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Author Topic: How to start Smalltalk-80 on a Lisa 1  (Read 82 times)

stepleton

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How to start Smalltalk-80 on a Lisa 1
« on: June 20, 2021, 01:31:59 pm »

I mentioned maybe around a year ago that I would share more information on how to run the copy of Smalltalk-80 on Bitsavers on a Lisa (Lisa 1 required for now; the disk images are for Twiggy disks). I forgot to do that, but hopefully better late than never.

1. Boot the Lisa into Monitor version 11.6. (Even though the disk image is called 11.8, the version string shown on the command line is 11.6; not sure which is accurate.) Note that Monitor 12.x will not work.

2. Type F for F(ile.

3. Insert your Smalltalk twiggy into the other Twiggy drive.

4. Type P for P(rfx.

5. At the "Prefix titles by what vol ?" prompt, type "DIAG:" (no quotes) and press return.

6. Type Q for Q(uit.

7. Type X for X(ecute

8. At "What file ?" type "smalltalk" and press return. You should see

Code: [Select]
Running...
Object file BCI.OBJ loaded at 146310.
Symbols for BCI loaded at 141394.
Hit <Return> to execute Smalltalk-80.

9. So do that, hit return. Now you have a wait ahead of you as the computer loads an entire Smalltalk image into RAM. This occupies most of the Smalltalk disk in a contiguous block spanning both sides of the disk, so if your drive is not in good working order, this is one way to find out. Read errors cause the Lisa to crash.

10. Otherwise, you should see this: https://photos.app.goo.gl/hyWw4GWzN2sj3W596 . Note that loading continues for some time after the screen is loaded from disk.

Once loaded, it is helpful to know that this Smalltalk was designed for computers with three-button mice. The buttons were identified by colour. The "red button" is your ordinary Lisa mouse button. The "yellow button" is the Apple key and the "blue button" is either option key.

Anyway, from here you are on your own; I don't know enough about Smalltalk to offer further guidance. It's very slow, so you will need to be patient! If you get lost or stuck, it's no big deal --- the Monitor doesn't need to be "shut down" I don't think, and Smalltalk only makes changes to RAM unless you quit out of it. (In which case I believe it dumps the entire image back to disk. I haven't tried it, though.)
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stepleton

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Re: How to start Smalltalk-80 on a Lisa 1
« Reply #1 on: June 20, 2021, 01:47:09 pm »

Might be worth adding that I think it's pretty likely that this Smalltalk is the implementation described in the paper "An MC68000-Based Smalltalk-80 System" from Smalltalk-80: Bits of History, Words of Advice (1983), pp. 175-187 (PDF pages 183-195), or maybe a descendant of that system.

The book would have been compiled in '82 or early '83, I think, and so it's maybe unsurprising that the paper mentions that it makes use of "a series of experimental Motorola MC68000-based computer systems" --- I presume that the paper's authors didn't want to tip people off about Lisa at the time.
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rayarachelian

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Re: How to start Smalltalk-80 on a Lisa 1
« Reply #2 on: June 20, 2021, 02:45:42 pm »

Excellent!
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