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UnaClocker

Best macOS version for IIci?

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I'm inclined to put the newest version of macOS I can get my hands on, onto this IIci. But what version is the best for this hardware? It had 7.0.1 on it, I have, thanks to FloppyEmu, that version, 7.1.3, and 7.5.1 if I recall correctly. I'm guessing I need a PPC to run 8 or newer? But anyways, I don't know of anywhere that has a breakdown of the differences between the versions. I've never run anything older than OS X really, aside from the 7.0.1 that came preloaded on my SE.

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7.1.2-68k (BTW there was a Finder version 7.1.3, but never a System Software version 7.1.3. It's either 7.1, 7.1.1, 7.1.2-68K, then it jumps to 7.5)

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Apple allows you to install up to 7.6.1 on the IIci. There are 3rd party programs (WishIWere, maybe?) that will allow you to change the gestalt ID and install up to 8.1, which is best with a 68040 upgrade. You need a PPC upgrade card for anything after 8.1. Honestly the IIci is best with 7.1 or 7.5, depending on what software you want to run. You need lots of RAM for a comfortable OS 8 experience. System 7.1 is happy with 4MB. System 7.5 wants at least 8MB, 16 or more to avoid thrashing your HD with VM swaps. 

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On 4/5/2019 at 9:38 PM, UnaClocker said:

I'm inclined to put the newest version of macOS I can get my hands on, onto this IIci. But what version is the best for this hardware? It had 7.0.1 on it, I have, thanks to FloppyEmu, that version, 7.1.3, and 7.5.1 if I recall correctly. I'm guessing I need a PPC to run 8 or newer? But anyways, I don't know of anywhere that has a breakdown of the differences between the versions. I've never run anything older than OS X really, aside from the 7.0.1 that came preloaded on my SE.

You should have about 8MB RAM (or more) for a comfortable experience.

 

As with any question of «best», you need first to define what «good» is. What are your criteria?

It's a bit like asking what the best fruit is (the answer, of course, is the orange).

I have a fondness for System 7.1 but you need to determine this for yourself.

 

You can work it out like this:

 1.  Is there any software (e.g. extensions) that limits you? For example, if you want to run software that requires System 7, then your lowest requirement is System 7.

2. Look at what each version of the SSW (system software) offers new:

    • do you want colour icons? If yes, then your lowest requirement is System 7.

    • do you want AppleScript, WorldScript etc.? If yes, then your lowest requirement is System 7.1.

    • do you want access to AppleShare volumes that are larger than 2GB? If yes, then your lowest requirement is System 7.1.

    • do you want access to 4GB drives? If yes, then your lowest requirement is System 7.5.

    • I don't know what Mac OS 7.6.1 brings to the party. I had gone directly from System 7.5.5 to mac OS 8.1.

3. Do you want it as fast as it can be without hardware upgrades and your software supports it? If yes, then choose System 6.0.

4. There are instructions for modifying a install of Mac OS 8.1 to install it onto the IIfx and I have this running on mine. It runs well (I have 32MB RAM) and it gives me access to HFS+. Whether it will run well on a 25MHz 68030 is another matter. And you have to find the instructions. The modified install of Mac OS 8.1 for the IIfx is up on the Mac Garden.

 

If you have a large enough drive, put all of the versions of the SSW on and see for yourself.

Edited by ArmorAlley

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2 hours ago, ArmorAlley said:

• I don't know what Mac OS 7.6.1 brings to the party. I had gone directly from System 7.5.5 to mac OS 8.1.

For 68k? Not much, I don't think. Maybe something to do with OpenTransport or that CFM68k runtime extension but I think those were bigger deals in 8.1. Im sure some web browsers would still run in 7.6.1 that wouldn't on prior OS versions. 

For PPC? 7.6.1 is generally regarded as lighter, faster, and more stable than any version of 7.5, supposedly because it has enhanced 68k emulation routines and more PPC native code. It's generally what i run on NuBus PPC Macs because I don't need 8.6 for USB or FW support because they obviously can't be used. Also, OS 8 started making some changes to the core of the Mac OS, most noticeable at 8.5 and 9.0, that broke some apps and extensions. System 7.6.1 keeps maximum compatibility while providing the best PPC experience under System 7. 

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I'm a big fan of 7.1 Pro.  It has the functionality of 7.5, but all the extra bits can be disabled or uninstalled.  So depending on your memory configuration, it can be either very lightweight or robust.  You can, of course, pick and choose which features you'd like.

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I tend to prefer 7.6.1 on everything I can, aside from anything too old or too new to run it, or where I need specific access to newer software, mostly because aside from the usual OT+AS patches, it basically comes prepared for anything I want to do.

 

7.6.1 is a great generic all-rounder. On PPC, it reworked the VM system to be a little more robust (something Apple did on a regular basis, it also got attention somewhere in 8 and somewhere in 9) and with speed doubler 8 it's not lacking in performance even on low end hardware.

 

Anything that can't run 7.6.1 usually can't run 7.5.5 well either so I go all the way back down to 7.0.1 or 7.1/7.1Pro depending on what functionality I want and the configuration of the system.

 

To be honest, what I'd do if i had a new Mac and some spare time is I'd download every reasonable major version (in this case, I'd probably do 6.0.8, 7.0.1, 7.1 Pro, 7.5.5, and 7.6.1) and play with each version and with some software/games/whatever you want to do to see how well it works.

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It depends heavily on how much RAM you have in the system. Under 16MB, System 6.08 or 6.09.  Greater than 16MB, System 7.1. System 7.5 - 7.6.1 I find laggy on the IIci, even after using a PowerPC/Fat checker to remove what PPC might be floating about the OS.

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5 hours ago, Elfen said:

It depends heavily on how much RAM you have in the system. Under 16MB, System 6.08 or 6.09.  Greater than 16MB, System 7.1. System 7.5 - 7.6.1 I find laggy on the IIci, even after using a PowerPC/Fat checker to remove what PPC might be floating about the OS.

 

I haven’t used 7.1 in a while, but I can confirm 7.0.1 runs great on an 8MB IIci.  (But sure!  Upgrade to 16MB++, why not.)

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The basic stuff - 6.0.8 upto at least 7.1.2 - no higher. They are sluggish above 7.1.2.

 

For networking Ive injected open transport & appletalk from 7.5 in 7.1.2 and works fine.
Cheers

AP

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My internal drive is back to refusing to spin up without some CPR. So I plugged in my SC20 drive, which has a 40mb disk in it, and installed 7.5.3 from the FloppyEmu. Wow, 16disks, and if you do the manual install and select all the options, it needs 81mb of disk space! haha.. I did the basic install and after an hour or two of swapping disk images, it's up and running. I have a cache card coming for the machine later this week, but really, it doesn't feel any slower than I'd expect a machine of this vintage to be.

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