Mini vMac II for OS X (PPC)

Emulators in Emulators..

I wanted to run some old 68000 programs on OS X, but as luck would have it, OS X 10.5 doesn’t support the classical environment, and the 10.4 discs that I have won’t boot on a G5.  So I don’t have a good way to get there from here.  However I did remember the great mini vMac is very portable, runs 68000 code great, and even can run 68020 programs with the experimental branches.. So I had to install OS 7 on a Windows machine with my last binary, configure the source there, then import it to my PowerPC, then build it on my G5.  The OS X PowerPC build is lacking sound (did the intel OS X have it?) but it runs!

For anyone that cares, my PowerPC binary is here.

I’ve just updated it to contain all the 32bit binaries…

$ file minivmac

minivmac: Mach-O universal binary with 3 architectures
minivmac (for architecture i386): Mach-O executable i386
minivmac (for architecture ppc7400): Mach-O executable ppc
minivmac (for architecture ppc): Mach-O executable ppc

It turns out this is reliant on Carbon, which doesn’t allow for 64bit binaries…

Duke Nukem 3D for the Macintosh (68020)

mini vmac II duke nukem

mini vmac II duke nukem

I had no idea this even existed… I guess it’s to be expected, all the popular games of the time (doom) were ported to pretty much everything and anything.

So after stubmling across this site, Emacualtion, I had to fire this thing up!

The first thing I needed to do was get the latest source to Mini vMac. What is different about this is that you get the source from within the emulator. Basically you pass a program what config you want and it’ll spit out source code. So for me to build on windows, a mac II with 256 colors, I gave it..

-t wx86 -m II -depth 3

Easy right?

There is some help on the mini vmac site, but it’s kind of in places.

With the emulator built, the next fun filled thing was to dump the ROM from my SE/30, which was.. an exciting adventure in floppy disks, but with it in hand I was ready!

The next part of the puzzle was System 7.5.3, which apple still thankfully provides, along with HFVExplorer, and Stuffit, and I was all set to go!

I created a target diskette of 100MB, then used hfvexplorer to copy 7.5.3 and it’s 19 segments into the disk. Then I booted the emulator with a minimal System 7 floppy. I then installed 7.5.3 into the 100mb disk, then shut down the emulator. Then using hfv explorer, copy over Duke and stuffit.

Boot back into MacOS, install stuffit, and expand Duke and away we GO!

Naturally with the speed limits dropped it’s quite FAST! vMac doesn’t have sound yet, so it’s a silent experience but it works quite well.

mini vmac II duke

mini vmac II duke

The sad thing is that Doom requires 32bit mode, which it seems that Mini vMac can’t do just yet.

Mini Vmac’s Macintosh II

While browsing around, it came to my attention that the great project Mini vMac‘s Macintosh II emulation has now progressed to the point where it can actually start running stuff!

So I downloaded it, searched high & low for the necessary files, and was booting in no time!

mini vmac 26 boot

mini vmac 26 boot

While it’s not as full featured as Basilisk II, it is a *LOT* smaller, and easier to work with. By default it’ll emulate a Macintosh II with 8 MB of ram. Hard disks & floppies are only supported through the shim method of the older Mini vMac, so you can just drag & drop your images onto the screen. I tested it with an old game I had floating around on my Mac SE30 Space Quest…

mini vmac 26 space quest

mini vmac 26 space quest

And it runs well enough.

Over all I have to say it’s easy to use, very responsive, and just GREAT!

If you have a need for 68000 MAC programs, you may want to give this one a shot… And it’s so small, the Win32 binary is 144kb!!!

vMac/Mini vMac

Simply put vMac is a quick & fast Mac Plus emulator. That being said, it will emulate a 68000 cpu with 4 (yes, FOUR) megabytes of ram.

Now you will need a ROM from a plus Macintosh in order to run this. I actually did own a plus (it made a good foot rest), but before I moved I ripped the ROM, and trashed it.

vMac started in the late 1990’s but has been largely abandoned. But not to worry, this is where mini vMac stepped in, and took over the torch as it were.

Mini vMac can be downloaded here:

The good news is that it’s small, and portable so you can pick this up for several platforms. And yes, there is a version for PowerPC Macs so you can run some super ancient software with system 6 and prior on System 8/9 PowerMacs.

Assuming you have your rom in a file called vmac.rom you are almost ready to go! Now you need a copy of the operating system. Luckily Apple has made systems prior to 7.6 free, and you can download them from here:

And the System 7.5.3 updater:

Although for the first timer, I ‘d recommend something like this:

to get up & running quickly.

Now I’d highly recommend a utility called HFVExplorer. This will let you create a ‘hardfile’ to simulate a hard disk, and allow you to move files you’ve downloaded into your hardfile. You can find a copy here:

A good utility to have on the mac side is DiskCopy. You can download a copy from Apple here:

If you still have legacy 400k, 800k floppies you will require a real Mac to read them. They are formatted in a different method that a PC cannot read. However this changed with the high density drives (super drivers they were called) which a PC can at least read/write raw disk images of them.

Putting it all together:

Ok with mini vMac, your rom, a hard disk file & the system 7 boot disk you should have enough to have a booting instance. It should be about that simple.

I happen to love this game Captain Blood, and I found a copy for the Macintosh and using HFVExplorer I just move it into my disk file, unstuff & run.

The whole point is that this ancient game bypasses the toolbox for video calls and will crash on the Powermac I just bought, however it’ll run fine in emulation.

Next up we’ll cover the PowerMac emulation…!