Since I’m a big fan of Amiga’s, the MorphOS operating system got my attention since it runs on Apple’s PPC macs (so, Powermac, Powerbook, Mini’s etc). I thought to give it a try, so I did. I got me an old 350Mhz Powermac G4 (generously donated by my friend David) and I installed MorphOS 3.4 (back then that was the latest). My first try was using the CD-drive which is kinda hard if you have a Macbook Air and no CD-burner, but I reinstalled an old PC and could actually burn it. My second try was using an USB-boot. Lucky, MorphOS made a guide for this.
I recorded my first try (using a CD) and put it on youtube. Everything looked fine, but there was no audio. My final goal is to have a system which looks the same as the old Amiga, feels the same as an old Amiga, but doesn’t require (often brittle) hardware of 20 years old. Without audio, well.. that’s a big miss on an emulator.
I started to look around and came across a nice Powerbook G4 and according to the HWC-list it was a supported one! Awesome. I went to pick it up (it even included a new battery) and installed MorphOS. Guess what? Same problem! Apparently, this PowerBook 1,0 867Mhz doesn’t support audio (doh) while the 1Ghz model does. And ofcourse I had the 867Mhz version. Another useless Mac around (which is now running Debian btw).
Around Xmas we have this nice giveaway and I decided to donate my PowerMac G4 to one of the users at AmigaScene.nl so he could play with it and I left trying MorphOS for now.
Why are you making this blog then? Well.. Another person decided to give me another PowerMac G4:
Here it is, on the right side. Also I got this nice Apple Cinema Display with the ADC-connector. The guy who donated me the PowerMac 3,5 decided to put in another video card without ADC-connector. So my new quest was to get either a videocard with ADC or a convertor. I decided to go for the latter so I can use the Display on other computers as well.
A few days later I found one (secondhand) for a decent price so installing could begin? No, the PowerMac didn’t have a harddisk and I recently threw away all my P-ATA harddisks >_<. Thanks to the nice people at Tweakers.net I got myself a few (free) P-ATA harddisks. I received them a few days ago and yesterday I found time to get this package together to make a working system. I also created a video for this at youtube.
It seems that the MorphOS 3.2 I’m trying to install is really slow (not sure where the problem is here). Also I can’t hear audio (could be because MorphOS doesn’t support audio out from the Internal speaker). It’s shouldn’t be a problem of the hardware. This PowerMac 3,5 has an 800Mhz CPU, 1.5GB of RAM, 160GB HDD and an ATI 128Mb videocard. In the next few days I’ll try to install the latest MorphOS and I’ll keep this website updated.
A Few Hours Later:
Since I created this post, I’ve been trying to get my old PowerBook G4 booting using USB and found out that the Open Firmware doesn’t actually like booting of a 8GB USB disk. I got it booting something, but it just didn’t continue. So, I cracked open my drawer and found an empty CD-recordable. Using my Windows 8.1 machine I burned the ISO to this disk and I went installing MorphOS 3.7.
Guess what, all problems disappeared AND I have sound. Even more surprising, I added an Airport compatible card (that’s what it said) and everything is working, even sound. Oddly enough, it somehow sees if something is connected on the mini-Jack in the back. Without anything connected, it doesn’t make sound. So, I plugged in an empty miniJack plug and sound is coming from the speaker in front of the Mac.
Obviously, I made a video because I’m proud to finally get MorphOS up & running! Now I’m gonna connect it to my home wlan-network (!) and start to make a ‘modern’ Amiga a-like system.