- Got a Rocket? Join Rocketeer, our email list for Radius Rocket users.
The Radius Rocket was more than just another Macintosh accelerator* - it was essentially a separate 68040-based Mac on a NuBus card. With RocketShare, it was possible to put multiple Rockets in a Macintosh, each running its own copy of the Mac OS and handling its own set of tasks - or sharing a distributed workload.
- * In fact, the Stage II Rocket won't even work as an accelerator. It requires RocketShare.
The Rocket was designed in such a way that the processor on the Mac's motherboard remained partially active, handling basic I/O functions. Radius has now announced Saturn V, a System 7 software extension for the Quadras that lets the processor on the motherboard remain completely active when a Rocket is installed.
Once a Saturn V-equipped Quadra has been launched, a Saturn V icon appears on the desktop. Double-clicking on the icon open a resizable windows with a complete desktop, including a menu bar and Trash. The mounted volumes on the host Quadra appear as AppleShare volumes in the Saturn V window.
Because the two 68040 processors - the one in the Rocket and the one in the Quadra - are both available for use, you can work in a foreground/background mode. So, for example, you can launch a complex 3-D rendering in the background on the Rocket while you continue to work with a spreadsheet or word-processing program on the Quadra. And because System 7's IAC capabilities permit applications to support distributed processing, a Saturn V-equipped Quadra will be able to take advantage of applications that support distributed processing. It will be able to share a single task between the two processors, in effect cutting the processing time in half by applying twice the computing power to the job.
Radius expects to ship the Saturn V software in the first quarter of 1992.
Software for the Radius Rocket is no longer available at radiusvintage.com.
- Radius Rocket 25i, 25 MHz 68LC040, part number unknown
- Radius Rocket 25, 25 MHz 68040, part number 0244
- Radius Rocket 33, 33 MHz 68040, part number 0330
- Radius Stage II Rocket, 40 MHz 68040, part number 0467
- requires Mac with full sized NuBus slot and System 7.0.1 to 7.1 (System 7.5 compatible only with Rocketshare)
- CPU: 25 MHz 68LC040; 25, 33, or 40 MHz 68040
- bus: 10 MHz (standard NuBus speed)
- RAM: 8-128 MB using 100ns or faster (80ns preferred) 30 pin SIMMs in two banks of four; supports 1 MB, 4 MB, and 16 MB SIMMs; 16 MB SIMMs must support fast page mode; Radius recommends against using composite SIMMs; Stage II supports 60, 70, 80, and 100ns memory
- if you have a video card which is not Quadra compatible, you may need to upgrade video drivers, ROMs on the video card, or replace the card
- last version of Rocketware is 1.5; last version of Rocketshare is 1.3.1
- Sound Manager 2.0 strongly recommended by users
- Radius Rocket: Far more than a Mac accelerator, Tyler Sable, Classic Restorations, 2005.12.13. The unique Radius Rocket has amazing capabilities but challenges the user to take full advantage of them. Here are three modern options.
- Radius Rocket review, reproduced from MacUser, October 1991.
- Rocket Technical Overview, Joaquin Menchaca, DarkNerd
- The unofficial authoritative Radius Rocket FAQ, the pickle and b.b.
- Rocketeer, an email list for Radius Rocket users.
- Rocket Science 101, b.b., My Turn, 2000.10.30. Hands on tests with one or two Rockets in various Macs and Power Macs.
- Rocket Review by David Emmons
- Radius Rocket in Mac II, HyperArchive, 1992.02.11. Some very helpful info on the Rocket (does not cover Stage II)
- SCSI 2 daughter card, part number 0368
- SCSI 2 daughter card for Stage II Rocket, part number 0434
- PhotoBooster, Photoshop DSP daughter card, part number 0396
- Rocketshare software
Low End Mac Reader Specials
Cult of Mac
Shrine of Apple
The Mac Observer
Accelerate Your Mac
The Vintage Mac Museum
Mac Driver Museum
System 6 Heaven
System 7 Today
the pickle's Low-End Mac FAQ