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Re: PowerMac 4400/200 32M RAM

On Sun, Feb 24, 2002 at 07:13:15PM +0000, John Fremlin wrote:
> Hi,
> We should like to run debian (or any other free UNIX) on an old mac
> called on the front cover a Power Macintosh 4400/200. 

I'm running a clone of that right now.

The easiest way to install Debian was keeping a small MacOS install
and using BootX. Then, you can download the rescue floppy and the
file RESCUE.BIN can be used to get the Debian installer working.

> We dd'd the woody hfs floppy image to a floppy and were apparently
> able to boot, but the monitor was out of sync so we just saw a fuzzy
> penguin and grey stuff which may or may not have been text. 

> How do we stop the monitor going out of sync? Is there a bootloader
> command line or something anywhere?

This Mac uses an ATY64 graphics chip. You can specify the video mode
in BootX by typing in the kernel arguments in the box. If still having
trouble, you can specify No Video Driver to get a readable screen to
do the install.

> We booted into yellowdog once from BootX and activating the "force
> video driver" option (or something like that IIRC) would make the
> video go in sync. Note that the monitor is just some random small mac
> monitor called an Apple Performa Plus and probably doesn't go with the
> case. We have access to any number of monitors so if you have any
> model to recommend super duper.

Any multisync should be sufficient. That monitor should be a multisync.

> We can't boot into yellowdog anymore because the install fscked up as
> it was making the root fs, razing our MacOS to the ground. Is there
> any small Mac system disk with a CD driver so we can bootstrap
> yellowdog from CD again?

Not anymore. I think 7.0.X was the last MacOS that could fit onto
2 rescue floppies. That won't work on the 4400. Booting MacOS off
of CD is bad because ethernet adapter will be disabled.

> We have a PCI ethernet card in the box and plenty of access to boxes
> running real operating systems, but very few with floppy drives. We
> also have a random blue iMac running MacOS and some other iMacs we can
> use (also blue FWIW and some with floppies). Can burn CD-Rs but the
> 4400 doesn't seem to like to boot off of them.

Since it's an OldWorld, boot floppies are hard to come by. The Debian
CD's cannot be used to boot. Reinstalling MacOS into a small partition
and using that with bootx is the simplest way that I know of.


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