IBM PPC code on PPC Mac

Discussion in 'PowerPC Macs' started by ScottBeebiWan, Feb 16, 2017.

  1. ScottBeebiWan macrumors newbie

    ScottBeebiWan

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    #1
    There's a few ways we could do this and also effectively allow Windows to run on a PowerPC mac. Unfortunately this still requires someone to know how to program for both of these PPC based machines.

    1. Create a OFW (BIOS) hack.
    Maybe we could create a built in emulator inside BIOS and teach it to act as if the Mac hardware was hardware for a specific IBM PPC machine, or

    2. Create a Bootable disc
    that would be the same as the BIOS hack or even inject it, or do disc swapping and have the emulator in RAM so it would be possible to load the setup disc, and if it didn't inject the emulator into BIOS, it would override the MBR (or equivalent) writing to be the emulator with built in boot instructions to load correctly on a PowerPC mac.

    3. QEMU for OS 9/X PPC
    The least exciting but easiest option.
    Because QEMU supports IBM PPC.

    Someone should do one of these for the greater good. I'm surprised we haven't already tried to hack it like this. All we've done before is say "you can't do that", but is time for change.
     
  2. eyoungren, Feb 16, 2017
    Last edited: Feb 16, 2017

    eyoungren macrumors Core

    eyoungren

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    #2
    So does VirtualPC 7, which I use. QEMU is great as a free app, but stability wise it's never been as good as VPC7.

    Sounds a lot like entitlement wrapped in "we" and "the greater good" so it doesn't sound so bad.
     
  3. Lastic macrumors 6502a

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    #3
    The newer Qemu versions via Macports aren't that bad actually.

    Only issue is the 2047 MB guest RAM limit if you use it on a G5 with more RAM and the virtual video card
     
  4. topbanana_ macrumors member

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    #4
    I may be wrong but I believe (at least for newer IBM PPC systems) that they now use 'little endian' and no longer 'big endian' as the G5's use.. See this thread I created in the Ubuntu Mate forum especially 'veggrower's comment at the end. Basically the PPC packages for this update were only for PPC 'LE' (Little Endian) which is what the newer processors use and which is not compatible with the PM.This is why this particular update failed for me - they tried to install as it recognised a PPC architecture but the packager forgot to differentiate the different PPC families and so it failed on my PM.

    You will see for example under Opensuse that the PPC packages are 'PPCle' - this latest version of Opensuse then will not run on a PM - only much older versions.

    https://ubuntu-mate.community/t/warning-for-ppc-users-re-mate-1-16-upgrade-for-16-04-users/11379/9
     
  5. ScottBeebiWan thread starter macrumors newbie

    ScottBeebiWan

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    #5
    Which part of what I said are you talking about? I didn't say that any of the PPC macs were LE or BE.
    --- Post Merged, Feb 16, 2017 ---
    Still not exciting. :/
     
  6. MagicBoy macrumors 68040

    MagicBoy

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    #6
    What's that got to do with the price of fish? If it's that easy then get cracking Scott. ;)
     
  7. bunnspecial macrumors 603

    bunnspecial

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    #7
    An easy place to start might be to use a version of Windows that was compiled for PPC. They do(or rather it does) exist.

    AFAIK, no one has ever been able to get it to run on a PPC Mac. Figure out the BIOS emulation thing and you might get somewhere.

    In any case, that makes the most sense to me as a starting point.
     
  8. eyoungren, Feb 16, 2017
    Last edited: Feb 16, 2017

    eyoungren macrumors Core

    eyoungren

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    #8
    Well, OP made it clear he has no intent to do this. OP wants us all to rally around someone who can, and make them do it (for the "greater good") so OP benefits while everyone sings kumbaya.

    It's all wrapped up in "we" and "community" so it doesn't outwardly appear to be the selfish, calculated, manipulation it really is.
     
  9. KawaiiAurora, Feb 16, 2017
    Last edited: Feb 16, 2017

    KawaiiAurora macrumors 6502

    KawaiiAurora

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    #9

    Honestly, your suggestions are a tad silly. They're a tad too over simplified ya know. If you want to mess around with the latest software, try using Linux. So you know, Windows can never really run too well on a non-x86 machine unless you want to run Windows NT 4.0 SP3 (it isn't runnable on PPC macs AFAIK) I guess; which would be a tad useless by today's standards anyways.

    Not to be rude but that MC avatar kinda makes ya look like a lil kid!
     
  10. Lastic macrumors 6502a

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    #10
    Just a few more thoughts

    Never developed up to a point that it works
    https://www.reactos.org/wiki/ReactOS_ports

    And as stated in the previous post Windows NT PowerPC that won't run on PowerMacs


    But I agree with the previous posts, it is not that simple and even I still don't understand why you want IBM PPC code on PPC Macs , what is IBM PPC code , Power7 , Power8 , what chipset or architecture are we even talking about ? Big endian VS little endian is a valid point.
     
  11. SuperKerem macrumors 6502a

    SuperKerem

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    #11
    If it really is that easy, and it's "time for change", why don't you show us how it's done? For the greater good, of course. :D
     
  12. Lastic macrumors 6502a

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    #12
    Well this topic did inspire me to check out ReactOS again ...
     
  13. MysticCow macrumors 6502a

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    #13
    It's also the end result of socialism. Nobody wants to do it, because there's no reward in it other than something like "not dying."
     
  14. Dronecatcher macrumors 68020

    Dronecatcher

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    #14
    Somewhat bleak!

    This forum is full of people giving for no reward and that in itself is a revelation nowadays.

    No one will tackle this project because it's either above any members skill level and/or beyond anyones availablility of free time.
     
  15. crewkid89 macrumors regular

    crewkid89

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    #15
    Also at this point the amount of reward (as in being able to do something you couldn't previously) is extremely limited. What software will be able to run that we can't currently? Is there a demand for running that software on the Apple PowerPC platform? We already have access to a rich repository of excellent software. Yes it is mostly dated. If you want newer stuff you can run linux and have modern, native powerpc software running on your mac. While it can extend the usefulness of your machine and can be fun to do it just cause, I would rather run linux on a RaspberryPI at this point than my G3 iBook. If you've got a Quad G5 with 16gb of RAM you can run pretty much any of the linux PPC software at more than acceptable speeds, but once you back off from that, your power usage and time spent is going to start catching up with any money you are saving at this point by not buying a new computer.

    Why do I still keep my PowerPC macs going? Because I like them. If I want to run modern software, I'll do it on a modern computer. But sometimes I really just want to use OS 9 or run some old games and do some fun graphics work on Leopard.
     
  16. MagicBoy macrumors 68040

    MagicBoy

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    #16
    Also pointless. ;)

    Want to run Windows NT? Virtualisation already got invented, so you can run the proper full-fat x86 version.
     
  17. Daniël Oosterhuis macrumors 6502a

    Daniël Oosterhuis

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    #17
    OP, what is it that you want to achieve with this? Windows on a PowerPC so PPC Macs can become relevant once more? Because I hate to break it to you, but even if we managed to get the IBM PPC Windows versions to run on PPC Macs, we would have achieved nothing more, than a neat proof of concept. The only Windows versions to have ever existed natively on PowerPC hardware, were NT 3.51 and 4.0, extremely outdated by today's standards of NT 6 and NT 10 (which is just a newer version of NT 6 with a new number slapped on, but still) based Windows operating systems.

    And even then, most Windows software is programmed specifically for x86 hardware. No way a regular program capable of running on NT 4.0 would gracefully run on a completely different architecture, if even at all. Remember Windows RT and how it failed? It was due to exactly this, it ran on ARM hardware and Windows software would have to be recompiled for that architecture, normal Windows software would not just run on a different architecture just because it was written for a certain operating system. When compiling, in most cases a specific target architecture will need to be set. And that target is x86. I'm willing to bet there is a way to do it so high-level that it potentially could be platform and not architecture dependent, and I also think Windows 10 addressed this with ARM by making the UWP architectural agnostic between ARM and x86, but desktop app developers will and do not go that route. This, along with the locked down, vacant Windows Store is what killed RT. And even then, we're talking ARM, not PowerPC, which has been dead for years in the eyes of the mainstream software developers.

    You see, except for special cases with legacy systems, retaining backwards compatibility (Wii U), hobbyistic use (most of us on this forum), or sheer determination to use old hardware daily such as Erik's (@eyoungren), PowerPC is a dead end. Sure, we still have software developers like Cameron Kaiser, who develop for PowerPC, but those can be counted on one hand, I'm willing to bet. Compare that to the hundreds, if not even thousands, of developers who worked with PowerPC when it was still a relevant architecture. After 2005, those numbers started dipping, and after the release of Snow Leopard, the decline became even worse. To do what you suggest would mean we would have to clone ourselves hundreds of Cameron Kaisers, and somehow get the source code of Windows and all the applications we would want to run. Not gonna happen. And you shouldn't clone anyways, because life, uh, finds a way.

    We're not naysayers, we're realists, because as I said, very niche uses aside, PowerPC is dead. There isn't going to be another hurrah. It's 2017, it's an ARM and x86 world today. Slowly but surely, even the legacy supportive developers will drop us, like Debian recently did. It's just for us hobbyists to get the most out of a dead architecture for our own pleasure. And truthfully, at least to me, that seems like the entire point of this forum. And that's not a bad thing, at all. But we musn't kid ourselves that we can make PowerPC Macs a perfectly up to date daily driver for everyone.
     
  18. eyoungren, Feb 17, 2017
    Last edited: Feb 19, 2017

    eyoungren macrumors Core

    eyoungren

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    #18
    I would just add a few points to this.

    One. Cameron Kaiser is, as you mentioned, one of a handful of devs still working PowerPC. But his focus is on ONE SINGLE application. He doesn't do anything else, except if it revolves around the main app. Any other devs still out there coding for PowerPC are doing it for one app as well. No one is directly working on getting anything Windows related to run natively.

    Two. These devs are doing all their work on their own time. Cameron Kaiser is a medical research doctor. That is his primary profession and the income it generates allows him to spend what little free time he has to focus SOLELY on TenFourFox. There are no more companies with salaried devs on staff working on PowerPC apps.

    Three. Let's assume just for the moment that there is one or two devs who would devote their time and resources on this and they succeed.

    Where is the market for it? A goodwill gesture to the PowerPC community? OK. How many people is that? Compared to the amount of Intel Mac and PC users out there? There is no ROI here. Not even the kudos and undying appreciation of the PowerPC community would pay the cost. You'd need someone in this for their own self-satisfaction and last anyone looked this wasn't on anyone's list.

    Four. There are too many other places to devote time and resources to making PowerPC Macs relevant in this time. And the solutions that already exist to allow Windows to run on a PowerPC Mac (i.e., emulators) are sufficient. No dev is going to waste their time when an imperfect but viable solution already exists. Not when they can concentrate on other solvable issues.
     
  19. MysticCow macrumors 6502a

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    #19
    Honestly, I keep coming back to Office 2004. It's the gigantic reason that isn't an old game that I come back to PPC a lot. It was simply the best version of Office ever made.
     
  20. eyoungren, Feb 18, 2017
    Last edited: Feb 18, 2017

    eyoungren macrumors Core

    eyoungren

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    #20
    Hehehehe, the old Office 2004/2008 conflict! :D

    I much prefer 2008 over 2004 but there are plenty of you 2004 guys out there still. :)
     
  21. bobesch macrumors 6502a

    bobesch

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    #21
    Strange thread.
    But made me think about if it's possible to run IBM OS/2 with any version of VirtualPC.
    I really don't know about why to try this (except only for the hell of it), but I remember the time looking at the shelved and having to decide between my tiny HP-Omnibook and a promising OS/2 Warp bread-box.
    I 've chosen the Omnibook ... as it turned out now, it also fits much better into a shoe-box..
     
  22. iModFrenzy macrumors 6502a

    iModFrenzy

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    #22
    What's the difference between 2008 and 2004 might I ask?

    I use 2008, Id say it's the best ,for me anyway, because it's universal and I can transfer it to any PPC/Intel Mac without hassle. It gives me no problems doing my work either.
     
  23. eyoungren macrumors Core

    eyoungren

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    #23
    It's more advanced. But those who like 2004 say that it's slower.

    I would agree that it's slower to launch, but once open it's as fast as 2004.
     
  24. flyinmac macrumors 68040

    flyinmac

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    #24

    While I definitely agree that the project is dead before it starts, there are specific cases where Windows x86 software would run on a PPC version of Windows. But that would require said programs to call only on API's and not make any hardware calls.

    But as stated, there is no benefit to doing all the work to bring our PPC Macs to Windows NT 4. Even NT 4 x86 wasn't useful as a desktop OS when it was current.

    Much desktop software wouldn't run in NT back then. It was best suited for server side software.

    Today, essentially every Windows version is stemmed from the NT core. But you're not going to get today's titles to run on NT 4. Just not happening.

    I'd love to put my G4 Mini back into daily use. But aside from hobby use or using the titles from back then, it's prime has passed.

    Personally, I'm considering MorphOS. But I haven't really convinced myself that I enjoyed Amiga enough to make it a daily use platform either.
     
  25. Daniël Oosterhuis macrumors 6502a

    Daniël Oosterhuis

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    #25
    Yeah, that's what I was trying to explain with that "high-level" guff, but bodged since I'm not a programmer. I merely know some basic stuff about programming, I'm more of an "operator" and a "maintenance guy" when it comes to computers, so while I know the ins and outs of a computer and how to keep it running, writing software is a whole different game for me that I don't know the rules to. But yeah, programs that purely call APIs could run, but still, programs that use only NT 4.0 era APIs at this point are even more outdated than any software that could run on OS X Leopard or even Tiger.
     

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