Category Archives: Mac OS

Mac OS 9.2

This was the last release of the classic Mac OS operating system, before it was discontinued in favour of Mac OS X. The emulator used here is a custom build of QEMU that has sound support.

QEMU config file, remove the ^ and collapse everything onto one line

qemu-system-ppc-screamer-fpu.exe ^
-L pc-bios ^
-M mac99,via=pmu ^
-m 256 ^
-sdl ^
-boot c ^
-drive file=quicktime.img,format=raw,media=cdrom ^ //CD-ROM Drive
-drive file=MacOS9.2.img,format=raw,media=disk ^ //IDE Master HDD
-drive file=Software.img,format=raw,media=disk //IDE Slave HDD

Up to four disk drives can be accepted by QEMU?OS 9.2, five if you use USB

Install

Mac systems will boot into a live cd like environment where the hard disk can be partitioned and formatted. In some circumstances, the Mac firmware can be upgraded here, which may be required to install.

The setup assistant that runs after you reboot following the install. It mainly helps with connecting to the internet or a network and configures sharing options

Applications

OS9.2 comes with plenty of bundled applications, many of which can be configured from the installer. This allows for you to pick and choose applications to install, and to disable un-needed applications

Apple Extras

A folder on the CD-ROM that has additional applications, similar to the VALUEADD folder on Windows discs that contain various optional utilities.

Apple Video Player

Plays back MPEG video and works best with an MPEG addon expansion card.

AppleCD Audio Player

The CD player of which QEMU does not pass the audio data to the virtual machine, so it wasn’t possible to test the CD Player functionality.

Internet Explorer

Internet Explorer Mac OS

Internet Explorer 5 shipped with Mac OS 9.2 and was the default browser on default installations. Unlike the desktop version, the Mac version used the Tasman rendering engine rather than the Trident engine the PC versions used. The interface is remarkably different with sidebars being used for favourites and history

Netscape Communicator

Netscape was the other popular browser of the time and was bundled with the operating system. This was the precursor to the Gecko rendering engine used in Mozilla Firefox

Outlook Express

Microsoft’s mail client for Mac OS, which was replaced by the Mail client for OS X

QuickTime

A view of sample channels in QuickTime, these would provide links to online video content such as trailers and previews. Similar to what modern YouTube is like now

Sherlock2

Sherlock was an integrated search engine for both local files and online websites. Various different categories could be used to find a certain website like in the shopping category you would find links to Amazon and eBay.

SimpleText

A basic text editor, like Notepad for Windows

Sound Support

A build of QEMU exists that enabled basic sound support using the Apple Screamer chipset which was used in the early Power Mac G3 (Minitower, not the blue/white version). By installing the latest QuickTime version for this operating system (QuickTime 5) it’s now possible to have basic sound support and acceleration.

Games and Third Party Applications

OS9 was compatible with many of the existing software for OS 8 and below

Simcity 3000: Works well but lacks content in comparison to the later unlimited release. Has a different intro and some music was changed compared to the later release which I’m more familiar with. All base cities and scenarios are present.

Duke Nukem 3D Atomic: Tested the PowerPC build, seems to work fine but the desktop seems to have issues after exiting the game

Driver: You Are the Wheelman: Did not work as it failed to start in software rendering mode, the game thinks there is a glide capable card upon startup but fails to load. Since OS9.2 came out around the same time as Driver I would assume this game would have worked as intended.

Unreal Tournament: Possible to run under software rendering, adequate performance at 640×480. Whish we had some 3DFX emulation in QEMU though. The master server for this game went offline a while back after GameSpy had shut down, but new master servers have been hosted and can be accessed by amending the unrealtournament.ini file

The Sims: Worked just fine but had to change to mac99-pmu as the mouse wasn’t being picked up correctly in-game, and would randomly recenter in the middle or off-screen which made it cumbersome to play

Microsoft Office: Office 98 was released around the same time and was the popular office utility suite back then, which had full compatibility with its PC counterpart

Uh Oh

SimCity 3000

The next installment of the popular SimCity series of games, where the goal is to build and maintain your own city. All aspects of city-building have to be managed, from the power stations to building roads and zoning for different houses/buildings, all whilst being prepared for any disaster that might strike.

Playing SimCity

Residential:
Where sims will live, the density relates to how large the buildings are, with low density being used for small houses, and higher density for apartments.

Commercial:
Shops and businesses, where sims go to work and spend their money

Industrial:
Another place where sims can work, but also where materials are manufactured and produced, and also helps with jobs for your sims.
Farms are one of the types of industry available, but they are difficult to actually have them be built. Every time I zone for farmland, it does start to build a farm but eventually, it will lose out to dirty industry with farm lots being replaced with a bunch of smog-o-matics. I cant see why they would not just give farms their own industry zone?
Supposedly the key is to not give them any water, just power and roads. But then the news ticker will keep bugging about sims being too far from any water.

Have no idea why the text is missing…

Versions / Ports

SimCity was ported to most of the popular PC platforms, even a port for Linux operating systems. Sadly a port for OS/2 was not released, as IBM had phased the operating system out by then.

SimCity 3000 was not released on any consoles of the era.

Windows (Original Release)

The Windows release only supports Windows 95 or 98 onwards, it does not support NT 4 unless service pack 3 or higher is installed. DirectX does not seem to be used, running solely through the Win32 API.

Windows (Unlimited/Edition)

Released a year later and features a few changes compared to the original release.

  • The user interface was changed slightly, with the query button being moved to a more prominent place on the UI
  • The music was changed with some tracks being added and others being removed
  • This version of the game is available on gog.com and will run effortlessly on modern Windows versions.
  • New city templates have been added which are based off real world locations, like Liverpool, London, Berlin, Madrid, etc
  • Some existing cities have been renamed, Metropolis has become Europolis but remains the same
  • Some exisiting cities have been removed in favour of the new cities: Littleburg, Big Mountain City, Sim Isle
  • New scenarios mode has been added, which are small ccities that have objectives to complete
  • Outside of the game, new tools have been made like the scenario creator tool whic uses the Microsoft Access engien to create and customize customs senarios

MacOS

Simcity 3000 was released for the PowerPC Mac OS platform and was targeted for the classic Mac OS. The Mac platform only had a port of the original Windows version, it did not receive the updated unlimited edition that was released for Windows and Linux.

Compared to the Windows version, there are a few differences, the opening FMV seems to have less compression compared to the Windows version and appears to be of higher quality, the animations on the menu buttons are much more fluid on the mac (Is this due to the graphics card?), lastly the close button on the menu box is on the left side for the mac, and on the right side for the PC.

Playing this on modern Macs is a challenge as modern MacOS does not have native support for PowerPC or applications using the older mac libraries. You must use emulation software like QEMU (screenshots above) or Sheepsaver. The last version of OS X to support PowerPC applications was OS X Leopard (10.5)

Linux

Corel Linux

The installer worked, but the game would not run.

Ubuntu

A Linux port of the game was released by Loki games in 2000, and is a port of the Windows PC version. It’s mostly accurate to the Windows version but is more difficult to install and get working, depending on the distro and the libraries/packages installed. I’ve tested it on a few distros of the era, and some more modern distros.

Installing and running the game on Ubuntu

  1. Install the game as normal, remember to note the install directory – you will need it later
  2. Download the official Loki Simcity 3000 patch
  3. Run the patch installer, preferably as root. Easy way is to open a root terminal session (Should be an option in your Linux application launcher) Easy way is to copy the patch file to your home directory/folder, open the terminal and run the command: sudo sh sc3u-2.0a-x86.run -keep (Why you cant just double-click to run the installer in Linux I do not know)
  4. Once this finished, you should see a success message
  5. Now you need to run the game in a specific way, in the terminal you have to run the below command: LD_ASSUME_KERNEL=2.4.26 /usr/local/bin/sc3u

Hopefully, it should now start the game and you should see the intro movie play. This worked well on Ubuntu 4.04 running inside a VirtualBox VM, although there were a few issues. The sound was rather high-pitched and played too fast, and would stutter at high resolutions or when having a busy/large city map. Also running in a windowed mode wasn’t perfect, since it would display in the upper left part of the screen whilst the Ubuntu desktop remained in the background. The fullscreen mode works fine though. This could be due to the lack of drivers in my Ubuntu VM, it’s likely using stock/fail-safe drivers which provide little to no acceleration.

You could just use the Windows version running through Wine, although where is the fun in that? Plus it’s nice to play a native Linux game and in early 2000 there was a push for certain developers to embrace Linux as an alternative to Windows, That said, I can see why this didn’t take off…

Mandrake 7

Worked but had issues but these could be due to the emulation in 86box. The game installs and runs mostly Ok but some of the colors are messed up, the game also runs very slowly. Interestingly this uses a graphical installer which is missing when running in either Ubuntu or Corel Linux.