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nglevin

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  1. That makes some sense. Before Metal, Quartz Extreme (terrible name btw) backed each window with a GPU buffer via clever use of OpenGL textures. Texture calls are easily the most bandwidth heavy interaction between CPU and GPU, because you're streaming relatively large buffers of image data instead of abstract draw calls and commands. AGP has some features to avoid copying from CPU owned memory to GPU owned memory and some other clever bits, which PCI can't really compensate for. Core Image is a higher level abstraction that was architected with an interface for CPU based rendering and GPU based rendering, and it gives developers the option to let the OS choose or for them to demand one device over the other. On the CPU, it's SIMD based vector processing of image transforms, which is Altivec on PowerPC, and on the GPU it's a slightly heavyweight abstraction over the already heavy OpenGL abstraction for doing similar commands with OpenGL 2.x shaders on GPU textures. Despite that overhead over plain OpenGL, GPUs are made for extremely parallel computation so the act of performing, let's say, a blur filter on the GPU ends up being really fast once that image data is in the GPU's buffers. Back when I was playing with these bits, I was pretty impressed by that line where the CPU was better for the job than the GPU, it's not all that obvious! Thinking on this all a bit, it makes sense that the C2D Mac Minis were great and the Core Solo and G4 Mac Minis were not as good at Leopard. The two cores left a CPU free to compensate for a lacking Intel GMA GPU (which already had some OpenGL operations running as a SIMD operation on the CPU thanks to Apple's OpenGL driver). Those lacking Intel GMA GPUs had some of the same problems as the budgety Radeon 9200 and then some.
  2. I’d try it to laugh at the results. I’m already using ATI’s 9200 driver with a later iteration of ATI Displays, which has this very funny checkbox to boost PCI graphics performance at the expense of every other PCI device connected. The best part is it seems to actually work pretty well... it seems to have made more of a difference for games than the Altivec. There are several net-negative performance tweaks to OS X that still get shared around that I find.. well, I wasn’t laughing when I had ITish responsibilities. One is turning on QuartzGL, the other is disabling Spotlight indexing on root (not the same as turning off Spotlight entirely, which is not possible, as it's needed to associate files with apps among many other less obvious things) The former buffers rendering to a degree that scrolling’s great and everything else stinks. The latter causes Mac OS X’s ability to find out binary files via metadata to break, which forces Apple software like Xcode and Final Cut to find files through hard coded paths that will cause them to subtly break in ways that users don’t understand. Very fun to explain how your break points in Xcode will not work for cloud builds because of this hot Spotlight tip.
  3. TenFourFox is interesting on a 500 MHz G4. Hmm. Camino used to be my favorite OS X Tiger browser, its former team lead went on to drive much of Apple’s Safari development during the HTML5 days. It is probably one of the better performing options but at the end of the day, it’s based on an old Firefox build that’s not very secure to use unless you turn off plugins, JavaScript and Java.
  4. So... heading wayyy back to this thread, I feel like I've got some sharing of notes regarding what I've done with my B&W now that I have a PowerPC 7410 ZIF and Tiger to play with. Nothing fancy! Here's what I did: Started with Mac OS 9.2.2 (no idea what was the original install media, sorry). Installed the Sonnet Encore/Crescendo G4 patch for Mac OS 9 version 2.3.1 to hack the B&W firmware to accept G4 ZIFs again. Installed the ZIF ( almost forgot to write down this step! ) Installed Mac OS X 10.4 Tiger from the version that came on four CD-ROMs by restarting the Mac, holding down the "C" key to boot from CD, and let it install without anything else special. The Startup Disk X control panel wouldn't let me boot from the Tiger CD, I had to reboot with the C key for the Tiger installer to do anything. ...After more than 12 hours of Tiger, I got bored of Tiger for being a little buggy, not modern enough like Leopard and not different enough like Jaguar, so I'm in the process of replacing it with Mac OS X 10.2 Jaguar... which also shipped on CDs... With Tiger, everything worked out of the box with the Sonnet ZIF. A thread that's nearly twelve years old reports that the Sonnet ZIFs don't need any jumper block changes, and that's consistent with what I've seen. My 7410 ZIF is automatically bumped to run at 500 MHz without any changes. Jaguar needed a SonnetCache Enabler 1.4 for Mac OS X to see the Sonnet ZIF's L2 cache, but that's the only other thing that I've seen it needs so far. In my opinion, Jaguar seems happier on a G3 and early G4. The software that requires Tiger at a minimum really wants beefier GPUs to take advantage of Core Image without taxing Altivec. EDIT: I have a budget Radeon 9200 in this B&W. It's better than a Rage but it doesn't have the right DX9-era features to make Core Image and Quartz Extreme work. Those are the bits that Tiger wants and Leopard needs... which explains why some G4 Mac Mini impressions on OS X were so lacking, between the 9200 and the very slow hard drive it came with. That doesn't help with the web browser problem. The worst tradeoff of Jaguar is that it came with Internet Explorer, with Safari 1.0 introduced with the 10.2.8 combo update. Both are positively ancient in all the bad ways. I'm coming to the conclusion that recent TenFourFox is too slow for any G3 or early G4 and as far as good Tiger browsers are concerned, Camino's last release is exactly one year older than Classilla. I'm running every browser with Java and JavaScript turned off and all plugins uninstalled, and the experience of using the modern web is... awful, still. Not awful compared to a Chromebook, awful compared to my PowerBook G4 running Leopard, which already limps along in its own ways when web browsing. One issue that I'm having with this B&W is that I can't get the keyboard combinations to select between multiple partitions in Open Firmware to work, at least "Option" at boot isn't doing anything. I'm having to switch between Mac OS X and Mac OS 9 through their respective flavors of Startup Disk. This reminds me of a similar problem I had back when I owned a Sawtooth, I'm wondering if I have the keyboard combinations wrong for this early version of Open Firmware.
  5. Very cool! When my POWER9 Blackbird board arrives (...someday!...), I'll have to get a FireWire 400/800 card to try this out.
  6. I had a link to a BYO enclosure kit that was selling on eBay for less than $10 earlier but that sold out fast. All told, if you know what products to search for and they're not called out on eBay as a FireWire enclosure (L@@K Steve Jobs etc etc), they tend to sell for peanuts. The thing about repartitioning is that you can do it in a non destructive way with Disk Utility on the Mac OS X Leopard installer DVD. As long as you have a backup handy, you can squeeze in a second partition that's 4 GB or less and easily destroyed when you don't need it. Tiger didn't have the nondestructive partitioning capability.
  7. The G4 PCI, you mean the one that was based on the B&W/Yikes! board? That one has a funny FireWire output, IIRC, that doesn't support the feature. This is all going by memory, but Beige G3 Macs supported SCSI Target Disk Mode, and AGP G4 Macs supported FireWire Target Disk Mode. I'm not entirely sure I follow what you're trying to do, as the FireWire enclosure + Target Disk Mode on the Mac Mini G4 is entirely feasible and not hard to get up and running. If you don't want the enclosure, I'm not quite sure how to do this with a Yikes!.
  8. There's a couple of places to point to about the software-based floating point implementation in QEMU. Past a certain point, old Emaculation threads go over much of the material rediscovered here about where QEMU is and where it needs to go. That was nearly two years ago. The latest prerelease builds of QEMU 4.0 address accelerating Altivec instructions, maybe that touches on floating point as well. I'll have to ask around to see how to get that building from source, but I'm in the middle of starting something work-life related so that's not going quickly.
  9. Very interesting! This project seems different from Advanced Mac Substitute, which Ars Technica covered recently: I suppose these are different efforts? Neat that we seem to have some friendly competition in this effort.
  10. I shall +1 to this because I think this would help clarify some things. There's a point to which this is clearly fleacore , the act of buying up someone else's eBay junk and seeing what helps, what doesn't, to make art. I do really dig that spirit. The other side of that coin is, please don't take the seemingly-negative feedback personally. Some of us have been down this road, to varying degrees. For instance, I have bought a G4e (1 GHz?) upgrade for my own B&W that absolutely was not worth the cost with the limited 66 Mhz bus speed, when it was working. Since I've been unable to boot with it, I've left that thing unused in a box on a shelf. Both because it's a pain to get up and running, and because my far less expensive second hand PowerBook G4 absolutely trounces it. There are other misadventures that I can personally attest to. Some of which involved taking a kitchen knife to a Quadra 700 case when I was very young to jam in more hardware than the compact Mac II case was made for. I'll also admit to consigning a Newer Tech Quadra Overdrive to a box that I've never been able to recover when I found a stock Q650/Q800 logic board with a PDS cache card ended up suiting my needs better. Uh, don't tell the people looking for a QuadDoubler that. None of this guidance, I'll state outright, is intended to make you feel dumb or that you're doing this in a horrible way that you should feel bad about. We've all gone down our own treacherous roads and some in our limited experiences were more rewarding than others. We're sharing notes to figure out what is working, and how not to go broke on retro hardware. If I've stuck by this forum it's because it's seemed friendlier than others, and it's had more activity lately. Take that for what it's worth.
  11. I'll put out there that on Mac OS 9, given how much RAM you are probably not using if you've got anything close to a gigabyte, you can solve most every disk I/O problem cheaply and efficiently with RAM DISK. I can only think of a few situations where disk I/O is a problem on anything post-Nubus, post Mac II and Quadra era Apple hardware (linking stage of compiling apps, streaming video, database operations that aren't backed up by strategic use of indexes). None of which are activities that Mac OS 9 is likely to do today. EDIT: Recalling the original reason for the bridge Mac, being to use a web browser. You could do as I've done on a Quadra and put the web browser's cache directory in a location on a RAM disk. I've never really felt like this was useful on a G3, where I have Mac OS 9 running off a CompactFlash card connected directly through ATA to the logic board.
  12. nglevin

    Link Mac SE with MacMini via AppleTalk?

    "The Definitive Guide to Connecting Your SE/30" covers all of this extremely thoroughly. We have a sticked topic for it up above the Compact Mac forum. http://www.applefool.com/se30/ Check "Apple Filing Protocol Ethernet Networks" to start, because it's AFP that won't fool with your resource forks and plays nice with Macs. AppleShare 2.0.1 also has its own section under "More Info" for System 6 users that want to have their System 6 machines act as hosts for file sharing. System 7 comes with some simple capabilities for lightweight file sharing and hosting without installing extra software, which is also covered in the guide above under MacTCP (before 7.5.3) and OpenTransport (post 7.5.3) within the "System 6 through Mac OS 9.2.2 Setup" section of AFP Ethernet Networks.
  13. nglevin

    Sonnet Quaddoubler project

    I think the last three are the Newer Technology Quadra Overdrive. Similar layout to this one.
  14. I don't think it's worth struggling to get OS 9 and OS X to share a partition. OS 9 will never need as much space as Mac OS X for anything besides raw media. You can very easily partition HFS Extended (aka HFS+) to squeeze in another OS. I actually just did that on my PowerBook G4's boot drive to cram in a new 16 GB Tiger partition from what was previously a one partition, 256 GB Mac OS X Leopard Server drive. The partitioning was done by Mojave via FireWire Target Disk Mode. And 16 GB is more than plenty for classic Mac OS... 4 GB or 8 GB will be fine, too. I'm a bit curious what you need Panther for since Tiger was essentially a refined Panther. That aside... Yes, that's what AppleTalk is for. The System 7 Today walkthrough for getting that set up with System 7 and Leopard is very similar. "Mac OS 8.1" is very similar to System 7, the only parts that would be different would be dealing with some Tiger bugs around AppleTalk. I imagine Jaguar would be better for this, though.
  15. nglevin

    Sonnet Quaddoubler project

    To cast the net a bit wider, the 50 MHz Newer Technology Quadra Overdrive upgrades were easier to find, and should work even better for any 68040 machine expecting a 25 MHz 68040. One was apparently sold on eBay as an Amiga 4000 upgrade. I've never found the Sonnet version in the past decade and a half that I've been collecting old Macs.
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