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Mac OS X Panther On A 25MHz Centris 650 499

Currawong writes "danamania, well known for making the most of 68k Macs, has done the ultimate, and installed Mac OS X Panther on an old Centris with 68MB RAM, a 25MHz 68040 and 4GB drive - an early 90's machine with about the same power as a NeXT cube. To achieve this, she's had to run it under PearPC on Debian, resulting in a severe performance hit, as generic emulation runs "about 500 times slower" according to the developers. On this approximately 0.05MHz G3 speed emulator, the boot screen has taken 1.5 hours to appear, and the ETA for full boot is almost exactly 1 week! Regular updates are being posted as each milestone in the boot process is reached."
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Mac OS X Panther On A 25MHz Centris 650

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  • LOL (Score:5, Funny)

    by RAMMS+EIN ( 578166 ) on Monday October 25, 2004 @07:27PM (#10626411) Homepage Journal
    I don't think I want to know what happens when you try to install or update fink on that machine...
    • Re:LOL (Score:5, Funny)

      by Tod Hsals 5000 ( 824584 ) <> on Monday October 25, 2004 @07:31PM (#10626456) Journal
      and i always thought that trying to load doom3 on my abacus made it freeze... it seems i need more patience!
    • Re:LOL (Score:5, Funny)

      by 2starr ( 202647 ) on Monday October 25, 2004 @07:34PM (#10626482) Homepage
      Forget Fink, you should try Virtual PC.
    • Re:LOL (Score:3, Funny)

      by zephc ( 225327 )
      Hah, just try moving the mouse! You might see something, if you come back to it after a long lunch break.

      I bet a screen capture movie would have to be done by Marty Stoufer from Wild Kingdom, like when they do a time-lapse film of a plant growing, or ants devouring roadkill.
  • Wow... (Score:3, Informative)

    by interactive_civilian ( 205158 ) <mamoru&gmail,com> on Monday October 25, 2004 @07:28PM (#10626415) Homepage Journal
    Because its there, right?

    Still as good an excuse as ever. :)

  • by DarthBart ( 640519 ) on Monday October 25, 2004 @07:28PM (#10626422)
    This one qualifies for the "Too Much Time on Their Hands Award".
  • Yay! (Score:5, Funny)

    by jargoone ( 166102 ) * on Monday October 25, 2004 @07:28PM (#10626423)
    the boot screen has taken 1.5 hours to appear, and the ETA for full boot is almost exactly 1 week!

    Gee, sounds faster than my wife's ibook G3/900 with 128M of RAM! Maybe I should upgrade to this!
    • Re:Yay! (Score:3, Informative)

      by DarthBart ( 640519 )
      No. Just spend $70 and get yourself a 256 or 512Mb stick of ram. You'll thank yourself.
      • Re:Yay! (Score:5, Interesting)

        by jargoone ( 166102 ) * on Monday October 25, 2004 @07:40PM (#10626539)
        Yeah, about that. I bought the RAM, and while trying to install it, I broke the fucking memory slot. :-( Now I don't know what to do. I've installed memory probably a hundred times (literally), and never broke anything. I didn't exert any more than normal pressure. I still don't know what happened.

        Apple won't help -- it's explicitly excluded in their warranty. Paying for the repair would cost more than I paid for the laptop. So I'm stuck with pretty much a useless laptop, unless I go back to OS 9.

        My only hope is that the logic board problem in this series will rear its head, and that they'll replace it in spite of this issue. Otherwise, I'll just have to eBay it and eat the difference.

        I'm pretty bummed about the whole thing. I decided to buy my first Mac and see what the hype is sbout, and this is what happens.
  • by SillySnake ( 727102 ) on Monday October 25, 2004 @07:29PM (#10626427)
    I had a windows system like that once.. But it wasn't emulated :-/
  • Cheating? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Hatta ( 162192 ) on Monday October 25, 2004 @07:29PM (#10626434) Journal
    IMHO using an emulator is cheating. You're not really running it on the Centris. You're running it in a VM that is running on a Centris.
    • Re:Cheating? (Score:5, Informative)

      by Guspaz ( 556486 ) on Monday October 25, 2004 @07:32PM (#10626466)
      What's the difference? The first PowerPCs used a (hardware) emulator to run virtually ALL software, since nothing was native at that point.
      • Re:Cheating? (Score:4, Insightful)

        by Hatta ( 162192 ) on Monday October 25, 2004 @07:39PM (#10626529) Journal
        If you're using hardware, I'd argue that it is native. Anyway, I find it far more impressive that debian runs on this machine, than OS X "runs" on this machine.
    • Re:Cheating? (Score:4, Insightful)

      by pla ( 258480 ) on Monday October 25, 2004 @07:45PM (#10626595) Journal
      Flamebait? C'mon, people, get a clue!

      Using an emulator does count as cheating.

      If I run Bochs to boot Win2k3 on an old 386, will I get a Slashdot FP?

      Shit, I suppose I can look forward to seeing that tomorrow now, can't I?

      I appreciate emulation, I really do. But aside from the author of the emulator, no one else gets to claim geek cred from using one. Had this person really gotten OS X to run on a 68040, I'd consider it somewhat cool. Running it on an emulator, though? Here, hold on, I'll come back and describe my experience getting SMB3 to run under SNES9x on a 2GHz Win2k box... Woo-woo, rolling in the coolness now, baby!
      • Re:Cheating? (Score:3, Insightful)

        by jrockway ( 229604 ) *
        What exactly would stop Win2k3 from running on a 386? The ISA is the same...
        • Re:Cheating? (Score:5, Interesting)

          by mvdw ( 613057 ) on Monday October 25, 2004 @08:10PM (#10626765) Homepage
          Try installing it. I've tried installing win98 on a 486/33, it barfs saying that "win98 won't install on a processor slower than 66MHz". Exact same machine, plugged in with a 66MHz processor, installed fine. Win98 also ran fine on the 33MHz processor once installed, BTW.

          Bottom line is, I would guess win2k would also have these checks to make sure it won't install on a slow machine.

        • Not totally. (Score:4, Interesting)

          by Inoshiro ( 71693 ) on Monday October 25, 2004 @08:35PM (#10627013) Homepage
          There are new instructions on 486+ CPUs that are not supported on the 386. Instructions like cmpxchg8, for example. Some of these can be worked around (cmpxchg8 is used for data moving, and you can "fake it" for the locking involved with more computationally expensive instructions), but some of them cannot, and either way would require extensive work in the lowest level functions of the kernel to match the differences in the design.

          That's why most new packages you see are i486; they use instructions Intel added to the ISA when they released the 486.
          • Re:Not totally. (Score:3, Informative)

            by Reziac ( 43301 )
            BTW you'll occasionally read that Win2K won't run on a 486. I can attest otherwise... one day I grabbed a HD off the junk stack, hooked it to a 486DX4-100 (with a paltry 8mb RAM) that I use as a SIMM tester, and found myself watching Win2K boot up. Ooops... It took about 4 minutes to get to the desktop, but amazingly, it was usable after that. I'd have thought at the very least it would choke on so little RAM, but apparently not.

      • Re:Cheating? (Score:2, Insightful)

        by dn15 ( 735502 )
        Had this person really gotten OS X to run on a 68040, I'd consider it somewhat cool.
        Yes, but older Macs used a totally different type of processor. Running OS X on a 68040 without an emulator would be like running Windows 2000 on a 68040 without an emulator -- it's just not going to happen without getting access to the full source code, then porting and recompiling.
        • Re:Cheating? (Score:3, Informative)

          by Stonent1 ( 594886 )
          The said thing is you get to cheat on the PC, there is a highly optimized emulation layer for x86. Running the standard C emulation layer is about 50 times slower. Which is what this mac had to do. I actually compiled an partially ran PearPC on an UltraSparc running Solaris. It gets partly through the boot and then either gets a segfault or bus error (I forget which). Still was exciting to see it work.
      • The 68040 uses an entirely different instruction set and has a different processor architecture from what *any* of the code in MacOS X is compiled for.

        It would be impossible to run MacOS X on a 68040 on it *without* some form of emulation.
      • Shit, I suppose I can look forward to seeing that tomorrow now, can't I?

        No, not tomorrow. Gotta give windows a couple of months to boot on that..

  • Errr... (Score:3, Funny)

    by AndyFewt ( 694753 ) * on Monday October 25, 2004 @07:30PM (#10626447)
    I sure hope the website isnt being hosted on it.
  • I tried to RTFA, but the site is gone... I already see obligatory "The site must be hosted on the said Centris, lmao", etc. As of the time of writing, I didn't see any comment...
  • Wow (Score:5, Interesting)

    by bnenning ( 58349 ) on Monday October 25, 2004 @07:32PM (#10626462)
    That is impressive. And it probably even gets around Apple's BS EULA clause that claims you can only install OS X on Apple hardware.
  • wow (Score:5, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday October 25, 2004 @07:32PM (#10626464)
    imagine a beowolf cluster of those...
  • Ultimate? (Score:5, Funny)

    by SunPin ( 596554 ) <> on Monday October 25, 2004 @07:33PM (#10626479) Homepage
    If "has done the ultimate" equates to "has smoked crack" then, sure, it's the ultimate.
  • Who cares? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Radak ( 126696 ) on Monday October 25, 2004 @07:36PM (#10626501) Journal
    Why does Slashdot keep covering people who waste time installing PearPC and OSX on various already-incredibly-slow pieces of aging hardware? Is Slashdot really this hard up for quality story material?

    Getting a web server to run on an Atari 800 is kind of cool. Modding a Roomba to deliver your Dr Pepper is nifty. Getting OSX to run on the slowest piece of hardware you can get Linux to run on is tired and boring.

    Don't make me start reading CNN for my news.
    • Re:Who cares? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by cgenman ( 325138 ) on Monday October 25, 2004 @08:22PM (#10626871) Homepage
      Because it's neat?

      In many ways getting OSX to run on an 040 based Macintosh is like playing the Matrix on a Zoetrope... Utterly pointless but damned nifty. Sure you had to create a connected series of bluetooth LCD monitors with alternating frames playing back from a 1GB CF drive, but don't it beat all that it works. And that the old macintosh is running the new mac software with a one-week boot time is even cooler and more interesting.

      If you want news, go to the BBC. If you want fanatical fandom with no grounding in reality... go to Fox. If you want nifty stuff like discussing the colors of glowsticks in 30 year old movies, you're in the right spot.

  • Wow. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by bratmobile ( 550334 ) on Monday October 25, 2004 @07:36PM (#10626504)
    That's the stupidest thing I've read all day long. And I've been reading POLITICS all day long.
  • by RalphBNumbers ( 655475 ) on Monday October 25, 2004 @07:36PM (#10626507)
    VT has officially got the BigMac up and running faster than ever at 12.25TF with 1150 dual 2.3Ghz XServes.
    Check out the announcment [].

    I wonder how many Centrises that equates to...
  • by Y-Crate ( 540566 ) on Monday October 25, 2004 @07:37PM (#10626517)
    Of course, people always ask "Does this have any practical use?"

    Absolutely not. But that it not the point. In The Real World imagination and creativity are the driving force. How do you foster that? By challenging yourself and inspiring others. There does not have to be any realistic application as much as there needs to be a thought process behind it that can be capitalized on in the future. Experiments such as this drive the imagination and the mind into new directions and those new paths we explore can lead to really, really utterly brilliant things that can have a profound effect on our lives.

    In school, a teacher once told me "Answers don't really matter at all. The process you use to reach your conclusions is the most important thing in the world." It blew my little mind open to the true nature of creativity and for the first time I valued it in a way that was truly profound.
  • Journal (Score:5, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday October 25, 2004 @07:38PM (#10626518)
    OSX load journal: Day 6: Power outage.
  • And.... (Score:3, Interesting)

    by penguinbrat ( 711309 ) on Monday October 25, 2004 @07:39PM (#10626531)
    To achieve this, she's had to run it under PearPC on Debian...

    Is the excitement here that Debian ran just fine on something so old, the great work from the developers of PearPC or what it takes to get an OS to take a week to boot?
  • Watch (Score:5, Funny)

    by headbulb ( 534102 ) on Monday October 25, 2004 @07:41PM (#10626545)
    Watch as danamania gets a whole lot of new slashdot friends just because she's a girl...

    I know I added her to my friend list.

    Ok off-topic but I thought it was funny.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    Relating this to the previous article on the Spectrum machines - one nifty aspect of those "ancient" computers was that if (or better: when) the computer crashed, you just flicked the power off, then on, and you were back in business (ok, back to square one) in a second. Contrast that to the lengthy startup time of modern computers.

    Computers are getting faster and faster, and yet boot time remains too long. Imagine doing the opposite - running early OSs on modern hardware. Startup should be fast, software
  • I don't know if any of you have ever had to work on that 650 chasis, but it's a fucking bitch to deal with. The undercarriage is where the hard drive lives, and it's bolted to the outside, so actually accessing the bay it lives in is an act in near futility.

    And they kept that damn chasis around until the 7100's...

    Truly, an amazing feat to deal with that obnoxious piece of design.

    Oh, and the sharpened metal edges inside the case are murder on the knuckles.
  • That has to be excruciatingly slow, even getting that set up and the software installed. A week to boot? I hope they didn't have to compile the kernel for that particular processor... What version of Debian is it, 0.01?
  • by DA_MAN_DA_MYTH ( 182037 ) on Monday October 25, 2004 @07:49PM (#10626629) Homepage Journal
    If someone trips over the power cord, or the power goes out, does she have the patience to start over?

    So the G3 Emulates at 50Khz with PearPC. Bet she wishes she could have used Cherry OS []!
  • by venomkid ( 624425 ) on Monday October 25, 2004 @07:50PM (#10626638)
    I feel sorry for people who bitch about how this has no "practical" use. I can't help thinking they're the same ones who walk into art museums and make winning comments like "pfff, I could do THAT..."
  • by digitalgimpus ( 468277 ) on Monday October 25, 2004 @07:51PM (#10626641) Homepage
    ... and is hosting the webpage linked in the article... because the server is that slowww....

    It would be funny if they install SETI@Home, and that weak machine finds ET's signal...

    oh how the AMD kiddies will cry. ;-)

  • Its running on pearPC..

    Its just a emulator.. it doesn't change the fact you are NOT I repeat NOT running OSX on pre G3 hardware.. You are pretending you are..

    Now, that said, *great* credit goes to the pearPC guys for their work.. But please.. get the damned stories right...
  • by sakusha ( 441986 ) on Monday October 25, 2004 @07:55PM (#10626669)
    ...but not intentionally. A friend of mine once called me over to his shop to check out his new IBM PC 286 clone and a clone-PostScript laser printer. You can tell this was a LONG time ago. I fired up Corel Draw and did a few odd things, like a PostScript pattern fill inside a clipping path. I sent it to print and nothing happened. It was 5PM on Friday, he said he never turns off his computers, so we just left it running and left for the weekend.
    On monday morning, I got an excited phone call from my friend, the page had just popped out of the printer! That means the print job ran on the laser printer's processor for about 2.5 days.
  • by Jace of Fuse! ( 72042 ) on Monday October 25, 2004 @08:01PM (#10626708) Homepage
    That's nothing.

    When my port of Linux on an Abacus is complete, I shall hold the true crown of new stuff on old shit geekiness! (Though, I wonder if people are going to say I cheated because I had to overclock it a little, and I added a few more beads to increase bandwidth.)
  • Panther on a computer only slightly more powerful than my TI-89. This may be the ultimate "because it's there" story.

    For the next trick I'd like to see this thing running windows, using qemu, inside panter.

    What? You mean it would take a year to load? Damn. :P
  • by jxyama ( 821091 ) on Monday October 25, 2004 @08:06PM (#10626743) does that mean it automatically gets an "uptime" of 150 hours? that is stability, baby!
  • by borgheron ( 172546 ) on Monday October 25, 2004 @09:35PM (#10627513) Homepage Journal
    This is an excellent demonstration of the Church-Turing hypothesis.

    Boiled down, it basically states that any computer can emulate any other. :)

  • I'm not impressed (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Paladeen ( 8688 ) on Monday October 25, 2004 @10:04PM (#10627680)

    0.05Mhz? That's just plain speedy. I'd like to see them do what I did: Run it on a 0Mhz processor: []

  • but what is the deal with you OS X fanatics? I've been sitting here at my freelance gig in front of a Centris with 68MB RAM, a 25MHz 68040 and 4GB drive for about 2 months now while it attempts to copy a 17 Meg file from one folder on the hard drive to another folder. 2 months. At home, on my C64 w/ 64k of RAM running Contiki, which by all standards should be a lot slower than this lickable OS, the same operation would take about 3 days, if that.

    In addition, during this file transfer, Safari will not work. And everything else has ground to a halt. Even Textedit is straining to keep up as I type this.

    I won't bore you with the laundry list of other problems that I've encountered while working on various OS X machines, but suffice it to say there have been many, not the least of which is I've never seen a OS X machine that has run faster than its Contiki counterpart, despite the thousands of lines of code stolen from Windows Longhorn. My Tandy 102 with 32k of ram and MS BASIC runs faster than this 25 mhz machine at times. From a productivity standpoint, I don't get how people can claim that OS X is a superior OS.

    OS X addicts, flame me if you'd like, but I'd rather hear some intelligent reasons why anyone would choose to use OS X over other faster, cheaper, more stable OSes.

God helps them that themselves. -- Benjamin Franklin, "Poor Richard's Almanac"