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Two wishes: NeXT emulator, and OS X Server emulation
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eagle



Joined: 29 Mar 2006
Posts: 442

PostPosted: Thu May 14, 2009 2:04 pm    Post subject: Two wishes: NeXT emulator, and OS X Server emulation Reply with quote

Greetings, all.

I have two dreams:
1- a NeXT hardware emulator
2- a PPC Mac emulator capable of running OS X Server v1.2.

The reason I want the first one is to be able to run Improv, which unfortunately was never released as a fat binary - it is m68k only. Sad So, even tho I'm running OPENSTEP in VMware, I still can't run my Improv.

The reason I want the second one is because I no longer have a PPC Mac capable of running OS X Server. SheepShaver is a great emulator, but there is no support for running OS X Server v 1.x on it. Sure there's Rhapsody DR2 in VMware, but I want to be able to run Blue Box and play with all the other stuff that came in OS X Server.

Is there any hope for these two things?

Thanks, all.
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andreas_g



Joined: 30 Jan 2009
Posts: 439
Location: Austria

PostPosted: Sat May 16, 2009 11:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I can just agree! It would be great to have a NeXT hardware emulator!

A powerful and up-to-date PPC-Mac emulator would also be great!

As for the PPC-Emulation you may want to try qemu. Maybe it works, or maybe at least you find something about OS X Server emulation in the qemu-forums: http://qemu-forum.ipi.fi/

qemu is a quite powerful emulator. Maybe it is also the key to a NeXT emulator.
I don't know if it can do 68k emulation at the moment, but i am sure some developer with some free time and advanced programming skills may be able to get it working.

Sadly qemu misses a graphical user interface in Mac OS X, since development of Q.app has been stopped.
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eagle



Joined: 29 Mar 2006
Posts: 442

PostPosted: Sun May 17, 2009 6:01 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

QEMU looks promising for the PPC OS X Server solution, since there's another guy who is interested in that and is working on it.

I still hope for a NeXT emulator, but I don't ever expect to see one.
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Noth



Joined: 04 Apr 2008
Posts: 146
Location: Lausanne, Switzerland

PostPosted: Sun May 17, 2009 11:31 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'd have thought that emulating the 68k hardware should be possible, just by using code from UAE or shapeshifter (a Mac 68k emulator for Amiga) or one of the atari ST emulators. What needs writing is the roms and the display chips emulation (especially for Dimension cards). It's still a tough job if you don't own a machine or two.
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NeXT Cube 040 (NeXTSTEP 3.3), SUN SparcStation5 (NeXTSTEP 3.3), SGI Indigo2 R10000 (IRIX 6.5.22), SGI VSW320 (Windows 2000/Slakware 9.1)
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eagle



Joined: 29 Mar 2006
Posts: 442

PostPosted: Sun May 17, 2009 12:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Noth, I too have thought that the emulator shouldn't be that difficult. m68k emulators exist, and we have the ROMs. I personally own 3 NeXTs - a prototype Cube, and 2 68040-25 stations, all mono. Since my systems are all mono, as far as I'm concerned the emulation of a m68k NeXT doesn't need to be color. That also simplifies the emulator ... plus, anyone who wants to run NeXT apps in color can run in VMware, or can NXHost the app from the m68k emulated system.
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helf



Joined: 29 Dec 2005
Posts: 1097
Location: Alabama, USA

PostPosted: Sun May 17, 2009 2:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I imagine you'd probably need to emulate the DMA controllers among other things. The NeXT systems aren't just 68k machines with fancy video hardware, they have some more ICs that the OS would probably miss if not emulated Razz

I could be wrong, of course.
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eagle



Joined: 29 Mar 2006
Posts: 442

PostPosted: Sun May 17, 2009 4:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

helf, do you own the Cube in your userpic? 4x 68040 motherboards - wow.

I have 3 motherboards for my Cube - 2x 68030-25, and 1x 68040-25. My stations are both mono 68040-25 units.
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helf



Joined: 29 Dec 2005
Posts: 1097
Location: Alabama, USA

PostPosted: Sun May 17, 2009 4:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I did. Sold it to a forum member a few years ago.
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eagle



Joined: 29 Mar 2006
Posts: 442

PostPosted: Tue May 19, 2009 10:02 am    Post subject: Another idea Reply with quote

Regarding running m68k NeXT apps, another idea came to me that might be a potential solution for this.

What about something that is simply a CPU emulator, something that runs on the Intel version of NeXTSTEP or OPENSTEP, and emulates the m68k CPU, passing the API calls to the Intel OS? I'm envisioning something similar to what Apple did in System 7 during the m68k-to-PPC transition. Now, the Apple solution was automatic, but I wouldn't mind having to run some sort of wrapper application.

I mean, the whole purpose is to be able to run m68k NeXT applications. Since we have an x86 version of the OS, perhaps the solution for running the m68k apps could be an application that runs on the x86 version of the OS.

Again, I don't know if what I'm suggesting is reasonable, but it might be easier than trying to emulate the entire hardware platform.

Thoughts?
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andreas_g



Joined: 30 Jan 2009
Posts: 439
Location: Austria

PostPosted: Mon May 25, 2009 10:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

it sounds quite interessting. as i am no developer, i can't tell if this is easier or harder than doing a complete system emulator.

the benefit would be, that you could run your 68k nextstep apps on every platform where you can run the intel version of nextstep (native or emulated). so no porting of the emulator has to be done.

but the more elegant way would be a complete next hardware emulator. so you could also run your older versions of nextstep from 0.9 through 3.0.

i also don't know, if there may be some compatibility issues, when older 68k apps try to pass theire API calls to nextstep 3.3 intel.
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gilles



Joined: 03 Sep 2009
Posts: 117

PostPosted: Fri Sep 04, 2009 8:50 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hello,
Writing an hardware emulator for next 68k machines is one of my projects, for now I did not start, just seek enough information to begin...

It's not my first emulator, I did some work on lisa:

http://idle-lisa-emu.sourceforge.net/

http://www.alternative-system.com/emulation-lisa.htm (in french)

The first elements I need are:
_ an early version of a system knowed to work (faster and smaller early versions are better at this stage).
_ a rom version that works with the system.
_ some elements of memory mapping, hardware (may find this infos in netBSD sources).
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un



Joined: 12 Feb 2008
Posts: 93
Location: San Diego, CA

PostPosted: Fri Sep 04, 2009 1:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

You would have an endian-ness issue with passing 68k datastructs from the emulated program to an intel host wouldn't you?
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andreas_g



Joined: 30 Jan 2009
Posts: 439
Location: Austria

PostPosted: Sun Sep 06, 2009 12:06 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

@gilles

i think there are some people in the forums, that can provide you with early versions of nextstep. i may find a dump-image of an early version of nextstep too.

you can find rom-files here: http://www.nextcomputers.org/NeXTfiles/Software/ROM_Files/

please keep us up to date about your progress!

good to know, that someone is working on it!
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Andreas



Joined: 27 Dec 2005
Posts: 355
Location: Germany

PostPosted: Mon Sep 07, 2009 5:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I good starting point could also be hatari
http://hatari.berlios.de/news.shtml

since it seems to be emulate also the DSP chip.
"This version brings you a basically working DSP 56k emulation which is required for many Falcon games and demos."
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gilles



Joined: 03 Sep 2009
Posts: 117

PostPosted: Mon Sep 07, 2009 6:19 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

First I will unassemble the rom and read specific parts of netBSD, I'll choose the 68k emulation core after some tests...
Other options are mac emulators and amiga emulators, also... the old musashi core (used in Mame (and in my Lisa emulator)) is probably the better choice to start with...
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