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Quadra 950: Emulating an AppleTalk Network

So, you've got a real mac, but you can't afford to buy more to create a network? Have no fear! You can create impostors virtually with any Windows/Linux/MacOSX pc!

This is where the rabbit hole deepens ( the point of insanity.) There are quite a few emulators out there to bring up 68k/PPC Macintosh systems. Most of these emulators now support networking, so one can, in theory, create an AppleTalk network of both virtual and physical machines. If that network has a router on it, then chances are they'll all also be connected to the net. Godspeed...

Available Emulators

BasiliskII(68k) + MacOS

To be completed...

CockatriceIII(68k) + MacOS

To be completed...

SheepShaver(PPC) + MacOS

Follow this great tutorial to get your emulator up and running. Once going, make sure you have ethernet configured and enable AppleTalk.

Previous(68k) + NextStep

Doom, the game, was developed on the NextSTEP OS/Machine. I had no idea this was the case. Of course, the WWW was also invented on this tech. I assume everything was then ported elsewhere thanks to the flexibility of the C language. There's a walkthrough of NextSTEP here.

The control/shortcut key on windows is RIGHT-ALT. If you've locked the mouse in the emulator, use RIGHT-ALT + M to release it.

To get started, download the package with emulator included here, just select a mirror. The instructions are in the readme included in the archive. There's more information and downloaded at winworldpc.

Of course... the emulator is days away from supporting ethernet over 'pcap', so I'll update this when it does.

Shoebill(68k) + A/UX

Apple had a version of UNIX available for their 68k Macintosh systems a long time ago. I actually had no idea about this. It turns out the Quadra 950 is actually one daughterboard short of being a "Apple Workgroup Server".

Here's a A/UX FAQ.
Here's a Shoebill setup guide.

GSport(Apple IIgs) + Apple GS/OS

I can't even pretend to understand how old this machine is. The Apple IIgs is built on the 65C816 CPU from 1986 and runs Apple GS/OS. I'd actually never even seen or heard of this until I started researching emulators capable of AppleTalk. For further reading, here's a walkthrough of GS/OS.

Below is a list of the full instructions required for getting GSport onto an AppleTalk network. I just spent (what felt like) too long learning the process and feel others can benefit. The result from all this should be GSport with ROM03 and System 6.0.1 functioning on an AppleTalk network (real or virtual.)

Download the required files

Set up your boot order

  1. Double-click gsport.exe (pretty colour apple icon) and let it boot to the 'monitor'.
  2. Press CTRL-ALT-ESC to get to the Apple IIGS internal menu. Go up to Control Panel then Slots. Set "Slot 1" to "AppleTalk" and then set "Startup" to "Slot 5" and press enter.
    IMPORTANT: Make sure you then select Quit and Quit to exit completely back to the 'monitor'.
  3. Hit F4 and select "Disk Configuration". Press enter on "s5d1". Browse to the System 6.0.1 folder and select the "INSTALL" disk.
  4. Navigate down to s7d1 and hit enter. Select "032M.dsk" from the GSport folder.
  5. Quit back to the main menu, save changes and then quit to the 'monitor'. (Note that you can use ESC to get to the bottom of the menus quickly.)
  6. Reboot the Apple IIGS by pressing CTRL-ALT-F12
  7. With any luck, you'll be booting into System 6.0.1... Welcome to the Apple IIgs!

Format your HD

Once booted, we need to format our HD. I found that the trick is to swap to the System Tools 1 disk.

  1. At the Easy Update dialog, press quit.
  2. Once at the "Select the application you'd like to use:" dialog, hit F4.
  3. Go to "Disk Configuration" and press "E" on the first item (s5d1) to change it to have a hash (#) at the start.
    IMPORTANT:The hash indicates that there is no disk in the drive but tells you what used to be in there.
  4. Press F4 once this is done, you'll be back at the Easy Update screen.
    IMPORTANT:You must press F4 in the middle of each disk change. The correct process is Eject, F4, Insert.
  5. Waiiiiiit for it.... Bang... The Apple IIgs has recognised your HD and wants to format it. Press Initialize, give it a name and hit Initialize again. (Confirm the size is correct, don't format the floppies!)
  6. Once initialisation is complete, you'll be back at the Select application... screen. Press F4 again, go back into Disk Configuration and hit enter on s5d1. Select disk one again.
  7. Hit F4 again to go back and then use the up/down cursor keys (or mouse) to select Installer. Hit Open and you should be back to Easy Update.

Installing System 6.0.1

Right, we got here... Make sure you're in Easy Update when starting this component. From the Easy Update screen, hit the Easy Update button. You'll be asked to swap disks along the way.
REMEMBER: When switching disks:

  1. Press F4, go to Disk Configuration, select s5d1 and hit E. Press F4 again to return to the Apple.
  2. Wait 2 seconds...
  3. Hit F4, back to Disk Configuration, select s5d1 and then choose the disk that Easy Update is asking for.
  4. Pressing F4 again will take you back to Easy Update. If all has worked, then the OK button will flash and setup will continue.

Tedious... right? Probably easier to actually switch real physical floppies... either way, your installation should finish successfully. Don't quit Easy Update just yet!

Installing the extras

With the base installation complete, we can now customise our experience. Click the Customize button in Easy Update. Scroll through the list on the left and install AppleTalk, Sounds and synthLab.... actually... install whatever you like!, just make sure AppleTalk (not the 3.5" version) is part of the list.

Once done, click the Easy Update button with the ugly arrow on it to go back to the main Easy Update dialog.

Setup is complete!

Don't forget to switch your boot settings back. Once you're done in Easy Update, press CTRL-ALT-ESC and choose Control Panel. Go to Slots and change Startup back to "Scan". Press ENTER! and then Quit and Quit back to Easy Update.
Make sure you press ENTER after changing the Startup slot. Go back into Slots to confirm you've changed it, just to be sure.

From here, Quit Easy Update and hit Cancel on the Application selection screen. Select Shutdown from the File menu. Hit Restart when prompted.

Booting your HD

If you've followed above, the restart will happen and you'll see the familiar "Welcome to the IIgs" dialog. Its progress bar will will to 100% and then you'll get a prompt to enter a username. This is occuring since you've installed AppleTalk and the IIgs is trying to register on the network.

Type in an appropriate username and hit enter. The IIgs will continue loading and you'll see the control panel/extensions listing themselves across the screen. Next, the desktop will appear and you're set!

Note: At any point in time you can insert the first disk for System 6.0.1 to install further components. Just run the Installer, hit Customize and select items to install.

Talking the AppleTalk

Everything just worked once the above was configured. My Quadra 950 was on the LAN via Ethernet-over-Power adapters and actively seeing and talking to the GSport emulator. a2server was even visible.

GSport-AppleTalk GSport-Cannot-Open GSport-Shutown-Warning

VirtualBox + Windows + A2SERVER


a2server is a virtual machine with atalkd configured and serving out-of-the-box. The site provides all the information you'll need and, as I found out, it's completely hassle-free. You could run into problems if you try to run the VM on the same machine as your other emulators... but most of the time things just-work.

For any emulator, it's highly recommended that, if using pcap for ethernet, you have one real physical ethernet adapter on the host machine per emulator. Of course, this isn't always possible. Fortunately, and against all warnings, a2server worked side-by-side GSport and CockatriceIII on my Windows 8.1 machine.

Starting this up is easy, really easy. Follow the instructions here to get it set up on VirtualBox under Windows. There's also pointers here.

  • Make sure you link it in bridged-mode to a wired ethernet adapter.
  • Make sure the network adaper has been configured to "Allow all" in promiscuous mode.
  • Do not use the A2SERVER for file-sharing to Macintosh Computers. Use the GSFILES share.
  • The 'a2server' may not show up in Chooser straight away... Hit 'Connect to Server IP' or whatever it is and try to connect directly.
  • To find the IP address, jump in to VirtualBox, log in as user1/apple2 and type showip

And you should be set to go!