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MacOS on the Atari VCS


Charles Darwin

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29 minutes ago, Middleman said:

It took me a while to figure it out, but I can now confirm that the Atari VCS is running macOS Mojave 10.14.6 in NATIVE Mode!
So no more need for any emulation folks, this is the real deal! This is the screen captured at 4K output. ?

 

No sarcasm intended: that's a decent accomplishment.  I am legitimately impressed, because I know how much of a cluster it can be to get either OS X or macOS running on non-Apple hardware.

 

So, now that it's doing that...  What's the gain for the platform?

Edited by x=usr(1536)
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29 minutes ago, x=usr(1536) said:

 

No sarcasm intended: that's a decent accomplishment.  I am legitimately impressed, because I know how much of a cluster it can be to get either OS X or macOS running on non-Apple hardware.

 

So, now that it's doing that...  What's the gain for the platform?

Yeah, interesting.  no virtualization?  (he states emulation, but that's not the same as virtualization, no matter how you slice it :P)  Though I agree, what's the use?  I mean I guess if you're a macOS fan and can't Linux?

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1 hour ago, x=usr(1536) said:

 

No sarcasm intended: that's a decent accomplishment.  I am legitimately impressed, because I know how much of a cluster it can be to get either OS X or macOS running on non-Apple hardware.

 

So, now that it's doing that...  What's the gain for the platform?

Thanks! Yes it is pretty hard at times to get it right on non-Apple hardware, and more-so on AMD CPU & GPU hardware (which the VCS is). Luckily I am quite okay with Hackintoshing (as I’ve been doing it for some time).

 

The gain on the platform going this way is that we get to utilise all of the cores and also run on macOS which is pretty efficient OS. Only exception is the sound and GPU right now - I’ve yet to find the right driver & settings (as it is listed as an AMD Multimedia board) and that the Vega 3 GPU it uses has no hardware acceleration. As it stands the AMD Hackintosh community has been lacking GPU kexts and hardware acceleration for laptop setups, so this finding I’ve made may just make a difference.


This is the Geekbench 4 figures from the new setup so far:

93A80612-47D4-434F-B9D8-A63FB4B5B1AF.thumb.png.804ef7f8315276b762a86ac454d6d607.png

43 minutes ago, leech said:

Yeah, interesting.  no virtualization?  (he states emulation, but that's not the same as virtualization, no matter how you slice it :P)  Though I agree, what's the use?  I mean I guess if you're a macOS fan and can't Linux?

Yes, I should’ve meant also ‘no virtualisation’. Which in practical terms means a much more efficient OS setup to run for the CPU?

 

The setup I made is booted into and running Opencore 0.6.3 boat loader on Mojave 10.14.6 and I assure you it is running without any virtualisation or any other OS.

 

What’s the use? Maybe for folks who already use macOS? Those who want to mess around with it/4K output/make better use of it? Who maybe want to dual/triple boot OSes? Or for those who want a cheaper Mac/Hackintosh?

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5 minutes ago, Charles Darwin said:

If it runs smoothly and if you can use a real AppleID (store, AppleTV), the VCS would be the cheapest Mac on the planet.

How long takes it to boot. (completely, until the HDD activity stops)

Yes it would be! (the cheapest Mac available on the market). As for the boot time it is relatively quick. Probably less than 2 minutes booting in once it’s been fully installed.

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8 minutes ago, Middleman said:

Yes it would be! (the cheapest Mac available on the market). As for the boot time it is relatively quick. Probably less than 2 minutes booting in once it’s been fully installed.

I am guessing by the speed, lack of thermal throttling and 32gb of ram, if you can get full blown hardware acceleration on the AMD GPU, then it will be one of the faster macs on the planet too.  So many of them thermal throttle terribly.  (probably one of the main reasons they moved to ARM).

I didn't think MacOS sulported AMD since it was owned by ATI though...

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Is it actually useful for day to day stuff though? I've made Hackintoshes in the past, but they were always a bit unstable and there was always something that didn't work quite right.  If the VCS can run a a stable load of MacOS then it might actually be worth getting.  I wonder how long Apple will allow this though.

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1 hour ago, Tempest said:

Is it actually useful for day to day stuff though? I've made Hackintoshes in the past, but they were always a bit unstable and there was always something that didn't work quite right.  If the VCS can run a a stable load of MacOS then it might actually be worth getting.  I wonder how long Apple will allow this though.

The VCS is pretty stable. As stable as it could ever be like under a real Mac (I know because I was a real Mac owner - have been using G4s and G5s for years). The only thing missing now on the VCS so far is the sound and GPU acceleration - but otherwise it is considered stable and usable (for macOS). As for Apple allowing this, well it will be available for as long as macOS is around. There probably has been limits placed by Apple such as the inability since 10.14 Mojave to use kext patching, but as a hobby it's still going fairly strong. A lot of people actually set up their systems for high-quality content creation and output because it offers a lot of value and performance for almost less than half the cost of a real Mac.

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1 hour ago, Tempest said:

Is it actually useful for day to day stuff though? I've made Hackintoshes in the past, but they were always a bit unstable and there was always something that didn't work quite right.  If the VCS can run a a stable load of MacOS then it might actually be worth getting.  I wonder how long Apple will allow this though.

If past history is anything to go by, there will be three to five more macOS releases that support universal binaries built for both Intel and Apple Silicon.  Then there will be an announcement that Intel compatibility is about to be dropped, and that'll be that.

 

My expectation is that macOS will be locked to something in Apple Silicon that will prevent it running on other ARM-based architectures, at least not without performing major surgery to remove / circumvent whatever that dependency may be.

Edited by x=usr(1536)
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40 minutes ago, Middleman said:

There probably has been limits placed by Apple such as the inability since 10.14 Mojave to use kext patching

I didn't know they stopped allowing that.  That was a major part of setting up a hackentosh IIRC.

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1 hour ago, Tempest said:

I didn't know they stopped allowing that.  That was a major part of setting up a hackentosh IIRC.

Yes, am afraid it's true...at least that is the case with Big Sur. Ask any known Hackintosh site about this. The reason I mentioned Mojave had this (sorta) is because starting with Mojave there were memory protections being put in place that prevented certain bootloaders to work ie. patch. That is why the community moved over to Opencore. Mojave does still allow kext editing as does Catalina (afaik) - but Catalina doesn't allow you to change or add anything (manual) to the system root directory.

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  • 3 months later...

Guys,

I have just updated my Opencore guide and EFI files on the Tonymacx86 site - EFI is on the latest post.

We can now boot into Catalina and latest Big Sur 11.3 with the Atari VCS. WiFi and a couple of new features are now available in Big Sur such as full USB 3.1 connectivity, DRM decoding, ethernet and 4K/HD resolution switching. I am still experimenting with enabling the hardware acceleration of the Vega 3 graphics chip on the VCS. Someone I know has already done this with an Athlon 3000G APU (on macOS, which was never supported before) which uses Vega 3 graphics so we know its possible.

Screen-Shot-2021-05-04-at-9_00.30-AM-2.thumb.png.5b76b6731c6058fb38d1965403ca55c7.png
 

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40 minutes ago, Middleman said:

Guys,

I have just updated my Opencore guide and EFI files on the Tonymacx86 site - EFI is on the latest post.

We can now boot into Catalina and latest Big Sur 11.3 with the Atari VCS. WiFi and a couple of new features are now available in Big Sur such as full USB 3.1 connectivity, DRM decoding, ethernet and 4K/HD resolution switching. I am still experimenting with enabling the hardware acceleration of the Vega 3 graphics chip on the VCS. Someone I know has already done this with an Athlon 3000G APU (on macOS, which was never supported before) which uses Vega 3 graphics so we know its possible.

Screen-Shot-2021-05-04-at-9_00.30-AM-2.thumb.png.5b76b6731c6058fb38d1965403ca55c7.png
 

Interesting.  Sadly I feel it's going to be a losing battle, as Apple is going to eventually kill off the x86 version altogether and only support ARM.  One video I watched earlier said 2 years.  Though I'd think they'd almost have to support the Mac Pro for longer than that... Still makes me happy (even though I hate Apple and macOS) that we have the capability of running it on ~300 dollar hardware, when they charge such a premium for the (dis)pleasure.

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1 hour ago, leech said:

Interesting.  Sadly I feel it's going to be a losing battle, as Apple is going to eventually kill off the x86 version altogether and only support ARM.  One video I watched earlier said 2 years.  Though I'd think they'd almost have to support the Mac Pro for longer than that... Still makes me happy (even though I hate Apple and macOS) that we have the capability of running it on ~300 dollar hardware, when they charge such a premium for the (dis)pleasure.

Intel compatibility will probably remain for quite a while still. I don't see the Mac Pro getting updated to Apple Silicon anytime before fall of next year.

 

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On 1/18/2021 at 2:57 PM, Charles Darwin said:

Thanks @andymanone

I dont play high res games, I just want to run virtual machines and watch Netflix. So I just ordered 2x8Gb...that should do it ;-)

Hello,

WOW BRAVO EXCELLENT ! Ihave try but failed to insyall MacOS

 

Exacly the same for me :) But don't have Netflix, why I found alternative

Maybe if you want test Rokkr is realy good player (IPTV + films + séries) for worldwid is free because a forck of Watched app

Here is link for Windows (exist for Android also) https://rokkr.fr.malavida.com/

At first start you have to indicate URL : huhu.to

 

I hope you'll enjoy watching on VCS

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13 hours ago, leech said:

Interesting.  Sadly I feel it's going to be a losing battle, as Apple is going to eventually kill off the x86 version altogether and only support ARM.  One video I watched earlier said 2 years.

Based on the PPC-to-Intel transition, I'd say 5 years (2025-2026 timeframe).  They don't want to get sued by everyone who bought a Mac in the year running up to the M1-on-everything announcement for being sold a machine that was known to be obsolete by the company that sold it.

13 hours ago, leech said:

Though I'd think they'd almost have to support the Mac Pro for longer than that...

Ehhh...  You'd be surprised (or possibly not).  I've worked in all-Mac environments (video production and editing), and have watched Apple not give a toss about scrapping entire product lines (XServe / XSan) or obsoleting hardware including the Mac Pro along with everything else in a given line.  Where I feel they really screwed people over was with the Core2-based Macs: they had a 64-bit CPU paired to a 32-bit EFI.  Even though the hardware was more than capable of continuing to run the OS, Apple pretty much just said, "nope, that's it for you" at some point because of the EFI.

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1 hour ago, x=usr(1536) said:

Based on the PPC-to-Intel transition, I'd say 5 years (2025-2026 timeframe).  They don't want to get sued by everyone who bought a Mac in the year running up to the M1-on-everything announcement for being sold a machine that was known to be obsolete by the company that sold it.

Ehhh...  You'd be surprised (or possibly not).  I've worked in all-Mac environments (video production and editing), and have watched Apple not give a toss about scrapping entire product lines (XServe / XSan) or obsoleting hardware including the Mac Pro along with everything else in a given line.  Where I feel they really screwed people over was with the Core2-based Macs: they had a 64-bit CPU paired to a 32-bit EFI.  Even though the hardware was more than capable of continuing to run the OS, Apple pretty much just said, "nope, that's it for you" at some point because of the EFI.

These are all some of the many reasons I don't like Apple and wouldn't own any Macbooks except for the two that were literally given to me (as you said, with the issue of EFI 32bit, but hey, they work great as BSD / Linux Laptops) and their decisions to just screw over their customers. 

 

I actually laughed when they ditched the XServe support.  Mainly because I worked for a company where a guy had somehow convinced them to spend tons of money on those systems, and he was such an asshat, so when they discontinued the support for them, it was was a slap to his face, which I enjoyed.  Then again he and his team also would VNC into these systems so that they could browse the internet without the company filter blocking things... Still don't know why the XServes even had a GUI....

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4 hours ago, leech said:

I actually laughed when they ditched the XServe support.

When the XServe was put out to pasture, my only response was a huge grin.  When Quantum had it as StorNext, it was a pretty decent product.  Then Apple bought the rights to it, fubared everything about it, and made it hell to administer.

 

Oh, and OpenDirectory can go eat a giant bag of cold dicks.  At least they've made their machines interoperable enough with AD that enterprise integration isn't the total nightmare it used to be.  I have awful memories of running OD on an XServe and it was just...  Bad.

4 hours ago, leech said:

Mainly because I worked for a company where a guy had somehow convinced them to spend tons of money on those systems, and he was such an asshat, so when they discontinued the support for them, it was was a slap to his face, which I enjoyed.  Then again he and his team also would VNC into these systems so that they could browse the internet without the company filter blocking things...

Yeah, I remember the discussion I had with executive management a few months before the XServe plug was pulled.  It went something along the lines of, "that $400,000-worth of Xserve boxes that are chewing up four racks?  Yeah, their value is about to be zero.  We should probably call Isilon tomorrow."  Needless to say, that went down like a lead balloon.

4 hours ago, leech said:

Still don't know why the XServes even had a GUI....

Because Windows Server had one.  That's literally the only reason I can come up with.

 

Well, that and Apple already had OS X Server as a separate download, so they didn't have to rework the core OS, just ship with it pre-installed.

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20 minutes ago, leech said:

For sure, I never thought macOS had a place in the server space anyhow.  Apparently neither did Jobs...

That's the thing: using Apple's server platform makes sense in a 100% Apple environment.  The reality is that there are very, Very, VERY few places in enterprise where that's the case, though.

 

Even in the video production and editing world, mixed environments are more the rule than the exception.  Sure, the Macs might be sequestered off to their own chunks of storage, SAN, authentication, etc. - but the backend is just not going to be Apple unless there is that one

20 minutes ago, leech said:

On the bright side, I bet people could take those Xserves and just install Linux on them :P

At least one person has, which involved way more effort than I would have been willing to put into it :-D

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I almost pulled the trigger on a new Mac Mini a month or two before they announced their new ARM based processors.  Had I actually bought that mini I'd be super pissed because I got screwed over on the PPC to Intel transition back in the day when I bought a shiny new Powerbook G4 a year before they announced the new Intel macs and then stopped supporting the PPC macs after a year or two.

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On 5/15/2021 at 3:10 PM, leech said:

For sure, I never thought macOS had a place in the server space anyhow.  Apparently neither did Jobs... On the bright side, I bet people could take those Xserves and just install Linux on them :P

The reason the XServe was discontinued was because it had become a redundant product. The Mac Mini ended up turning into Apple's most popular server product and outsold the XServe by an order of magnitude, and even to this day remains the go-to system for servers running macOS. 

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