Saturday, February 28, 2015

The oldest computer running TenFourFox

In the "this makes me happy" department, Miles Raymond posted his Power Macintosh 9500 (with a 700MHz G4 and 1.5GB of RAM) running TenFourFox in Tiger. I'm pretty sure there is no older system that can boot and run 10.4, but I'd be delighted to see if anyone can beat this. FWIW, the 9500 was released May 1995, making it 20 years old this year and our very own "Twentieth Anniversary" Macintosh.

And Mozilla says you need an Intel Mac to run Firefox! Oh, those kidders! They're a laugh a minute!

15 comments:

  1. Made my day with that little bit of info. It’s small stories like this that help keep my passion of restoring and using old hardware alive and well. Kudos to Miles Raymond.

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  2. I also want to pass along a small congrats on the progress you’ve made with IonPower. No small accomplishment that’s for sure.

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    1. The real trick will be getting it to handle Ion bailouts. That's what doomed my previous effort, and what I hope the internal changes in IonPower will facilitate.

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  3. Yeah, I have several 8500 that can run 10.4 but I think they were released later on in the year.
    Joe

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  4. Those PPC Macs are solid computers!

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  5. Actually, this guy got 10.4 running on a PowerPC 604! http://www.jump-ing.com/?en/Projects/Tiger_on_7600

    If I have time, I'd like to see if I can duplicate his efforts with 10.4.11 kernel. The code change seems simple enough, but I've never recompiled a kernel. Then even if 10.4 were able to boot on the 604, would TenFourFox be able to run?

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    1. By the way, this article refers to the infamous '8GB limit' to boot the OS, but that limit only applied to the early onboard IDE controllers. The 9500 and 7600 (of his article) are both SCSI, which doesn't have this limit. Add-on IDE cards may or may not have this limit, so homework is necessary to verify. Source: http://lowendmac.com/mail/mb07/1210.html

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    2. Wow! The bigger trick is the 96MB of memory! Yikes!

      I agree the 8GB limit almost certainly does not apply here.

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    3. (Forgot to answer your other question: maybe. Strictly speaking TenFourFox will work on as early as 10.4.9, but 10.4.3 sounds too early. I'd be interested to hear if it works, but I couldn't guarantee it.)

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    4. I'm curious to know if TenFourFox needs any support from the G3 that the earlier CPUs (601, 603, 604) do not have. If the custom kernel (seems to just ignore the CPU version) can get 10.4 to boot, that doesn't guarantee that all software would work with the older CPUs, does it? I'm mostly curious to know if TenFourFox-G3 would work on the older CPUs, assuming that 10.4 is running.

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    5. I should specify: "..assuming 10.4.11 is running.." ;)

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    6. 601 = unpossible, too different as a general rule.

      For the 603 and 604, however, the G3 version should "just work" -- at the user code level, there should be no difference in instruction sets. If it doesn't, I would suspect some other reason rather than the compiler -- the acid test would be building it with arch and cpu settings set to, say, a 603.

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    7. For anyone finding this in the future, LightBulbFun at MacRumors has already compiled the 10.4.11 kernel with 603/604 support.
      Source: http://forums.macrumors.com/threads/os-x-tiger-on-a-603-604-cpu.1908276/

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  6. I've got a Powermac G3 (blue & white) running TenFourFox. It was built by Apple in 1999 and is the oldest machine I've got that still gets used.

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    1. Pretty machines. I remember when they came out and how much nicer they looked than the beige Mac I was using as a consultant.

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