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#76 2015-01-10 22:59:46

jimjamyaha
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Registered: 2015-01-08
Posts: 23

Re: PExProjRedux_II: the inevitable 2kTeens franchise reboot . .

iMic wrote:
jimjamyaha wrote:

Hello All - thanks to a Twitter user for getting in contact with me and reminding me about the PEX!

~


Hi James,

I accidentally opened your post for editing earlier, so it says I edited it - but it hasn't been changed. Just thought I should let you know.

Welcome to the forums. smile

Thanks and no problem!

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#77 2015-01-10 23:01:29

jimjamyaha
Member
Registered: 2015-01-08
Posts: 23

Re: PExProjRedux_II: the inevitable 2kTeens franchise reboot . .

BTW - Is CaptainZ still around - I e-mailed him in 2009 about his PEXes and got this info:

On Dec 3, 2009, at 9:51 AM, James Little wrote:

    Hi,

    I was wondering if you've still got your PowerExpress computers?  I only ask as I've got a prototype that was originally discussed on the AppleFritter boards and managed to get it booting?

    Look forward to your reply,

    James.


Hi there James,

Yes, I still have both my PowerExpress systems, but unfortunately neither have ever booted. Sadly, I've only checked back on Applefritter a few times over the past few years (still see the old thread kicking around there), but alas I've basically given up on the prospects of getting either system working. The PEx tower is completely missing the EEPROM chips, and PEx Manhattan has chips, but no ROM written to it. I lack the time, money, or knowledge in programming or fabrication, to go much further than I already have.

Lately, my efforts have been moved forward to the OSX86 projects, building PC systems to run OS X (which is also what I was doing this week, since my video card fried on me). I will get back to working on the PowerExpress projects at some point eventually, but I have no idea when that may be.

Good luck to you if you manage to get yours working... I'd like to hear about it if you have some success.

- David Zuhoski (Captain Z)

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#78 2015-01-10 23:53:48

bbraun
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Registered: 2014-05-29
Posts: 1,064
Website

Re: PExProjRedux_II: the inevitable 2kTeens franchise reboot . .

jimjamyaha wrote:

@bbraun & trag: should I post links to your ROM spelunking thread? Better one of you do it, better it be you, bbraun, trag's got his hands full. I'd really like to hear commentary about that project to go with the linkage. wink

I'll leave it to trag, I haven't been involved with the PEx or even powerpc much in general.  I did some de-interlacing of a rom dump for trag a few years back and that's about it.
Somewhat related and going from nearly year old memory, I looked into the old world ppc ROM checksum information to be able to verify old world ppc ROM dumps.  Generally speaking, the ROMs are 4MB.  The first 1MB is located separately from the remaining 3MB.  I can only assume this distinction is the 3MB on the ROM SIMM and the 1MB on the motherboard.  The bottom 3MB is the "mac rom", which I guess might be the predecessor to the "Mac OS ROM" file used with new world machines.  The bottom 3MB has its own checksums and lengths and whatnot, which are the same as the old 68k ROMs.  However, it's not the whole story (and don't really matter, afaict).  The first 1MB contains the actual ppc boot rom, and its own set of lengths and checksums, including a per-byte-lane checksum, and its own version information.  I put some C code up back in May that verified and dumped that information, more as an illustration of the checksum algorithm than anything else.  ppccksum.c  I haven't really looked into it since then.

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#79 2015-01-11 04:18:49

jt
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From: Bermuda Triangle, NC USA
Registered: 2014-05-21
Posts: 1,441

Re: PExProjRedux_II: the inevitable 2kTeens franchise reboot . .

jimjamyaha wrote:

BTW - Is CaptainZ still around - I e-mailed him in 2009 about his PEXes and  .  .  .

Yep, MJ pulled him back into the Quest for PEx back on page two, before he was able to get in contact with yourself.

Dougg3's programmable (socketed SIMM w/programmer combo) ROM SIMM thread for the IIci/IIsi/SE/30 slots etc.  is over at 68kMLA sans piccies somewhere, but I stopped looking abruptly.  It looks like he put up a far better resource page (after The Great Pixel Robbery?) himself on his own site.

Has the MLA migrated its somewhat less than really useful search function to Yahoo?

jjah, have you told us yet how many PCI slots are on your MoBo? Does it go the whole PEx or is an expansion abbreviate Manhattan rev?

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#80 2015-01-13 23:00:09

bbraun
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Registered: 2014-05-29
Posts: 1,064
Website

Re: PExProjRedux_II: the inevitable 2kTeens franchise reboot . .

I don't have a PEx, probably will never have one, but it seems like this is one of the larger gatherings of PEx owners in a long time and it'd be a shame to let this thread die.  Is there a clear set of things needed to help some of these PEx owners get running?

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#81 2015-01-14 01:23:53

jt
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From: Bermuda Triangle, NC USA
Registered: 2014-05-21
Posts: 1,441

Re: PExProjRedux_II: the inevitable 2kTeens franchise reboot . .

Yeah, you betcha  .  .  .  maybe  .  .  .  hmm

Software "always kicks me butt" just as hap told me it kicks his, we're hardware guys. If you could do a little tutorial to explain how hap can do a ROM dump from his PEx that would be great. Then others might be able to do the same as they get involved, if and when.

James mentioned something about the X Beta having drivers for the 9700, do you think hap might have a shot at running the universal 9.2.2 build they did over at OS9lives? If PEx really was just a couple of weeks from release, I'm thinking such might be more stable that any OS installed on EVTA level boxes when they were ushered forth from within the Infinite Loopiness? 

ISTR that hap mentioned that System Profiler locks his system up whenever he tries to run it. Do you think TattleTech might work better  .  .  .

.  .  .  it'd be pretty hard to do worse? roll



edit: Help really would be appreciated. ROM development activity over the last couple of years has had me standing like a dear in the headlights.

@ trag: My offer still stands, I can send my MoBo out to you, bbraun or whoever is in best position to help everybody else here. I've already sampled the analog Boot Chimes output, no sense having this sit by idly in its Plastic Drawer for another eleven years.

Last edited by jt (2015-01-14 01:34:50)

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#82 2015-01-14 01:44:35

bbraun
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Registered: 2014-05-29
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Re: PExProjRedux_II: the inevitable 2kTeens franchise reboot . .

One of these days when I'm down in the bay area, I'll have to stop by hap's and have a look. 
I'm going to assume hap's boots to some kind of macos.  Most ROM dumpers will only dump 3MB I think, not the full 4MB, so most utilities aren't going to do the right thing, I don't think.  Supposedly ROM Grabber that used to be distributed with Mac-on-Linux dumps the full 4MB, but I haven't verified.  That's where I'd start.
Then once it's dumped, I think my tool can verify that the dump is correct.
Then once we know it's a correct dump, it can be teased apart to be burned into appropriate chips.

Edit:
This ROM copier may be more reliable.  Probably best to start there.

Last edited by bbraun (2015-01-14 01:54:46)

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#83 2015-01-14 01:58:40

bbraun
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Registered: 2014-05-29
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Re: PExProjRedux_II: the inevitable 2kTeens franchise reboot . .

There's also ROM dumps I've found online.  It'd be good to get a single consistent dump where the macos rom matches the of rom, but the until then the stuff online may be a reasonable starting point.
Starting with the rom dumps online, then what?  You need a ROM SIMM and two 39F040 PLCC chips with the deinterleaved OF rom?

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#84 2015-01-14 02:18:05

jt
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From: Bermuda Triangle, NC USA
Registered: 2014-05-21
Posts: 1,441

Re: PExProjRedux_II: the inevitable 2kTeens franchise reboot . .

The PLCCs I've got, and from all indications seen as yet, the OF(?) ROM on my board is likely the same as hap's. IIRC, PEx uses the ROM DIMM(?) PCB from the NuBus Architecture x100 PowerMacs. I bought an extra one for this project years ago  .  .  .

.  .  .  maybe I can even find it  .  .  .  hmm

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#85 2015-01-14 02:29:18

MJ313
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Registered: 2014-09-23
Posts: 498

Re: PExProjRedux_II: the inevitable 2kTeens franchise reboot . .

<puts on noob hat > what's the OF in OF ROM mean?

Last edited by MJ313 (2015-01-14 02:29:34)

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#86 2015-01-14 02:32:24

jt
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From: Bermuda Triangle, NC USA
Registered: 2014-05-21
Posts: 1,441

Re: PExProjRedux_II: the inevitable 2kTeens franchise reboot . .

< hides same hat behind back >

Open Firmware?

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#87 2015-01-14 03:27:24

bbraun
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Registered: 2014-05-29
Posts: 1,064
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Re: PExProjRedux_II: the inevitable 2kTeens franchise reboot . .

Yup, OF = Open Firmware.

The internet is a like a box of chocolates.  You never know what you're going to get.  And the ROM dumps I pulled out of the box appear reasonably intact, but don't resemble normal old world ROMs in their layout.  The G3's ROM is structurally similar to the 9600's, but the PEx dumps I have are not.  So, it'd be good to get some reasonably sure good dumps to compare to, and then it's time to figger it out.

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#88 2015-01-14 04:23:04

iMic
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From: Adelaide, Australia
Registered: 2014-05-12
Posts: 917
Website

Re: PExProjRedux_II: the inevitable 2kTeens franchise reboot . .

jt wrote:

James mentioned something about the X Beta having drivers for the 9700, do you think hap might have a shot at running the universal 9.2.2 build they did over at OS9lives? If PEx really was just a couple of weeks from release, I'm thinking such might be more stable that any OS installed on EVTA level boxes when they were ushered forth from within the Infinite Loopiness? 

ISTR that hap mentioned that System Profiler locks his system up whenever he tries to run it. Do you think TattleTech might work better  .  .  .

.  .  .  it'd be pretty hard to do worse? roll


Come on man... the core of their CD image is the ROM I developed. tongue I may be able to field these questions. First though, some questions of my own:


  • These PowerExpress units are OldWorld, correct?

  • Are they capable of booting at all, even to a flashing disk icon? If we can get into Open Firmware, we may be able to list off some machine properties. The DigiBarn machine is the one I'm most familiar with, and any machine capable of booting to that state looks extremely promising.

  • Remind me again what chipset these machines use? A quick inspection of the ROM dumps reveals the presence of several driver,AAPL,MacOS,PowerPC entries, so the Mac OS drivers for this hardware should be present in the ROM itself.


The revised Mac OS ROM only applies to NewWorld Macs, so I doubt it will be of any use on the PowerExpress. However, those same changes could possibly be made to the System Suitcase for OldWorld Macs, so all hope is not lost.

Also, what Mac OS X beta contained drivers for the 9700? Opening these up and looking for information seems like a logical step.

I'm constrained for time, but I'd be willing to look into this further and see if a bootable OS 9 can be produced. If someone has a working PEx that I can get some information from, that would be great.


Resident Professor of Alternative Methodology
Faculty of Electronic Restorations & Modifications - "It works, let's fix it!"

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#89 2015-01-14 07:22:10

jt
Member
From: Bermuda Triangle, NC USA
Registered: 2014-05-21
Posts: 1,441

Re: PExProjRedux_II: the inevitable 2kTeens franchise reboot . .

Cool, I though I'd remembered that, but all I meant was that they got the package ready. We might have to dumb some drivers down. hmm

I thought Open Firmware and New World were synonymous? Did James post which Beta X earlier?

I'm too sleepy to type, signing off  .  .  .  zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

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#90 2015-01-14 07:31:40

ClassicHasClass
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From: Electron Alley
Registered: 2014-05-26
Posts: 1,117
Website

Re: PExProjRedux_II: the inevitable 2kTeens franchise reboot . .

These PowerExpress units are OldWorld, correct?

Yes, TTBOMK.

I thought Open Firmware and New World were synonymous?

OpenFirmware was introduced with the beige PCI Power Macs (well before the first New World system arrived) as a means of enumerating and initializing devices and handing control off to the MacOS. Any other functionality they had was accidental and serendipitous, but it existed. Unfortunately, OF on some units could be incredibly buggy, and many computers defaulted to the serial port, so it would not obviously appear to be present unless you used System Disk or other tools to make it use internal video. Even then, some systems couldn't cope with that (the TAM comes to mind).

OF on the ANS was substantially more functional than the other beige Macs (probably because AIX required it), but it was not until OF 3.0 on the New World systems that it became a workable, stable and supported boot environment in its own right. Nevertheless, it was there all along.

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#91 2015-01-15 02:52:19

cc333
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From: North S.F. Bay Area, CA
Registered: 2014-05-23
Posts: 592

Re: PExProjRedux_II: the inevitable 2kTeens franchise reboot . .

Is it possible to upgrade the OF implementation on OldWorld Macs, maybe via some sort of ROM-In-RAM patch mechanism, such as that used by NewWorld Macs to load the Mac OS ROM?

Do OldWorld Macs even have that mechanism?

We've done all sorts of other wondrous things with this stuff, so why not this?

c


Main Macs: Early '09 Mac Pro, Mid '12 MacBook Pro 13"
Secondary Macs: Early '08 Mac Pro, Mid '12 MacBook Pro 15"
Playthings: Mac SE/30, 3.0 GHz Mavericks-based HackServe, Many others....
Desired: Lisa, Kanga PowerBook G3, Apple IIc, Apple II, Spare parts, etc.

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#92 2015-01-15 03:01:48

ClassicHasClass
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From: Electron Alley
Registered: 2014-05-26
Posts: 1,117
Website

Re: PExProjRedux_II: the inevitable 2kTeens franchise reboot . .

Not that I know of, because Open Firmware is the first thing to start when the machine is turned on. Toolbox is just another Open Firmware device in this instance, so the New World ROM-in-RAM mechanism is in fact merely a machination of OF, in a sense -- all New World does is just move where the Toolbox is loaded from. Although the OS can patch the system and improve various ROM glitches (example: OS 8.1 making the 6200 not suck so incredibly badly), this reprogramming is accomplished via redirecting vectors in RAM for this purpose, and happens long after OF has relinquished control.

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#93 2015-01-16 10:48:03

jimjamyaha
Member
Registered: 2015-01-08
Posts: 23

Re: PExProjRedux_II: the inevitable 2kTeens franchise reboot . .

iMic wrote:
jt wrote:

James mentioned something about the X Beta having drivers for the 9700, do you think hap might have a shot at running the universal 9.2.2 build they did over at OS9lives? If PEx really was just a couple of weeks from release, I'm thinking such might be more stable that any OS installed on EVTA level boxes when they were ushered forth from within the Infinite Loopiness? 

ISTR that hap mentioned that System Profiler locks his system up whenever he tries to run it. Do you think TattleTech might work better  .  .  .

.  .  .  it'd be pretty hard to do worse? roll


Come on man... the core of their CD image is the ROM I developed. tongue I may be able to field these questions. First though, some questions of my own:


  • These PowerExpress units are OldWorld, correct?

  • Are they capable of booting at all, even to a flashing disk icon? If we can get into Open Firmware, we may be able to list off some machine properties. The DigiBarn machine is the one I'm most familiar with, and any machine capable of booting to that state looks extremely promising.

  • Remind me again what chipset these machines use? A quick inspection of the ROM dumps reveals the presence of several driver,AAPL,MacOS,PowerPC entries, so the Mac OS drivers for this hardware should be present in the ROM itself.


The revised Mac OS ROM only applies to NewWorld Macs, so I doubt it will be of any use on the PowerExpress. However, those same changes could possibly be made to the System Suitcase for OldWorld Macs, so all hope is not lost.

Also, what Mac OS X beta contained drivers for the 9700? Opening these up and looking for information seems like a logical step.

I'm constrained for time, but I'd be willing to look into this further and see if a bootable OS 9 can be produced. If someone has a working PEx that I can get some information from, that would be great.

It's possible to get into OF and to get OS9.0.4 to boot - files and info from before:
http://www.applefritter.com/node/23597#comment-58168

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#94 2015-01-16 10:57:12

jimjamyaha
Member
Registered: 2015-01-08
Posts: 23

Re: PExProjRedux_II: the inevitable 2kTeens franchise reboot . .

Have dug out some files - will be more somewhere else:

OF Info dump for booting with latest OF 2.3 on PEX
http://jkalittle.co.uk/OF_Tree_2_3.txt

8.6 ASP
http://jkalittle.co.uk/ASP_Report_OS_8_6.txt

9.0.4 ASP
http://jkalittle.co.uk/ASP_Report_OS_9_0_4.txt

DigiBarn ROM files dump
http://jkalittle.co.uk/digibarn.zip

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#95 2015-01-16 11:48:54

iMic
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From: Adelaide, Australia
Registered: 2014-05-12
Posts: 917
Website

Re: PExProjRedux_II: the inevitable 2kTeens franchise reboot . .

jimjamyaha wrote:

Have dug out some files - will be more somewhere else:

OF Info dump for booting with latest OF 2.3 on PEX
http://jkalittle.co.uk/OF_Tree_2_3.txt


Interesting stuff, paints a somewhat clearer picture of how this machine went together.

I'm making a request to anyone with a functional PEx here. It would be interesting to see the properties of some devices in the tree. Particularly the root:

dev /

.properties

Processor:

dev /cpus@0/PowerPC60?@0

.properties

Bandit:

dev /bandit@C9000000

.properties

Mesh:

dev /bandit@C9000000/mesh@10000

.properties

Mesh SD and ST:

dev /bandit@C9000000/mesh@10000/sd@0,0

.properties

dev /bandit@C9000000/mesh@10000/st@0,0

.properties

Sixty6:

dev /bandit@C9000000/sixty6@1C000

.properties

Chaos:

dev /chaos@F0000000

.properties

and Fatman:

dev /fatman@F8000000

.properties

There is usually a fair bit of output from each, so even some clear photos of this information on a screen would do.

Open Firmware properties are often used to link the devices to the appropriate components within the Mac OS. They also often contain vital information about what the device does and sometimes how it works. You could uncover a lot about this mysterious beast with them.

It looks like AAPL,9700 is the machine identifier, similar to how later Macs had PowerMacX,X identifiers. The properties for the device tree root will confirm this.


I've trawled through the hex of the DigiBarn ROM dumps, but there's no mention of AAPL,9700 in them, or several other devices for that matter, so Open Firmware is still the best option.


Resident Professor of Alternative Methodology
Faculty of Electronic Restorations & Modifications - "It works, let's fix it!"

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#96 2015-01-16 17:21:55

jt
Member
From: Bermuda Triangle, NC USA
Registered: 2014-05-21
Posts: 1,441

Re: PExProjRedux_II: the inevitable 2kTeens franchise reboot . .

I'm absolutely lost, glaringly ignorant on the Firmware/OS side of things, but I do know some hardware stuff. I just took a good look at the PCB layout in James' pics the ROM card. We shall cease referring to it as a SIMM from now on. wink The first pair of quartets of opposing edgecard connections on the stair step end lead to U7 on one side and U15 on the other of the PEx ROM DIMM, which leads to  .  .  .

.  .  .  what size is the PEx ROM anyway? Access times permitting(?)  .  .  .  how many dougg3 ROM SIMMs need to be SIMMsavered to a PEx DIMM PCB in order to "simplify" development at your end? That PCB I can do in two with a just a few patch wires if needs be. smile




edit: it's no news that PEx's ROM is a DIMM, but it's been called a SIMM quite a few times in posts past that confirmation/explanation seemed appropriate. I'm still waiting for an offhand answer to the dougg3 SIMMsaver->DIMM hack's requirements before jumping into calculations myself.

My working assumption is that four of doug's fabulous SIMMs ill work from the looks of the ICs involved. I've already got a pair for the IIsi/IIfx on hand with EEPROMs for the another pair tubed up and ready to rock. I've also glommed reverse engineering examples of every 30pin->72pin_SIMMsaver and 72pin->72pin_SIMMdoubler/Quadrupler that I've ever run across from the IIsi Bank_A->72pin_SIMM hack.  The .050 prototyping board for that mothballed project is waiting here for three more ROM SIMM sockets repurpousing alongside the rest of the goodies required. wink

I'm sitting on 50 sheets of Laserprint etch mask transfer film that I've been dying to try. If this approach to developing a programmable PEx ROM DIMM proves workable, the PCB would be too wide for sending off, but it should be just non-non-trivial enough to sidestep ProtoBoarding entirely and go straight to transfer film playtime! big_smile

jj's pics from 'fritter added:

pins1-80-24505.jpg

pins81-160-24506.jpg

Dougg3's ROM SIMM from  .  .  .

< insert pics here >


More questions:
Can anyone provide offhand confirmation of  x100 ROM DIMM form factor compatibility? ISTR trag telling me that a looong time ago.
trag, got pics of your DIMM board to post as reference material for pinouts/conversion to SIMMsaver hack?
Has anyone got the DIMM's pinout in the can already?

Last edited by jt (2015-01-17 20:40:07)

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#97 2015-01-17 06:34:01

ClassicHasClass
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From: Electron Alley
Registered: 2014-05-26
Posts: 1,117
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Re: PExProjRedux_II: the inevitable 2kTeens franchise reboot . .

Uh: dev /cpus@0/PowerPC60?@0

Don't you mean PowerPC750?

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#98 2015-01-17 08:02:28

iMic
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From: Adelaide, Australia
Registered: 2014-05-12
Posts: 917
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Re: PExProjRedux_II: the inevitable 2kTeens franchise reboot . .

ClassicHasClass wrote:

Uh: dev /cpus@0/PowerPC60?@0

Don't you mean PowerPC750?


Jimjamyaha's OF Device Tree dump has the CPU located at /cpus@0/PowerPC,60?@0. Of course, a machine with a PowerPC 750 could have it located at /cpus@0/PowerPC,750@0.

As a matter of fact, any one of the devices I listed above could be at slightly different locations between machines. The only way to be 100% sure is to list off the device tree first using dev / ls and noting down the paths.


Resident Professor of Alternative Methodology
Faculty of Electronic Restorations & Modifications - "It works, let's fix it!"

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#99 2015-01-17 08:44:27

mcdermd
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From: Corvallis, OR
Registered: 2014-05-12
Posts: 999
Website

Re: PExProjRedux_II: the inevitable 2kTeens franchise reboot . .

Well, crap. All along I thought the PEx was a 604e system?


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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#100 2015-01-17 14:59:33

LCGuy
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From: Sydney, Australia
Registered: 2014-05-13
Posts: 846

Re: PExProjRedux_II: the inevitable 2kTeens franchise reboot . .

It was. Had it shipped, it would've been available in both 604e and G3 versions.

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