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OpenSourceMac's picture
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Joined: 2019 Jan 21
OS9 Emulation has come to Raspberry Pi 4!

Not perfect yet - but is a good sign of things to come.
https://youtu.be/7TgLGaRK_zY

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fogWraith's picture
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Joined: 2009 Oct 23

That does look pretty impressive, the fact that it's all running on the Pi and all. And it comes with Box86.
I haven't looked much closer, but is it another fork of an already existing distro, what repos will it use if one wants updates? That would be my biggest concern.

Ah yes... and the cesspool that is YouTube, got to love the comments section Stare

Jatoba's picture
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Joined: 2018 Apr 16

Didn't QEMU with OS9 run on ARM already since some 2 years back?

OpenSourceMac's picture
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Joined: 2019 Jan 21

True, but the interest is what matters. The more devs you through at a project, the quicker it gets good. Look at the OS9/Mac Mini project! A lot of people do seem to make light work.

adespoton's picture
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Joined: 2015 Feb 15

The latest project like this is the Snow Leopard/Mac Mini G4 project. My project next weekend is to get one of my G4 Minis to dual boot into Mac OS 9.2.2 and 10.6PPC.

Jatoba's picture
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Joined: 2018 Apr 16

Just to give you a little "pre-emptive help" with something that might come in handy, you can use IdentityTool (from LeopardAssist) to dual-boot between 9 and X on the mini directly via OS X's Startup Disk, according to this person. (Otherwise, X won't offer a 9 partition as an option. Maybe this also enables formatting with OS 9 drivers to internal drives in Disk Utility?)

(Speaking of which, we should really get both of these tools uploaded here someday. IdentityTool and LeopardAssist, that is.)

adespoton's picture
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Thanks! I was going to do this the hard way with my own bootloader; this will be much easier.

cbone's picture
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Wait! What? I never heard of Snow Leopard on a PowerMac, wow! Laughing out loud That sounds amazing and almost wrong, but in a good way!

OpenSourceMac's picture
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Joined: 2019 Jan 21

Snow Leopard? Please tell me you aren't using Quem for that (you could raise a kid and put them through college before getting to the login screen).
But as for dual-boot, can't you put the mini into target mode and then setup its drive from a second Mac??

Jatoba's picture
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Joined: 2018 Apr 16

So far, two very early, very broken developer versions of Snow Leopard are PPC-compatible, and people got to boot into it with PPC Macs quite recently. We discuss it a bit mainly here and here. But it's real, apps can target the OS X 10.6 SDK, compile for PPC, and some things actually run. So it shows promise that something worthwhile can come out of it eventually. Some people are working on it tiredlessly in excitement, trying to get as much to work as possible (some Leopard components here, some Universal frameworks from Snow Leo 10.6.8 from there etc.), with a bit of success so far.

So, yes, technically-speaking you can dual-boot the Mac mini with OS 9 and Snow Leopard. Tongue

And yes, target disk mode can be used that way. The thing is once the installation is done, Startup Disk prefPane won't show the OS 9 installation as a boot option (because minis weren't supposed to be able to do so), which doesn't stop us from switching systems, but is less convenient, so the trick to fix that is actually very useful.

OpenSourceMac's picture
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Joined: 2019 Jan 21

I see - Option Start is just so easy, seems like a natural, and unless you want to restart all the time in OS9, might be easier.

The 10.6 thing is an amazing achievement. Will be cool if they can get it to work reasonable, but since regular Leopard runs so badly might make sense to just pick up an older Mac Pro for that (found a great 8-Core 3,1 for just $100 at a local newspaper).

adespoton's picture
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Joined: 2015 Feb 15

One of the other things I've been playing with recently is TigerBrew. It backports a lot of stuff that was previously x86-only to run quite nicely under TigerPPC.

Jatoba's picture
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Joined: 2018 Apr 16

Might as well make a video about that, too. Wink *wink wink*

adespoton's picture
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Hmm... Snow Leopard installed without a hitch. OS 9... not so much. LeopardAssist doesn't seem to be doing anything; I click Restart, and SL boots up, leaving me without a boot picker.

Turns out I had previously got part way through setting up OS 9, and had the old-school boot picker that properly selected the OS 9 partition, but after that, I locked up at a grey screen. I blew away that OS 9 install and did a new one, but that's not faring any better. Any idea what I might be doing wrong with the boot picker or OS 9? I think my previous install was the first MOS9L build; my new one is the later build.

adespoton's picture
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Joined: 2015 Feb 15

We're talking bare metal. But that being said, if you haven't run QEMU-PPC recently, QEMU 5 with the FPU and Screamer patches is no slower than some of the old hardware I used to run Mac OS 9 and OS X PPC on. Still no GPU handling though; my actual hardware has a definite edge there.

Jatoba's picture
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Joined: 2018 Apr 16

For CPU-only games (i.e. Escape Velocity?), can the refresh ratio go past 30 FPS? That's been my biggest gripe with it (and virtual machines in general). Even my "lowly" Gen2 PPCs from the mid 1990s could handle that much...

Admitedly, I do have to give QEMU (yet) another try, particularly for games... next time plugged into a CRT, and not loading everything from USB.

adespoton's picture
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Joined: 2015 Feb 15

Yeah; my main QEMU rig uses nvme drives. Frame rates for older games are usually 32-40fps, but with some significant drops down to 10-15fps on specific bits -- but last time I checked that was when I was running QEMU 3; I'm hoping the FPU hack has sped things up a lot; it sure *feels* like it has, but that's just a feeling; I haven't done any tests.

OpenSourceMac's picture
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Joined: 2019 Jan 21

Mini's have less power thank an 8-year old Android phone, and were not really even great running OSX PPC originally (certainly not if you've ever used a DP MDD with lots of RAM), and the idea of byte-swapping there sounds pretty bad. Honestly, the Mini OS9 project is probably the single best use of those old machines as light as OS9 is.
Now running Quem on a G5 Quad, or one of the new Talos rigs, is probably worth the effort, but outside of that, it sounds like trying to play Blurays on an original GameBoy.

Jatoba's picture
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I must say the mini runs quite respectably with OS X, actually. (Of course, not quite as properly as DP MDDs that are literally 12 times their size, but still very good.)

The issue arises with Leopard more specifically. If it's the 1.25 Ghz mini, with its 32MB VRAM, that's one thing. But if it's the 1.5Ghz mini, with its 64MB VRAM, that's a considerably different story. It always ran well for me. It's also worth a mention that all minis can handle Panther and (without GPU) Jaguar, too.

Also, what byte-swapping are you referring to, exactly? Using little-endian QEMU systems on big-endian PPC? The other way around? If you mean using QEMU PPC, yeah, a G5 would be doing that, and perform decently despite that, but G4s like the mini don't need to byte-swap, as they (and earlier PPC, and Talos) can switch to little-endian entirely when they are asked to.

Anyway, I agree: the "true purpose" of the mini has really been achieved with OS 9. No system fits it better. Almost as if that is what it had been designed to do. Smile

OpenSourceMac's picture
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The big issue with Leopard and upward is CoreImage. Even the system's interface wants a pretty fair amount of GPU and you either have it or you don't. If not, it's a 10-15% lag on CPU to composite.
As for Byte-Swapping, that's a generic expression, that doesn't really cover it. It's not just endianness, it's how x86/AMD64 works, using hardware functions, compared to PPC's Just-in-time function setup. CISC systems simply funnel instructions to dedicated hardward on the CPU, and much like the discussion previously on CoreImage, if you don't have it, you have to do it in software, which is much less efficient. Cache in PPC doesn't just balance bus-loads, it also stores functions setup during program launch and the CPU executes those during runtime, but since a mini (and most later PowerBooks), only have 512MB of L2 cache, there is a practical limit to how many of such functions can be created, and after the limit is reached, they have to be swapped back and fourth into main RAM (VERY SLOW). This gets downright ugly when you are running an emulator like VirtualPC or Quem, because this sets-up up a very large footprint of instructions in cache, in addition to those normally in use by OSX. This is really why 32-bit/PPCs have never been able to emulate SSE instructions because there just isn't enough cache to hold/run them.

Think of it this way: CISC chips like Pentium are like a big company with different departments of specialists for each task. Occasionally, one department will have more work come in than they can handle, but overall - there is a person for every job.

RISC chips are more like a massive number of office temps with no particular training that can be thrown at a particular task, but because of their lack of specialization, take many more bodies to achieve the same goal, and in particularly-heavy tasks not only fail to complete specific tasks on time, will also have slowdown across all tasks.

CISC is like Corporatism (unequal and compartmentalized). RISC is like Communism (efficient, but poorer at specialized tasks).

And the last issue is instruction length. RISC instructions are all the same length, and with decent out-of-order input will simply execute and output. CISC has instructions that can very a great deal in length and require additional parsing to execute efficiently (This adds additional lag in emulation on PPC).

cbone's picture
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Everytime I see another thing I can do with my 2016 32-bit 16GB 2GB RAM Quad-Core Chromebook if I dump Chrome OS and install a Chromebook-ready distro it makes me ponder the PPC Mac OS possibilities and compromises!

My Flipbook does Android and Chrome OS perfectly, which is a lot of power under the hood in itself (plus 68k) Smile, but with something like Gallium, I could (most likely) run the ARM version of QEMU as well as any ARM-based Linux apps. However, Gallium has a less-polished look-and-feel to it than Chrome OS. I think I'd lose the Android apps I'm use daily. I mean, 2GB RAM is not a whole lot to run both OSes via Crouton, or whatever that setup's called. Basilisk II should be easy enough to run like I do now.

cbone's picture
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Nice! I wonder if iRaspbian would work at all on a small MiniPC? I ask because I got a Liva-X Mini PC 2GB/32GB eMMC with no OS about right before Christmas in 2015 that I put Elementary OS on for its OSX-like desktop.

OpenSourceMac's picture
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Deepin OS is hands-down the choice for Linux (at least if you have an AMD GPU). Pretty dang nice.

cbone's picture
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Oh, I've drooled over that option more than once Smile so you're thinking that Deepin may fare better, or actually run, on my Liva X Mini PC vs. iRaspbian, which is really a Raspberry/ARM distro then? I'm forgetting now what made me pause on Deepin. I think I looked at the Deepin desktop using, was it a specific Debian base? To be fair, I hadn't thought of my Liva X since recently, so I may have a chance to revisit that Linux desktop and/or OS for it. OSM, you're so dangerous to talk to, lol!

Bolkonskij's picture
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As much as I salute any efforts that involve Mac OS, I wish someone would either create an FPGA or write a core for an existing one. Like e.g. the Vampire V4. With it's 68080 CPU it would be a 68k Mac on steroids and would at least make one fellow Mac Garden member a very very very happy man (hi m68k! Smile )

I know someone once tried to write a core for the MiST FPGA (essentially mimicks a Mac Plus) but it has been abandoned a long time ago. It's really a bummer there's no hardware wizard in the community ready to tackle the issue and create a Classic Macintosh FPGA. (add to that a kickstart project for plastic SE/30 cases -> has been done before) and you'd get an awesome new hardware.

Alright, I was just dreaming. Back to topic ...

Jatoba's picture
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Joined: 2018 Apr 16

Essentially the 68k counterpart of having a Talos II boot OS9 with POWER9 processors? Tongue Nice.

But I agree, I prefer this over any emulation attempt: don't emulate it on the new, bring it to the new instead.
Well... easy for me to say...

cbone's picture
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So how much faster would the Vampire V4 68k hardware compared to the fastest 68k processors systems Apple came out with? In that group, the Quadra 840av had the fastest processor followed by the super-expandable QUadra 950. I always loved the first superfast Mac, the IIfx Smile

Would some form of 68k Mac emulation even work on a Vampire V4 bring native chip speeds w/out having to do major driver surgery? Or would such an emulator face the same issues as it bridges the gap between the two OSes?

Bolkonskij's picture
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As it stands, an Amiga equipped with a Vampire and Shapeshifter is about the fastest 68k Macintosh you can get. It's faaasst. Knezzen has such a setup. I'll send him a link and ask him to post his experience Smile

cbone's picture
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I figured as much, that sounds like a real sweet Mac for sure! Wink and as many might remember, Mac OS was so fresh and new back in the 68k days, with a slew of apps, Photoshop 4, PageMaker, Superpaint, Freehand, Word 5 and FileMaker, not even counting the sweet shareware, extensions and games galore! I remember how folks would be wowed by all they could do back then. The av and audio voice command features built for the 68k av models were amazing, as were the av peripherals Apple designed for them, all part of System 7, the sky truly was the limit!

I'm sure the av display and ergo adb keyboards should be adaptable to the Vampire, oh man, just to think such possibilities exist, woohoo! Laughing out loud

Knez's picture
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The Amiga 600 with Vampire II sure is borderline insanity in terms of speed. And it's amazing to use your 68k "Mac" in 720p resolution as well, in millions of colors. By far the best 68k Mac experience I've had (at least in terms of raw power) for a long time. The only other machine that comes close is my SE/30 with a DiiMo in it (50mhz 68030), but that's for other reasons Wink.

Should post some benchmarks of it perhaps.

cbone's picture
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Some benchmarks would definitely be awesome! My Chromebook's Basilisk II can display its desktop in 1080p, millions of colors, but the actual emulators speed's just nonexistent for anything serious, at least on my 'book's RK3288 chip. Word 5's peppy on it as well as anything simple, but I'd love to be able to run some heavy stuff, like QuickTime video editing and playback or some real 68k Photoshop work)The quickest and favorite 68k was my Performa 630 with an av display, special mike and ergo keyboard, although the keyboard was rather clunky to use in the real world compared to other Apple adb keyboards.

By the way, how's QuickTime 4 on your pimped out Amiga 68k Mac? I'm sure it runs circles around anything we've tried! I'm thinking Cinepak video playback would be gorgeous on it, and drive space shouldn't be an issue on it either!

An app from the Garden to definitely try out on your AmigaMac is ImageViewer, specifically the 68k 5.32 version Smile it can create a catalog of videos, think of a very rustic VLC for Mac, or even the 'real', older version of KMPlayer.