Mac minis and Classic OS

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doug-doug the mighty's picture
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Mac minis and Classic OS

Pardon the redundancy (if any) of this question.

I have decided to go for a Mac mini, but I wanted to know if the sales guy was right about running Classic OS on a Mac mini. They said that you can run Classic, but only as through X and that the machine will not boot from Classic via CD or installed on the Hard drive. I was hoping that this was not true and this last breed of PPC would be able to rise to the challenge.

Is the guy right, or do I have any hope of running pure Classic?

If I must run X, that is not the end of the world for me, but it takes some of the magic out of what I was hoping to accomplish with this machine.

Also, any tips or extras I should consider as add-ons to this purchase?

TIA

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...

Ab-so-lutely nooo chance of running OS 9 on a mini. Go back 3 years or so and maybe a few new Macs will run 9 natively, but not anymore.

You'd probably have a better chance of getting Windows to run on it. Just pick up a cube if you want something similar that does 9.

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Ummmm

Every machine released since January 2003 does not have support for Native Mac OS 9 booting. (the last of the titaniums were released prior to this and limped along until the aluminum 15" came out in september 2003). However, Classic mode within OS X will work on any machine running OS X. Everything from a Beige G3 to a Dual 2.7 G5 will run classic, but you'll need to install it. For me, I haven't had to use classic much in the last few years. I still have a few old games and apps that I fire up on occasion in classic and they work fine on my 1.5ghz PB G4. Unless you're using an application that requires native booting of OS 9, you'll be fine with Classic. There are a few apps that did, I just don't remember which ones.

- iantm

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`~`

If I must run X, that is not the end of the world for me, but it takes some of the magic out of what I was hoping to accomplish with this machine.

You have my complete and undivided attention. A Mac-Mini and a requirement that it be able to run a Classic Mac OS exclusively... Hmmm, yes, you have my complete attention...

Magic? A Mac-Mini, Classic Mac OS, and Magic? My curiousity has been piqued...

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Add-ons

I'd spend the extra 100 or so clams to get the AirPort Extreme and Bluetooth, along with the slightly faster processor and double the hard drive capacity.

And don't forget to check the Special Deals section on the Apple Store page for refurbs. There are some 1.42MHz units with AirPort, Bluetooth, and Superdrive for $629. Suhweeet!

And no, the mini won't run OS 9 natively; only in Classic mode. But that'll do everything for you that doesn't involve direct interaction with hardware. The latest models that I've seen that are dual boot are the mirror-door G4's. We've got a 1.25GHz DP (I think) at work that will do OS 9, but it runs much better in OS X.

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Re: Add-ons

But that'll do everything for you that doesn't involve direct interaction with hardware.

Hmmm, I was planning on adding a few dongles to support some older hardware:

  • USB to ADB dongle
  • USB to Serial dongle(Mac Serial)
  • USB or Firwire to SCSI dongle/adapter

I do not have a specific list of accessories that I am looking to support, but vague ideas. Any level of support I can get from these dongles for said hardware genres is great. Nothing should be OS specific. I just prefered 9 to X for this particular project due to personal preference. If I am running Classic (through X) and I can use the above mentioned dongling, I will be set.

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Adapters

There are drivers for the USB to ADB dongle from Keyspan (I think) that'll make Classic talk with ADB devices. No idea on the serial or SCSI adapters. The general rule though is that the only way that Classic apps can talk with hardware is with OS X as an intermediary. Bad deal, but it's the nature of the beast.

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Re: Ummmm

Every machine released since January 2003 does not have support for Native Mac OS 9 booting. - iantm

Actually, the September 2003 ibooks would boot (I think those were G3) would boot into OS 9. I could be wrong on this.

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Re: Ummmm

Every machine released since January 2003 does not have support for Native Mac OS 9 booting. - iantm

Actually, the September 2003 ibooks would boot (I think those were G3) would boot into OS 9.2.2 I could be wrong on this.


Actually Apple history claims that the last Macintosh that was could run is the emac (ATI Graphics).
Introduced: May 2003
Terminated: April 2004

http://www.apple-history.com/body.php?page=gallery&model=emac_ati&performa=off&sort=date

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W00t!

So my eMac (avec ATI Radeon 7500) is the last mac that will natively boot into OS9?

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apple says....

this document made by apple. Mac OS 8 and 9 compatibility with Macintosh computers. claims that the only emac (ati graphics) that can be booted up in os 9.2.2 is the eMac (ATI Graphics) - CD-ROM and Combo Drive not the superdrive. So now I can't exactly say if it can or not.
but check out.
http://docs.info.apple.com/article.html?artnum=25114

But I have seen the first Emac and run os 9.2.2. it booted up quickly.
and also have a early 2003 model ibook boot up in 9.2.2.

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Run a base install of linux,

Run a base install of linux, then run mac on linux on top of that - and with that run mac os 9?

With some tweaking it should be quite usable...

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Smart Idea

that is one smart idea. Smile

Jon
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That is a decnet idea, but th

That is a decnet idea, but this is better:
http://maconmac.bastix.net/

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Great Typos

That is a decnet idea...

I was flummoxed for a minute about what connects a networking protocol for VAX computers with running Classic OS...

DECnet: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/DECnet

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Re: That is a decnet idea, but th

That is a decnet idea, but this is better:
http://maconmac.bastix.net/

True Jon. I was going to sugest that, but I thought it would be easier to get performance using the linux machine, as you could run a very basic install.

On the other hand, with Mac OS X running in the background there is going to be less CPU time and far less RAM avaliable for the OS 9 machine.

Still, i'm glad you posted that link. I wasn't aware that the project has progressed so far.

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Why won't it boot?

What prevents OS 9 from installing / booting on post-2003 Macs?

Is there enough difference in the hardware that it 'breaks' OS 9, or is it just something simple like not recognizing the gestalt ID or some such? (Wish I Were comes to mind)

Jon
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I'll make a wild stab in the

I'll make a wild stab in the dark and guess that they made the OF not load the APPL.ROM anymore.

merty's picture
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PCs have a redeeming feature

when I did my post about getting a dell latitude to work with 2k, a person posted that they threw XP on it. It was a P 1 MMX 166. They said it was unbearebly slow.

1 thing I love about the x86 machines, is that unlike Macintosh's. It is not limited to the ROM as to what will run on it. I had a 486 try to play a DVD. After about 1hr of it trying to render 1 frame, i just shut it off. I don't see a 68k doing that anytime soon. Same is true for reverse. You can run MS-Dos 1.0 on a brand new P4. Those machines accept anything that you throw at the CPU. Maybe the x86 chips have 1 redeeming feature

Imagine running system 1 on a g5 not possible without a emulator or a hack.
but how fast would it go if it was possible

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Re: Why won't it boot?

What prevents OS 9 from installing / booting on post-2003 Macs?

Is there enough difference in the hardware that it 'breaks' OS 9, or is it just something simple like not recognizing the gestalt ID or some such? (Wish I Were comes to mind)

The cutoff point is the Macs which have DDR RAM. (AKA "Intrepid" system controllers, which incude AGP 4x, a new ethernet controller, etc.) Most everything with the "Uni-N" ASIC will run it directly. That is a significant difference in hardware, so my guess is that it would of taken some non-trivial (in Apple's view, given the non-profit status of the Classic MacOS) engineering to get hardware-dependant drivers to work on the new architecture.

Whether a "Wish-I-Were" sort of solution is "possible" depends on how much hardware-dependant stuff there is in the APPL.ROM, and whether the new firmware includes every "hook" needed to work with it. In any case it'd likely have to include a custom bootloader to "fake out" the new OF, and there's a good chance that little things like USB, video accelleration, etc, (anything which depends on loaded drivers/extensions) would be badly broken.

Of course, taking a modern OS X machine and forcing OS 9 on it would be sort of like a forcing a Shakespearean actor to get a lobotomy in order to play a handicapped person, but... eh. Whatever floats your boat.

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re launching boats

sometimes a specific application is what the doctor ordered. I for one as an example find that ADOBE 7 is all I truely need for my graphics work. the other software uses up far too much memory of course thats using the other foremat where the helps programs are 150 or more MB of wasted memory. If I could get a system with an apple that ran an Adobe Photoshop 7 I would be a happy camper. who needs the suete when the regular stuff works. and besides one might expect a well trained actyor of the Stanislauskey or Boleslaskey ilk to do quite well portraying anyone you ask.

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