Wednesday, December 4, 2013

RetroChallenge 2014WW Entry

I have again entered the RetroChallenge! This time I will be using my Apple Power Macintosh G4 500 DP from the year 2000 to compile some programs. Now, even though this computer is technically eligible for the RetroChallenge, the real "retro" part is that the program I will be compiling is for the Apple Macintosh, as in, the original 128K Macintosh from 1984. I will be using the Classic Environment of Mac OS X 10.4 running MPW as my development environment.

As for the programming, I will attempt to port the lwIP TCP/IP stack to the original Macintosh. This Macintosh is unique because it did not have enough memory to run any commercially available networking stack. Even the 512K Macintosh had some networking possibilities. I attempted this project a number of years ago but couldn't get past the multi-thread requirement of the lwip PPP implementation. As far as I know, the original Macintosh operating system does not have any multithreading libraries or routines. I recently noticed that a branch of the lwIP code includes a PPP module that claims to not require multiple threads! So I will give this another shot. If PPP fails, I can try to get SLIP working instead.

Here is my target hardware/software flow:

Macintosh -> lwIP -> ppp ->  RS-422 -> RS-232 -> USB -> PowerMac G4 -> getty -> pppd -> THE WORLD!

Having worked on this before, and having struggled to understand how to use the code, I have a feeling I will get stuck at some point. If that happens, I will probably work on building a ROM burner to flash some Apple II ROMS or work in my Apple IIgs.

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