News Round-up: May 4 - June 2
Leading digital distribution platform Steam finally made its way to the Mac on May 12, with around 50 launch games. The Mac Steam library now includes 96 titles, including newly released ports of Half-Life 2, Torchlight, and Portal. Check out the MacScene community’s reaction here, here, and here, in addition to a Portal-specific thread here.
As proof of a drastically changing tech landscape, Apple’s market capitalisation surpassed that of Microsoft last week, making it the largest technology company in the world. This marks one of the most incredible turnarounds in any company’s history, with Apple having been all but dead back in 1997, when Steve Jobs returned as CEO. Don’t celebrate too soon, though, because the happy folks at Microsoft are still way ahead on revenue.
In exciting news for Amiga fans, a new emulator called PUAE has been released. PUAE merges Richard Drummond’s E-UAE 0.8.29 with the latest version of WinUAE, and is available for Unix-based platforms. You can download the latest version from here, or check out Ultimate Amiga for more information.
A new Mini vMac development snapshot was just released, with a reputed speed increase of 25 percent. Mini vMac is an open-source Mac Plus and Mac II emulator. You can get more information or try your hand at compiling the latest source code at the emulator’s homepage.
Another Mac Plus emulator, called GrayBox, emerged recently, with an approach more akin to Apple’s “Classic” environment than that of a traditional emulator. From the official site:
GrayBox is similar to Apple’s BlueBox/Classic. Like Classic, GrayBox interleaves its windows as peers to those of native apps. Unlike Classic, GrayBox runs each app in its own protected memory space.
GrayBox runs only early B&W apps. Currently, it has been tested only with MacDraw 1.9.5; see http://www.dejamac.com/software/macdraw/.
GrayBox was written by Leif Strand. It uses Mini vMac’s M68K emulator by Bernd Schmidt and Paul Pratt; see http://minivmac.sourceforge.net/.
See the MacScene forum thread for discussion. Thanks to WatchSmart for pointing this one out.
Multiple system emulator MESS has been updated to version 0.138 -- includes dozens of improvements; see changelog for more details.
Version 0.9.6 of Nintendo DS emulator DeSmuMe was released on May 19. The update focuses on bugfixes and compatibility improvements. See the official site for more information.
Richard Bannister’s Virtual Boy emulator ViBE received another update, providing support for the “final” release of Bound High, as well as an option for rendering one eye only (so you can play without those funky glasses).
He also updated Emulator Enhancer to version 2.3.2, with the notable changes being an update to the eSellerate library and the loss of Mac OS 10.4 compatibility.
VirtualBox, an x86 and AMD64/Intel64 virtualisation product, was updated to version 3.2.0 on May 18. Most notable among the many changes is the addition of experimental support for Mac OS X Server guests. See the changelog for the full details. And check out the MacScene forum thread for discussion of OS X as a guest OS. Update: There was a maintenance release today (June 3), bringing a large number of bug fixes. VirtualBox is now at version 3.2.2.
Arcade emulator MAME was updated multiple times in the past month, with the latest release being 0.138u1. The updates fix numerous bugs and provide various minor additions. Check out the official site for more details.
MacScene member SpeedofMac has been busy compiling the latest change sets for PlayStation emulator PCSX-Reloaded. The updates provide incremental bug fixes and possible compatibility changes. See the MacScene forum thread for discussion or download from SpeedofMac’s website.
Got any news tips? Let us know on the forums. I’d also like to know if there’s anything else you’d like me to cover, such as (retro-themed?) game releases, productivity software, or iPhone Apps.