Emulation's fun! - Happy Mac
Welcome to the Guides intro to Emulation, below are instructions and links that will show you how to run games you find on Macintosh Garden.
Macintosh Garden features many abandonware games. These games can be decades old, and therefore were developed for computers and operating systems that are now obsolete. As a consequence, many of the games featured on Macintosh Garden will not work on today's computers. The best way to run these games is to acquire a vintage computer system, but this is not always easy. To help those without old hardware, this wiki will describe how to use emulators to play the games on modern systems.
For best results you should try to emulate the machine that your game was designed for! Check the publishing date of the game for hints. Any host system can run an emulator. This means that users of Mac OS X, Windows, Linux and even more esoteric operating systems can all enjoy the games on Macintosh Garden. The three main emulators you will use are:
Emulates a PowerPC Macintosh that will run Mac OS versions 7.5.2 to 9.0.4. This means that you are emulating a Macintosh setup that was commonly used from about 1995 to 2000. Games published in the late 90s are most stable in SheepShaver. Games that require a PowerPC processor will only run in SheepShaver.
Basilisk II emulates a 680x0 Macintosh that will run Mac OS versions 7 to 8.1. This represents a date range of about 1991 to 1998. Games published in the early and mid 1990s are most stable in Basilisk II.
Games published in the 1980s will usually run best in Mini vMac. Mini vMac emulates a black and white (only) Mac Plus (68000 processor) that can run System versions 1 to 7.5.5. (Work is being done on Mac II support, including color, in Mini vMac.) This represents a date range of about 1984 to 1996.
Keep in mind that there is a lot of backwards compatibility in Mac OS. SheepShaver and Mac OS 9 run a lot of games from the 1980s and early 1990s, and Basilisk II runs many 1980s games with no problems.
Setting up an emulator is easy, and there is a wealth of setup guides available to help you out. Keep in mind that before you begin, you will need a Macintosh ROM image to run an emulator. These can be hard to find. Here is a link that should have some available. Here is another site with the Mac Plus ROM as well as some old systems and software. If those sites go dead, you might have to use your best Google skillz to find one.
You'll also need a copy of an old version of Mac OS to run in your emulator. Versions 6 to 7.5.5 are available for free and the guides below will show you where to get them and how to use them. Later versions (useful mostly in SheepShaver) are not free, so you will have to buy a disc or check the apps section of this website for a copy.
Most games featured on Macintosh Garden are archived in the .SIT format. This format is ideal for extracting on Mac OS 9 and earlier - where you will be running your games. On Mac OS X you can extract these files using StuffIt Expander.
This topic is a guide itself, please read A Beginner's Guide for Uploading Stuff to Macintosh Garden and Uploading games to this website.
If you just want to upload a game, simply create an account and login, then when you click the add game link located at the top right of the website, a form will allow you to enter the new game's details; Game name, file, description, screenshot etc.
What is a ROM? - A 'ROM' image is a file that is created by reading the contents of an Integrated Circuit which is installed in the Macintosh that the file is read from. The ROM file contains data about the exact model, it also contains copyrighted data from Apple. It is vital that you have a ROM file from the exact model of Macintosh that you wish to emulate.
I don't have an old version of Mac OS? - max1zzz has kindly mirrored the Old Apple Downloads for Mac OS 7.5.3, as well as some other versions you may also be interested in. 7.5.x will run most games on Macintosh Garden and is good for Mini vMac and Basillisk II. Later and even earlier versions may be available in the apps section of this site.
Using TomeViewer -
A guide on installing apps on Mini vMac, Basilisk II, and SheepShaver is here. Feel free to improve it!