News Team Proposal
hmm at heeg.de
Tue Oct 25 19:35:15 UTC 2005
Martin Kuball wrote:
>Am Sunday, 23. October 2005 22:57 schrieb Alexandre Bergel:
>>>My experience with Smalltalk is since 2.5 (Atari time :)
>>During oopsla, I was wondering with some couple of fellows from
>>UCLA if there was a smalltalk on Atari ?
>Of course there was. A Smalltalk 80 port done by this company:
>http://www.heeg.de. I think they started selling it in 1988/1989.
I'm one of the people who did that port of the ParcPlace Smalltalk "PS"
virtual machine (which was a JIT written in 68K assembly code, the
precursor of the current VisualWorks engine). Another one you'll
probably recognize is Michael Rüger...
The Atari port was really nice - we had one of the few 4160ST machines
(it was before the MegaST4 came out) and a big monitor (don't remember
the name). Since there was no truly usable compiler environment, we set
up a cross-compiling system where we compiled on a PCS (german UNIX
workstation), linked with a crude libc which interfaced to TOS, and
transferred the resulting executable via ZModem to the Atari :-)
One colleague of mine (Adreas Tönne) did some MIDI sequencing with
Smalltalk on an Atari, and we even got a version of The Analyst running
- in 4MBytes!
For printing, we provided primitives to interface to the Atari laser
printer which had just a high-speed memory interface but no memory of
its own. We converted the TeX fonts at 300dpi into StrikeFonts and just
used the normal CharacterScanner rendering mechanism to fill a page
form, and then called the prim to output it.
The Atari had about 25-28% Dorado, which isn't exactly speedy but was
enough to get a number of things going. Considering its price and the
fact that Georg was able to convince ParcPlace that there would be a
market for a 400DM student license, this was one of the first truly
affordable Smalltalk machines for home users.
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