open source code

Building a Tiny Classic Mac Part 3 ‚Äď OS and Software

In building the project I wanted the computer to have the closest to the original feel as I could get. There were a few difficulties in the project, from the TFT screen, to the OS configuration. Yet in the end, I got a cute little replica running on top of a Raspberry Pi. I am not trying to break copyright, or profit from this. I simply do it as a fan of good hardware and past operating systems.

To start I want to mention that there are areas of this “guide” where I have been short, if you are unfamiliar with Linux, some of the parts in this config may give you problems. This project includes compiling code, adding scripts to boot, and configuring systems like VNC.

I loaded the standard Debian install onto a SD card to start (which at the time was Debian 6 or 7), then I started investigating the different original Motorola Mac emulators. The two main ones I found were Basilisk II and Mini vMac. Basilisk offers features such as Color, networking, and advanced features over Mini vMac. A very useful feature that Basilisk has is supporting a shared drive. You can tell the emulator that a folder on your Pi or any PC should show up as a hard drive in Mac OS 7. That way you can easily download games/software from or other locations, then load it onto the virtual system!

Mini vMac did offer greater compatibility for apps, while only being black and white, it seems to do a much deeper level of emulation; this makes it slower, but some apps that wont work on Basilisk will work on it. My solution in the end was to put both of the emulators on the box, pointing to the same virtual hard drive.

A script wraps the system, by default it auto boots into Basilisk, but if you “shutdown” the Mac in the emulator, you get a options screen that will allow you to switch modes the emulator is running in, the emulator itself, or some other settings. Some of the other settings including pairing Bluetooth, shutting down, or dropping to the console.

These files are available under There is a SYSINIT script that starts the script, aka the wrapper, and gets the session started under the “pi” user, this goes in the /etc/init.d folder. Then there are folders for the different emulators in the /opt/mac folder.

Note: I used the current Raspberry Pi Debian build when I did this project, which at the time was using SYSINIT over the newer SystemD. If you want to use a newer build (which you probably should) you will have to translate my crummy SYSINIT script into a SystemD script. Feel free to pull request the repo! ūüôā

One of the larger issues that had to be overcome was screen scaling. The screen I used is 480×320, but the original Macintosh resolution was 512 √ó 342. This had some of the emulators either cut off, or scrolling around the screen when the mouse got to a corner, which was not great. I could run the emulators at a smaller resolution, but some software was designed with that screen in mind and applications were cut off!

My solution was to use VNC, the system starts the emulator in a VNC session running at the native resolution, then the Pi screen connects to that session and enables scaling mode, shrinking it to the proper size. This way VNC worries about all the scaling, at a minor speed loss. I looked at different X configs to try to do the scaling that way, but the way this screen works, it gets upset and has problems very easily. The screen does not have a scaler of any sort, so you HAVE to send that resolution of 480×320 to it. The VNC solution works well. The different emulators have VNC config files that are copied to the running config right before its run depending on the emulators properties.

At this point we should discuss dependencies; TightVNC server was used for VNC. A quick minor note about VNC, you need to config the VNC users password, and then setup the script to auto-login with that password for the above script to work. Bluez Bluetooth stack and utils were used to be able so use Bluetooth peripherals. Basilisk and Mini vMac were compiled from source on the Pi 2 so that I could squeeze the most performance out of the little PC. Also its hard to find the latest versions ARM compiled online.

Basilisk II:

Basilisk has a good make file that you can use on the Pi as long as you have standard development environment setup,

Mini vMac:

The authors website offers a nice little service to have the website compile to code for you, or you can compile it yourself. Depending on your screen and how you want the app to start (a lot of those settings are hard coded in at compile time)

I made one virtual hard drive, that both emulators used. Luckily they use a compatible hard drive image format. I set the first image up on my desktop just because it was easier. Then copied it over once I got the image in a good state. For years Apple gave out for free on their website Mac OS 7.5.3, then after a website update it seem to break a lot of the links. A few still worked but most over the years have stopped working. A lot of different sites have mirrors of those disks available though, if you search “System_7.5.3_01of19.smi.bin”, that should bring you to one of the mirrors. The one other thing you need is a ROM for a original Macintosh. I have some classic Macs at home, and you can dump the ROM from those. Or there are sites out there that have them hosted, I would guess that would not be to hard to find.

I put the virtual hard drive, and the ROM in a folder called “Shared” in the /opt/mac directory. You may have to tweak some of the configs/scripts to get everything working your way.

Once you get it working, there are a ton of games and pieces of software on for the old Macintosh, just make sure you get the 680*0 versions not the PowerPC versions. There are also a ton of abandonware sites, since half the companies that made this software are out of business, I doubt they will mind you taking a look, though legally its a grey area.

Those are the basics for how I got the system setup. One item that gave me a bunch of problems was the TFT screen. At the time you needed to load separate kernel modules and configure boot parameters for it. I think newer kernel images have added this, so that should be a simpler task for everyone.


Updated Windows Sudo

Recently I updated my Windows sudo program and added a command for Super Conduit, this is what I call some tweaks that you can make to a Windows Vista+ system. This allows someone to copy sudo.exe to a systems, system32 folder; then after running “sudo cmd” you can run “sudo /write” so add ls, ifconfig, and superc as a option in the command line.

Superc has options of enable, disable, and show. Making it easy to run. ūüôā

Newest build is always here

QuickLogs v3.3.0 (and quickly v3.3.1) (and then v3.3.2)

Recently there was a big update the to QuickLogs product, on the face of it, it looks like the buttons have been changed a little bit. That is the small part of the upgrade, the main change is how the stats page works. Now the stats page is run by the HighCharts JavaScript engine instead of the PHP libchart that was used in the past. This takes the load of creating charts off of the server, and moves it to JavaScript  Also this increases the flexibility to add more charts in the future.

I started the new stats page (v3.3.0) with a drop down to select different types of graphs, the Activities, User, and Overall graphs were used with the drop down. A quick comment made by people at the Helpdesk was “why not use all the space available, I dont like having to navigate again after refreshing.” v3.3.1 brought back the single page, but more importantly sorted the data in the charts. By default Highcharts plots by order the data is put into it; but it was not largest category to smallest. A quick sort was put in, and then we were back to where v3.2 ws with charts but a new engine. The new engine also allows for the charts to be looked at under different time periods instead of only 30 days.

The morning the program moved to version 3.3.2, this was a pure bug fix with CAS having a certificate issue under the login page. At this time, I decided to centralize the CAS information for all pages under the ‘core.php’ page. That way if the certificate moves there is one place to do it.

QuickLogs represents a early version of my app design; these days I tend to make core.php and ajax.php heavy with most of the application functions, and subsequent pages call them with ajax. This is a older app where a lot of the functions are hard coded in the page. I have started migrating to using a wrapper on MySQL like I have with the time cards app. But I only changed it on functions I was modifying so most of QuickLogs remains doing manual queries.

Looking to the future there are many ideas for QuickLogs, yet little time to compete them. One person suggested a achievement system for different things you can do at work. Another suggestion was a Nemesis  a person who is right ahead of you for tickets, and having competition. The final suggestion was for some different types of charts. I wanted to do charts, I just have to find time.

At this point, QuickLogs is going on the shelf. (Unless I get a itch to add more charts) I am shifting to more time on Time Tracker and getting this product finished, before I leave RPI. Documentation for both products should be updated soon as well.

OpenAFS @RPI Client

Recently I was told ‚ÄúI can‚Äôt remember anyone getting OpenAFS to work on their own‚ÄĚ, by a staffer at my school. I took it on myself then to figure out how to get this working for students. And in the end I wrote an app that will automatically download and install the AFS client, then configure drives for you. This was an experiment in threading and using WPF instead of Windows Forms.

First the app goes and downloads the OpenAFS client, if it is a 64 bit machine it grabs the 32 bit tools first then the client. While downloading and installing these things it connects via SSH to a school server to get the location of the user’s home folder as well as verify the credentials given.

Once installation is complete the program runs ‚Äėklog‚Äô, this goes to the AFS server and requests tokens in the cluster using the credentials given earlier. Once we are past the installing point all these actions need to be run on the campus network. When the program starts it tries to ping a couple internal servers, if it can hit more than half of them in under 75 milliseconds then it considers itself on campus; if it thinks it‚Äôs off campus, then it notifies the user. One small problem with the first release is sometimes this system gets confused by vpn taking slightly longer.

Now that we have working token the system recommends drive letters that are not in use as well as AFS spaces to mount including the users folder and ‚Äėdept‚Äô to start. The configure button will activate these drives, they are not set to persistent at this time.

Below is the github link, as well as the direct exe link:



Enstall Project

I am working on a project called Enstall with a partner for RCOS @ RPI, it’s¬†available¬†at, the goal is to make a package management system. One may say “but Dan there are like 10¬†available¬†and one or two are already open source…” That is true but¬†most¬†of them are aimed at IT personel, and controlling all the computers in a¬†corporation, this is just for a student to¬†install¬†and get software from their school on their PERSONAL computer. That’s the dream.

6to4 Card Cleaner Github!

Here it is! The source code (all be it not great) for 6to4 card cleaner¬†up on github. This program has become less useful recently because my school recently implemented IPv6¬†across¬†the network, and that has seemed to fixed the problem, along with new images. Anyway have fun with it, build it out, add to it…

PHP/JS and C# Encryption

Here is some code from a project I have been working on and then shelved. A C# (mono) project creates a RSA public/private key pair, then gives the public side to a MySQL database. The private side is saved to the hard drive for later. Then PHP¬†dynamically¬†adds the currently active key public¬†portion¬†into javascript, which encrypts the users input, and saves it to MySQL. Then the C# application can get the keys it has saved in a good place, and decrypt the data in the database. Benefits of this include the web data is secured from the client to the server, and even if somehow someone steals your database off your webserver, they dont have the encryption keys to take it away. This system also has a way to¬†deactivate¬†a old key and move to a new one, if more code was put into it someone could revoke a old key and migrate all the data using it to a new key, but that¬†wasn’t¬†implemented. I thought this would be a cool project and I learned a lot about RSA public private keys, a lot of languages handle the keys differently; some take it in hex, some do it differently, some call the parts one thing, some call them other names. The javascript portion is based mostly off this library (link). JQuery is used for ease.

Feel free to give feed back or use this, open source fun.