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my vision for 68k/ early ppc macs

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I wouldn't mind BeOS for my PowerMacintosh G3. Does anyone have a copy from the days when PowerComputer went over to them when they were kicked out of the clone licensing by apple? Let's talk if you have it!! i want to see if I can get it to work on my Blue and White!!!


PM me if you have it, and we can work something out ;)

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Not a chance. BeOS for PPC doesn't work on anything that originally shipped with a G3 processor in a ZIF socket or soldered to the motherboard. It will work on G3 *upgraded* Macs and clones, but not on genuine G3 systems with PC66 or PC100 RAM.


I've always wanted a BeOS PowerBook, but it doesn't boot on my 3400c, so I suppose I'm out of luck. For the record, I have BeOS PR1, BeOS R4, BeOS R4.5, and BeOS R5.0.2. All are great, but they have no application support, and without a modern browser, they are pretty useless to me for anything other than nostalgia.




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  • 1 year later...

I was just looking through the old news topics, and this one just really stuck out…had to reply.


I think this is a nice vision, even if it is a little impossible. It would be amazing if we could create a way for 68ks (and early PPC) to be compatible with the modern world. A web browser more compatible than the existing 68k ones (even if it is not Firefox 3.5.2 ;)) and maybe some applications compatible with newer file formats. Has anyone ever thought about making a way for .docx to work on classic Mac OS?


Also, I really like the idea of a simple website for 68ks to load. It could cover many topics possibly, except it would be on one simple plain text site. It could be like a middleman between 68ks and the rest of the web!


Anyways, those are just my crazy thoughts. :lol:

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There's actually a lot of point in developing Classilla - any Mac running OS 9 these days could be called "classic", hell Apple even calls the Mac OS 9 environment in OS X "Classic". Classilla is the first web browser to developed in the past 5 years that supports any OS 9 system at all.

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You never know, someone may very well program one sometime (if any programmers are thinking of RetroChallenge ideas, here's one for you). After all, who would have expected Classilla to be released many years after Apple stopped selling Macs that boot into OS 9?

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There is work on a 68k port of Haiku in the works, http://www.haiku-os.org/blog/mmu_man/2008-07-21/getting_to_the_kernel_68k_way .


I think some kind of NeXT like environment for 68k Macs would be really cool. I wouldn't know where to start. A long time ago when I looked at the source code for early Darwin before version 1, there were still alot of code references to 68k and I486.


As for as newer browsers and other software, if Atari and Amiga users can do it then we should be able to port it without having to write it from scratch. maybe we are spoiled as Mac users where as they have to keep going or they loose there entire platform.

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I think one of the problems with 68K browsers now is that modern webpages are just too demanding of the computer.


Take a look at an average bank website, for instance. You will find the following features used:



- JavaScript


- Dynamic HTML (combination of JavaScript and CSS)

- AJAX (combination of JavaScript, CSS, and XMLhttpRequest)


We already have SSL on 68K, so that's not a big problem as long as sites continue to support SSL 3.


The next problem is interpreted JavaScript. Sites use thousands of lines of JavaScript now and interpreting this is slow.


CSS is another problem. Such things as: translucency, dynamically resizing boxes, etc. It requires thousands of inter-dependent calculations to lay out a page.


Basically - more and more work is slowly being shifted to the browser. Imagine a bank website in 1997:


- Basic HTML 3.2 or 4.0 design. Perhaps a simple table based layout. Complex text, etc. is probably loaded in as a GIF image.

- Basic SSL v2 40-bit may have been used.

- No JavaScript. The login form is sent to the server as-is. The server must determine if enough characters were entered, etc.

- You see your online check book and want to view more information about a transaction. You click the transaction and the server sends an entirely new page.

- You want to add a note to a transaction. Clicking add note loads an entirely new page using target _blank. Seeing the note in the transaction requires refreshing the entire page.


Compare to the modern bank site:

- XHTML 1.1 with CSS2. No tables used in the design. The appearance may even be similar to or the same as the 1997 version, but it's much harder to render due to the used of CSS.

- Banks have disabled 40-bit and SSL v2 for security reasons. Minimum is now 128-bit SSL v3 or TLS.

- Heavy JavaScript used. Pre-validate all forms on the entire site.

- Transaction information is shown in-line using a hidden CSS box and AJAX to retrieve the information.

- Adding notes is done with AJAX.

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Why can't *nix distros have a resonsive GUI on 68k machines?


Alas, a responsive *nix GUI on a 68K Mac is an unlikely proposition. Mac graphics cards are designed to display QuickDraw and have drivers (in ROM or INIT) that accelerate QD. 68K Macs have used literally dozens of graphics processors, most of which are proprietary. The NeXT family have graphics interfaces and drivers that optimise Display PostScript. PowerMacs sometimes get reasonable X11 graphics, but only if they the right graphics card.


A modern X11 Server for 68K and low power PPC Macs, that uses all of the wonderful goodness of classic Mac OS, makes more sense to me.

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