[Rpcemu] Thoughts on RPCemu development

Tom Walker tommowalker at yahoo.co.uk
Fri Aug 31 19:27:48 BST 2007


Hi

> Hi, I saw your message on the rpcemu mailing list about what to do next
> with RPCemu.  May I suggest going backwards and adding support for
> emulating an A5000-ish computer?  I know that Archimedes emulators already
> exist, including yours, but rpcemu is free software and with dynamic
> recompliation it is much faster than the alternatives.

I did put together such an emulator a while ago. It's not been released as
it's a bit unstable (only boots RISC OS about 1 in 3 times), buggy, and not
actually that fast (about 50% faster than RedSquirrel, considerably behind
VA5000/VARPC and RPCemu). It could, however (on a good day), run RISC OS 3
and a lot of applications reasonably well, assuming you didn't touch the
floppy drives or the other stuff that didn't really work. I might upload what
I got done somewhere.

The only unique feature I'm aware of, is that it could emulate a high res
mono monitor (1152x896), which I don't think any of the other emulators can
do. Not that it's that useful.

> Why would one be interested in emulating the older Archimedes?  Simply
> because Arthur and early RISC OS ROM images are available on the net and
> (it seems) tolerated by the copyright holders

RISC OS 3.1 was widely available when I first discovered Archimedes emulation
(2001), but there was a crackdown a few years ago and it's quite difficult to
find. Arthur's available, but it's totally useless and won't work on an
A5000ish anyway.

> I have one more suggestion, which may be easier to implement: get ARM Linux
> running and include a ROM image which loads it, like arcem does.  Then at
> least the emulator will do something out of the box.

Actually, this is more difficult than you might think. It's easier to start
again emulating a new machine, than tracking down obscure bugs in an existing
emulator (which is why RPCemu doesn't run ARM Linux as of yet).

Cheers,
Tom


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