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Apple IIc – Floppy via Serial

I've recently acquired an Apple IIc and it's time to play games! As previously mentioned, the best way to do this is to hook up the Apple to a PC and transfer data via serial cable. This is all done via the aid of a software program known as ADTPro.

Building the serial cable

You'll find the required information on the connection page of ADTPro. Back to Jaycar we go to get the required components. Needed was a DB-9 female serial connector and a DIN-5 male plug. Some 6-core wire helped also.

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Soldering it all together is very straight forward. Firstly, bridge pins 1 and 5 on the DIN side, then solder up pins 2-4.

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Next, on the DB-9 port, join pins 1,4,6 together. Then join pins 7 and 8 together. That's two separate groups, not all 5 in one join! Finally, wire through (DIN-DB9) the three wires, 4-3, 2-2, 3-5.

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Bootstrapping the software

Everything you need to know is on the ADTPro bootstrapping page. Java is required, so grab a JRE and install it on your platform of choice. Make sure your hardware has a functioning serial port! A USB->Serial adapter will work fine here. Download ADTPro from sourceforge and the RXTX Java Libraries. If you don't install the libraries, the application will remind you anyway...

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To install RXTX, unzip the downloaded archive and move RXTXcomm.jar to \jre\lib\ext (under java) and rxtxSerial.dll to \jre\bin. Open the program once you've got it all installed. It'll be asking what serial port and what speed to use. Leave the speed as default and then choose the correct port.

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At this point, you'll want to copy your disk image files into the disks subdirectory inside the ADTPro folder. Once you're ready to go, turn on your Apple IIc, holding down CTRL-RESET to get to the prompt. Expect ugly characters on the screen... it's no issue.

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Once up (disregard that I already typed the first step above!), go back to ADTPRO and choose Bootstrapping -> ProDOS -> Speediboot.

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Follow the instructions and type out the commands on the Apple. Note: Replace the # with the pound sign on UK keyboards! From here, you'll hopefully load into the main menu.

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Hit R for Receive File and then make sure you are in the correct 'working directory'... i.e. where you copied your disk images to! I found Frogger, renamed it as frgr.dsk and copied it into the ADTPro disks folder. I was about run the floppy disk image from RAM... but why? I have spare floppies... lets use this thing as a floppy image writer!

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It took a good amount of time... sounding REALLY unhealthy. Those Xs didn't look too good either. Turns out this was because I was trying to use PC formatted high-density disks... and that would never work! Regardless, due to the sounds, I wanted to open up the drive to check if it need maintenance.

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For its age, it was in perfect condition. Dusty, yes... and the top padded head was deteriorating... but nothing a little cleanup with alcohol wipes wouldn't fix! I then remembered I had a 'disposable' 360k disk in my repertoire. Using this, I finally had a bit of success... it read the disk header!

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Frogger then burnt, but wouldn't boot :( As that I had no idea if this version of Frogger was for my machine, or if it was even a bootable disk, I thought I'd try the actual images that come with ADTPro. I therefore chose the first image and wrote it to the disk. TADA! It booted!! Very different menu from the remote version when loaded over the wire.

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What next? Oh yeah, Police Quest 1. Turns out this is in NIB disk image format, but it seems ADTPro can handle this. There was a warning of file size mismatch, but I went ahead and burnt it anyway... I didn't bother burning the second side. Once cooked, I turned the machine off.. counted to 10... held breath... crossed fingers... powered on...

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Hahahaha! It worked! But I can't flip the disk without repeating the whole process and writing the other side. I don't think I'll bother as the game loaded so bloody slowly. I'd probably never end up actually playing or using this machine... so it's now on eBay. What a perfect unit if you loved these old games!?

Filed under: Apple No Comments
22Jul/180

Introducing the Apple IIc

I suppose I should be using italics there, but the heading doesn't allow it. The Apple IIc is an all-in-one (apart from the monitor) unit from Apple, built in 1984. Amazingly, this model was released at the same time that the original Macintoshes were hitting the market, directly competing with their own graphical systems?

I happened to stumble across one recently at the Camberwell Markets and haggled it down to a price I was comfortable with.

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Design

This thing is like a cute little suitcase. It has a fold-out handle at the back which actually makes it really portable. What doesn't make it portable is the power supply! It's huge and heavy and really does ruin the whole 'portable' aspect.

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The keyboard is relatively clicky, but a little sluggish. From what I read, they fixed this in later versions which came out with 'alps' switches. Note that you can determine your model by typing PRINT PEEK(64447) at the BASIC prompt...

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Mine is a 255... the earliest revision.

ROM Upgrades

Fortunately, the ROM is a socketed EPROM and therefore easy to upgrade. Big Mess O' Wires has a great blog post on upgrading the ROM. Turns out that my version of the motherboard has a 16k ROM in it, but the board has provisions to support a 32k (27256) ROM. A 64k ROM is also usable, if you burn the image to the 'second half' of the chip. See my old post here on burning EPROMs if you need a hand to do so.

Firstly, download the ROMs. I'd recommend ROM 5x as it is a modified ROM with extra features. Unfortunately, they don't provide a direct link, so you'll have to follow the instructions there to create it. There's another link here.

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I spent a bit of time trying to see if I could use Windows 10 to burn... short answer is that I couldn't. I booted up the old IBM NetVista which had a fresh install of XP, but that was also troublesome. So I threw in a spare HDD and re-installed 98se. Note, make sure you set your parallel port to just ECP. I'll try XP again as this setting made the burning work under 98se. Also make sure your EPROMs are blank!

Next, pop the thing open. Firstly, undo the top two and bottom 4 screws. The 4 middle screws are for the floppy drive and aren't required to remove the case lid. Once you've popped the lid off... and be very careful, there's clips all around that just need manipulating, you can disconnect the data cable to both the floppy and the keyboard.

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You'll then have the mainboard totally exposed. One thing to note is the Integrated Wozniak Machine, used to drive the floppy.

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The ROM is the bottom-middle IC. Hahaha... look at that copyright requirement... it says MICROSOFT '77!

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From here, pop out the old chip and slap in yours. You'll need to break W1 and bridge W2 (as per the instructions in the link above) if you're not replacing with a 27128.

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First boot and I got the following...

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Oh bullocks... but hey, if you actually plug the keyboard in, then it'll actually work!

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Niccceeee....

Colour Video

I was a little disappointed that this only had monochrome composite output. Fortunately, Kaput(?) has created a schematic for a Apple II Colour Demodulator. The inline images seem to be dead, but just click the first link for the circuit. My main issue is that I found that shitty little TV above, as it nicely matched the IIc. It's monochrome also... so... I'm not overly fussed if the unit stays mono.

Software

Turns out there's a whole lot of popular games on this unit! Here's the list, thanks to Wikipedia.. And what!?!?... Police Quest 1? I wonder how hard it is to write a 5 1/2" floppy for this thing. Here's Frogger. A little googling tells me that writing floppies needs to be done via ADTPro and a serial cable. That'll be another post!

Filed under: Apple No Comments
20Nov/170

Power Mac 7220 – PC Compatibility Card

I'd recently picked up a PC Compatibility Card for my Power Mac 7220 and thought I'd see if it worked. It seems to be the P166 variant and, unfortunately, didn't come with the required monitor cabling.

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The card itself is huge. Being an entire PC on a card, you'll find graphics, RAM, sound and, of course, the main CPU all crammed on-board.

Basic Installation

It fits neatly into the 7220 case and has a metal tab at the far end that may well need to be adjusted to allow a secure fit.

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You'll see in the first two shots above that the metal tab was in the wrong spot and didn't slot into the case. I had to shift it to the other position to provide a proper fit. Otherwise the weight of the card actually allowed it to start bending down!

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There's also a CD Audio cable that needs to be fitted. Previously the 7220 simply had the audio from the CD drive plugged straight into the motherboard. Now, the audio runs from the CD drive to the PC card, then another CD Audio cable runs between the card and the motherboard. This effectively means that the PC Card is mixing its own audio output with anything from the CD drive and sending that to the Macintosh hardware.

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Note that you'll need to set your input device to the internal CD Drive to have the sound come through!

Software is simple enough, see my post here for all the relevant downloads. Install PC Setup 1.6 prior to 2.14. The disks from that post work fine as well!

Hacking a cable together

I expected that the 26-pin 3-row D-sub plug required for this would be apple-proprietary, but it turns out that it's available on eBay! I purchased one, along with two 14-pin already-cabled plugs to hack up.

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Nothing like buying in bulk in case of emergency! The wiring information can be found here, but I've provided it below for safe-keeping.

3-row 26-pin
Compatibility
plug
Macintosh
Video Out
(male)
Monitor Plug
(female)
Purpose Direction
Pin 1 Pin 15 Horizontal Sync In
Pin 2 Pin 11 C & VSync Ground In
Pin 3 Pin 9 Blue Signal In
Pin 4 Pin 13 Blue Ground In
Pin 5 Pin 4 Pin 4 Sense 0 In/Out
Pin 6 Pin 13 Blue Ground Out
Pin 7 Pin 9 Blue Signal Out
Pin 8 Pin 14 HSync Ground Out
Pin 9 Pin 15 HSync Out
Pin 10 Pin 3 CSync In
Pin 11 Pin 11 C & VSync Ground In
Pin 12 Pin 5 Green Signal In
Pin 13 Pin 6 Green Ground In
Pin 14 Pin 7 Pin 7 Sense1 In/Out
Pin 15 Pin 6 Green Ground Out
Pin 16 Pin 5 Green Signal Out
Pin 17 Pin 11 C & VSync Ground Out
Pin 18 Pin 3 CSync Out
Pin 19 Pin 12 VSync In
Pin 20 Pin 2 Red Signal In
Pin 21 Pin 1 Red Ground In
Pin 22 Pin 14 Cable Detect In
Pin 23 Pin 10 Pin 10 Sense2 In/Out
Pin 24 Pin 1 Red Ground Out
Pin 25 Pin 2 Red Signal Out
Pin 26 Pin 12 VSync Out

I cut the cable between the two 14-pin plugs and stripped the wires back. Intially, I started soldering these onto the main 3-row plug, but this became tedious and my soldering was unreliable. The requirement of joined pins also meant that I had to create intentional bridges and wasn't quite happy with this.

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Instead, I found some spare 'tough' copper wiring and soldered 5cm leads onto the 3-row plug. From here, I then joined and soldered the correct wires and heat-shrinked it all together.

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Resolutions were a little weird. There's notes in the PC Compatibility Card FAQ here that mention how you should install correct drivers and use a proper multi-sync monitor. I initially used my hack-job wiring and attempted to switch to the proper MAC to VGA adapter...

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With the adapter in place, the resolution was mapped correctly. I then 'solidified' the cabling... hahahaha...

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Installing Windows

I'd previously done this via the 7" Card on my 7200. Unfortunately things weren't to go as easy this time. In that post, you can find the Tiny Boot Disk hard-drive file that has a nicely bootable Windows 98 SE drive. Windows isn't installed on that, but it'll at least get you a booted 50mb harddisk. From here (or so I thought) you can then build another D: drive and make that bootable.

The goal was simple: Mount another hard-file, format it and copy the contents over. FDISK was used, format d:/s worked and then the full copy was done. On a reboot (after switching the disks so that the new drive file was C:), I was presented with NO ROM BASIC. I've never seen this error before! I switched the disks back and realised that the partition wasn't set as active. Unfortunately, DOS 6.22 FDISK can only set active partitions on the primary drive!

I therefore had to borrow FDISK from FreeDos. The best part of the PC Compatibility on Apple is that you can mount the hard-files on the Macintosh desktop! Make sure your PC side is shut down and just double-click the hard-file. After extracting FDISK, I copied it over to the DOS drive. I then unmounted the drive (drag it to the trash, as scary as that may seem) and then booted the PC side back up.

I now had an FDISK folder. Switching to this and starting FDISK gave me an error on line 2 trying to read FDISK.INI. Turns out that the file has UNIX line-breaks and DOS 6.22 hates this. I could've converted these on the Macintosh side and re-copied... but instead I took a punt and deleted the INI file. It worked! I could now set the active partition on D:.

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And then... it booted... from here I copied the WIN98 folder off the CD to the HD as an installer folder and then brought Windows 98 SE to life! I still wanted to make sure CD Audio was correct, so I tested out Screamer which uses the CD for its soundtrack.

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It then froze... each time... the entire machine... couldn't even get to the main menu!

Filed under: Apple No Comments
16Oct/170

Power Macintosh Graphite G4 – PCI Cards

This thing has a lot of room for expandability, so I went rummaging through my spares box for PCI cards that might fit. Actually, I managed to find a FireWire card on the same day I bought the ATI 9250 AGP Graphics Card, so I had that to test also. This Apple failed to come with an AirPort PCMCIA card, so I also wanted to get wireless working without paying for premium Apple devices.

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I had a TP-Link something-something box in my stash and googled to see if there were any drivers. Nothing good came up and I thought I was out of luck. I had actually bought this from the markets years ago and never used it... in fact, I never even opened the box. You can imagine my surprise when I found this inside instead!

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Haha... winner... this sure isn't a TP-Link!

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The best point is this... the bloody thing just worked! At first, I hardly got any signal... but then I realised I didn't have the antenna screwed on :)

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Done... does wonders for my limited supply of Ethernet ports.

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And again, from the category of 'just works'... this FireWire card happily let my iSight Camera function as expected.

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Totally no-name... can't even find a brand.

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I actually don't even need the ports... but hey, there are spare PCI slots to fill! The last shot above shows my iSight looking towards the machine working perfectly in iChat. Will need to find if Photo Booth is available for 10.4.6?

Adaptec AIC-7880P

This SCSI card will let me use more internal and external drives, but I really don't need them. Despite this, I think it'll still be fun to test. I've a hunch that it's actually a fake card as the only identifier is the chipset number. Adaptec doesn't name their cards after their chipsets... their cards all have individual codes!

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Everything, again, just worked perfectly! My external SyQuest removable HDD worked perfectly showing my FAT32 drive in all its glory.

Unknown VIA Chipset 'USB 1394'

This dual USB/Firewire card looked promising... but prevented the entire machine from even booting. It seems to also need an auxiliary power connector in the form of a floppy drive power cable. I wasn't overly fussed to hack up a power cable to test this out, so I wrote the whole card off... don't bother with them! (Or.. tell me if your version actually works?)

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Swann 3-port Firewire (Lucent FW232)

This card worked perfectly. The iSight had no issues with it and OSX just used it as expected. I really didn't need 3 more firewire ports, but what the heck?

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I'll add more as I find more cards to test...

16Oct/170

Power Macintosh Graphite G4 – ATI Radeon 9250

My recently acquired Power Mac G4 was originally spec'd with an Nvidia GeForce, but instead came with an ATI Rage Pro 128. I therefore started researching my options for a graphics card upgrade. Most 'apple-designed' items, that would work out of the box, would cost an arm and a leg, so I ventured deeper into the web and came to the understanding that PC cards could be flashed to work on Apples!

Which cards?

Good question. Some people have had luck with the NVidia GeForce range, whilst others have succeeded with the ATI Radeon chipset. There's a good compatibilty chart here at The Mac Elite which will show you the series and then any required modifications.

Sapphire ATI Radeon 9250 128mb

I happened across an ATI Radeon 9250 AGP with 128mb of RAM at trash and treasure on the weekend for a few dollars and my decision was therefore made for me. The VGA port was dangling and needed whatever screws I could find to secure it.. and well, it was cheap.

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Quick research showed that the basic process is to first flash it in a compatible PC, disable pins 3+11 and then shift some resistors. The pin disablement is required as the Macintosh actually uses these to send 25v over it's proprietary ADC port to power an Apple Display. AGP 1x originally didn't require these pins and so Apple hijacked them. Plugging an AGP 4x/8x card into an apple expecting a 1x card will prevent the machine from booting and possibly cause other hardware damage.

Flashing with a Macintosh ROM

Thanking The Mac Elite once more, they have a great flashing tutorial here. Firstly, you'll need a ROM, so follow the links and agree to the disclaimers. Note that the 9250 driver is actually not 'official'. It's a modified version that has the device IDs hacked in to allow this card to work. You'll find 3 ROMs for the 9250 over there. A 'full' version and 2 reduced versions. The latter are smaller versions of the original ROM file, allowing it to fit on cards with smaller flash memory. Actually, there's a whole article on reduced ROMs here. I'd read on a forum of a success story with the 'Reduced TOME ROM', so I chose that.

Finding ATIFlash actually became quite a challenge... the tools available for ATI Flashing were all windows-based and the DOS version was nowhere to be found. I tried Archive.org, but the links were all dynamic and wouldn't give me an older version. Googling then provided me with a link to a newer version of the DOS ATIFlash tool. I managed to get it onto a bootable floppy, with both of the ROMs to test and ... well ... each attempt resulted in: Adapter Not Found. The tool couldn't find my AGP card!?!

At this point I had two options... Keep scouring the web for an ancient version of ATIFlash (v3.10 is the version everyone seems to prefer) or try the windows versions... I actually did try the latter, but my test PC only had Win98SE and the app needed Windows 7 at a minimum. I therefore kept digging and found other versions of ATIFlash! Finally, v3.10. It still didn't work... so instead of wasting hours to get Windows 7 up and running, I chose to force the flash. Using atiflash -f -p [CARD_IDX] [ROM_FILE], things started happening!

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Finally, we have a successful flash and it's actually now listing the card and the ROM information correctly. NOTE: The screenshot above shows ATIFLA2.EXE... this is v3.10. ATIFLASH.EXE is v4.17, the first version I tried.

Disabling pins 3 and 11

The Mac Elite has a great write-up on this requirement. As mentioned, these two pins were used to provide power to an ADC monitor. Later on, AGP 8x came along and used these pins for something else. Since my card is an 8x card, the pins are 'in-use' and therefore the Macintosh wasn't happy with this at all. In fact, it wouldn't power up with the card inserted nakedly into the slot. Fortunately, the fix is simples... grab some sticky-tape and cut it into thin slices and insulate the pins.

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To stop the tape from sliding when the card is inserted, wrap it half way around the edge. Don't go all the way around though, as you'll disable other pins on the other side of the connector.

At this point I tested it out... I was curious to see if the machine would even power up.

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It did!... but the frequency was totally out-of-whack. That last shot is of me going back to the PC to check if I could write the other 'full' ROM as I'd thought a bad ROM write was to blame. It didn't let me and I was about to despair, before I remembered that I still had to hack resistors to switch this card into Mac Mode.

ATI 9250 'Macintosh Mode'

The 9250 needs a further 'Macintosh Mode' hack. It seems that the card has soldered jumpers to configure it as either Macintosh or PC. This link at The Mac Elite has an example of what resistors to change... but my card wasn't 100% identical. I took a flying leap and guessed that the resistors in the same area provided the same purpose. This, thankfully, turned out to be correct!

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So, the card was on the workbench, the soldering iron was ready, and I had assumed that the 'block of three' resistors was the top 3 of 4 in that upper area and the '2 pair' was the obvious 2-pair below. Fortunately, the first 2 of 3 of the top block were already in the correct location; I just had to shift the last one. Removal was easy: I tinned the soldering iron and just heated up the SMD resistor until it lifted and stuck to the tip. After this I cleaned the pads ready for the switched resistors.

Of course, I couldn't be assed trying to put the tiny SMD resistors back; there's really no need. They're actually just jumpers or 0 ohm resistors providing links between two solder pads. I therefore just grabbed a nearby full-size resistor and bent its leg to act as a jumper.

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I tinned the end of the resistor and then soldered it in place.

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From there, a nice set of sharp snips removed the excess and the short was in place!

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One done, two more to go...

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Before I knew it, all were done and it was time to test it out again...

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With the card in place, you really have no idea if the sticky-tape insulating the pins has succeeded... but just turn it on anyway! Meanwhile, look at all those spare PCI slots! I'll get back to them later.

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Haha! It just worked!

Software

Well... it nearly worked. The second monitor was maxing out at 640x480 and controls seemed limited. I assumed I needed some form of a real ATI driver, so I went searching. ATI/AMD actually has the drivers right here and installing them was a breeze. After a reboot, I had full resolution and the monitor model numbers were even showing up!

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Success!

28Sep/170

OSX vs External MIDI Synthesizers

I've had an Edirol UM-1 USB MIDI Interface for ages and assumed it would 'just work' with the new Apple Power Mac G4 running OSX Tiger 10.4.11 that I recently acquired. The short answer is, it worked in the end, but the path to get it sorted wasn't overly intuitive.

Installing the correct drivers

Browse to the Roland Support Site and download the UM-1 Driver Version 2.1.0 for Mac OS X. This will give you the usual DMG on your desktop.

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Run the UM1USBDriver.pkg file and follow the prompts. You may need to restart!

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Configuring MIDI on OSX

Once you're back at your desktop, browse to Applications and look for Audio MIDI Setup.

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You should have a device called UM-1 listed here. What you now need to do is add a new device for your external synthesizer. Hit Add Device from the top toolbar.

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Give it the appropriate name and adjust the ports as required. Click the top-left icon and change it to something more appropriate.

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From here, you need to join the output of the UM-1 to the input of your new synthesizer. Look at the first image in this section above.

Playing MIDI Files

QuickTime Player JUST WON'T WORK. It only seems to ever want to use the QuickTime Music Synthesizer. Forget about it and download Sweet MIDI Player. Once it's open, click the MIDI menu and then choose MIDI Setup.

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Choose Core MIDI and then select your device. Now play your songs!

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Of course... you'll only get the first 3/4 of the song... will need to work out how to buy a license.

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Good luck!

28Sep/171

Power Macintosh Graphite G4 M5183 733mhz

You should've seen this poor thing on the shelf at the 'tip shop'. It was covered in mud, scuff marks, scratches and looked to have the absolute poop beaten out of it. I asked the price anyway, as I've always wanted to tinker with one of these things and this was in a perfectly restorative condition. It turns out that the going rate was AUD$5.00, so I purchased it and an original Macintosh A/B serial switch as well. (That'll work well for the MIDI devices I want to hook up.)

Getting it home...

Fortunately I had appropriate wrapping in the boot and insulated my newly acquired hazardous goods from anything on which it would leave a mark. It then went straight outside onto the balcony where I regretted yet another one of my impulse-purchases.

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Look at that grime... There was actually dirt falling out of it whenever I moved it and the wrapping I had it in had a collection of ... 'waste' that fallen out on the way home. Sliding around in the boot probably didn't help either.

Identifying it...

This turned out to be easier than expected... It's an M5183 G4 733mhz Power Macintosh 'Graphite'... but the guts aren't 100%. It was meant to come with an NVIDIA GeForce 2, HDD, etc... but instead has an ATI RAGE 128?

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Oh well... as long as it works!

Tearing it apart

Thanks to Apple's lust for ease-of-tear-down, this machine unscrewed and disassembled itself. The case is actually really nice; especially how it pops open with two latches and unfurls so that cables are secured and not in the way.

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Cables on hinges are expected to fail over time... but it looks like this one met a harsher fate...

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Meanwhile... yes... check out that grime! The entire case had a layer of crud inside, and this ain't dust. This is land-fill-biological-waste which was treated with every caution required. Fortunately it was all dry, so hopefully there weren't too many living organisms. Actually, I half-expected something to crawl out of the power supply but, apart from fertiliser and dirt/dust, it was relatively unscathed!

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The case got the full treatment. It needed it. Unfortunately, working with base metal chassis' always means human casualties. Fortunately I have a plentiful supply of disinfectant and bandaids.

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Building it back up again...

This was the fun part... there's always screws left over! For the most part everything just slotted back together. The only real issue was the IDE cable.

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As that the original cable was damaged, I tried to find one from my stash that would fit, but none were long enough. The cable would end up supporting the mainboard panel when trying to open the case.

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Either way, it worked when closed... It was time to add voltage!

Flicking the switch

I really didn't know what to expect here... just because things are clean, doesn't mean they won't fry your local electrical circuits or trip breakers. I used a protected powerboard to provide an extra level of safety and plugged in the power cable. It actually gave a small crackle as it started to pull power; probably the first time in years that it had. These power supplies are always using some amount of current, as they're always in some form of standby, so it wasn't unexpected that I'd already have current draw on simply plugging in the power.

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Fortunately, everything just worked... it even wanted to boot a Mac OS9 Lives ISO!

Roll-your-own IDE cable

Of course, Apple love their proprietary bits and pieces. In this case (hah, pun), the IDE cable is extra-long and runs around the entire length of the case before getting to the ZIP and CD drives. This is an 80-pin UDMA cable and, in my case, had been damaged where it flexes to the mainboard. I attempted to crimp on my own IDC header, but a standard 40-pin doesn't do the job.

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Seems to be an extra crimp row on the 80-pin header... something about every-second-pin being ground? Regardless, I just made my own 40-pin cable. Meh, the CD and ZIP wont perform at their capacity, but they'll work!

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All the components were easily acquired from Jaycar... crimping them needed a hammer and a solid bench (sorry kitchen.)

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I tested it. Yes. On bare carpet. Even with an after-market drive! The original 'super-drive' was having difficulty... might need to clean it out also.

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Routing it back through the case was easy enough. I wasn't game to 'fold' the cable into the angles as much as they did, so I just pressed them down as much as was required.

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Nice. And then it just worked perfectly! I still need a ZipDisk to check that drive.

OS Versions

This machine can support anything up to Mac OS X 10.4.11. You can find the 10.4.6 ISO online pretty easily (I really miss WinWorldPC)... then you just need the 10.4.11 PPC Combo Update to bring it up to the last possible version.

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I actually initially installed Mac OS9 Lives, with OSX 10.4.6 installed after it onto a secondary partition. OSX actually wouldn't boot when this was the case! It just showed that stupid 'prohibitory' 'cancel' symbol above. It seems that Mac OS9 formats the disks (or installs drivers?) in some way that stops OSX from finding the "root device". Either way, installing OSX first, and ticking the 'Install support for Mac OS 9 Disk Drivers' when partitioning!, worked perfectly. I now have a nice dual-boot scenario. I think I can even boot the Mac OS 9 partition inside 'Classic', but I haven't tried this yet.

Cleaning the case

As can be seen from the first pictures, the case was in a dire need of a scrub. Turns out it's not just superficial though! The cuts are deep and full of gunk. There was also a good crap-tonne of dirt on the inside-side.

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Once scrubbed clean, it was time to spit-and-polish. I tried both the 'dremel' and wet-dry sandpaper, but ran out before I could really get the result I wanted... back to the hardware store soon to sand down more of the scratches. I'll then need some kind of real buffing solution to get the shine back. Unless matte Macs are a thing now?

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RAM

This machine has three RAM slots and OS 9 showed up 1.25gb of RAM. Interesting that someone would choose to mix RAM size values. A quick inspection of the actual DIMMs showed that one was indeed 256mb instead of 512mb. I was initially worried that the slot with a missing latch was the issue... thankfully not.

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My box'o'RAM helped out here and gave me a 512mb from the IBM NetVista that, with Windows 98SE installed, couldn't support more than 512mb RAM anyway.

Equivalent Vintage iPod

Just for fun, I plugged in my intel-formatted iPod. iTunes appeared and it 'just worked perfectly'(tm).

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Nice to have suitably vintage tunes also!

What's next?

Might need to update the graphics card? Or maybe swap in a newer ATX power supply as this one makes a high-pitched whine and is probably not environmentally friendly. WiFi would be nice too, but it seems I really just need an internal PCMCIA Airport card. And then MIDI and games... I have a Roland UM-1, but it's not playing ball yet... more learning to do!

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24Aug/170

Power Mac 7220: BeOS 4.5 PPC

This was much easier than I expected. I had the original install media from purchasing this back in the late 1990s from The Software Shop in Phillip, Canberra. There's a boot floppy and installation CD. The floppy is not needed for the Macintosh.

Booting the installer

First step is to get the "bootloader" on your system. Once at your desktop, insert the BeOS CD and browse to Mac Tools. Drag the _bootloader to your System folder on your boot disk. MacOS will then store it in the correct folder for you.

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With the CD still in the drive, reboot your machine. Thanks to the underscore at the start of the filename, the bootloader will boot as the first extension. You'll then get 1 whole second to select the BeOS icon. If you're too slow, then you'll be back at your usual desktop.

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After selecting the BeOS button, your machine will either boot from a BeOS partition or the BeOS CD, if inserted.

Booting BeOS

If you managed to hit the 'right' button, then you should be presented with a beautifully-rendered 3D BeOS logo, in all its 90's glory.

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After this, you'll get a standard EULA and then be presented with a very simple installer. Choose a disk (preferably a blank partition, so that you don't destroy valuable data) and then install. It'll take around 20 minutes.

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NOTE: The PowerMac 7200 has an internal IDE HDD and CD. I couldn't get the installer to install from the internal CD. It'd boot from it, get to the installer and then sit on "Scanning Disks..." and then fail. I had to use my external SCSI CD drive to get BeOS installed!

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Drive Setup is accessible from the Setup Partitions button and will let you mangle your disks as much as you need to.

And then you're set!

Pop the CD out and reboot... you'll be at the BeOS desktop as the boot loader remembers the last setting. If you want to get back to Macintosh, then you need to hit the Macintosh button on the boot loader within 2 seconds.

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Anyway, nothing but natsukashi feelings once this loaded. I hadn't played with original BeOS for decades. Time to find some software that works!

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Networking

BeOS kindly provided the driver for the network card that is installed in my Macintosh. It's a Communications Port II card with the DEC 21041 chipset.

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The option is greyed-out in the shot above as I'd already installed it... either way, choose the driver that's appropriate for your card.

Have fun!

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17Aug/171

Apple Multiple Scan 15 Display – Focus

This monitor came as part of a bulk purchase. It worked fine for the first 20 minutes of usage, but gradually lost focus as it warmed up. To its credit, it has speakers and easy-to-use screen adjustment controls, so I thought I'd give it a little more life and fix it's ailments.

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It's what's inside that counts...

First, that age-old bit of advice when working with CRT tubes.

WARNING

OPENING CRT MONITORS PUTS YOU AT RISK OF ELECTRIC SHOCK. MAKE SURE YOU GROUND EVERY CAPACITOR VISIBLE WITH A SCREWDRIVER BEFORE GOING ANYWHERE NEAR THE CIRCUITBOARD.

This is especially important if the CRT has been powered on recently!

I'd read online that there were potentiometers inside every CRT monitor that could be tuned and so I set out to inspect this one. Opening it up wasn't a hard task; there's only four screws holding the shell on. I wasn't expecting to find wildlife inside, though...

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After shorting all capacitors, I gave the unit a quick internal vacuum.

Adjustments

From there, it was a simple task to find the dials to tune.

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Well look there! Focus! It really was this easy... just turn it until the picture becomes clear enough! Of course, this then meant that the monitor was out-of-focus when cold... so now has to warm up to become crystal-clear. I still prefer this over gradually becoming impossible to read.

Here's the before shot.

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Here's the after shot.

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Oh yeah.. I've been playing with SCSI on a 386.. fun, right?

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31Jan/170

Power Mac 7220: Optical Drives

The Power Macintosh 7220 was built cheap and used off-the-shelf PC hardware, including IDE CD and harddrives. Due to this, upgrading the CD drive is relatively easy... or it seems it would've been... when IDE CD drives were popular! Nowadays everything is SATA and so finding a good IDE CD drive can be difficult. You'll find them on eBay, but they'll be marked as vintage and people therefore think they can raise the prices.

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Fortunately, in one weekend I managed to acquire a grand total of 6. I bought 2 on eBay (a standard PC version and then another since it was an actual Apple model) as I was sick of not finding any, but then stumbled across another 2 at Trash and Treasure (Australia's version of Flea Markets or Swap meets) the very next morning. The following post is an effort to detail the pain and suffering of finding out how (in)compatible the drives were.

LG CED-8080B

I actually found this at a thrift store last weekend for AUD$5. Initially, installed into the Mac with cables connected, it stopped the entire machine from booting. It was about to be shown the bin... but I chose to test it again, once I'd worked through the rest of the drives, and the bloody thing decided to function.

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It wouldn't boot the Mac OS 8.0 CD that I had burned on Windows (but this seems to be a common trend... note that the CD image is now deemed unbootable!) As another test, I installed Toast 4.1.3 and found a blank CD-R. Using Toast's "Disk Copy" method, I created a new temporary CD volume and then dragged the System Folder over from my main startup disk. Toast burnt all this to the CD (with the bootable flag) and the CD booted!

Pioneer DVR-106D

Very plain-looking Pioneer drive. Expecting good things from a quality manufacturer.

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Again, it wouldn't boot the image burned via windows. I therefore tried something different: I imaged the burned Mac OS 8.0 CD to the desktop, mounted the image and then attempted to re-burn the image to a new blank CD with the bootable flag set. Unfortunately, I couldn't actually successfully burn a CD with this drive. No configuration or speed setting (buffer-underrun protection included) would work!

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Another point: ejecting the tray saw it get sucked straight back in again... a fault of Mac OS or the drive itself? If you were quick you could snatch the disc out.

Pioneer DVR-108

Quite similar to the previous Pioneer, this is a very plain looking drive. Based on the previous drive, my hopes weren't so high!

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This drive also failed to burn every CD I tried. Even on standard settings (16x), it threw buffer underruns. Switching on the buffer-underrun protection did nothing to help. Burning at lower speeds (all the way down to 1x) with underrun protection still failed miserably.

Don't use Pioneer drives with old Macintosh machines. Seems that it takes too long to spin up and the machine fails to have the data ready?

At this point I switched back to the LG CED-8080B that I knew worked... just to make sure my process of disk imaging was stable. It happily burnt the disk image! Of course, on reboot the Mac just showed a question mark. It had no intention on booting my 'bootable' copied-twice ISO.

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Note that, once back in the OS booted off the HD, I could still happily use the installer on the CD. It just wasn't bootable.

LG GSA-4167B

This one is listed as a Super-Multi. I'd usually be happy with this level of functionality, but the above results indicate that the Power Macintosh itself may not be able to cope with a drive that can spin too fast.

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Either way, it still is a really nice drive... smooth, quiet and fast. The best part is that it burned the CD with no issues!... but it proved that my CD burning idea was incorrect. You cannot convert a non-bootable ISO burned under Windows into a bootable ISO this way.

Note that this drive does not open with the case on. The tray face is too large to fit through the space provided in the front panel of a Power Mac 7220 case! This is sad.. it's the best drive of the bunch, and I didn't feel like hacking it to make it fit!

Apple GCC-4480B

Smooth drive. Happily imaged an 8.6 CDR ISO in a matter of minutes. Note that it does not have a drive activity LED on the front.

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The image was then burned back to a CDR with the bootable flag and the image booted! The flashing disk with question mark showed up for a split-second and then it convinced itself to boot!

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Feeling motivated, I used this drive to try and re-build the Mac OS 8.0 ISO into a bootable CD, but the drive also refused to boot it. Turns out that ISO itself is to blame?

This drive also doesn't fit correctly behind the face of the Power Mac 7220 case. Due to the missing front plate on the drive, the eject button doesn't mate and therefore the drive is rendered useless when the case is put back together.

Apple CR-583-B

This is the original drive that came with the machine. This has a little sticker over the eject button (but the button still works) and an activity light which is obscured by the front case.

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This drive happily booted the OS 8.6 ISO that was re-bootable'd using the process above. This contradicts my initial impressions of "not being able to boot a burned CD", as ... well ... it does boot them. You just need to make sure the burned CD is 'correct'.

Of course, this drive is not a recorder... hence why Toast was telling me that no recorder was found. I even rebooted the machine to find the recorder... I can assure you that rebooting did not turn it into a recorder!

Which Drive?

After trying out everything above, I had to settle on a drive. I didn't want the original as it didn't have the 'tabs' to hold a CD in when the drive is mounted vertically. I also wanted to use an Apple drive, but the one's I had wouldn't really work with the case or weren't a burner. Instead I chose the black LG and modified it's tray face-plate to fit through the Power Mac's front fascia. This required a little filing on the ends of the tray.

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In the end, it works like a charm!

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