So my old machine’s 16GB memory limit is becoming a problem

MacPro guts

And like a sucker I saw this 2010 MacPro for sale, $300.  It was running OS X 10.13 aka High Sierra, and I though oh cool it’s obviously able to run the latest OS, and even better with 32GB of RAM, and apparently the single processor model can go up to 48 or 64GB of ram giving me that breathing space I need.

So I happily get the machine, put in some new SSDs, and spinning disks, and decide that I’m going to split it up half for OS X, and half for Windows 10.  Sounds easy right?  And for the hell of it, I wanted to install a copy of 10.6.8 (Snow Leopard), since it’s the last version with Rosetta, and I’d love to compare GrandPa’s G5 to this 2010 space Odyssey.  Snow Leopard installs just fine, but the real fun comes from High Sierra and it’s APFS.  I installed & licensed a copy of Windows 10 Pro onto the Mac without issue, installed the bootcamp drivers, and.. well it installs Okay but drivers are a whole different story.

Apparently there is an ongoing war between Apple and ATI regarding bootcamp drivers, so the Apple UEFI cards won’t work with the stock drivers under Windows.  You can go and look for patched ATI drivers over at, although I had no luck with the Radeon HD 5700 that was in this machine, as it’s GPU never showed up in the Windows 10 device manager.

I still wanted to get accelerated graphics, and I decided to keep the old ATI card in the machine so I wouldn’t’ lose boot graphics from the UEFI ROM, but a card that needs additional drivers is fine, which opens the door to Nvidia.  I wasn’t ready to spend a fortune on a card, and I wanted one that didn’t draw that much power, so the 1030 was a perfect fit being cheap and not requiring additional power hookups.

GeFroce 1030

I just went with the cheapest one I could find retail.

Naturally the NVidia cards work fine in Windows, but of course Apple won’t use any stock plain PC cards.  But thankfully NVidia has ‘internet’ drivers that cover quite a few of their cards, including the 1030-1080’s. I had further issues with the built in audio drivers, which Windows always prefers to load some generic “High Definition Audio Device” driver, but it never makes any noise.  So I bought a cheap external USB Sound Blaster Play! 3 dongal, which works fine.

Old Xeon in MacPro

And then there is the fun with VMWare, I upgraded both VMWare Player to version 14, and Fusion to version 10.  And yeah, the Xeon W3565 is far too old.

No new VMWare for you!

Although my version 10 key of Fusion works on version 8, just as VMWare Player 12 works fine on Windows 10.

And if that wasn’t crazy enough, in the bootcamp boot driver selection, the High Sierra volume cannot be selected.  Even if you install onto a HFS+ volume, upgrade a 10.6.3 volume or whatever you do, High Sierra converts the filesystem into something that bootcamp doesn’t understand, so the only way to boot between the OS’s is to hold down the option key, and select the OS from the ROM, which thankfully after an update understands and boots APFS.

You think it’d be easy to just push an update to the bootcamp boot tool, but apparently it isn’t.

I don’t know why, but for all the money Apple is sitting on, they really don’t feel that together or with it.  I know in the whole ’99-05 time period they were not only fighting for their lives, but the whole OS 9 to OS X transition phase, just felt so much better done.  Ever since 10.4 it feels like things are just subtracted, nothing really useful added.  First Classic support, then PowerPC, then Rosetta.  Going from 10.7 to 10.13 really hasn’t been all that exciting.  Which has been the general state of things, with everyone for the most part just running VMS or Unix.

Booting my PowerMAC G5 from SSD

Grandpa’s G5

In my last trip to the United States, I scored yet another PowerMac G5, a model 7,2 which is one that is capable of running OS X 10.2.7 for the G5.  It was the proverbial dream come true, used by an elderly man to keep track of photos in iPhoto, which he used maybe a handful of times a year.

Needless to say, he wasn’t too pleased that his copy of Snow Leopard didn’t work on the machine, and he dumped the G5 for a much quieter MacBook.

At any rate, it also included an Apple Studio Display.  I found another Cinema Display in the used hardware market for $25, which even though the display works the screen was damaged at some point and shows scratches on the surface when the display is a solid colour.

At any rate, the machine was deadly slow to boot, I upgraded the RAM from 256MB to 1.2GB, and replaced the ancient disk for a SAMSUNG SSD PM830 2.5 256GB flash drive.  Now it’ll boot up in under 30 seconds from the graphics initialization.

That makes this the only machine I have capable of running MacOS 9, although in emulation under OS X 10.2.  I have the Jaguar DVD set, but Classic mode was removed in 10.5.  It was the ending of the PowerPC era, just as 10.6 was the last version to ship with Rosetta.

Its a fun machine from the era of the introduction of personal 64bit RISC computing to the home user, although too bad the full industry didn’t catch up until later, just as 32bit desktop computing had a few stumbles out of the gates.

Darwin 0.3 & 1.0 on Qemu

Darwin 0.3 PowerPC

Interestingly enough a lot of the same weirdness of missing bits I saw on the x86, is also on the PowerPC.

There is no nice installer, the CD image actually boots MacOS 8.6 which currently won’t run on Qemu.  However Darwin 1.0 uses MacOS 9, which will.  There is not install program for Darwin, rather you need a secondary disk, that is partitioned so the volume manager will pick it up, and then you restore a backup onto the target disk.  Naturally the restore program from 0.3 won’t work, but the 1.0 will under the G4 Cube MacOS 9 CD-ROM install.

Also I couldn’t figure out the boot parameters so I used Steve Troughton Smith’s BootX loader to get the OS booted.

qemu-system-ppc.exe -L pc-bios -drive file=..\darwin03.qcow2,index=0,format=qcow2,media=disk -drive file=BootX_custom.dmg,index=2,format=raw,media=disk -prom-env “boot-device=ide1:2,\BootX” -prom-env “boot-args=-v rd=hd0 debug=0xffe kdp=2” -prom-env “boot-file=ide0:8,\mach_kernel” -M g3beige

It’s a little convoluted but it does work.

I put together a binary package for Qemu on sourceforge here: Darwin03-PowerPC_qemu-2.11_04_22_2018.7z

Currently there is no networking, I’m guessing I need drivers from OS X 1.x but Ive had really bad luck with the mouse to try to open a terminal window to see if the new sungem NIC is functional at all.

So the source code to the Macintosh port of System Shock was just released

It’s the ‘classic’ MacOS. And it requires Code Warrior 10 to build. Apparently its for the PowerPC only, although I haven’t tried to compile it yet, as I foolishly just upgraded to 10.5 on my PowerPC, which of course has no classic support.

Source code is on github, here.

It’s a nice present from Night Dive studios.  I know that many people are mad at their reboot being consumed by feature bloat, but at least they aren’t going down into obscurity.

As always, enjoy!

Multiplayer Macintosh Plus via Javascript/

I found this fun page over on  What is interesting is that it encorporates PeerJS and WebRTC to allow for a virtual network, letting you play multiplayer AppleTalk.  Just enable the network, and scan for other users.

It’s pretty cool, in a zero config kind of way!


And for coolness it’ll embed in a snazzy picture of a Mac Plus.  Although you can magnify the screen, so you don’t have to squint so much.

MachTen 2.2

MachTen console

Not that I need another UNIX, but I came across this fine thing googling around for some Mach based OS’s running on the 68000, and well here is MachTen.  Perhaps the most notable thing about MachTen is that it is capable of running in usermode under MacOS.  Without a MMU.

# cc -v hi.c -o hi
gcc version 1.40
 /usr/local/PMtools/cpp -v -undef -D__GNUC__ -Dunix -D__MACHTEN__ -DMACHTEN -DTENON -D__unix__ -D____MACHTEN____ -D__MACHTEN__ -D__TENON__ -Dmc68000 hi.c /var/tmp/cc000093.cpp
GNU CPP version 1.40
 /usr/local/PMtools/cc1 /var/tmp/cc000093.cpp -fno-builtin-alloca -fno-defer-pop -quiet -dumpbase hi.c -version -o /var/tmp/cc000093.s
GNU C version 1.40 (68k, MIT syntax) compiled by GNU C version 2.3.3.
default target switches:
 as -mc68000 -o hi.o /var/tmp/cc000093.s
 ld -o hi -x /usr/lib/crt0.o hi.o -lc
# size hi
text    data    bss     dec     hex
11220   400     1672    13292   33ec
# ./hi

And yes, it even supports TCP/IP with it’s own TCP/IP stack.  It can even operate as a router of all things!  From a users point of view it is a little sparse, but it’s 4.3BSD, and thankfully includes the C compiler, so unlike of UNIX of the era on ‘small hardware’ this one isn’t crippled.

configuring TCP/IP

TCP/IP is configured through the MacOS via the control panel.  As you can see it can use AppleTalk, Ethernet and TokenRing interfaces.  For my simplicity, I’m just using SLiRP on the Ethernet, so it’s the old setup.  I re-compiled my BasiliskIII to redirect a port into the VM so I can telnet into it.

To install System 7.0.1 you need to set Basilisk II / Cockatrice III as a IIci. I went ahead and used this ROM.  The ROM however does expect there to be a FPU.

rom Mac-IIci.ROM
modelid 5
cpu 2
fpu true

Running however, I’ve been able to set the CPU to 3 or 4 (68030/68040) and it’s fine, I think the major thing is the modelid.  If I try this under System 8 which needs a 68040, then it’ll crash in spectacular ways.  You don’t need MacTCP as again MachTen is a 4.3BSD kernel with Mach 2.5, so it has it’s own.

MachTen also includes support for NFS!  This greatly eases getting data in & out of the system.  To mount my Synology I just need the following command:

mount -t nfs -o timeo=1,retry=1,rsize=512,wsize=512,retrans=1 /mnt/data

And I’m good to go!

Reading .toast image files

Well I put out a cry for help all over the place, looking for Darwin 0.3

And much to my amazement, when I woke up, I not only got a reply but a link to a toast image.  Great, what is toast?  Well simply put toast is a format made popular by then Adaptec Toast.  Obviously the sane thing to do is to find Toast, install it, and mount the disk image inside of a Macintosh.

Adaptec toast 4.0

But, honestly, where is the fun in that?

Instead let’s have Cockatrice III do it!  Now I never did get around to writing proper CD-ROM emulation, nor integrating it, but that doesn’t matter!  Instead I’m going to rely on Daemon tools Lite, to do all the heavy lifting.  DTL will create a virtual SCSI adapter, add in a SCSI CD-ROM device, and mount the image.  Needless to say, I’m on Windows and that is where that part of the adventure ends, as Windows 10 cannot read HFS.

Now back to Cockatrice!

All I had to do was assign the SCSI 6 position to the mounted drive letter, and I’m set!  Just add this to the CockatriceIII_Prefs file:

scsi6 \\.\e:

And now I can mount the image from within Cockatrice III

Darwin 0.3 toast mounted

And there we go, now I can copy the files of just like having a real Mac.


GCC 1.37 on MacOS

I didn’t even know there was such a thing!

But sure enough, the file GNUMPW.SIT, and the later gcc-1.37.1r15-all.sea.bin are the real thing!  The file GNUMPW unstuffs to GCC 1.37.1r7(All), although Stuffit 5 and higher won’t unpack the file, I’ve converted it unpacking with version 4 & repacking with 5.5.

The readme from r7 is dated November 2nd, 1990.  I found some history on this port on the archives of the GCC mailing list here.  The port was done by Stan Shebs, while working for Apple.  As he states the port started in 1989 and was first used in an abandoned m68k based project, and later a possible replacement for the Apple compiler for OS 7.

For this experiment I was using the r15 version, as I didn’t find anything out about the prior versions until after I had written this.

GCC on MacOS needs the MPW environment, which for me is incredibly awkward to work with. While some people may love it, it is very strange in that you have to highlight commands in the window, then hit clover+enter to run them.  Like a mainframe, you can input commands wherever in the screen.

The next hardest thing was finding a version of MPW that will work with this.  It needs the MPW C compiler for it’s includes, and libraries.  The 3.5 stuff didn’t seem to work for me, however doing a LOT of searching, and I did find a ‘toast CD-ROM’ image‘ of 3.1 that includes all the C, and Assembler tools that I need to build an executable.

I also don’t know why, but running make just shows me what needs to be done, it never actually makes anything.  I’m probably doing something wrong, but for such a long dead tool, trying to find out how to use it, or how do you interrupt a “stream” like manually running cc1 is beyond me.  I just have to force quit the emulator.

But beyond that, running make gives me the steps, and I manually select and run the steps, and I was able to get a program to run!


I know it may not look like much, but getting it to actually run something was quite monumental for me!

I thought for the hell of it, I’d try to build the InfoTaskForce 1987 interpreter, but it seems to get confused at the whole input method.

Planetfall on MacOS
Planetfall on MPW

There were some issues compiling input.c, as it didn’t like the external table, so I made it’s own local table.  It also didn’t like some pointer arithmetic, but making GCC happy only gives me a program that can’t recognize any verbs.  And from there it won’t quit, basically hanging the system.

I’m sure I’m doing something wrong, but at the same time it was interesting to see GCC on MacOS, during the whole GNU boycott of Apple for the ‘look and feel’ lawsuit against Microsoft.  No doubt it let a lot of people sell other C compilers on the Mac Platform during this window of time.

GCC requires a 68020 processor, as GCC’s native 68000 based target would be SUN-2 hardware.  While it can compile with the -m68000 flag, I haven’t tested with a 68000 based emulator to see if that’s even true.  In the off chance someone wants a combined MPW+GCC I made a disk image here: MPW 3.1 with GCC 1.37.img.gz.  Disk Copy 6.3 should be able to mount it OK, or any emulator that likes HFS disk images.

More fun with GCC 6.1

So after looking at the -Ofast flags in that utterly unfair GCC 1.4 vs GCC 5.1, and 6.1 , I thought I’d try to build Cockatrice III with it.  Everything went well, and I had a build in no time.

I always hated how I had to massively downsample the audio so I could at least hear things, so I thought I’d try to put them back to 44100Khz, 16bit stereo.  And while compiling, older GCC runs fine, while 6.1 throws this run error!

../SDL/audio_sdl.cpp:57:43: error: narrowing conversion of '-1404829696' from 'int' to 'uint32 {aka unsigned int}' inside { } [-Wnarrowing]
 uint32 audio_sample_rates[] = {44100 << 16};
makefile:104: recipe for target 'obj/audio_sdl.o' failed
make: *** [obj/audio_sdl.o] Error 1

Well it turns out that it’s getting truncated as the audio_sample_rates are defined as an unsigned int, but it really want’s to be a regular integer.  So I changed the type, and now I have high def audio!  While I was in there, I fixed some stupid typos in the keyboard so I can actually use vi in MacMiNT.

It’s still in 256 colors, I’m missing something fundamental as to why it’s not working but I just don’t have enough time to mess with it today.

For anyone who cares, the Win32 binary package is on sourceforge.