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What Needs to be done for a NeXT Emulator
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zombie



Joined: 12 Jun 2016
Posts: 17

PostPosted: Sun Oct 28, 2018 4:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

andreas_g wrote:
Hello all,

I have some time for programming these days. Are there any feature requests or issues that need to be fixed in a future release of Previous?

Regards,
Andreas


A super useful feature would be to set up a "shared folder" feature. I see for printer options you can send print jobs to a specified folder directory. What would be great would be to be able to specify a shared folder were the NeXT machine would read it like a folder or a separate drive, and it would just be a folder on the Mac/Host machine.

It would make moving files back and forth a lot easier without having to resorting to using NFS.
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andreas_g



Joined: 30 Jan 2009
Posts: 446
Location: Austria

PostPosted: Mon Oct 29, 2018 5:43 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

zombie wrote:
It would be great to make the loading of roms and disks work more like native apple file system. It's a bit painful to set those paths.

Implementing native GUI elements is not among my goals. But if someone wants to do it, that would be great.

zombie wrote:
Also, it would be great to have a "turbo boost" feature where we could say add a CPU multiplier. To run at say 10X (or a slider that lets us set the multiplier) the 33MHz clock rate. A bit like the Pyro chip. Since modern CPUs could run things a LOT faster, if we could tap into that, it would be fun (to see how fast Mandlebrot runs). And maybe a MAX TURBO setting that would run the emulator as fast as possible on the host machine.

Something similar is already implemented. In advanced system preferences just choose "variable" for CPU clock. Then all user mode code will be executed with maximum speed, while all supervisor code will be executed at normal speed. This has two effects: On one hand all user applications are accelerated quite a lot using all available CPU power and on the other hand all supervisor code will be executed at normal speed using only as much power as is necessary (for example while being idle). I think this gives a good balance on speed vs. efficiency.

zombie wrote:
A super useful feature would be to set up a "shared folder" feature. I see for printer options you can send print jobs to a specified folder directory. What would be great would be to be able to specify a shared folder were the NeXT machine would read it like a folder or a separate drive, and it would just be a folder on the Mac/Host machine.

It would make moving files back and forth a lot easier without having to resorting to using NFS.

I agree that this would be a very useful feature. Simon started some time ago with something like that. It would require some kind of "file system translator" mapping files and directories from the host file system to NeXTstep's UFS. That is no trivial task. It would require to reverse engineer the file system and stuff like disk labels and partition tables.
Just thinking about it: Maybe best would be to create a new category for SCSI devices like "virtual disk" where you can select the folder that should be mapped.
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zombie



Joined: 12 Jun 2016
Posts: 17

PostPosted: Tue Oct 30, 2018 10:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

andreas_g wrote:
zombie wrote:
It would be great to make the loading of roms and disks work more like native apple file system. It's a bit painful to set those paths.

Implementing native GUI elements is not among my goals. But if someone wants to do it, that would be great.

zombie wrote:
Also, it would be great to have a "turbo boost" feature where we could say add a CPU multiplier. To run at say 10X (or a slider that lets us set the multiplier) the 33MHz clock rate. A bit like the Pyro chip. Since modern CPUs could run things a LOT faster, if we could tap into that, it would be fun (to see how fast Mandlebrot runs). And maybe a MAX TURBO setting that would run the emulator as fast as possible on the host machine.

Something similar is already implemented. In advanced system preferences just choose "variable" for CPU clock. Then all user mode code will be executed with maximum speed, while all supervisor code will be executed at normal speed. This has two effects: On one hand all user applications are accelerated quite a lot using all available CPU power and on the other hand all supervisor code will be executed at normal speed using only as much power as is necessary (for example while being idle). I think this gives a good balance on speed vs. efficiency.

zombie wrote:
A super useful feature would be to set up a "shared folder" feature. I see for printer options you can send print jobs to a specified folder directory. What would be great would be to be able to specify a shared folder were the NeXT machine would read it like a folder or a separate drive, and it would just be a folder on the Mac/Host machine.

It would make moving files back and forth a lot easier without having to resorting to using NFS.

I agree that this would be a very useful feature. Simon started some time ago with something like that. It would require some kind of "file system translator" mapping files and directories from the host file system to NeXTstep's UFS. That is no trivial task. It would require to reverse engineer the file system and stuff like disk labels and partition tables.
Just thinking about it: Maybe best would be to create a new category for SCSI devices like "virtual disk" where you can select the folder that should be mapped.


Thanks. Iíve been trying out the variable speed. Below I see it gets to about 48mhz effective speed but not more on my MacBook Pro. I guess thatís about as fast as it will go? I will try on my Mac Pro later to see if it can do better. It runs so solid I guess I was under the impression we might be able to see a 10x speed up of like 300MHz effective or so..

The folder sharing would be huge and I have little doubt itís easier said/asked than done! Very Happy

Maybe something like FUSE would help? https://osxfuse.github.io
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eagle



Joined: 29 Mar 2006
Posts: 456

PostPosted: Wed Oct 31, 2018 5:01 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

For file sharing, what about something like what other VM environments do? VMware and VirtualBox create what looks to the guest like a native remote mount; in our case, we would use NFS to the client. If Previous could take a Mac directory and present it as an NFS share to the VM, that would be awesome.
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andreas_g



Joined: 30 Jan 2009
Posts: 446
Location: Austria

PostPosted: Wed Oct 31, 2018 5:37 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

eagle wrote:
For file sharing, what about something like what other VM environments do? VMware and VirtualBox create what looks to the guest like a native remote mount; in our case, we would use NFS to the client. If Previous could take a Mac directory and present it as an NFS share to the VM, that would be awesome.

That is one possibility of file sharing. But then the user still needs to set up NFS on NeXTstep. Therefore the benefits over just setting up an NFS share are not that big. The option with the disk is probably more user friendly.
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nuss



Joined: 27 Apr 2006
Posts: 42
Location: Germany

PostPosted: Wed Nov 07, 2018 10:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

andreas_g wrote:
Hello all,

I have some time for programming these days. Are there any feature requests or issues that need to be fixed in a future release of Previous?

Regards,
Andreas


Hi Andreas,

would it be possible, to provide a screen capturing feature for video recording?

Cheers
Nuss
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