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Trash80toHP_Mini

Landmark 32nd Anniversary of the revolutionary 32-bit Macintosh II

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There's no time for prepping an incredible birthday present like maceffect's Clear Case for the Macintosh SE/30. But March 2nd marks the 32nd anniversary of the first open architecture, 32-bit, 68020 powered COLOR Macintosh.

 

Seven year update: https://www.macworld.com/article/1167123/the_macintosh_ii_celebrates_its_25th_anniversary.html

 

 

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Not all that expensive really, given its place in the market of the times, as the article points out:

 

Quote

When released, the Macintosh II was not only the fastest Macintosh ever produced, but it was one of the fastest PCs in the market. In a 1987 review, InfoWorld compared the Mac II favorably to the Compaq Deskpro 386 Model 40, which until that time had been the fastest PC the publication had tested. The Macintosh II easily exceeded the Deskpro’s performance in InfoWorld’s battery of benchmark tests.
< snip >
 That’s a lot of money. But those who might reference the mythical “Apple tax” should be warned: In the review mentioned earlier, InfoWorld compared the price of a monochrome Mac II system and a similarly configured monochrome Compaq Deskpro 386 (which retailed for $6,953) and found the Mac II to be $584 cheaper.

 

 

1986 - Plus released at $2,600 with just a single FDD, no HDD

1997 - SE (with 20MB HDD) released at $3,700

1977 - Macintosh II (with 40 MB hard drive) released at $5,498, though you did have to buy a display, a MUCH larger one than the 8" B&W CRT of previous Macs, but in Grayscale. :approve:

 

Quote

A standard configuration for the Macintosh II that included a 16MHz Motorola 68020 CPU, 1MB of RAM, an 800KB floppy disk drive, a 40MB internal SCSI hard disk, an 84-key keyboard, a 4-bit graphics card, and a 12-inch monochrome monitor could run you $6,396.

 

So pricing wasn't all that out of step with the times. Desktop Publishers bought them in droves, especially the color models. The Plus had been THE machine for Desktop Publishing. The capabilities of the Macintosh II set that in stone until Windows 3.0 was released and began to lure developers to that platform. But the Mac had become a 32-bit operating System just days before that release, so full on development of many content creation apps really had to wait for Windows 95.

 

That said, CorelDraw 2 under Windows 3.0 and Version 3 running under Windows 3.1 were a thing to behold. QuarkXPress made the jump to Windows 3.1 in 1992  .  .  .  and so the slide began. :-/

Edited by Trash80toHP_Mini

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1977?

 

That was the year the Apple II was released, which is very much not 32-bit! :lol:

 

I think you meant 1987....

 

And, the SE was released also in 1987, not '97.

 

/nitpick-mode

 

c

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8 hours ago, CC_333 said:

I think you meant 1987....

nit-picked,! THX [;)]

 

3 hours ago, Paralel said:

32-bit? The Mac II has a 32-bit "Dirty" ROM, no?

Correct, but it was announced, released and sold as a 32-bit machine. Apple hadn't come up with a fix before the wizards at Connectix developed, patented and marketed the only method to fix it in software. Big class action suit was set to brewing against Apple over delayed/unreleased fix. So folks at Connectix became undisclosedly wealthy and MODE-32 was released/licensed/whatever as freeware(?) to head that lawsuit off at the pass.

 

Apple couldn't manage to fix 24->32bit cleanliness in ROM for two and a half years in product release dates and probably longer in terms of Mac II to Mac IIci ROM development efforts, assuming it took longer to get the II up and running than the ci.

 

Still it was the Macintosh II and to an extent the SE released together in 1987 that shored up the foundations of the Mac in its all important Desktop Publishing and later Content Creation niche markets. The Macintosh II set the stage for System 7, the first 32-bit pro-sumer OS with significant, but far less problems than the much later transition to the horror that was the move to Windows 95. Steve Jobs and his development of OSX put the Mac into the 64-bit world how many years before Microsoft managed to release a 64-bit pro-sumer** OS? Was the lead there two or was it three times as long as the 32-bit achievement? [:P]

 

I coveted and much aspired to own the Macintosh II, but never had one. Plan was to buy one used from SunRe, but the guy I spoke to made a good case for spending a bit more money on a used IIx rather than my plan to upgrade a II to support the Rocket.

 

 

*** forays into 64-bit offshoots from miain line Windows development that wound up only in server markets don't count.

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1 hour ago, Trash80toHP_Mini said:

Apple hadn't come up with a fix before the wizards at Connectix developed, patented and marketed the only method to fix it in software. 

Actually, if we're going to get this nitpicky, the original Mac II behaved like a fully 32 bit machine under A/UX from day one (in 1988), including inside the emulated Mac environment. A/UX predates System 7 *and* Mode32 by nearly three years which makes its "compatibility box" the first example of a "32 bit clean" classic OS. Allegedly only around 10% of the existing software base would run on its weird 32-bit-only take on System 6 because so many developers had utilized the upper address bits in a 24-bit manner up to that point, so... really, from a practical standpoint it wouldn't have mattered much for the first few years if it had been 32 bit clean, no one would have gotten much use out of it.

 

As to why Apple never released a fix themselves in the form of a ROM upgrade, who knows, it wouldn't have been that much effort given 32 bit clean ROMs work in the SE/30 and there is little architectural difference. (The ROMs are a different form factor, of course.) Probably for the same reason they did things like not bothering to offer 64 bit updates the EFI in some of the older Intel Macs, that's just how they roll. They'd rather sell you a new one.

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1 hour ago, Trash80toHP_Mini said:

Steve Jobs and his development of OSX put the Mac into the 64-bit world how many years before Microsoft managed to release a 64-bit pro-sumer** OS? Was the lead there two or was it three times as long as the 32-bit achievement? [:P]

If you don't count the 64 bit version of Windows XP, which was released the same month as OS X Tiger, which had some limited support for running 64 bit applications but still had a 32 bit kernel, then I guess we are comparing Windows Vista x64 and OS X Snow Leopard (the first MacOS with a fully 64 bit kernel). They came out in mid-2007 and mid-2009 respectively, so that puts Apple's lead at between negative two and negative four years.

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32 minutes ago, Gorgonops said:

Actually, if we're going to get this nitpicky, the original Mac II behaved like a fully 32 bit machine under A/UX from day one (in 1988), including inside the emulated Mac environment. A/UX predates System 7 *and* Mode32 by nearly three years which makes its "compatibility box" the first example of a "32 bit clean" classic OS. Allegedly only around 10% of the existing software base would run on its weird 32-bit-only take on System 6 because so many developers had utilized the upper address bits in a 24-bit manner up to that point, so... really, from a practical standpoint it wouldn't have mattered much for the first few years if it had been 32 bit clean, no one would have gotten much use out of it.

 

As to why Apple never released a fix themselves in the form of a ROM upgrade, who knows, it wouldn't have been that much effort given 32 bit clean ROMs work in the SE/30 and there is little architectural difference. (The ROMs are a different form factor, of course.) Probably for the same reason they did things like not bothering to offer 64 bit updates the EFI in some of the older Intel Macs, that's just how they roll. They'd rather sell you a new one.

I stand corrected. 32-bit it was!

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Thanks for that correction, G. That shows just how much I don't know about OSX, for some reason I'd thought it had been 64-bit from the start? I learn something here every day.

 

7 hours ago, Gorgonops said:

As to why Apple never released a fix themselves in the form of a ROM upgrade, who knows,

Cost would be my guess, once they'd acquired rights to MODE32, Apple didn't need to produce or distribute a firmware fix. Your local MUG distributed the software fix on floppies for next to nothing. About the rolling thing, didn't the MODE32 machines top out at a lower OS with dirty on board than those that had clean ROMs swapped in? That strategy would have driven sales over time.

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On ‎2‎/‎16‎/‎2019 at 2:05 PM, Gorgonops said:

If you don't count the 64 bit version of Windows XP, which was released the same month as OS X Tiger, which had some limited support for running 64 bit applications but still had a 32 bit kernel, then I guess we are comparing Windows Vista x64 and OS X Snow Leopard (the first MacOS with a fully 64 bit kernel). They came out in mid-2007 and mid-2009 respectively, so that puts Apple's lead at between negative two and negative four years.

Fun fact, Windows XP x64 wasn't even Windows XP, it was a light reskinning of Windows Server 2003.  I used to have all sorts of fun issues with poorly written installers complaining that I wasn't running XP because it expected to see NT 5.1.2600 instead of NT 5.2.3790

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6 hours ago, EvilCapitalist said:

Fun fact, Windows XP x64 wasn't even Windows XP, it was a light reskinning of Windows Server 2003.  I used to have all sorts of fun issues with poorly written installers complaining that I wasn't running XP because it expected to see NT 5.1.2600 instead of NT 5.2.3790

Indeed. But, technically, it is XP (insomuch as it uses mostly the same code base). It's just a slightly newer, more robust version with a 64-bit kernel.

 

I actually have XP x64 on some of my newer XP-capable machines (and on my main VM for my MacBook Pro), and I really like it. It's like XP (5.1.2600), but it's better able to support >4GB of RAM, can run a few slightly newer programs than 5.1.2600 with some hacks, can use some slightly newer hardware (I have a Focusrite audio interface that "requires Windows 7", but I can extract the drivers (it's hit or miss due to missing APIs, but in my experience, some Vista and a handful of 7 drivers will actually work on XP x64) and they install fine (and the interface works relatively well) on XP x64, albeit with a few glitches (the configuration program doesn't run)), and it still manages to retain 99% of the old XP UI that I like so much.

 

Of course it hasn't been updated since 2015, so it's not a very good choice from a security perspective (32-bit XP isn't heaps better, but it, at least, has managed to remain updated through this coming April, mostly because POSReady 2009, an embedded variant of XP used for ATMs and point-of-sale systems, uses virtually the same code base and its updates are thus 100% cross-compatible; due to this, the hack to let WU think regular XP is POSReady is trivial).

 

Sorry if I threw this thread off topic at all...

 

c

Edited by CC_333

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Strictly speaking the first shipping (not beta/development) 64 bit version of Windows was Windows XP for Itanium in 2001, but obviously nobody counts that because, well, Itanium. There was also a development version of Windows NT for Alpha that was used internally for development of the 64 bit API but the shipping versions of NT for Alpha were only 32 bit.

The first 64 bit CPU used in anything remotely resembling a "personal computer" was probably the MIPS R4000 (circa 1991, followed quickly by the Alpha in 1992) and there was also a version of NT for that, but I'm pretty sure the OS was 32 bit only. (Back in the early days of development Microsoft used MIPS-based workstations internally to develop NT in order to force the developers to keep the code portable instead of relying on x86-specific hacks, unlike OS/2.)

It is kind of an interesting "coincidence" that Apple's first 64 bit hardware (note, of course, that strictly speaking 64 bit variants of PowerPC had been around since the abortive PowerPC 620 in 1997, but Apple had never used them) publicly shipped the same year as the first AMD64/x86-64 hardware. Clearly the time was right for it, but Apple was definitely *not* ahead of the curve on OS development for said hardware.

(It's interesting to ponder the fact that open-source systems like NetBSD and Linux actually technically "ran on" AMD64 before you could buy any hardware for it. AMD released the initial specs for their 64 bit extensions in 1999 and easily-obtainable emulators existed for it before any real silicon made it out of the labs.)

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