NeXT Station Turbo Color

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WorkStation running OpenStep 4.2.

Specifications System Installation Mouse and Monitor Programmation Internet

Thanks to Christophe Préaut for his gift! Here is a new world for me, the workstations, the UNIX based systems. I have a lot to learn before I can use it correctly.

Specifications


  • CPU Motorola MC68040, 33MHz
  • Signal processor Motorola DSP56000
  • RAM 96 MB.
  • HD SCSI 1GB.
  • 2 serial ports.
  • One Ethernet port.
  • One SCSI port.
  • External SCSI HD 4GB and CD drive.
  • Floppy drive 1.44MB/2.88MB


The embedded system is the OpenSTEP 4.2. It comes with:
  • A windowed graphical interface.
  • Administration tools.
  • Network tools.
  • A complete programmation system based on Objective-C.
On the picture, you can see:
  • The worspace menu.
  • The Main window with the files of the boot disk.
  • On the right the program launcher with the icons of the preffered applications.
  • A PacMan!
  • A QuickTime movie read by NextTIME.




System Installation


To install OpenStep 4.2, you need those CD images: In spite of the word "Intel" in the file names, they are suitable for 68k machines.

The problem is that the CD User is not bootable on a NextStation. The solution that uses floppies is getting hard because of the lack of floppy drives in the recent systems. So, you have to patch the ISO images before burning the CDs. Read this page to understand the method. You'll have to download one of the 3 available patches according to your needs. (One of the *.tbl files with a size of 7680 bytes).

As I don't have any Linux machine to use the command line tools described there, I simply loaded the ISO and the patch files into a Hexdecimal editor (WinHex 14.5), and then I copied the patch over the first 7860 bytes of the ISO. Then, I saved and burned the CD at the lowest speed available.

Installing the system:

If your system boot default is the network (see picture on the right) or if it tries to boot on an old install, then use the combination keys below to enter the Monitor:

Once in the Monitor, insert the CD User and type the command as shown on the right. (Attention, if your keyboard is not QWERTY, you'll have to use Shift+9 and Shift+0 for the parenthesis).

Then, you are asked to specify which is the drive containing the boot partition, answer sd2 and validate.

The system runs its installation procedure completely erasing the data of the hard disk.
NeXT> bsd(2,0,0) -a
Then key ENTER.


Note: According to your installation, the CD drive could be SD1 unit and not SD2. You'll have to adapt the command line.

Installing the Developer tools:

Once on your workspace, insert the disk OpenStep Developer and double clic on its icon.

Open the folder NextCD, and last the folder Packages. Here you'll find the installers. Use this order:
  • DeveloperTools.pkg: always first.
  • DeveloperLibs.pkg: the second one.
  • DeveloperDoc.pkg: optionnal, but really useful !
  • ProfileLibs.pkg
  • GNUSource.pkg: optionnal, the sources of the SDK.


Note: to install a package, double clic on it and select the Install button.




Mouse and Monitor


What to do when the Next mouse is dead?

Replace it with an Atari mouse!
Pin Next side Meaning Pin Atari side
1 brown +5v 7
2 red xa 2
3 orange xb 1
4 yellow yb 4
5 green ya 3
6 blue right button 9
7 violet left button 6
8 grey gnd 8
Male connector on the Next cable:

Female connector on the Atari mouse:
Big problem with this idea:

the Atari mice have a low résolution so you have to sweep your desk many times to cross the entire display.


About the monitor, the Station requires a unit that can display:
1152x900 with a 13W3 connector. You can find 13W3 to VGA adapters, but your monitor still needs to handle the SOG (Sync on Green).

Next you can see one 13W3 to VGA cable and theSUN LSA 800 monitor that I use for the NextStation (it provides the two entries 13W3 and VGA)


Programmation
The developer system is based on the Objective-C, an object oriented language.

To ease its usage, there are two important tools:
  • The Project Builder
  • The Interface Builder
Next, the Project Builder with my little program that computes the BMI of a person (IMC in french). The upper part allows you to browse the files of the project and the lower part displays the text files selected, in this case the IMC.M is the code when you push the "Calculate" button.


Here a snapshot of the Interface Builder.

This is the application that made the difference with every other SDK at the time. You graphically build your interface, create objects, classes, the actions and links between buttons, fields and code. It is the ancestor of every "Visual XXX" system.

A final vue of my BMI program after compilation:



Important documents:



Internet


I have pugged my NextStation with Ethernet directly on my ADSL modem. I gave it the fixed IP 192.168.1.87. To do this, just follow the instructions found in this document: Ethernet Configuration.

Here are a copy of my own settings:
Settings in HostManager:



The file /etc/resolv.conf:

Settings in NetInfoManager:



Once this is done, you can use those applications:

To browse the WEB, I use OmniWEB browser

Here you can see the NextComputer archive page, the webpage of Eric Levenez and the bookmarks window.

Google doesn't work for me, but Yahoo does!.


The application PopOVER allows you to retreive your mails that can be opened in the standard MAIL application.

The application NewsGRAZER to read the newsgroups, GatorFTP for file transfert.

This last allowed me to send all the screen captures found on this page to my PC.


15 décembre 2007