Linked by Jordan Spencer Cunningham on Tue 22nd Sep 2009 16:50 UTC
Apple We all have our most favored machines of yesteryear; in this I assume that most people are like me, anyway. Breaking away from the mundane every-day news of boring (I jest) new technologies such as touchscreens the size of a wall and upcoming operating systems that support graphics cards with 1.5 GB of vRAM, take a walk down memory lane-- or "Neurological Alley" as I like to call it-- and take a look inside, outside, and in all of the nooks and crannies in between the circuits of the Macintosh Plus and its accompanying System 6, fresh from the splendor of 1986.
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time capsule
by ari-free on Tue 22nd Sep 2009 17:31 UTC
ari-free
Member since:
2007-01-22

"I also found this highly enjoyable time capsule made by Apple in 1987. The film presents itself as if it was made in 1997; this is essentially what Apple thought (or hoped, or dreamed) the late 90's would be like for them. "

which? there's no link so maybe you mean this?
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3WdS4TscWH8

Reply Score: 2

RE: time capsule
by weildish on Tue 22nd Sep 2009 18:24 UTC in reply to "time capsule "
weildish Member since:
2008-12-06

Which? The embedded video that says "Time Capsule" under the continuing paragraph.

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: time capsule
by ari-free on Tue 22nd Sep 2009 18:28 UTC in reply to "RE: time capsule "
ari-free Member since:
2007-01-22

I only see 2 embedded videos. mac plus part 1 and part 2.

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: time capsule
by weildish on Tue 22nd Sep 2009 18:42 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: time capsule "
weildish Member since:
2008-12-06

Hm. I'm seeing all three of the videos. I'm using Chrome, but now looking at it with IE, I only see three empty spaces saying that there should be something there. Firefox only shows the two you see-- odd. So there is something up.

Edited 2009-09-22 18:47 UTC

Reply Score: 1

68 o what?
by jack_perry on Tue 22nd Sep 2009 17:50 UTC
jack_perry
Member since:
2005-07-06

a Motorola 680000 processor running at a grand 8 MHz

They wish. Chop off one zero.

They only used 40000 transistors, but I was told by a professor (or I read in a text; it was 20 years ago) that the name indicated how many transistors Motorola thought they could fit on the chip. Although it wouldn't surprise me if it was also due to Motorola's previous 8-bit family, the 68xx.

It was an extremely well designed processor, running the Amigas of the time, too, and later the Palm PDA.

Reply Score: 3

RE: 68 o what?
by weildish on Tue 22nd Sep 2009 18:29 UTC in reply to "68 o what?"
weildish Member since:
2008-12-06

Whoops. You're right. Sorry about that. Fixed. ;) And thanks for expounding on the history of the processor. That was very interesting. So if your professor (or the text) was correct, I deem that the processor could have run faster and worked harder if Motorola had built it with all of the transistors that it could have supported. Interesting.

Reply Score: 1

A little filesystem history
by JonathanBThompson on Tue 22nd Sep 2009 18:26 UTC
JonathanBThompson
Member since:
2006-05-26

Funny about the mention of the 65535 file limit on the Mac filesystem of the time: it was actually slightly less than that, of course, due to some overhead, but there were no (to my awareness, at least for machines with an OS sold in the US that weren't Unix mutations) consumer-level machines that had anything better than that limit, though perhaps at some point, OS/2 did, but OS/2 never caught on. Consider: until NTFS, Microsoft (other than perhaps their Xenix platform) with FAT, never had anything better than that same limit, but with more of a limitation than the Mac filesystem (still just HFS at the time) had: every time you wanted to use a larger hard drive that couldn't be mapped to < 65536 powers of 2 bytes allocation unit, you had to double the allocation unit to the next integral power of 2, providing for huge amounts of waste, as well as some number of files limitation that often more closely approached 32768 if a drive just barely went over that nice easy boundary. Mac HFS, by comparison, allowed you to divide into the maximum 65536 allocation units that were multiples of 512 byte sectors, which made things perhaps a little odd in some respects, but allowed more files on average than FAT16 did.

FAT32, of course, does away with that 65536-overhead number of files, but it also doesn't use extents (HFS does) and as such, has a horrible amount of overhead required to handle the number of files in the housekeeping department, because like FAT16 and FAT12, the File Allocation Table is a series of intersnarled singly-linked lists that snake through (possibly) the entire FAT. Oh, yes: HFS also supported long file names far before FAT ever did ;)

Reply Score: 5

RE: A little filesystem history
by JLF65 on Tue 22nd Sep 2009 20:27 UTC in reply to "A little filesystem history"
JLF65 Member since:
2005-07-06

Funny about the mention of the 65535 file limit on the Mac filesystem of the time: it was actually slightly less than that, of course, due to some overhead, but there were no (to my awareness, at least for machines with an OS sold in the US that weren't Unix mutations) consumer-level machines that had anything better than that limit, though perhaps at some point, OS/2 did, but OS/2 never caught on. Consider: until NTFS, Microsoft (other than perhaps their Xenix platform) with FAT, never had anything better than that same limit, but with more of a limitation than the Mac filesystem (still just HFS at the time) had: every time you wanted to use a larger hard drive that couldn't be mapped to < 65536 powers of 2 bytes allocation unit, you had to double the allocation unit to the next integral power of 2, providing for huge amounts of waste, as well as some number of files limitation that often more closely approached 32768 if a drive just barely went over that nice easy boundary. Mac HFS, by comparison, allowed you to divide into the maximum 65536 allocation units that were multiples of 512 byte sectors, which made things perhaps a little odd in some respects, but allowed more files on average than FAT16 did.

FAT32, of course, does away with that 65536-overhead number of files, but it also doesn't use extents (HFS does) and as such, has a horrible amount of overhead required to handle the number of files in the housekeeping department, because like FAT16 and FAT12, the File Allocation Table is a series of intersnarled singly-linked lists that snake through (possibly) the entire FAT. Oh, yes: HFS also supported long file names far before FAT ever did ;)


You forget the Amiga. The filesystem - simply called the AmigaDOS FileSystem (FS) until the Fast FileSystem (FFS) came out, at which point it was called the Old FileSystem (OFS) - had no limit on files beyond what would fit on the media. The root directory started in the middle of the volume and kept expanding until you ran out of space. You also weren't limited to 8.3 filenames - you could have up to 30 characters (a limitation of Workbench - AmigaDOS supported up to 102 characters... monstrous at the time).

Reply Score: 5

RE: A little filesystem history
by funny_irony on Sat 26th Sep 2009 06:15 UTC in reply to "A little filesystem history"
funny_irony Member since:
2007-03-07

FAT32 also have 65536 file limit.
My company still use a few Win98 PC and sometimes these PC will have runtime error '67' - too many files.
If the user use long file name, the file limit is less than 65536.

Reply Score: 1

Very well done
by fretinator on Tue 22nd Sep 2009 19:11 UTC
fretinator
Member since:
2005-07-06

This is a very well-done article. Besides just facts, it allowed me to "feel" the experience of the Mac Plus.

I sometimes reminisce about my first computer - the TI 99/4A. While the PC was an 8-bit, monochrome, speaker-beeping machine, my TI had a 16-bit processor, 3-voice sound and beautiful color. It still pains me to think that a company as integral to the nascent personal computer revolution as Texas Instruments managed to die on the PC vine. I still believe the home computer world would have been vastly more colorful and user-friendly had TI or Commodore won those early wars against the boring, gray PC. Oh well, I'm old, I better get over it!

Reply Score: 3

Old Macs Online
by PAPPP on Tue 22nd Sep 2009 19:23 UTC
PAPPP
Member since:
2006-07-26

I've taken a couple of old (the oldest being a Mac SE, which also has MacMinix and some other fun vintage toys on it) Macs online just for sport, without resorting to a dialup modem. The key is an intermediary machine. To attach the old machine to the Internet, one needs (aside from appropriate software on the old machine) a second Mac from the 1991-1997 era that has both AAUI (or Ethernet) and mini-din-8 Apple serial ports on it (I used a Centris 660/AV, and later a Powermac 6100 as intermediary machines. Bonus points if the intermediary box is running A/UX, I never went for it despite having copies of the appropriate install media) . You can attach the intermediary to a modern TCP/IP over Ethernet network (and through it the Internet) over a 10-T transceiver on the AAUI port (or directly through the Ethernet port were possible), and share the connection via a LocalTalk network over the serial ports. There are lots of guides on doing this (and similar, a few of which apparently avoid the intermediary machine under specific circumstances) around the net, as always when playing with older Macs, http://lowendmac.com/ (for information) and http://www.jagshouse.com/ (for finding software) are the best places I know of to start.
The other bonus of this kind of setup is you can share out resources across the age gap, I had an old Personal Laser Writer (300?) connected through the intermediary to use as the household printer until a couple years ago.

(I haven't done this in a while, I may be misremembering/omitting some details, lately I've been using Basilisk][ and a couple disc images for my vintage Mac "needs", which far more convenient, but not quite as fun)

Reply Score: 3

nice
by siraf72 on Tue 22nd Sep 2009 19:24 UTC
siraf72
Member since:
2006-02-22

Thank you for that trip down memory lane. I have a Mac SE that still works! It has a 40MB ... YES! 40 MB external SCSI drive.

I loved, nay, I still love my old SE. At the time it came with system 4.1. In fact, I had Arabic and English on the system.

Awesome machine, hypercard, Kings quest, load runner, Dark Castle, Super paint, Mac Paint. ah yes, Falcon F-16 flight sim. 4mb of memory, made all the amiga guys jealous. ;)

Reply Score: 1

Macintosh Classic II
by big_gie on Tue 22nd Sep 2009 19:57 UTC
big_gie
Member since:
2006-01-04

You made me remember my Macintosh Classic II... my first computer! It ran Cosmic Osmo (what a weird game...), Arkanoid too (my favorite game that I stoled from the school) and Paint Shop Pro, printable in 4 colors...

I remember reading something about "internet" and how you could connect with a modem... I chose a bike instead for my anniversary... ;)

Reply Score: 1

Ardi's Executor
by Rugxulo on Tue 22nd Sep 2009 21:08 UTC
Rugxulo
Member since:
2007-10-09

While I never had anything besides a Apple IIc, I do appreciate trips down memory lane. Old machines (and old programmers) were surprisingly useful. Kids today don't appreciate how good they've got it! ;-)

P.S. Ever tried Ardi's Executor? Well, it's defunct (as well as Ardi) but Cliff Matthews has put it on Github and ported it to Linux, Mac OS X, etc. (It originally ran on DOS via DJGPP, which is where I first heard of it.)

http://github.com/ctm/executor

"Executor is a Macintosh emulator that is able to run many ancient Mac OS 680x0 binaries (System 6 era, early System 7) without using any intellectual property from Apple Computer."

Reply Score: 1

Funny video
by mrstep on Tue 22nd Sep 2009 23:42 UTC
mrstep
Member since:
2009-07-18

The biggest jokes for me have to be...

- Scully smiling happily at the amazing revenue his leadership brought.

- "In other news, Jack Tramiel opened a new restaurant today."

I still have my Mega2 ST which ran a Mac emulator faster than a real Mac at the time, and now I can run an ST emulator on my Mac that definitely runs faster then ANY current Atari computers. ;)

Of course if the post-Jobs management at Apple had stayed we'd probably all be posting from our Windows (or Linux) boxes, but that brings it back to the first joke.

Reply Score: 1

Copland Opensource
by kyrc on Wed 23rd Sep 2009 00:08 UTC
kyrc
Member since:
2008-11-30

I'm a big fan of classic MacOS. Someday it would be really great if a group of people wrote an opensource version of Copland that ran on x86.

Something like the Haiku-OS project.

Reply Score: 1

RE: Copland Opensource
by tobyv on Wed 23rd Sep 2009 01:04 UTC in reply to "Copland Opensource"
tobyv Member since:
2008-08-25

Copland


You must be kidding!?! System 6 was the One True MacOS!

:-)

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: Copland Opensource
by kyrc on Wed 23rd Sep 2009 12:12 UTC in reply to "RE: Copland Opensource"
kyrc Member since:
2008-11-30

MacOS 6 doesn't have pre-emptive multitasking. Perhaps a solution would be MacOS 6 virtual machines with each app having its instance of MacOS.

Reply Score: 1

RE[3]: Copland Opensource
by JLF65 on Wed 23rd Sep 2009 18:45 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Copland Opensource"
JLF65 Member since:
2005-07-06

MacOS 6 doesn't have pre-emptive multitasking. Perhaps a solution would be MacOS 6 virtual machines with each app having its instance of MacOS.


No MacOS until OSX had preemptive multitasking. The switch from cooperative to preemptive multitasking was one of the major features of 10.0.

The major feature change from System 6 to System 7 was getting rid of the switcher. System 7 was Mac's first real desktop OS, allowing easy use of more than one program at a time.

Reply Score: 2

MacMach
by samkass on Fri 25th Sep 2009 18:48 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Copland Opensource"
samkass Member since:
2006-12-17

There was an experiment at Carnegie Mellon in the early 90's to put classic MacOS on top of the Mach microkernel. I ran it on my Mac ][ci in my dorm room and it worked pretty well. Not all software ran successfully, but when it did you could see it with a "ps aux" and telnet into our out of the box. Traditional Mac apps ran cooperatively multitasked in their little box, but BSD apps ran on the protected, pre-emptive kernel.

http://www.cs.cmu.edu/afs/cs.cmu.edu/project/mach/public/FAQ/obsole...

Reply Score: 1

pg--az
Member since:
2006-03-15

The Wikipedia article "History of Mac OS" confirmed my dim memory - System 6 used the high byte of a 32-bit address for flags. Don't forget, at the time RAM was so expensive, that lots of system routines were in ROM, although the ROM routines could be overridden with patches. Of course on the original IBM pc, RAM was *SO* expensive that a full 640k once seemed like a lot.
This 1m-to-8gb jump, I just spot-checked and upgrading a Dell optiplex-960 to "8GB DDR2 Non-ECC SDRAM, 800MHz, (4DIMM)", the total price with just that feature is only $938 in today's dollars, this 8000-fold memory expansion still boggles my mind.

Reply Score: 1

JLF65 Member since:
2005-07-06

The Wikipedia article "History of Mac OS" confirmed my dim memory - System 6 used the high byte of a 32-bit address for flags. Don't forget, at the time RAM was so expensive, that lots of system routines were in ROM, although the ROM routines could be overridden with patches. Of course on the original IBM pc, RAM was *SO* expensive that a full 640k once seemed like a lot.
This 1m-to-8gb jump, I just spot-checked and upgrading a Dell optiplex-960 to "8GB DDR2 Non-ECC SDRAM, 800MHz, (4DIMM)", the total price with just that feature is only $938 in today's dollars, this 8000-fold memory expansion still boggles my mind.


All MacOS up through System 6 used 24 bit addressing. System 7 was the first that could use 32 bit "clean" addressing. OS 8 was the first to require 32 bit addressing.

RAM was expensive, but the price dropped incredibly quick. The first 32 MB SIMM the company I worked for bought cost them $1100. I can get one hundred times that memory for less than one tenth that price.

Reply Score: 2

Funny mixture of memories
by alcibiades on Wed 23rd Sep 2009 08:54 UTC
alcibiades
Member since:
2005-10-12

It brings back a funny mixture of memories. Hypercard was great. And in the eighties, OS Classic was way ahead of DOS and then Windows in usability. The hardware rapidly started to show its age, but there were enough compensations. And Apple's mania for lockin and control were not yet oppressive or particularly obvious. So I used Macs from close to the original right up to the pastel iMacs.

But gradually, Windows caught up, parity with 98, way ahead of Classic with XP, the PC hardware overtook Mac hardware by miles, Linux arrived, the lockins became more and more strident. As the products recovered from their slump in the nineties, the company became less and less attractive, and the Mac Fanatics became more and more fanatical.

Apple would in the end neither support Hypercard nor open source it, and finally dumped it, leaving everyone in the lurch. This was a kind of turning point - lifestyle marketing had triumphed over the original vision.

The vision had anyway all along been a very strange and unsustainable mixture of empowerment coupled with obsessive control.

And this has continued. The iTunes lockins were bad enough, but the lockins with the app store for the phone are really bad. In the end, for me, Apple is a company you should not do business with, regardless of how good its products may or may not be, because its ethics and business practices are repugnant.

You can get an up to date descendant of Hypercard in the form of Revolution. There is now a free version - look for the alpha version of Media on the runrev site. Its cross platform, though the Linux version has one or two gaps in it. It will seem quite familiar to the Hypercard aficionado, if there are any left. Sadly, you mention HC to the average Mac Head of the new generation today, even the most die hard, and most of them have never heard of it...

Edited 2009-09-23 09:02 UTC

Reply Score: 2

Still got it
by adinas on Wed 23rd Sep 2009 09:48 UTC
adinas
Member since:
2005-08-17

I still have my Macintosh 512k (with signatures on the inside of the box). it's in the storage room somewhere but still works as far as I know.

Reply Score: 1

That brings back Mac Classic memories
by eco2geek on Wed 23rd Sep 2009 19:24 UTC
eco2geek
Member since:
2009-09-23

"Our" first computer was a 386DX33 (IIRC) that my wife and I bought right after Win3.1 came out. Problem was, I sort of, well, monopolized it. A friend of ours, who worked as a Mac tech in a computer store, had a smoke-damaged Mac Classic that he sold my wife. She gave it to me for my birthday with the intention of getting more seat time with the Windows PC. (Needless to say, it didn't quite work out that way.)

The only thing wrong with it was its lack of a case (which had gotten melted), so our friend stuck it in a metal terminal case he scrounged up somewhere that reminded me of Darth Vader's mask. Later on, he found a real Mac Classic case for it, complete with the reset and restart (?) buttons on the left side, perfect for when your ResEdit session went awry.

You could boot into System 6.0.3 (?) from ROM by pressing Command+Option+X+O at boot.

It still works - Motorola 68K CPU, 40MB hdd, 4MB RAM, 9" CRT, running System 7.0.1 (which, at the time, seemed a lot more advanced than Windows 3.1). Your article prompted me to get it down from the shelf and turn it on. It thinks today's date is "9/22/9".

Reply Score: 1