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Next brick ppc machine?

 
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neozeed



Joined: 15 Apr 2006
Posts: 683
Location: Hong Kong

PostPosted: Sat May 13, 2017 8:02 pm    Post subject: Next brick ppc machine? Reply with quote

https://groups.google.com/forum/m/#!topic/comp.sys.next.advocacy/pXSPt9HSRaE

Quote:
While NeXTstep is multithreaded, it does not support
symmetrical
multiprocessing. Tevanian said this feature will be
finished in "a short number
of months."

According to Tevanian, NeXT built a machine with a
pair of PowerPC 601
processors several years ago, with a version of
NeXTstep tuned for it. The
company never shipped the hardware or software.

After the company got out of the hardware business
in 1993, the design was
used by Mountain View, Calif.-based FirePower
Systems Inc., which last year
was bought by Motorola Inc.'s Computer Group.


M88k for sure, but a PowerPC as well?
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ianblackbird



Joined: 11 May 2017
Posts: 1
Location: Germany

PostPosted: Sat May 13, 2017 11:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Has been the right decision:

Code:
„In the late 1980s several companies were actively watching the 88000 series for future use, including NeXT, Apple Computer and Apollo Computer, but all gave up by the time the 88110 was available in 1990.“

...

„In the early 1990s Motorola joined the AIM effort to create a new RISC architecture based on the IBM POWER architecture. They worked a few features of the 88000 into the new PowerPC architecture to offer their customer base some sort of upgrade path. At that point the 88000 was dumped as soon as possible.“


Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Motorola_88000
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cuby



Joined: 12 Jan 2006
Posts: 160
Location: Coburg, Germany

PostPosted: Sun May 14, 2017 3:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Going the ppc601 route probably was rather easy on the hardware side, since the 601 implemented the 88110 bus interface, which was already present in the NRW prototype.

According to wikipedia (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/PowerPC_600):

Quote:
In order to help the effort to rapidly incorporate the 88110 bus architecture to the 601 for the benefit of the alliance and its customers, Motorola management provided not only the 88110 bus architecture specifications, but also a handful of 88110 bus-literate designers to help with the 60x bus logic implementation and verification.
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neozeed



Joined: 15 Apr 2006
Posts: 683
Location: Hong Kong

PostPosted: Sun May 14, 2017 8:14 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

cuby wrote:
Going the ppc601 route probably was rather easy on the hardware side, since the 601 implemented the 88110 bus interface, which was already present in the NRW prototype.

According to wikipedia (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/PowerPC_600):

Quote:
In order to help the effort to rapidly incorporate the 88110 bus architecture to the 601 for the benefit of the alliance and its customers, Motorola management provided not only the 88110 bus architecture specifications, but also a handful of 88110 bus-literate designers to help with the 60x bus logic implementation and verification.


It certainly would have made the Apple buyout even more sweeter if they actually had something that could run on PowerPC ... I doubt we'll ever get to find out what it was, but maybe that brick in the Apple museum is a PowerPC NRW.. especially if they were also able to sell the design off.
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Rob Blessin Black Hole
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Joined: 05 Sep 2006
Posts: 568
Location: Ft. Collins, Colorado

PostPosted: Sun May 14, 2017 1:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I just bought a Power PC 601 processor on eBay for $10, I had a customer awhile back tell me that a NeXT would work with this processor lol. By modding it and he sent me instuctions lol , now If I can find the instructions to test the theory. I was probably being pranked as he also claimed to have the huge NeXT corporate sign that was on the factory. The blurb about it running internally is interesting as I knew they also had a rumored dec alpha port. I. Would be fun to find the board in question sold to the clone manufacturer and see if it actually runs NeXTStep. This also probably made the transition to OSX easier after the merger.
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neozeed



Joined: 15 Apr 2006
Posts: 683
Location: Hong Kong

PostPosted: Sun May 14, 2017 8:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Rob Blessin Black Hole wrote:
I just bought a Power PC 601 processor on eBay for $10, I had a customer awhile back tell me that a NeXT would work with this processor lol. By modding it and he sent me instuctions lol , now If I can find the instructions to test the theory. I was probably being pranked as he also claimed to have the huge NeXT corporate sign that was on the factory. The blurb about it running internally is interesting as I knew they also had a rumored dec alpha port. I. Would be fun to find the board in question sold to the clone manufacturer and see if it actually runs NeXTStep. This also probably made the transition to OSX easier after the merger.


I also heard about the Alpha, but I don't see any reference to it in the available sources. I haven't had time to track down this PPC machine design that was sold off, or to see if it became a product.. but it'd be interesting to see something that seems to have been much further along.

The 601 was a fun chip, it really was more RS/6000 than PowerPC, so running on one of those doesn't necessarily mean it's smooth sailing to the 603.
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andreas_g



Joined: 30 Jan 2009
Posts: 412
Location: Austria

PostPosted: Sun May 14, 2017 10:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Rob Blessin Black Hole wrote:
I had a customer awhile back tell me that a NeXT would work with this processor lol. By modding it and he sent me instuctions lol , now If I can find the instructions to test the theory.

I'm afraid there is zero chance that this is going to work, even if you succeed connecting the 601 to the NeXT board. But there is a good chance to destroy the processor or the board or both Wink
To make this work you need a complete 601-based board (don't know if any functional prototypes have been produced, but none have shown up yet) and a version of NeXTstep compiled for the platform.
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neozeed



Joined: 15 Apr 2006
Posts: 683
Location: Hong Kong

PostPosted: Mon May 15, 2017 1:04 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Apparently the machine was called the "Powerized MX"

http://m.windowsitpro.com/windows/firepower-powerized-mx

Sounds impressive for the time, and crazy expensive.

I used a RS/6000 model 250, and it was amazing it worked, nice to not have to share, but I don't recall being blown away by it.

Here is another review that is probably more of a review on page 38:

https://books.google.com.hk/books?id=ejgEAAAAMBAJ&printsec=frontcover&rview=1&lr=#v=onepage&q&f=false

Firepower was originally called Power House systems after Canon had bought the NeXT manufacturing.

Sounds like it was a design constantly re-tooled waiting for that killer PowerPC operating system that never appeared.
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neozeed



Joined: 15 Apr 2006
Posts: 683
Location: Hong Kong

PostPosted: Mon May 15, 2017 4:01 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Seems by the time they had an OS, it was NT

Quote:
FirePower bundles
Windows NT 3.51
with PowerPC line

AT LONG LAST, FirePower Systems Inc. has
an operating system to go with its hardware.

One of the earliest developers of PowerPC
systems based on the PowerPC Reference
Platform design, FirePower is now bundling
Microsoft Corp.’s Windows NT 3.51 with its
Powerized line of PowerPC-based systems.

FirePower, a manufacturer of products for
OEMs, also announced it is expanding its
line to include 120-MHz and 133-MHz
PowerPC 604s in its Powerized MX series.

The new systems include dual- and single-
processor models for each chip.

Systems from OEMs using FirePower’s
designs are expected to start shipping in the
third quarter and will cost between $4,000
and $7,000, the company said.

Canon Inc., FirePower’s corporate partner,
will announce plans for a line of PowerPC j
systems based on the FirePower designs and
running NT 3.51 this week at PC Expo. (See
related story, above.)

FirePower will also begin bundling video-
conferencing software from InVision Systems
Corp. with its faster 604-based systems.
According to FirePower, the native power of
the 604 processor is enough to support soft-
ware-only videoconferencing.

FirePower, in Menlo Park, Calif., can be
reached at (415) 462-3000.


https://archive.org/stream/Infoworld-1995-06-19/Infoworld-1995-06-19_djvu.txt

It's probably just as well the PowerPC NRW went nowhere for NeXT, ultimately they were just wasting their time. On the other hand it sure would explain how they could get Rhapsody up and running in 1997 on PowerPC machines at Apple.
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