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Video playback on Plus/Classic

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The original 128 and 512 could do very little animation because of the lack of memory. About the only option was MacroMind's VideoWorks, which allowed animating a small software sprite (like a walking dog) over a MacPaint background drawing. With 400K disks, there wasn't room to store digitized video. With a RAM upgrade to 1MB or more and an 800K floppy, short full screen animations were possible, such as these:

http://web.me.com/henryspragens/stuff/Mac_Movies/Mac_Movies.html

 

Using some demon tweaked assembly code, a full frame could be decompressed in 1/30 second. You can't play anything compressed with a modern codec on anything without 32-bit color quickdraw, which means a 68030 or better. Going back even earlier, there were movies made on Apple][s though frame rates were 5-10 FPS in lo-res, and 2 or 3 FPS in hi-res. To see the best animation a system is capable of, play a game on it. Games have always pushed the limits of hardware to the max.

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Okay, whoever was laughing at the start of this thread needs to see these clips... really quite remarkable!

 

The Apple II music is awesome too!

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With a RAM upgrade to 1MB or more and an 800K floppy, short full screen animations were possible, such as these:

http://web.me.com/henryspragens/stuff/Mac_Movies/Mac_Movies.html

 

Henry! It's good to see you found your way here. You probably don't remember me (Jeff Walther) though. We met at the Goodwill Computer Store here in Austin, several years ago, back when it was still near Ohlen. I've been holding onto your card for the day when I would need to ask you about that undocumented hook in the original Mac/Mac Plus ROM which lets you add additional code at a higher address--I think. It's been several years; I may remember it wrong.

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Okay, whoever was laughing at the start of this thread needs to see these clips... really quite remarkable!

I'm still laughing. You realize how much work it took to make those short little clips, right? LOL

 

But I think that says it all. The only way to get anything like full frame video on a 68000 was to literally scan each frame of video one at a time, dither it for 1-bit, and then string them together in an animation file. No one would spend the time necessary to build such a thing if there was any other method to do it. Good to know it would do 30/fps full screen.

 

That said, I noticed there was no audio on these clips. I have not fully looked into VideoWorks yet, but does it offer an audio component? My guess is no, at least nothing more than the built-in 4-voice synth. Music Works took full advantage of this and I have to imagine that there is some way to merge the two files from the same company. I know there was digital audio sampling, but the size of a soundtrack file would most certainly be more than any early compacts could handle. Even with a 4MB Mac Plus and a large SCSI drive, is there even any way to marry VideoWorks (or something like it) with a digital audio soundtrack (in synch no less). Even Steve Job's shareholder's demo had the soundtrack generated from an external source.

 

Nevertheless, you have all the tools you need to do something like it in mini vMac, making it much faster and easier to then transfer to the Plus and run it. Quicktime should dump any video file into a a folder full of frames which you can then dither and output as MacPaint format to load into VideoWorks. Too bad Quicktime never implemented that dithering codec. That would make life really easy. Really need to work out a way to get sync sound with the animation. Otherwise you're limited to simple silent movies or possibly movies with a synth score only, so essentially the silent movie with built-in accompaniment.

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The only way to get anything like full frame video on a 68000 was to literally scan each frame of video one at a time, dither it for 1-bit, and then string them together in an animation file. No one would spend the time necessary to build such a thing if there was any other method to do it. Good to know it would do 30/fps full screen.

 

which takes what? all of 5 seconds on a modern computer using a 1 bit palette and fli dithering, the only thing keeping someone from doing it right this very second is a playback program for a classic mac

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I'm not 100% sure I understand your point. In 1984, such a thing took hours and hours with 128K RAM, 400K discs and your Imagewriter printer with Thunderscan. Which explains why we're wasting our time looking for any other process to play full frame video on an original Compact.

 

As for today ... 5 seconds, really? I'd love to know what process you are thinking that will convert (for example) a 4 second video clip into 120 1-bit Hyperdither-ed MacPaint images in 5 seconds? And if you've been reading all of this thread a playback program for a classic mac has already been found (VideoWorks) which uses a method very similar to this. So there is nothing stopping anyone from doing this. Of course on a modern Intel Mac this will go quite quickly, but 5 seconds? Doubtful. I have yet to see a modern 1-bit dithering conversion that actually produces anything close to Bill Atkinson's original process for the 1-bit Mac graphics, a process which was more or less lost in the early 90s, since Quicktime wouldn't run without color QuikDraw. Which means, a 4 second video will need to be output into 120 discrete frames, then each frame will need to be hyper-dithered. Finally each will need to be converted to MacWrite compatible format, or other format which Video Works can use. All of it can be compiled and prepped into VIdeoWorks via Mini vMac, and a disk image finally made for installation on a real Mac. If Hyperdither can batch convert all 120 files, then that will definitely cut down some time. If there is a one step conversion process you can recommend to automate all of this in one 5 second step and produce similar results, please do let us know.

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but its not 1984 any more

 

and yes I have been reading this thread, and video works uses a propitiatory format, so good luck figuring that one out! One would need to write a player to handle their particular file format

 

As far as the 5 second comment yes its possible, its a PITA but I work with embedded systems all day long (digital pianos) currently as a playtoy with scavanged obsolete parts, using 8 bit microcontrollers with much more mhz (20) speed but a quarter of the mac 128k's memory were driving 128x64 dot matrix monochrome lcd's with animations at a almost respectable frame-rate as the system is initializing (which is A LOT of crap)

 

once you have the content, you need it stored as a uncompressed avi, then I load it up in JSAC's animation shop 3 (which is over a decade old now) set the palette to black or white and run it tru its autodesk fli algorithm then tell it to export every frame of animation into a binary 1bpp raw format

 

next I take those raw binary image data files and run them tru a lua script that basicly takes that same data and just packs it into a chunk structure (1 frame per chunk)

 

And yes IF you have the keyboard shortcuts memorized and the lua script setup for a "hit enter and go" situation it takes about 5 seconds to format a 15 second animation @ about 7fps (and after you have done 20 of these things trying to max out performance you do have this stuff memorized and setup)

 

I am not going to claim full screen 30+ fps using this method (altho you could shove about 32-33 frames of animation on a 800k disk @ full screen), its a better option than trying to reverse engineer software written by people that very well could be dead, and a much better option than "you need quicktime, give up!"

 

Also please remember, just cause it did not come in a pretty box wrapped up in plastic foil back in 1984, does NOT mean its impossible today, we live in a wonderful world of shared information, and I hope you join us one day in 2009

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Hi trag, yes you remember right, but why anybody'd want to add ROM code to a 25-year old Mac is beyond me. In the day, we needed to add code to init our SCSI port and support the Micah hard disk in the 64K ROM environment. The need for that went away with the Mac Plus ROMs which had SCSI and HD support built in, as well as support for more than 512K of RAM.

 

The problem I have is rather the opposite of what y'all are talking about. What I'd like to do is take some of the old MacMovies files and convert them to QuickTime so people can see them today, like I did with the three on my web page. Currently that involves loading each movie into the player, still framing it, frame capture (cmd-shift-3), step to next frame and capture, etc. Then each frame has to be cropped to the top left 512 x 384 pixels and resaved as a pict file. Those can then be fed into an old Quicktime utility to make a .mov file.

 

If you want demos from the early days to run on your vintage Macs, I can post some files. The player and a bunch of movies were distributed on BMUG PD disks. MacMovies will only run on the 9" black & white Macs. It requires a 512 x 384 screen. In order to get speed, it runs on the bare metal, bypassing the OS and Quickdraw, so it won't run on a Mac II or later unless you have a 512 x 384 monochrome monitor. Oddly, it runs on an Amiga 1000 in strict Mac emulation.

 

VideoWorks is a different class of program. It won't do full-screen animation at all. It does software sprites, which are small animated pictures that are superimposed on a static background. (Like MacPlaymate's hand. Wouldn't you know the best surviving early graphics demo is a bit of porn! ::) ) Sound was integrated with VideoWorks II in 1987, which ran on the Mac II family in color.

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but its not 1984 any more ... and yes I have been reading this thread, and video works uses a propitiatory format, so good luck figuring that one out! One would need to write a player to handle their particular file format ... Also please remember, just cause it did not come in a pretty box wrapped up in plastic foil back in 1984, does NOT mean its impossible today, we live in a wonderful world of shared information, and I hope you join us one day in 2009

You missed my point. One comment was made in the context of historical observation: we were looking for software that would play video on a 68000. The fact anyone would put so much time into making one this way in 1984 more or less confirms there was no other way to produce full frame video. Likely any solution we develop today is going to rely on a similar method of displaying frames.

 

As for Videoworks, I may be working off of a misunderstanding that it would accept standard MacPaint files. This review makes it appear as though MacPaint plays an integral part, though re-reading it I see it may only be referring to skills. Indeed H3NRY's comments added to that confusion for me. However, in articles like this, I do see where Hypercard used Videoworks as engine to drive MacPaint frames. I suggested Hypercard as one possible application earlier in this thread. So perhaps I was not totally off-base in my assumptions.

 

Nevertheless, you have inferred a lot by your "hope you join us in 2009" sentiment. I would be the first person to start looking for modern ways to get something onto an old Mac, indeed I have been trying to find a modern solution for replacing the HD20 on Macs without SCSI. However, I also recognize that most people are not in the position to build their own hardware or code their own drivers, so I look to what already works on a compact Mac and try to re-purpose it using modern developments, since getting anyone to program anything for a 68000 seems next to impossible these days.

JSAC's animation shop 3 (which is over a decade old now) set the palette to black or white and run it tru its autodesk fli algorithm then tell it to export every frame of animation into a binary 1bpp raw format ... next I take those raw binary image data files and run them tru a lua script

It's good to know that even a decade ago there was software which would convert video for 1-bit as well as Atkinson's dithering algorithm. It's the first I heard of it. The only one-bit dithering I have ever seen in video has resulted in indecipherable blocks of black & white. If I followed this, you used off-the-shelf software to convert the video into a data file for use in your "player", but then you used a custom script? Or is this something anyone can obtain?

 

But then, as you say earlier, one needs a player to run your output on a 68000 Mac. Correct me if I'm wrong, but doesn't that put us back in a similar position to using proprietary video with Videoworks? Who is going to write this player to take advantage of this easy to produce video output?

 

These questions may seem trivial to you, but are at the root of my quest for an actual solution. I am quite interested in H3NRY's mention of a MacMovies movie player distributed on the BMUG disks, some of which I have and will look through. With any luck it will take standard MacPaint files for use as frames. Sound remains an issue ... but one step at a time.

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why anybody'd want to add ROM code to a 25-year old Mac is beyond me. In the day, we needed to add code to init our SCSI port and support the Micah hard disk in the 64K ROM environment. The need for that went away with the Mac Plus ROMs which had SCSI and HD support built in, as well as support for more than 512K of RAM.

LOL, why indeed. Because it' there? LOL

 

Take a gander at this thread, which is the latest in a string of threads (and this one), all geared toward replacing the IWM-based Hard Disk 20. I believe the motivation behind this is wanting to keep a 128K & 512K in stock condition, while adding a modern storage solution similar to the Apple II flash drives. Of course adding 128K ROMs would make this an easy task, but it also changes the character of the 64K ROM Mac, indeed I think it even breaks some software. Moreover for me, Jobs always maintained the hardware should not be expandable, because the software could be modified to add functionality. Indeed he was right. Hard drives were added to the 128K using Job's restrictions. Were they slow? Yes, but then that is part of the "charm" of vintage Macs (let's face it, none of us are maintaing a 128K Mac for productivity). Back in the day, it was all about speed. Not surprisingly then, short of the HD20, which will not load on a 128K, few of these drives survive. Are there better modern solutions for adding a flash drive to a 64K ROM Mac? You betcha, but who is going to write the drivers? If this at all interests you, feel free to resurrect one of those old threads or start a new one.

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a MacMovies movie player distributed on the BMUG disks, some of which I have and will look through. With any luck it will take standard MacPaint files for use as frames. Sound remains an issue ... but one step at a time.

Like Flash and Real Audio and VideoWorks, the player program was free. The movie encoder program was for sale. So the MacMovies on a BMUG disk won't make a movie, but will play back a compressed file. There are also a few BMUG VideoWorks disks if you have their library. VideoWorks has an editor / paint program similar to MacPaint in which you draw your characters and animate them. Audio on the early Macs is asking too much. MacMovies, for instance could just barely make 30 FPS, with one clock cycle left over, and at that it took some extreme assembly code using the registers as fast RAM.

 

I am not in the "pristine original" camp. My Mac got hacked every which way, and I keep it as a memento of exciting times when a community of enthusiasts were pushing Apple's creation to do things Apple never considered. There was BMUG, SMUG, and the Hackintosh project which met at the Exploratorium all trying to reverse engineer the Mac and improve it. See MicroTimes article here:

http://homepage.mac.com/henryspragens/PhotoAlbum16.html

(keep zooming in - you can read the text and save the pictures to your disk).

 

I can understand that some people want to retain the original Mac as shipped and unaltered, but those folks are also going to have to live within its limits. While it's technically possible to make a flash drive and attach it to the floppy ports a'la HD20, it's a couple of man-years of full-time work, and the worldwide audience for such an effort is maybe 2 or 3 people.

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Hi trag, yes you remember right, but why anybody'd want to add ROM code to a 25-year old Mac is beyond me. In the day, we needed to add code to init our SCSI port and support the Micah hard disk in the 64K ROM environment. The need for that went away with the Mac Plus ROMs which had SCSI and HD support built in, as well as support for more than 512K of RAM.

 

Hi Henry,

 

Well, as Mac128 has already pointed out, you've fallen in with a den of madmen. :-)

 

Building such largely useless items falls into the climbing a big mountain category. However, you will also notice, if you read the threads, that such projects rarely actually get taken up.

 

Somewhere out there is a web page for a fellow who is building a hardware emulator (similar to your cohorts reverse engineering the Mac) for one of the three original Mac models. I'm not sure whether he's working on a 128, 512K or 512KE. IIRC, he's in Australia. Tallk about your no practicle use, but very interesting projects...

 

However, and correct me if I've misinterpreted, the execution hook in the ROM could be used to add any desired code, not just the SCSI driver. For myself, I'm interested in it because I collect the old Outbound Laptop Model 125. These used a Mac ROM (Plus or SE) but also had EEPROMs onboard which added modifications to the code, such as support for the internal IDE drive. Only certain hard drives are supported and some day I'd like to modify the internal code to allow other 2.5" IDE drives to be used.

 

Anyway, if you're ever in the mood to share whatever you may remember about that execution hook, this forum would probably be a great place to post it.

 

I have never contacted you about it, despite having your card all these years, because I've never actually reached the point where I was ready to embark on any of these projects. That may mean that I will never actually start any of them, in which case, you are correct about lack of usefulness of this old lore. On the other hand, in the last year, I've made an effort to clear other stuff out of the way, so that I will have the time and energy for some of these mountain climbing projects. Some day....

 

Regardless, it's great to see that you found your way here. Welcome to our little den of crazy people.

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Like Flash and Real Audio and VideoWorks, the player program was free. The movie encoder program was for sale. So the MacMovies on a BMUG disk won't make a movie, but will play back a compressed file.

Unfortunately out of the 70+ BMUG disks I have, none of them have MacMovies. I understand this particular source was compromised at some point so much of the collection was not available online.

 

It sounds like we should be looking for MacMovies application though, rather than the player. Obviously it uses a proprietary format for playback, possibly something similar to GIF animation which doesn't draw anything which gets repeated in the subsequent frames thereby reducing the file size?

 

Anyway, if you come across your copy simply taking a peak would be lots of fun.

I am not in the "pristine original" camp. My Mac got hacked every which way, and I keep it as a memento of exciting times when a community of enthusiasts were pushing Apple's creation to do things Apple never considered. ... I can understand that some people want to retain the original Mac as shipped and unaltered, but those folks are also going to have to live within its limits. While it's technically possible to make a flash drive and attach it to the floppy ports a'la HD20, it's a couple of man-years of full-time work, and the worldwide audience for such an effort is maybe 2 or 3 people.

Well it sounds like there is no reason to try to restore your Mac. However, there is no reason to irrevocably hack one in pristine condition. The original 128Ks are museum pieces now. But either way, living within the limits of an unaltered one is more or less the point, but the fact remains there were hard drive storage solutions in 1984 unavailable to us today. In fact I have a perfectly functional serial MacBottom for use with a 128K, but cannot find a copy of the driver software anywhere. But your point about the limited audience for an HD20 flash drive is why some of us have been looking to implement a SCSI solution which already has some groundwork laid (e.g. John Bass MacSCSI) –– two or three people is about right, LOL, me, JDW and possibly one other out of curiosity.

 

Taking this one step further, what is even the point of writing a 68000 movie player for a modern video output, when only about 6 people in the world care (luddite among them)? Unlike the Apple II world, there seems to be no interest in continued development for the vintage Mac, which strikes me as odd ... but from my limited exposure to an Apple II in high school in 1983 & 84, I never understood the appeal of it, whereas I have been in love with the Mac since I first laid eyes on it in the Summer of 1985.

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The apple 2 was a computer made by a dork for other dorks to toy with and share, that sprit still lives in the // world

 

Mac on the other hand was something you gave your aunt so she could print out the church newsletter, and for most arguments the opposite of the // series, no programing languages biult in, no expansion slots, and for the most part entombed into its cute little sealed enclosure, and I think that feeling still lives today

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The apple 2 was a computer made by a dork for other dorks to toy with and share, that sprit still lives in the // world

Eloquently put ;-)

Mac on the other hand was something you gave your aunt so she could print out the church newsletter

You're awfully generous with your relatives!

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In fact I have a perfectly functional serial MacBottom for use with a 128K, but cannot find a copy of the driver software anywhere.

 

I'll look see what I've got. I think I have a MacBottom disk, but it's probably the formatter for a SCSI version. I'll also scrounge about for graphics stuff. If I post it to .me zipped, will that work?

 

ROM expansion: the first thing the 64K ROM does is check at address F80000 for $AA55. If that signature is found, execution jumps to that address, and the expansion ROM boots the Mac. If not, execution continues to set up the SCC, test RAM, clear the screen, BONG!, etc. Since expansion ROMs gain control at the start of the boot routine, you can do anything. Usually you would set up the SCC, test RAM, etc. before you get into your own mischief.

 

The Apple][ was designed by Woz to be open, expandable, easy to tinker, and share with his friends. The Mac was designed by Jobs to be closed, elegant, simple, and HE controlled the user's experience. The Mac II family was designed by Jean-Louis Gassee to exude power and "Make your nipples hard." Interesting the way the machines reflect their creators' personalities.

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If I post it to .me zipped, will that work?

God bless you sir!

The Mac II family was designed by Jean-Louis Gassee to exude power and "Make your nipples hard."

HA! I always suspected as much. NEVER trust a man who wears leather pants to work.

 

For me it's about the GUI. If GSOS had come to fruition instead of the Lisa, I'd probably be just as excited about it as well, though I would also have an IDE flash drive card to slip into a slot! Had the expandable Lisa been a hit, I'd be in the same position. And just for the record, all three Apple GUIs blew anything Bill Gates tried to do out of the water, though the reason I don't have any interest in PCs is because of Job's hardware vision which applies even to the Apple II, far sexier than any PC clone.

 

To be fair, Jobs put the burden of expansion on the developer, just as with the software. It was plug-n-play for the consumer, but hard as hell for the developer. Obviously the 128K had most of the expansion options available to it that we have come to expect today, though developers had to be extremely clever and devote enormous time and resources to developing them. A 64K ROM Mac had available hard drives, internal hard drives, SCSI, networking, telephony, memory expansion, video output, CPU upgrades, scanners, digitizers, etc. Just nothing was as easy as it was on the Apple II, or indeed the Mac II. In fact, had SCSI been available on the 128K, most all of its expansion limitations would have gone away as SCSI has been successfully utilized for almost everything. Would Jobs have refused SCSI? Did he have anything to do with it on the Plus before he left? I have to imagine he did given the lead time necessary to develop a new product.

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Turns out it wasn't MacBottom's disk I had; it was LoDown, the guys who copied MacBottom. :( Also turns out Wally Wallstreet's drive can't read half these old diskettes. :'( I'll have to break out something with an honest to gosh 800K drive, and even then these are OLD disks. I also posted some MacMovies along with the Projector app. They're here:

http://homepage.mac.com/henryspragens/

at the top of the page, go to Public Shared Files/68K Mac/ and there are a bunch of old disk and HD formatters and utilities. Hope some of them are useful or at least interesting.

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back on topic can the classic / plus playback animated gif files?

The only gif editor I remember didn't do animation. There wasn't much support for gifs on the black & white Macs that I remember.

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Turns out it ...was LoDown, the guys who copied MacBottom. :( ... I'll have to break out something with an honest to gosh 800K drive, and even then these are OLD disks. I also posted some MacMovies along with the Projector app.

Thanks H3NRY ... I have of course run into the first problem with Snow Leopard which is these are individual files which must be put into a disk image to be used with an emulator ... however, SL won't write to an HFS disk! Thankfully these apps can be imported directly into Mini vMac with tools Paul Pratt makes available. SheepShaver shouldn't be a problem as the files can be placed into an HFS+ disk image and then transferred to an HFS disk image which can then be opened in Mini vMac to run a more apropos early system.

 

Too bad about the MacBottom. ;-( As for your old 800K disks, I assume they've long since been backed up? ;-)

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