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captainserial

PowerExpress/PowerMac 9700 Prototype

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I'm fairly sure I saw pictures of PEXs on this site — on the thread entitled 'haplain's never-ending quest', if I am not mistaken.

 

It has no FCC warning label at the back, the motherboard has 6 PCI slots and 'PowerExpress' written on it, as far as I remember.

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IIRC there should be some detailed pics of the marking on hap's board in that thread. He took them at my request in the process of determining that his complete unit and my bare board are very likely from the same ProtoPEx revision level batch.

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Well, I've looked at all the pictures I think are available of the other known units. Pretty sure mine is a PEX as well.

 

I'm gonna post pictures now so you can guys can weigh in:

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I have class today, so I'm not sure when I'll be back to this thread, but I thought I should mention how dumb I am. I have had this computer for almost 20 years and I always thought it was (just) a PowerMac G3 Beige prototype. I saw some horrific pictures of PRAM battery bursting damage on reddit and pulled it out of storage to check on it. Last time I looked at it, all those years ago... it booted. It has a hard drive with, as I recall, a weird version of MacOS on it.

 

I don't have an ADB keyboard currently, but I'm going to try to get one ASAP.

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Exactly the same sticker info/revision level as mine, it's another identiPEx, hap has a complete unit too, cased and booting.

 

I've got a bare board with the PLCC ROMs and no ROM DIMM. :-/

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PEX. That's a rare bird you have there. And it.... boots?? 

 

 

Ok, so I guess it was more like 15 years ago when I got this computer. I remember booting it then to try to determine what it was. Maybe I used a disk to boot it, my memory on it is fuzzy.

 

I'm afraid to boot it right now, because if it does boot I want to be able to shut it down properly. I don't have a USB card or anything, so I need an ADB keyboard and I actually don't have one.  :-/

 

I have a friend in an IT department who might have one, and if he doesn't find one for me by later today I'll order one on eBay.

 

 

What keyboards were PowerMacs coming with at that time? AppleDesign?

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Exactly the same sticker info/revision level as mine, it's another identiPEx, hap has a complete unit too, cased and booting.

 

I've got a bare board with the PLCC ROMs and no ROM DIMM. :-/

 

identiPEx?

 

Is there a way to copy my ROM DIMM for you?

 

Sorry if these are stupid questions, I've read some of the relevant threads already but there's a lot to catch up on.

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If you don't mind me asking, where about in the world are you located? There's a good chance there's someone around you who could help dump a ROM. 

 

In any case, I'm not sure if these can be dumped like a regular ROM but if they can, and yours boots, you can try using one of the various ROM dump utilities intended for use with programs like sheepshaver or you can try out "Flasher" I have here. Flasher's what came on my TAM prototype and seems to have been the internal flashing\dumping tool Apple used, at least on the TAM. File -> Save ROM will save a copy of the system ROM http://archive.compgeke.com/Programs/Apple/Misc%20Utilities/Gazelle%20Flasher/Flasher.sit

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I taken to calling hap's and my PowerExpress units identiPEx because they're all but twins, now with yours we've got triplets of the same rev level between the three of us. What Video Card is in yours?

 

It will be very interesting to see if the ROM dumps from yours and Hap's are identical.

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What keyboards were PowerMacs coming with at that time? AppleDesign?

 

Any ADB keyboard should work fine, but yes, AppleDesign Keyboard is period correct.

Edited by MJ313

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If you don't mind me asking, where about in the world are you located? There's a good chance there's someone around you who could help dump a ROM. 

 

In any case, I'm not sure if these can be dumped like a regular ROM but if they can, and yours boots, you can try using one of the various ROM dump utilities intended for use with programs like sheepshaver or you can try out "Flasher" I have here. Flasher's what came on my TAM prototype and seems to have been the internal flashing\dumping tool Apple used, at least on the TAM. File -> Save ROM will save a copy of the system ROM http://archive.compgeke.com/Programs/Apple/Misc%20Utilities/Gazelle%20Flasher/Flasher.sit

 

I'm a little less than 3 hours from where you are, by car.

 

My first priority is finding an ADB keyboard or mouse so I can attempt booting it.  I wasn't able to find one at my school today, so I ordered one on eBay, but it can't get here fast enough!

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.  .  . I'm not sure if these can be dumped like a regular ROM but if they can, and yours boots, you can try using one of the various ROM dump utilities intended for use with programs like sheepshaver or you can try out "Flasher" I have here. Flasher's what came on my TAM prototype and seems to have been the internal flashing\dumping tool Apple used, at least on the TAM

 

You put a real bug in my ear with that bit about regular ROM Dumps. PEx' oddball PLCC low level boot ROM setup and what's actually on the firmware on the ROM DIMM itself which takes the PEx the rest of the way from startup chime to happy Mac and then Desktop could be problematic. "Flasher" piques my interest, it being internal to Apple. Might it have switches left over in the code from the PEx project etc. to handle this anamoly? How can a standard dump utility tell the difference between the memory blocks of PLCC and DIMM ICs in the PEx' meshuggeh setup?

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HRMMM? Has anyone ever seen or heard of a booting example of the uber-rare 3-slot PEx Manhattan? :?:

Haven't heard of a booting one... :p

I know Jim Abeles had a Manhattan, though.

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Went to 8 thrift stores today... not a single ADB input device at any of them. Just a single, sad looking Kensington USB board.

 

The eBay keyboard should be here Friday. I have a mouse coming too but no tracking number for it yet. Keyboard should be enough though.

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Goody goody gumdrops! [ :D]  You can probably imagine my excitement over your discovery and anticipation of that arrival. I've had to be content with listening to the startup chimes of my ROM DIMM deprived bare PEx board on an annual basis (approximately) for going on fifteen years now!

 

edit: Does anybody know Jim Abeles? I'd love to know if his PEx Manhattan ever booted. Is that info on his site? Got linkage?

 

Yo! Captain Z! Are you still lurking about?

Edited by Trash80toHP_Mini

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Why does someone think Abeles has or had a Manhattan? Is someone buddies with him? Gossamer he had, but .. a Manhattan? Only heard of one of those mythical beasts.  

 

jt, I'm rootin big for ya man, btw :D

Edited by MJ313

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THX, should PEx-in-a-Drawer ever achieve bootable status, it's headed into a clear plexi display case hanging above the pet IIfx, its umbilical connected to an external PSU/Utility Cable box tucked away between the two 21" CRT TPDs it'll be driving like it's a friggin' Cube or TAM rock star  .  .  .

 

.  .  .  but I'm definitely not holding my breath. ::)

Edited by Trash80toHP_Mini

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...its umbilical connected to an external PSU/Utility Cable box tucked away between the two 21" CRT TPDs it'll be driving like it's a friggin' Cube or TAM rock star  .  .  .

 

8-)

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Goody goody gumdrops! [ :D]  You can probably imagine my excitement over your discovery and anticipation of that arrival. I've had to be content with listening to the startup chimes of my ROM DIMM deprived bare PEx board on an annual basis (approximately) for going on fifteen years now!

 

Oh yes, I understand. I stare longingly at TriPEx™ every day and suppress the urge to boot it and then pull the plug at the desktop. My SCSI2SD and PRAM batteries arrive today, and the mouse gets here Saturday.  :)

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That's for sure a pex. I have 2 at this point and all the marking are right. What a sweet unit.

 

I know Jim well and will ask him about his Manhattan... if he has one.

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