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OPENSTEP 4.2 on ThinkPad A21m

 
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iDork



Joined: 18 Jan 2006
Posts: 62
Location: Kirkland, WA

PostPosted: Sun Sep 28, 2008 6:07 pm    Post subject: OPENSTEP 4.2 on ThinkPad A21m Reply with quote

I bought a ThinkPad A21m for running Windows 2000 & my Windows-only engineering software, and I was hoping to get some alternative OSs running too.
When I boot from the OPENSTEP 4.2 Installation floppy I get the following message:

Code:
OPENSTEP boot1 v40.13.1
.......
Sizing memory... 1024K
This computer has only 2 MB of memory (RAM).
OPENSTEP requires at least 8 MB of memory,
so it can't run on this computer.


I definitely have more than 2 MB of memory. I remember that Rhapsody used to have problems with more than 192 MB of RAM, but I think I have run OPENSTEP on machines with 256 MB.

This is my configuration:

800 MHz Pentium 3, 256 (2x128) MB RAM, 80 GB HD (which, of course, will be replaced with a smaller one for OPENSTEP use), ATI Rage Mobility w/ 8 MB VRAM, floppy, Toshiba DVD-ROM SD-C2512, Intel PRO/100 SP Mobile Combo Adapter (NIC & modem).

Any ideas?

Thanks
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armus2112



Joined: 26 Sep 2008
Posts: 118

PostPosted: Sun Sep 28, 2008 7:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I believe max Openstep allows is 256MB, so it should work (I think).
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RacerX



Joined: 03 Jan 2006
Posts: 333
Location: Twin Cities, MN

PostPosted: Sun Sep 28, 2008 9:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

As I recall, NEXTSTEP 3.3 and OPENSTEP 4.x can handle 512 MB, Rhapsody 5.0 can handle 512 MB, Rhapsody 5.1 was intentionally crippled to max out at 192 MB, Rhapsody 5.3-5.5 can handle 1024 MB (1.0 GB) and Rhapsody 5.6 can handle 1536 MB (1.5 GB).

If the bootloader can't see more than 1 MB then odds are that the issue is the logic board and not anything else. Hard drives, memory, video cards, etc. are all linked together via the logic board, so if the logic board isn't compatible with OPENSTEP, then it doesn't really matter if any of the other stuff is.
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iDork



Joined: 18 Jan 2006
Posts: 62
Location: Kirkland, WA

PostPosted: Tue Sep 30, 2008 6:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Too bad. It seemed almost perfect - built-in floppy and optical drives, ethernet.
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paws



Joined: 26 Sep 2008
Posts: 11
Location: Copenhagen, Denmark

PostPosted: Tue Sep 30, 2008 9:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

RacerX - I'm not sure what you mean by logic board in the context of a PC laptop? I've never heard the term used as anything other than a pseudonym for 'motherboard', usually in Apple machines.

The A21m is based on the 440BX chipset and a P3 processor. That's a very common chipset, and I'm 90% sure I've seen it mentioned as *Step-compatible.

OP - are you sure the bootdisk is OK? I'd verify that and maybe try booting it with only one of the RAM sticks in.
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RacerX



Joined: 03 Jan 2006
Posts: 333
Location: Twin Cities, MN

PostPosted: Tue Sep 30, 2008 1:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

paws wrote:
RacerX - I'm not sure what you mean...

Then you should skip my posts as I obviously have no knowledge about such things. Rolling Eyes

Quote:
and I'm 90% sure I've seen it mentioned as *Step-compatible.

You shouldn't have any problem finding a reference for us then. As someone who has been working towards a compatibility list, I can say that I have no records thus far of this system being compatible and would need more than your 90% certainty before considering it.

Edit:
From here...
Quote:
It's my first time I've ever seen NeXT.

That puts your 90% certainty on anything NeXT related in context. Surprised
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paws



Joined: 26 Sep 2008
Posts: 11
Location: Copenhagen, Denmark

PostPosted: Tue Sep 30, 2008 4:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

As for support for the Intel 440BX chipset, it's one of the most common ones out there for the PII/PIII era. It's what QEMU emulates (and QEMU runs NeXTSTEP) and it's what's in the PII Compaq that I had lying about. I've actually just succesfully installed NeXTSTEP on it, after the 486 piqued my interest. There are also several references to that chipset in this thread at Ars Technica. You can also find a list of other IBMs with the same chipset here, several of which appear on your own list of supported laptops.

I was not looking for a flame war. But just because this weekend was the first time I've successfully installed NeXT on real hardware (which is what I meant in that post - I've run it in emulation, and I've had more than a passing interest in it for a few years) doesn't mean I don't know which end of a computer is which. I'd still like to know what you meant by logic board because going by your Rhapsody pages I'm assuming you do know what you're talking about.

My basic point was that the chipset and processor are both supported and I don't know of anything else that could mean it wouldn't even boot (then there's graphics, sound, network, etc., but OP can't even get it to boot). You suggested such a thing exists and I asked you to clarify, because I'm interested in learning.
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RacerX



Joined: 03 Jan 2006
Posts: 333
Location: Twin Cities, MN

PostPosted: Tue Sep 30, 2008 7:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

paws wrote:
You suggested such a thing exists and I asked you to clarify, because I'm interested in learning.

If you don't know what a logic board is, then I'm not the place for you to gain that knowledge.

Quote:
... I've never heard the term used as anything other than a pseudonym for 'motherboard', usually in Apple machines.

So I guess we wouldn't see other venders (like say Sun) using that terminology then? Funny, I always considered motherboard a pseudonym for logic board (you know, one of those PC slang terms).

Do you think that the chip set on a logic board is the only factor in a systems personality? That all ThinkPads with the same chip set are basically the same computer? Because if that were true, then someone, somewhere, would have successfully installed OPENSTEP on such a system.

The A21m was released years after the last version of OPENSTEP was, but you think that something like the chip set is all that needs to match up for this to work... and yet it doesn't seem to be. Interesting.

And sorry, I don't think that Ars Technica is exactly a hot bed of NEXTSTEP/OPENSTEP information.
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paws



Joined: 26 Sep 2008
Posts: 11
Location: Copenhagen, Denmark

PostPosted: Wed Oct 01, 2008 12:48 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

RacerX wrote:
paws wrote:
I've never heard the term used as anything other than a pseudonym for 'motherboard', usually in Apple machines.

So I guess we wouldn't see other venders (like say Sun) using that terminology then?


I never said anything like that.

Quote:
Funny, I always considered motherboard a pseudonym for logic board (you know, one of those PC slang terms).


OK. But what you were talking about when you said that the 'logic board' of the A21m isn't supported is what is most commonly referred to as the 'motherboard' on a PC?

Quote:
Do you think that the chip set on a logic board is the only factor in a systems personality? That all ThinkPads with the same chip set are basically the same computer?


No, but I'm saying they have a lot of components in common, and most likely use the exact same northbridge, which is the chip that contains the memory controller. Why would it work in one and not the other?

Quote:
Because if that were true, then someone, somewhere, would have successfully installed OPENSTEP on such a system.


I don't see how that follows (OPENSTEP being such a niche operating system already when the A21m came out), and I certainly don't see how it follows that they would have written about their personal experiences anywhere online. Are you saying just because you haven't heard of them doing so it is impossible that anyone has ever installed OPENSTEP on an A21m?

Quote:
The A21m was released years after the last version of OPENSTEP was, but you think that something like the chip set is all that needs to match up for this to work... and yet it doesn't seem to be. Interesting.


I merely suggested that the poster try a few tricks to see if this was really the case, instead of just giving up.

Quote:
And sorry, I don't think that Ars Technica is exactly a hot bed of NEXTSTEP/OPENSTEP information.


FFS. Did you even read the thread? Someone asked in their forums, people replied with their personal experiences.
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RacerX



Joined: 03 Jan 2006
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Location: Twin Cities, MN

PostPosted: Wed Oct 01, 2008 2:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

paws wrote:
OK. But what you were talking about when you said that the 'logic board' of the A21m isn't supported is what is most commonly referred to as the 'motherboard' on a PC?

Okay, so you were attempting to start a semantics argument which had no point. That was what I thought.

Quote:
I don't see how that follows (OPENSTEP being such a niche operating system already when the A21m came out), and I certainly don't see how it follows that they would have written about their personal experiences anywhere online. Are you saying just because you haven't heard of them doing so it is impossible that anyone has ever installed OPENSTEP on an A21m?

Rolling Eyes You not following is not surprising.

While the number of OPENSTEP users may be small, the odds are that someone who owns and used OPENSTEP would have acquired a ThinkPad A21m during the last 10 years and tried it. While the set of users who use OPENSTEP today may be small, and the set of users that have a ThinkPad A21m might be equally as small these days, the odds of there being no over lap of those two groups in the last ten years is improbable.

Add in the fact that it was generally known that OPENSTEP worked on IBM ThinkPads, and you've increased the probability that any ThinkPad model would be tried before any other type of PC laptop.

But your goal was not to learn, it was to argue... you've proven that. If you have further questions, I'm sure that someone else would be happy to help you.
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paws



Joined: 26 Sep 2008
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Location: Copenhagen, Denmark

PostPosted: Wed Oct 01, 2008 2:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

RacerX wrote:
paws wrote:
OK. But what you were talking about when you said that the 'logic board' of the A21m isn't supported is what is most commonly referred to as the 'motherboard' on a PC?

Okay, so you were attempting to start a semantics argument which had no point. That was what I thought.


I asked you to clarify something you said and you instantly took it as an attack. You're the one looking for an argument.
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iDork



Joined: 18 Jan 2006
Posts: 62
Location: Kirkland, WA

PostPosted: Thu Oct 02, 2008 7:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It seems that there is something wrong with my FDD. I was able to boot twice (of about a dozen attempts) and I'm installing OPENSTEP as I'm writing this. I tried two different floppies and the result seems to be the same. I can't really figure out what's wrong. I now have the laptop "sitting" on a docking station and I have an external (non-bootable) FDD plugged in it.
The HD & DVD-ROM drives work with the Dual-EIDE Controller driver.
I'll post more info after I'm done installing the patches and everything.
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helf



Joined: 29 Dec 2005
Posts: 1097
Location: Alabama, USA

PostPosted: Thu Oct 02, 2008 7:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I hope it works well. I used to have an A21m and I love the thing.
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vought



Joined: 18 Nov 2009
Posts: 4
Location: Silicon Valley

PostPosted: Tue Sep 15, 2015 8:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

iDork wrote:
It seems that there is something wrong with my FDD. I was able to boot twice (of about a dozen attempts) and I'm installing OPENSTEP as I'm writing this. I tried two different floppies and the result seems to be the same. I can't really figure out what's wrong. I now have the laptop "sitting" on a docking station and I have an external (non-bootable) FDD plugged in it.
The HD & DVD-ROM drives work with the Dual-EIDE Controller driver.
I'll post more info after I'm done installing the patches and everything.


I've got the A20m - very similar machine - and I see the same error when booting from the internal floppy disk. Did you ever figure out how to resolve this?
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