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#1 2016-01-02 05:29:33

MacOS Plus
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Registered: 2015-12-09
Posts: 106

Connectix Compact Virtual compatibility with MacOS 7.x

I was cleaning up in my home office today and decided to revisit an old upgrade project - a Mac Classic with a Daystar PowerCache 50MHz 68030 w/FPU and extended 16MB RAM expansion.  The Daystar works fine, as does the Asante EN/SC networking under Mac OS 7.5.1.  (It is mildly amusing to fire up the NCSA Mosaic web browser, although obviously there is very little it can display these days.)

  I know I have to use Connectix Compact Virtual in order to have the system access all 16MB of RAM.  I know that it works under Mac OS 7.1 but I'm wondering if that's the last system version I can use it with.  Booting Mac OS 7.5.1 with the Compact Virtual 3.0 control panel installed results in an almost immediate bomb-crash shortly after the first system logo box appears.

  I'd be fine running 7.1 instead of 7.5.x but I can't get the EN/SC network interface working with 7.1 for some reason.  Either way around something doesn't work.  I've re-applied the "Network Software Installer 1.5.1" and "MacTCP 2.0.6" updates to no avail.

Any thoughts?

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#2 2016-01-02 06:11:28

ClassicHasClass
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From: Electron Alley
Registered: 2014-05-26
Posts: 1,099
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Re: Connectix Compact Virtual compatibility with MacOS 7.x

I'm quite sure the EN/SC works with 7.1. Does it not show up in 7.1, but does show up in 7.5?

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#3 2016-01-02 17:02:52

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Registered: 2015-12-09
Posts: 106

Re: Connectix Compact Virtual compatibility with MacOS 7.x

ClassicHasClass wrote:

I'm quite sure the EN/SC works with 7.1. Does it not show up in 7.1, but does show up in 7.5?

  Correct - the EN/SC icon appears at startup when the extensions are loading but it never appears in the MacTCP/AdminTCP control panels as an available connection.  Some linkage is broken.  There are instructions for getting it to work on System 6.x out there on the web so it must work under 7.1.  It works perfectly well in 7.5.1 but then I lose the extended RAM.

  I guess I'm going to have to go through all the trouble of re-installing 7.0 from scratch and updating to make sure nothing is corrupt on the disk.  I was going to re-run just the 7.1 updater but then I found Disk 1 is partially damaged.  It's kinda sad too because this is a legit original disk set from Apple for the 7.1 update.  Hopefully I can get a DiskCopy image to re-build this floppy.  I did pull all the networking components from the second disk of the set successfully but it made no difference.

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#4 2016-01-17 06:31:46

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Registered: 2015-12-09
Posts: 106

Re: Connectix Compact Virtual compatibility with MacOS 7.x

Figured I'd give a follow-up to this project because I made some headway, sort of.  It was a bit of an adventure getting to this point.  As reference for anyone in a similar boat, I'll explain what I did to get System 7.1 working completely:

- Downloaded .sit archive of 1.44MB floppy images for System 7.1 clean install from Macintosh Garden (because my existing "Install 1" disk was damaged).  This was done with a Sawtooth G4/400 running OS 9.1 and Classilla browser.
- Extracted each disk image and opened them with Disk Copy 6.3.3.  This version refused to see my USB floppy drive, so I used 6.3.3 to convert all the images to Disk Copy 4.2 format.
- Formatted enough floppy disks for the set in advance because Disk Copy won't overwrite an un-formatted disk.
- Downloaded Disk Copy 4.2 and use it to write all the floppy disks.
- One disk in the set is an 800k image, which can't be written in a high-density drive.  If you need this disk then you'll have to copy it to a functioning computer old-enough to have an 800k drive.  (This disk is not needed for the install though.)

Moving over to the Classic:
- Booted the Disk Tools floppy in order to erase and test the target 40MB SCSI hard drive.  (External extra drive so as not to mess with the internal drive with OS 7.5.1.)
- To speed things up I used an external second floppy drive for the System install disks.
- Universal install of System 7.1 (without printing support).  Reboot.
- Created "Control Panels (Disabled)" and "Extensions (Disabled)" folders and moved them into the system folder.  No extensions manager, so you have to do the work.  Drag un-needed Control Panels and Extensions to their respective "Disabled" folders.  I moved the following:

Control Panels - Cache Switch, Color, Easy Access, File Sharing Monitor, Map, Monitors, PowerBook
Extensions - A/ROSE

- Copied known-good versions of the files that support the extended RAM and the Daystar accelerator:

Control Panels - Compact Virtual 3.0, Power Central

- Rebooted and confirmed upgrades working.  During this boot the computer will immediately restart the first time it loads the Compact Virtual support (I believe it's that and not the Daystar file that causes it).
- Daystar PowerCache must be turned on in the control panel after it loads for the first time.  Compact Virtual should have the application RAM allocation default pushed all the way up to the max (16MB in my case).
- Fresh-installed Asante EN/SC driver with the version 5.6.1 installer.  Must also choose "Custom Install" in order to select installation of MacTCP 1.1.1 files.
- Rebooted and confirmed all working.  Set up TCP/IP in the MacTCP control panel.  It's a little wacky getting it right but a little trial and error will get you there.  There's decent guidance on the web for this, so I won't get into the gory details.
- Use the Network control panel to choose EtherTalk as your AppleTalk connection if you wish.
- Copy NCSA Mosaic 1.0.3 to hard drive.
- Everything should work properly at this point, at least for as much as Mosaic is capable of displaying.  Final installed size of all files (without deleting un-needed system files) - 4.9MB.  Heck, I could have fit this on my 20MB drive!

  I may also have to do system updates because attempting to connect to the shared drive on the aforementioned G4 resulted in a system crash with an error I've never seen on a Mac before - "divide by zero".  Used to see that on occasion in the DOS days on PC, but on Mac it was usually just an unhelpful numerical type-code.  Perhaps doing it the other way around from the G4 end would work?  Next up is to sort out getting a Zip drive and CD drive working.  The IOMega 6.x driver I have causes a freeze, either because it's too late a version or because it conflicts with the EN/SC.

  When I have more time I'm going to scratch-install a fresh OS 7.5 and all its updates to another drive and settle once and for all if Connectix Compact Virtual is a no-go from 7.5-onward.  I did borrow the Apple Menu Options and Windowshade control panels from 7.5.1 into 7.1 without issue.  If I end up stuck on 7.1 at least I can add as many updates and customizations as possible to get it as functionally close to 7.5.x as possible.  There's a good summary of these updates at the bottom of the following page:

http://macfaq.org/software/macos.shtml

  Any suggestions for software that would take full advantage of a 50MHz 030 w/cache and 16MB RAM on the otherwise limited platform of a Mac Classic?  Ancient version of Photoshop or Illustrator perhaps?

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#5 2016-01-17 21:38:44

cc333
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From: North S.F. Bay Area, CA
Registered: 2014-05-23
Posts: 571

Re: Connectix Compact Virtual compatibility with MacOS 7.x

All that in a lowly Classic? Wow!!

As for Zip drives, you actually don't *need* the Iomega software, but you have to format your Zip disks as regular hard disks via Apple HD SC Setup (or whatever your favorite software is). The neat part of this, though, is that they behave exactly like an internal hard disk, which means they don't auto-eject at shutdown or restart, and they're fully bootable, so you can use them on any Mac with a SCSI port and perfectly stock SSW (the Plus is an edge case where it may not work 100%, but that's primarily because of the Plus's early SCSI implementation not being 100% compatible with the SCSI standard).

You also wouldn't have to worry about using such a disk in a more modern Mac with newer Iomega software, which has been known to unscrupulously update the drivers without warning, making the disks unusable with earlier versions of the software (and thus making said disk unusable on earlier Macs which can't run the updated software).

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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#6 2016-01-18 18:18:46

MacOS Plus
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Registered: 2015-12-09
Posts: 106

Re: Connectix Compact Virtual compatibility with MacOS 7.x

Interesting possibility that I wouldn't need the Iomega extension at all.  I never trusted Zip disks very much, and much less the drives themselves, but they could prove useful for testing different configurations and as a mutant-sized alternative to the floppy.  There are a number of the drives and disks lying around here doing nothing, so it's not like I have much to lose by trying.  They hold much more data than the pile of 40MB and 80MB hard drives I have also gathering dust.

  One quick follow-up about the AppleShare crash - The G4 can mount the Classic's shared drives from it's end, so that's good enough for me to work with.  It will save me a lot of farting around with shuffling SCSI drives and floppies.

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#7 2016-01-23 17:07:05

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Registered: 2015-12-09
Posts: 106

Re: Connectix Compact Virtual compatibility with MacOS 7.x

I didn't get any further with the other stuff yet because I had to re-install from scratch.  I was fooling around with other browser installers just to see what would happen.  One of the Internet Explorer installers put in the CFM-68k extension which caused a hard-crash on reboot.  After this, something got messed up and most of the extensions and control panels wouldn't load any more.  Replacing the files wouldn't even fix it so I just went ahead and re-initialized the drive and started fresh.  One improvement to my setup that is working is the use of the Extensions Manager from 7.5.  Everything was fine with that for sure until this crash.  It helped in diagnosing that the damaged ex/cp files were not even recognized after the crash.

  A new question has come up now as a result of my research - Is there any way to get other browsers to recognize the 030 upgrade and correct amount of RAM?  I backed down to Netscape 2.02 to test.  Although it will install and says it doesn't require color video, it refuses to run because it identifies the computer as the base hardware.  There isn't much point to the hardware upgrades if the program won't even try to access them.  Surely there must be a way to hack or fake-out Netscape to run anyway?  Unfortunately I don't know what detection mechanism they used so I don't know where I would even start to look.  Any ideas?

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