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Questions tagged [apple-macintosh]

For questions about Apple's Macintosh line of computers.

59
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11answers
16k views

Did Apple not originally allow anyone to develop software for the Macintosh?

This probably nearly belongs on Skeptics.SE but here goes. Within the last few years I've become an Apple convert for the most part, which occasionally brings me into (usually) good natured conflict ...
45
votes
10answers
8k views

Why was preemptive multitasking so slow in coming to consumer OS's?

Preemptive (rather than cooperative) multitasking was a highly-touted feature for PC's in 1996, with its inclusion in Windows 95 for the first time. It was also highly-touted for 2001 Macs when ...
44
votes
13answers
15k views

How was it back then in 1984, when the Apple II had color, and the new Macintosh didn't?

I imagine it being a huge downgrade for some, not to have color on the Macintosh. Macintosh games were black and white in the beginning, while Apple II had color. I'm especially interested in ...
26
votes
6answers
9k views

How did the early Macintosh computers update the display?

This question is about the Macintosh 128k, but if you can give an answer which describes one of the other very similar machines, that's good too. The bitmap was 512 by 384 pixels. Assuming that one ...
24
votes
3answers
2k views

Linux 68k Macintosh emulator

I'm currently using the absolutely ancient "Fusion" emulator to emulate a 68k Macintosh (specifically, a Quadra 700), but it only runs under MS-DOS, so I'm using a VirtualBox VM to emulate that. I'd ...
22
votes
5answers
2k views

How do you open an SE/30? (a.k.a. what is a “pull-apart tool”?)

I have been trying to work out how to open a Mac SE/30, in order to have a better look at its internal condition. I have the repair manual, and in the "Take Apart" section it references a "pull-apart ...
22
votes
1answer
4k views

Why do all the Speech Synthesizers have that same Voice?

The first time I ever played with software speech synthesis on a microcomputer (not hardware synthesis, like in TI's Speak & Spell) was around 1983, using S.A.M for the Commodore 64. A year later,...
17
votes
2answers
512 views

Unknown Apple to VGA adapter

I've got this Apple to VGA adapter. I cannot remember what model this is for: it has got a male DB-15 pin connector at one side, and female DE-15 connector at the other side. As you can see, it has ...
16
votes
5answers
2k views

Was 1991's Hellcats the first instance of incremental screen updates?

In case you have never seen it, 1991's Hellcats was a seminal release on the Mac. It ran at full 8-bit color and could, on a newish machine, drive three 1024x768 screens at the same time. Nothing on ...
16
votes
4answers
581 views

A good method for formatting a modern device in HFS (Not HFS+)

I started this project ages ago and it's just been sitting on my bench for ever. I have this old MacIIci and I put a LAN card in it, maxed out the memory, has the turbo proc in it. The next step I ...
16
votes
4answers
4k views

Why did 3.5" floppies win (and not another size)?

It's an open question whether desktops would've kept using 5.25" until the end of the floppy era, but laptops meant something smaller was going to be introduced; that much was essentially ...
14
votes
4answers
801 views

Original Mac capacitor inspection

Which capacitors should be inspected and, if necessary, replaced before attempting to power up an original Mac (purchased January 1984, but "upgraded" to a 512Ke) that has been sitting unused for a ...
14
votes
1answer
557 views

Did the Macintosh Classic series use DMA to display video?

I'm learning more and more on how the original Macintosh series worked. I can't, however, find information in my research on how the Mac's video generator accessed the video RAM. My assumption is ...
13
votes
1answer
2k views

What was the first C compiler for the Mac?

When did a C compiler first become commercially available for the Apple Macintosh? And what was its name? The only programming languages that I recall were available for the Mac at launch (January ...
13
votes
3answers
1k views

How did the original Apple Macintosh and Atari ST use protected mode?

The Macintosh, ST, and Amiga were all 68000 CPU systems released in 1984-85, along with their respective new Operating Systems. While this was 5 years before protected mode became commonplace on Intel ...
13
votes
2answers
966 views

What was the design of the Macintosh II's MMU replacement?

I am in the process of repairing a Macintosh II and trying to understand the design rationale behind Apple's MMU replacement part installed in this machine. As you can see in the picture, there is a ...
13
votes
4answers
4k views

How do I run PowerPC Applications on an Intel Mac

Apple created a dynamic binary translator called Rosetta and bundled it into their OS X operating system. As of OS 10.7, however, Rosetta was removed, and PowerPC applications are no longer supported ...
13
votes
1answer
329 views

Which FPU for my Mac?

I have an LC III that has been overclocked to 33.3 MHz. I'm not sure what speed FPU I should buy - do I match the clock speed, or the bus speed? What kind of FPU should I put in this one?
12
votes
1answer
440 views

How are File Timestamps recorded in classic Mac OS?

When I save a file it has a 'Created At' and 'Updated At' Value saved as well. I would like to know HOW these values are saved? Are they saved as an integer representing a number of seconds since 1904?...
12
votes
3answers
2k views

Writing 800k Mac floppy images for 1.44M-equipped Macs using Linux

If you have Macintosh filesystem image of an 800k boot disk, but your physical Mac has a 1.44M SuperDrive, how can you produce a physical disk that can boot that Mac?
12
votes
2answers
807 views

How can I build Gameboy Development Kit 2.1.5 on a modern Unix/Mac platform?

Continuing with my quest to build the Infinity Game Boy Color source code, I am trying to build the Unix source of GBDK 2.1.5 on my macOS El Capitan machine. Trying to make the files in the lib ...
10
votes
1answer
892 views

What was the significance of the cursive 'ƒ' in an application name?

I feel like I used to know the answer to this... In classic Mac days, probably the early 90s and before, some applications would have a cursive / decorative ƒ character in their names. What was the ...
10
votes
2answers
1k views

Which Apple floppy drive is compatible on both Apple IIc and Macintosh

I have an old Apple IIc (not Plus) and an old Macintosh Plus (1MB RAM). I want to buy an external 3.5 inch floppy drive that works on both machines, that way I don't need two different drives around ...
10
votes
1answer
947 views

How does the Mac SE/30 send video to the analog board?

I can't seem to find where the video signals leave the digital board of my Mac SE/30 and travel to the analog board that is connected to the monitor. I even searched for pinouts online but I guess my ...
10
votes
2answers
364 views

Creating an System Extension (INIT) for classic mac os

I have some old macs that I would like to remove their clock batteries so that I don't have to worry about them leaking and destroying logic boards. That being said I do want to operate them from time ...
10
votes
1answer
316 views

Was Apple's automatic disk ejection mechanism patented?

I always though it was an awesome idea, but no one ever copied it. Even if more complicated than a standard eject mechanism, I guess it should not have been so outrageously expensive not to be ...
9
votes
2answers
762 views

Apple II GS versus Mac Plus cost

I just came across a fascinating video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7h4tepFbMso&t=78s which makes a coherent case - I don't feel I can pass a final verdict on whether he's right or wrong, but a ...
9
votes
1answer
290 views

What exactly did Sony contribute to the original Apple PowerBook?

The first Apple PowerBook laptops were delivered in 3 versions in 1991: PowerBook 100, 140, and 170. These initial PowerBooks were overall a tremendous commercial success for Apple, and are regarded ...
9
votes
2answers
1k views

Resources for developing in Classic Mac OS MPW?

I'm learning about IDEs and software development on Mac OS Classic systems and recently discovered Macintosh Programmer's Workshop. Navigating to a cached version of the old MPW Tools page on Apple's ...
9
votes
1answer
188 views

Powerbook (140, 170) battery dimensions/components/specs for reverse engineering

I have a PowerBook 140 that — apart from a dead screen requiring the inevitable capacitor replacement — seems to work well. It has no battery, though, and any available battery will likely have 25+ ...
9
votes
1answer
155 views

Mac Plus flyback transformer replacements

The short: How can I tell which flyback transformers would work for a 9" Macintosh? The long: I've soldered on flyback transformers on old Macs that have gone bad in the past, but when my Mac Plus ...
8
votes
2answers
566 views

Why did some Mac computers have two names?

Many, if not all of the Performa and Quadra systems seemed to have two names. For example the LC 475 was also known as the Quadra 605.
8
votes
3answers
476 views

Was The Telemark Assembler available for the Unix or Mac Environments?

I'm trying to build the recently released Infinity Game Boy Color source code on my macOS El Capitan box. The original development environment was a Windows box, and I'm trying to modify the build ...
8
votes
2answers
495 views

Can a standard ATX power supply be used on a Macintosh Performa 476?

I just received a Performa 476 and was shocked at the amount of rust in the computer. I believe it literally sat underwater for some time. The motherboard looks like it can be salvaged but the power ...
8
votes
1answer
871 views

What was the name of the object-oriented C language I used in the 1980s on the Mac

I clearly recall working with an object-oriented C derivative on the Mac but I cannot find any definitive references to it. It was back in the days of System 7 and later System 8. It had both ...
8
votes
2answers
795 views

Can the ADB keyboard and mouse be converted to the 128K Macintosh?

As you probably know, the original Macintosh 128K, 512K (Fat Mac) and the Macintosh Plus (IIRC) have a different keyboard and mouse connection than the later ADB versions such as the Macintosh SE ...
8
votes
3answers
758 views

To wash or not to wash a Mac SE/30

I have a Macintosh SE/30 that I'm trying to bring back to life. When I power it on, I get the dreaded horizontal stripes. Or, zebra stripes. Also called Simasimac. I have re-seated all of the ...
8
votes
1answer
362 views

Was the Mac XL hardware different from the last versions of the Lisa?

The Lisa was a fairly impressive platform for the day. In comparison to the original Macintosh, the two did have different displays and aspect ratios but the Lisa also had additional hardware such as ...
8
votes
1answer
443 views

Boot Macintosh Quadra 800 from System 7.6.1 CD

I dug out an old Macintosh Quadra 800 that I've had on my shelf for a long while. I'm not even sure where I got it anymore... After a quick look in my VGA adapter bucket, I found I had the needed ...
7
votes
3answers
278 views

Building hello world on a Macintosh IIfx with mpw

I'm trying to compile a hello world object using mpw... I've created a file called hello.c on my desktop, contents are as follows: #include <stdio.h> int main(void){ printf("hello world!\n"); ...
7
votes
2answers
386 views

What was the Macintosh's BOM cost?

Andy Hertzfeld revealed that the CPU for the original $2495 Macintosh cost just $9.00. How much did the rest of the computer cost? Was the markup really greater than Pepsi's markup on sugar? How much ...
6
votes
2answers
188 views

How do I interpret the old Mac character set?

Older Macintoshes and the Apple IIgs used a custom character set for documents and filenames. Each character was held in an 8-bit byte, using 0x00-0x7F for ASCII, and 0x80-0xFF for various symbols ...
6
votes
2answers
760 views

Macintosh LC II power supply clicking

I have a Macintosh LC II that I just acquired. When I attempted to power it on, I got nothing. No tones, no LED, no fan...nothing. I took out the power supply and tried to measure any voltage ...
6
votes
1answer
288 views

Old multimedia: Monochrome Macintosh / Laserdisc player

Back in about the mid-1980s, there was a period of time when "multimedia encyclopedia" and training resources were being made for schools, for the early monochrome-only Macintosh that tied it to a ...
6
votes
1answer
964 views

Can the Gotek floppy emulator be made to work with classic Macs?

The Gotek floppy emulators are really popular in the retro scene. I have one modified (firmware update) to work with my Amiga 500. Can one be made to work with any of the classic line of Macintosh ...
6
votes
2answers
255 views

What is the highest version of System 7 that can be run on a Mac SE/30?

My recently restored Mac SE/30 has System 7.0 running on it at present, booting from an original SCSI HDD. I’m missing a few key features, like disk image mounting, which I understand were added in ...
6
votes
1answer
141 views

Is otx (Object Tool Extended) still actively being maintained for reverse engineering legacy OS X binaries?

otx is a tool used to disassemble Mach-O binaries on OS X 10.0-10.4. It is an enhancement on top of otool to add additional symbol information to its disassembled output. The main site and SVN ...
5
votes
2answers
316 views

Was Apple's Developer Release DR1 of Copland ever distributed?

From 1994 to 1996 Apple developed a complete new Mac OS, codenamed Copland, intended to be published as System 8. A first public demo was made at the May 1996 WWDC. Shortly before it was canceled, a ...
5
votes
3answers
303 views

How can I debug a Mac OS Classic application?

I have a Mac OS Classic application (a game) that I want to "debug". It has data files in a unique format than I am attempting to reverse-engineer. I've made some progress with a hex editor, but ...
5
votes
1answer
399 views

What is the title of this Macintosh programming book?

Back when Mac OS was called "System" and preemptive multitasking was a distant fantasy, I had a small collection of Macintosh programming books. For the life of me, though, I can't remember what one ...