This is the _fourth_ version of the Houdini FAQ. I've dubbed it version 0.9 since it's getting closer to what I'd ultimately like it to be. It's ironic that as I finally get this FAQ together Apple decides to pull the pull on the Houdini. Unless Apple plans to roll-out an enhanced Houdini, (nee Houdini 2 maybe?) I've only two words: Corporate Myopia. Distribute to those interested. Someone please post this on America Online! So that more people may see this. Archive-name: Apple_DOS_card_FAQ/part1 Last-modified: May 15, 1994 Version: 0.9 ------------------------------------------------------------------------ Questions needed to be answered --------------------------------- Where can you get Houdini besides educational resellers? (Addresses, phone numbers, prices please) Does Houdini have 3 button mouse support? Does FreeBSD, NetBSD and the like run on Houdini? Does NextStep run on Houdini? :) Can someone confirm the ISA subset signals? Has anyone had experience using Houdini in a Quadra 900 or a Quadra 950? How many Centris 610s and Quadra 610s have been sold so far? How many Houdini cards have been sold so far? ------------------------------------------------------------------------ Added/fixed items ------------------- Removed some extra comments Added potential user criteria Added Linux info Added additional Copy & Paste info Added video buffer info Added System Update 3.0 and monitor info Redrew ISA subset diagram Added 'Do I have to put in those shunts for the DX?' Removed 'Official DOOM ftp site' address (it closed and I don't have a new address) Not yet added: disk and RAM compression notes (Sorry!) ======================================================================== ~^~ FAQ: Apple DOS Compatibility Card (Houdini) May 15, 1994 - version 0.9 agent provocateur: Anton Prastowo (email@example.com) ~^~ * The ANSWER to _THE BIG_ question: YES, it does run DOOM! There is a game * port, but currently no soundcard (like Sound Blaster) support for it. It's about time someone put together a Frequently Asked Questions list (FAQ) for Apple's DOS Compatibility Card or Houdini. I've cobbled this collection together as a start. It's a compilation of net people's experiences and comments about Houdini. This is a decidedly pro-Houdini FAQ. And why not? The Apple DOS Compatibility Card is an amazing card. I've recently installed the Houdini in my Quadra 700. I was surprised at the relative ease of installation and I am constantly amazed as program after program work problem-free on the Houdini. (Mostly shareware too!) This FAQ is for those unfamiliar with the Houdini and curious about its merits. Hopefully this FAQ will help Mac users interested in a DOS solution decide whether Houdini will suit their needs. Houdini is not for everyone, but for many this card is a most excellent hack! Read this FAQ and decide for yourself. I took the liberty of assuming that the original posters would not mind their inclusion in this compilation. After all, it is in the spirit of their original intent to inform others. I unfortunately cannot verify all the comments contained in this collection. I included those statements that seemed reasonable and coherent (but with my own notes or queries added). Please send me corrections and additions that address possible glaring errors, omissions and my own questions. DISCLAIMER: I am not responsible for anything anyone does with information contain herein. If there are errors, TOO BAD. E-mail me the information to fix it. ** Please send specs, corrections, hacks and other info to help flesh this thing out. And if someone wants to take this thing over and do it right, e-mail me: Anton Prastowo (firstname.lastname@example.org) - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - Thanks to the following people for their comments and info: o Jim Stockdale (email@example.com) Thanks Jim! o Richard Cardona (firstname.lastname@example.org) o Dan Magorian (email@example.com) o David Ramsey (firstname.lastname@example.org) o Adam Schneider (email@example.com) o Amanda Walker (firstname.lastname@example.org) o Michael Bradd (email@example.com) o J. Taggart Gorman (firstname.lastname@example.org) o Dan Schnur (email@example.com) o Xiaolin Zhao (firstname.lastname@example.org) o Eric Carter (email@example.com) o Andrew T. Laurence (firstname.lastname@example.org) o Eric W. Sarjeant (email@example.com) o DOS Compatibility Read Me file BTW: Jim Stockdale works at Apple. He is, however, NOT an official Apple spokesperson. Thanks to his extreme graciousness, Jim has provided quite a bit of Houdini info on his own time. His comments should not be construed as Apple sanctioned information. - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - Table of Contents ------------------- o What is Houdini (Apple DOS Compatibility Card)? o Does Houdini work in a... Centris/Quadra 610? Centris 650 Quadra 650? Quadra 660av? Quadra 700? Quadra 800? Quadra 840av? PowerMac? '030 Mac? '020 Mac? Mac Classic? Fat Mac? Apple ]I[? Apple //e? ZX-81? o What's the difference between a bundled Quadra 610 DOS Compatible and a Quadra 610 with a DOS Compatibility Card installed? o What are Houdini's shortcomings? (What's the catch?) o What are some alternatives to Houdini? SoftPC OrangePC card PowerMac with SoftWindows Full PC system o I need a DOS solution. Should I get a Houdini? o MacWorld gave the DOS card 2 out of 5 stars. Why? o How much does Houdini cost? and where can I get one? o What is required to install the Houdini in a non-610 Mac? o What are Houdini's particulars? Microprocessor Operating systems PC Mouse File conversion Floppy use Hard drives CD-ROM use Memory Memory managers Joysticks Parallel ports Serial ports Printing Copy & Paste Networking Monitor display Sound PC cards ISA bus o Why does Houdini come with a wimpy FPU-free 486SX and not a more beefy FPU-equipped 486DX? o Can I swap the 486SX for a 486DX? o How do I swap the 486SX for a 486DX? o Do I have to put in those shunts for the DX? o What does the chip labeled Music do? o What is DOOM and what does it have to do with Houdini? o Where can I get the DOOM FAQ? o Will there be successor to Houdini? o What the hell is Apple thinking? (Houdini vs. SoftWindows) ------------------------------------------------------------------------ o What is Houdini (Apple DOS Compatibility Card)? Houdini is Apple's new DOS Compatibility Card for Quadra/Centris 610s. Announced at the Fall 1993 Comdex, it finally began shipping in March 1994. The name "Houdini" was Apple's internal code name for the DOS card. I guess the name's stuck since the initial press release --certainly itÕs easier to roll off the tongue than "Macintosh DOS Compatibility Card." In this FAQ, 'Houdini' and 'DOS card' will be used interchangeably to refer to the Apple DOS Compatibility Card. Houdini was originally concepted for use in Quadra class Macs equipped with a PDS slot. Apple has only sanctioned Houdini for use with Centris/Quadra 610s. However, Houdini can in fact run in many '040 Macs! Apple's limits use of the Houdini to 610s because of differing problems with Houdini's use in '040 Macs other than the 610s. Problems with other '040 Macs range from things like video blanking, placement of cables holes in the back, RF emissions and physical seating of the PDS card (Remember, the 610s need an L-shaped PDS/NuBus connector). Besides the '040 PDS slot, a Houdini out-of-the-box will also require a portion of the host Mac's RAM. Because of this, the host Mac must have at least 8mb RAM so that the Mac and DOS card can be of any practical use (4mb for the Mac, 4mb for the DOS card). Houdini is nothing short of amazing. It's amazing in its low cost, high utility and in its timing -- shipping just as the PowerMacs debut. With 20/20 hindsight, Houdini should have been introduced when the second wave of '040 Macs (the Centris 610s, 650s and the Quadra 800s) arrived. Such a card then would have really helped to increase Macintosh market share among computer users. Sadly, this little card has been upstaged by the marketing of PowerMacs and SoftWindoze (tm). Understandably, the bulk of Apple's marketing efforts have been aimed at selling the first-generation PowerMacs. The marketing of Apple's DOS Compatibility Card seems lackluster in comparison. Hopefully Houdini will not die of obscurity. Spread the word about Apple's DOS Compatibility Card! o Does Houdini work in a... Centris/Quadra 610? Hell yeah! This system is what Houdini was ultimately configured and Apple certified for. _However,_ someone (whose name eludes me) pointed out that Houdini can be used in most Quadra class Macs equipped with a '040 PDS slot. Because of someone's foresight, we can use Houdini in a variety of Quadra Macs. Centris 650? Yes...: First and foremost - it works. In fact, I've been playing DOOM all night long. (Is there anything else to do with a 486 machine? ;)) Installation in a C650 (same for a Q650) was fairly easy, but it's kinda messy - the card easy plugs into the PDS, but there is nothing to support it and you have to plug in a special 23 pin adapter to the back of the card. You have to hold the card firmly and wrestle the adapter on. To get the PC sounds to come through the Mac's speaker, there is a 4 pin cable that attaches to the top of the Houdini card and goes to the place on the motherboard where the CD out attaches. If you don't have an internal CD, no problem, just attach the cable. If you do have an internal CD, you must plug the cable from the CD into another 4 pin prong at the top of the Houdini card... I've not tried my internal CD, but I don't have any reason to believe the play through won't work - the PC sounds come through just fine. - J. Taggart Gorman (firstname.lastname@example.org) Quadra 650? Yes...: I've tried it, and it works wonderfully. I ran it on a two-monitor system: the Mac used a SuperMac 20 inch and a Spectrum IV 24bit card, the DOS card was hooked up to a Magnavox (imitation RGB). This worked great - when you switch environments, the side you're *not* using dims visibly, a nice touch. Using the single-monitor setup on the SuperMac did not work, it looked like the monitor's sync rates got hosed. Someone who puts the Houdini in a 650 should be very careful of the cable snaking out the back of the machine, that NO unnecessary downward pressure is applied to that cable. This downward pressure exerts torque on the card itself, and will cause the card to tilt forward in its PDS slot. (Referring to the user quoted in the FAQ whose PRAM got hosed, perhaps this was the cause of the problem?) It seems to me that an excellent solution would be to cut a hole in the NuBus slot's plastic shield (the one you remove to make room for the cable), just big enough for the cable. The basic goal is to support the cable as it exits the case, preventing the torque effect. (Note: I haven't actually done this, as the card was soon transported to a 610.) - Andrew T. Laurence (email@example.com) and No? I tried it, first off, the video cable has to be snaked out the back of the machine (Real ugly). Second off, it works for about 20 mins & then scrambled the PRAM (More ugliness). Third, it won't function with the audiovision drivers on that mac... - Dan Schnur (firstname.lastname@example.org) _However,_ J. Taggart Gorman insists: I have my Houdini running in a Centris 650, not a Quadra 650, but I can't think of any reason that it would have trouble in a Q650, like email@example.com reported. - J. Taggart Gorman (firstname.lastname@example.org) Quadra 660av? Ehhh...kinda. Here are some comments: There is indeed an "overdriving" problem in the single monitor environment. The monitor in the DOS environment is very bright. This can be easily corrected by readjusting the brightness of the monitor. But if a second monitor is used, the problem is not there or not obvious. - Xiaolin Zhao (email@example.com) Sound is broken fairly badly, and starting up the PC is not entirely reliable. When it works, though, it works very well... I've managed to work out some more information on the Houdini/660av conflicts. The sound problems are evidently a symptom, not the problem itself. Evidently, the Houdini support software (the PC Setup control panel) does something that the AV's DSP subsystem doesn't like, which takes causes the Sound Manager, Express Modem, and AV DSP plug-in for PhotoShop to hang tightly when they try to talk to the DSP. This is why turning the sound volume down to 0 works around the problem, since the Sound Manager doesn't bother passing anything to the DSP in that case. - Amanda Walker (firstname.lastname@example.org) Quadra 700? Yes: I installed the DOS card and got it up and running with very little trouble... The card does not reach the back of the computer but you can get the cable through the hole if you are persistent...The PC sound is a problem because the card uses the CD in on the 610 as an input. The 700 has no CD in. I hope to figure some work around for this to. - Michael Bradd (email@example.com) The Houdini installed in my Q700 just fine. Michael Bradd mentioned that his Houdini card cause the case cover to bulge (it seemed a 1/4 cm too tall). I found that this was NOT a problem. My cover shows no bulge. Just make sure that the tabs on the cover that help hold a PDS card fit properly over the Houdini card. I suspect a bulge would be caused from an improperly seated Houdini. Quadra 800? Yes. "...Houdini works fine in a Q800...You have to feed the video cable in through the access hole for the first NuBus card, but everything runs great." - David Ramsey (firstname.lastname@example.org) Quadra 840av? No: The 840AV has no PDS slot for the Houdini to plug into. - David Ramsey (email@example.com) PowerMac? No. There is no '040 PDS slot in a PowerMac (duh!). But you can run SoftWindoze instead if you have 16mb of RAM. (Let's see, would that be: running Windoze on an emulated standard mode 286, running on an emulated 68LC040(or is it some other version?), running on a PowerPC 601 processor?! Whew! It's a wonder that it works at all! :) ) '030 Macs? '020 Macs? LC Macs? Mac Classic? Fat Macs? Apple ]I[? Apple //e? Sinclair ZX-81? Atari 2600? No, it will not work. Repeat this to yourself as needed. o What's the difference between a bundled Quadra 610 DOS Compatible and a Quadra 610 with a DOS Compatibility Card installed? The only difference is that the bundled Quadra 610 DOS Compatible comes with a 68LC040(FPU-free version of '040) and that some configurations of Q610s come with a 68040(FPU equipped!). The genuine bundled Quadra 610 DOS Compatible has no FPU, whereas an upgraded Q610 will have either a 68040(FPU-equipped) or a 68LC040(FPU-free) depending on which Q610 configuration it was originally. Other than that, price would be the only difference. A price breakdown of the Quadra 610 DOS Compatible shows that the DOS card is only an additional $200 (or as low as $100 with educational pricing). The DOS Compatibility upgrade is of course officially $399. Do the math. o What are Houdini's shortcomings? (What's the catch?) You can only get so much for $399 so there are a few drawbacks to the Apple's DOS solution. = The card uses an Intel (who would've imagined?) 486SX FPU-free processor instead of the more capable FPU-equipped 486DX processor. = Houdini has NO physical parallel printer port. So if you're interested in using the card for devices like EPROM burners and logic analyzers that use a parallel port, you're out of luck. = There is currently no support for a PC sound card like the ubiquitous Sound Blaster. (So Houdini isn't the complete kick-ass DOOM machine that many of you hoped it might have been.) = Houdini's display requires a dedicated monitor as opposed to SoftPC's DOS window on the Mac desktop solution. In other words, with a single monitor set-up, your monitor will display either the DOS screen or the Mac desktop. You toggle between the Mac and DOS environment with a keyboard combo in the single monitor set-up. You can, however, use two monitors -- one for the host Mac and one for the Houdini card. (** Note that this is also an advantage. Unlike SoftPC or OrangePC, the Houdini card doesn't map a VGA or SVGA display onto a Mac window. Freeing the 486 processor from display calculations improves the speed of the Houdini.) = Unless you add a simm to the DOS card, you _must_ allocate RAM from the host Mac to the DOS card. This of course means you will have less available RAM for your Mac. = Mouse drivers are not included with Houdini. Even if you do get a mouse driver, implementation of the 2 button PC mouse on a single button Mac mouse is somewhat awkward. = No Ethernet networking = The vaunted Microserf Windoze (tm) operating system is not included in the package. You must buy and install Windoze on your own. (Aww man, I _can't_ wait to play Minesweeper! :) ) = You will be confused as what to do with the money you've saved by buying a $399 Houdini instead of a $1000 OrangePC card or PC system. :) o What are some alternatives to Houdini? SoftPC By Insignia, this application emulates a 286 PC on a Mac. Unlike the Houdini, SoftPC has a networking option! Besides the OrangePC, this is your only other option if you need networking. It's relatively cheap and it runs on most Macs. However it requires lots of memory and...it...is...S-L-O-W. OrangePC card The OrangePC, by Orange Micro, was the original "PC on a NuBus card" for the Mac. Since it is a NuBus card, the OrangePC will work in just about _any_ Mac with a free NuBus slot (for those of you unable to use Houdini). The OrangePC card the only other "PC on a board" alternative to the Houdini card. There is a networking option through the OrangePC's PCMCIA slot (if the one you get has one.) Unfortunately, the basic 486SX version's price starts at $1000 and DX versions go up from there. Sure there are many features on the OrangePC, but you can practically get a complete 486 system for the price of an OrangePC. See for yourself (note the configurations)... An example of _educational_ pricing for OrangePC cards: ---------------------------------------------------------------- Model 210 486SX/33 4MB VGA Serial/Parallel DOS $1003 Model 250 486SX/33 4MB SVGA PCMCIA DOS $1285 Model 250 486DX/33 8MB SVGA PCMCIA DOS $1644 Model 290 486DX2/66 8MB SVGA Serial/Parallel PCMCIA DOS $2167 Model 290 486DX2/66 16MB SVGA Serial/Parallel PCMCIA DOS $2541 Model 290 486DX4/100 8MB SVGA Serial/Parallel PCMCIA DOS $2744 Model 290 486DX4/100 16MB SVGA Serial/Parallel PCMCIA DOS $3146 ---------------------------------------------------------------- - complied by Eric Carter (firstname.lastname@example.org) It's expensive ($1000 for starters, $3200 nicely loaded) and it runs on most Macs. It has a serial _AND_ a parallel port! PowerMac with SoftWindows You'll need at least 16mb RAM and applications that _don't_ require enhanced 486 mode (most of 'em need enhanced 486 mode). There is Novell NetWare support however. (See also 'What the hell is Apple thinking?') If you have a PowerMac, this is you only choice aside from a... A full 486 PC system Can't beat this. They're dirt cheap. It's just the thing -- a second system that your kids or spouse could use. No more fighting for time on the computer! o I need a DOS solution. Should I get a Houdini? The answer really depends on your needs. For starters, your current situation should described by the following: = You should have a Centris/Quadra 610 _or_ be willing to live with Houdini's idiosyncrasies from use in Macs such as Centris/Quadra 650, Quadra 700, Quadra 800. = You should have at least 8mb RAM in your Mac. = You have enough room on your hard drive for a PC drive container file of 20mb or more. = You don't need a PC soundcard. = You don't need networking. = You don't need a parallel port. = You don't need card expansion options. o MacWorld gave the Houdini 2 out of 5 stars. Why? The May 1994 issue of MacWorld reviewed Apple's DOS Compatibility Card and naively awarded it only 2 out of 5 stars. Galen Gruman's review _did_ identify that the DOS card was inexpensive and relatively fast for a 486SX-25 system. Nevertheless, MacWorld's blubbering about Houdini's lack of networking, expansion options and (the official) limitation to Centris/Quadra 610s earned Houdini just 2 stars. MacWorld instead recommended the overpriced OrangePC card as a better PC-in-a-Mac solution. It seems that MacWorld's review was mired in: 1) A "Just the specs ma'am" attitude. Performance performance performance -- as opposed to any real world criteria that any average user might use. Cost is a _very_ important factor. Considering the DOS card's utility, $399 is not that much. In comparison, the $1000 OrangePC card offers only 50% extra utility at more than _TWICE_ the cost! 2) Advertiser pandering -- talk about a product plug for an astro- nomically priced alternative (OrangePC) compared to the Houdini's $399 price tag. I also liked the way they referred a previous OrangePC review (Oct. 1993 if you're interested -- heh heh). Ignoring MacWorld's conclusion, the DOS card was actually given a fair shake. MacWorld noted its low cost and that it was "the real thing" -- not emulation as in Insignia Solutions' SoftPC. The review found that the DOS card's performed about 16% faster than a typical (whatever that means) 486SX-25 system from Zeos International. MacWorld also added that the DOS card performed on par with a Tandy 486SX and (ironically) a Quadra 610. MacWorld championed the OrangePC card because it offered networking options, some expansion options, and the ability to be used in most Macs. Houdini lacks those business-oriented features. But if you want all that for $399 -- buy yourself a DOS box baby. o How much does Houdini cost? and where can I get one? You can get the Mac system called the 'Quadra 610 DOS Compatible' which is a Q610 with a DOS card pre-installed, or you can just get the upgrade called the 'DOS Compatibility Card.' The upgrade's official U.S. Apple price is $399. Educational pricing seems to hover around $350. Note that the DOS card in the Q610 DOS bundle prices out to be only about $200 extra (about $100 extra with educational pricing!). Your best deal will be with most Macintosh educational sales outlets. If you don't have any educational affiliations you're left with resellers and mail-order. I haven't seen very many mail-order or even retail type vendors advertise the availability of the DOS Compatibility card upgrade. Hopefully, that will change. CompUSA has them. MacMall has them. Toll free: 1-800-222-2808 Fax: (310) 222-5800 #63919 DOS Compatibility Card $389 Computize (Chicago area) has Q610 DOS bundles and DOS upgrade cards. Check the Apple Catalog. Example educational pricing: DOS Compatible Card for Centris/Quadra 610 University of Minnesota .......................$ 345 University of Wisconsin-Madison ...............$ 322 o What is required to install the Houdini in a non-610 Mac? Those of you considering the Houdini for use in a non-610 Mac might be curious to what is required to install the Houdini in a non-610 Mac. Take your time -- that's pretty good advice for any installation. The process is something like the following 12 step program. 1) Separate the Houdini card from the L-shaped assembly Holding the Houdini card assembly, component side facing you and PDS connector pointing down, there should be a screw with a plastic washer in the lower right hand corner of the Houdini board. This screw holds the Houdini board to the L-shaped assembly. Save this screw and washer -- you might want to sell the Houdini to a real 610 owner someday (or return it). Screw both back onto the metal assembly. Put the assembly back in the box for safekeeping. Remove the metal bracket from around the Houdini's DB connector by unscrewing two screws and their washers. Again save these screws and washers. Put 'em back in the box. 2) Insert the Houdini into the '040 PDS slot Make sure the card is seated as far into the PDS slot as it can go. A loose card will mean trouble. 3) Remove a nearby NuBus slot plastic cover in back 4) Take the connector intended for the Houdini (from the special 4-way cable) and slide through the newly open slot in back into the case 5) Connect the cable to the Houdini card 6) Connect the monitor connector for either one or two monitor environment 7) Connect the 4 pin cable from the Houdini to the CD-in of your computer (if your computer has one) 8) Install Houdini software 9) Create PC drive file on your hard drive (don't forget to check Initialize for the PC drive!) 10) Re-boot with PC Setup ON 11) Install MS-DOS onto PC drive file 12) Enjoy the DOS world -- end part 1 From email@example.com Mon May 16 11:43:09 CDT 1994 Article: 96286 of comp.sys.mac.hardware Path: news.acns.nwu.edu!math.ohio-state.edu!uwm.edu!caen!saimiri.primate.wisc.edu!news.doit.wisc.edu!f180-125.net.wisc.edu!user From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Anton Prastowo) Newsgroups: comp.sys.mac.hardware,news.answer Subject: FAQ - Apple DOS Compatibility Card (Houdini) 2/2 Followup-To: comp.sys.mac.hardware Date: Mon, 16 May 1994 00:17:34 +0000 Organization: Maas Biolabs GmbH Lines: 704 Distribution: world Message-ID:
NNTP-Posting-Host: f180-125.net.wisc.edu Status: RO This is the _fourth_ version of the Houdini FAQ. I've dubbed it version 0.9 since it's getting closer to what I'd ultimately like it to be. It's ironic that as I finally get this FAQ together Apple decides to pull the pull on the Houdini. Unless Apple plans to roll-out an enhanced Houdini, (nee Houdini 2 maybe?) I've only two words: Corporate Myopia. Distribute to those interested. Someone please post this on America Online! So that more people may see this. Archive-name: Apple_DOS_card_FAQ/part2 Last-modified: May 15, 1994 Version: 0.9 ------------------------------------------------------------------------ o What are Houdini's particulars? Microprocessor Intel 80486SX at 25 MHz (no FPU) Operating systems MS-DOS 6.2 Houdini comes with a copy of Microserf's MS-DOS 6.2, wheee! Windows (tm) You must get Windoze separately, but Windoze will run on Houdini. OS/2 Comments made so far have not been too encouraging. -- OS/2 for Windows cannot be installed using diskettes. When I started installation...the Houdini booted and showed IBM logo and asked for Disk 1 to be inserted. After the disk 1 was inserted, the OS/2 logo showed, the Houdini froze after some floppy disk activity. I believe that the problem is the device driver, but I could be wrong. Normally, during OS/2 set up, the system will try to find out the hardware info, such as video, memory, fixed disk, and floppy drive. As I understand, the floppy drive is NOT controlled by Houdini card, this could pose a big problem for OS/2. - Xiaolin Zhao (email@example.com) Linux I really wanted the board to run Linux, but that looks like it may be difficult to do. It has nothing to do with the 486SX board, it is a result of the Apple using SCSI for everything - including the floppy drive. The PC uses an IDE interface, and the only way to boot Linux (and install it) is from a real IDE floppy. In other words, Linux can't read from /fd0 because it cannot recognize it without the standard DOS floppy drive signature. - Eric W. Sarjeant (firstname.lastname@example.org) PC Mouse As mentioned before, Houdini supports a _2_ button PC mouse. I haven't heard of any word on _3_ button mouse support. Strangely, a PC mouse driver is not included in the MS-DOS 6.2 install disks. Go figure. Jim Stockdale explains: We ship Houdini with MS-DOS 6.2 which does not include a mouse driver. If you install Windows, you'll get a mouse driver. We provided the info on how to emulate the other mouse button because most users will install Windows or get a bus mouse (PS/2) style MS Mouse Driver...The mouse support in Houdini is provided by the keyboard controller, as it is in a PS/2. This is called a bus mouse, as opposed to a serial mouse which uses a serial port. - Jim Stockdale (email@example.com) You can get a DOS mouse driver via FTP: aix370.rrz.uni-koeln.de /pc/msdos/dosutils/mouse80.zip ...and at other fine FTP sites with DOS archives. - Adam Schneider (firstname.lastname@example.org) I finally got my Apple mouse to work with DOS applications on my Quadra 610 DOS Compatible. (I don't have Windows yet, ergo I don't have the Windows mouse driver.) I simply downloaded the latest Microsoft mouse driver, ran the SETUP.EXE program, and it worked! - Adam Schneider (email@example.com) Houdini uses a plain mouse click for a left PC mouse button click, the '=' keypad key for a right PC mouse button click and finally both together for a dual left and right PC mouse button click. File conversion The DOS card also comes with Mac Easy Open 1.0.4 to facilitate conversion between the different environment formats. If you need heavy duty conversion you still require a commercial package for this. Mac Easy Open1.0.4 has another subtle enhancement, it uses the small icon view for icons in open/save dialog listings. This is similar to the DialogView extension. - Richard Cardona (firstname.lastname@example.org) Floppy use ** Note: To back up the drive files on your Macintosh, either make a copy of the files by duplicating them in the Finder, or use a Macintosh backup application program. Do not use PC backup programs. PC backup programs do not work because the floppy disk drive is controlled by the Macintosh. - DOS Compatibility Read Me file Use to eject a floppy disk when in DOS mode. Hard drives The DOS card comes with PC Exchange 2.0. The major difference in 2.0 is that it has a built-in PC SCSI Probe which allows you to mount PC SCSI discs on your Mac desktop as well as CD drives too. Otherwise you can create a PC partition file on one of your Mac volumes just like SoftPC. PC Exchange 2.0 also reads SoftPC hard drive partitions although the documentation says you can't boot from a SoftPC volume. If you set the LASTDRIVE option in your CONFIG.SYS in DOS, you can assign multiple volumes or folders as shared drives in DOS. Which means you can access your Mac data in DOS by assigning a drive letter to whatever folder you want. The drawback is that DOS supports only 8.3 names so your long Mac names look funny in DOS. - Richard Cardona (email@example.com) The PC Setup control panel allows you to use PC SCSI drives and partitions with the DOS Compatibility Card. If you use a PC drive or partition and you have a utility that mounts these devices on the Macintosh, be sure to unmount the drive or partition before starting the PC by dragging its icon to the Trash. If you donÕt unmount the drive or partition, you may lose data since both the Macintosh and the PC may write to the device at the same time. ** NOTE: If you are using AppleÕs Macintosh PC Exchange 2.0 to mount PC devices, the software alerts you if you try booting the PC while the device is mounted. If you intend to mount your PC drive file, partition, or disk on the Macintosh using a utility such as AppleÕs Macintosh PC Exchange, do not use a PC compression program. Drives that are compressed cannot be mounted. - DOS Compatibility Read Me file CD-ROM use CD-ROM discs can be accessed by both the Macintosh and PC (if the included PC software is installed). To eject a CD-ROM disc from the PC, press Command-Y. If the CD-ROM disc cannot be ejected (because a file is in use or the CD-ROM is being shared), the Macintosh beeps to notify you and will not eject the CD-ROM disc. - DOS Compatibility Read Me file Memory [Houdini] has one 72 pin SIMM slot (empty) for RAM and it accepts 4, 8, 16, and 32mb SIMMs. (I'm not sure about a 1 mb SIMM) It can also "borrow" memory directly from the Mac. In a 20 mb machine I was able to assign increments of 4mb up to 16mb to the DOS card. The memory control panel will just show a large System Software partition when the DOS card is using the Mac's RAM. Also, you can't both have on-board RAM and share some of the Mac's RAM it's either or. I don't have enough RAM to test if you can assign more than 32mb to the card from a Mac. It shares the RAM with a DMA controller on the card. - Richard Cardona (firstname.lastname@example.org) Also, Jim Stockdale adds: I am pretty sure Apple will not guarantee Houdini will operate properly with composite SIMMs. Memory timing could be compromised due to the increased signal loading. Note that Houdini, as well as Macs with the 72 pin SIMM connector will support double sided SIMMs. These SIMMs are configured as two different memory banks with up to 8 devices per bank providing data. Parity SIMMs can be used, though the parity RAMs themselves are not accessed. There is a fairly substantial performance improvement on both the PC and Mac side when a SIMM is plugged into the Houdini. Without a SIMM, all PC memory accesses need to do a DMA cycle on the Mac. Though the Mac memory controllers support burst read accesses, there is still LOTS of data flying around on the bus when both processors are running code. Memory writes cannot be bursted on the Mac, and DOS does LOTS of writes. We provide a write buffer on the Houdini, but there is still a performance loss. When a SIMM is plugged in, only BIOS ROM accesses need to do Mac DMA cycles. Since there isn't nearly as much OS support in the ROM as in the Mac OS, the amount of time the PC is accessing ROM (Mac DMA) is pretty small. All other memory accesses from the 486 talk to the SIMM RAM. Accesses to the Houdini SIMM are very fast, typically taking only about six 25MHz clock cycles to fetch 4 longwords of data. Access to Mac shared memory take many more, due to the bus arbitration time and the synchronization between the two CPU busses running from different clocks. A faster Mac Memory bus (like a 33MHz Quadra) will improve shared memory performance, but it will still be slower than when there is a SIMM installed. There is only one memory allocation in the Mac for the PC memory space. When the system boots, memory size parameters are stored in the Mac PRAM and the memory allocation for the Houdini is done very early in the bootup sequence. In other words, if you want a 4mb shared memory space for Houdini, that parameter is stored in Mac PRAM and a contiguous 4mb memory region in Mac memory is reserved when the slot manager initializes the card. - Jim Stockdale (email@example.com) Memory managers If you use a memory management utility such as EMM386 or QEMM, you need to configure it to be compatible with your DOS Compatibility Card. o If will be using EMM386 (included as part of DOS) and donÕt require expanded memory, set CONFIG.SYS to: DEVICE=C:\DOS\EMM386.EXE NOEMS RAM=D000-EFFF If you require expanded memory, set CONFIG.SYS to: DEVICE=C:\DOS\EMM386.EXE RAM=D000-EFFF FRAME=D000 o If you use QEMM, it is recommended that you use the frame option (ST:F): DEVICE=C:\QEMM\QEMM386.SYS RAM ST:F ARAM=B080-B7FF ARAM=C900-DFFF R:1 o If you choose to use the Stealth mapping option (ST:M), set CONFIG.SYS to: DEVICE=C:\QEMM\QEMM386.SYS RAM ST:M X=C800-CFFF X=FC00-FCFF X=FE00-FFFF ARAM=B080-B7FF ARAM=C900-DFFF R:2 For other memory management utilities, configure them so that the only areas in the BIOS that can be mapped to upper memory are from D000 through EFFF. Make sure you verify that the HIMEM.SYS line in the CONFIG.SYS file has the switch to turn memory testing off. If the HIMEM.SYS line doesn't turn memory testing off, the ROM BIOS may become corrupted when the DOS Compatibility Card is configured for 2 MB of memory: DEVICE=C:\DOS\HIMEM.SYS /TESTMEM:OFF ** NOTE: Apple does not recommend using automated memory configuration utilities with the DOS Compatibility Card because they can require more memory than management utilities you configure manually. They can also be incompatible with the DOS Compatibility Card. - DOS Compatibility Read Me file Joystick Houdini provides a 15-pin connector for PC-style joysticks. Note that the joystick port uses the same DB-15 connector as the monitor port. DO NOT switch the two! (i.e. monitor port going to the joystick and joystick port going to the monitor.) Parallel ports There is no physical parallel printing port available with the card, but the card does emulate a PC printer though LPT1:. There is a PC Print Monitor installed in your extensions folder that prints jobs from the card. - Richard Cardona (firstname.lastname@example.org) Those looking for a parallel port must look to certain versions of OrangePC cards or a full PC system. Serial ports The DOS card allows you to use any Mac serial port as a COMx: device in DOS. You have to assign the port in the PC setup and the card opens the port so you can't share a modem between the two without going into PC setup. The card only supports COM1 and COM2. - Richard Cardona (email@example.com) I don't know if DOS apps that write directly to UART registers would work, though (I tend to think not). - David Ramsey (firstname.lastname@example.org) The maximum baud rate supported by the DOS Compatibility Card when a COM port is mapped to a Macintosh serial port is 19,200. If youÕre capturing serial output to a Macintosh file, there is no limit. Due to the RS-232 implementation of the Macintosh, not all RS-232 signals are available. These signals are not available: Carrier Detect (CD), Data Set Ready (DSR), Request to Send (RTS), and Ring Indicator (RI). If your application or serial device requires these signals, it will not work. The DOS Compatibility Card does not support Carrier Detect (CD). You must configure your communications applications so they do not use CD. Most communications applications can be set to respond to the CARRIER string sent back by most modems. - DOS Compatibility Read Me file The serial port mapping from Mac the PC follows: -------------------------------------------- Mac Mini Mac Signal DIN-8 DB-25 RS-232 Name -------------------------------------------- HSKo 1 20 DTR HSKi 2 5,8 CTS,DCD TXD- 3 2 TXD GND 4 7 GND RXDA- 5 3 RXD TXDA+ 6 N/C - GPi 7 N/C - RXD+ 8 7 GND -------------------------------------------- - DOS Compatibility Read Me file Printing You can print to Mac-connected PostScript printers, or to QuickDraw printers (if you're using an Epson printer driver on the PC side). - Amanda Walker (email@example.com) Copy & Paste The DOS card installer includes a utility for the Mac and a PC TSR which converts the Mac clipboard into a DOS clipboard or Windows clipboard and vice-versa. I tried using simple text transfer between both and it worked fine. - Richard Cardona (firstname.lastname@example.org) To copy from DOS, press control-option-C. A white cursor box will appear in the center of the screen. Use the arrow keys or the mouse if you have a mouse driver installed to position the cursor at the start of the text you want to copy. Hold the shift key down or press the mouse button and use the arrows or mouse to highlight the text to be copied. Release the shift or mouse button when the selection is complete. The Mac will play a sound which sounds like scissors cutting the text (the sound will be played twice). Then switch to the Mac and look at the clipboard contents. If you are still having problems, make sure the PC Clipboard application and translators are installed in the extensions folder, as well as the Macintosh Easy Open cdev. To Paste to DOS, place the cursor where you want the text placed, and press control-option-V. The copy paste in DOS is screen based only. There is not a consistent clipboard definition for DOS applications, so we had to do our own, which, by the way adds copy paste functionality to DOS applications which don't have it. In Windows, there is a consistent clipboard capability between applications, so when the Clipboard Converter application is installed in the Windows Startup Items group, it automatically translates copy/paste between the Mac and PC. The app is installed by our setup application on the PC install disk. - Jim Stockdale (email@example.com) Networking The DOS card doesn't support the on-board Ethernet so you can't do Ethernet in DOS/Windows. The documentation doesn't even mention this. - Richard Cardona (firstname.lastname@example.org) Apple is certainly aware that network drivers for the PC are critical for the success of Houdini in business. Accordingly, we are working to develop a solution. No time frame has been established for availability. - Jim Stockdale (email@example.com) Monitor display The DOS card can share one monitor attached to both cards via a Y cable or it can independently drive a VGA, Apple 13, 14 and 16" monitor. The connector is a standard Mac 15-pin connector. If you use one monitor, the image jumps when you switch but Apple has an option to fade the Mac screen before this happens. When you use two screens you can see both update simultaneously, but when you are in a DOS environment the Mac screen is always slightly dimmed. I tried connecting two Apple 16" displays (one the Mac and one to the card) it worked fine. In fact, with the correct Windows drivers you can easily get 800x600 on the Apple 16". - Richard Cardona (firstname.lastname@example.org) The Houdini has it's own 512K DRAM based frame buffer. The video signals (R,G,B, sync) are connected externally via a cable. - Jim Stockdale (email@example.com) From the drivers supplied, I gather that the highest resolution in single-monitor mode is 800x600x16 (if you have an Apple 16" monitor or equivalent), and the highest in dual-monitor mode is 1024x768x16 (if you have a multisync VGA monitor that will go that high). It also supports 640x480x256 with good speed. - Amanda Walker (firstname.lastname@example.org) There have been video problems with using Houdini in a Quadra 660av. Jim Stockdale responded to a question from Dan Magorian: The monitor intensity is a function of the termination of the R, G, & B signals. We "wire OR" the signals in the cable. When the PC is the active display, the Mac video is programmed to generate a blank level. When the Mac is active, the BLANK pin of the PC CLUT/DAC is asserted, blanking the video lines. The jumping you see in the video is a maybe a function of the sync signals running at different frequencies from the PC and Mac. The monitor needs to lock on the foreground computer's syncs. The video circuitry of the 660AV isn't the same as the 610, and a blank level cannot be programmed. When the video is switched and the PC becomes active, the outputs of the AV CLUT/DAC are tri-stated and the path to ground (termination) is removed. This causes the drive from the PC CLUT/DAC to be higher and the video brighter. - Jim Stockdale (email@example.com) Apple's System Update 3.0, available on ftp.apple.com, Applelink, etc installs the PC Setup 1.02 control panel, which as Jim Stockdale promised contains a fix for the interference problem in Windows with the original software on certain monitors, such as the 14" Mac Color Display. It also has a cool update to StandardFile that shows icons, and other good stuff. Recommended. - Dan Magorian (firstname.lastname@example.org) You will notice a slight difference in operation of the screen switching. In the old PC Setup, the Mac screen appeared immediately when you switched back from the PC. In the new PC setup, the switching back to the Mac is accompanied by a repaint of the screen. This is because we literally turn off the video horizontal and vertical sync signals from the Mac when you switch to the PC. When you turn off Hsync, the refresh to the VRAMs is turned off also and the frame buffer contents are destroyed. The software now re-draws the frame buffer and passes a message to all applications to re-draw their windows. Kind of a hack, but it cures the problem. (In answer to why the old 13" monitor was fine, but the newer 14" wasn't with the 1.0 software): The 14" display uses the same Trinitron tube as the 13", but different electronics. The electronics in the 14" appear less tolerant of noise on the sync lines than the 13". - Jim Stockdale (email@example.com) Sound Simple PC beeps are routed from the Houdini into the CD-in port of the Q610. For Macs without a CD-in port, there is currently no way to pipe the PC sound through the Mac. However, one way might be to pipe the PC sound in the Mic-in port and use Play-Thru or Play-On to play the Mic-in input through the Mac speaker. There is no currently no way to add a soundcard such as the Sound Blaster to the DOS card. The existence of a subset of the ISA bus provides hope that either Apple or a third party might provide soundcard support. No word on this yet. PC cards There is no facility for adding PC cards to the Houdini. Those looking for this capability must look to certain versions of OrangePC cards or a full PC system. ISA bus There is no sanctioned support for the ISA bus. However, Dan Magorian queried: There's a ribbon cable connector on Houdini, about the size of a mac floppy cable. This is obviously unused: What is it about?" - Dan Magorian (firstname.lastname@example.org) Jim Stockdale suggested: I think the connector you are speaking of has a subset of the ISA bus signals on it. It could be used for a board with a function on it such as Soundblaster. Since there is no I/O hole in the box, it really couldn't support any true I/O. A custom designed board (using standard chipsets) could be laid out to implement a function such as Soundblaster, with the audio routed to the Mac audio output, similar to what we do now with PC timer sounds. I cannot comment on when Apple or a third party will have such a card, if ever. - Jim Stockdale (email@example.com) Dan Magorian is talking about a high density, male IDC-type connector on the Houdini board. The corresponding female connector would seem to be part of a daughterboard. Judging by the available signals, this hypothetical daughterboard would be some sort of 8-bit, stereo (notice the SBOUTL and SBOUTR signals) soundcard. The Sound Blaster Pro comes to mind (hmm...). Anyway, the connector has 2x20 pins on 0.050" centers (I think that's the terminology). The signals available might be the following. (Can someone confirm?) If the following is indeed true, then the following Address, IRQ, and DMA specs would seem to be resultant. On pins 8 and 10, it would make more sense if one pin was +5V and the other -5V but they _may_ both be +5V. Someone just take a voltmeter to both pins. SBOUTL 1 o o 2 SBGNDOUT n/c = no connection SBOUTR 3 o o 4 A(9) +12V 5 o o 6 -12V addresses: 000 - 3FF SA(3) 7 o o 8 (?) +5V data: 8 bits DACK1 9 o o 10 IRQ 5 DREQ1 11 o o 12 (?) +5V available IRQ: 5 SA(7) 13 o o 14 AEN available DMA: 1 SYSRESET 15 o o 16 n/c SA(5) 17 o o 18 OSC14M (14 MHz) SA(6) 19 o o 20 n/c n/c 21 o o 22 SA(1) SA(4) 23 o o 24 SA(0) GND 25 o o 26 GND n/c 27 o o 28 n/c A(8) 29 o o 30 SA(2) XD(1) 31 o o 32 XD(0) XD(3) 33 o o 34 XD(2) XD(5) 35 o o 36 XD(4) XD(6) 37 o o 38 IOR XD(7) 39 o o 40 IOW Disclaimer: The above info is entirely "use at your own risk". - David Ramsey (firstname.lastname@example.org) o Why does Houdini come with a wimpy FPU-free 486SX and not a more beefy FPU-equipped 486DX? This is probably due to marketing surveys and price points. Perhaps Apple's marketing people decided that there would be more resistance to the DOS card if the price was $100 more. Sound support and a DX would have pushed the price of the Houdini well over $550. o Can I swap the 486SX for a 486DX? The pinouts of the SX, DX, and DX2 are different. However, it is possible to upgrade. An enterprising person with the pinouts of the various 486's and an ohmmeter can find the hooks we put on the board to make the swap. - Jim Stockdale (email@example.com) I can now report that not only does the card work well in a Quadra 800, but it works even better if you pop the 486SX/25 and replace it with a 486DX2/50!...Awfully nice of Apple to use a PGA version of the chip and socket it...it seems to work fine...got a good 40% performance boost in most CPU-bound benchmarks. DOOM is visibly faster, too. For those wanting the replace the 486SX/25 processors in their Houdini cards with DX, DX/2, or DX4 processors, here are the changes you need to make to the card (aside from just plugging the processor in). There are a few subtle pinout differences that need to be accounted for floating point error conditions and the processor NMI to work correctly. Poring over some 486 pinouts and poking around with an ohmmeter (by a friend, not me) reveals the board is configured via some zero ohm resistor shunts. The standard Houdini has a shunt installed at board location R56. If you replace the 486SX/25 with a DX/DX2/DX4 processor, this shunt should be removed, and shunts should be installed at R54, R55, and R57. You can use a small piece of wire for the shunts. I imagine this completely torches your warranty! If you're using a DX2/DX4 processor, a heat sink or processor fan is strongly advised. For the truly brave, it's noted that the board components are good for 33MHz if anyone wants to try clock chipping their card. However, there are some ROM BIOS timing routines that are dependent on the 25MHz clock so this may not work. If anyone tries this -- it should be pretty simple with a test clip -- post your results! Any of these modifications are at your own risk and have not been endorsed or condoned by Apple. - David Ramsey (firstname.lastname@example.org) o Do I have to put in those shunts for the DX? It would seem that just swapping the chips would work, _however_ the shunts are NEEDED to ensure that the FPU exceptions are handled correctly. - David Ramsey (email@example.com) o What does the chip labeled Music do? The Music part is the video DAC. It is a combined part including the CLUT/DAC and video clock synthesizer. - Jim Stockdale o What is DOOM and what does it have to do with Houdini? From the DOOM FAQ, "DOOM is a three dimensional, virtual reality type action game created by id Software. In some ways, it is similar to Wolfenstein 3-D (id Software, Apogee)." And yes it runs on Houdini. I would say that DOOM could be _the_ killer app for Houdini. Sure ports of DOOM will surface soon, but the excitement and fun of DOOM is happening NOW! Probably half the enjoyment derived from DOOM stems from the ability to make your own levels and scenarios (well ok, NetDOOM kicks ass too). This is happening right now in the DOS world! People are designing levels based on actual places. I've heard of at least one company having their own scenario -- set in their virtual workplace, with their virtual bosses as 'monsters.' (Imagine..."Now included with every Apple DOS Compatibility card, a copy of DOOM!" -- DOS cards would fly off the shelves! Big hint Apple.) o Where can I get the DOOM FAQ? You can find the DOOM FAQ at: DOOM ftp sites include: ftp.uml.edu /pub/msdos/Games/id (?) ftp.uwp.edu /pub/msdos/games/id/home-brew/doom wuarchive.wustl.edu /pub/msdos_uploads/games/doomstuff o Will there be successor to Houdini? With Apple's announcement of the halt to production it looks very uncertain. Apple should realize that Houdini will need soundcard support since it's the games (stupid!) that really sell those DOS boxes to the masses. It'll probably depend on the success or failure of this version. So spread the word on the Apple DOS compatibility card! o What the hell is Apple thinking? (Houdini vs. SoftWindows) If you analyze Apple's DOS related strategy you'll notice Apple's increasing acceptance and accommodation of the DOS world. This began with the introduction of Apple PC Exchange, Apple Laserwriters and One Scanners which support DOS use. Finally Apple has conceded the need for more than just disk exchange and multi-platform use for peripherals. Apple's attempt to address the necessity of DOS use comes currently as the SoftWindows (Apple endorsed PC emulator by Insignia) for PowerMacs and the DOS compatibility card (Houdini) for the rest. Predictably, Apple's marketing strategy has been largely defined by price points. There is SoftWindows for the "high-end" and Houdini (DOS card) for the "low-end." SoftWindows is high-end indeed. One needs a PowerMac with a _minimum_ 16mb of RAM to run SoftWindows. Those who haven't bought the PowerMac SoftWindows bundle must spend an additional $300 for RAM (or more, if you want to actually run anything) and $300 for SoftWindows itself (depending on where one shops of course). Currently, SoftWindows isn't even capable of running most Windows applications (or DOOM for that matter) since SoftWindows doesn't emulate the more useful enhanced 486 mode. There seems to be very little utility in the $600+ SoftWindows set-up. Ironically, the low-end Houdini provides much more utility than the more expensive SoftWindows set-up. Out of the box, the $399 Houdini runs on a '040 Mac requiring only a minimum 8mb RAM. You get a second processor, a real 486SX, which frees up your Mac's processor. On a PowerMac, the PowerPC processor must do everything: running Mac stuff and emulating PC stuff. This genuine 486SX also runs most DOS software. At the very least it runs more than applications than SoftWindows currently does. So what the hell is Apple thinking anyway? Well the Houdini was primarily aimed at cost-conscious buyers wavering between a PC and a Mac. The Q610 DOS compatible does both at little additional cost. The more costly SoftWindows route reflects Apple's view that those buying a PowerMac had no other computer in mind when buying. Such a user, able to afford a PowerMac, would have no qualms forking over an additional $600+ for DOS emulation. It seems Apple's reluctance to ship Houdinis for non-Q610 Macs lies more in marketing resistance than in technical hurdles. It is clear that Houdini will run other '040 Macs besides the Centris/Quadra 610. The shipping of more universal versions of Houdini would be an admission of Apple's eclipse in the personal computer market. Macs represent barely 15% of the PC market. Houdini represents a fundamental shift away from the Mac mystique towards mass-market appeal. ======================================================================== Apple, the Apple logo, Macintosh, PowerMac and Quadra are registered trademarks of Apple Computer, Inc. Intel 486 is a trademark of Intel Corp. MS-DOS is a trademark of Microsoft, Corp.