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#1 2016-10-01 01:15:22

stillfly122
Member
Registered: 2016-10-01
Posts: 2

Programming a custom Operating System for a Mac classic m64k-possible?

Hello! i'm brand new to these forums. They seem pretty darn cool to me smile

So, recently I acquired an original Macintosh Classic for $130 locally - Monochrome screen - 4mb SIMM Expansion, and an 80mb Harddrive. I have been wondering for quite some time now, is it possible to program a custom Operating System for this computer? I've surfed google for some input, but my searches turned up nothing. I can program very fluently in Object Pascal, C, and I am currently learning the Motorolla 68000 Assembly Language via a book titled "Mac Assembly". Very very helpful book on the subject. Anyway, I thank you in advance for any and all advice here, as I am indeed very curious on the topic. smile

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#2 2016-10-01 04:35:16

LCGuy
Administrator
From: Sydney, Australia
Registered: 2014-05-13
Posts: 807

Re: Programming a custom Operating System for a Mac classic m64k-possible?

Nothing's impossible...but given the tight integration between the ROMs, the hardware and the Mac OS, its not going to be an easy task if you're looking to run it directly on the bare metal. A/UX, and from what I understand what a lot of the Mac Linux, BSD etc distros did was to boot into a minimal Mac OS, and then run a startup program to bootstrap the OS. When you install A/UX it creates a small "MacPartition" with a very minimal System 7.1 with little more than System, Finder, and the A/UX Startup program that bootstraps A/UX.

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#3 2016-10-01 16:47:30

ClassicHasClass
Member
From: Electron Alley
Registered: 2014-05-26
Posts: 1,084
Website

Re: Programming a custom Operating System for a Mac classic m64k-possible?

Welcome. Yes, my NetBSD 68K systems boot a minimal System Folder and then the BSD booter takes over the system from there. Same for A/UX.

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#4 2016-10-16 08:52:01

Schmoburger
Member
From: Australia
Registered: 2015-04-21
Posts: 281
Website

Re: Programming a custom Operating System for a Mac classic m64k-possible?

Anything is possible, and it wouldnt be the first time an enthuiast has developed an operating system from the ground up (somethingsomething TempleOS something), but to start from scratch, you have a mammoth task ahead (something TempleOS something something again)... The whole bootstrapping idea would probably be the best way of going about it rather than trying to build an OS that the Mac boots from straight out of the POST. That in itself would be a pretty sizeable feat, before you even think about making it into a useful environment with a decent UI.

Not to poopoo the idea at all, but I guess the question to ask is, are you wanting to develop something for a specific purpose that people can use in the near future, or just for the experience so you can say you did it with no particular established timeframe in mind? The answer to this will decide which is probably the better approach. smile


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#5 2016-10-25 04:37:29

stillfly122
Member
Registered: 2016-10-01
Posts: 2

Re: Programming a custom Operating System for a Mac classic m64k-possible?

Hello Schmoburger. Thank you all for your replies, as well. Schmoburger, I am looking to build this Operating System for no reason other than to gain knowledge on the machine, how it works, and find ways I can make it work myself big_smile. I feel like a stock computer is exactly like a bike with training wheels on it. You buy the computer, it already has it's training wheels on (The OPERATING SYSTEM), and of course, the computer would be the bike in this situation.

I want to take a screwdriver and pop off those training wheels, so I can learn how to ride the bike more efficiently. Make sense? After all, it IS easier to turn without training wheels.

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#6 2016-10-25 16:29:30

MacOS Plus
Member
Registered: 2015-12-09
Posts: 96

Re: Programming a custom Operating System for a Mac classic m64k-possible?

I would be interested in anything that can bring a practical use to my own Classic.  While I understand it's quite limited in resources, there's gotta be a way to squeeze some 'modernity' out of it.  In upgrading the hardware I've gotten into a catch-22 where one OS version won't support the full RAM expansion via Connectix Compact Virtual, while the other OS version won't support the SCSI ethernet interface.  Maybe it's a bit beyond the scope of your project, but I have a 50MHz 030 w/FPU upgrade, 16MB RAM expansion, and SCSI ethernet that I would like to all play ball together under System 7.x so I have as useful a machine as possible.  The RAM expansion is the most key to me.

  Perhaps this sounds silly, cramming all that in there, but I'm purely in it for the challenge.  If I can't do much with my Classic it's just going to languish in storage.

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