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Mac Upgrade Treadmill: What are the minimum amount of Macs to go from System 3.2 to 10.10?

IPalindromeI

Well-known member
In the Windows world, you've seen videos of upgrade marathons going from Windows 1.0 to Windows 7/8. This /may/ be possible on Windows, but it requires 3 architecture swaps on a Mac. Using the same SCSI disk/partition, hopefully, (maybe it requires a disk swap) can you start at 3.2 (the first OS to allow installation) and then upgrade your way to Yosemite?

I think the easiest starting point is a Plus, as it can run early Systems, all the way up to 7.5.5. At that point, the other problem is you need either two PPCs or one hot-rodded enough to go from 7.5.5 to Tiger/Leopard, which depends on what Intel Mac you use. The suggested single-PPC would be a 9600 with a G4 upgrade card, which theoretically can limp its way to Tiger. On the Intel side, the easiest solutions are a MacPro1,1 hackintoshed up to Yosemite, a MacPro3,1 starting at Leopard, or a 2007 MacBook Pro.

Other suggestions include using a 32-bit clean IIx to get to 8.1 and then using an iMac1,1 or beige G3, which would be less ridiculous than the 9600.

The other problem is how old Systems (1.x and such) can run on a Plus, (just to swap floppies as an upgrade until 3.2 becomes installable) HFS to HFS+ conversion, big disks in a Plus, (can you just use multiple partitions then remove them, then expand? or set up an HFS+ partition) unbootability of HFS+ on 68k, and Apple Partition Map bootability on Intel.

 

Gorgonops

Moderator
Staff member
Man, someone would really have to have a lot of time to kill to want to sit around and install every version of Windows from 1.0 to whatever...

And also, thinking about that, if whoever was doing it was doing it *right* and matching a contemporary version of DOS to each Windows they install they'd have to at *minimum* reformat/repartition the disk... a bare minimum of twice... it depends, I suppose, on whether you were to let the person doing it get away with installing Windows 1.0 on a disk formatted with Compaq DOS 3.31, the first version of DOS that supported FAT16B's 2GB maximum partition size vs. previous versions' 32MB limit. The two *barely* overlapped each other as "current" products but I guess if you let that fly you could in theory go from 1.0 to XP on the same partition. But you'll still be boned when you get to Vista, which ain't fitting in 2GB period.

 

360alaska

Well-known member
I'm going to say 4...

A Macintosh Plus for systems 1.0 to 7.5.5

A LC475 will support 7.1-8.1

a Blue & White Powermac will take 8.5 - 10.4.11

A 2008 Mac Pro will do systems 10.5-10.10'

These systems will support these Mac OS versions without any "Hotrodding." Of course they might need a ram upgrade...

 
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IPalindromeI

Well-known member
The problem being you need to meet at the versions (a Mac having 7.6 minimum when your Plus has 7.5.5 won't work)

Two PPCs is probably the best bet. Say, 9600 and a G4.

 

360alaska

Well-known member
What do you mean "meet at the versions?"

A LC475 will run 7.1 - 8.1 so I don't see the problem?

 
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360alaska

Well-known member
Can you do it with fewer systems? Yeah, I have a 7600 with a G4 card, But I my list is composed of stock systems... Not systems with hard to find upgrade cards...

 
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360alaska

Well-known member
For you to do it in three you would need a computer that can run 7.6 - 10.4 Eh? a 9600 + accelerator would probably do the trick...

 

tanuki65

Well-known member
I say Plus (1.1-7.5.5, 160MB SCSI Disk) then a 7600 (7.5.3-10.4, XPostFacto to http://www.jump-ing.com/?en/Projects/Tiger_on_7600 10.4), then a Mac Pro 1,1 (2006, 10.4-10.10 with hacking).

With this setup (which requires LOTS of hacking, specially for Tiger on 7600) you can go for 30 years of OSes on 3 Macs. (But, a Plus under 7.5.x and a 7600 under 10.x will both be very slow. I suggest System 7.0.1 (with a hard disk) for the Plus, Mac OS 7.6.1 for the 7600, and 10.10 for the Mac Pro. OS 8 might be good for the 7600, but I love 7.5.x/7.6.x)

 

Gorgonops

Moderator
Staff member
I wasn't saying it hadn't been, I was just pointing out:

A: Whoever would do this must not have a whole lot happening in their life to *want* to do it, and:

B: That if one were to do this "right" and run the DOS-based versions of Windows on matching contemporary versions of DOS you wouldn't be able to do this without repartitioning and reformatting the hard disk several times. Less than ten seconds into that video you can see that the person who did this used exactly the cheat I suspected, which is they used "MS-DOS 7.10", which is an (illegal) repackaging of the DOS component of Windows 95-OSR2/98/ME, so they could use a large FAT32-formatted disk partition to do their little dance on. So... no, they cheated and the video is a lie.

Or, at least, it's not directly comparable to the situation you'd be dealing with trying to cycle through the whole pile of Macintosh System versions. The best way to describe what they did here would be if there was a way you could use most of... let's say MacOS 8.6, (IE, a version of the "classic" MacOS that has HFS+ support and shipped with the "Sawtooth" AGP G4 which is also a machine that go all the way to Leopard with a couple minor upgrades) as your "base" and could just install and run the Finder from ancient versions on top of it. (Until you reached the point of upgrading to 9.0, of course, at which point you'd upgrade the whole OS.) You can't of course do that on MacOS because the GUI and "underlying OS" are glued together far more intimately than DOS and Windows are, but that's my whole point.

*IF* you were to do it correctly and say that you had to start with installing Windows 1.0 on top of MS-DOS 2.11 or 3.1 you could still probably get away with one piece of hardware (although compatibility with DOS versions as old as 2.x is spotty even in AT class machines) but, again, you'll be reformatting the disk drive a bunch of times. Lying cheating video is a lie.

 
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Gorgonops

Moderator
Staff member
Not quite, at least if you're going to include every point release and all OS X versions. Sheepshaver poops out at 9.04 (9.1 and later require an MMU which Sheepshaver doesn't emulate), and obviously the Intel Mac isn't going to run anything prior to OS X 10.4. (And there you actually run into another problem: is there an Intel Mac that shipped with 10.4 that'll go all the way to 10.10? Looks like *maybe* the 2007 iMacs might fit the bill?) I suppose there was that "PearPC" emulator, you might be able to run *some* of the PPC-only OS X builds on that.

In any case that's an even bigger cheat than the vFat-capable DOS thing the guy did in the Windows video, of course. Might as well make a video where you start with an ENIAC emulator and "upgrade" yourself through the entire history of electronic digital computers since 1945. There are emulators for a quite a few famous mainframes and minicomputers out there...

 
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