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…!

Some 5400/12 – Performa 200 restoration notes

(Image from Wikipedia) I never took a picture of mine.
(Image from Wikipedia) I never took a picture of mine.

I’ll throw out a little tidbit about the Power Macintosh 5400/120, otherwise known as the Performa 200. If you do not have any Mac OS CD’s this will be *VERY* hard to get going with nothing. The good news is that there are boot floppies available out there.

The bad news is that they are encoded in a method in which you’ll have to get access to a working Mac. If there was somewhere I could post these files forever I would.

Anyways the boot disk is this one:


Which I currently see online here:


Now it’s a diskcopy 6.4 image. Which you’ll need a Mac. I was able to finagle one from a Mac, however I’m wondering now if it’s possible to do this via emulation. During this whole resurrect my $12 Mac I’ve come across vMac, Basilisk II & SheepShaver.

I plan on doing some serious review, however it is worth noting that while both do run fine, they are actually buggy on weird stuff vs the real iron.

From what I gather with the boot disk, you can boot your Mac up, partition & format it, and install this super small bootable System 7.6 onto the hard disk. It will complain about you doing it this way, but it will work, allowing you to get the box up & running somewhat, to let you try some methods of getting the install disk for 7.6 onto your Mac.

It is worth noting that the 7.5.3 on Apple’s download site that is provided for FREE does *NOT* work on the 5400! I did at one point try it, and I got some wonderful message :

The System Software 7.5.3 Installer script does not recognize this Macintosh. Please use the original disks that came with your computer.

Sadly all information I see is that this thing shipped with 7.5.3 Oh well. I eventually found a boot floppy!

The site I gleaned this boot disk from was this:


If anyone does anything MacOS for a living or is going to play with a Mac you ought to save the whole thing! It’s VERY useful, more so than Apple’s documentation.

Anyways I’ve tweaked up a copy of the SIMH PDP-11 to compile and do a small test under MiNT/MacOS. Tomorrow we shall see if it’s usable.



Recently I came across a Power Macintosh 5400/120 at a garage sale for the bargain price of $12! I couldn’t believe my luck, for under $20 I had a fully working computer!

Except that it won’t run OS X 1.0
And it only has 8Mb of ram.

Because of its memory restrictions it can only run Mac OS 7.6

What to do….


MINT back in the day for AtariST’s was a UNIX like layer that ran on top of TOS (The Atari MS-DOS like OS) and provided basic Unix services. With the program aptly called JET (Just Enough TOS), the Macintosh 68000’s can setup a TOS compatible interrupt vector table, and run TOS procedure emulation to run the MINT binaries under MacOS!

So, it’s UNIX!

Sort of.

First you need to disable Virtual Memory… That’s bad.
Next it doesn’t support TCP/IP so it’s like being on Unix v6. But it’s fun at any rate.

You can find the binaries at my mirror of sra.co.jp here.

It includes gcc 2.5.8, and a somewhat basic environment. It does have lots of potential, but the biggest gripe is that 8Mb of ram just isn’t enough to do any serious compiling, and yes it will crash with virtual memory enabled. Also since it is 68000 programs it is running under emulation.. I have to admit that I am tempted to buy some kind of 68000 based Macintosh to run MacMiNT.

I know this may not be terribly useful to people, but then again someone has to do something fun/weird on a $12 machine. I fully expect to either get a ‘bigger’ 68000 box, or more ram and run something like simh on it. I can only wonder how usable the PDP11 or the Interdata32 are.

And for anyone, like me wants a ‘clear’ program, just because, here is a simple one, just remember to link with -ltermcap.

#include <stdio.h>
#include <stdlib.h>
#include <termcap.h>

void main()


char buf[1024];
char buf2[30];
char *ap;
char *clearstr;