I want to transfer Amiga basic code to run on a modern computer

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#1 alphagemini  Icon User is offline

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I want to transfer Amiga basic code to run on a modern computer

Posted 20 June 2013 - 02:53 AM

I have a simple calculation program running on an old Amiga 4000. I want to transfer it to run on a Macbrook Pro.

It has no graphics and is simply using maths and maths print to screen.

Can anyone help me with this?

regards

Danny
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Replies To: I want to transfer Amiga basic code to run on a modern computer

#2 JackOfAllTrades  Icon User is offline

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Re: I want to transfer Amiga basic code to run on a modern computer

Posted 20 June 2013 - 03:21 AM

Do not post questions in Introduce Yourself.

Moved to Other Languages.
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#3 alphagemini  Icon User is offline

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Re: I want to transfer Amiga basic code to run on a modern computer

Posted 20 June 2013 - 04:15 AM

View PostJackOfAllTrades, on 20 June 2013 - 03:21 AM, said:

Do not post questions in Introduce Yourself.

Moved to Other Languages.



Sorry, I am a bear of small brain, thanks for moving my post
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#4 jon.kiparsky  Icon User is online

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Re: I want to transfer Amiga basic code to run on a modern computer

Posted 20 June 2013 - 04:37 AM

How long is your program? If it's not too very long, maybe you could just post it here and see what happens. Some of the members here have fond memories of old-school basic.
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#5 alphagemini  Icon User is offline

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Re: I want to transfer Amiga basic code to run on a modern computer

Posted 20 June 2013 - 05:04 AM

Thanks for your suggestion, but the use of the program is commercially sensitive. That is why I haven't simply
paid a programmer to do it

regards

Alphagemini
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#6 jon.kiparsky  Icon User is online

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Re: I want to transfer Amiga basic code to run on a modern computer

Posted 20 June 2013 - 05:13 AM

My mind is boggling at the notion of software that is commercially sensitive in 2013 which only exists in Amiga basic, but okay. This sounds like a job, then - are you looking to hire someone to port this? If so, maybe you can give some more details. How many lines of code are we talking about? What's your time frame? Do you have a preference for the target language? Are you going to want modifications to the functionality, or is this simply porting it exactly as it is?

I suspect there are a few members who will be tickled by the idea of doing this, just for old times' sake, but you should give them an idea of what they'd be getting into.

Quote

That is why I haven't simply paid a programmer to do it


Wait, what? What are expecting to have happen here, then?

This post has been edited by jon.kiparsky: 20 June 2013 - 05:15 AM

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#7 alphagemini  Icon User is offline

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Re: I want to transfer Amiga basic code to run on a modern computer

Posted 20 June 2013 - 05:52 AM

I will have to transfer the code from an Amiga to a machine which cannot read it. I think it would run unmodified using a modern basic. It is possible that someone has done this kind of thing before. If so it would help to hear how the actual porting was done and any problems that might arise. That it is commercially sensitive need not surprise you, good ideas may not always be written in the latest language. My problem is that I am very old indeed and find learning new stuff takes a lot longer than it used to. A little help would overcome this.
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#8 no2pencil  Icon User is offline

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Re: I want to transfer Amiga basic code to run on a modern computer

Posted 20 June 2013 - 06:11 AM

View Postalphagemini, on 20 June 2013 - 08:52 AM, said:

It is possible that someone has done this kind of thing before.

The Amiga OS is still in production. This is more likely a scenario than running old software on a new platform under a different os.

View Postalphagemini, on 20 June 2013 - 08:52 AM, said:

If so it would help to hear how the actual porting was done

Porting requires one to know (to the fullest extent) 2 languages. Read & understand one, & re-write it under the new language. Just like translating English to Spanish.

View Postalphagemini, on 20 June 2013 - 08:52 AM, said:

My problem is that I am very old indeed and find learning new stuff takes a lot longer than it used to.

The way you word this is like you expect a point & click situation. Just drag & drop this & your are done What you want is able to be accomplished. Just like anyone can put a modern, fuel efficient engine into an older car to keep it on the road, someone can port old software to new computers. However it requires full understanding, & is best done by experts. I would be willing to guesstimate that no one here knows Amiga code at the active level you are looking for.
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#9 alphagemini  Icon User is offline

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Re: I want to transfer Amiga basic code to run on a modern computer

Posted 20 June 2013 - 06:53 AM

I get your point but we must wait to see what response we get. I don't expect a point and click solution. I can download a modern language and re-enter my stuff to see if it works. Any hitches can be researched and solved no doubt, but I bet someone has done this. I have the original manual for HiSoft basic used on the Amiga 4000 and the manual for the new language can be compared. As it is simple mathematical calculation it should be straightforward. A modern PC cannot read Amigados data. I have a floppy reader for an Apple or PC. I think there is an Amiga utility that makes a floppy formatted on an Amiga readable by a PC. I'm not sure about an Apple OS.

When I get through this stuff and get my clever algorithms running on my MacBook Pro I shall write a full article about it.
The program can run perfectly well on the Amiga but it is painfully slow, it takes several hours to process the data needed for one day. I travel a lot and carting the Amiga about is not possible.

Thanks for your help. It will be interesting to see what response I get
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#10 jon.kiparsky  Icon User is online

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Re: I want to transfer Amiga basic code to run on a modern computer

Posted 20 June 2013 - 07:22 AM

I see a couple of possible solutions. One would be to find an emulator for the amiga that will run on your macbook. This is not completely out of the question: a google search on "amiga emulator" returns results, including this, the first one: http://www.amigaemulator.org/

If this works, you'd be able to run your program and be in business. However, it might not be ideal, since it might not play well with other software, but that might not be an issue for you.

The program might run faster on the emulator, I really wouldn't know. But one concern that I have is that your speed issues might be algorithmic, and not due to the performance of the machine. In that case, you couldn't expect huge performance increases for large data sets no matter what you did.

Another possible solution would be to find an interpreter for amiga basic that runs on a POSIX machine. Google doesn't show any useful results on the obvious search, but there may well be something out there that you can use. Again, this would get you going without any translation at all.

If the calculation is relatively straightforward as you say, it's probably a simple matter to have some competent programmer implement it in a modern language of your choice. This would almost give the best results in terms of performance, and it would be much more maintainable. It would also be extensible - a good programmer will provide you with a function that other programmers can call without knowing the details of how it works. This would allow you, for example, to hire someone later on to provide a GUI or batch-processing capabilities for your algorithm without having to actually know what the algorithm was doing. This might be useful to you, or not, but it's worth knowing about your options.

You say you don't want to do this because the code is "sensitive", but programmers deal in proprietary code all the time. I don't know what business you're in, or what makes this code sensitive (I can think of several ways in which it might be sensitive, all of which are reasonable), but you shouldn't let that keep you from getting what you need.

So there's three ways I'd suggest you consider carefully. If you really want to port it yourself, there's a fourth option. Python is a modern programming language which is relatively easy to learn, and it's at least as good at dealing with math as BASIC would be. It sounds like you have some experience programming - if so, you could probably learn python relatively quickly and port this. If you run into difficulties, the python forum here has some math-savvy members who would be glad to help you sort them out, if you're able to ask about them without compromising sensitive details. (for example, if your algorithm requires taking some particular mathematical step, we can probably help you work out how to do that, without knowing why you want to take that step)

So there's four reasonable possibilities. I hope that helps. Good luck!
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#11 alphagemini  Icon User is offline

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Re: I want to transfer Amiga basic code to run on a modern computer

Posted 20 June 2013 - 09:06 AM

Huge help, thank you.

I have tried the emulator business, but its not worth bothering with. It copies the Amiga with the same speed issues and heats up the CPU. These things are really designed for games and other trivia.

I wrote the original code so following a new programming language is not completely out of the question, especially as I suspect that much of my code will run on modern basics.

I could find a collaborator but I would have nightmares. If anyone has used a modern language for just what I am doing then it would be hugely helpful. Otherwise I shall take it step by step until I am successful.

How I do it will be told in detail!

regards

Alphagemini
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#12 modi123_1  Icon User is offline

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Re: I want to transfer Amiga basic code to run on a modern computer

Posted 20 June 2013 - 09:14 AM

Quote

I have tried the emulator business, but its not worth bothering with. It copies the Amiga with the same speed issues and heats up the CPU. These things are really designed for games and other trivia.


What does this "simple calculation program" do that it would cause a VM to overheat an existing day CPU?
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#13 jon.kiparsky  Icon User is online

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Re: I want to transfer Amiga basic code to run on a modern computer

Posted 20 June 2013 - 09:28 AM

I've been wondering that myself. I keep coming back to the line from Clarke:

"Overhead, without any fuss, the stars were going out."
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#14 alphagemini  Icon User is offline

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Re: I want to transfer Amiga basic code to run on a modern computer

Posted 20 June 2013 - 09:30 AM

That's a good question. I ran an emulator on my PC and tried to run my program. It was slow and the CPU fan came on very quickly. This is unusual, I don't get that problem unless the heat sink is blocked with dust, which it wasn't. The constant need for cooling and the slow performance led me to believe that the emulator was doing something odd and expensive. It wasn't doing what I wanted anyway. The PC might be quicker but it still isn't portable. I need to use my Apple MacBook Pro.

Although my algorithms are simple in mathematical terms they are used repeatedly and the data output is quite large. I really do need to use a modern machine.

The suggestion about Python is interesting. I hope its happy with the Apple

Thanks for your interest
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#15 jon.kiparsky  Icon User is online

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Re: I want to transfer Amiga basic code to run on a modern computer

Posted 20 June 2013 - 09:32 AM

View Postalphagemini, on 20 June 2013 - 11:30 AM, said:

The suggestion about Python is interesting. I hope its happy with the Apple

Probably already installed. At the terminal, type


>> which python

or

>> python --version

If you get a path from the first or a version number from the second, you're good to go.
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