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#1 2014-11-17 02:28:42

bbraun
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Registered: 2014-05-29
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MacRescue upgrade board

Inspired by ScutBoy's MacGusto thread, I checked out which upgrades were in the giant lot of compacts.  Unfortunately, no MacGusto, but it did have a Dove MacSnap, MacMemory Max2 + MaxPort, and a MacRescue.
In the process of researching these a bit, the MacRescue looked interesting.  It could take up to 6MB of 30pin SIMM memory.  4MB for system RAM (that's all that fits in the address space the system looks at), and 2MB for use with a RAM disk, using the software that was originally included with the upgrade. 
IMG_3518.JPG
If anyone has any information about the DIP switch settings, which presumably controls the addressing of that 6MB, or the RAM disk software for it, please let me know.  This seems like kind of an interesting upgrade card.  The only downside is it uses the ingenious but unreliable Killy Klip to sit atop the original CPU.

This also got me thinking a bit, in the context of the Mac Plus ROM disk & adapter.  The pre-SCSI Macs go from $0 to $90000 with the only thing in the middle of that 9MB chunk being 64k of ROM.  The Plus has both ROM and SCSI in that range, but still has a couple MB of address space above the SCSI controller.  Using that space for a ROM or RAM disk does seem interesting, the only thing adding extra complexity is straddling the ROM and SCSI controller with some address decoding logic.

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#2 2014-11-17 21:45:53

ClassicHasClass
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From: Electron Alley
Registered: 2014-05-26
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Re: MacRescue upgrade board

I see that Sun optical mouse peeking out in the corner there.


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#3 2014-11-18 14:12:43

MinerAl
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From: The not-so-great plains
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Posts: 73

Re: MacRescue upgrade board

If you find any info about the RAM disk let me know.  I have one of these in a 512Ke, it has 6M installed, but I can't see how to make it do the RAM disk.

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#4 2014-11-18 15:00:35

bbraun
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Re: MacRescue upgrade board

Yeah, the Sun mouse was trying to hide, but didn't make it.  I had to commandeer this workbench for the wall o macs:
workbench1.jpg

MinerAl: yeah, seems like the DIP switch settings are important, although with some tedious figuring, it might be possible to figure those out without documentation.  I'd much prefer the original software, but can probably write a ramdisk driver for it.  If I ever get around to it...

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#5 2014-11-18 19:49:23

ClassicHasClass
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From: Electron Alley
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Re: MacRescue upgrade board

O2? Pish posh. I have an Indy and a Fuel. smile (And an Indigo2 I haven't set up yet.)


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#6 2014-11-18 20:09:04

ScutBoy
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Registered: 2014-05-25
Posts: 159

Re: MacRescue upgrade board

CHC,

Envious of the Fuel; I have a couple O2s, too many Indys, an Indigo, 2xIndigo2, and and Origin 2200 deskside.

I really should shed most of my SGI gear. Can't quite bear to part with my Sun stuff yet...

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#7 2014-11-18 20:22:49

bbraun
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Registered: 2014-05-29
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Re: MacRescue upgrade board

Yeah, I've got an Indy and a couple O2s, and I just reacquired my favorite: the purple people eater Indigo.  I have a mixed history with SGI.  I was a sysadmin at an SGI reseller shop for a short time in the late 90s, (which is ultimately how I fell into maintaining xinetd for a while, because IRIX5.3's inetd would frequently eat its self on SIGHUP, some patches here, merge some other patches there, and suddenly everyone wants you to fix bugs for them!).  I got to deal with all the worst aspects of SGIs at the time, so don't particularly have a love for them, but can't seem to let them go either.

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#8 2014-11-19 00:00:25

ClassicHasClass
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From: Electron Alley
Registered: 2014-05-26
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Re: MacRescue upgrade board

I actually first encountered your name in reference to xinetd when I was trying to get the freaking HP-UX compiler to build it, for almost exactly the same reasons you were doing it for IRIX. (aCC may be many things, but ANSI apparently isn't one of them.) It built fine on AIX, at least ... that was 1998, I think.

I have the Indy for nostalgia, because I wanted one so badly when they were new and it was almost affordable at the time; I considered prostitution briefly. I did get to use one when I was an undergrad at Salk Institute, mostly for visualization and sgidoom. The unit I have today works pretty well, considering (it's only a mid-range R4400), although I never did get to set it up with its Indy Presenter -- it has the tote bag, at least. However, the Fuel (with a V12 and 800MHz R16K) is a lot more fun. Speaking of purple Indigos, my Indigo2 is an IMPACT R10000.

ObOnTopic: I assume the DB-25 coming off the board is a SCSI port?

Last edited by ClassicHasClass (2014-11-19 00:00:48)


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#9 2014-11-19 00:27:39

bbraun
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Re: MacRescue upgrade board

Yeah, I started off on HPUX9 on some 712's and 735's.  Waiting a week for the latest X11 or gcc to fail to build so you could fix it and start the process over.  Good times.  At the SGI gig, I had a low model Indy r4000 and a PII desktop running linux.  That's when I had this embarrassing little piece of history setup.  The Indy did the capture and fed the raw .au stream to the PII box, which used a modified bladeenc mp3 encoder to encode the stream live, and then broadcasted out to the internets.  Loads of fun, with the IndyCam setup, and using the clients' IP to stimulate content ("hey, I see someone from cisco.com just joined, oh man I've got this cisco story...").

Anyway, yup, that's a DB25 SCSI connector.  The card does seem pretty impressive, surpassing the Plus functionality, if you max out the RAM to 6MB and have the ramdisk setup.

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#10 2014-11-19 07:24:43

ClassicHasClass
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From: Electron Alley
Registered: 2014-05-26
Posts: 1,118
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Re: MacRescue upgrade board

Started with 9.0 myself on a K250 and then went to 10.20. By the time I left, there was an L-class there too and I think they were moving to 11i. There was also a C3750 that the biology department had some sort of NSF grant for and one of my last consultant gigs was getting it operational. I have two dual PA-8900 C8000s today running 11i TCOE, but they don't do much. They're not as interesting or as functional as the SGIs to me, to be candid. There's also a 425t that I still need to take apart because it has a 715t sticker on the front, but still has its Domain/OS port in the back.

Which reminds me: I did finally get a tape drive for my 9000/350 (a 9144A, uses CS/80 over HP-IB). It took some rehabilitation because it had the goopy capstan problem (which I found out the hard way when I loaded a tape into it); I cleaned it out, put an O-ring on as a new pinch roller, scrubbed the head spotless, and it does certify tapes, so the electronics and read head at least work. It won't write, though, so I need to look at the write protect sensor next. If you have any IOTAMAT (QIC DC-600HC, not DC-600A) cartridges around and I can get this to be happy, I'll see if I can write you a boot tape at some point. I don't have a lot of spare tapes, though -- that's the problem, regular QIC tapes won't work.


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#11 2014-11-19 14:56:40

bbraun
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Registered: 2014-05-29
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Re: MacRescue upgrade board

Awesome!  I'll see what I have/can get.  I eventually was able to get 68k HPUX 9.10 ISOs from someone on the Vintage Computer Forums, and currently have the 425e running that.  It's pokey on the '040 with 48MB RAM, but I'm just happy to have HPUX on it.  It'd be cool to get something older/more era appropriate on it, so definitely checking out the media situation.

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#12 2014-11-19 21:26:53

mcdermd
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From: Corvallis, OR
Registered: 2014-05-12
Posts: 1,022
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Re: MacRescue upgrade board

All this talk of SGI and today my brother picked up a complete Octane 2 with a boat of CDs for $35 at the university sale today.


Daily Drivers: 27" iMac 2.8 GHz Quad-Core i7 (Late 2009), 21.5" iMac 2.7GHz Quad-Core i5 (Late 2013), 11" Macbook Air 1.6 GHz i5 (Mid-2011)
See the restored heroes here.

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#13 2014-11-19 22:08:42

techknight
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Registered: 2014-05-22
Posts: 453

Re: MacRescue upgrade board

Ive got an Indy with absolutely no idea what to do with it... last time I tried to fire it up, it would boot up but show bad mac. Then the monitor would go black.

Last edited by techknight (2014-11-19 22:32:45)

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#14 2014-11-20 01:01:22

ClassicHasClass
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From: Electron Alley
Registered: 2014-05-26
Posts: 1,118
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Re: MacRescue upgrade board

"Bad Mac"?

I like the Octane 2 fine, but the Fuel is more powerful in many respects even though the Octane is probably better engineered. The Fuel easily gets by it in raw I/O and single-processor tasks, and there are relatively few situations the Octane can still hold its own in multi-threaded workloads (though if you really care about those, you probably own a Tez or a rack big_smile ). http://www.sgidepot.co.uk/fuel.html


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#15 2014-11-20 03:13:14

uniserver
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From: Sf, Mi
Registered: 2014-05-15
Posts: 956
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Re: MacRescue upgrade board

I am thinking Mike might be saying something literal like bad, Mac Address,

or … this is a long shot,  Maybe a bad Memory Access Controller?

:-D


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#16 2014-11-20 03:15:34

uniserver
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From: Sf, Mi
Registered: 2014-05-15
Posts: 956
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Re: MacRescue upgrade board

http://www.sgistuff.net/hardware/systems/indy.html

ok so it might be just a dead NVRAM battery mike!

NVRAM corrupt

How to fix a bad ethernet address (eaddr).

The Dallas watchdog timer that stores the machines ethernet address depends on the battery which is included on the chip. As most Indy systems are over 10 years old these batteries have come past the end of their expected lifespan. If the battery fails, the Indy will begin to forget PROM settings including the ethernet address.

Typically an Indy with a broken ethernet address will still boot, but IRIX will complain and not start up networking. With the exception from the ethernet address all other NVRAM settings can be fixed by using resetenv in the Command Monitor.

Inside the Command Monitor a new setting for the eaddr variable can be set manually. The machine will forget it once it is powered off. The eaddr needs to be set to the builtin Ethernet adapters MAC address. All SGI MAC addresses start with 08:00:69 and continue with the serial number of the machine. On a local network any valid MAC address will do. Replace the xx in the following example with the serial number:


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#17 2014-11-20 03:50:39

bbraun
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Registered: 2014-05-29
Posts: 1,064
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Re: MacRescue upgrade board

Heh.  Yeah I had to replace the tod clock on the purple people eater.  And bad nvram batteries are the bane of sun4 existence.  They're the caps of the unix systems.

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#18 2014-11-20 14:51:33

ClassicHasClass
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From: Electron Alley
Registered: 2014-05-26
Posts: 1,118
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Re: MacRescue upgrade board

Ah, *that* bad MAC. It's easy to fix from PROM, though. I do hate how SGI engineered it that way.

The Fuel, at least, has a replaceable battery, though a Dallas timekeeper still lurks on the board.


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#19 2014-11-20 16:33:29

uniserver
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From: Sf, Mi
Registered: 2014-05-15
Posts: 956
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Re: MacRescue upgrade board

is there any way at all to just add a battery to something that has the Dallas Real-time?
has anyone taken a dremel to one and just soldered on a new battery?
i find it slightly annoying how they make you change the whole thing when the battery inside goes.


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#20 2014-11-20 17:11:03

bbraun
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Registered: 2014-05-29
Posts: 1,064
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Re: MacRescue upgrade board

Yeah, you can cut away the casing to get to the contacts and attach a coin battery:
http://www.classic-computers.org.nz/blo … y-chip.htm
and for the Suns:
http://gigawa.lt/gigawa.lt/Sun_NVRAM.html
I've done the Sun one a couple times now.

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#21 2014-11-20 20:14:29

uniserver
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From: Sf, Mi
Registered: 2014-05-15
Posts: 956
Website

Re: MacRescue upgrade board

Yes, i noticed in the comments they do sell a newer updated version of it now.
http://www.mouser.com/ds/2/256/DS12885- … -86657.pdf
http://www.mouser.com/ProductDetail/Max … PRrX5s4%3d

♦ RTC Counts Seconds, Minutes, Hours, Day, Date, Month, and Year with Leap Year Compensation Through 2099

The DS12885, DS12887, and DS12C887 real-time clocks (RTCs) are designed to be direct replacements for the DS1285 and DS1287.

A lithium coin-cell battery can be connected to the VBAT input pin on the DS12885 to maintain time and date operation when primary power is absent.

Last edited by uniserver (2014-11-20 20:15:04)


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#22 2014-11-20 20:18:41

uniserver
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From: Sf, Mi
Registered: 2014-05-15
Posts: 956
Website

Re: MacRescue upgrade board

Woah , careless, A good way to cut your knuckle open.
droppedImage_2.jpg


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#23 2014-11-20 22:49:22

jt
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From: Bermuda Triangle, NC USA
Registered: 2014-05-21
Posts: 1,470

Re: MacRescue upgrade board

MinerAl wrote:

I have one of these in a 512Ke, it has 6M installed, but I can't see how to make it do the RAM disk.

Have you tried Connectix Compact Virtual?

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#24 2014-11-21 02:25:59

MinerAl
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From: The not-so-great plains
Registered: 2014-08-26
Posts: 73

Re: MacRescue upgrade board

I'll search for that! Thanks.

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#25 2014-11-21 02:36:56

bbraun
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Registered: 2014-05-29
Posts: 1,064
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Re: MacRescue upgrade board

Since it's not normal RAM, I'm skeptical anything but the software that came with the card is going to work.

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