A computing company called Be
used to release a product called the BeBox
. It was based around the PowerPC
processor, which is the same line of processors Apple
have used for their desktops and servers since the mid-90s. However, Be's machines ran their own operating system, which went on to glorious successes and failures on other platforms later. See BeOS
There had been a tool for 68k Amiga
platform called ShapeShifter
. This allowed Amiga users
to run a Macintosh environment in a software window
. This sort of thing is great if you love an obscure platform but want to be able to run mainstream applications. Some time after the BeBox was released, some sassy
Be developers (for they are known to be a sexier breed than your regular developer) decided they'd write something similar for their own platform... and SheepShaver was born. It was a hack
designed to use with Apple hardware directly, so it would crash if you tried to do unusual things, but it was reasonably speedy.
Some years ago I had both a BeBox
running DR7.2 and an Apple 9600 unit with BeOS R5
. I ran Be on both, but I couldn't find SheepShaver to buy
for either anywhere. However, since then the project has become a bit more active and is now released for you to download and use.
There seems to be a project that now has it working on x86
(typical desktop PCs sold by Dell
or innumerable small build shops in your local village), but the webpage
is all in Japanese.
At the time of writing, the BeBits
website (http://www.bebits.com/app/2103) describes the mac environment you can run thus:
SheepShaver runs MacOS 7.5.2 thru 8.6 with all system extensions like AppleGuide, AppleScript, QuickTime, QuickTime VR, QuickDraw 3D, Open Transport, PPP, Language Kits, ColorSync, etc.
At one stage I had my 9600 set up with all my favourite tools under a dual Mac/Be environment. Unfortunately there were some lag problems with the mouse. When the computer booted under Be the mouse worked fine, but as time went on not all of the actions of the mouse would be recognised. So you'd move the mouse
left a lot, and the cursor
would move left and stop when you did. But when you then moved the mouse right, it would clear out a buffer
somewhere, and move the mouse to the left a bit more before moving it back. The effect on clicks was even more annoying because you'd need to click, and then move the mouse to have the click recognised. I couldn't find a fix for this and so I gave the unit away to a friend who wanted to use it as a firewall