This page is a wiki. Please login or create an account to begin editing.


49 posts / 0 new
Last post
Bolkonskij's picture
Offline
Joined: 2009 Aug 3
Building up a vibrant MacOS community?

=== First of all, thank you for even bothering to read this! ===

We love our old Macs. They are great machines. Many of them are still capable of "getting things done", just like they always were. Unfortunately, what we lack is a proper kind of retro Mac community that helps us to prolong the lives of our machines and enjoy them even more.

What do I mean?

Take the Amiga community for example. Not only does new software for 68k & PPC Amigas come out every month, it is a very vibrant community with meetings, various web projects and even new hardware add-ons produced as well as replacement parts.

Our old Quadras, SE's, Performas and PowerMacs deserve something like this. Some efforts in this regard have been made over the past few years. The MacGarden is a strong one. LowEndMac helped us getting the most out of our old gear for years. But there is still plenty of work to do.

This is where I’d like to add my share. And I’m looking for link-minded folks who would like to join in building up an infrastructure that helps accomplishing that goal. I want people to start USING their old gear again instead of hoarding them on shelves, to be used once a year maybe.

For the start, I do want to create a website, usable on your Quadra 700 (yeah, 90s webdesign!) that aggregates all the news regarding the (classic) MacOS scene. Be it new software developed, interesting meet-ups annoucements or just pointing out interesting discussions somewhere. Everything System 6 to MacOS 9.2 related. Sort of a classic news page where you’d drop by once or twice a week.

Additionally, I want it to put a strong emphasis on developing for MacOS because that is something I feel we’re lacking. Starting from the question „what program language can I use?“ to detailed tutorials on e.g. how to setup Codewarrior for work. I’ll also add my collection of source code and code snippets I’ve written or gathered over the years. So the idea is really to give folks the information so they can start coding away. Wouldn’t it be fun to actually run new software on our machines?

So what am I looking for? People active in the MacOS community who would like to send in news. Whether you're active in facebook groups, as avid blog reader or users on forums like m68kla or macos9lives - the idea is to get the news out that otherwise remain in some bulletin board topic and are easily overlooked.

Additionally, I'm looking for programmers (or former ones) who would like to share their knowledge with people that want to return to MacOS programming OR start anew.

This project is entirely non-commercial (again, 90s internet Smile ) and we're in cahoots with the MacGarden, so expect some more collaboration in the future.

So what do ya'll think? Would that be interesting? Anyone interested in joining in?

Comments

Antonin29's picture
Offline
Joined: 2018 Apr 10

I would be interested to help; what do you think we do?
(also I think Mac OS X PPC (10.0 -> 10.4.11) should be added to your list of OSes since computer using it are becoming really low end these days and the need to newly programmed apps is becoming real).

systemseven's picture
Offline
Joined: 2016 May 19

i like the idea! there are a fair number of classic mac folks out there, but i feel like most only peek in at one or two favorite boards (myself included) when there are boards dedicated to hardware hacking, DAW recording, document archives, software archives, let's plays on youtube, etc etc.

swamprock's picture
Offline
Joined: 2010 May 31

Say what you will about MacRumors and their forums, but the PowerPC forum is already quite vibrant, and with little-to-none of the whining that goes on in the other subforums there. There are tons of posts about past operating systems, workarounds for newer features in older OS's, optimization, hardware repair and hacking, HOW-TOs for various things, including installing Linux for those interested, coding, and many other things. There are lots of people there that are passionate about PowerPC machines, and think nothing of helping others. Check it out: https://forums.macrumors.com/forums/powerpc-macs.145/

Duality's picture
Offline
Joined: 2014 Mar 1

The one big crit about MacRumors' PPC forums is that they tend to skew heavily towards making PPC (and now early Intel Macs) relevant internet Machines in 2018, like LEM ten years ago. Not as much as other forums on making things with PowerPC computers. And Chromebooks are always going to be better than aging PPC machines at being strictly internet machines, for less money. I think that might all stem from having people look at old machines from a post 1999 set of eyes, where they can't think of what to do on a computer if it doesn't involve going on the internet and checking YouTube maybe. Sad

I prefer the focus of MacOS9Lives, which considers OS 9 as a cheap home for DAWs and synth-assisted audio work. Like the Atari ST a decade or two back. Emagic and MOTU had some software from back then that doesn't quite have a peer in the OS X days.

bbraun@ who used to work at Apple as a Darwin kernel developer had mac68k.info, which once had the best hardware + software development focus of them all. Though the activity fizzled out as he's moved on to other pursuits.

68kMLA is a bit everywhere, most of the talk is around getting old hardware up and running and maybe playing Bolo once in awhile. It can be easy to get lost but the activity seems to be picking up now for some reason.

Don't know where BigMessOfWires is these days. He floats about between forums and has some neat homebrew hardware projects.

kataetheweirdo's picture
Offline
Joined: 2009 Apr 10

Programming languages? Pascal, C, maybe Basic.

As for helping others, that's pretty detrimental for things like emulator development. The big problem is that there isn't enough technically capable people in helping with things like this.

Also, unlike Amigas, Mac hardware tends to be somewhat harder to find documentation for. That said, it isn't impossible, but one does have to dig further into libraries, the Internet, and even the Mac OS itself.

Duality's picture
Offline
Joined: 2014 Mar 1

I think the problem with making a community is; what does yours bring that the others don't?

There are several that started with good intentions but kind of got stagnant as the party stayed elsewhere. ThinkClassic comes to mind. AppleFritter had some interesting hardware hackery but most of the people from there migrated to 68kMLA.

Now there is absolutely a niche left unfulfilled where organizing old Apple developer documentation is... nobody's really bothered to put in the work of archiving and organizing it such that you could search it like a wiki. That would be killer, and it would totally be something that nobody else has done yet.

Emaculation sort of works as far as getting people up and running with classic Mac emulation and to a lesser extent the more modern virtualization solutions. But there isn't a good website to really cover what QEMU today can do in the PPC Mac domain for people who aren't brave enough to compile their own software... though Emaculation has put in some work to make that better, it's still rough.

There are likely other classic Mac specific domains that haven't been covered. If you figure out a specific domain that people are really interested in, I think you'll get some users visiting. Smile

That's what I'd do, anyway. Because the generic "board for classic Mac enthusiasts" pitch is covered by MacRumors, 68kMLA, and Facebook groups each in their own ways.

kataetheweirdo's picture
Offline
Joined: 2009 Apr 10

Most of the Apple Developer FTP is archived and the archives can be found online easily. And there is archives of Apple's developer sites at various points, mainly from the early and mid 00's. But there does need to be a more easily accessible collection of this. It definitely would make emulation of Macs easier.

cbone's picture
Offline
Joined: 2011 Sep 17

You know, tweaking past efforts comes to mind..

One site I found impressive was System7today.com. Dan poured a lot of heart into showing how remarkable the last pre-OS 8 Mac OS was at running on PPC Macs at the time. His website, now existing as an archive, gathered everything freely available ( non-abandonware ) to help its visitors and members get the most out of their Macs.

What you find in a lot of these Mac sites are folks who would love to put some of their present-day visions and wishes into play but like others have mentioned, just don't have the technical know-how on developing for their Macs, like yours truly.

Open-source comes to mind in how it exists to propel the future as a community. Perhaps part of the groundwork that can or even should be done is to get some of the smaller past developers to 'open-source' their work so that others can extend their original software to include features more relevant for today and to take out anything that simply is not useful anymore.

I'd love to find how-to videos demonstrating some programming techniques in action, much like photoshop and illustrator videos of old in order to ignite that developer spirit in old retro-Mac enthusiasts. Perhaps starting a video collection, even on youtube, may be a starting point for this much-needed project..

I'd love to be a part of something like this for sure; if nothing else, because old Macs will always rock 'n roll, lol! Smile

YYsMG's picture
Offline
Joined: 2009 Aug 19

I'd love to see a site that does that sort of thing, news aggrogation would be neat.

I'm not sure about facebook, but the busiest place I check frequently is /r/vintageapple on reddit, which has a lot of decent chitchat.

cbone's picture
Offline
Joined: 2011 Sep 17

Thanks for the reddit link, YYsMG! Had never come across that one before Smile

BryMD's picture
Offline
Joined: 2018 Jul 2

Hi Bolkonsij Smile

I TOTALLY love this idea! As an active Mac OS 9 (and Mac OS X) developer I sometimes hit roadblocks that end up costing me days and days of effective code-churning before any progress. Having all of us crazy enough to still be developing software for OS 9 collected in one place would be a dream come true!

Mac OS 9 Lives kind of already serves some of that purpose, though as Duality mentions, the DAW-section there is the most active by far these days.

cbone's picture
Offline
Joined: 2011 Sep 17

I wholeheartedly agree! Laughing out loud

Bolkonskij's picture
Offline
Joined: 2009 Aug 3

Wow, I'm thankful for all the replies. Awesome. I've thought about writing individual answers to every post but that would be a too huge post and frankly, I'm not sure this would hold interest to most MacGardeneres. Anyway, I'd like to introduce MacOS Today to y'all. I've secretly been building this website over the past weeks. As written above, it aims to bring you the latest MacOS news (that's without an X) to you. Also it aims to collect programming stuff including sources, snippets and How-To guides.

Best of all, I took care that the page works with Netscape 4.08 (thus the 90s-like webdesign). It was tested to work fine on an old 68k Quadra 700. I've also added a links section that only (!) holds websites that can be accessed using your old Macs and Netscape 4.08. Bring your old Macs back online!

On to the idea of creating a forums. I've decided against the creation of yet another Retro Mac board that will have a dozen more or less active users. However, fogwraith and I are currently looking into a way to create a forums that will incorporate the Garden and MacOSToday (and possibly other sites as well, if they're interested). We need to unify the community, not split it further!

Now to you fellow Gardeners - I welcome help when it comes to MacOS Today. Be it either sending in news OR contributing to our programming section by writing tutorials, guides or general information about programming languages. (frankly, I do know my way around C, but I haven't had much experience regarding Pascal, Assembler or RealBasic). So all helping hands welcome!

cbone's picture
Offline
Joined: 2011 Sep 17

Once I figure out why my Basilisk II is not booting on my Android/Chrome OS laptop - I've tried power-washing, new ROMs, all manner of different settings, new boot disks, but still get a no boot disk floppy screen - I will definitely crank my web browsers on my 68k Mac!

That was in fact one of my pet project ideas: to find a nice collection of 90s-friendly sites to use with older macs, mainly to share tidbits from back in the day, but forum-posting capabilities, or even some emailing ones, would be amazing, even though I'm not even asking for that much since Chrome's own browser gives me all the online power I need for that purpose, you know?

Hmm, I wonder how backward-compatible sites can be made to look a little more 2.0 yet still function on old-time browsers that are not solely Classilla? It may come down to old code with new graphics; I do enjoy modernizing old things like that.

off-topic: on another thread I liked the idea of a bug-safe linux alternative to chrome for day-to-day use, which may end up being on my road-map just as long as I can run my emulated macs on those. online safety first, macs right after Smile

fogWraith's picture
Online
Joined: 2009 Oct 23

And I for one am excited about the collaboration with MacOS Today. Without giving too much away at this point and time, a small network built with (at least in my case) and for old Macs in mind where even new technology will be able to re-live the fantastic 90's Wink

What started out as a medium-size project has been growing to something larger, thus, it will be a bit more drawn out, something presentable can be sighted in the horizon though. While the wish to cater to both old and new camps, the work required grows as we're looking at a complete overhaul.

There's already a substantial sum put into new hardware and services, the development and testing continues. Even such a small thing like more servers spread in more countries with automatic server selection based on a visitors location, local and remote failovers in case of server issues (which is working fine, by the way)... takes a bit of planning and even more work.

Early development snap of a template.

Nothing is final, everything is still in active development.

Cheers, Bolkonskij Smile

mrdav's picture
Offline
Joined: 2011 Dec 3

Great idea, Bolkonskij. I see you have started a section on your new web site that gives examples of complete code. My only experience is with 68k Mac coding in Think C that I did for fun as a hobbyist in my spare time to relieve the tedium of means-to-an-end scientific programming using Fortran in my day job. At the time (early 1990s) I collected many tips, hints, code snippits etc from the comp.sys.mac newsgroup to help me (and complement my study of the entrails of various system documentation and books), and I still have these tips etc. Some of these have since appeared in http://macintoshgarden.org/apps/usenet-macintosh-programmers-guide, but there are many that do not. There are also numerous examples of complete code still around the traps on software compilation discs. I am not sure whether any of this would be of interest to you (maybe you already have all this stuff)...it would require quite a bit of organising into some semblance of order so that it could be easily used.

systemseven's picture
Offline
Joined: 2016 May 19

"We need to unify the community, not split it further!"

hear hear, you guys get it!

Dog Cow's picture
Offline
Joined: 2009 Apr 16

I started the Mac 512K Blog for this very reason: there weren't enough sites or blogs that covered all the areas of using, repairing, and programming the vintage Mac. Yes, I have a few articles on programming in assembly language, with more planned to follow.

Since last October, I've written about 40 blog articles, with still a dozen more planned to come.
 
 

adespoton's picture
Offline
Joined: 2015 Feb 15

Well, I'm already active in r/vintageapple and on Emaculation, and I lurk here, but I'll try to keep an eye on MacOS Today as well.

I still run G4 Mini servers, among other things. Old hardware can easily be repurposed for niche tasks (I'm planning to set up a dedicated opds eBook server using PPC hardware one of these days).

Problem is, as we get older, we get more stuff to do and less time to do it in. So nowadays, I mostly limit myself to helpful advice and trying to make headway on my OS walkthrough videos over at apple.wikia.com.

Other unfinished projects that'd be great for others to get interested in:

https://github.com/adespoton/MacROMan - Sentient06's pet project of documenting Mac ROM images; dovetails with the spreadsheet and forum thread on here.

https://github.com/adespoton/kaitai-applebackup - structure definition and documentation of the Apple Backup format, so people can restore their old backups (and Performa disk images). So far it lets you read the archives, but not write out the contents (although it should be trivial to write out the contents to macbinaryII files; I just haven't had the time to do it myself).

https://github.com/adespoton/qemu-vga-driver-custom - I keep a collection of custom qemu VGA drivers for running OS 9 under QEMU in custom screen resolutions. I started this so I could output to standard video resolutions, and since then YouTube has changed the way they encode, but others have expressed the desire for custom sets, so I keep it going.

https://apple.wikia.com/wiki/List_of_Mac_OS_versions - years ago, I found there was lots of confusion about what OS versions were out there, what hardware they actually worked on, etc. Since then, we've ended up with everymac.com, but I try to keep my limited documentation going (and it links into my videos that are rather neglected too).

But it'd be great to have one central place that references all the disparate info scattered throughout the interwebs these days, as there's all sorts of people working on their personal projects, but nobody really tying it together -- I hope http://www.macostoday.com/ can help with that.

[ps: you might want to get Paul Pratt to write something up for programming for Mac OS, as he wrote Mini vMac expressly to support this feat for 68k Macs]

[edit2: You might also want to contact Richard Moss, as in writing his recent book, he's talked to a LOT of the 68k and PPC coders who made the products and games we fondly remember.]

[edit3: also, http://macscene.net/ still exists, although it's somewhat languishing these days. Back when we moved all the emulation.net data over to it, it was focusing mostly on other-system emulation on Mac OS; that's when it was EmuScene. It rebranded a decade or so ago to cover more Mac-related topics. Good place to connect with people and to catch a glimpse into Classic Mac gaming (and emulation).]

cbone's picture
Offline
Joined: 2011 Sep 17

Thanks for posting this sweet roundup of classic Mac sites still kickin' it online!

It's both phenomenal and very encouraging to see active interest and even development in all things classic and it's important for us to to keep the flame going, especially so that any remaining Macs continue to be kept alive and far away from any dumpsters! Getting the word out about such sites to other, active and potential, Mac hobbyists can go a long way by getting more people on board to take some action, however small it may be, you know?

rbshep's picture
Offline
Joined: 2020 Mar 5

But it'd be great to have one central place that references all the disparate info scattered throughout the interwebs these days, as there's all sorts of people working on their personal projects, but nobody really tying it together -- I hope http://www.macostoday.com/ can help with that.

Nice site Smile Would you consider adding user functionality so people could contribute News Items about things like the Mac Mini OS9 project? So for instance, when the folks over at MacOS9Lives release a v9 of this OS, you could find out from a news article rather than wading through several pages of forums posts.

Don't suppose you could add a Wiki too? Even something 'off the shelf' like MediaWiki would be invaluable. I've also posted on this thread examples of specific information that is disparate that I believe urgently needs to be centralized - or it risks being lost to obscurity for good.

I understand about wanting to keep things accessible by original macs - especially for 'Joe User' who wants to find software or code just 'on device' - and there should always be a place for this. Else we're just the same as e.g. the developers that stopped releasing their carbon apps on OS9 circa 2004.

But I also think we as a community need to be accepting of modern tools (like modern code repositories, groupware etc) too. Like anything in life it's a balancing act - in this case between original authenticity and the ability to effectively collaborate as a community using our modern computers.

rbshep's picture
Offline
Joined: 2020 Mar 5

Is there a central wiki anywhere that can be contributed to? I'm a new poster, but long time lurker here. There's so much i've learned, or at least learned exists, but i've had to dig to find it. Like my memory, wayback machine, forums and so on. Like i seem to remember we have 68k, CFM, Carbon, MacApp (and presumably many others!) but no idea what purpose each serves with regard to development! A lot of documentation is dry and intimidating - i found a TIL article about how driver partitions work, and i honestly left none the wiser after reading it.

There's plenty of tweaks which I know exist, but are scattered around the web - like patching Apple CDRom Extensions, using ResEdit to get round needing to confirm after disk first aid runs, changing the text style used by aliases, where the default folder and app icons are stored in the System File Resource Fork etc. There's some things i'd love to do, like create a 'Documents' folder that works properly with 'General Controls' in 7.x, or rename the 'Applications (Mac OS 9)' folder back to 'Applications' in 9.1 and later - assuming these haven't been done already, had a way to debug and diff changes and then work out the tweak - where would i publish this information?

Like how to get round the 'flashing question mark on disk', by using the right tools to fix the filesystem, blessing the system file / folder, installing bootblocks into the HFS wrapper, checking those bootblocks specify the correct system and finder AND checking using Drive Setup or another Partition tool the partition is set to be mounted on boot etc. No one should have to reinstall when they see a flashing question mark. But i bet plenty have / do.

My personal goal with regards to development though would be to document all the version numbers, metadata, and even maybe index the resources of every single extension, control panel, rom, system, and other files that make up all the (installed) classic versions of the Mac OS - including all the machine-specific builds - indicating where they came from. The existing info about the ROMs could be part of this.

I believe such a level of configuration management would be vital.... for those talented enough to debug the PPC or 68k code and patch it accordingly. That's sooo not me - but i've seen some amazing things going on at MacOS9Lives. But it could really use some structure.

A code repository would be amazing (albeit full of lots of binary images - although perhaps decompiling code could be possible?), as well as build scripts that would automatically recombine resources / PEF data. There's a user called NilObject who seems to have made a good start with this specifically.

Imagine being able to get an answer almost immediately as to what were the exact differences between Retail 8.1 and the initial iMac 8.1 build - was it just the Rom file, or anything else? Or the differences between the International English and U.S. English versions of 9.2.1. Whether I could take the 8.6 US and turn it into 8.6 International, based on a 'best guess' approach.

There seems to be a lack of documentation from Apple when it comes to the Apple CPU Software releases, as these seem to have never been made public, only included on restore discs. However, installers for 9.2.2 (e.g. as found on the QS2002 discs) will install CPU-specific help files and CPU software from disk images included with the installer. Imagine being able to build a proper installer for 'final classic' machines like the TiBook 1Ghz, MDD2003, iBook G3. Imagine being able to patch the Installer Tomes using the SDK with newer versions of Quicktime, MRJ, Stuffit, IE etc.

Anyway, i'm grateful to the community as it is for providing what we have. I plan to, in my spare time come up with some simple Tiger-compatible bash scripts for versioning the components for the systems that I have (I think i can use osxutils for that), and then maybe decompiling resources into a filesystem tree and checksumming them. I think i'd need to develop a database to keep track of the resource types, id's, and contents - but first steps first Wink

cbone's picture
Offline
Joined: 2011 Sep 17

Is there a central wiki anywhere that can be contributed to?

That's an excellent question! In the Macintosh Garden itself, there's a few logged entries for basic guides on conduct, emulation, downloading and uploading; all the rest have to be advance searched. I wrote a guide a few days ago, but was unsure about adding it to the Garden's Guides page itself. I'm not sure what other wikis may exist elsewhere online.

My development experience is limited to html coding, bypassing a few software conflicts, and minor resource and icon editing. Even so, I'd personally love to dive into full-blown OS theme editing as well as more meaningful projects, like program editing, such as enhancing existing programs and system extensions and the holy-grail would be to create new programs for 68k and PPC Classic Macs. Just being a part of a team involved with this would be amazing!

When Bolkonskij envisioned 'Building up a vibrant MacOS community?' just a couple of years ago, it motivated me to get my Macs working again because I believe in the vision he had of active collaboration and innovation. These old Macs are able to do so much, the possibilities are without limits, except ourselves, if we work together.

My personal goal with regards to development though would be to document all the version numbers, metadata, and even maybe index the resources of every single extension, control panel, rom, system, and other files that make up all the (installed) classic versions of the Mac OS - including all the machine-specific builds - indicating where they came from.

That would be glorious, rbshep! InformINIT, Extension Overload, pages like this one and sites like Apple-History and EveryMac among many other available resources, can cover a lot of ground as far as what does what and how things work, or don't work, together. But more importantly, I feel that it would be a very worthwhile endeavor for the Classic Mac community!

rbshep's picture
Offline
Joined: 2020 Mar 5

But more importantly, I feel that it would be a very worthwhile endeavor for the Classic Mac community!

My usual weapon of choice for most non-mac tasks is Linux - so i'd be wanting to use Tiger as a 'development' environment - it seems to have tools to access resource forks, and parse / create the data needed - plus bash Wink Also using Tiger instead of Leopard would allow access to Classic for testing things out.

I've been playing around this morning with the DeRez command and i think i've found the resources where the version numbers are stored:

qemu-tiger-ppc:~ testuser$ /Developer/Tools/DeRez -only "'vers' (1:2)" /Volumes/OS9\ Content/System\ Folder/Extensions/CarbonLib
data 'vers' (1, purgeable) {
$"0161 8000 0000 0531 2E36 2E31 2F31 2E36" /* .a�....1.6.1/1.6 */
$"2E31 2C20 436F 7079 7269 6768 7420 4170" /* .1, Copyright Ap */
$"706C 6520 436F 6D70 7574 6572 2C20 496E" /* ple Computer, In */
$"632E 2031 3939 372D 3230 3033" /* c. 1997-2003 */
};
data 'vers' (2, purgeable) {
$"0100 8000 0000 0331 2E30 174D 6163 204F" /* ..�....1.0.Mac O */
$"5320 392E 322E 3220 4578 7472 6173 2033" /* S 9.2.2 Extras 3 */
$"2E30" /* .0 */
};

Oh great! Just when I thought "Mac OS CPU Software" versions were a minefield, it looks like there is a "Mac OS 9.2.2 Extras n.n" 'package' too!

It seems like not every file has a vers(1) resource though:

qemu-tiger-ppc:~ testuser$ /Developer/Tools/DeRez -only "'vers' (1:2)" /Volumes/OS9\ Content/System\ Folder/Mac\ OS\ ROM
data 'vers' (2, purgeable) {
$"0100 8000 0025 055A 2D31 2E30 194D 6163" /* ..�..%.Z-1.0.Mac */
$"204F 5320 4350 5520 536F 6674 7761 7265" /* OS CPU Software */
$"205A 2D35 2E38" /* Z-5.8 */
};

The next thing I need to do is to extract these strings into something vaguely parseable using the usual unix tools I use for munging text (cut, paste, sed etc.)

Although : Something that is going to be a pain going forward with this is Mac OS Roman (and indeed others if we're looking beyond English) text encodings VS UTF-8 - I have no idea what the 'question mark' symbol above is supposed to be - maybe a copyright symbol? Even info on the Text Encodings on a Wiki somewhere would be invaluable (what the hell is Worldscript exactly for instance? How about 'Language Kits' ?)

I'm going to PM NilObject and ask if they would be prepared to collaborate - though my DB skills only extend to mysql really, i'm more a sort of 'everything in text files' type of person Wink

nil0bject's picture
Offline
Joined: 2012 Nov 14

hey.
you can find me on the garden's discord
https://discord.com/invite/76uttrf

WhosIt.There's picture
Offline
Joined: 2014 Aug 23

Bolkonskij:

Take the Amiga community for example. Not only does new software for 68k & PPC Amigas come out every month, it is a very vibrant community with meetings, various web projects and even new hardware add-ons produced as well as replacement parts.

It's a little bit misleading though since in the "Amiga community" there is a lot of rubbish hardware that isn't really an "Amiga" computer ... they are just shelf-standard PCs running an emulator or PPC-based box running what is claimed to be a new version AmigaOS. Neither has any of the hardware features that actually made the Amiga an "Amiga".

The reality is that the Mac has always been positioned and priced as mostly a "business computer" and "education computer", whereas the Amiga and C64 were more affordable "home computers" (despite Commodore's half-hearted attempts to make them business computers) so were bought by many more people.

Bolkonskij's picture
Offline
Joined: 2009 Aug 3

I don't know if it's the fallpits of non-verbal communication, WhosIt.There, but why so hostile? ("a lot of rubbish hardware" etc.) I guess you can talk to five Amiga fans and get five different answers about what an Amiga is. But there's a lot happening in the Amiga scene. I think while the Amiga community has its own problems they are a good example of what can be achieved through commitment and a hands-on mentality. They are clearly ahead of us and an inspiring example.

I do agree with your perception about the Mac as a high-priced business computer vs. the Atari / Amiga. Though in North America the Mac left a footprint in education and many of today's software engineers probably started out playing Oregon Trail and maybe coding Pascal on their elementary school's Macintosh. I'm sure some have fond memories of that and maybe would like to do some fun coding on these machines again. If somehow they could be reminded of that Smile

On a sidenote - seeing that thread from Oct. 2018 means that one year later I'm not much further with my plans for a big MacOS dev site. Damn. I have too few time, really. Anyone interested in joining arms?

cbone's picture
Offline
Joined: 2011 Sep 17

Lol, I got my Basilisk II online as I set out to do, took me a whole two years, but it was part of being a part of building a vibrant MacOS community; so just know that I'm there with you, brother.

Even if all I do are design the icons! Smile as the old saying goes, 'Rome wasn't built in a day'.

rbshep's picture
Offline
Joined: 2020 Mar 5

Anyone interested in joining arms?

Yes! I bet you'd be interested in seeing more "International English" Mac OS releases - even if it's just the correct resources hacked into the U.S. versions Wink

We need a wiki. Seriously. I can imagine leaving all sorts of contributions from my personal knowledge there, and even just keywords / titles for those with more knowledge than me to flesh out Wink

Open Firmware hacks (enabling telnet, changing screen res for upgraded panel in clamshell, enabling fan speed, hacking CPU speed for leopard installer, disabling netboot to speedup OS picker, writing CHRP boot scripts for multi-boot systems like SkyCapt's multiple AHT disc - the default yaboot script leaves me cold) are something else that seriously need documenting too, not just resource tweaks to the system itself.

SkyCapt's picture
Offline
Joined: 2017 Jan 11

I heart firmware hax. Turning off netboot flag is gonna speed up the OS picker? Gotta see, my pickr is very slow thanx to the not one but two sata PCI cards Im using.

Learning new stuff always. I've had PMG4 for 20 years as my numero uno, and it's only jes now I learned I can jump from the Open Firmware prompt to the OS picker by typing "multi-boot". I have a 1000 page book on OF and dont believe that trick is in there. But I've known for some time I can jump from picker to OF with a control^Z. Back and forth, multi-boot - ctrl^z - multi-boot - ctrl^z - wheeee!

The NAME of the "OS picker" has never been standardized. Sometimes they say Chooser, I've seen more names too. I think now it should be hardwired referred to as the "multi-boot" screen bc that is the command to bring it up.

rbshep's picture
Offline
Joined: 2020 Mar 5

Didn't know about Ctrl-Z Wink Also, arrow keys / enter work in some systems too instead of having to click a disk icon Smile

Also, something else great to document would be OF versions / machines they belong to (they aren't accessible to me right now, but i remember having two DLSD boards reporting different version numbers).

And identifying which last-gen PPC's can boot from GPT (interestingly, i seem to remember seeing on the DLSD either nvram or bless reporting one of the OS boot files as being an efi file??)

OF in theory has docs and source available - more so than for Mac OS proper.

Also, SkyCapt, would love to use what you've come up with re: CHRP scripts to build a nice menu system for booting Tiger / Leopard / 9 / MorphOS / Void / Debian / *BSD / AHT / ASD from the hard drive Wink

You could make some of the OS picker icons cbone (either as badges or full icons replacing the disk picture entirely) too! Is "multi-boot" itself written in FORTH? If so, seems ripe for cloning / rebuilding by those far cleverer than i !

cbone's picture
Offline
Joined: 2011 Sep 17

You could make some of the OS picker icons cbone (either as badges or full icons replacing the disk picture entirely) too!

Absolutely! All I need to know is if the OS Picker and/or CHRP scripts have any image file type and/or dimension requirements?

SkyCapt's picture
Offline
Joined: 2017 Jan 11

Multi-boot could be a Forth script, because ctrl^z is the ubiquitous keycode for halting any Forth script.

"Mactracker" has OF version numbers of each model, including original vs updated numbers. On my wish list there should be reported the version numbers of the "memory controllers". I see my MirrorDoor's code using Terminal with
ioreg -n uni-n | grep device-rev
which tells me "device-rev" = <00000024> where I assume this means Unified Northbridge version 2.4 - obviously this particular command works on uni-n models only. There is of course OF equivalents to the Terminal commands.

There are more secrets in the multi-boot, like the E key should eject the disc tray, and other goodies.

My particular way of convenience-booting y'all might find hard to believe. I have toggle switches that power each of my bootable SSDs On/Off. I shut off them all except the one I want to boot, then it boots for me without needing the pickr nor Startup Disk. I shut them ALL off and I can boot USB again without pickr nor Startup Disk. I can "reboot" and during the "bong" turn off the old OS and switch on the next OS. It was a small window of opportunity when I was using software RAID for boot volumes, but I don't do software RAID no more and the timing is a lot more lax. I even have a PATA-33MHz SSD with MorphOS on it and its own toggle switch. When the ones that aren't being used are turned off, they gets an "automatic firewall" between them. Neat, eh.

rbshep's picture
Offline
Joined: 2020 Mar 5

When I get access to my DLSD's again, i'll double check the OF version number against MacTracker. It's strange though, as i can't find anywhere a reference to a firmware update for that model - so why two different OF versions?

I think it's definitely worthwhile keeping track of the OF firmware version - i noticed recently for instance that all of the MDD models are 'PowerMac3,6' - yet some have FW800, and can't boot OS9, arguably making them different machines, deserving of a different model ID. Documenting the existence of firmware patches (to restore OS922 capability on these models) alongside a specs listing would be totally awesome Smile

Keeping things on separate disks seems like a great idea if you have the space Smile Especially in the case of Classic OS where it seems even just connecting another drive causes code from the Driver and Patch partitions to be loaded and ran - potentially a nasty attack vector Sad

I did a (very small - nothing compared to what you've achieved!!) bit of research, and it looks like forth keywords pre-included in OF are likely to have been compiled to a bytecode called FCODE. So it wouldn't be possible to make a (say) 'multi-boot-two' (loaded from a CHRP script) without being able to obtain the source AND decompiling it back to plain-text FORTH Sad

SkyCapt's picture
Offline
Joined: 2017 Jan 11

IKR. I want a way to checksum or dump the bootrom. I think AHT/ASD will tell of pass/fail but without reporting what that checksum is. MDD-FW800 is a different animal than MDD-2002, yup, and the MDD-2003 which came later is even more different. I'll bet wikipedia still claims that MDD-2002 and MDD-2003 are identical. Apple sure did. When they were new, Apple dot con had forums for "MDD" and "FW800" models, no third choice. The 2003 says M8570 on its back, which is a repeat of the 2002 id. But 2002/2003 couldn't be more different, mainly the memory controller chip.

If I run (Extended Test) on my 2003 the AHT v1.2.6 which is for MDD-2002 then tells me logicboard fault "scc" which means system controller chip aka the memory controller. But my logicboard is not faulty, my memory controller is even better than a G5's. Without hypertransport and a bloated southbridge i/o, my MDD-2003 uses that particular free'ed internal bandwidth to allow faster RAM than the debut G5 had. 467 MHz which is what bumps the AGP (also housed in the scc) all the way up to AGP-16x. It was all done deliberately, not just Apple, the whole industry. MDD was the first new motherboard to follow the war of 9/11. They began making computers which gave users access to just half the power.

Multi-boot program is no doubt compressed/compiled. The bootrom is relatively small and tries to hold a ton.

rbshep's picture
Offline
Joined: 2020 Mar 5

If we had a wiki, i'd love to see your MDD tweaks documented there SkyCapt - my most recent eBay mac score was an MDD2003, and I want to push it as hard as you have!

It's been interesting to see your OSX tweaks for this machine too - it'd be good to know which frameworks and kexts can be transplanted into 10.4.11 to make it scream, gfx wise Wink

If you live outside the U.S. and speak English, you might be interested in the International OS9 Content for this machine (scroll down).

SkyCapt's picture
Offline
Joined: 2017 Jan 11

I will document it on my "guest book" page, but I'm busy at the moment, give it a week. So far there I only lay out the OS versions and apps I use.

SkyCapt's picture
Offline
Joined: 2017 Jan 11

Firmware disassembles built in fcode scripts with the "see" command so "see multi-boot" reveals the main routine in Forth, but all subroutines are indicated with the carrot ^ symbol followed by a 32bit address into another part of the firmware rom. Now, how to disassemble those specific addresses of the subroutines?

Typing "see kudos" reveals it's composed of just print (type) statements with newline (cr) statements in between each.

SkyCapt's picture
Offline
Joined: 2017 Jan 11

"disabling netboot to speedup OS picker..."

Indeed. Was 66 seconds from Restart until the busy pointer in multi-boot terminated. With "setenv skip-netboot? true" then it has become only 50 seconds. Booting itself doesn't seem faster (should it?) but when it comes to using the multi-boot, hell ya.

rbshep's picture
Offline
Joined: 2020 Mar 5

Amiga has a 'clean room' reverse-engineered OS - AROS. Mac OS Classic has... erm, nothing.

cbone's picture
Offline
Joined: 2011 Sep 17

And why not, then? Smile

But seriously, wow! Every time I think I've seen it all, there's something new! First it was MorphOS, now there's AROS, and its offshoot as well apparently, called AEROS, a very interesting hybrid.

You know? What would the chances be of getting a Classic 'Mac-on-Linux' deal like this AEROS off the ground? Is this similar to Basilisk II or QEMU, or is it even more integrated into Linux? Its hybrid nature sure makes me think about Apple's old OS being re-envisioned in a similar manner, beyond what we have now: MinivMac, Basilisk II, SheepShaver and QEMU, that is.

rbshep's picture
Offline
Joined: 2020 Mar 5

The only way I could see it happening is through a serious, orchestrated reverse-engineering effort. Modern collabaration tools would be needed - especially wikis, code repositories, and communication.

Access to the above would have to be available via weaker versions of SSL, if Tiger (or Leopard?) were to be used to build (advantage : native hfs support, resource tools). Tools would need to be developed to automate many tasks - not least combining (modified?) object code with (modified?) resources, and to deploy into Classic / Sheepshaver / QEMU for test.

Assembly programmers could (and indeed still do!) work on things. I read something about a PEF (re)builder recently developed on OS9lives to facilitate this.

But for higher-level languages, object code would need to be decompiled from PPC / 68k back to source (C?) - and any Header files, existing SDK docs about Interfaces, Symbol Tables (if they are even a thing on MacOS!) used to reconstruct names of functions / variables / classes / objects.

It's not a piece of cake by any means Sad

You do raise an interesting point about Basilisk and SheepShaver - as a former user of (Amiga) Shapeshifter, one of the things that was stressed in the documentation were that the Mac OS Rom itself is patched to translate certain ROM calls into Native OS routines - rather than something like QEMU or MAME(MESS) which emulates the hardware itself on a lower level. So it's more like WINE or Classic in this regard.

So the source code for (Amiga) Shapeshifter, Basilisk II, and SheepShaver could be very helpful when it came to reverse engineering... perhaps the way things could go forward is by implementing more and more 'hosted' replacements for native code - until most things are documented and understood. I guess this is similar to the approach taken by ReactOS - however, at least we're not dealing with a moving target Wink

m68k's picture
Offline
Joined: 2016 Dec 30

The big difference is that AmigaOS isn't competing with a real life OpSys manufacturer, who employs more lawyers than any reverse engineering project could afford developers.
Apple already crippled the IIgs to prevent having to compete with itself. Imagine what they'd do to any PD-MacOS project?

rbshep's picture
Offline
Joined: 2020 Mar 5

Yet ReactOS and Wine exist quite happily albeit Microsoft

And there have been plenty of lawsuits between the owners of the Amiga IP in recent years unfortunately

cbone's picture
Offline
Joined: 2011 Sep 17

Ouch! I forgot all about the whole 'stepping on toes' part that has plagued even abandonware efforts, let alone reverse-engineering OS projects Sad

m68k's picture
Offline
Joined: 2016 Dec 30

Wine actually once did face a serious legal threat from Microsoft. But both the Linux backers and Wine developers bent over backwards to satisfy MS and its hordes of lawyers. In the end Microsoft discovered that - once they had abandoned XP - there just wasn't enough compatibillity punch left in Wine to warrant an all out war on the penguin crowd.

ReactOS on the other hand is even today nothing more than a sad NT look-a-like. It wouldn't be worth a single law suit, much less an all out legal campaign.

And yes, the inter-suing has plagued the Amiga community ever since the demise of Commodore Inc. But its one thing to face a single underpaid lawyer, representing a nearly broke client, compared to starring down the barrel of Apple's united legal firepower.

adespoton's picture
Offline
Joined: 2015 Feb 15

Well, there's always https://github.com/autc04/executor -- Sure, Executor's not technically an OS, but it runs on Linux.

adespoton's picture
Offline
Joined: 2015 Feb 15

Sounds intriguing... I'm not sure I'll be able to spread myself any further, but I'd be happy to at least comment from time to time. Have you got any feedback from the guys at 68kMLA/MacOS9Lives/LEM/Emaculation/etc.?