Where to get the Pippin OS

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Krest's picture
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Is therer any source to get my hands on the Pippin OS? I have a Pippin but no Software for it so I can't boot it, I can only use the CD-Player.

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Joined: Dec 20 2003
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The OS in on the CDs

Pippin is a console and the idea was that buyers would only need to insert a CD and everything would be self contained on that CD (ie the CD will boot the OS and the game/package/browser). The OS itself is a cut down version of System 7.5.x; the version number is 7.5.2 but the OS is distinctly different from 7.5.2 that shipped with first generation PCI Power Macs. The OS can easily be extracted from any bootable Pippin CD. However given the authentication (DRM) control on Pippin consoles it is difficult to do anything useful with the OS unless you have the right ROM in your Pippin. For more information and links, see http://www.mandrake.demon.co.uk/Apple/pip1.html.

Given that you live in Europe, drop me a line off Forum and I'll send some copies of genuine Pippin boot media (this is NOT piracy; these disks originally shipped with the console). If your ability to read Japanese is any good, let me know because I'd like clarification of file versions on some JP CDs.

If you want to try hacking your Pippin, it is very straightforward to extend the SCSI cable. I've not tried booting from non-CD disks (hard disk, Zip etc) on a Pippin with a "standard" production ROM but it is worth experimenting. Try creating a hard disk partition that is *exactly* the same size as a CD, assign the disk as SCSI ID 3 (Pippin/Mac internal CD-ROM standard ID) and install System 7.5.3. If you have the Pippin system enabler in the System 7.5.3 folder, the Pippin *may* boot into Mac OS; if the enabler is missing you *may* see the familar "Wrong version of Mac OS for this Mac" dialog.

And if you do disassemble your Pippin to install a SCSI cable, make a note of the silk screen comments about motherboard and ROM versions. Given the version numbers, I should be able to suggest what your Pippin can do. Don't modify the Pippin metal chassis or plastics until you know that external SCSI actually works.

Good luck,

Phil

Krest's picture
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Joined: Sep 29 2004
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It's alive

I got my Pippin CDs today (thanks Phil) and the US OS works great on the japanese Pippin. Sadly I don't have a controller.
I know that there is a Pippin/ADB adapter, but I don't have one. Is there a way to build one? Or is there someone who will sell me one or a Pippin controller?

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Tom Owad's picture
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It actually is ADB, just with

It actually is ADB, just with a different style connector. All you need to do is rearrange the wires. The biggest challenge will be finding a plug that'll fit on the Pippin side. Perhaps somebody has a name or number for that connector style?

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LTong's picture
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eBay
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Logan Tong

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You should have said...

I'm glad that the copies worked for you, Till. Fortunately I have a bunch of controllers and I'll happily sell you one for a reasonable, non-rip-off price.

I own three Pippins. One is a Japanese (white) model, bought as a complete mint-in-box set from a Japanese vendor. It's just a standard Pippin but it's nice to have a complete set with original CDs. I won't hack it in any way that is not reversible but it will have its guts opened up and sensibly used. The JP set includes the cables, modem, keyboard/tablet, controller, CDs, documentation.

The other two Pippins were purchased from someone who worked for a Pippin developer in the US. One Pippin is a black prototype Atmark model which does not have the identification decals on the left side of the front panel. The logic board is a standard Pippin release, as are the rest of the internals apart from the KINKA developer ROM. The developer ROM allows you to do useful things like boot from an external SCSI drive and boot from non-authenticated (ie non-DRM) CDs.

The second of the two US-sourced Pippins has a standard white Atmark case and is similar to the black prototype Atmark internally. It has the KINKA rom too but for some reason it will only recognise the onboard RAM and will not use any of the 8MB expansion modules that I own. All of the motherboard identification labels are the same as for the black model.

The US-sourced bundle included a bunch of other interesting bits: an "evaluation only" no FCC ID floppy dock, two US keyboard/tablets, one JP keyboard/tablet, two dongles that permit SCSI hard disk booting from a standard ROM, one (very precious) Pippin ADB to Mac ADB adapter that allows me to use a standard keyboard with a Pippin, three 8MB RAM expansion modules, a CD with a beta version of the next generation Pippin web browser before the project was cancelled.

And a few hand controllers... Black, white or grey hand controllers with standard ADB and with Pippin ADB, a wireless module with matching hand controller. Some controllers have an "eval only" paper label; others have a blank square where the Pippin logo would be moulded on the plastic. I'll retain what I need but I'll be selling other bits shortly. Alas, prototypes will be sold at collectors' prices because I need to recover some money from this purchase. The Pippin hand controller works with the classic Mac OS games sprocket libraries so it is a more authentic Apple option if you want to play games on an ADB PowerMac.

I've spent hours trying to get Linux or NetBSD to boot on a developer Pippin with 13MB RAM but no success. I'll write up the results shortly. For now, all of my Mac OS Pippin hacks can be found at:
http://www.mandrake.demon.co.uk/Apple/pip1.html

Phil