www.gryphel.com/c/mail/v6 - feedback

Gryphel Project Mail

Volume 6

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Sent: Tue Nov 21 18:29:10 2017

You've worked on this a lot. Just wanted to ask if you could please add support for other mac models.

The next step is to finish the Macintosh II emulation (the simpler models are already implemented). However, Macintosh II emulation has been in development for about a decade. It is basically a matter of getting what you pay for. So I lately I have been trying to create something that people can pay for, and that is worth paying for, while still remaining open source, and not compromising the goals of the Gryphel Project to preserve and promote old Macintosh software. This something is the Variations Service.

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Sent: Wed Nov 15 13:30:51 2017

how can i get other vmac variations?

One way is with the Variations Service.

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Sent: Wed Nov 15 05:09:27 2017

How do you save a game's progress?

I would guess you are asking if Mini vMac can save the state of the emulated Macintosh and resume later. No, Mini vMac does not have this feature.

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Sent: Thu Nov 9 00:01:07 2017

Hi Paul,

I notice that you have SE (both original and FDHD version) and II support, with support for 68000 and 68020 CPUs - Is support for 68030 CPUs planned and thus opening a route for SE30 and IIx (et al) support in the future ?

I also haven't seen any references to either 68881 or 68882 FPU emulation which I believe many of the middle age vintage Macs included (the SE30 and the II)

Thanks by the way for an excellent application,


The incomplete Macintosh II emulation of Mini vMac does have partial emulation of the 68881 FPU. The main way the Macintosh II emulation is incomplete is the FPU emulation.

Emulation of the 68030 would be in the scope of Mini vMac. But schedule ...

With the Variations Service, I’m working on a funding model to allow faster development of Mini vMac.

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Sent: Tue Nov 7 02:40:13 2017

G'day there, Paul,

This is just a brief note to echo the person who reported a 2MB "128" Mac.

A mob on the north shore of Sydney were making the boards, which sold for AU$660 back in 1986, IIRC. This when a Mac 128 in Oz cost $3,000. Just think: that board increased the RAM installed by SEVENTEEN times. To have the equivalent RAM now in my 16GB MBP would require it to be able to use 279.6G of RAM!

That board made it a brilliant machine, and I too ran a 1MB RAM disk (SSD) which was loaded up with the contents of three 400k floppies, System & Finder, bags of fonts, apps, whatever, and never shut down.

It was blindingly fast, indeed was as fast as the first, raw, SE/30 (which had to be slowed down so you could scroll lists, otherwise they were just a blur), and it really wasn't until the MBP mid 2011, with the i7 and 7,200 rpm HDs came out that I could *do* things again as quickly as I could do in the first little Mac.

Mind you, you only did single tasks at a time, so that helped, but I could edit 300-page books in WriteNow, larger texts went to Word 1.0, (then back into WN chapter by chapter to correct the formatting,) and I build a couple of monster superannuation spreadsheets in Excel 1. I'm still using the direct descendant of QuickDex, now iData, as well as SmartAlarms. Oh, and Excel, too.

I *must get me my ROM(s) extracted, and get into your tool!

Cheers, & thanks for this your long-term hobby that benefits history so well.

Jen Cluse

Brisbane Oz

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Sent: Oct 30 00:20:01 2017

Dear Paul,

I thought I might let you know about a nifty little application for building software within Mini vMac. EMPW lets you run MPW code against your working directory, from a macOS shell.

The repo contains a combination of Python scripts, a custom Mini vMac build (thanks!), and an image of System 7.5.5 and the Macintosh Programmer's Workshop. All the external requirements are installable using Homebrew.

EMPW is hosted here:

[... address ...]

Kind regards,


I’m happy that people are using MPW. Running MPW is one of the main reasons that Mini vMac exists. (I’ve not included the link here, since of policy not to link to abandonware.)

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Sent: Sat Oct 28 01:45:38 2017

Sent: Sat Oct 28 01:41:40 2017

is checking ROM Size to 128k,

allows mini vMacII use standard mini vMac ROM

[... email address ...]

No, a Macintosh II can not use the ROM from a Macintosh Plus. The hardware is much too different.

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Sent: Wed Oct 25 12:37:24 2017

Hello Paul,

I greatly enjoy mini vMac as an alternative to Basilisk II, but I have a question about the fullscreen/magnify mode of mini vMac.

My MacBook Pro has a screen resolution of 1440x900 natively. With my previous MacBook (1280x800), I was able to select the half resolution "custom variation" of mini vMac (640x400) and then use the magnify option in fullscreen, so that the whole screen would be filled out by the emulator. But when I tried 720x450 as a custom variation for my MacBook Pro, I received an error. Something to do with 32?

So my question is: which screen resolution of the custom variation service should I choose to be able to have the fullscreen window filled out properly for my MacBook Pro? I tried the standard 640x480, but then the screen scrolls up or down when the mouse reaches the top or bottom of the display.

Thanks in advance for your reply,


The emulated screen width needs to be a multiple of 32. The next lowest multiple is 704. So pick “704 x 450” from the pop up menu.

Perhaps I should make the error message in this case suggest the next lowest multiple of 32. (update - this is now done.)

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Sent: Fri Oct 20 03:49:21 2017

Really great program you have here, except every time I try to open a program on the main disk (not the Startup or Additions disks), it says it's "busy or missing." Could the Apple images be corrupted?

Mini vMac has no such error message. Searching on Google turns up someone trying to double click a control panel in System 6. So what you are trying to open probably aren't programs.

You could try out the Recipes for Mini vMac, as a way to get started with early Macintosh software.

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Sent: Sun Oct 15 03:42:44 2017

Hi Paul, a follow-up on my prior message about control key and Prince of Persia 2,

Backslash is my favorite of the keys you mentioned as possible alternatives to entering control mode. But another thought - what if for Mac II emulation (either by default for MacII emu or as another compile switch), only right Ctrl activates control mode, while left Ctrl sends ctrl?

One issue may be that distinguishing the left control key fom the right might not be possible on all operating systems. But the configuration interface could be designed to deal with this.

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Sent: Fri Oct 13 21:38:54 2017

Hi Paul,

I'm trying to play Prince of Persia 2 with the Mac II build, and it runs great, except for one thing. The game uses the "control" key for swordfighting, and Mini vMac intercepts Ctrl for control mode. Is there a workaround? Using Ctrl+K works, but it's not very convenient to play this way. There must be many other games reliant on the control key too.

Thanks for your work!

The Mini vMac user interface was designed for emulation of the Macintosh Plus, which doesn’t have a Control key. For Macintosh II emulation, perhaps a compile time option should be added to use a different key for controling the emulator. Some choices might be the Escape key, Backquote, or Backslash. What would work with Prince of Persia 2?

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Sent: Fri Oct 13 11:45:27 2017

I have downloaded the 8802 version of mini vmac which works well for my needs but unfortunately it has a demo image moving around. How could I obtain a version of this without the moving image. I have looked on your website but can't determine how to achieve this even by paying a fee

Best Regards


Thank you for your interest in sponsoring a variation. The directions for sponsoring were at the bottom of the Variations Service Directions page. I have now tried instead splitting these directions off to a separate Directions for Sponsoring a Variation page.

Then I put a link to this new page on the Latest Custom Variations page. If I might ask, where else did you look, so that I could consider putting links there?

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Sent: Wed Oct 4 20:14:11 2017

Hi Paul,

Is it possible to have 16, 32 and 68MB memory options in the 3.5+ variations service for macii builds?

Since we're not dealing with mode32 and 32-bit clean memory, I know we can't go as high as 128MB, but it seems to me we should be able to handle the configurations that the original was capable of with the FDHD upgrade kit.

What do you think?

Without 32-bit clean memory, 8MB is the maximum RAM. 24 bits of address lines gives 16MB of address space, and half that space is used for other things besides RAM for the Macintosh II.

It would in fact be possible in the current Mini vMac to emulate a Macintosh II with more than 8MB of RAM, but Macintosh System software would not work on it. It might potentially be useful if you write your own operating system that runs in 32 bit mode.

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Sent: Fri Sep 29 11:09:56 2017

Hi! I just translated STRCONS.h to Czech. As I said before with the OS 7 Disk 3 problem, you all did a great job. mini vMac is simply the best Macintosh emulator I have ever seen.

anyway, here's the translation:

[... translation (lengthy) ...]

(Sorry for the delay replying. I’m now back from travel.)

Thank you for this translation! I have added a Czech page to the Mini vMac website localization pages, with your translation. I’ll include it in the next Mini vMac branch 3.6, when that is started.

I put Anonymous in the copyright line, since you have not given your name. If you would give it, I’d be happy to include your name here and in the credits file.

Please let me know if you notice any mistakes. There were some glitches with international characters in my feedback page, which I attempted to correct.

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Sent: Mon Sep 25 03:41:10 2017

Hello Paul,

I'm trying to use an old game disk image on Mini vMac and it says "Please unlock the disk image "Enchanted Scepters" (my game) and try again. The desktop file couldn't be created." If this is a file and not a floppy disk, how do I unlock it to use it? Any help at all is very appreciated!

Thank you!!


[... email address ...]

This may be a Disk Copy 4.2 image. In that case, you can use CnvtDC42 to convert it into an image that Mini vMac can write to.

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Sent: Tue Sep 19 22:35:13 2017

Hi Paul!

A very good work!!!

I’ve translated STRCONS.h to català language, I hope you can include it in future versions.

Thank you very much for this great emulator!

[... email address ...]

[... translation (lengthy) ...]

(Sorry for the delay replying, due to travel.)

Thank you for the translation! I have added a Catalan page to the Mini vMac website localization pages, with your translation (slightly edited). I’ll include it in the next Mini vMac branch 3.6, when that is started (3.5 was recently released).

There are a few issues I have questions about. The translation I received was double spaced instead of single spaced, which I guess is just a glitch of pasting on my feedback page. But there also seemed to be extra spurious tabs and spaces, which may also be such a glitch. Hopefully meaningful characters weren’t turned into spaces and lost?

I made a comment say "STRing CONSTants (for Catalan)" instead of Català, because in this context the english name of the language has been used. And I have the impression that Catalan is the english name for Català?

In one place (for kStrNewFullScreen) I changed “es´à” to “està”. I suspected this was a typo? This was the only place the ‘´’ character appeared. Similar translations nearby used “està”. Googling “es´à” turns up nothing.

Other than that, there is only one new character that needs to be supported by Mini vMac, ‘·’, as in “cancel·lada”.

I changed the copyright line to 2017, and replaced Chir with ArduinoXino. Or are the translations themselves, and not just the structure of the file, significantly based on the Spanish translation, so that he should remain in the copyright line, and also mentioned in the credit comments. (Perhaps, something like “These strings were translated by ArduinoXino, making some use of the previous Spanish translation by Chir.”) (My name remains in the copyright line for the overall structure of the file, including the program names of the strings, and the comments.)

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Sent: Tue Sep 19 09:02:40 2017

I use Stuffit for Windos:


It works Ok (not in all files)

The modern version of Stuffit Expander (now from Smith Micro Inc.) is particularly useful in getting started with Mini vMac by expanding a System 6.0.8 image from Apple (as described in the Getting Started page). After that, it is possible to use an old version of Stuffit Expander that runs in Mini vMac.

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Sent: Fri Sep 15 05:11:05 2017

Hello. I would like to use the system 7 installer files. What do I need to unpack the bin file?

See the System 7.0.1 install images Recipe for step by step instructions.

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Sent: Tue Sep 5 06:09:09 2017

[previous message]

In regards to the "Abnormal Situation" (OAO4) error I reported earlier, the error is generated immediately upon booting into Mac OS 7.5.5. There are several PowerBook related items in the Control Panels which has me wondering if perhaps I'm using a version of 7.5.5 that isn't fully compatible with a Mac II?

reply should go here

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Sent: Sat Sep 2 05:22:19 2017

I received an "Abnormal Situation" (OAO4) error with a v3.5.8 build that did not occur using the same disk image with a v3.4.1 build. I'm reporting this because I do not know whether the error is a result of something I've done incorrectly or if there is a bug in the current version of Mini vMac.

Code 0A04 indicates that Mini vMac’s video driver was passed a control code it doesn’t know about. Previous versions of Mini vMac just ignored such control codes.

If you can tell me what you are doing that generates this warning then I can make Mini vMac deal with it properly. (Which is why it is giving such warnings now, so such issues can be dealt with.)

update - follow-up message

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Sent: Thu Aug 31 11:40:02 2017

Mini vMac works great, until I try to install Mac OS 7 on it. When I get to disk 3, it spits out the my dsk file (untitled) and prompts me to insert it. When I mount that back in, it spits out the disk 3, works for a while and then asks to instert the disk "untitled". It would help if you (or possibly someone else) figured out how to mount the DSK file as a SCSI hard disk and not as a floppy. Otherwise, you (and everyone else, who helped make Mini vMac possible) did a great job.

Sent: Thu Aug 31 11:50:17 2017

Hi, I told you about the Mac OS 7 disk 3 and hard disk issue earlier today. After struggling with the installation, I noticed it worked normally again. It appears that the issue only happens for some data on the disks downloaded from winworldpc.com. I'm happy that I don't have to do the constant disk switching for every disk. Also, I wrote Mac OS 7, but OS 7.0.1 was already installed by me. I used disk images I found on YouTube. WhatI meant to say was Mac OS 7.5. It might be an issue with the disks.

For many installer programs, including the one for Mac OS, what works to prevent disk swapping is to mount all the installer disks in advance. Mini vMac by default can mount 6 disk images at once. But System 7.5 has more install disks than that. You can increase the number of disk images in Mini vMac with the “-drives” compile time option. You don’t need to compile Mini vMac yourself, you can use the Variations Service.

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Sent: Wed Aug 23 21:10:02 2017

Hi! I found software that crashes under Mini vMac, can you check if Mini vMac can be patched to make it work? The disk image is non bootable, so you have to boot System 4.1 or higher with a ROM that is at least 128K or larger. Here's the crashing software floppy image: [... link to Super 3D 2.0 by Silicon Beach Software on a site with Macintosh abandonware ...]

Do you have any reason for believing this should work on a Macintosh Plus? It doesn’t seem the sort of software that is likely to.

Or are you talking about the Macintosh II emulation of Mini vMac? It is incomplete, many things work well enough, many things don’t. It is suitable for games when it works. It should not be relied on for accurate results for other purposes.

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Sent: Tue Aug 22 03:02:54 2017

Hi Paul,

Thanks for writing FDisam app. I'm reading Basilisk II source code. I got stuck in their messy ROM patch code. So I use FDisam tool to read original ROM in human renderable way. After importing the PEFORMA from file and rename it into bin, I don't think it disassemble correctly. All lines are treated as DC.L, define constant.

Is it because the endianness issue in the way extracted ROM file or the ROM is encrypted?



Sent: Fri Aug 25 01:38:54 2017

Sorry, I didn't see you have another utilities FindCode that tag code segment in ROM.

I used IDA Pro to disassemble ROM. It requires to manually tag code segment as well. Given 1MB size of Performa ROM, I guess that will be some work.

As a programmer, I'm lazy. I want to know:

1. Did anyone try to tag Performa ROM with MD5 hash af343f3f1362bf29cefd630687efaa25?

2. Are there any heuristic way/tool to tag code segment automatically? So assuming that the tagging program run as M68K instruction executor, we provide a start address and all initialized registers. By running ROM, we tag the code at the same time. When hitting logical branch (either true or false), we fork two different execution path from the fork...

I will appreciate if you can give me some advice since you have done this with lots of experiences.



Yes, FDisasm won’t do anything very interesting without formatting information. Starting with a map of where the code is.

Creating high quality formatting information is very non trivial.

There are some quick and dirty approaches. Starting with just marking the entire ROM as code. If treating data as code is messing up the disassembly of following instructions that you’re interesting it, then you can manually mark that data in the map.

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Sent: Mon Aug 21 21:52:30 2017

Dear Paul,

big thanks for your work on MiniVMac_II and the build system!

Could you please enable some more RAM for the Mac_II flavour - say 16MB?

It is possible to compile a version Mini vMac Macintosh II emulation with more RAM, but it doesn’t work. A Macintosh II doesn’t have a “32 bit clean” ROM and so will not normally support more than 8M of memory. According to the Macintosh II article on Wikipedia, the software “MODE32” will allow a Macintosh II to use more memory, but only if the optional PMMU is installed, which Mini vMac does not emulate yet.


For earlier mail, see the mail index.


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copyright (c) 2016 Paul C. Pratt