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fluent's picture
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Need help setting up Mini Vmac (for text adventures, world builder etc.)

hey guys. mini vmac on android is asking for a ROM file and i don't know where to look. Can someone tell me exactly step by step how I set up mini Vmac for android? All I get is a white screen no matter which files I try. Any ideas, please? Thank u!

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24bit's picture
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A MiniVMac_II ROM for the Macintosh II emulation is included here: https://macintoshgarden.org/apps/minivmac-35-build-environment
The MiniVMac ROM for the Mac Classic is e.g. here:
https://www.redundantrobot.com/sheepshaver
(Last item in the ROM list. Wink )

The setup should be rather simple. All files must reside in the MiniVMac directory.
When a valid ROM is found, at the bottom of the screen a button for mounting a disk image should be shown.
See here for a bootable image: https://macintoshgarden.org/apps/macos-753-emulators
(Last DL)

fluent's picture
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Thank u soooo much, 24bit! U have been a real lifesaver and valuable asset to this site! Smile

So, I got it up and running. What is this considered, 6.0? I made a 125mb hard drive. So now, any game that says it runs on mini vmac on the site will work with this?

24bit's picture
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Are you running MiniVMac II or MiniVMac (Classic) after all?
MiniVMac II has the option to run colour games with System 6.0.8 or higher.

6.0 is probably the System version going from 0.86 (or so) up to 8 and 9 and finally to 10.15 and 11.

fluent's picture
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I tried MiniV II but I couldn't get the ROM to work. can u let me know what i need to do to get that rom working?

i'd like to run colour games.

edit - it's asking for a MacII.ROM

24bit's picture
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The ROM file forMiniVMac_II is also included here:
https://macintoshgarden.org/apps/minivmac-230-android

IIRC the ROM file has to be named MacII.ROM and has to be in the minivmac folder.

fluent's picture
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ok, so i have 7.5 on mini vmac, and whatever is on mini vmac ii, MacII.rom. Can u tell me what the differences are? MiniVMac is black and white while Vmac II is color?

24bit's picture
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Basically, yes.
MiniVMac can emulate a bunch of vintage Macs with lots of settings to be chosen at compile time.
MiniVMac_II is the only flavor to use colour.
Other builds may be better for emulating very early System versions or for calling special ROM features.

VMac is an old Mac emulator for DOS. The Android builds will be MinVMac builds.

fluent's picture
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so like, 1985-89 text adventures will work in both, correct?

Also, how do I get .sit files into the mini vmac OS? with basilisk 2 I set up a folder drive. How can I do that with mini vmac?

edit - i think i just need disk images, is that correct? if so, how do i get them from a .sit file on my tablet?

24bit's picture
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I think that MiniVMac_II will run nearly all games of that time, b/w or colour.
MiniVMac (II) has an ImportFL feature, but files need to be BIN, HQX or similar.

I am using DiskCopy in Basilisk II to move inflated files into a .IMG image.
Such a IMG file may then be opened in MiniVMac_II.

fluent's picture
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thanks again! how do i use the importFL feature? I have an hqx i'd like to open. and also, how do i activate color on minivmac ii?

24bit's picture
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ImportFL is on the support pages of Paul C. Pratt:
https://www.gryphel.com/c/minivmac/extras/importfl/
I have to admit that I never used this feature on an Android host.
Keep in mind, that you will still need Stuffit Expander to handle the file once you moved it to MiniVMac.
As written above, you may find it easier to prepare a mountable disk image for MiniVMac_II,
especially when using SheepShaver or Basilisk II on a Windows or Mac host.

For colour support, best install a fresh version of System 6.0.8 from floppy images for MiniVMac_II.
You will also need the 32bit Quickdraw file, which may not be included with the installation floppies.
Otherwise, use the image here:
https://macintoshgarden.org/apps/mac-system-608-minivmac-mac-plus (2nd DL)
Finally open "Control Panel" under the Apple and set "Monitors" to 256 colours.
Depending on your MiniVMac_II screen size, it may be that the Control Panel Window is almost out of sight.
Have a close look.

fluent's picture
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hi 24bit. i've downloaded importFL, i'll try it in a bit. i didn't install a fresh system 6, i have 7.5 installed (i think) and did see colors in the monitors control panel. Seems to work fine! thanks.

edit - testing importFL. i'm not sure what to do - it says ready to import. what do i do next? and what version of stuffit expander will work with mini vmac ii that we set up?

edit 2 - ah, got it! i just go to insert a disk and it instead imports a file. perfect! now, i just need to know what tools i may need for mini vmac ii that can be helpful, and if there's a single download that has them all. or, if not, please link what i need, such as stuffit expander, etc.. thanks!

24bit's picture
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System 7.5 is the latest OS running with MiniVMac. For really old games System 6 is the first choice.
When a game is running with 7.5, you might rather use Basilisk II.

Stuffit Expander is here: https://macintoshgarden.org/apps/stuffit-expander-351
As usual, newer Stuffit files may be incompatible.

fluent's picture
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thanks again! i'm confused, though. didn't we set up miniVmac to run system 6? if not, can you link me to the ROM or disk needed to install system 6? Ideally i'd like to have a system 6, a 7 and basilisk ii 8.1. i think miniVmac ii is 7.5, right? sorry for all the questions, it's just confusing as to what i actually have installed.

edit - what versions of stuffit would i need for:
miniVmac
miniVmac ii
?

edit 2 - ok, i just checked.
miniVmac - 7.5
miniVmac ii - 6.0.8

edit 3 - stuffit doesn't seem to work with miniVmac ii. i tried 3.5 and 4.0. it asks to expand a file but doesn't seem to recognize the file i have, a .sit file. it doesn't show up in the 'expand' file opening area. any ideas?

edit 4 - trying to use disc copy 6 to make a .dsk or something from basilisk ii to use in miniVmac ii. i'm not sure how to make a disk image from a .sit file. is there some way to put that file on a disk?

Jatoba's picture
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Side-note: Gauntlet plays on mini vMac. Could even be under System 7.5.5, I think.

Now I'm curious if mini vMac II is compilable for Mac OS 9, too, since only it offers color (I didn't know that) and not mini vMac, if I understood it correctly.

fluent's picture
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thanks! i'll grab gauntlet. Smile

hey Jatoba. Is OS 9 PPC enabled? Wow that would be sweet! I can test it if you'd like. Link me to the OS 9 ROM.

Jatoba's picture
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Sorry for the confusion, I meant running mini vMac II guest OSes (System 1 ~ System 7.5.5) under a Mac OS 9 host (instead of Android, Windows etc.). Many of us here will boot into the Mac systems natively, you see. (And yes, Mac OS 9 is PPC-only.)

fluent's picture
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oh, i see. i got excited for a second, haha. sounds good, though. I just need help now about:

a) how to use Disc Copy 6 to make disks with .sit files on them,
&
b) why stuffit isn't working on miniVmac ii. what version it needs as it's only 6.0.1 or something.

24bit's picture
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DiskCopy 6 has the option to create new images via Apple-N,
(I´m not sure how to get the Apple key on Android, right now.)
Choose a read write image large enough for the unstuffed files from the settings.
The new image is usually initialised and mounted on the Mac desktop.
Copy the wanted files onto the new image.
Finally move the .img file to the minivmac folder via your shared volume.

MiniVmac will need a Stuffit version compatible with the Motorola 68000 cpu.
Version 3 or lower should work, methinks.

fluent's picture
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miniVmac's stuffit is fine, works and has a desktop icon.

the system 6, miniVmac ii is the problem. version 3.5 of stuffit didn't work. can you link to a version that would work?

24bit's picture
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Maybe this one? https://macintoshgarden.org/apps/stuffit-classic-v16
There is also version 1, but I never tried.

Do you have another computer around to do the DiskCopy foot work?
Things do look way easier with OSX or Windows host systems.

fluent's picture
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oh it's very simple. it's just not working. i tried stuffit deluxe v.3.0 and it doesn't recognize the .sit file i made in basilisk ii with disk copy.

i'll uninstall deluxe and try the link u sent. will report back.

fluent's picture
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so the 1.6 version still refuses to recognize the .sit file i made in basilisk ii, disk copy 6 with stuffit 5.5.

any ideas? i double click and it says the application for this file is missing. I open stuffit and try to manually open it, it isn't visible in the files. if it is visible, it's greyed out (in newer versions).

so what now? should i try stuffit 5.5?

MikeTomTom's picture
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StuffIt 5.5 will not work in Mini vMac.

It may work in Mini vMac II running Mac OS 7.1 or later, but only if you remove the StuffIt Engine from the Extensions folder inside the System Folder (this only gets installed by Aladdins DropStuff or Deluxe, so likely not present if you only install the Expander app).

Earlier versions of StuffIt fair better on Mini vMac and vMac II, but a lot of classic Mac software you download has been archived using StuffIt 5.5 or newer, which earlier versions of StuffIt cannot open. This is because StuffIt's compression algorithms were totally re-written, usually each time a major upgrade arrived and earlier versions of StuffIt fail to open those archive created by later versions.

Which has been a major issue with copying StuffIt files to Mini vMac. Often it is easier if you convert such archives to an earlier type, by extracting the content on a more suitable device such as Basilisk II or SheepShaver or actual classic hardware, and re-archiving it into a compatible format for use in Mini vMac.

Jatoba's picture
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As @MTT points out, if you make a .sit file using StuffIt 5.5, earlier versions of StuffIt won't recognize it. So essentially you'll have to go back to Basilisk and create your .sit file using an earlier version. I recommend StuffIt Deluxe 4.0.1 or, for compatibility even before System 6, StuffIt 1.5.1.

24bit's picture
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Don´t mix DiskCopy and Stuffit.
Both can create containers for Mac files to move Mac apps undamaged.
When making use of Stuffit always choose the same version for stuffing and inflating files.
If a Stuffit file can not be opened by double click, try opening the file from the Stuffit file menu.

fluent's picture
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Ok, so I downloaded stuffit 1.5.1 for extreme compatibility. I made a .sit file using that in basilisk ii, used importFL in miniVmac ii, and the file again is not recognized, nor is it able to be opened via menu. what gives here?

edit - is there another way to transfer the files? ultimately i'm trying to get things onto my minivmac ii using system 6.0.

Jatoba's picture
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The resulting file from using StuffIt 1.5.1 will work "universally", yes, when using the included UnStuffIt 1.5.1 to unpack the files first, under System 6 in your case.

What I think is missing now is to give back to the .sit file what in the pre-OS-X world is called "Creator/Type" codes, and has essentially the same purpose as "file extensions" do in most other systems (including Mac OS X). The thing is, that information gets lost unless you only use Mac systems and protocols that are aware of them. UnStuffIt 1.5.1 will not acknowledge your .sit file unless you restore them, because without them, it won't know your file is really meant for it.

"Creator" and "Type" codes are made up of up to 4 characters each. For StuffIt 1.5.1 archives, I believe "SIT!" is both the Creator and Type. For System 7 and later, you usually can use programs that will automatically detect for you what kind of file it is and adjust all of this for you very conveniently, and a lot of programs allow to change those manually in a handy way, but for System 6 (and earlier), the only program I found here on the Macintosh Garden that will allow you to do so is The Lone Ranger. Seems very primitive, but just select "Other..." and type in "SIT!" for both fields. Should be all you need.

From that point on, UnStuffIt 1.5.1 should recognize your file and allow you to unpack it with it.

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didn't seem to work. TLR asks - which type of file would you like to change, I select JOURNEY.sit. It then says it's a BINA file (although a reload said SITD). When I click okay it asks what to change it to, when I click OTHER it simply brings up another window that doesn't let me type, but instead is asking for me to select an archive/folder for something. Doesn't make much sense to me, and in the end zero files are changed. ?

edit - ok, got it to change, but then a double click on journey.sit just opens up stuffit 1.5.1!? and if i try to unstuff it it's not recognized again. frustrating.

MikeTomTom's picture
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the only program I found here on the Macintosh Garden that will allow you to do so is The Lone Ranger. Seems very primitive

My current go-to System 6 app for this very issue is Hand-Off II by Connectix. And being a commercial software, it's somewhat more sophisticated than the Lone Ranger. Just double-click an unknown file and it pops-up asking what application you'd like to open it with. If it succeeds it assigns the appropriate Creator and File Types to the file. It's pretty cool. Kind of what Apple's "Mac OS Easy Open" Control Panel should have been more like.

fluent's picture
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when trying to get this on miniVmac ii i get an error that says the disk is damaged.

MikeTomTom's picture
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Yes, well it downloads, and extracts, mounts, and installs just fine for me. So then, something you are doing is not correct.

The download on that page is a StuffIt .sit file - I have no idea what version created it but it appears to be created by a version of StuffIt made before version 5.5, as it opens using StuffIt Lite 3.6 without a problem.

This .sit file extracts to a Disk Copy v4.2, 800k floppy disk image. To mount it you can drag the extracted icon onto Disk Copy 6, this will; mount it OK. This mounted disk image contains the installer.

If you are doing any file manipulation in Basilisk II before moving them on into Mini vMac then you must do your modifications inside of the emulated hard drive. That is, the classic Mac OS start up disk or any additional emulated hard drive, but not the shared drive (named "Unix" in Mac OS and "My Computer" in Windows versions) and not files dragged from the shared drive to the desktop. All files you work on really need to be placed inside of an emulated drive before working on them. Otherwise you will likely get errors, such as the one you describe above.

Screenshots of your errors may be more helpful for pinpointing these issues for you than your descriptions.
You can upload pics without nags or logins for free at the Macintosh Garden's Image Hosting service.

fluent's picture
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I made a disk copying the contents of the Hand-Off II install disk, the download after unstuffing it on 8.1, and then tried to load it in miniVmac II. like a few other disks i've tried, it said it was damaged.

are there certain settings that work better with miniVmac II? some sort of file size that plays well with it? and what about read/write - read only - read only compressed? anything like that i should try?

by the way, the .sit i'm trying to load does open up stuffit 1.5.1, BUT for some reason it just opens the app, it doesn't show up when trying to extract or give me any option to extract at all. but maybe if we fix the hand-off issue we can make it work another way.

MikeTomTom's picture
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I noticed on the StuffIt 1.x page (slightly earlier version than 1.5.1) there is this notice:

When archiving data; Choosing LZW compression appears to be the safest option (no file corruption). Huffman compression appears to be unreliable with this version of StuffIt.

This may follow on with version 1.5.1 too, so perhaps setting the preferences to use LZW only, may help.

Jatoba's picture
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Instead of double-clicking the .sit file, you should double-click UnStuffIt 1.5.1, then select "File" at the menu at the top, and then "Open Archive...". Then you choose your .sit file with the fixed "SIT!" Creator/Type codes.

If you use any other codes, such as "SITD", it will likely not work. "SITD" corresponds to a later version, and stands for "StuffIt Deluxe".

@MTT
I'd be surprised if any such issues carried over to 1.5.1. At least I never had any problems with it myself, with its default settings, creating archives with less than +-1000 files. (Surpassing 1000 files was only fixed with IIRC 3.x onwards. You can create 1.5.1 archives without that limitation with StuffIt Deluxe 3.x ~ 4.0.x and extract from them with UnStuffIt 1.5.1 successfully, though.)

The 1.5.1 version page also states this:

"Note: The version 1.5.1 was released as bug fixes. The previous versions archived here are not suitable for regular uses and are only here for historical purposes."

I never tested versions prior to 1.5.1, but so far I haven't seen previous StuffIt issues apply to 1.5.1.

fluent's picture
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unfortunately the file doesn't really "fix", because when i try to unstuffit, it doesn't show up as an archive to be unstuffed. it doesn't register as a file when looking for a file to unstuff, via File, Open Archive. i don't know what to do at this point.

Jatoba's picture
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That behavior is expected if Creator/Type codes are, for some reason, not matching, at least as far as I know.

In any case, I was going to recommend Compact Pro next, but it seems that you already figured out what was wrong, down below. Great to hear. Smile

fluent's picture
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thanks again for your ceaseless help, helping me to make this awesomeness happen! Smile

so, all i need are some miniVmac ii (system 6.0.1) suggestions, heh. I am going to grab the infocom library disc, the one with a lot of those world builder adventures on it. really love those, gonna take some time soon, when i'm done with other projects i'm working on, to delve into all these games more, with recording for youtube and the like.

already have found a few games that play properly on system 6 that didn't work at all on 8.1. interesting. now what purpose is having the 7.5 black and white miniVmac, though? heh.

fluent's picture
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hmm, i seemed to got lucky for a minute and was able to transfer the folder of the game 'journey' via a disk image to the miniVmac ii. then i tried again with the small, one file 'the dungeon revealed' and the mini said the disk was damaged. weird. gonna try more i guess, unless there's a surefire way i'm not aware of.

24bit's picture
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DiskCopy 6 NDIF images usually are the fool proof way for moving Mac apps.
Again, take your time to do things right, maybe just have one 40MB read write disk image called
"Transport" or so.
Move the new created disk image to your shared folder (Unix) after filling it with the desired apps.
Better do not move compressed files except .sea or other self extracting things.
Mac apps and files are safe in a DiskCopy 6 disk image.

From your Android folder you may mount Transport via the Basilisk SDL GUI or with MiniVMac_II.
Do not try to mount a disk images by both emulators at the same time.
Doing so will throw up some object in use error.
It may be that MiniVMac_II wants to do minor repairs on the Transport image, let it do so.

The method above works for me cross platforms and various emulators.
I´m using 2GB HFS Standard .img files all the time.

fluent's picture
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so i got it to work! instead of creating an image via folder, i just created a 160mb image, mounted it in basilisk ii and copied what i wanted to it. i think the problem was also that i was forgetting to unmount the image in basilisk while trying to mount it in miniVmac ii, hence the error i was getting. thanks for the help once again.