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Re: Booting your PowerMac (from the HD, without MacOS)

"Matt Reynolds" <mattatwork@techie.com> writes:

[...nice summary of OF boot issues deleted...]

> Personal questions:
> >From what I understand about OF, at least the broken flavors, you *must*
> connect to the damnable mac comm ports.  Is this right?  Does someone have
> the pin-out of the mac comm port so maybe I could splice a serial to maccomm
> cable?  I don't have other Macs lying around, or dumb terminals (unless you
> consider windows...) that can interface with that port.

On some oldworld mac's, the video driver doesn't work in OF.  If you
want to type blind, you can still enter OF commands or interact with a
menu (some of the more enterprising folks out there have implemented
menu systems in Forth).  But, unless you're very fortunate, and things
work the first time, you're not going to be able to troubleshoot the
process without a serial connection.  You can use any computer that
has a terminal emulator (like hyperterminal under windows), as long as
you get the right cable.  To connect with a pc you'll need a null
modem cable, and a RS-232/RS-422 adapter.  I don't remember what the
terminal settings are but I think they're documented in Apple's
technotes somewhere on their site.

> I have a Power Mac 8500/180.  Is this oldworld?  I'm assuming so...

I think so.

> If you're not going to use MacOS on your PPC box, you can trash the disk
> (reinitialize it with mac-fdisk) and make whatever the heck you want.  Is
> this correct?

Yup.  I've done this on my powerbook, and it works fine.  There are
some tricky issues that come up if you need to do a clean install, but
with Debian at least, this is a rare occurence.

I still recommend that, until you get a good understanding of how the
Debian install process works, you use a small macos partition with
bootx.  MacOS 7.5 is free (as in beer) on apple's web site.  This will
get you up and running quickly, and you can play around with OF at
your leisure and still have a working machine when you give up for
the night ;-)



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