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nglevin

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  1. I can't speak to what it would take to replace an existing ROM, but flashrom does support copying PowerPC firmware to a file, even though it's hard for me to determine what's supported given that the listings under supported hardware refer to firmware chips, and I don't know exactly which ones Apple used. This was the original announcement thread regarding flashrom working on PPC Macs to explain how it works. You might have to find an older version of Ubuntu that runs on PowerPC to pull this off "easily", but there should be something lurking around that you can boot from a CD-R with a recent flashrom on it. If you can't just download it from the package manager "apt-get". I believe flashrom also has the capability to overwrite as well as dump the existing ROM. Chances of bricking your Mac are high since I haven't seen anyone do this yet. However, this is the tool that people that like to take risks use to unofficially upgrade Mac Pro firmware in a Mac OS X GUI wrapper, such as upgrading a 4,1 to resemble a 5,1. YMMV, especially considering Open Firmware is certainly not exactly the same as EFI and UEFI.
  2. nglevin

    Finally a Quadra 700

    I never did play around with A/UX much to see Commando, the Mac-friendly way to interact with a UNIX shell. Instead I did the dummo thing of trying to run as many Mac apps as I could, which sort of misses the point of what it's good at. Did you put Bash on there?
  3. I have just subscribed to your blog, and I'm really looking forward to having a HyperCard that I can run as a curiously black and white app in modern OS wrappings. Photoshop 1.0 looks great, too.
  4. I agree that it's strange, but I've had a totally different bucket of issues with G4e ZIFs, enough to give up and replace it later with a cheaper, more stable G4 ZIF @ 500 MHz. A bad RAM issue would easily manifest in the virtual memory hungry Mac OS X, Mac OS 9 doesn't really exercise that part of the computer. I think the only version of 9 that Sonnet officially supported with those G4e ZIFs was 9.2.2. My copy did come with a special set of drivers for Mac OS 9 support, which I think were largely for the L2 cache. That was version 2.3.1 of the Crescendo/Encore drivers. The last thread on these upgrades reported other stability issues, so you're not necessarily alone, although it seems nobody has the same set of issues. Personally I like 10.2.8 on these old Macs the best. It's something that only Power Macs of this vintage can run, and it's got its own funny quirks. Very different from what we take as "modern" Mac OS X.
  5. Three beeps usually implies something's wrong with your RAM. I don't think 9.2.2 works on that machine, or at least not unless it's a hacked version. The Aluminum PB was one of those machines that shipped with a Classic setup CD-ROM and Panther or Tiger. Still works great with Leopard, that's what I have running on mine.
  6. nglevin

    MDD G4: $70 a good price?

    I agree. RISC-V is about where ARM could have gone, if it wasn't for the IP issues and licensing. Which likely got more complex after Softbank swallowed ARM whole. We'll see. It's early enough in its hype cycle that my enthusiasm is extremely tempered at the moment.
  7. nglevin

    MDD G4: $70 a good price?

    This support document does a good job of laying out the situation; https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT208436 Unless there's an unprecedented about face in the next iteration after Mojave, all signs point to "yes".
  8. nglevin

    MDD G4: $70 a good price?

    The biggest problem with the ARM ISA has been, and will likely continue to be, that Apple has an impossible to acquire license to make their own variants on the design, and Apple appears to make the best ARM chips. Which is a nicer way of saying that stock, unmodified ARM is not really that impressive compared to POWER and even SPARC. If Qualcomm or Samsung wanted to get ARM there, that would make the industry more interesting, but Samsung's working on POWER10 and Qualcomm's happier to stay with embedded devices. I don't know. I would have thought that emulators would have knocked out the market for fast Quadras, but they ended up making a reasonable comeback on the second hand market as the supplies collapsed. We are about less than a year out from 32 bit Mac OS X software being unusable on what will be the latest iteration of macOS, and maybe there will be a special Apple ARM laptop to go with it. It will be interesting to see where things land later this year, going into the next.
  9. nglevin

    MDD G4: $70 a good price?

    Mostly chiming in as a bystander to it all. Raptor Computing Systems is indeed the POWER9 workstation company, and they're about to ship a $1k-ish MSRP mini ATX variant of the Talos II called the Blackbird next quarter. I'm eager to get my hands on one as I've been really curious about POWER9 since ClassicHasClass was blogging about its uses as an emulation host for AIX, PPC Mac OS and Mac OS X and when there was some talk about what it would take to make a viable not-Intel platform for the data center. Google has a data center design called Zaius and Rackspace has a separate design that they've been playing around with, by my understanding. All three vendors make some appearances in trade shows to show off recent OpenPOWER developments. I'm fairly certain that Tyan dropped out of OpenPOWER after shipping a POWER8 board, and I don't believe Gigabyte has been involved in some time. POWER10 will be interesting as there's some big names attached to its development, which I suspect is mostly herded by continuing interest in not-Intel in the data center. POWER9 is a really neat curiosity, but certainly not a cost effective solution for individuals at this time.
  10. nglevin

    Extracting SIT files on Macintosh Classic

    Addressing this a bit more on the nose, StuffIt 5 (1998) was when the format changed a fair bit, and most files you'll find on the internet that are ".sit" files are probably StuffIt 5 files. Before then, StuffIt files were dependent on resource forks that weren't particularly friendly to non-Mac file systems. If we want to be period specific, there were several other formats like MacBinary, and BinHex which were what were really used to send Mac files across the Mac unfriendly skies. Those two are a fair bit faster to decompress because they're essentially solutions to preserve the resource fork across file systems and encodings that would otherwise strip that metadata (in a sense) away. Long story short, StuffIt is terrible for compact Macs unless you're trying to take a large file and spread it out across multiple floppy disks as a Stuffit self-extracting archive, which was kind of its niche back when StuffIt was popular in the Mac II era through the 90s. Disk Copy 4.2, MacBinary and BinHex are a fair bit better for bridging the Windows world. I believe you can find MacBinary II if you want to shuffle files that way between an emulator on Windows and a compact Mac.
  11. I didn't see you share this, but I would like to add. Seeing this portability layer run on Haiku is very cool: https://mace.software/2019/02/26/progress-on-haiku-port/ Be the Mac OS you wish to Be?
  12. nglevin

    Need boot disk for Mac Plus

    The Apple 3.5 drive should work for Macintosh Plus compatible 800k disks on an Apple IIgs, although you might find it easier to find a Floppy Emu second hand or the next time BMOW has one in stock to cross that bridge. The deluxe Floppy Emu package even has a System 6.0.8 image ready to go. The IIgs also has a problem where the default HFS driver has a data corruption bug, and I don't believe that was fixed until unofficial updates to GS/OS System 6 started being made. Given what you have, I think the Floppy Emu is the easiest way to go.
  13. Awesome! All the funny deaths work. Do you have an issue tracker? The one issue that I am very quickly noticing is that tapping with my Magic Trackpad 2 on the buttons ("BEGIN", "DONE" and the like) only sometimes registers as a click. I have this device set to "tap to click" under Trackpad preferences, rather than require a full press of the trackpad to click. Mac Pro 2013 running macOS Mojave 10.14.4 (Public Beta). If you need more deets, I'd be happy to give them.
  14. I am planning on taking this absurd setup with me to Mountain View representing #TeamPowerPC, with 2 GB of RAM. Wish me luck.
  15. 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.
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