Support Mac OS 8.6/9.x

Discussion in 'Feature Suggestions' started by bilbee, Aug 13, 2006.


Would you use support for OS 8.6/9.x?

  1. Would use a lot.

    9 vote(s)
  2. Would use some.

    1 vote(s)
  3. Would not use.

    29 vote(s)
  1. bilbee


    I would like to be able to keep using Claris Emailer and the tons of other good stuff pre-OSX which I have. Currently I have a dual-boot Mac and would like to retain that functionality. There must be many others out there who would like to be able to run Mac OS 8.6/9.x on their Intel Mac.
  2. Delphyne


    Parallels uses Virtualization technology, and is not an emulator. More or less, that means that parallels cannot run anything that can't already run on the platform you are running.

    Some currently functioning (and free) PowerPC emulators are SheepSaver, Basilisk, and PearPC.
  3. bilbee


    Educate me further.

    Well, Delphyne, Windows does not already run on Intel Macs, but it has been implemented with Parallels. So what is the difference with fixing it up to run OS 8.6/9.x?
  4. mdurand


    Parallels virtualizes the Intel processor.

    Since MacOS 8.6/9.x runs on the PowerPC processors, it cannot be virtualized my Parallels.

    One would need something of a Rosetta virtualizer to do that... and it would indeed be a cool thing to have.
  5. Delphyne


    Windows does indeed already run on Macs with Intel processors.

    I know it is a fuzzy distinction, but Parallels uses Inte's virtualization technology to "virtualize" a separate Intel machine. Windows does run on Intel macs, however, it cannot "boot" without assistance. Once the machine is booted (by using Apple's Boot Camp, which is also a bios emulator of sorts), it runs just fine.

    While it is possible to "emulate" PPC on Intel, Parallels Desktop is not the right product to do it. Rosetta does emulate PPC, but is not capable of running a classic environment. It is also not capable of emulation of the entire PPC feature set. It is very limited.

    Emulation is slow and usually very buggy. It is easier to emulate x86 on PPC than it is to emulate PPC on intel because PPC has many more registers and much less built-in fall-back compatibility code. Basically, a Pentium 4 processor has built into it the ability to run any 386 software, so most applications are built to turn on and off any 486, pentium, pentium mmx, sse, sse2, etc. instructions sets.

    At this point, you CAN run OS8 and OS9 (thought not 9.2.2) on Intel macs using SheepSaver or Basilisk. Both are kinda hard to run, but if you get them going, you're pretty much set indefinitely.

    The long and short of it is this:

    Virtualization does not translate the code in your Operating System or Applications. They are passed (basically) straight to the processor to be handled. This happens in "near" real time.

    Emulation takes every instruction and translates it to the language that the processor in your computer understands. This happens at a significant performance hit, and usually is about 40-60% of real time.

    Here's a decent article about the topic:

    If for some reason, you can't find the article, it's the one from March 1, 2006.
  6. jbell

    jbell Bit Poster

    The problem is that none of these emulators will work properly from what I have been reading. And unless I missed something, none are currently supported. I need to run the Classic OS environment. The software I use has not been written for another machine.
  7. itsdapead


    That may be - but Parallels/VMWare are simply not the tool for the job. Although from a user's point of view, Emulators and Virtualizers (the names are pretty arbitrary anyway) may appear to work in a very similar way, but under the hood there are fundamental differences.

    Parallels and VMWare can only run OSs that are, by and large, compatible with the physical hardware. Since the big switch new Intel Mac hardware is essentially the same as PC hardware (with some of the obsolete "legacy" bits removed) - if you feel so inclined you can zap the hard drive containing OSX on your Intel Mac, stick in a Windows or PC Linux installation DVD and pretend you have a PC*.

    "Classic" Mac OS was only ever available for the pre-Intel PPC and 68k Macs - which have a completely different processor and internal architecture. They require an emulator, not virtualisation software. If none of the available emulators will work for you then I'm afraid you are out of luck.

    (* definitely works on a MacPro if you yank the OSX HD and put in a blank one - you may need to have installed the firmware included with BootCamp but that's a one-shot update - apart from that, BootCamp is just tools that help you set up a dual-boot mac & a convenient set of - mostly manufacturer's standard - drivers).
  8. AngryAnt


    That would indeed be nice, but as mentioned before you'd need a powerpc emulator. I would also advice against Parallels pursuing such a project since apple has announced leopard will mean the end of Classic mode.

    /me thankfully did not throw out his IIci, PowerPC 9500 or PowerMac G4 :D
  9. jbell

    jbell Bit Poster

    I think it is interesting that I was able to run a VirtualPC 6 on my Mac. Which I assume had to be an emulation and not virtualization based on your definition. Yet it is unable to run on Intel. Why is that? Seems like being an emulation shouldn't be a problem based on your definition...

    Haven't bought the Intel yet. But want to get there before Leopard so that I might be able to use Classic while I await the light to dawn on the software developers who have abondoned the programs that were so good on the Classic Mac.
  10. veggiedude


    Your Virtual PC was a PowerPC application, not an Intel app. To go from G4 to G5, major portions of it had to be rewritten, which took about a year to do! Imagine porting it to Intel - which is maybe why Microsoft dropped it. On the other hand, MS did buy the Connectix PC version which they still give away for free today (a VMWare competitor). I really don't see why they didn't bother port that to the Mac, just lazy I guess.
  11. srl


    Wow, I am the only one so far to say 'some'. I would find it interesting (hey, I could run Hypercard..) and sometimes useful, but not something I'd use heavily. I'd upgrade for the feature.

    As was pointed out, plls is a virtualizer and not an emulator. Plus.. I think there are legal issues.. plls is not about to distribute old mac roms or OS.
  12. ehurtley


    In short:

    Virtualization: Allows a system to run 'in a window' a second OS that is made for the same processor architecture. i.e. Windows on an Intel Mac, through Parallels; or OS 9 on a PPC Mac through Classic. (Yes, the "Classic" environment in OS X on PowerPC Macs is a virtualization program!) This requires telling the second ("guest") OS that it is running on a completely separate piece of hardware; but no actual emulation of the hardware is needed. The primary ("host") OS just passes calls straight through. (When possible. DirectX on Windows needs some translation, but OpenGL does not. That's whey OpenGL Windows programs run at full speed in Parallels.)

    Emulation: Allows a system to run 'in a window' a second OS that is *NOT* made for the same processor architecture. This requires completely emulating the entire PC, *IN ADDITION TO* virtualizing it. So technically, an emulator is a type of virtualizer that is more complex. Examples are Virtual PC (to run Intel Windows on a PowerPC Mac,) or SheepShaver (to run PowerPC OS 9 on an Intel Mac.)

    I suppose it's even theoretically possible to run OS X inside virtualizers and emulators. (i.e. A version of PearPC to run the PowerPC OS X on an Intel Mac, and Virtual PC to run a modified copy of Intel OS X on a PowerPC Mac. Although both options would be very silly.)
  13. Hugh Watkins

    Hugh Watkins

    just watch a dumpster for an old mac
    and reuse that

    my original iMac keeps on running
    now when the grandchildren drop in it keeps them off the grown ups machines

    My old Mac SE also runs and runs

    Hugh W
  14. Eru Ithildur

    Eru Ithildur

    This really has no merit as a thread, for it is not a matter of supporting earlier versions Mac OS, rather it is talking about building an entirely different program that you are asking to be built.
  15. YanaYana



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