www.gryphel.com/c/mail/v13 - feedback

Gryphel Project Mail

Volume 13

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Sent: (via email) Mon, 3 May 2021 19:00:43

Thanks for making Mini vMac. I have a Macintosh Classic that creates 512k ROMs that are listed as corrupted in the emulator. Can I not pull a ROM from a Macintosh Classic and run it?

status : responded

Are you using CopyRoms? I seem to remember that some other programs to acquire ROM images do not work correctly for the Macintosh Classic.

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Sent: Fri Apr 30 10:24:18 2021

Hi there!

I am looking for the German version of System Software 7.5.3. Is it also anywhere available?


[... name and email address ...]

status : responded

The 17 images can be downloaded from Apple at http://download.info.apple.com/Apple_Support_Area/Apple_Software_Updates/German/Macintosh/System/Full_Installs/System_7.5_Version_7.5.3/D-System_7.5.3-01of17.smi.bin,

There is also an info file at

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Sent: Wed Apr 21 17:36:30 2021

(This message is a thank you and a notification of a potential bug in Mini vMac. No specific response to me is required unless you determine there is a bug and it becomes fixed in a future update. If I can offer more information, happy to do so.)

First -- thank you so much for doing this!! The Mac 128k was my first computer growing up, and I spent too many hours playing Infocom games and public domain software "back in the day." I'm not sure if it's better or worse to spend many more hours now as an adult playing around with 30+ year old software.... :)

I should have donated when I first started using Mini vMac, but better late than never (purchased subscriber code today).

I did want to submit what I *think* is a bug report. The old game Ogre won't run on vMac, but will run on one of the MESS emulators (which was a total pain to try and build/use, compared to the joy of using Mini vMac.) From what I can tell, it should run on any 68000 Mac with 512k. Instead, I get a "Sorry, a system error occurred." (ID = 03). It seems to be a consistent problem across repositories for trying to get different disk images. One is [... url ...]

I am a programmer, but could not begin to try and debug exactly what is happening, so I can't offer anything useful in that regard. I'm sorry.

That said, I'm not sure whether this is truly a bug in Mini vMac, or whether the Ogre software is trying to do something it should not. In the event it is an issue with Mini vMac, I figured you would want to know. I'm thrilled that this software is still under development, as I would love to be able to continue running my old software from my youth indefinitely.

Now if only I could find some of my lost floppies, and read the one or two disks that have failed in the past 30 years. I was surprised at how much I could recover and run though!!!!

Again --- thank you so much for all of your efforts. This is a great project!

[... name ...].

status : open bug report

Thanks for the bug report. I have verified this does not work in either Mini vMac 36 or Mini vMac 37 with maximum emulation accuracy.

That it works in MESS provides a path for fixing it Mini vMac. A straightforward but long and difficult path.

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Sent: Sat Apr 17 08:43:17 2021

porfavor agan una versión con color

status : responded

Google translates this as “please add a version with color”.

See the Macintosh II emulation downloads.

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Sent: Wed Mar 31 05:01:20 2021

When using Mini vMac version mnvm0026-36.04-mc64 and the MacII.ROM found on GitHub, everything works well in my testing under System 7.5.5 except for MacBench 3.0. When I launch MacBench, I get a System Bomb that says "divide by zero." When I try the same thing in Basilisk II on my same iMac and using the same System 7.5.5 DSK, MacBench 3.0 launches without error and works fine.

status : open bug report

Thanks for the bug report. In my testing, setting speed to 1x gets past the "divide by zero", but then it soon hangs. Knowing it works in Basilisk II could provide a path to fix it. (Assuming that it ever worked on an 8MB Macintosh II. Basilisk II would be emulating a different machine.)

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Sent: Mon Mar 29 12:41:44 2021


I really love your Mac emulator. It's a fantastic piece of software, and so versatile! I've been toying with your variation service, which is extra useful for those of us who can't compile our own specific configs.

I would like to request two additional features on your variation service. I have no idea how technically possible they are or how much work they would involve, so please take them with a grain of salt.

Please add the ability to specify more RAM than just 4MB for the Mac SE and 8MB for Mac II. I know the SE maxed out at 4MB, and natively the Mac II never came from the factory with more than 8MB. But the Mac II and the SE/30 could both be upgraded to 128MB of RAM with a 32-bit-clean ROM (or some patches). This way, one could pretend to be emulating a maxed out SE/30 - even though it's emulating the 68000 not the 68030 cpu. But that's not so big a deal when emulating, since you can speed up or slow down the emulation to match a faster/slower cpu. Having more RAM would open up a lot of System 7 usability. System 7.5.5 just doesn't run well in only 4MB of RAM.

Second, would emulating the 68030 and the Mac SE/30 be possible? I have no idea what kind of work that would involve, but I'd love to see it if it's not huge deal. Adding that and the SE/30 to the options of the variation service would be fantastic!

Thanks again for all your hard work and for sharing it with Mac fans around the world.


status : responded

The SE/30 is internally much more like a Macintosh II than than an SE. (In fact, the ROM from the SE/30 can be used with Mini vMac’s emulation of the Macintosh II.) So emulating an SE/30 with more memory is no easier than just making the current Macintosh II emulation work with more memory.

There is software that allows the Macintosh II to use more than 8MB of memory, but it requires the optional PMMU hardware, which Mini vMac doesn’t emulate yet.

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Sent: Wed Mar 24 08:01:37 2021

Hi, Paul.

Your Variations service doesn't offer the Mac 512K but instead only the 512Ke. But there are reasons to test Mini vMac with the 64K ROM rather than the 128K ROM in the 512Ke. Could you please add a regular 512K variant which uses the same "Mac128K.ROM" as the 128K variant, just with more RAM?

Thank you.

status : responded

The Mac 512K can be emulated using the “-mem 512K” option. The Advanced Variations Service page offers this option (see “Memory”). You can also paste this option into the Text Based Variations Service.

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Sent: Sun Mar 21 05:13:08 2021

Thanks for responding to my email about serial port mapping. I don't think you'd need to have to support an actual serial port. On OS X and linux, the serial ports are essentially just (somewhat special) files. The person who did the MIDI hack got that to work (and then had to do more complicated work on top of it to expose the MIDI ports to the system, I gather). I can actually see the stuff coming out of his MIDI ports (but don't know anything about MIDI, but whatever he did worked from a serial port point of view).

From a Mini vMac usefulness point of view, I think the main advantage would be that for Linux and OS X users, there would be a way to sync a folder between the host system and the emulated Mac. (Admittedly, you'd have to run an app on the emulated Mac, and a tool on the host system to do the actual syncing; local talk would be a lot faster and easier). For people who also had USB converters, it would be possible to sync between an emulated classic Mac and a real classic Mac (which is arguable more useful than syncing between your classic Mac and your modern Mac). I suppose you could also play Falcon head to head with a friend on an Amiga or Mac or Atari ST in the same room as you. That might be a fun party trick at a retro computing convention.

I'm probably 30-40% done with the sync app. OS X version is up and running, and is exchanging information (but not yet files) with the Mac Plus over serial. Lots of busy work left to do...

status : received, reply pending

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Sent: Sun Mar 21 04:40:26 2021

I have created a man page for Mini vMac, for the *nix/X11 version. If you're interested in including it, feel free. It is hosted at:


I really enjoy Mini vMac, and have been using it for quite some time, on many platforms. Really fantastic work!

- Alex

status : received, reply pending

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Sent: (via email) Mon, 15 Mar 2021 09:27:27

Hi Paul,

Thanks for maintaining Mini vMac all these years!

I am working on a 68K project that syncs a folder between 2 computers, with just serial. The idea is that I could have it on a Mac Plus or 512, and share some files between my modern Mac and an old Mac. My stretch goal is to also build an Amiga client (same protocol, so 1 OS X client should be able to talk to Amiga and Mac). I know there are lots of AppleTalk and Ethernet based solutions for this, and that’s fine, but I’m dealing with machines that don’t have that. And ultimately, I want the syncing to work via WiFi232 modem so it’s wireless.

Anyway, long story short: this is a request to add mapping of the serial ports on the emulated Mac, to a serial port the user specifies (maybe has to baked in via the build process?). In my case, for example, I would map the modem port to /dev/tty.usbserial-FT53JP031, one of the serial ports exposed by my USB converter. That would let me test between the emulated Mac and a real Mac. It would also let me test between a Mini vMac and an OS X client (which I haven’t written yet).

I asked around on eMaculation, because I read about the guy who did the MIDI port hack. I got the answer this would be easier, but I downloaded the Mini vMac code, and sadly, I have no idea where to start on something like that.

Off to work on the OS X client...

Thanks for considering it!

[... name ...]

status : responded

This was last discussed here on Mar 5, 2020.

In addition, the original vMac for Windows has support for serial ports (in “SCC.c”).

The SCC emulation code in Mini vMac is in “SCCEMDEV.c”.

Thinking about it further, I would not include in Mini vMac serial port emulation that talks to a real serial port, because to maintain and support it would require me to own and fuss with a lot of hardware. I might be willing to merge in code for serial port emulation that talks to another copy of Mini vMac over the internet. Or a serial port and modem emulation for internet access. Or a serial port and printer emulation that generates image files. Etc.

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Sent: Fri Mar 12 10:48:24 2021

When I create an alias in Mini vMac, move that alias to my real Macintosh Classic, and then double click it I get an error "Please insert the disk: Macintosh HD".

Is this because the internal disk in Mini vMac is presented as a floppy, and the internal disk in my real Mac is a hard drive? Is there any way to fix this either in Mini vMac or on my real Mac?

The interesting thing is that the aliases are not broken (so there's nothing to repair) but rather just pointing to a disk that is not present.

Thoughts appreciated, thanks!

Sent: Fri Mar 12 15:54:56 2021

With regards to my last message, about aliases breaking

Installing the following extension will make aliases work regardless of the type of volume they are said to be from.


9    12/26/94    BinHex4.0,StuffIt3.50

Help the Finder resolve aliases under certain situations.

status : received, reply pending

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Sent: Wed Mar 10 12:28:50 2021

Re: https://www.gryphel.com/c/mail/v13.html#m313

I was not supplying any -ev so I guess it was whatever the default is? So, I downloaded Xcode 9.4.1 and installed that on my 10.14.6 Mac, and Good News it builds with sharp graphics. Hurrah!

Success! Thanks for your help.

ps: I also tried -e bgc to get a `make` build environment, but the resulting binary still had blurry graphics. But I'm less sure about that setup.

status : received, reply pending

[previous message]

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Sent: Mon Mar 8 17:48:32 2021
Sent: Mon Mar 8 17:48:40 2021

Re: https://www.gryphel.com/c/mail/v13.html#m310

Sadly blurry graphics not fixed.

Variation Service using wither v36 or v37 produces crisp, perfect graphics.

Self-builds with either produce blurry graphics.

Using make build for v36 and Xcode build for v37.

I'm using Xcode 11.3.1 on mac OS 10.14.6

Thanks again.

Screenshots can be seen here: https://imgur.com/a/efix7aT

status : waiting for information

[previous message]

What compile options did you use for Mini vMac 37? Especially, what “-ev” option (Development Environment Version)? Xcode 11.3.1 is not a version I have added support for in the build system.

update - follow-up message

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Sent: Mon Mar 8 17:22:48 2021
Sent: Mon Mar 8 17:48:50 2021

As requested https://www.gryphel.com/c/mail/v13.html#m309

Mostly empty SCSI drive images containing little other than System software are here: [... url ...]

There are reported by `file` as "Apple Driver Map" type disk images.


status : work pending

[previous message]

Thanks! I’ll look into this, probably after Mini vMac 37 is out of beta.

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Sent: Sun Mar 7 17:48:08 2021


how I can write a simple program on mac os 7.5 using normal gcc compiler?


[... email address ...]

status : responded

You may be able to compile programs for mac os 7.5 using Retro68, a “GCC-based cross-compilation environment for 68K and PowerPC Macs”. It does not run on mac os 7.5.

Decades ago someone at Apple (Stan Shebs) did a GCC port to MPW. But this would be an extremely old version of GCC, which may not be what you consider “normal”.

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Sent: Sun Mar 7 14:32:28 2021

Just another note that I also see blurry graphics on my own macOS X builds, as previously reported March 2020 https://www.gryphel.com/c/mail/v10.html#m210

status : responded

Have you tried this in the Mini vMac 37 beta? Hopfully it is fixed there.

update - follow-up message

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Sent: Sat Mar 6 12:05:39 2021

Hi Paul. I was wondering if it's possible to use drive images with Mini vMac? I normally use volume images, which work fine.

My use case: since getting a SCSI2SD for my Macintosh Classic it would be very useful to be able to write the drive image I use straight to SD card to be able to duplicate my Mini vMac workspace to my physical Mac.

I can do this using BasiliskII, but as you know BasiliskII emulates a more recent machine so I can't trust it to replicate the compatibilities of my real Mac.

Finally, maybe I'm missing a trick working with volume/drive images, if that's the case I'm ready to be enlightened!

Apologies if any of my terminology is incorrect. Thanks for your time. Matt

status : work pending

Mini vMac does not support using SCSI hard drive images. Thinking about it, it probably would not be so hard to add support for such images which contain only a single volume. If you emailed me such an image (preferably mostly empty and compressed), I could look into it. (I have documentation for this in “Inside Macintosh: Devices”, but an example would be helpful.)

A further difficulty is that Mini vMac can only use disk image files, and not access a device directly. On some operating systems, a device can be treated as a file, which might or might not work well enough. Another possibility is that the website for SCSI2SD indicates that you can specify the starting block and and number of sectors within the SD card to treat as the SCSI disk image (and that you can specify up to four images on the card). So it might be possible to format the SD card to some file system that your computer supports, then create an image file, where hopefully all blocks are allocated contiguously, then somehow locate the starting block of the image file on the SD card, and configure SCSI2SD for that.

Another possibility is to acquire Floppy Emu, which is known to work with Mini vMac.

By the way, if you are only setting up an image in Mini vMac initially, to be used only on your Macintosh Classic, rather than alternating between using it in Mini vMac and the Classic, it is probably better to set it up somewhere other than the SD card, which is relatively slow, and copy to the SD card when finished. In this case you can just create a volume image file that Mini vMac can currently deal with, and when it is done, write that into the appropriate sectors of the SCSI disk image, such as by using the “dd” command with a “seek” option.

update - follow-up message

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Sent: Tue Mar 2 18:47:29 2021

Its saying unable to locate rom image.

status : responded

Please see the Getting Started with Mini vMac instructions.

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Sent: Tue Mar 2 17:49:48 2021


I am a long time professor of Physics at Calif. State U. Fullerton. I have a lot of old Mac Plus/MacII 800K floppy disks full of all kinds of files, (spreadsheet, document, paint, draw, txt, etc.) and need to get these over onto the PC world (up thru system 6.05 only, never went to System 7, which required all new software programs, etc.)

I still have my original MacPlus, with operational external floppy drive. Unfortunately, the 2 hard drives I had no longer are operational, but I still have them. (they are like 250MB, CMS and I forget the other one. I think they failed only because of power supply).

I would like to setup my complete Mac System, with all the files, in my Raspberry Pi 4 with either 8GB or 4GB Ram.

Please help me! How can I get the data from my old floppies to the real word of FAT32 or some such file system? I do have the older program that ran on Mac and PC of that era, called Mac to PC, where it could transfer and translate most of the files that were on PC or Mac and go back and forth between. Also had a binary to binary transfer feature. I have the original disks I bought for LOTS of MacPlus software that ran up to system 6.05.

I would like to get the old MacPlus/MacII era emulation working so that I could run the old programs, etc. on my Raspberry Pi 4.

Please, please help me out. At least so that I can figure out how to get all the old floppies onto a hard drive or some other media (I have heard people use old Omega drives to connect to Mac.) I do not know how to get an old SCSI drive that is operational on my MacPlus. Perhaps you can direct me to someone. What is the maximum size HD the MacPlus can address? I don't think that they make drives that small any more. Is there some kind of SCSI to microSD card conversion available?

Thank-you for your time

[... name ...]

Professor of Physics

[... email address ...]

status : responded

A while back I made a list of Old Macintosh Disk Conversion Services. I just updated it to remove broken links.

Checking on Google, it looks like there is a SCSI2SD adapter that is for still for sale and maintained.

There is also Floppy Emu by Steve Chamberlin (who I have corresponded with in the past, and still read his blog).

The maximum size HD in System 6 is 2GB. Floppy Emu supports multiple disk images on an SD card. These images can also be used directly by Mini vMac.

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Sent: Tue Mar 2 10:02:04 2021

good day,

I just subscribed to your variation services and wondering if theres any option to generate the codewith SDL, so I wont use to start the desktop but boot directly into the emulator.

Regards, Walter

status : possible work pending

No, the “-api” option is not supported by the Variations Service.

I don’t think you can run a single application without a desktop environment on macOS or Windows. It does seem to be a thing on Linux, particularly for the Raspberry Pi. I gather it is possible to run X without other components of a desktop environment, and the standard Mini vMac for X compiles ought to work in that. But it seems that using a variant of SDL it may be possible to have an even more minimal system. Perhaps that could be a supported target in a future version of the Variations Service.


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