Recovering Jazz

Last FOSDEM, I took jazz, my Quadra 950 that was donated to me by P2, to the booth. It only had MacOS on it, so I added another hard disk and started the d-i run. I figured it would take the whole weekend to install anyway, so why not use that as a demo.

Only forgot one little detail -- didn't mention to the people doing the actual install that the 750MB hard disk contained MacOS and was not to be wiped, because it doesn't boot without MacOS (at least not if you use the Penguin Booter and don't try EMILE, for which I'm about to file an ITP). As it turned out, debian-installer complained that the 250MB hard disk that I had prepared for Debian was too small, so the people manning the booth decided to pick the other disk instead. Bummer.

So, saturday evening I put the quadra's disk in my Mac IIci, formatted the 250MB hard disk, and copied MacOS over so that people could restart it. Only now it complained about not being able to boot, because the IIci contained System 7.0, which apparently is too old for a Quadra 950. Bummer again.

After FOSDEM, jazz had been standing in our office, untouched. I didn't really have any ideas on how to fix it, and didn't actually have time either. Yesterday, however, I thought about trying it again.

The big problem would be: how would I update MacOS on a system that won't boot? There's a some disk image that one can download on the Internet which will allow you to boot the mac from if you write it to a floppy disk, but the only thing it will allow you to do is talk to a LocalTalk connection. Need to have something at the other end to talk to, to be able to do that. Scratch that. Besides, you know how "reliable" floppy disks can be.

There's also this free (as in beer) System 7.5.3 that you can download from apple, but that's 19 disk images, which is a bit too much to download and copy by floppy. Especially if your disks don't work. A direct network connection to download those was right out. Jazz doesn't boot (so I can't download it there), while the IIci doesn't have an AAUI (so I can't connect a network cable to it). Hence, I needed another option.

One idea is this serial nullmodem cable that I have, and that contains a mac-style serial connector at one end. Unfortunately, I couldn't get that to work, for some reason.

Just as I was thinking of bringing one of my SCSI CD-ROM players on Monday, and writing a CD to copy the files over, I decided one more time to check all settings; and then, suddenly, I discovered this little option that lets you switch between LocalTalk and PPP as an IP backend. Did I ever mention how Macs are weird?

Anyway. After switching that connection to the sane option, at least the serial line worked. I didn't immediately get a PPP connection yet (the serial protocol is completely and utterly broken, and pppd being sucky doesn't help), but in the end, everything did work out as wanted.

Only I forgot how <censored> slow 56k baud is. My goodness.

I had to leave for my train before the System 7.5.3 images had been downloaded, and I still need to download Debian-installer. Might as well do that on Monday.

Once that is done, I need to...

  • Upgrade MuckOS to 7.5.3
  • Copy that installation to jazz's hard disk
  • Download debian-installer
  • Install Debian
  • Try out 2.6
  • Try out emile

Still a lot of work to do.