Linked by Thom Holwerda on Tue 10th Jan 2017 23:45 UTC
Mac OS X

The beauty of the internet: there's always someone else who is also interested in the things you're interested in. It turns out, even people who are working on trying to bring Mac OS 9 to the PowerPC G5 can find each other online. Now, it's important to note that even the people themselves acknowledge that this project is a very, very long shot and unlikely to succeed - but that doesn't mean it isn't worth trying and learning something along the way.

This project (we call it "CountDown G5") is ambitious, sure, and unlikely to succeed. But a few things make it worthwhile:

  • I am learning a lot about low-level kernel programming, which I find fascinating as a hobby.
  • We are crafting a build system in MPW, inspired by that source leak, for very low-level assembly and linking of a NewWorld ROM. This will be useful to other hackers in the future.
  • We have an intermediate goal of increasing the usable logical address space on OS 9 to near the 2 GB hardware limit.
  • The G5 isn't all that different. It has facilities for running 32-bit OSes, and early G5s thankfully left the Block Allocation Table mechanism intact.

Be sure to follow the thread on the forum if you're interested in this type of exotic hacking.

Meanwhile, also definitely 100% be sure to follow Steven Troughton-Smith, who, over the past few days, has been doing an absolutely crazy amount of work on things that go far beyond my comfort zone (he pointed the above thread out to me just now). He's been investigating all the work the Qemu people have been doing on PowerPC emulation, and he's trying to get all the early and often exotic Mac OS X builds to boot on Qemu. This includes things like altering and recompiling BootX, diving deep into Open Firmware to remove a number of 'fixes' put in place that prevented early OS X versions from booting, and tons of other things.

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Wonderful
by flanque on Wed 11th Jan 2017 01:09 UTC
flanque
Member since:
2005-12-15

This brings back fond memories of the days in computing where we just played and explored for the fun of it.. and perhaps we're successful.

Some might argue this never went away, but I do think some of that excitement has died a bit.

Reply Score: 5

RE: Wonderful
by leech on Wed 11th Jan 2017 05:53 UTC in reply to "Wonderful"
leech Member since:
2006-01-10

Yeah, this is why I still play around with FreeMiNT, AmigaOS and my Atair 8bits. I don't play many games these days, I just like seeing what I can get out of really old systems in the current year.

Reply Score: 3

RE: Wonderful
by quackalist on Wed 11th Jan 2017 06:07 UTC in reply to "Wonderful"
quackalist Member since:
2007-08-27

What's going on , there's far too much news on OS's these last couple of days when we could be reading about smartphones and such.

Reply Score: 6

RE: Wonderful
by henderson101 on Wed 11th Jan 2017 15:01 UTC in reply to "Wonderful"
henderson101 Member since:
2006-05-30

I'd love to see someone get a fully working PowerMac emulator for old world. Then see get BeOS PowerPC to boot on it ;-) That would bring back a lot of fond memories.

There is a half baked BeBox emulator, but it doesn't boot past the Boot logo.

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: Wonderful
by leech on Wed 11th Jan 2017 18:50 UTC in reply to "RE: Wonderful"
leech Member since:
2006-01-10

I thought qemu's PPC emulation was basically for this purpose. I haven't quite tested it out, though I always wanted to get a PPC based system (I do have a iMac G5 sitting in my room) but didn't really like Mac OSX when I started using it for work. I already have Linux on so many machines, and unfortunately MorphOS doesn't support Macs with nVidia hardware, so I can't use the iMac for much.

Now if Qemu got enough PPC emulation working, could we run MorphOS in a VM? That would be awesome and worthy.

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: Wonderful
by henderson101 on Thu 12th Jan 2017 10:20 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Wonderful"
henderson101 Member since:
2006-05-30

I thought qemu's PPC emulation was basically for this purpose.


BeOS for PowerPC only supports specific Mac models, all of which are PCI (no Nubus) and also have Old World ROMS. It's not really about whether the version of Mac OS runs, it's totally about what it is emulating matching what BeOS needs as closely as possible to ensure it is able to boot. BeOS basically boots from MacOS.. the Mac starts and there's a boot manager (or app) which then allows BeOS to take over. Both flavours of booting enumerate the devices that MacOS initialised and then take them over... which is why New World and any Mac that uses something slightly different that the narrow list of supported devices fails.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Wonderful
by Treza on Wed 11th Jan 2017 21:03 UTC in reply to "RE: Wonderful"
Treza Member since:
2006-01-11

QEMU-PPC is now able to run many versions of MacOS :

http://wiki.qemu.org/Documentation/Platforms/PowerPC

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: Wonderful
by henderson101 on Thu 12th Jan 2017 10:24 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Wonderful"
henderson101 Member since:
2006-05-30

QEMU-PPC is now able to run many versions of MacOS :

http://wiki.qemu.org/Documentation/Platforms/PowerPC


Mac OS 8.0 to 8.6 Prints error stating /rtas node is missing from OpenBIOS

That is not going to therefore work. BeOS boots best from >= 7.5.x or < 8.5, it does boot from 8.6, but it is less reliable.

Also... it needs an Old World ROM to be present as I stated above.

Unless someone wants to rewrite the launcher?? <crickets>

Edited 2017-01-12 10:26 UTC

Reply Score: 2

RE[4]: Wonderful
by Thom_Holwerda on Thu 12th Jan 2017 10:39 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Wonderful"
Thom_Holwerda Member since:
2005-06-29

Steven, whose account I linked to in the story, is working on Mac OS 8.x as we speak.

Reply Score: 1

RE[5]: Wonderful
by henderson101 on Thu 12th Jan 2017 13:47 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Wonderful"
henderson101 Member since:
2006-05-30

It still needs to boot using the old world rom from one of the Macs on this list:

http://www.tycomsystems.com/beos/ppc_ready.html

If it does that, it might work.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Wonderful
by malxau on Thu 12th Jan 2017 08:36 UTC in reply to "Wonderful"
malxau Member since:
2005-12-04

Some might argue this never went away, but I do think some of that excitement has died a bit.


IMO the computing scene 35 years ago was exclusively nerdy hackers, and now we make up a small percentage; but the absolute number is probably more than ever. What's frustrating is the small percentage aspect means the nerdy hackers get drowned out in news coverage that is typically marketing aimed at consumers.

This is particularly frustrating when the growth of the Internet should make hacker communication much easier than 35 years back.

Anyway, what I'd like to do with PPC Qemu is get NT 4 to run on it. And perhaps along the lines of this thread, use that experience to see what drivers/boot hacks need to be applied to NT to run it on a PPC Mac. I'll likely never get around to it, but it'd be fun to do.

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: Wonderful
by Alfman on Thu 12th Jan 2017 15:34 UTC in reply to "RE: Wonderful"
Alfman Member since:
2011-01-28

malxau,

IMO the computing scene 35 years ago was exclusively nerdy hackers, and now we make up a small percentage; but the absolute number is probably more than ever. What's frustrating is the small percentage aspect means the nerdy hackers get drowned out in news coverage that is typically marketing aimed at consumers.

This is particularly frustrating when the growth of the Internet should make hacker communication much easier than 35 years back.


I know what you mean. The culture was our own before it became popular. That makes us a bunch of popular-phobes, haha ;)

Reply Score: 2

soviet9922
Member since:
2015-02-18

Yes BeOS run only in some macs what is great is it performance when i first installed it back in the nineties, it blow me away in the same computer i have Mac os running like a tortoise i can have 10 videos play at the same time. The same go for the intel version when i have it on a slow celeron i used it for all my tasks until Be died. Was a sad day for me i loved the OS and make computer fun again like when i have my Amiga.

I can confirm it runs on the PowerMAC 8600.
Also the PowerMAC 9600 is not suspported but boot and works fine on it shows up as (unknown) the cpu. Even tested a MP cpu module from a 9500 have 2 604e 200 procesors but have to remove the cache from the board this make the computer dog slow on macos but on BEos flys.

Reply Score: 1

henderson101 Member since:
2006-05-30

I can confirm it runs on the PowerMAC 8600.
Also the PowerMAC 9600 is not suspported but boot and works fine on it shows up as (unknown) the cpu. Even tested a MP cpu module from a 9500 have 2 604e 200 procesors but have to remove the cache from the board this make the computer dog slow on macos but on BEos flys.


9600 is supported, but it depends on the model. They changed the processor card/logic board in the later revisions and this apparently does not work.

The 9500 card had dual 604e 180's, the 9600 was the one with dual 200's. I own a PM 9500MP/180, so this is how I know ;-)

I don't know about the actual card... MacOS doesn't know how to use both processors - I don't see how doing anything to the card will make any difference. They only work in specific apps that actually have the option to accelerate using both processors. That's why MacOS isn't as fast. BeOS runs fully SMP, and the 604e has full SMP capable cache management, so it doesn't use the hack the BeBox did to get the 603's to work in SMP.

I also owned a BeBox with 66MHz 603's and it was very, very slow. That's why I kept the PM, as it actually ran at a reasonable speed.

Reply Score: 2

This stuff is crazy
by Darkmage on Thu 12th Jan 2017 21:20 UTC
Darkmage
Member since:
2006-10-20

Systems/hardware hacking/Emulation blows my mind. Even now I don't understand even 10% of it and I've been writing C/C++ code for a good 5 years. I don't understand how some 14 year old kid decides to just write a cpu emulator and gets it working. (It's extremely cool)

Edited 2017-01-12 21:31 UTC

Reply Score: 2