Interesting things to do with the Variations Service (v3.5)

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MacintoshGuy
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Interesting things to do with the Variations Service (v3.5)

Post by MacintoshGuy »

One thing I've pondered ever since I've used Mini vMac for the first time was "Why don't they emulate other computers?"

For experimenting, I downloaded the Variations Service App (Save page as... on Chrome) and opened up the HTML document when I noticed the options for the emulated computers.
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So I found out how to add OTHER computers to the variations service app.
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And I ran the HTML document and selected the options for the computers I added.

And interestingly enough, it can run offline and even sends me a "Your request has been sent" message."

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Of course, Gryphel may never support these Macs, but it's wishful thinking.
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Ronald P. Regensburg
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Re: Interesting things to do with the Variations Service (v3

Post by Ronald P. Regensburg »

You are abusing the variations service and wasting Gryphel's time. Not funny.
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gryphel
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Re: Interesting things to do with the Variations Service (v3

Post by gryphel »

MacintoshGuy wrote:And interestingly enough, it can run offline and even sends me a "Your request has been sent" message."
The policy of the script for the Variation Service is that, if it detects the form has been hacked, it will claim success and then discard the request. If it doesn't detect a hacked form, then I have to manually discard the request (and consider whether it is worth updating the script to add another check). The end result is the same.
MacintoshGuy wrote:One thing I've pondered ever since I've used Mini vMac for the first time was "Why don't they emulate other computers?"
It would be nice. But basically, you get what you pay for. The reason I keep trying out different funding methods from time to time is in the hope that Mini vMac development could be made less glacial.
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adespoton
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Re: Interesting things to do with the Variations Service (v3

Post by adespoton »

Paul, personally I've been impressed that, glacial or not, you've kept at it for all these years. Back when you started, we were getting vMac and friends forks every few months, while someone was passionate about adding their special features, but then things would just die for lack of support/features.

You are maintaining one of the most usable and longest-lived emulators to be developed by a single person, and my hat is off to you for that. All I've managed during that time was the odd submission to MESS or qemu, where I could be assured that an army of others would pick things up and run with them.

That said, I'd love to be able to fund you to expand Mini vMac to include 68040 support and NuBus support. That would provide software and hardware support for me for every OS version from 0.85 through 8.1, meaning that with qemu picking up PPC from 9.0 through 10.5, the eventual death of BII and SheepShaver would only result in the loss of Mac OS 8.5 and 8.6 (both of which qemu may one day support).

Funny thing is: I was looking at the code for your variation service recently and thought "Hmm... I wonder if I should add my quarter QHD screen size?" -- then I looked at how you'd done it and grinned to myself and moved on to better things. Easier for me to just build it myself, and I'm probably the only person in the world who would want quarter QHD....
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gryphel
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Re: Interesting things to do with the Variations Service (v3

Post by gryphel »

adespoton wrote:Paul, personally I've been impressed that, glacial or not, you've kept at it for all these years.
Thanks.
adespoton wrote:Funny thing is: I was looking at the code for your variation service recently and thought "Hmm... I wonder if I should add my quarter QHD screen size?" -- then I looked at how you'd done it and grinned to myself and moved on to better things. Easier for me to just build it myself, and I'm probably the only person in the world who would want quarter QHD....
I've just figured out some perl, and added to the Beta Variations Service the option to type in arbitrary screen sizes. It verifies that the text is in the right format, and valid ((128 <= hres < 32768) && (128 <= vres < 32768) && (0 = hres % 32)).

If the Screen Size is chosen from the pop up, it goes through this same new validation code. So if someone hacks the form, this field is now completely checked.
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adespoton
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Re: Interesting things to do with the Variations Service (v3

Post by adespoton »

Hey, thanks!

One other thing I was meaning to ask: since you are encouraging people to use the beta variations page instead of the stable branch, would it be possible to make the link to the beta page more prominent from the landing page? It took me a few years to discover the beta page way back when, and I'm sure that many people who visit your main page have no idea it exists.
emendelson
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Re: Interesting things to do with the Variations Service (v3

Post by emendelson »

adespoton wrote:One other thing I was meaning to ask: since you are encouraging people to use the beta variations page instead of the stable branch, would it be possible to make the link to the beta page more prominent from the landing page? It took me a few years to discover the beta page way back when, and I'm sure that many people who visit your main page have no idea it exists.
There's a link to the beta variations page near the top of the front page of Gryphel's site. It's somewhere around the tenth line on the page:

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adespoton
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Re: Interesting things to do with the Variations Service (v3

Post by adespoton »

Yes, in the news section... but that will scroll away eventually. Still, he probably isn't going to want beta testers for 3.5 forever, so that makes sense :)
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gryphel
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Re: Interesting things to do with the Variations Service (v3

Post by gryphel »

adespoton wrote:since you are encouraging people to use the beta variations page instead of the stable branch, would it be possible to make the link to the beta page more prominent from the landing page?
I've tried to make links to the beta a bit more prominent. There is now a link from the main Mini vMac page to the beta download (though fairly far down).

Also, I've split the standard variations download page off from the main download page, so that other elements of the main download page, like the link to the beta, are more visible.

Another advantage of doing this is that it is then natural to make a download Mini vMac II variation page, for the most popular nonstandard variation. I've done this for the beta.
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adespoton
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Re: Interesting things to do with the Variations Service (v3

Post by adespoton »

Thanks Paul! The new layout seems really logical to me, and will likely result in me fielding fewer "I heard Mini vMac can emulate a Mac II, but when I download it, all I get is Mac Plus emulation!" messages too :)
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