Retro hack : Running Mac OS 6.0.1 on Amiga 500 computer from 1980s

Retro Hack: Redittor successfully runs Mac OS 6.0.1 on the Amiga 500 computer

A Reddit and Imgur user “wowbobwow” used an emulator called “A-Max” which allowed the Mac ROM chips to run on the Amiga.

Users of Mac are aware that Mac can also boot into Windows. The modern Intel-based Mac computers designed since 2006 definitely supports dual boot configuration; however it is not only the modern Macs which have the Boot Camp property.

A die hard vintage computing fan, Reddit and Imgur user “wowbobwow” has been successful in running Mac OS 6.0.1 on the Amiga 500 computer. The user used an emulator called “A-Max” which allowed the Mac ROM chip to run on the Amiga.

Usually, its through emulation that one can make a system like vintage Mac to run on a different computer. In simple words, emulation is any other faster computer program that mimics the behavior of any other piece of computer hardware, for instance some older computer or video game console.

It has been observed that when one runs a program on the original hardware it would run much faster and on the contrary due to emulation the program becomes slower.

Thus it indicates that one can emulate systems which are older than the current hardware. For instance, one would never use an Xbox One to emulate a Wii U at full speed. Similarly, it is difficult to witness a vintage Mac emulate a vintage PC at a full speed for the simple reason that it lacks the “bandwidth” to pretend to be another system.

Eventually we can say that this “hack” of Mac OS 6.0.1 running on the Amiga from the 1980s is ‘not real emulation’…..then what is this?

This is a ‘Frankenstein project’ wherein a vintage Mac’s ROM chips have been connected to Amiga’s Motorola 68000 processor (which was the same CPU used in Macs way back in 1980s).

The clever hacker in-fact was able to accomplish the hack with an old retail app called Amx,  “the Macintosh emulator for your Amiga.”

Hacker has explained his accomplishment in the following manner:

“Worth noting that this is not “software emulation” like how you might run Mini vMac on a modern computer. This setup literally connects two Apple Macintosh ROM chips (from a Mac Plus, in this instance) to the Amiga’s floppy drive, and via some unholy alliance of A-Max controller software + Apple ROM code + the Motorola 68000 CPU in the Amiga (the same chip that powered all the early Macs), this is a “hardware” emulation system. Interestingly, the Mac boot disk I have is too old to be 32-bit compatible, so while it “sees” the full 9 megs of RAM in the Amiga, it can only access 512k of it.”

Well, this is one of the craziest hacks which only a conventional computing fan would try, however it is amazing to see that the hack did work: “Old school Mac Finder running on an Amiga 500!”

Check out his super cool hack tutorial on Imgur.

Welcome To CoMacintosh

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Old school Mac Finder running on an Amiga 500!

Retro hack : Running Mac OS 6.0.1 on Amiga 500 computer from 1980s

Retro hack : Running Mac OS 6.0.1 on Amiga 500 computer from 1980s

Worth noting that this is not “software emulation” like how you might run Mini vMac on a modern computer. This setup literally connects two Apple Macintosh ROM chips (from a Mac Plus, in this instance) to the Amiga’s floppy drive, and via some unholy alliance of A-Max controller software + Apple ROM code + the Motorola 68000 CPU in the Amiga (the same chip that powered all the early Macs), this is a “hardware” emulation system. Interestingly, the Mac boot disk I have is too old to be 32-bit compatible, so while it “sees” the full 9 megs of RAM in the Amiga, it can only access 512k of it.

Retro hack : Running Mac OS 6.0.1 on Amiga 500 computer from 1980s

A-Max: essentially a big dongle that allows for a set of original Macintosh (128k, 512k or Plus) ROM chips to be connected to an Amiga (along with a Mac floppy drive), essentially turning the Amiga into a sort of semi-Mac-compatible machine. Paid $5 for the kit!

Retro hack : Running Mac OS 6.0.1 on Amiga 500 computer from 1980s

Didn’t get a pic of this, but inside the box (along with the device, manuals, floppies, Mac OS copies, etc.) was a lovely personal letter from a support person at the manufacturer to the original buyer of this kit, explaining the (complex!) series of key-commands that would allow the emulated Mac to access the Prodigy online service. Super cool!

Retro hack : Running Mac OS 6.0.1 on Amiga 500 computer from 1980s

No vintage Macintoshes were harmed in the making of this album

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