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With so many clone cards coming out, it's super exciting.  Several things that've never made it to 68k Macs are USB cards, multi-port ethernet cards, and combo port cards.

 

Could A/ROSE solve some of the technical hurdles for CPU intensive technologies?  Could A/ROSE make a USB NuBUS card possible, even if it's bottlenecked by the BUS speed?

 

Just curious.

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21 hours ago, olePigeon said:

With so many clone cards coming out, it's super exciting.  Several things that've never made it to 68k Macs are USB cards, multi-port ethernet cards, and combo port cards.

 

Could A/ROSE solve some of the technical hurdles for CPU intensive technologies?  Could A/ROSE make a USB NuBUS card possible, even if it's bottlenecked by the BUS speed?

 

Just curious.

I remember the A/ROSE extension back in the day and always just removing it. 
 

What exactly could you use it for ??

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@MrFahrenheit  It was a system-on-a-chip with an embedded operating system called A/ROSE (Apple Real-time Operating System Environment.)  Only Apple and one other company (maybe two?) ever made any cards.  It was expensive to implement because you were essentially putting a whole 68000-based computer on an ethernet card.  The Wikipedia explains it all, but in short, you could offload CPU intensive workloads to the card, then simply pass the results to the computer.

 

If you buy Apple's NuBus ethernet card, it supports A/ROSE.  And yes, it makes a noticeable difference.  It's an exceptional ethernet card for 68k Macs, especially slower ones like the Macintosh II.  Works best if you have multiple cards for some more advanced networking because it frees up the CPU for actual routing.  I posted about it some times ago, but even on my 040 accelerated IIci, my A/ROSE card is significantly faster than a 3rd party ethernet card.

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20 hours ago, olePigeon said:

@MrFahrenheit  It was a system-on-a-chip with an embedded operating system called A/ROSE (Apple Real-time Operating System Environment.)  Only Apple and one other company (maybe two?) ever made any cards.  It was expensive to implement because you were essentially putting a whole 68000-based computer on an ethernet card.  The Wikipedia explains it all, but in short, you could offload CPU intensive workloads to the card, then simply pass the results to the computer.

 

If you buy Apple's NuBus ethernet card, it supports A/ROSE.  And yes, it makes a noticeable difference.  It's an exceptional ethernet card for 68k Macs, especially slower ones like the Macintosh II.  Works best if you have multiple cards for some more advanced networking because it frees up the CPU for actual routing.  I posted about it some times ago, but even on my 040 accelerated IIci, my A/ROSE card is significantly faster than a 3rd party ethernet card.


Very interesting. I have a few of the Apple NUBUS Ethernet new in box, I’ve never opened them. 

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Posted (edited)

I think there are some Apple NuBus Ethernet cards that don’t use A/Rose?

 

I have one with an AAUI connector I got for my IIci that I’m pretty certain does, it has a 68000 CPU on the card. Looks like this:

861937FB-F510-4D13-9BA4-566C23AC796D.thumb.jpeg.7258d18857aebe7c2cb4120898e82112.jpeg
 

This Apple 10BaseT one doesn’t look like it has it’s own CPU:

C9F2BA57-8211-4E51-AE74-1A66216F03F6.thumb.jpeg.96640ba23772d32722fcff2df0d3502d.jpeg

 

 

Edited by Fizzbinn
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I think offloading heavy processing e.g. TCP, UDP, TLS, transfers, etc on faster hardware would be interesting. The nice thing about A/ROSE for hardware manufacturers is that the driver is included and you don't need to write your own.

 

The last thing I read that is difficult about manufacturing NuBus cards is that the connectors are hard to find.

 

I think it would be better suited to e.g. RaSCSI since SCSI connectors are easier to find than NuBus connectors and can be made to work on more systems. However, the SCSI interface in 68k systems don't support DMA so the speed increase may be limited. Also, the bandwidth would be lower.

 

I wonder if something like LZ4 over SCSI can overcome the bandwidth limitations?

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Nothing is going to happen using A/ROSE unless someone finds a copy of the A/ROSE development kit. It was only available through Apple Software Licensing, and considering that the ADB specification (a much more common license) never escaped into the wild, I don't expect it will turn up.

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Digging a little, there are a few Q&A pertinent to A/ROSE development here:

https://spinsidemacintosh.neocities.org/qa405.html

 

Quote

"You can order the MCP card and software through Apple Software Licensing. The card comes with the MCP platform and software which contains the appropriate libraries and header files. On the card is the 68000, ROM (256K), RAM (512K), and the NuBus Logic to drive the card in both master and slave modes. There is also blank space on the board, left there for your communications hardware. Basic documentation is also included."

Mentioned is what the kit would've originally included. I'm curious if there are any pictures of the development board out in the wild. If one were spotted in a machine for sale, the hard drive *could* also contain useful stuff.

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19 hours ago, jeremywork said:

Digging a little, there are a few Q&A pertinent to A/ROSE development here:

https://spinsidemacintosh.neocities.org/qa405.html

 

Mentioned is what the kit would've originally included. I'm curious if there are any pictures of the development board out in the wild. If one were spotted in a machine for sale, the hard drive *could* also contain useful stuff.


Unfortunately I would only possibly have the software and only if it was also included in another reference release. I have nothing with that specific name as I can recall. 

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Posted (edited)
20 hours ago, MrFahrenheit said:


Unfortunately I would only possibly have the software and only if it was also included in another reference release. I have nothing with that specific name as I can recall. 

I think the software is the more important piece. Knowing what the card looks like would only serve as another strategy to track down the software. I overlooked Apple's sales SKU in the same doc: Macintosh Coprocessor Platform Developers Kit #M0793LL/A, which lead to an informative slide deck, even if not useful: https://static.bslabs.net/wwdc/1990/MCP and AROSE.pdf

Edited by jeremywork
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I'll spam this thread one last time. Searching the term "Coprocessor Platform" was slightly more useful. I found the article referred to in "Issue 4:" http://preserve.mactech.com/articles/develop/issue_04/coprocessor.html

and then this: https://macintoshgarden.org/forum/arose-can-finally-be-tackled

As MikeTomTom pointed out, there are A/ROSE docs available in the ~1992 dev CD archives, specifically "DevCD199204.zip" here: https://macintoshgarden.org/apps/apple-developer-cd-collection

 

Not sure if it's everything one would need to get started, but a good jumping off point.

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20 hours ago, jeremywork said:

I'll spam this thread one last time. Searching the term "Coprocessor Platform" was slightly more useful. I found the article referred to in "Issue 4:" http://preserve.mactech.com/articles/develop/issue_04/coprocessor.html

and then this: https://macintoshgarden.org/forum/arose-can-finally-be-tackled

As MikeTomTom pointed out, there are A/ROSE docs available in the ~1992 dev CD archives, specifically "DevCD199204.zip" here: https://macintoshgarden.org/apps/apple-developer-cd-collection

 

Not sure if it's everything one would need to get started, but a good jumping off point.


Well that looks like a good starting point. 
 

Since 1992 I’ve always wondered what the heck the A/ROSE extension was for. I always thought it was connected to the network cards but I never had an Ethernet card until last year (only having onboard on my 7200 and up). 
 

If you found that software I’m likely to just have the same stuff. I’ll keep my eyes open when I go through discs to rip them. 

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  • 2 months later...

I realize this is a slight older topic but anyhow...

 

olepigeon said 'Only Apple and one other company (maybe two?) ever made any cards.' and I'll like to happily point out that one such other company was ast as per 

 

 

and thanks to cheesestraws for mentioning a/rose as thats what I was trying to recall of

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  • 3 weeks later...

I found another related thing.  Sorry if some of this duplicates earlier discoveries.

 

The Apple Serial NB Card  has a 10MHz 68000 to offload communications processing on Macintosh II's. This page suggests it also ran A/ROSE.

 

But it supported MacAPPC which apparently was a networked program to program communication protocol from IBM. Perhaps this could be implemented on a raspberry pi or whatever and then leveraged from the mac side using the provided tools somehow? (Actually I think maybe the Ethernet and Token Ring cards supported this too).

 

Network World Feb 8 1988 also mentions something called MacWorkStation which allows programmers to create Macintosh interfaces for host applications.

 

This document on MacAPPC makes reference to Macintosh Coprocessor Platform architecture. Searching for that kind of brings you back round to A/ROSE.

 

Here is another article that discusses MacAPPC and MacWorkStation. Actually it looks like the full press release in text format from the Network World article above.

 

Finally a rather large document IBM / Apple enterprise networking guide.

 

Same problem as before, where is all this mythical enterprise software hiding?

 

 

 

 

 

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