reptile7's JavaScript blog
Tuesday, February 24, 2009
The SheepShaver Chronicles, Part 10
Blog Entry #137

A newer version of SheepShaver

Per the comment made by "Anonymous" on Part 1 of this series, I have downloaded a more recent version of SheepShaver built by moderator Ronald P. Regensburg. The new SheepShaver download package includes, inter alia:
(1-2) Two SheepShaver executables: SheepShaver(H) UB 21-07-2008 and SheepShaver(S) UB 21-07-2008;
(3) A Manual.html manual with relevant screen shots for setting up the new SheepShaver version(s);
(4) A Delete Prefs File application that will clear the current SheepShaver settings (equivalent to executing $ rm .sheepshaver_prefs (vide infra) with Terminal); and
(5) A keycodes file for non-U.S. keyboard layouts.
The "1. The SheepShaver application" subsection of the Manual.html file addresses the relatively minor difference between the SheepShaver executables, which relates to their differing cursor implementations.

If you have already
(a) downloaded the 'official' SheepShaver application,
(b) set it up with the SheepShaverGUI editor, and
(c) successfully booted it so that the SheepShaverGUI settings take hold,
then either of the new SheepShaver applications can be launched right away; no further configuration is necessary. And having given these applications a test drive, I can report that they feature an all-important improvement vis-à-vis the official SheepShaver application: their Unix disk interfaces do a much better job of recognizing executables and folders that previously didn't show up at all, and also alias files, which were previously seen as generic documents, in the OS X environment. In fact, the new Unix interfaces seem to recognize pretty much everything except for the following subdirectories and files in my root directory: /bin/, /cores/, /Desktop Folder/, /mach_kernel, /mach_kernel.ctfsys, /Network/, /private/, /sbin/, /Trash/, /usr/, and /Volumes/.

Strangely, after installing and running the new SheepShaver applications, the official SheepShaver application no longer shows a Unix disk on its desktop (while still showing it in the Apple System Profiler).

Mounting an external Classic Mac hard disk in the SheepShaver environment

In previous parts of this series I have discussed the creation and use of Disk Utility volumes for bringing materials from the hard disk of my defunct G3 iMac and from floppy disks into the SheepShaver environment. We saw in Blog Entry #134 that SheepShaver will not mount floppy disk volumes directly. On the other hand, I find that the 'partition analysis' that we applied to multisession data CDs in Blog Entry #133 can also be applied to my G3 iMac's hard disk to bring the disk's root volume, Computhrash III, into the SheepShaver environment. (I'm not sure that 'root volume' is the right term for a Classic Mac hard disk volume, but I'm going to use it anyway.)

My G3 iMac's hard disk interfaces with my Intel Mac via the latter's FireWire 400 port; Terminal $ df execution shows the disk to be assigned in the /dev/ directory to disk1 or disk2 or disk3 etc., depending to an extent on whether other volumes are mounted on the OS X desktop - today it happens to be disk1. Terminal $ diskutil list disk1 execution gives:
$ diskutil list disk1
   #:                       TYPE NAME                    SIZE       IDENTIFIER
   0:     Apple_partition_scheme                        *37.3 Gi    disk1
   1:        Apple_partition_map                         31.5 Ki    disk1s1
   2:             Apple_Driver43                         27.0 Ki    disk1s2
   3:             Apple_Driver43                         37.0 Ki    disk1s3
   4:           Apple_Driver_ATA                         27.0 Ki    disk1s4
   5:           Apple_Driver_ATA                         37.0 Ki    disk1s5
   6:             Apple_FWDriver                         100.0 Ki   disk1s6
   7:         Apple_Driver_IOKit                         256.0 Ki   disk1s7
   8:              Apple_Patches                         256.0 Ki   disk1s8
   9:                  Apple_HFS Computhrash III         37.3 Gi    disk1s9
Recall that for a multisession data CD, SheepShaver can mount the not-mounted-by-default CD volumes via acting on the corresponding session partitions with the type name "Apple_partition_scheme". Analogously, SheepShaver mounts the Computhrash III volume upon adding /dev/disk1 to the SheepShaverGUI Volumes menu.

"SheepShaverGUI?? What about the new SheepShaver builds?" you are of course thinking. Good questions. Let's say that I launch either of the new SheepShaver applications and then choose the SheepShaver menu's Preferences... command, which opens the window below:
The Setup tab of the new SheepShaver Preferences window
Clicking the Setup tab's Add... button drops down a dialog pane with an Aqua GUI interface, not with the Unix-type interface of the SheepShaverGUI Add Volume window; the GUI-hidden root volume directories, including the /dev/ directory, are not visible and thus cannot be accessed in the Add... dialog pane.

However, adding /dev/disk1 to the SheepShaverGUI Volumes menu and then booting the official SheepShaver application will add the line

disk /dev/disk1

to the .sheepshaver_prefs preferences file that is created in my OS X home folder as soon as I open either the SheepShaverGUI editor or SheepShaver itself. The official and new SheepShaver applications write to and read the same .sheepshaver_prefs file, and the disk /dev/disk1 line will effectively add /dev/disk1 to the Volumes menu of the Setup tab of the new SheepShaver Preferences... window; consequently, the new SheepShaver applications will now mount the Computhrash III volume.

Equivalently and preferably, the disk /dev/disk1 line can be manually added to the .sheepshaver_prefs file with a text editor* (I prefer nano in this regard; I'm not enough of a Unix geek to use Vim - not yet, anyway), and thus it's not necessary to use the SheepShaverGUI editor to add /dev/ partitions to the new SheepShaver Volumes menu after all, as you might have suspected.
*If desired, the .sheepshaver_prefs file can be visibilized on the OS X desktop (e.g., $ mv .sheepshaver_prefs Desktop/visibleSSprefs) and then edited with TextEdit, but you'll have to move the visible file back to your home folder and change its name back to .sheepshaver_prefs if you want SheepShaver to act on it.

Obtaining Classic Mac system software

When I began my 'SheepShaver adventure', I had on hand my G3 iMac's Software Install and Software Restore CDs. But if you don't have any Classic Mac system software lying around, where do you get it?

You may know that Mac OS 7.5.3 with an upgrade to OS 7.5.5 can be downloaded for free directly from Apple - go to the "System Software Downloads" section on this page for the goods. Even more conveniently, offers an OS 7.5.5 "starter disk" for SheepShaver here. (A tip of the hat to Jonathan Hoyle for bringing this file, which is not linked to on's All Downloads page, to my attention.) When unzipped, the file gives a Starterdisk.hfv raw disk image that holds an OS 7.5.5 System Folder, SimpleText, and an Aladdin Expander 5.5 installer.

For the purpose of booting, OS 7.5.x - more generally, OSs prior to OS 8.5 - cannot be paired with New World ROM files; you'll need an Old World ROM file for these guys. Redundant Robot can help you out here too - I can confirm that Slack12's mac_oldworld_rom4mb.rom file works with the Starterdisk.hfv disk image.

But perhaps you would prefer to not go so far back in the past - can't say that I blame you. If you want Classic system software in the OS 8.0-9.0.4 range and can't find anyone to cop it from, you're going to have to pay for it. Fortunately, Low End Mac maintains a Best Classic Mac OS Deals page. I see that Beta Macs is currently selling for $20 an OS 9.0 CD, which I'd grab myself if I were starting from scratch.

In any case, whether you are or are not in the market for a Classic Mac OS, I encourage you to sign Steve Godun's petition that calls for Apple to offer OS 8.1 and OS 8.5.1 as free downloads.

New World ROM downloads from Apple

Other people mention these resources (but don't always link to them) so maybe I should too:

(1) The iMac Update 1.1 gives (after decompression) an iMac Update volume containing an iMac Update Tome file that holds Mac OS ROM 1.2.1, which can be extracted by TomeViewer in a Classic environment.

(2) The Mac OS ROM Update 1.0 gives (after decompression) a Mac OS ROM Update volume containing a Mac OS ROM Update Tome file that holds Mac OS ROM 1.6, which can be extracted by TomeViewer in a Classic environment.

Again, these ROM files are pairable with operating systems in the OS 8.5-9.0.4 range.
(As noted above, earlier OSs require an Old World ROM file, whereas later OSs are not compatible with SheepShaver.)

All in all, I'm really glad that I took up SheepShaver. Together with OpenOffice, SheepShaver has enabled me to salvage almost all of the Classic application data files on my G3 iMac's hard disk. Perhaps no less importantly, SheepShaver spurred me to begin learning Unix and introduced me to AirPort. (The Liquid Audio playback is a bit of a bummer, but you can't win them all.)

I never imagined that my SheepShaver story would drag on for ten blog posts, but it's done now, so it's time to get back into the JavaScript/HTML/CSS thing, at least for the short term. Picking up where we left off at the end of Blog Entry #124, we will in the next entry finally get around to an analysis of the image maps at to conclude last summer's discourse on image maps.


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