PowerMac 8600 OS X Project

Discussion in 'PowerPC Macs' started by bunnspecial, Aug 5, 2016.

  1. bunnspecial macrumors 603

    bunnspecial

    Joined:
    May 3, 2014
    Location:
    Kentucky
    #1
    This is a project that has stalled for a while, but is finally beginning to come together.

    First of all, the story starts with some inspiration from @Intell a few years ago about an 8600 he has running Leopard. That piqued my interest, and it's certainly possible(albeit not straight forward) provided that you have an upgrade.

    A while back, I acquired an 8600 in a lot of a couple other computers and the wheels started turning about doing something similar. Without really talking to Intell, I had a sort of "shopping list" of what I knew I'd need

    1. To overcome the limitations of the onboard SCSI bus, I needed a bootable ATA card

    2. Some form of PCI video card was an absolute necessity

    3. For my own sanity, a combo USB and Firewire card

    4. Enough RAM to make Leopard useable(note that I said useable, not just barely enough to make it boot).

    5. Finally, a G4 upgrade card.

    Surprisingly enough, the G4 card came easily. @Gamer9430 generously gave me a wonderful Sonnet card-a 700mhz/1mb.

    I've been buying up Radeon 9200s for a while, so when the time came to bring it all together I just had to grab one off the shelf.

    Intell gave me the part number of an Acard ATA/133 card and I was able to find one, although now I'm using a Sonnet Tempo as the Acard found another semi-permanant home in another application. I think they're actually the same card. These are wonderful cards all around-the ATA/133 speed is faster than about any ATA drive can manage. With that said, they have two buses(four drives total), are firmware compatible so are bootable, support "big" drives(larger than 128gb) and are free of the 8gb "quirk" that plagues OWR Macs.

    The USB/FW card was easy, although I did use one of the valuable Sonnet Allegros from my stash.

    From there, however, I stalled.

    I was running a mix of RAM since it's hard to come up with nice, matched EDO and had cobbled together 300-some-odd MB of RAM.

    I could boot the computer into Tiger with the stock 200mhz 604ev using lightbulbfun's patched kernel, but Tiger would KP either on boot-up or at best within a few minutes of booting with the G4. I let the computer sit idle while I sat on my hands about buying RAM from OWC and then they doubled the price. Then, a few weeks ago, @ziggy29 posted a link to an Ebay seller that was selling 128mb sticks for close to OWC's old price. I ended up buying a total of 30 sticks for $8 each(I have enough use for EDO RAM that I want a surplus-among other things I'm maxing my 9600).

    With 1gb of brand new EDO, the 8600 now boots Tiger perfectly and-after running the Sonnet cache enabler, is surprisingly perky. I still need to optimize TFF, but it's usable to browse the web.

    Now, the next hurdle is to get it booting Leopard. Over a year ago, @LightBulbFun had sent me an image of a Leopard install with what should have been all the platform drivers for pre-AGP PowerMacs. I know it boots fine in both my G4 upgraded B&W and my Yikes!(which is fundamentally the same computer) but won't make it past the Apple even far enough to toggle verbose mode. I may have to spend some time on Facetime with lightbulbfun if he has the time in the coming week to get that straightened out.

    All that aside, I'm happy to be at this point.

    I should have taken a photo, too, of the current set-up. lightbulbfun seems to find it interesting that I like to randomly drop in rare peripherals, and I currently have the computer set up with an Apple IIgs keyboard and a Blueberry LCD Studio Display :) . The Blueberry is actually quite convenient with this computer since it has an integral ADB hub. That's something that's never quite made sense to me as the B&W shipped with the little iMac keyboard and puck mouse, although it does have ADB.
     
  2. MacCubed macrumors 68000

    MacCubed

    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2014
    Location:
    Florida
    #2
    Wow, it feels like there's no way that @LightBulbFun sent you that image a year ago! I still remember it happening and him pestering you to test it on every Mac you own!
     
  3. Intell macrumors P6

    Intell

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2010
    Location:
    Inside
    #3
    The 8600 is a versatile little Mac with it being able to run over 10 years worth of OSes
     
  4. 128keaton macrumors 68020

    128keaton

    Joined:
    Jan 13, 2013
    #4
    The 8500s (yes two) are beeeeggging for an upgrade like this. I have one running Debian, but OS X would be fun. Too bad I financially cannot support the project.
     
  5. ziggy29 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2014
    Location:
    Texas
    #5
    Nice. I'm running Tiger decently (not great, but usable) on my 7600 with G3/300. Going from 512 MB to 1 GB in RAM made a huge difference; it was pretty unusable with 512 MB. Still have my eyes out for a faster CPU, a G4 of at least 700 MHz. I have a partition I can use to try Leopard should I find one at a decent price.
     
  6. Intell macrumors P6

    Intell

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2010
    Location:
    Inside
    #6
    The 8500, 9500, 8600, and 9600 are all very similar in design with similar capabilities. Truly wonderful machines.
     
  7. 128keaton macrumors 68020

    128keaton

    Joined:
    Jan 13, 2013
    #7
    Someone told me the 8500 was junk...I wonder who :)?
     
  8. bunnspecial thread starter macrumors 603

    bunnspecial

    Joined:
    May 3, 2014
    Location:
    Kentucky
    #8
    My biggest issue with the 8500 is the plastic.

    Truth be told, this is an issue with all of these late beige Macs. The "outrigger" desktop cases(7200 on up through the G3) and the "swingout" design of the 8600/9600 along with the G3 minitower avoids having to deal with TOO much plastic when you get into them to work.

    I still like my 8500, though :)
     
  9. ziggy29 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2014
    Location:
    Texas
    #9
    The plastic on this generation is now so brittle that if you look at it the wrong way, it breaks. That happened to me with the power switch on my 7600 -- the third or fourth time I powered it up by pressing the switch the plastic mechanism snapped. For a while I was rigging up a weak workaround with the little felt discs you put on the bottom of chair legs. Fortunately there's a guy over on the 68KMLA forums who has a 3D printer and makes replacements that fit perfectly. I just got one and it works great and allows me to actually fully close the lid.
     
  10. bunnspecial thread starter macrumors 603

    bunnspecial

    Joined:
    May 3, 2014
    Location:
    Kentucky
    #10
    The beauty of using an ADB keyboard is that you can power up the computer even without a functional power switch on the computer.

    One of the nice things about 8600, 9600, and G3 minitower is that the power button is quite a different design than on other computers. It's a heavy translucent plastic and is quite substantial-I don't recall seeing a broken one. It also lights up when the computer is on :) .

    Of course, the rest of the computer plastic is still in danger. I've had a 9600, 6500, and G3 minitower shipped to me, and in all cases I was shaking plastic out of the computer for a while. The 6500, which @eyoungren here gave me, came in a box meant for a Mac Pro and was quite securely packed.
     
  11. eyoungren macrumors P6

    eyoungren

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2011
    Location:
    Phoenix • 85037
    #11
    Didn't a tab in the back still break off though?
     
  12. ziggy29 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2014
    Location:
    Texas
    #12
    Yeah, I generally do that with my ADB keyboard but when I found someone was able to do that for little more than materials and shipping, I figured I wanted this thing fully working. :)

    In fact I need to use an ADB keyboard when I boot into 7.6.1 since USB devices are useless there. In 8.1 the USB mouse and keyboard work but storage devices don't
     

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