What it says. When Apple introduced the original 68k AV models, they must have had some kind of MPW tool or something for targeting the new DSPs. What was it, and how was it distributed? Even though the Power Macs upstaged the Quadras a few months later, there must have been a brief window where SOMETHING in that vein was made available.
Should I ever successfully acquire, for my Q840AV, a set of those vintage Apple speakers everyone agrees were top notch (“AppleDesign Powered Speakers,” if memory serves), I want to be able to listen to my music collection on them. Using modern codecs in realtime is probably out of reach, but it should be attainable to do basic MP3 decoding with the DSP… but first I need to be able to compile for the wretched thing.
I've been after this for a while too, but haven't found much. Apple distributed ARTA, Apple Real-Time Architecture, which included an assembler for the 3210. All programming for it was done in assembly, there was not C compiler AFAIK. The code was put into resources on the Mac OS side. I have seen references that the assembler was from AT&T, but licensed Mac OS bits from one of the Nubus DSP card makers, like Spectral Innovations or Storm or something like that.
That's about all I've figured out, I haven't seen how the 3210's resource actually gets loaded, executed, and then data transferred in and out of it.
I agree. I've put some effort into finding that ARTA kit a while back, and wasn't able to find anything. Even the SDKs for any of the other Nubus DSP cards should be close enough, but I haven't found them either.
If you figure something out, let me know I'm interested in shooting code over to the DSP too.
Well, if I didn’t have a list of about 30 projects I’m already failing to make headway on, I would ‘simply’ (yeah, I know) disassemble the relevant parts of the AV system software to figure out how the DSP work packets get handled. Combining that with any kind of data sheets that can be scrounged up for the 3210 should, in theory, allow a usable tool to be cobbled together.
Does anyone know if there’s a GCC build or something targeting that model of DSP? Even a really out of date one would be a helpful starting point.
Not likely. That's a chip that's designed to be programmed in assembly. Compiler technology in 1993 wouldn't have produced efficient code for it; compiler technology now doesn't even produce great code for DSPs (though TI's compilers do OK if you use the special structures they like to infer the parallelism).
There are some 3210 datasheets and programming manuals floating around out there; it was a somewhat popular chip in its time, though it was pretty well eclipsed by Motorola's 56000 series in the end. If you can't find any, let me know, I think I might have saved the ones I found somewhere.
Steve Jasik's MacNosy and Debugger are also excellent tools. Steve still sells copies (only $99 for the whole package, honor system!), so I'd highly recommend purchasing his system if you're interested in reverse engineering Mac stuff, especially 68k.