March 18th 2022

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OpenXTalkPaul
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March 18th 2022

Post by OpenXTalkPaul »

Today my youngest son became a teenager (my next eldest turned 23 yesterday, a 10 year + 1 day gap), I feel like that's an important milestone for me. In other Fam news, my Mom is doing much better, now living at my sister's, whom she is moving in with permanently... As a result my car is full of boxes and items from helping clean out my mom's senoir apartment which I need to store (temporarily!), which has a ripple effect of forcing me to clean out my garage again.

About once or twice a decade or so, I try to do some serious cleaning up in my "man-cave" areas. The garage is the major concern as that is where my Bass Guitar is! It's also where, for a good 10 years or so, I had built-up something of a computer support / repair / rebuilding / scrapping operation, mostly no-cost tech support, mostly for friends and family. I've accumulated many spare computer components during that time span (in addition to a few computer antiques, such as a Commodore VIC-20, that I'm keeping as collector items). My wife thinks I've become a "Hoarder", but I am trying to fix that now. For the most part, I've been done with most of that activity more than five years ago, and now that "Hackintosh" is nearing End-Of-Life, I see even less point to keeping all of this, mostly 10-15yr old junk around. Which is where this gets relevant to OXT...

Hoarder or not, I do like having at least one working computer setup in my Garage... for a quick recording session or a quick bit of retro-arcade gaming. So I decided to do one last final LGA 775/Socket T HacPro build using up the best of the parts I have laying around and recycling the rest. This meant testing and researching the parts, mount the drive to determine if there's any old data on HDDs that I want to back up first, and things like that. This all makes cleaning out my garage take MUCH longer than it should, but it also makes it a much more enjoyable process!

So I picked out the best, generic PC tower case of the bunch (sending 5+ other PCs for metals recycling), and then dropped in the motherboard from a Dell Studio 540, which I believe is a "Pennryn" era chipset (Intel ICH10 SATA controller) from about 2008/09 (the very end of the "Core 2" era), mostly because it had 4 RAM slots (but no 40-pin IDE support :-( ). Added NVIdia GT240 1GB graphics card, 4x2GB (8GB) DDR2 DIMMS and set about rebuilding. I had forgotten what a pain in the arse it was to "Hackintosh" back then, and with this board in-particular (but I already knew that it was doable), at least with "Snow Leopard", one issue being that needing to boot into 32bit macOS while setting up it doesn't like that it sees twice the amount of RAM than a 32bit memory controller can address and thus crashes during boot. Then there's a bunch of other things to remember, like legacy BIOS vs UEFI (emulated) booting and MBR vs GPT partition formats boot issues, certain model-IDs like "Mac Pro 5,1" (for smbios.plist) were only supported in 10.6.4+ or 10.6.5+ via model specific installers... those sorts of things. It's much easier to "Hackintosh" many more modern motherboards thanks to much more advanced boot-loaders, Clover and now OpenCore (which can be useful for real Mac Pros as well)!

After a few days of plugging away at it, I've got "Garage hacPro" running SnowLeo 10.6.8, GPU acceleration, sound, full sleep mode, all components working properly. SnowLeo was the primary OS that I wanted installed because it was the most versatile, it can run Intel 32bit, 64bit, and PowerPC (via "Rosetta" v1) code, and it's the last macOS version where they were not trying to remodel the OS based on their other OS/iDevices. This old box enables me to easily compile Xcode projects that were setup with now ancient Xcode versions (2.x,3.2.x,4.2.x, etc.). LC Community v6 and v7.x. fall into that category. Going in the opposite direction, this old rig could theoretically support up to Mohave, Big Sur, possibly even 10.12 Monterey IF, and only if, I drop in a CPU with SSE 4.x and "Metal" API compatible GPU (although that would break Graphics Acceleration in Snow 10.6!). I don't want to spend any more than $50 or so on updating this old hardware, but you CAN get a top-of-the 2009-line Core 2 Quad (or a modded 771 XEON w/SSE4) super cheap these days! Lower end (4MB Cache) Core 2 Quads can be had for as low as $5-10 on eBay now! It's snappy enough that it could still be used to do a LOT of things! And there's a few 32bit and PowerPC only games and things that I never found a comparable X86_64 replacements for (a certain 32bit audio plugin comes to mind).

I will also be installing other compatible OS on the many unused HDDs I have lying about. I intend to set up a 64bit AND 32bit Linux Boot drive, running actual officially "supported" (now very old) versions of Linux on "bare-metal" to test/develop on. This will be my go to machine for "piece of junk testing" and it will probably have multiple FreeBSDs / Linux(es?) installed at any given time. I know I could Live-boot from flash drives or use virtualization, but why not test against real, bare metal hardware since I have a lot of that collecting dust.

I'm also messing about with packaging tools lately, with the goal to release an OXT distro ASAP. I don't want to state a specific date because I've already missed two, self-imposed deadlines. Just know that I'm never gonna give it up (at least not anytime soon).
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richmond62
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Re: March 18th 2022

Post by richmond62 »

I am one really happy camper after reading your post as I picked up 4 polycarbonate iMacs for 50 leva each ($28)
about 3 years ago:

1. A G5 17 incher. Currently running MacOS 10.4 so it can run 'Classic' apps (well, err, only HyperCard).

2. A 32-bit Intel 15 incher. Running MacOS 10.6.8.

3. 2 64-bit 17 inchers. Both running MacOS 10.7.4.

I also have a PPC Mac Mini running 10.4 & 'Classic' which is super as it fits into my "hand bag"
(Oops: that makes me sound camper that I really am). :D

So, no Hackintoshes, and no cursing and swearing round these parts. 8-)

While Bulgaria is "a complete and utter @#$%^&*" in many respects, it is absolute heaven for
high-standard computer hardware: the bloke I get my computers from bulk buys 2 year old
stuff from town councils and universities in Germany for about 20-30 Euros a pop and flogs
them on for about 60-70 Euros having checked them and so on.

Those 4 iMacs came out of a cupboard in some University in Munich still in their original boxes!

A month ago I got 3 high spec PCs from him for 100 leva ($56) for my school and cloned my existing Xubuntu
setup with all my EFL programs onto them (which took 90 minutes): got 3 monitors (1024 x 768; which is all
I need) for 25 leva each.

According to my BAD economics, if one of those machines lasts more than 3 months it has paid for itself:
The Pentium 4s that are the backbone of my school have been chuntering along doing what I want for
12-16 years.

AMAZINGLY ENOUGH ALL versions of LiveCode run WITHOUT problems on Xubuntu 18.04; so, as no internet
is required, that is what ALL the school machines run (whether 32-bit or 64-bit).
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richmond62
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Re: March 18th 2022

Post by richmond62 »

Today my youngest son became a teenager (my next eldest turned 23 yesterday, a 10 year + 1 day gap), I feel like that's an important milestone for me.
It is: but you still have a long haul ahead of you:
especially if your youngest is as snotty an adolescent
as either of my boys were (or there father was . . . ).

My younger one will be 27 in September, and the older one 30 in July . . .

And, at 60, while I enjoy the "careless banter" I have with snotty teenagers in my language school,
I am always grateful that, when I drive home in the evening, they are not going to be sitting round
our dining-room table at supper time!

Off to see my "rising 92" Mum on 1st of April (seems oddly appropriate): she is in the process of acquiring
a house-sharer and I have to meet this woman and say 'Yay' or 'Nay' which puts me in a slightly invidious
position re Mum . . .
TerryL
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Re: March 18th 2022

Post by TerryL »

As previously posted, a free Windows installer that might be useful. http://www.jrsoftware.org/isinfo.php
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richmond62
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Re: March 18th 2022

Post by richmond62 »

As previously posted, a free Windows installer that might be useful. http://www.jrsoftware.org/isinfo.php
You are putting yourself at risk of being accused of relevancy. 8-)
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OpenXTalkPaul
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Re: March 18th 2022

Post by OpenXTalkPaul »

TerryL wrote: Sat Mar 19, 2022 6:32 pm As previously posted, a free Windows installer that might be useful. http://www.jrsoftware.org/isinfo.php
Thanks! That's the just sort of tool needed for the Windows side.

@Richmond
I also have a PPC Mac Mini running 10.4 & 'Classic' which is super as it fits into my "hand bag"
(Oops: that makes me sound camper that I really am). :D
At one point I had 2X QuickSilver G4 towers setup as my main rigs, but I still always wanted a nice small G4-Mac-mini back then to hook to an HDTV (even though there was no streaming services like Netflix back then there was BT and DivX/mp4 files), but by the time my iBook G4 died I was already having a lot of fun (my idea of "Fun" may be a bit different than most people) experimenting with Hackintosh.
I still have one MDD G4 setup that can boot macOS 9.2.2, OS X 10.4.11, 10.5.8 and plan to give "Sorbert Leopard" as spin soon.
"Sorbert Leopard" is a community built macOS mod that combines PPC 10.5.8 with the early Snow Leopard 10.6 PowerPC beta built before PPC support was cut out, and then adds in a bunch of back-ports (from "Tiger Brew" I imagine) and fixes (such as the "Shell-Shock" Bash fix) as well as new security certificates (from 10.13.x) which makes basic web browsing on PPC macOS semi-usable a bit longer.
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OpenXTalkPaul
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Re: March 18th 2022

Post by OpenXTalkPaul »

Some interesting files left on these old drives, just hilarious old school essays from my now-adult sons, and my very earliest files from testing out LiveCode, circa late 2013/2014. I had recently stripped-down and then rebuilt a 1980s (built by Nintendo of AMERICA) Arcade Cabinet, replacing the arcade boards with a tower computer and re-wiring the trackball to a board from an bondy iMac "puck" mouse, and drilled out adding a joystick few more buttons and wired them to a board from a Playstation 2 controller connected to a PSX2 to USB HID adapter, and so I wanted to have nice, possibly built-by-me, GUI that could be controlled via d-pad and buttons, and so I made an Emulator & ROM launcher stack for various antique systems. I called the stack M.E.R.L. (Multi-Emulator-Rom-Launcher) the Arcade Cabinet's back-lit marquee art (that I created) says "M.E.M.1" (Multi-Emulator-Ma or Machine v1.0) in neon styled lettering (like 1980s Doctor Who Logo style).

This was basically a quick test, and then collecting a lot of the pictures from Wikipedia mostly, not a refined GUI layout, but it works with joystick controls (via 3rd party driver), scrolls list fast and then renders the preview thumbnails picts when scrolling stops. It can quit the macOS Finder and it launches CLI and GUI emulators with selected rom, then returns to stack on quitting out of the emulation. I did some more work on it later on, for a test SVG based "Emulation-Station" style Systems List, and some rom management things, things like option-click a rom to "Reveal In Finder". OH and it reads MAME Info and History .DAT files so you can learn interesting things about the various Arcade games.

I don't know why the screenshots were cropped that way, the stacks were full screen but I took window-only screenshots, maybe a bug in LCC 6.6.5? That was the version on the drive.

The Atari 2600 game in the pict is my all time fav 2600 game, the obscure "3D First Person" (lol) Tunnel Runner!
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OpenXTalkPaul
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Re: March 18th 2022

Post by OpenXTalkPaul »

And on another drive there was a copy of Apple's Package Maker tool :-)
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richmond62
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Re: March 18th 2022

Post by richmond62 »

Cool!

Although 'warranty' is spelt with a Y. :D

Oooo! Roger Dean, Yessongs . . . we are in trouble.
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OpenXTalkPaul
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Re: March 18th 2022

Post by OpenXTalkPaul »

richmond62 wrote: Mon Mar 21, 2022 8:06 am Cool!

Although 'warranty' is spelt with a Y. :D

Oooo! Roger Dean, Yessongs . . . we are in trouble.
Uhg, my bad, a warrantee is someone to whom a warranty is given and so live spell-check didn't underline it!

I just happened to have a PNG file of the Roger Dean classic Yes logo on that drive so I dragged it in as a place holder for the OXT logo while I refreshed my memory of how Package Maker app works.

I've been a YES fan since 1983 (age 13). I've seen all of those guys play live so much that I've lost count! And as a graphic artist of course I'm a fan of Roger Dean's art (he was an early inspiration for me actually). I have two of of his books autographed. I've met and talked to him on multiple occasions (he hangs around and have table sales at Yes/Prog-Rock events). Really nice guy. He totally should have won his IP lawsuit against James Cameron over the Avatar movie!
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richmond62
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Re: March 18th 2022

Post by richmond62 »

Those floating lumps of rock sent a "Roger Dean" bell ringing as
soon as I saw them: frankly I thought the film was juvenile nonsense
(dragged there by my children), but, Yup:
probably James Cameron managed to bribe a better lawyer . . .
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