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Developing my MacRefLib project on my LC 575?

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I'm currently developing a MacTracker-esque Hypercard application called MacRefLib (thread here: http://68kmla.org/forums/viewtopic.php?f=29&t=16375). Some (but not much!) development has already occurred on a Performa 6400 and a PB 1400c. However, I realize that's there's really nothing preventing me from moving over all development to my (68k based) LC 575! Netscape 2 AMAZINGLY accesses my main source for data (www.apple-history.com) without much trouble, and my 575 is a solid performer and can run HyperCard 2.4.1 just fine.

 

So, in a nutshell, can I use my MacRefLib project as an entry for RetroChallenge despite some work occurring on marginally newer computers?

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Ok, so here's the first update of what's done so far on MacRefLib:

 

Basic GUI Setup

"About" Page

 

And models done:

 

128k

512k/ke

Plus

XL

SE

SE/30

II

 

To do list:

 

Pics (licensing needed)

Search function

All 9 categories of devices.

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I'm wondering whether the "list view" of classic macs should be organized by group (i.e. II series, Centris series, Quadra series...) or simply chronologically (which makes for a rather mixed-up looking list)

 

Poll, anyone?

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Updates for 7/1/2010:

 

-Decided to group lists by series (looks nicer, more logical)

-Added the IIx

-Change user interface considerably to accommodate for long model names and pics:

 

shotsky.jpg

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I like the layout. Nice and clear.

 

Pics (licensing needed)

The ones on wikipedia should be CC licensed, but you might want to check. Also have a look at our wiki.

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Another idea would be to take pics of your own machines or ask us for pics of machines you don't have. I've been thinking of doing this for a web-related project I'm working on for my Macs.

 

You may use my Mac ED picture from the thread in the Compact forum if you'd like to. If you want me to take it at a different angle, let me know and I can snap a new photo for you. I think it has my copyright on it, just so long as you keep it there and state it was used with permission somewhere you can do whatever you need to do (dithering, conversions, etc).

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Update 7/6/11

 

-Added the following models:

SE FDHD

SE/30

Classic

Classic II

Color Classic

Color Classic II

 

-Added compatibility for 640x480 Macs

 

-Reorganized list structure from Classic Macs section.

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Update 7/8/11

 

-Added the following models

LC

LC II

LC III

LC III+

LC 475

Quadra 605

 

-Found optimal method for JPEG editing on the LC 575 (a lovely, light program called GIFconverter. Whoever owned my LC before me must have added it!). Started to add model pictures.

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MacRefLib seems to progressing well. Is the reference to include just 68k models

or are you going to include PPC and Intel models as well?

When it is finished, I for one would like a download link :)

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It is planned to include everything from the 128k to the G5's.

 

Version 1.0.0 will be released when the first section (classic macintoshes) is completed.

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I have some excellent news to announce: I have perfected the code for displaying pics of the Macs, and finally figured out how to up the color depth (was at 8-bit, now 16-bit). Disconcerting is that the time taken opening cars seems to have nosedived - previously it was nearly instantaneous, now it takes a full second to switch cards. Now, I'm on a well-upgraded LC 575 - I hesitate to estimate the performance hits on, say, a base Mac II. This is all due to the behind-the-scenes preprocessing needed to write to the color framebuffer. I have improved the speed a bit (by moving the code from card script to background script); a solution is in the works.

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Update 7/11/11

 

-Added the following models:

LC 520

LC 550

LC 575

LC 580

Macintosh TV

Centris 610

Centris 650

Centris 660AV

 

-Added in Info Source system.

-Added source info for all completed models.

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And here it is, attached.

 

MacRefLib 0.9 Classic

 

REQUIRES A MACINTOSH WITH 640x480x8 DISPLAY OR BETTER

 

There are two downloads: The Application download and the PICT files download. I kept them separate so I may update them separately, however you need BOTH files extracted into the same folder for MacRefLib to function correctly. Note: The IIsi, IIcx, and IIci don't have PICT files yet (coming soon).

 

Each download is a self-extracting .sea archive.

 

If, for the future, a different file format would be more preferable (disk image, for example), then please tell me here.

 

PS: MacRefLib (256) is the 256 Color version; likewise MacRefLib (Thousands) is the Thousands of Colors version. Both versions are Fat binaries that will run on 68k or Power Macintoshes.

 

http://dl.dropbox.com/u/32151493/MacRefLib.sea

 

http://dl.dropbox.com/u/32151493/MacRefLib%20PICTS.sea

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codenames.... yay.

 

This is a really good idea though. (I really owuldn't consider adding content to be worthy of version numbers though.)

 

Anyway, if you want it to work well on hardware as old as, say, the original Mac II, I'd consider backing the authoring down to a monochrome stack and possibly using HyperCard 2.0 through 2.3. The color bits in HyperCard 2.4.1 were never particularly high-performance even on some of the highest end machines, and I suspect part of why Apple never bothered to update it is that by the time it needed an update, Mac OS X was available, and more content authors were using web technologies to do it.

 

Another product you may look at if you're into the stack metaphor but want something that integrates color a lot better is SuperCard. There are probably demos and binaries available, but SuperCard starts with color support from the beginning, instead of adding it as an XCMD, like HyperCard does. This means that anybody to whom you distribute the stack and player will be able to see it. I don't know how well SuperCard works on the oldest of machines however.

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I considered SuperCard, but there are some things (such as shared fields) that were simply not ported over, which then may break functionality.

 

As for performance, my Mac LC 575 seems to go along satisfactorily, and it's only an 68LC040. I have not had a chance to test it on my IIsi, simply because I can't get video out of it (btw, can anyone help me with that? I know it's a working computer - I just can't get any monitors to sync to it.)

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IIsi stock video will only work on sync-on-green fixed frequency monitors (67Hz), so finding a display that does this/both things is trying. The original Apple 13 or 14" Trinitron worked well on these.

 

Hypercard was always pretty slow on anything, this is the price you pay for having a nice easy-to-use app that does a lot.

 

JB

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I spent the last few days painting porches, cleaning, and taking a break from MacRefLib. Development will resume in a day or two. Bring on the PowerBooks!

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