May 27, 2009
There is now a Mini vMac 3.1.0 alpha. I´ve decided to make a new stable version soon, without waiting to complete the Macintosh II emulation. Since that is where most work has been done, this will be a fairly minor update. Still, the current stable version is getting old - I´d prefer any possible future derivative projects to be based on more recent code.
Also, I´d like to experiment with offering a new service. A lot of the power of Mini vMac comes from the variations that can be compiled, such as emulation of different Macintosh models. However, no matter how easy I try to make it to compile variations from the source code, it has become clear that most people aren´t going to do this. So I´ve decided to try offering some compiled variations as shareware, which people can download, try out, and purchase if they find them useful. I´m currently thinking maybe $5 for the set all of available variations (until the 3.2.0 release), perhaps using the Kagi payment processing company. If this is successful enough, it will motivate me to do it again - compiling, packaging, testing, uploading, and verifying variations of the 3.2.0 release of Mini vMac.
This will be just an additional service - the default compile remains free, the source remains free (and by the GPL license must always remain available), and anyone can compile variations themselves, if they spend a little time to figure out how. Also, people can of course still make publicly available versions that they compile, and I´m pleased when they do so.
To demonstrate how this might work, the alpha download page includes an "activation demo". This is a variation of Mini vMac with the larger screen hack (not all software is compatible with this, but much is), support for file tags when using disk copy 4.2 format, and allowing up to 16 mounted disks. So far it is available for Mac OS X and Windows. (Linux users are presumed to be more comfortable with compiling from source.) When first launched it prompts for an "activation code". A temporary code is provided right on this prompt - "281 953 822 340". If you type in this sequence of digits, the prompt goes away, but comes back again on the next launch. It is expecting you to type digits (0-9). You can type the spaces, but they are ignored. You can correct mistakes with the backspace (delete) key. The only penalty to using the temporary code is having to enter it on every launch - the program otherwise works as normal, and there is no time limit. If you instead type the sequence "275 227 140 839", it saves this in a preference file, and should not ask again. (I´d be interested in hearing if this doesn´t work, especially on Windows Vista, where I haven´t tested.)
I think it is ok to have this activation demo on SourceForge
, since the activation code is provided. I´ll put the rest of the variations elsewhere. The source code dealing with activation is also provided, and it´s not especially sophisticated. It is only intended to be a little harder to get around than it is to figure out how to compile Mini vMac from source.
Beside the activation code stuff, there are also a few other new things since the last source snapshot. If Mini vMac, on Mac OS X or Windows, doesn´t find the ROM file in the folder containing the application, it will now also look in a specific central location. In OS X it checks in "/Users/[your_UserName]/Library/Preferences/Gryphel/mnvm_rom/". In Windows XP, "C:Documents and Settings[your_UserName]Application DataGryphelmnvm_rom". Windows 98, "C:WINDOWSApplication DataGryphelmnvm_rom". And in Vista, I think "C:Users[your_UserName]AppDataRoamingGryphelmnvm_rom". Usually "mnvm_rom" would be an alias (on OS X, on Windows this is called a short cut) to where ever you keep your ROM collection. This avoids having to create an alias to the ROM image for each emulated Mac you use.
There are also some assorted clean up of the emulated video and disk drivers. Also, thanks to an anonymous tip, I cleaned up some code that may cause compiler warnings about security dangers. (I believe it was ok as actually used, but poor style.)
"macgeek417" pointed out that the Mac Plus emulation will work with 128K memory, so the build system now allows "-m Plus -mem 128K".
The alternate keyboard mode option now gives a visual indication of the current keyboard mode, intended to be easy to see in peripheral vision, without covering up where text is normally typed.
The build system will now check if the folder "System Folder:Preferences:Gryphel:output" exists, and if so direct output there, instead of "minivmac:output:". This is useful if you keep the minivmac source disk image on a flash drive, avoiding excessive wear.