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Animbrushes and fill modes in Brilliance 2.0.  Converted to animated GIF in Cloanto Personal Paint 7.1.

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Squeak Amiga VM progress

I've made some time to work on the Amiga Squeak VM I started many years ago.

The screenshot above shows it running on its own 8bpp screen on an Amiga 1200.  This Amiga 1200 has a 40MHz 68030 processor, and you can see the benchmarks.

In comparison, my Core i5 MacBook Air running 64-bit Squeak 5.1 with a recent Cog VM gets these benchmarks:

 '2,000,000,000 bytecodes/sec; 190,000,000 sends/sec'

Features recently enhanced in the Amiga port: 

  • Screen palette uses Squeak's intended colors
  • Visiting the root of the file system in the File Browser shows all attached Amiga volumes
  • More functional UNIX path to Amiga path conversion allows more flexibility of where image/changes/sources files may be stored
  • Cmd-key shortcuts work
  • Abandoned "window on pubscreen" approach in favor of "clone Workbench screen" approach
  • Initial backdrop window now is sized according to screen size
  • Right mouse button and middle mouse button both work

Most development has been done in this round on MorphOS 3.10 using SAS/C 6.58 and CygnusEd 4.22.


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Opcode and a Macintosh SE

2 min read

Today while fighting off a cold I thought it would be great to see if I could get Opcode's Galaxy running on my Macintosh SE to use its Editor/Librarian with my Roland XP-50.

First, I tried running the OMS 2.3.8 installer while booted to System 6.0.8.

OMS and System 6.0.8

Nope.  I'll have to boot to my System 7.1 disk and try it there.

OMS and 68000

Oops.  Of course, the Macintosh SE has a 68000 processor, and OMS 2.3.8 requires a 68020.  Oh well.  But... what's this... a copy of Opcode's legendary Vision MIDI sequencer, version 1.0.2?  Maybe it will work... let's reboot to System 6.0.8 again.

Vision 1.0.2 and System 6.0.8


Vision blank song

...and it launches.  Blank song.  This show's off Vision's keyboard (i.e. computer keyboard) sequence-triggering capability, which was also present in Dr. T's KCS (Keyboard-Controlled Sequencer) but wasn't present as a first-class feature in a mainstream sequencer again until Ableton's Live.  (I don't count Logic's Touch Tracks or Bars'n'Pipes Pro here, nor Max, as using keyboard-triggered sequences requires construction in each.)

Let's open a demo song...

Vision tutorial demo song

We've got a sequence editor, note editor, drum editor... oh, the vision we have into our musical data... let's check the about window for more info regarding this amazing program.

Vision about window

Lovely.  1989.  That's, uhh, almost 30 years ago.

I probably won't use Vision 1.02 with my Roland XP-50, since the XP-50 has a pretty cool built-in sequencer with RPS and phrase tracks.  But it's fun to think about...





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bootblock lab

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we have five minutes

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shish kabobs

Digitized using NewTek DigiView Gold

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Bars and Pipes with Command Performance

Just a note to myself that when I use the Command Performance tool in Bars and Pipes to talk to another Amiga program via ARexx, I need to make sure the "ARexx Port" in the tool is entirely capitalized.  Otherwise, it will silently fail to communicate with the target.

In my screenshot, Command Performance will tell Sample Wrench to play the sample in the 'default editor' (the last editor window I clicked on), which is editor 0, with no transposing.

Also worth mentioning is one process for doing ARexx debugging:  run a Rexx script which opens its own ARexx port and responds to commands.  An example is given at  Also make sure to run TCO, the ARexx console output utility. When done, you can close that console using TCC

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Installing Adobe Illustrator 5 on an Amiga 1200

10 min read

On a sunny and windy Sunday, January 1st, 2017, I was walking around the area of San Francisco north of the panhandle, and found this copy of Adobe Illustrator 5 for the Mac sticking out of a garbage can.  What luck!  It was complete, and had all installer disks, manuals, and a serial number.   Perfect way to spend the holiday -- installing Illustrator on my Amiga 1200!


For those wondering how Mac software would run on an Amiga, please allow me to explain.  The traditional Amiga runs using the same central processing unit as the original Macintosh line: the venerable Motorola 680x0 series, or 68k for short.   Because the Mac and Amiga used the same central processor, it takes just a layer of emulation of certain Mac hardware features to get Classic Mac OS (6.x/7.x/8.x) to run on the Amiga.   Enterprising engineers over the Amiga's lifetime made this possible, originally by combining hardware and software, and later by using software only.  Since no processor virtualization is necessary, Mac programs can often run just as fast.

(My Amiga 1200 has a 68030 inside, and it runs at roughly 50 megahertz.  My Amiga's 68030 has an MMU (memory management unit), so it can map the Mac's operating system ROMs [firmware] into memory. Earlier or weaker Amigas with 68000, 68010, or 68020 processors required add-on cards, like an Emplant, to house the Mac's ROM chips.  These add-on cards also had other niceties, like Mac-native floppy controllers and serial ports, which are difficult or impossible to duplicate using stock Amiga hardware.)

ShapeShifter on Workbench

Two Amiga programs which can emulate the Mac OS with no additional hardware are FUSION and ShapeShifter.  ShapeShifter is a direct descendent of a currently vogue Mac emulator, SheepShaver, which began its life on BeOS[1].  It was released as freeware.

disks and mouse

Software being on floppy disks might be seen by some people as an obstacle.  Even to those initiates who still have floppy-based equipment, accessing the data still is not always straightforward.  I recalled while pulling this box from the garbage can that the  Mac-formatted, 800k double-density 3.5" disks inside cannot be read natively by the Amiga, even in spite of its reput