Alpha CPUs, was Re: [rescue] i860 Success

Phil Stracchino alaric at
Mon May 3 21:58:12 CDT 2004

On Mon, May 03, 2004 at 11:06:49PM -0400, Patrick Giagnocavo +1.717.201.3366 wrote:
> Actually you are confusing a few things together.  
> The original Mac shipped with a 68000.  Later Macs shipped with
> 68020's.

Starting with the Mac SE.  (Which, IIRC, was also the first Mac to offer
an '030.)

> A smart programmer wrote a tool which Apple bought and distributed for
> free to everyone.  It was called Mode32.  Also some of the ROMs needed
> to be cleaned up for later use - such ROMs that run properly are
> called "32-bit clean".

Oh yeah, I'd forgotten all about Connectix Mode32.  And later on,
Connectix RamDoubler, which worked around much of the brokenness of
MacOS memory management.  It still sucked, but with RamDoubler it sucked

> The original MacOS would be the one that shipped with the first Macs;
> they had no support for 32bit mode.  Later versions of the MacOS did
> support 32bit mode - but the first Mac only supported 512K of RAM!

It wasn't too much later before the Mac Plus came out though ....

> I have heard it claimed (but have no experience to say) that the 68k
> instruction set is more "orthogonal" than the x86's.

Yup, that fits my recollection too.

> I remember running SunOS 4.something on a Sun3 box with a 68020.  It
> was actually impressively fast at the time.

Yup, I worked on Sun3s at EWU.  They were respectably zippy.

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