Recreating a 1993 CompileIt! app

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jmk_phd
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Recreating a 1993 CompileIt! app

Post by jmk_phd » Tue May 28, 2024 5:33 am

On a whim, I pulled out my first Mac (SE/30) – which, after a few restarts, amazingly booted up – to discover the first program I’d ever created: a gaming app, written in 1993 using HyperTalk in conjunction with the CompileIt! app.

It actually ran again nicely on the SE/30, and if I could recreate it in LiveCode it would be a great gift to share with my remaining family (for whom the dice game that it emulates is still their favorite).

Of course, I’d need to find a floppy disk onto which I can copy the original existing supporting files, and an old USB disk reader to do the transfer. I have no recollection as to what the code might look like, but I probably do still have the original CompileIt! manual somewhere.

Has anyone had any experience trying to port such an ancient project? I could start from scratch in LC, but back in 1973 I probably was a lot more clever in inventing the algorithms needed to make it work.

Thanks.

jeff k

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Re: Recreating a 1993 CompileIt! app

Post by dunbarx » Tue May 28, 2024 2:24 pm

Nostalgia for my beloved HC aside, I would take a look at the old code and rewrite in LC. You will not need Compileit, since everything and more is native in LC, and far simpler to implement. That will forgive, a bit, those aging brain cells.

Hey, make it in color. :wink:

Craig

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Re: Recreating a 1993 CompileIt! app

Post by paul@researchware.com » Tue May 28, 2024 4:46 pm

I remember CompileIt!. I used it a lot back in the day.

No specific advice on porting, but I have had to move files from really old Macs. I've used FTP as the protocol has been around forever and I have access to a server running FTP. I was able to find an old FTP client for macOS that I could download via Netscape to the macs I needed to move stuff from. I forget where I found it though! And Netscape was already on the macs I needed to move files from. I FTPed the files to the server and then back to a newer mac using Filezilla (https://filezilla-project.org/) on the newer macs.
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jmk_phd
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Re: Recreating a 1993 CompileIt! app

Post by jmk_phd » Thu May 30, 2024 1:40 am

Thanks, Craig and Paul, for your helpful comments.

Per Craig’s suggestion, the plan will be to rewrite the HC program in LC using the original code only as a guide. I did download a very old guide to importing a HC stack into Revolution – written perhaps by forum member Jacque? – but that seems more trouble than it’s worth.

If my SE/30 continues to boot, I suppose I can examine the original code directly in HC and take copious notes. But I did happen to find a pair of 3.5inch disks from 1993 to which I’d saved each iteration of the program, so perhaps (once I find my USB floppy disk reader) I might try using something like SheepShaver to run HC in emulation and access the files that way.

I do recall having networked the SE/30 via AppleTalk to the early Quadra that replaced it, but the elegant strategy suggested by Paul to employ FTP – requiring a connection to the internet – for file transfer is beyond what I can grok. For this project, sneakernet will have to do.

I will report back if/when the project is ever a success, and will make the game available to everyone.

jeff

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Re: Recreating a 1993 CompileIt! app

Post by Zax » Thu May 30, 2024 2:08 pm

jmk_phd wrote:
Thu May 30, 2024 1:40 am
Per Craig’s suggestion, the plan will be to rewrite the HC program in LC using the original code only as a guide. I did download a very old guide to importing a HC stack into Revolution – written perhaps by forum member Jacque? – but that seems more trouble than it’s worth.
I was also tempted to directly convert an HC stack made with a Mac SE into an LC stack but I confirm your impression: it is better to start from scratch from LC, with the HC code at hand.
One day I will have to try to restart this SE that I still have in storage...

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