting life story. I think he was editor in chief of the main English newspaper in Argentina back in the 1960s. He's been around.

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Bill was born and raised in Scotland where he was a cub reporter, subeditor. He came to the USA back in 1965. So I guess that he was in Argentina right before, I didn't know that. He also worked in New York newspapers.

In his hometown, Lantana, Florida, there were a lot of my countrymen ... he called the place "Finnish capitol of the USA" -- and he used to call me a "stranger" Smile He had strict opinions, but he was fair,  just and smart, even though sometimes he pretended to be otherwise -- his kind of Scottish humour Smile

Indeed, apparently he too does not often visit his old Delphi forum anymore and was about to close it, but luckily someone -- maybe that was you -- managed to talk him to continue for a bit longer. If it was you -- well done. I'm sorry, but even such a bad amateurish detective like me cannot help but notice the (intentional?) resemblance: clock - wise versus watch - smart! Haha! I'm waiting for him to get back to reply to my message. I believe he will sooner or later, it will just take some time.

The "other two" forums are also still up although there are not that many visitors -- the last post to the B2 forum was back in 2009! Interesting anyway for data archeologists and old guys like me looking back. Jim Watters' "Operation System Emulation Forum" forum, and the "Basilisk II Forum" created by "Sergio" -- later on Jim managed this one, too, and changed the name to be "The Basilisk II/JIT & SheepShaver Forum".

The Delphi user interface is not that intuitive, to read the older messages one needs to scroll to the very bottom of the left pane and select "Next 50", many times over. At least I don't know any better way to do it.

http://forums.delphiforums.com/macemulation/messages
http://forums.delphiforums.com/basilisk2/messages

First messages:

http://forums.delphiforums.com/macemulation/messages?msg=2.1
http://forums.delphiforums.com/basilisk2/messages/1/1

Lauri

watchsmart's picture
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Indeed, there are a few old-timers that still pop into Bill's forum. He doesn't do Facebook or any other modern social media. It was one of us that convinced him to keep it open. My last communication with him there was at the beginning of this month, and I posted something yesterday as well. I'm sure he will find your post!

Indeed, Delphi is a relic. I'm surprised it has any active forums, but it is reassuring that the remnants of that old company still exist. It was a pretty big deal in the early 1990s!

I am glad you noticed the variation of my name. I think that was coined by Mark Nadelin back in the early 2000s. I don't think you would recognize the name, but he was a regular on Emaculation back then. Sadly, he passed away in 2012, at the age of only 25.

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Hmm, sorry, now I am a bit lost, what "speed enhancement" are you talking about in your other post, message #98? And yes, I have paged through many of your guides -- very well done, all of them, congrats! Back in my days with Nokia, a task to write one manual was delegated to me, and I learned that it was not that easy to make a document that was actually easily readable and helpful. I have done some more later, and I gradually lost my initial resistance doing them. Writing them can actually be just as rewarding as writing code!

Maybe I should post to both of those "other two" old forums some messages, just for the heck of it!

You are right, I don't know who Mark Nadelin was ... but I just read the obituary:

https://obits.mlive.com/obituaries/kalamazoo/obituary.aspx?n=mark-nadeli...

... I have seen other people passing away even younger ... terrible. My condolesences if he was close to you ...

But anyway ... the amateur detective Lauri is back at work: I have a feeling that your "real life" family name starts with the letter 'G'. Smile

Lauri

watchsmart's picture
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That's me!

I mean that we currently use Basilisk II JIT, which Gwenole Beauchesne (broken site here: http://gwenole.beauchesne.online.fr/basilisk2/downloads.html) released back in the early 2000s. That one has superseded your original releases od B2.

The JIT version of Basilisk is much faster, which we all loved 18 years ago. Now, however, our host systems are a lot faster so the speed improvements in the emulator are not needed. Stability is more important. Smile

MikeTomTom's picture
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Stability is more important.

A major reason I have preferred Lauri's build 142 over the JIT builds for all of these past years. It's so difficult to crash it.

Newsman's picture
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Joined: 2020 Oct 12

So you are Clockwise? What fun! I never would have guessed.

So here I am using my old CoCoForum name of NEWSMAN!!

It all began on Delphi, which became Delphi Internet, and now DelphiForums
How we all HATED that GUI upstart which called itself AOL Someone once remarked that Facebook is doing nothing that AOL didn't do.
I still use FB occasionally, but have unfriended almost everyone. Political bores!!!!

However it is great when you have problems with a company and post something negative about them on their page. You sure get instant action!!!!

watchsmart's picture
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It's me!

The demographic shift on Facebook has been incredible to witness. The average age there is getting higher and higher. I suspect even Pintrest has a younger crowd. But the Facebook shareholders must be glad that the management decided to snap up some other social networks when they still had the chance.

In terms of complaining about businesses, Twitter is a better option. It is tailor made for that sort of thing...

Lauri's picture
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Series of interesting email exchanges, nro 0009:

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Hello Andy...

My name is Lauri Pesonen, and I feel a bit embarrassed to ask you this ...

20+ years ago, I ported Christian Bauer's excellent Macintosh II emulator "Basilisk II" to Windows, for the sheer love of the classic Macintosh.

Now I'm retired, and writing up some kind memories, or at least anecdotes about my experiences back then.
I tried to ask you the following question. I created a Twitter account for that, but the message was not delivered -- it didn't appear on your "wall" or whatever it is called. I'm an old-school email guy Smile

Maybe you would know the answer to this burning question? Haha! I got your email address from Bill Atkinson.

This was the message I tried to send:

-----------------------------
Hi Andy ... I'm sorry, I'm new to Twitter and I don't know what is the proper way to ask ... I created an account just for this. Could you please shed some light on this extremely important issue:

https://macintoshgarden.org/forum/basilisk-ii-old-windows-builds-lauri-p...

Smile

Lauri
-----------------------------

...Andy , if you feel that this is too ridiculous, please just forget it Smile But I found it so interesting tidbit about Mac legacy that it was impossible for me to ignore, and I would guess that maybe you would appreciate that kind of humour as well. At least I had to give this a try Smile I have done my best now. Haha!

Best regards,
Lauri

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Hi. Lauri,

     Sorry, but I don't know the answer to your question.   I am certainly not responsible for the offset of 42 in the Mac II ROMs, as I wasn't working for Apple during the Mac II development, and had little to do with it (besides optimizing the graphics routines via QuickerDraw, which was incorporated into System 6 in 1988).

    I can speculate why there was some offset, though - my memory is fading but I think the very beginning of the ROM contained the absolute addresses of various interrupt and exception handlers used during the early booting process, before RAM is initialized, which the emulator would need to skip over - maybe offset 42 was where the actual boot code started. It's curious that it's not a multiple of 4, though, as you would want it to be long word aligned.

    Anyway, good luck with your writing and emulation work.

   -- Andy

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Thank you very much Andy for taking the time to answer me Smile May I quote what you said in my forum writings, please?

And especially, thank you for folklore.org!! It has given me very much pleasure, and other people around me as well Smile

Lauri

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Hi Lauri,

   Sure, feel free to quote my response in your writings.  I’m glad you like folklore.org.

   — Andy

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Thank you!

Please keep an eye on me, in case I make other blunders! Haha!

Lauri

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

... so my HitchHiker's Guide theory was not verified -- yet! But I got some other very interesting information, thanks to Andy. And maybe I'll find the answer to the "42" puzzle sooner or later, remember what I wrote about my stubbornness!

Anyway, the high point of this day was that Andy is, really, that kind of down-to-earth guy that I thought he would be. Even though this was the first time I talked to him, I got that impression already long ago -- read his www.folklore.org writings!

Lauri

[Edit:]
I finally realized what he really said:
>> It's curious that it's not a multiple of 4, though, as you would want it to be long word aligned.

Unaligned start vector for no apparent reason -- that could give some credit to my theory that it was indeed a deliberately selected offset, or what? Haha!

Lauri's picture
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Another blast from the past! I can't believe that those guys still have this page up, it must be an accident! This was fall 2002. Probably one of the world's first web browsers for smartphones. Written by me, for the Symbian OS that those Nokia phones used.

http://www.anygraaf.fi/browser/indexe.htm

I also wrote the text for this silly advertisement page, and the documentation provided.
"Surfing the Net, with one hand free!". Haha! I should have been working at Madison Avenue Smile

This was the only time our company released consumer products -- during my time at least. It had a protection which was based on the IMEI-code of the phone. Well, each time I released a new version with fixes and new features, the next day a cracked version was available at the warez sites Smile

Lauri

cbone's picture
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Well, I like how Bill Condies MacWinDOS page looks on a proper web browser, lol!

Lauri's picture
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I still got some hair! Haha! Half of that is gone now:)

Lauri

cbone's picture
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It's great to run old websites on the computers it was meant to run on Wink and yes, we're all losing a bit of har, lol!

As soon as I checked out the link you shared, Lauri, I wanted to see how it'd look like within my BII, but unfortunately Bill's live website was a https site, which stopped it from rendering ..so is that limitation true for all 68k web browsers then, except for perhaps Wannabe?

So I tried accessing it through the Wayback Machine's cached versions, but even back in '03 when it collected Bill's first web pages successfully, it was already a https site. Thankfully, my final attempt succeeded: I changed the Internet archive's cache link from https to http and voila, fait accompli! Smile

Lauri's picture
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Hmm? I cannot try it now because I cannot let my Windows 7 box access the Internet for security reasons ... but I thought that https should work. The problem could be something else ... maybe you are missing some extension? Sorry, it's been so long time that I don't remember these details very well ...

Lauri

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Hi there.

You wrote: <>

Actually the site has been pretty busy the past couple of weeks!
http://forums.delphiforums.com/MacWinDOS/messages/?listMode=1

MikeTomTom's picture
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Wow. Is that running on your Android B2, cbone? Impressive screenshot if so. Thanks for posting it.

cbone's picture
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Sure is, Mike Laughing out loud it's a real blast-from-the-past, isn't it? Smile

Sometimes we forget how accessible the web was with the right tools, lol Tongue my little R2D2 BII has shown me time and time again how simple things can really make a difference when you put some heart behind it Wink

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This has nothing to do with MacIntosh emulation but apparently I feel the urge to tell you the following story Smile

In 1985-1986 and again 1988 and onwards, I was working for a company called "Monigraaf". Three guys had seen an early opportunity to implement a distributed publishing system using DOS PC computers -- they founded the company and it was moderately successful. After some years, they decided to sell the company to Siemens Nixdorf and took the money out ... and after a proper grace period, they all left.

When companies merge, naturally there is always a big hunt for synergy benefits. We had a publishing system and a classified ad system; they had, among other things, the CSC -- a steel monster weighing maybe 200 kg = 400 pounds. Resembling ATM machines. Of course, it had to be robust to be able to withstand all kinds of late-night abuse at the dead of night, standing all alone in railway stations. And indeed, it was used for example as a self-service system to sell train tickets and things like that.

Our new CEO got a bright idea: let's combine these products! Let's make a self-service system that people could use to place their own advertisements! Of course, nowadays this is a terribly outdated concept because of another monster called the Internet.

But I kind of understood the merits of the idea back then. I could see why people just might adopt it: it could be convenient to type in one's own "private" and perhaps embarrassing ads in peace, without having to tolerate the badly disguised grins of the newspaper ad desk girls Smile

The task was to combine the software packages and coordinate the effort. Who do you think got this first-class job assignment? Yep ...

So I drove between two places and finally it was ready. It actually was sold to two rather large (in local scale) newspapers, Helsingin Sanomat and Turun Sanomat. We also dragged this chunk of steel around Europe at some expos -- someone translated the texts to English and German and I integrated them into the code.

Although the machine worked quite well, there were no more sales. The project slowly died and I was happy to get rid of it! It is not that exciting to combine other people's software, it is so much more fun to write something original Smile

I have no pictures to show, but yesterday I stumbled on a bad OCR copy of UK Financial Times from 1992, there was a short news about the machine. Search for "classified":

https://archive.org/stream/FinancialTimes1992UKEnglish/Sep%2004%201992%2...

The cool thing was that the bank/Visa card reader that was used to make the payment could not only read cards. Using a small extra program, I could write to them as well. Pretty soon I had a couple of copies of my own Visa card. Practical value: zero -- but it was nice to watch the faces of my friends when I made a random payment with a card that was completely blank on both sides! Haha! "I forgot the card in my pocket before the laundry day". Smile

Lauri

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Ha ha. Lauri, the original card skimmer creator Smile

Say, Hasn't OCR software come a long way over the last 20 years ? Wink

Lauri, an excellent tale. I love the idea of huge DOS terminals in railway stations, etc. You don't know if there are any screenshots floating around?

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Aha: people have woken up in the Antipodes-land Smile My time to sleep soon here at the North Pole!

>> Ha ha. Lauri, the original card skimmer creator

Indeed!

>> Say, Hasn't OCR software come a long way over the last 20 years ?

They have! But if the page is old and fuzzy enough, even the most modern software may have problems. I think that OCR can still be improved a lot by using AI. If a human eye/brain can read something, sooner or later a software implementation can too.

>> Lauri, an excellent tale. I love the idea of huge DOS terminals in railway stations, etc. You don't know if there are any screenshots floating around?

Thanks! I also found it amusing story now that I remembered it because of stumbling on that Financial Times story by accident, I didn't even remember the damn machine before. I have been trying to hunt down some pictures of the machine all day long ... no luck so far. I would very much like to see some myself Smile

I remember once hearing a very troublesome rumour: some customer supposedly claimed to have figured out a way how he could trick the program to drop into the DOS prompt! It was a Very Bad Thing, if it was true. Back then, I tried to hunt him down without success!

Thinking back, it's amazing how many different kinds of projects I had to tackle ... I also wrote communications software, PageMaker and Illustrator plugins, a display-ad program (for Windows 2.x, believe it or not !!! ... only command line-based dev tools were available!), participated in implementing OS for a mini-computer for banking systems, editorial systems, page pairing programs, RIP-simulators to display PostScript, proofers, assemblers, compilers, interpreters, MacIntosh software, speech generator, games, phone apps, macros, dozens of small helper apps of all kinds and whatnot. Haha!

Lauri

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This Antipodean has been up and about for 5 hours already Wink

Dropping down to the DOS prompt would be a bad idea. It reminds me of our local ATM which was malfunctioning recently - and while I was using it - it rebooted itself and opened to a log on screen. The ATM was running Windows 7! Tongue

Are there any PageMaker, Illustrator, InDesign or other plugins of yours that we have or don't have here, Lauri? Or other Macintosh softwares that we could be on the look out for, to archive? The RIP simulator? was this for the Mac or other platforms?

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>> It reminds me of our local ATM which was malfunctioning recently - and while I was using it - it rebooted itself and opened to a log on screen. The ATM was running Windows 7!

Great! I suppose that you are comfortably retired now ... Smile

Lauri

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Heh, I was simply surprised and yet somewhat disappointed to discover Australia's largest bank was using a Windows OS in a kiosk mode to facilitate banking for it's customers. I had assumed it would be *nix based.

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I was wondering whether there was any kind of menu or similar providing commands, or access to anything, or was it just a log listing.

Windows 7 *may* just about be good enough for things like that. Apparently the ATM manufacturer thinks so, it was a surprise for me too.

But I am very thankful that no version of Windows is a real-time OS. There is no guarantee for deadlines (importantly, maximum interrupt latencies) so that it would be made sure that critical events are served in certain (whatever it would be) maximum time. And thus, it cannot be used in time-critical applications, for example to control nuclear power plants! I sleep my nights better knowing this Smile

Lauri

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Back in the Windows CE days I knew some people who worked on the dev team. They were working on developing an RTOS drop-in replacement for the kernel. Thankfully that never came to fruition before CE was axed. Windows Mobile, of course, took a slightly different route, although it still inherited the Windows CE Embedded codebase for ATMs and other kiosks.

We only used CE for PDA-style devices, preferring in-house RTOS for our kiosk development. On the down side, this meant that we couldn't easily do fancy touch screens. On the up side, it means we had kiosks deployed outside in the Arctic Circle and the Australian outback that actually functioned reliably.

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It is interesting that Linux is still not accepted as a RTOS, to my best knowledge. No version of MacOS is either but I guess that was never their goal anyway.

20 years ago that was easy to understand, the kernel was not even reentrant. Then they started to make improvements, some kind of re-entrancy entry points, so that everything but critical sections could be entered simultaneously ... and they did some other things as well. But I don't know why this has not led to an acceptance to use Linux as a real-time OS, that is beyond me, I haven't followed these matters closely. Could it be because it is still so much like a work in progress?

Lauri

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I think it's more likely due to most major Linux environments moving to systemd. This is very much incompatible with using the kernel in an RTOS fashion. So while the kernel can now handle being used in an RTOS architecture, ironically, the main environments that use it cannot.

That said, RTLinux and RedHawk are both RTOS, and there's a toolchain available to compile the Linux kernel together with a busybox-style environment that is fully RTOS for IoT environments.

So sadly, it looks like Linux RTOS will finally go mainstream in the dumpster fire of IoT embedded systems deployment. Without SELinux.

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Do you happen to know any examples where Linux -- any version of it -- is used in a kind of, how to say, way that your life would depend on it whether it works or not? Nuclear power plants, an airplane fly-by wire system, medical instruments, etc, etc? I really don't need to know -- but I was born curious! Haha!

Lauri

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Nope; in cars, Linux tends to be just in the entertainment/navigation section, and the engine uses a RTOS that starts with M (can't recall the name) most of the time. QNX is used for some SEIM stuff for power plants and the like; I don't know enough about the airline industry to know what they're using, but I'm pretty sure it isn't Linux, especially at the rate development/certification goes in that space.

Maybe rockets? What does SpaceX use? For that matter, what does Tesla use?

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>> Maybe rockets? What does SpaceX use? For that matter, what does Tesla use?

I don't know ... but now that you asked, it is indeed interesting ... I think that I will write to Elon Musk and ask him. He is probably still on the planet Earth, not yet moved to Mars Smile

Lauri

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It was a typical boot screen that you would see on any Windows 7 desktop as it starts up. The ATM software itself had crashed, so once Win 7 finished booting up it could not recover it's kiosk display and instead went to a log-in screen. I guess at that point it required a "techie" with a keyboard. I came back the following day and it was up and running. This happened early in 2020 and they were still running Win 7 on these ATM's - Ah, the speed of life Wink

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Sorry ... even if I had copies of those, I could not give them out ... they are proprietary software, owned by my ex-company. Sadly there is not much, if any, 68k or PPC software that I could actually contribute. But I can take a closer look at my archives.

There is, however, one piece of Windows software that I have been thinking releasing. But since it's Windows, the Macintoshgarden probably would not be interested. I'll find some other way if I decide to release it.

It's a very interesting implementation of professor David Turner's functional language SASL, with some features taken from the language Miranda courtesy by the same gentleman; for example Zermelo-Fraenkel set abstractions. Me and three other guys wrote it in early eighties for VAX computers running Unix. I later on ported it to Windows and fixed and improved many things while I was at it.

"SASL" stands for "St. Andrews Static Language", named after the University he was teaching at the time.

This particular implementation uses combinators and lambda-calculus. The compiler generates self-optimizing combinator code which is then interpreted. It might be valuable to some people like students as a learning tool. Take a look at this, the Quicksort algorithm written in SASL, using ZF notations. Quite elegant:

def
quick [] = []
quick (a:x) = quick {b; b <- x; b < a;} ++ [a] ++ quick {b; b <- x; b >= a}

No imperative elements are allowed. No side effects, only "pure" functions and recursion!

Lauri

[Edit: had some trouble with "<" and ">", they were probably confused with html tags, should be ok now.]

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I didn't mean that you could or should upload anything here, Lauri - What I had meant was, were there other software such as specific plugins that we should be aware of that are attributed to yourself or that you collaborated on?

As plugin software often gets bundled in with distribution releases, it's not always obvious who creates individual components to proprietary software. So I'm sorry if I came across as brash or pushy there, it wasn't intended.

Yes, you do have to watch out for those pesky < 's and >'s when posting here Wink

There is a place here for Windows software, but usually as part of combined hybrid Mac/Win releases. Or, if they are from the Claris or Apple stables - sole exception I know of is ImgBurn, as we Mac users rely on this one quite a bit.

Your SASL quicksort with recursion code does look concise and as you say, quite elegant (I think clever). If I was a mathematician, which I won't pretend to be, I could grasp it more, but I think that some of the coders reading your posts will be able to appreciate it for what it is, and wish it was implemented in some Mac compiler/interpreter.

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Hey, not pushy at all, no worries! Smile And I would gladly upload those old stuff if I could Smile But come to think of it, most of the plug-ins would not be very useful to other people. They were written for systems integration purposes; for example moving data between Quark/InDesign/Illustrator/PageMaker and our editorial system.

Lauri

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My vote for the non-activation versions of Adobe's C2 programs to be added to the Mac collection we have would be the only notable exception I'd ask for, aside from the extraordinary ImgBurn, of course Wink they're non-existent online now and my I lost my ed versions during a move, but in the scope of the Garden, I totally get that they wouldn't be ideal candidates.

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This is the story of my first computers, Commodore PET and Mac 512k or Fat Mac ... a long story, bear with me:)

I was about 16 or 17 years old when I got my first computer, the PET. Before that, I had played with only two "computers": the Texas Instruments SR-56 programmable calculator, and the computer at our high school.

I don't remember the make and the model of the school computer; it was already a terribly outdated computer that had been donated to our school by a local bank when they kicked it out and upgraded to some more advanced system. The mass storage unit was a paper tape. To program it, there was a built-in Basic interpreter. In theory, we could also load a version of Pascal from the paper tape, but it was a practical impossibility: after one trivial mistake it crashed, and we needed to spend another 20 minutes or so reloading the Pascal! It could not be used, really.

PET was something else. In retrospect, I have been a bit sorry that I didn't choose Apple II instead -- but PET had an appeal because it was a complete package. Power it up, start using, and enjoy the glorious 8 kilobytes of RAM memory, Or was it 7168(?) bytes after the "operating system" reserved some for itself.

When a kid starts to use a new toy, everything is wonderful and exciting for a short while. But as the skills build up, one starts to hit the limits.

There were three major obstacles...

The first obstacle was the terrible C cassette tape drive that was used as a mass storage system. It was slower than the slowest modem, and more tragically, very unreliable. My father once wanted to sponsor me for a job: he was a French-language teacher at the University and also some kind of an union leader. They made a study about the opinions of all the professors, lecturers, assistants and whatnot. I got a stack of paper and I was supposed to enter the data into the PET, write a simple statistical program and print out the results.

What a nightmare! Night after night, after the school, I tried to run the data. And sooner or later, a transmission error occurred. Must do it all over again. When I finally got it done, only at that point I realized that the printed lines were not properly aligned. I dreaded giving those print-outs to my father, but that's what I did. The feedback was bad, of course, but I didn't want to get involved in it again. So he used scissors to do the good old clip-and-paste method to make the results readable.

Later on, I wrote my own cassette controlling software for that damn thing. It used pulse-code modulation, it was three times faster and more reliable. I wish I had done that earlier.

The second obstacle was the limited RAM memory. 8k gets you only so far! Me and my kid brother had already done all kinds of circuit boards, painting them first on a blank copper board and then corroding the extra copper away with a solution of ferric chloride. Since the PET had an external  memory expansion slot, we started to design an extra memory board. The plan was to expand the RAM from 8k to the maximum possible 32k, so 24k more was needed. Surely 32k would be enough for the rest of my life!

But there was a practical problem. We could only buy 4 kilobit static RAM's -- and even those were expensive. So we needed 48 of them, and placing all of them side by side would introduce too long transmission delays -- at least so we calculated. Hmm? Solution: We made the circuit board 3D! Four IC circuits on top of each other, kind of hugging, or making love, soldered together Smile Address selection pins were sticking out and connected to the main board with short pieces of wire.

Please note that I'm not too sure about the correctness of the numbers I mentioned above. What was actually the static RAM size and how many was needed... The numbers may be inaccurate, but you get the basic idea anyway Smile

When finished, the RAM board worked flawlessly. Now I could write my first assemblers and compilers -- and that also solved the third problem: speed.

Later, my brothers bought Commodore 64. It was obvious that my assembler could be useful to them, but we could not figure any way to transfer it. C64 had a floppy drive (it became unreliable, too, as it grew older) and PET had that damn cassette drive ... they were not compatible ... and we hadn't even heard about any kind of networking solutions at that time.

Finally we bought a cheap roll of the kind of thin, enamelled copper wire used in transformers and such, and made a 30 meters long twisted-pair cable. My brothers lived at the opposite end of the house. After spending two days wrapping it, we ignored our parents' objections and installed it at the ceiling. I wrote two small communication programs for both of the computers. Some more time was spent to transport the assembler and the compiler from the PET to the C64 ... and finally they were left to compile themselves overnight. After that, the kids had tools to make games in 6502 assembly. One of them actually sold some games written by him, but only locally I think.

At some point of time, one bit was burned out in the original RAM and soon after one bit in the ROM. They were not socketed circuits but were soldered. It would have been too expensive and troublesome for me to try to fix it, and more importantly, the PET was already outdated. Because there was the Macintosh!

This must have been the year 1986, because the Mac Plus had just come out. When people upgraded their old 128k and 512k to Plus, many left-over parts accumulated in one computer shop. I'm not quite sure what the upgrade mechanism really was, but the end result was that one of my friends bought a substantial stock of old motherboards, diskette drives and keyboards quite cheaply. Monitors were not included in the deal. He sold them to everybody around us -- he was not out to make any profit, this was nothing but his willingness to help out.

I watched in envy how the other guys built nice boxes and installed fancy monitors, and demoed the Macs to me. I was quite low on money, so the solution was to rip the guts out of my PET -- may she rest in peace. Then some sawing of iron out of the casing because the motherboard would not fit otherwise. And finally I made a small adapter circuit board to translate the Mac video signals so that the PET screen would understand them. The end result looked ugly, but it worked as it should. Now I had, for all intents and purposes, a Fat Mac; my first Mac ever.

First, it was all about gaming, of course. But soon I started to learn about how the Mac operated internally and write some trivial programs for it as well. So -- in some very far-fetched sense, this was the beginning of "my" Basilisk II Windows port! One branch of the many paths which eventually led to attempt it. Haha!

Good old times Smile

Lauri

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Great story, Lauri!

I remember having the same issues between tape and floppy storage. My eventual solution was a keyboard emulator -- I'd essentially output the data from tape via serial and had a cable going to the keyboard pins on the other computer... it was slow, but I could transfer entire programs over in a matter of HOURS without having to re-type it all by hand!

Eventually, all my old and new computers had serial connections of some nature, so I just used a terminal emulator to transfer via zmodem with a null modem cable.

Of course, I went the Apple II route instead of the Commodore PET route, which provided me with a few more solutions in the long run. I still envied the Amiga users and their colour screens in the 90s though, despite my Mac Plus.

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I also later on used a serial cable and zmodem to get stuff out of my "Fat Mac", because diskettes could not be used because of those well-known compatibility problems with those early 400k/800k Mac disks...

Ah, your keyboard emulator was a clever way to do it Smile I never thought about that!

My brother later upgraded to Amiga ... I think that it was the only home computer model back then which had true preemptive multitasking!

Lauri

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Here's another story about B2 development; shows once again how I had an uncanny ability to embarrass myself.

This was the fall of 1999. Back then, the UAE CPU could emulate 68020 and there was a kind of patch so it could fake to be 68030. Everybody was hoping that 68040 emulation would soon follow because it would allow running more applications. Many of them also incorrectly thought that this would somehow magically speed up the emulation, probably because the real 040 was so much faster than its predecessors. But emulation does not work that way Smile Some people even had the misconception that 68040 would allow PPC code to run!

I happened to scan through the Motorola manuals while doing other things, and I suddenly realized how easy adding the 040 support would actually be, from the point of view of the CPU emulation. So I did it. It was maybe 3(?) new opcodes in the CPU and some changes in the FPU, I don't remember exactly -- but it was surprisingly easy to do. I didn't tell this to other B2 developers. I sometimes wanted to surprise other people ... quite human, possibly.

I was also in the process of helping Marc Hoffman to write his excellent B2 manual, giving advice and information and answering to his questions. There was necessarily a lot of email exchange, and at some point I blurted out that the next B2 build would include support for the 68040 processor -- maybe because he could then include this information in his manual and wouldn't need to rewrite too much later.

He was excited, and asked for my permission to publish this news on his web site. Well, why not ... and so he did. Lots of talk about it followed in the forums. Lots of exclamation marks, smileys, and whatnot.

Then immediately after this wonderful newsflash -- Christian released his next beta of the B2 core and the Linux version. He had done exactly the same thing! Without knowing it, apparently both of us had simultaneously realized how easy this actually is and just wrote the code.

Why did I feel that this was so embarrassing to me? Because Marc had published something along the lines that "Lauri has made it possible etc..." And now it was obvious that it was Christian! Actually I don't know whether anybody else besides me noticed this, but I felt bad ... Smile

Well, never mind, I combined our efforts and released a new build, I think it was number 100.

What does this amusing anecdote tell about my communication skills? I don't even dare to think about it! Haha!

Lauri

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Lauri, to be honest, to me your recollection simply underscores the obvious to all of us, and that's that 'great minds really do think alike', and further, the gentleman in you sees the acknowledgements made to you rather than Christian as an embarrassment.. even in those 'oops' moments we can freely say 'job well done' my friend!

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Thanks cbone for your kind words Smile

Watchsmart previously wrote about Mark Nadelin and his premature passing ...  made me recall this ...

Does anybody remember Yoav Shadmi? He was the author of the vMac DOS port. He passed away while serving in the Israeli army, 3 weeks after his 18th birthday. It was a training accident. Everybody was shocked when his brother David wrote to inform us. It was in January 1999.

Yoav was very respected in the community. One of the unsung heroes of Mac emulation. Besides his DOS port, he made other contributions as well. I would not be surprised if some of his old code would still be alive in Paul Pratt's excellent Mini vMac.

Lauri

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I hadn't heard of Yoav Shadmi. There probably isn't any good age to die at, but 18 is just very sad. So much more he could have enjoyed and given.

Did you know the original vMac project web site is still available for visiting? It hasn't been updated since 2002 it seems, but it is there. I remember there were a couple more parallel Mac Plus projects from around the same period as vMac, but vMac was clearly the best of what was around at the time.

The vMac project site has a memorial page dedicated to Yoav Shadmi, but it appears to be mostly broken (likely caused by embedded graphics linked to a long gone memorial page elsewhere).
- The Wayback Machine is your friend here Smile

Speaking of Paul Pratt's excellent Mini vMac. My use of this emulator these days is 99% with the '020 variation builds.

Mainly because it supports colour and runs any OS that an original Mac II could support.
An ability to run System 6 in your B2, I would have dearly loved to have had, Lauri. Wink

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I'm sure you are aware (if only from earlier posts in this topic), but you can run System 6 in build 94 (and earlier) of Basilisk II:

http://www.emaculation.com/basilisk/Build94-BasiliskII_win32_031099.zip

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I wasn't aware of that. Thanks, watchsmart. I'll be trying it out rather soon I would think. Smile

Oh, hang-on, that's 68000 only, no? I should've added wanting Mac II SSW 6 support in B2 in that last post. The Mac Classic support I was aware of.

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Ah... I haven't used it since the 1990s, so I'm not sure exactly what it emulates.