MicroPAK files encapsulate other files that pertain to “upcycled” legacy software, or a microM8-native application. They can contain disk images, BASIC or binary code, data files, text files, images, music or audio. They have the extension .PAK
You can “boot” them by selecting them (enter) in the Catalog, or modify their contents via the Control-Shift-O key combination.
In addition to bundling relevant files, there are additional configuration files that allow you to customise the virtual machine. You can also specify additional “control” BASIC programs to run in additional virtual machines which can monitor and modify the state of the “root” program (running in the primary virtual machine, see further in this document for more information.)
You can create a .PAK file using two methods, depending on what you wish to do:
If you wish to start out with a default set of configuration files, you can create a PAK by selecting a DSK, NIB, WOZ, APL, INT or BIN file in the Catalog (accessible through Shift-Control-~) and pressing Shift-Control-P. It will be created in your /Local file directory.
If you want to create a PAK from a running disk or application and save all of that sessions current settings into the PAK file, press Shift-Control-P outside of the catalog, while the session is running. It will similarly be created in your /Local directory.
Configuration files allow you to change many of the “default” settings of the virtual machine, add backdrops, overlays, sound and music, change colours, specify camera location and much more!
You can edit the files by Control-Shift-O(pening) the PAK file in the Catalog. You will notice the following .cfg files:
Select the configuration file you would like to edit and press Control-Shift-E. Press Control-Shift-O to save the file once you’re done editing it, or Control-Shift-Q to exit the file editor without saving.
To see your changes take effect, back out of the PAK file and re-select it with the Enter key to “reboot” it.
See the micropak-help.txt file in the /micropaks folder for descriptions of all the config file settings.
You can use microM8 @functions to extend Applesoft BASIC and manipulate the virtual machine running the disk / binary / program. microM8 has the ability to run up to 8 concurrent sessions. You can manually switch between them using Shift-Control-1 through Shift-Control-8. Using the @vm.* family of functions (specifically @vm.redirect) you can have a BASIC program in one VM affect the memory and settings of another.
In the case of microPAK files, the root disk / binary / program specified in the boot.cfg ALWAYS loads into slot one. Control programs that you specify in control.cfg load into successive slots two, three and so on.
Look inside the microPAKS in the /micropaks folder (using Control-Shift-O) for example control programs.
You can also do funky things like monitor memory addresses for specific values, or set permanent fixed values (for cheating!) More on this soon.
Configuration file settings descriptions
See the micropak-help.txt file in the /micropaks folder for more information.