What’s new in VICE 1.21 for Macs

On 10th of march the newest version of VICE was released to the public. As your fellow Mac port maintainer I’ll give you a short summary what’s new in this version from an Apple Fan’s point of view…

  • First of all Mac VICE is now available in two flavors: The well-known X11 with Athena Widgets user interface and starting with this version, a Gtk Widgets on X11 user interface is available, too. The Gtk Library provides a nicer user interface build upon X11 and is already used in well known applications like The Gimp or the The Gnome Desktop. Compared to the Athena widgets the GUI is much more confortable with a menu bar and simple to use UI elements. Unfortunately, the Gtk are no system libs on Macs so I had to pack them into the VICE application bundles. This results in a quite large VICE.app bundle and distribution. So decide yourself: either a small bundle or a comfortable user interface.
  • All VICE emulators are now packed into a single application bundle, called a Smart Bundle. Why smart, you may ask.. Well, If you click on the bundle a small selection dialog will pop up and allows to select which emulator to run… That’s ok if you often switch the emulator. If you prefer the old VICE apps with an own bundle for each emulator you may find the selector cumbersome. Now with a smart bundle you can simply copy or move the VICE.app and rename it like one of the emulators and from then on the named emulator will launch immediately. That’s what I call smart 😉 The smart bundle allows me to distribute a single (with gtk: large) application bundle and I do not need to duplicate all libs for each emulator bundle.
  • The 1.21 also uses a new starter script for X11 and GTK+ that embeds Platypus as an application launcher. I integrated it to add some kind of drag and drop starting of disk images. It works quite well but is not as comfortable as native d’n’d as it only works on startup of the VICE emulator.
  • A tools directory is available with all command line versions of the emulators found there. Just add this to your PATH and call x64, x128… directly from inside your shell in Terminal.app with all console output redirected there. Very useful for command line users and for debugging or working with the montior.
  • FFMPEG multimedia support is compiled in for Macs. This allows you to record sounds directly from the emulation and store them in popular formats (MP3, AIF, WAV…). Also AVI recording with MP4 video and MP3 sound is available for recording live captures of the emulator (always assumed your Mac is fast enough…
  • I improved the TFE (final ethernet) emulation in VICE and compiled it in for Macs. Now you can emulate a network adapter connected to your virtual C64 by attaching it to a real network interface on the Mac. Have a look at the ReadmeOSX.txt for more details and enjoy internet-aware APPs on your C64. Unfortunately, the Airport network interface of portable Macs is not working in this release, but I am working on it…
  • That’s it for this release! I hope you enjoy it!

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