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Compiling scientific software


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Hey guys,

 

I have been a silent reader for some time and with a lot of reading here and sweaty hands while reparing hardware stuff (two transistors were gone and, well, SCSI2SD after I had tried everything I could find to rescue the old HDD) I finally managed to get my Classic II which I originally planned to use as a SoC enclosure back to life again! I'm excited to do some stuff with it. The SoC enclosure is still an idea but that's shelved for now.

Now I am a mathematician by training and I love me some Python. I have already seen that I can use Python 1.5.2 on Mac OS 7.5.3 (which I currently have, 7.6 didn't seem to be worth it...). One thing that would be nice is to plot some things. That can be taxing on such a device but I'm interested in seeing how usable the whole device still can be.

 

Now I know that matplotlib is much too heavy. There's a very basic library called turtle which I think interfaces with Tkinter on some very basic level. Considering the age and the focus on portability of the project, I thought I might have an actual chance to get gnuplot working. However, my experience with the system itself is limited and I couldn't really find people that had tried that before. I also couldn't find precompiled packages on macintoshrepository.org etc. So, two questions:

  1. Now in these modern times, we neglect the seemingly basic requirements that plotting seem to have. But can the Mac handle this? Is that feasible at all? I saw the other day that someone even managed to get a spotify client working so my hopes are really high on this one!
  2. If yes, do you guys know how?

 

Looking forward for input!

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32 minutes ago, freistil90 said:

I'm not sure about the former, I'm still waiting for my keyboard cable so I can't really 'use' it right now. But that's on the way. Judging from the chips on the RAM I guess it should be 4MB in total.

And no to the second one. Why?

A math co processor may be of use to your software.  Take some load off your CPU. Faster processing.  The CLassic II can take 10 MGs of RAM.

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You are thinking about running modern software on a computer and a operating system that is around 25 years old.  Mostly, modern software will not run on computers that old.  Do you know of someone who is running this software on a Mac from this era? 
 
We are hardware, operating systems, and old time software folk.  We can help you with that part. 
 
I took a quick look at the Mac support for gnuplot on SoundForge.  I only found binarys for Gnuplop running under a modern Apple OS called OSX 10.11.6.  You need a modern, fast Mac computer to run  OSX 10.11.6.
 
Here is a link to the support page for Gnuplop:
 
 
For help porting this software over to a 25 year old computer, you can post your question to the above forum. I suspect, you will find that it will not work.  But that is the place to ask.
 
mraroid
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I would take a look at the gnuplot web site, where I don't immediately see any hardware requirements, but that's probably due to a prevailing presumption in open source development that you'll be running it on something "modern".

 

I suspect your best starting point will be to see if anybody has compiled it for Classic Mac before. For a project that's been running since 1986, there's a reasonably good chance somebody has!

 

Depending on the specific thing you want to do, it might be better to think about looking for other types of software. Is there a HyperCard stack that does what you want? Would Mathematica or Maple or SPSS or something of that nature do what you want?

 

It appears gnuplot is exclusively command-line based and so unless somebody was build it into another program there would have had to be a way to give it a shell of some sort. 

 

Another thought, and a Classic II probably won't be suitable for this, is that you may be able to run it on something like Tenon Intersystems' Mach Ten or A/UX. Mach Ten is a little bit newer and was sometimes used for setting up a UNIX/Linux development environment for web hosting on Macs that developers and designers were using, but I'm sure it saw action in other technical computing fields as well. 

 

A/UX absolutely requires a different computer altogether, so you'll have to consider whether you want something else.

 

The other thing you might look into is seeing if any spreadsheet software can do what you want. Claris Resolve will work great on that machine, for example, and has some graphing capability if I remember correctly. Excel 4 should run on a Classic II as well, if you upgrade the RAM.

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Yes and no. In sourceforge, the newer versions are hosted - gnuplot is developed since the late 80s. Take this for example: http://astroa.physics.metu.edu.tr/MANUALS/gnuplot_manual/3.7/gnuplot.html

This is older than the classic itself. Would that have a chance?

 

40 minutes ago, Cory5412 said:

I would take a look at the gnuplot web site, where I don't immediately see any hardware requirements, but that's probably due to a prevailing presumption in open source development that you'll be running it on something "modern".

 

I suspect your best starting point will be to see if anybody has compiled it for Classic Mac before. For a project that's been running since 1986, there's a reasonably good chance somebody has!

 

Depending on the specific thing you want to do, it might be better to think about looking for other types of software. Is there a HyperCard stack that does what you want? Would Mathematica or Maple or SPSS or something of that nature do what you want?

 

It appears gnuplot is exclusively command-line based and so unless somebody was build it into another program there would have had to be a way to give it a shell of some sort.

Thanks for your answer. Yes, so far I couldn't find sources on that. I know that the (modern!) Debian package can be installed on m68k, so that might have a chance there.

Yeah, mathematica is pretty much what I want to mimic. Just was curious how that would "feel" on a Mac.

 

Besides, command line exclusive is not an issue as I can execute commands in Python with the os module.

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Gees that’s niche even by my standards. Same as other responses really.  if the software was available for mac in the 1980-1990’s then it’ll run but the co-processor is a must for your mathematical requirements. Otherwise no reason my not. Best bet is try it but like I said co processor and additional memory would really help your course. Pretty cheap too.

 

neal

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6 hours ago, SE30_Neal said:

Gees that’s niche even by my standards. Same as other responses really.  if the software was available for mac in the 1980-1990’s then it’ll run but the co-processor is a must for your mathematical requirements. Otherwise no reason my not. Best bet is try it but like I said co processor and additional memory would really help your course. Pretty cheap too.

 

neal

We are in a m68k Macintosh forum :D Expect niche-y things!

I see the point though and I think I'll upgrade the hardware for that purpose but wanted to check my options with the software first. No worries I fully get the point.

Maybe we can tackle the problem from a different angle. Assuming I had some code of some old project lying around. If it's C, then there's https://github.com/autc04/Retro68/blob/master/README.md

I haven't played with that yet. No real experience with porting stuff to exotic systems. I think my question is - judging from the dependencies a somewhat old (hmm 3.7 maybe?) version of gnuplot, would there be a showstopper for Mac Os 7? Tough question, I know.

 

6 hours ago, Crutch said:

Are old Mac versions of Mathematica available anywhere? Would that work for you? I ran Mathematica just fine on my IIci circa 1992. 

That would work if nothing else works. Just checked and I found mathematica 3 and 4, both seem to be compatible. Python plus "some way of displaying a graph from the interpreter" would of course be the by far preferred solution.

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Oh, I potentially made a discovery! :shocked:

Look at this link: http://archives.math.utk.edu/software/multi-platform/gnuplot/mac/

It appears to me that a guy called Noboru Yamamoto did actually port gnuplot 3.x to mac.

I have to admit that I still haven't succeeded in getting basilisk to start but well, there's a SEA file in there...

Thank god for universities keeping "useless" old fileservers running. Seriously.

 

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I never succeeded with any of the emulators myself although gave up pretty quickly, i just brought an old macintosh cheap instead. That said that file format looks correct so it should work. May need uncompressing though 

Edited by SE30_Neal
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Mathematica's probably going to get you more interesting results, but that version does work on a Mac II.

 

gnuplot1.png.4b97dc5832da31dad83d828e4089a370.png

 

gnuplot2.png.a9b37d03d64cf87369de2495be4a2ea8.png

 

It's a command line app built to work with THINK C's console frameworks via TCL, the predecessor of Metrowerks' PowerPlant.

 

It's not a Mac-like app, but it's an app that you can run on your Mac that can save bitmaps as MacPaint PICT files. :)

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There's source code for the documentation generator, sort of, but not for this particular version of gnuplot.

 

I imagine though that they didn't do more than take THINK C 5, leverage TCL (THINK Class Libraries) to create a new console app, and piped through input/output to files or the console as appropriate. 

 

You could probably do the same with CodeWarrior and PowerPlant, although later versions of THINK C and THINK PASCAL were the more favored compilers when the Classic was current. Metrowerks didn't come until later.

 

As for emulators, Mini vMac and Mini vMac II are probably easier for you to get up and running for this. Basilisk II is ancient, left abandoned by its creators, and not nearly as faithful to the hardware. The best reason I can think of not to use Mini vMac is if you were looking to do something that required a 68030 or a 68040.

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8 minutes ago, nglevin said:

There's source code for the documentation generator, sort of, but not for this particular version of gnuplot.

 

I imagine though that they didn't do more than take THINK C 5, leverage TCL (THINK Class Libraries) to create a new console app, and piped through input/output to files or the console as appropriate. 

 

You could probably do the same with CodeWarrior and PowerPlant, although later versions of THINK C and THINK PASCAL were the more favored compilers when the Classic was current. Metrowerks didn't come until later.

 

As for emulators, Mini vMac and Mini vMac II are probably easier for you to get up and running for this. Basilisk II is ancient, left abandoned by its creators, and not nearly as faithful to the hardware. The best reason I can think of not to use Mini vMac is if you were looking to do something that required a 68030 or a 68040.

Whys that Nglevin whats different with the 68030/40 that the emulator doesn’t like?

Edited by SE30_Neal
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