Paul's Macintosh IIci
This page is served from my souped-up Apple Macintosh IIci (littledork) running NetBSD and Apache. I bought the machine a few years ago from eBay, and I wasn't doing much with it. I decided to set up a web server. I originally tried MacHTTP under Mac OS but it was pretty crumby, so I installed NetBSD. I upgraded the machine to 128MB of RAM, added a cache card, and a 1GB SCSI hard drive. It took a long time and was fairly complicated to install NetBSD, but finally I got it working, installed Apache, and hooked it up to the vast tubes of the interweb for your enjoyment.
Some years later, I upgraded littledork with a 73GB disk and a new version of NetBSD. You can see the dmesg below.
The 36GB disk I was using crashed and littledork was down for a couple of months until I could get around to rebuilding. I've installed a new 73GB disk, along with NetBSD 5.1.
I finally got littledork upgraded. I had to reinstall NetBSD several times in order to find a version that would work properly. They all booted, however certain versions were unable to reboot the computer, they paniced when the reboot command was issued. 4.0 and 3.1 were unable to reset my IIci, 3.0.3 and 3.1.1 were able to, so I had to use 3.1.1.
Unfortunately there did not appear to be any precompiled packages available for 3.1.1 so I had to compile them myself from pkgsrc. This took quite a long time. It took perl over 24 hours to compile, most everything else was 6-12 hours each.
The good news is that littledork now has updated software and I have also added a 36 GB hard disk. The access due to the narrow SCSI bus is fairly slow but it is a cool setup, having a modern high speed, 10k RPM disk in a nearly 20 year old machine.
The install process for NetBSD/mac68k is much easier than I remember from the old 1.6.1 version. I had to use Lido in MacOS to partition the disk and then I was able to format the partitions and install everything with the NetBSD install kernel.
I tried using soft updates (softdep) in order to speed up disk access, but this resulted in random freezing of the OS, so I had to turn it off.
Well, I hope you enjoy the updated littledork.
The documentation I used to set up NetBSD/mac68k on this machine is located at http://www.netbsd.org/ports/mac68k/.
I remember that it took about a full day to install everything, most of the time was spent waiting for the sets to extract and install. This was several years ago though so I don't remember the exact steps. I am planning on doing another IIci with a larger disk as soon as I can find one that is in good physical condition like this one.
The server is holding up just fine right now, there is steady traffic of about half a megabit per second. Some have correctly pointed out that there isn't a lot of data being served so that is why it is not overloading the server.
As far as serving dynamic content and things like that, that would tax the server a lot. The CPU is only 25 MHz so anything other than really basic functions run slowly. It takes about 45-60 seconds just to SSH into the machine. Compiling new software is also very slow, it probably took 12 hours to compile Apache.
Anyway I hope this inspires people to dig out their old hardware and see what can be done with it nowadays. I think it is a very interesting thing to try to leverage our modern technology to fully explore the capabilities of old hardware.
You can also e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Good day to you.
Copyright (c) 1996, 1997, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010 The NetBSD Foundation, Inc. All rights reserved. Copyright (c) 1982, 1986, 1989, 1991, 1993 The Regents of the University of California. All rights reserved. NetBSD 5.1 (GENERICSBC) #0: Sat Nov 6 17:05:08 UTC 2010 email@example.com:/home/builds/ab/netbsd-5-1-RELEASE/mac68k/201011061943Z-obj/home/builds/ab/netbsd-5-1-RELEASE/src/sys/arch/mac68k/compile/GENERICSBC Apple Macintosh IIci (68030) cpu: delay factor 266 fpu: mc68882 total memory = 65536 KB avail memory = 120 MB timecounter: Timecounters tick every 16.666 msec mrg: 'Mac IIci/Q700 ROMs' ROM glue, tracing off, debug off, silent traps mainbus0 (root) obio0 at mainbus0 adb0 at obio0 asc0 at obio0: Apple Sound Chip intvid0 at obio0 @ 0: RBV video subsystem, Macintosh II display intvid0: 640 x 480, monochrome macfb0 at intvid0 wsdisplay0 at macfb0 (kbdmux ignored) iwm0 at obio0: Apple GCR floppy disk controller fd0 at iwm0 drive 0: (drive empty) sbc0 at obio0 addr 0: options=1
scsibus0 at sbc0: 8 targets, 8 luns per target zsc0 at obio0 chip type 0 zsc0 channel 0: d_speed 9600 DCD clk 0 CTS clk 0 zstty0 at zsc0 channel 0 (console i/o) zsc0 channel 1: d_speed 9600 DCD clk 0 CTS clk 0 zstty1 at zsc0 channel 1 nubus0 at mainbus0 ae0 at nubus0 slot d: MacCon Ethernet, 16KB memory ae0: Ethernet address 00:00:94:03:e9:f7 ae0: NIC memory corrupt - invalid packet length 65280 timecounter: Timecounter "clockinterrupt" frequency 60 Hz quality 0 timecounter: Timecounter "VIA1 T2" frequency 783360 Hz quality 100 scsibus0: waiting 2 seconds for devices to settle... adb0 (direct, II series): 0 targets aed0 at adb0 addr 0: ADB Event device sd0 at scsibus0 target 0 lun 0: <SEAGATE, ST373405LC, 0003> disk fixed sd0: 70007 MB, 29550 cyl, 8 head, 606 sec, 512 bytes/sect x 143374741 sectors sd0: async, 8-bit transfers boot device: sd0 root on sd0a dumps on sd0b root file system type: ffs