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PPC Emulators To Debut at MacWorld Tokyo

pudge posted more than 12 years ago | from the apple-is-dead-the-pc-has-won dept.

Technology (Apple) 47

jx100 writes: "I've been following the Mac emulation community for awhile, and, apparently, Mac PPC emulators are about to be unveiled for the PC. Emaculation.com says that Microcode Solutions and Emulators Inc. are planning on showing their emulators at MacWorld Tokyo 2002."

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Emulation (-1)

I Think You'll Find (558731) | more than 12 years ago | (#3061717)

i think you'll find that emulation tends to be slower than native execution.

Re:Emulation (-1, Flamebait)

King of the World (212739) | more than 12 years ago | (#3061751)

Depends on the emulation machine's specs. On PC hardware that's three times faster than the best Mac?

The PC would wipe the floor with their PPC bollocks.

Re:Emulation (-1)

dadaist (544022) | more than 12 years ago | (#3061815)

Yeah, that was a flame. Get over it, loser moderators. You just can't take the truth.

'Meta' undo.

Re:Emulation (0)

Gropo (445879) | more than 12 years ago | (#3065093)

Just curious, where are you going find an x86 processor that runs at 5.4 Ghz (considering that a 1Ghz G4 Apollo is the equivalent of an "AMD rating" of 1800MP)...

I suppose you could try and OC a Pentium 4, but you'll find that the core wasn't designed to handle the aggregation that would occur, and thus you'd hit a performance wall most likely at around 3.8Ghz... Read the sig and bow to the wisdom, your "highness"

Re:Emulation (0)

King of the World (212739) | more than 12 years ago | (#3068553)

Sorry, I am a tad out of touch with the latest mac offerings. You passed 700Mhz? Good boy... yes, that's a good boy. Yes you are... you're a good boy, yes you are... who deserves a bicky, who deserves a bicky... good boy.

My desktop is 1.4GHZ and that was bought about six months ago. I can get a 2GHZ now. A 1GHZ Mac now isn't worth an Athlon 1.8XP.

Smart and slow doesn't win the race. Stupid and fast does. Take this from nVidia vs Kyro back through history. I was exagerating. A PC is only twice as fast at the same priced Mac.

Re:Emulation (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3075273)

My server is 1.4GHz and I built it a month ago for under $400. I'm completely familiar with the cost advantage of PCs, but I still buy Macs. Why? Because it's not just hardware speed (which is still faster in many apps, photoshop comes to mind), but productivity that matters.

Re:Emulation (0)

Gropo (445879) | more than 12 years ago | (#3076540)

Smart and slow doesn't win the race. Stupid and fast does.
Well... I guess somebody wasn't paying attention to his Grimm fairy tales way back when. Why am I not surprised when gaining this particular little insight in to your childhood history?

What's more perplexing is the origin of your motivation to resort to puerile tactics such as equating a Mac user to a domesticated dog. I rarely find any PowerPC users that choose such a route of argumentation. Oh well, "ingoramus et ignorabimus" my naieve freind :)

Re:Emulation (0)

King of the World (212739) | more than 12 years ago | (#3080107)

Grimm was a fool!

Re:Emulation (0)

Gropo (445879) | more than 12 years ago | (#3080978)

*ahem*

Grimm *were fools*... 2 of them... brothers... nevermind.

Re:Emulation (0)

King of the World (212739) | more than 12 years ago | (#3086140)

Excellent. I got a bite.

Why so long? (1)

quinto2000 (211211) | more than 12 years ago | (#3061739)

Why haven't we seen any PPC emulation before this? I know that Apple uses the ROM so that it wouldn't be a threat to them. I particularly wonder why there has been no open source implementation of PPC, particularly as IBM is both a supporter of OS and creater of the PPC architecture. Unless the speed just hasn't been there, but it seem like it should be easier to emulate a RISC architecture with a CISC instruction set than the reverse. And Softwindows and the like for Mac OS have been around for ages.

Re:Why so long? (-1)

dadaist (544022) | more than 12 years ago | (#3061802)

Because Apple sucks.

Re:Why so long? (1)

haunebu (16326) | more than 12 years ago | (#3062114)

Actually, you're off on two counts. [slashdot.org] There are both open PPC implementations sold by third parties (reference designs were created by IBM/Motorola), and Apple's reliance on their toolbox ROM isn't an issue with NewWorld Macs.

I'm sure the issues surrounding Open Firmware et al will keep Mac OS X confined to native Mac hardware until Apple decides otherwise.

Re:Why so long? (1)

quinto2000 (211211) | more than 12 years ago | (#3063066)

I didn't mean to imply that only IBM was part of the PPC group. I realize that several parties were involved, which makes sense with something proposed as a new standard :)

The information about roms is new to me, however. As far as I knew all version of Mac OS had a special rom file, without which the OS would not run. I guess that has changed. What are the issues with open firmware? I hadn't heard about any particular issues. I thought the great thing about "open firmware" was that it ran on so many different hardware platforms. Sun uses it in their Sparcs, for instance, IIRC.

Re:Why so long? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3069288)

Actually, as far as I know you were correct about the ROM issue.

Although the other poster did have a point. The original iMac and all systems after it used the "new world ROM" which was different from the former "Mac ToolBox ROM". This is also part of the reason why the old Macs used slightly less RAM to run the OS (much of it was ROM). Now, however, we use BootROM and OpenFirmware. As you mentioned, Sun does use OpenFirmware in their Sparc systems (and what they have done with that is really quite amazing). However, the issue here is the BootROM. As many people probably know, this was the reason why you had to send back your daughtercard to the upgrade manufacturer when you bought an iMac CPU upgrade. This was because they needed to harvest the BootROM to graft it onto new upgrade cards. I am not sure, though, if this is relevant to the emulator since I am not sure what, specifically, uses it.

Just thought I would mention what I knew.

Jeff.

Re:Why so long? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3064305)

"but it seem like it should be easier to emulate a RISC architecture with a CISC instruction set than the reverse."

I don't quite see this. Emulating CISC on RISC should be comparatively easy, since you could just translate every CISC instruction into a specific group of RISC instructions. Going the other way around seems way more difficult, since there are many different groups of RISC ops that are functionally equivalent to one specific CISC op, so you'd have a hard time correctly identifying such groups in a program. Worse, there might be RISC ops in a program that just don't happen to be grouped in a form that translates into a specific CISC op at all, so you'd have to translate each one of them into a (unnecessarily complex and slow) CISC operation indiviually (-> overhead). Also, whereas emulating the limited x86 register set on the PPC should be pretty straightforward (with the possible exception of the FPU register stack), emulating the PPC's 32 GP registers on a processor that only has 8 of them is probably significantly more difficult.

interesting quote. (2, Interesting)

quinto2000 (211211) | more than 12 years ago | (#3061817)

"Just because things have been practically dead for us for over a year doesn't mean Mac emulation's days are over ..."

Your scope. So limited. Over a year? Heh.

We've had 040 since 1994 or so.

What's really happened since the first releases of Fusion, Executor and BasiliskII?

I'll tell you what. Color graphics. That's it. That's the big thing. Thats the only 'milestone' that's happened since this whole 68k mac emulation thing began. Oh okay and the ability to run a shitty 040 at the equivalent of a 68040-9000mhz. Whoop-dee-fucking-doo.

Up to now, what we've had has been a few useless toys that let us run Claris Works, Photoshop 3.0 and Escape Velocity. (Note to all of you guys out there who have a sincere need to keep running your 68k apps: you don't count. At all. I don't care what your excuse is. MOVE ON.)

Do you guys REALLY think that it's all going to come together one month from now?

Again, my point is, people who just discovered this scene a year or so ago don't realize how long it's REALLY been.

I mean. If you get on the train right before the last stop, you wonder what all the passengers who have been on there for 3000 miles are complaining about!

I'm not believing a goddamn thing until I see it running on my system.

Has any other respectable site besides Emaculation uttered a word about this? If this was really going to happen, Apple would be on Drew faster than Sony on Bleem.

Until I see it running - I'll have to conur with Duckie... "yawn".

From what Jim Drew has said, this isn't just about Macintosh emulation on a PC. His PPC product, whatever it may be, seems to have a much broader scope than that.

Y'all can start a countdown if you want, but I wouldn't be wetting my pants just yet.

OK I get the point. (1)

systemaster (174904) | more than 12 years ago | (#3062622)

I understand he wants to make a point but;

YOU

DONT

NEED

TO

USE

SO

MANY

LINES.

And take up an entire page on my screen, its called a paragraph, learn to use them!!! And if I was alowed to moderate this collum I'd find something to mark you down for. I used caps for effect, I know quinto didn't.

This sig is a virus, take it and use it.

Re:OK I get the point. (2)

Lars T. (470328) | more than 12 years ago | (#3063846)

If anything, he used too many paragraphs.

Re:OK I get the point. (1)

coolgeek (140561) | more than 12 years ago | (#3069368)

Hmmm...Maybe both. Using too many lines leads to using too many paragraphs. ;-)

Re:interesting quote. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3062992)

68040-9000mhz

I'm sure a 68040 at 9GHz would probably kick some serious boo-tay, actually.

~~~

Re:interesting quote. (1)

Toraz Chryx (467835) | more than 12 years ago | (#3063121)

actually, he was exaggerating quite a bit...

according to diagnostic software in WinUAE (amiga emulator, uses the same 68k JIT core as Basilisk II), this 1.47Ghz athlon performs like a 600Mhz 68040.

That's pretty speedy really :)

Re:interesting quote. (2)

Perdo (151843) | more than 12 years ago | (#3063721)

It's fast as the current G3. Measure how fast a G3 will emulate x86 and we might be able to get some comparison benchmarks out. Trying several processors on each side of the house would would help isolate emulator overhead.

Re:interesting quote. (2)

Lars T. (470328) | more than 12 years ago | (#3063866)

Huh? What is "fast as the current G3"? An Athlon with 1.47 GHz, said Athlon at emulating an 68040 or an 600 MHz 68040?

Re:interesting quote. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3064307)

600MHz is as "fast as a current G3".

Re:interesting quote. (2)

Lars T. (470328) | more than 12 years ago | (#3064470)

Well, the old iMac already was at 700MHz. I will not even get into the fact that a 600 MHz 68040 would not be as fast as a 600 MHz G3.

Re:interesting quote. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3069570)

True, but nevertheless Apple's *current* models only feature G3s up to 600MHz (note that there are only G3s in the iBook right now).

Sad that ARDI seems out of the course. (1)

Madjeurtam (101190) | more than 12 years ago | (#3061873)

Old timers can remember about Executor, made by a little New-Mexican company named ARDI [ardi.com] .

It featured a quick 68k emulator, and it was the only 'legal' Mac emulator available on PC: they did re-write most of Apple's code (the ROM and the OS itself), allowing them not only to be free from Apple's code but to make it really fast too, by having rewritten the system calls in native x86 code.

I'd sure love to see this little company putting together a G3/G4 emulator. Wishful thinking, I know.

Anyway, if an iMac emulator appears, I hope those cheap multi-gigahertz AMD boxes will be able to emulate a little G3 on inexpensive hardware: finally all those x86 OS X curious, not wanting to buy a Mac because of its price will have a way to play with OS X... And to upgrade with the real thing!

Re:Sad that ARDI seems out of the course. (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3065002)

I don't trust anything made by Mexicans. New or old.

This is old news...sorry (1)

systemaster (174904) | more than 12 years ago | (#3062000)

No I'm not trolling, I've been to Emulators online web site before. I think it was a year ago, or darn close to a year ago. They've been saying they are close to a g3/g4 emulator for that long, about a year. As far as I can tell this is vaporware. I just gave up waiting for the emulator and got a G3 to play with OS X. As much as I would like this to be real, cuz I'd rather just emulate the G3/G4. I agree with the other post, I won't belive it untill I or someone trustable, sees it in person.
This sig is a virus, take it and use it.

Not PPC Emulation, but very cool... (3, Interesting)

Snowfox (34467) | more than 12 years ago | (#3062044)

This isn't PPC emulation, but it is PPC Mac emulation:

For Amiga users with a PPC accelerator card, there's a product called iFusion [blittersoft.com] , which lets an Amiga emulate an iMac. It's reputed to work with most software, and to work more quickly than a Mac with the equivalent processor, just as AMax did with an Amiga emulating a 680x0 Mac in the late 80s.

If you ever doubted the creative insanity of the Amiga community, let this put an end end your nonbelief.

Think different? Think melting watches in half a man's derby hat on a fish.

Re:Not PPC Emulation, but very cool... (1)

haunebu (16326) | more than 12 years ago | (#3062073)

There are G3 upgrades for Amiga users?!? I mean, if they can emulate a G3 iMac running faster than 233Mhz then, wow, I had no idea!

Really?!?

Re:Not PPC Emulation, but very cool... (1)

megauni (559717) | more than 12 years ago | (#3062495)

I cant believe the excitement this has genereated!

Re:Not PPC Emulation, but very cool... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3067897)

It's reputed to work with most software, and to work more quickly than a Mac with the equivalent processor

Great. I'll just bookmark that link for the next time I want to emulate a Mac with a 200MHz 604 processor.

The world may have become a better place if the Amiga had thrived, who knows. But some people just have to get some grief therapy or something and move on.

Apple's reaction? (2, Insightful)

sammy.lost-angel.com (316593) | more than 12 years ago | (#3062237)

I could see it going two ways. One, very opposed to it, cease and disist orders all over the place.

Or, more likely, they will be completely silent about it. This would make sense from their point of view, suddenly people could start trying out OS X on their PC's. It won't be full speed or offer all the solutions that it will on a mac, but it will give people a really good "preview" of what they might be missing.

Jesus Christ! (1)

Qwaniton (166432) | more than 12 years ago | (#3062544)

You mean E-Maculation makes PPC emulators now? Jesus W. Christ! I thought all E-Maculation did was make fun of Emulators, Inc. [emulators.com] 's Darek Mihocka, who claims that he's going to debut a PPC emulator at MacWorld. Hath Hell freez-ed over?

I brainfucked myself....moderate this one down (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3063151)

Oops, I don't know where that comment came from. Please moderate it down.

Free extras! (0, Troll)

Steve Cowan (525271) | more than 12 years ago | (#3062917)

I've also heard it rumoured that every PPC Emulator will be packaged with translucent plastic panels, glue-on faux-firewire ports (whoever really uses them anyway), and luxo-style monitor swing arms. But the most important part (and this was supposed to be a surprise left until the trade show) is a special TSR that automatically locks up your system before you ever have to look at another blue screen of death. Yessss! Now that's progress!

Re:Free extras! (1)

paradesign (561561) | more than 12 years ago | (#3063799)

"whoever really uses them anyway"

my ipod is plugged into one as i type this, not to mention my cd toaster.

btw hearing the mac start up bell on a pc would make me sick, more sick that hearing w*ndows chimes on vpc.

Re:Free extras! (1)

Steve Cowan (525271) | more than 12 years ago | (#3065581)

Hmmmm I was just being silly, but on re-reading my post I can see why it was modded down... I use FireWire every day on each of my 3 Macs - usually in the much understated 'Target Disk Mode', occasionally for video, and I *wish* I had an iPod.

Office 2001 on linux (2)

Perdo (151843) | more than 12 years ago | (#3063745)

Really, what platform are these emulators being written for? Do they call x86 functions directly and reveal ppc instructions to the mac os or do they call direct x and windows apis and expose PPC to mac OS. Or,(pant-pant)does this run on linux/FreeBSD/*nix on x86? How hard to port OS X directly instead of emulating PPC?

Apple Laptop Keyboards Unacceptable to Unix Users (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3063927)

Apple Laptop Keyboards are Unacceptable to Unix Users

Apple designs horrible keyboards. ADB keyboards (which are still used on all of Apple's laptops) are unusable to unix users who need a Ctrl key to the left of the 'A'.

Proper Keyboard Design

  • When a key is pressed, the keyboard sends a keyPress event.
  • When a key is released, the keyboard sends a keyRelease event.
  • Each key is assigned a different keycode.
Nothing more, nothing less.

ADB Keyboard Mis-design

  • When the key to the left of the 'A' (CapsLock) is pressed, the ADB keyboard sends both a keyPress event and a keyRelease event.
  • When the CapsLock key is then released, the ADB keyboard sends NO events.
  • When the CapsLock key is next pressed, the ADB keyboard sends NO events.
  • When the CapsLock key is then released, the ADB keyboard sends both a keyPress event and a keyRelease event.
  • The above cycle repeats over and over.
This is WRONG ! Apple's ADB keyboards are broken by design.

Unix Users Cannot Use Apple's ADB Keyboards

What this means is that unix users who need the key to the left of the 'A' to be a Ctrl key cannot use Apple ADB keyboards. You can easily reprogram the CapsLock key to be a Ctrl key and get rid of the badness of the CapsLock key, but you can't get the required goodness of the Ctrl key to the left of the 'A'.

Apple Loses Sales to Unix Users

All Apple laptops have the horrible broken-by-design ADB keyboards which are unusable to unix users. I want to buy an Apple laptop, but I cannot and will not until Apple builds input devices usable by unix users.

Re:Apple Laptop Keyboards Unacceptable to Unix Use (1)

Paradise Pete (33184) | more than 12 years ago | (#3065102)

ADB keyboards (which are still used on all of Apple's laptops) are unusable to unix users who need a Ctrl key to the left of the 'A'.


You misspelled "want." Or do you mean to imply that Unix detects the keyboard layout and refuses to function if the control key is not in its place?

Old dogs... (2)

LenE (29922) | more than 12 years ago | (#3069027)

should learn new tricks. Especially AC dumbastic trolls.

Why do you need the Control key placed there? PC's have the Control key in the exact same place as where Apple put it, because it makes it so much easier to press Alt-Ctrl-Del when it is where it is at.

Most modern UNIX systems have devalued the Control key anyway. Sun uses Apple's Command Key shortcuts while SGI and HP use stupid Windows ones with the same lower-left Control Key placement.

I bet if you just gave it half of the effort that you put in to that last post, you could get used to the Control key being where it is now. Better yet, you could map another really illogical spiffy key like F7 to be the Control key.

By the way, I learned UNIX by using my old Apple //c to connect to my University's mainframe. It had the Control key where the Caps Lock key now sits. Blame the PC for the current location and get a USB keyboard with the control key where you want it.

-- Len

Apple Laptop Keyboards Unacceptable to Unix Users (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3063938)

Apple Laptop Keyboards are Unacceptable to Unix Users

Apple designs horrible keyboards. ADB keyboards (which are still used on all of Apple's laptops) are unusable to unix users who need a Ctrl key to the left of the 'A'.

Proper Keyboard Design

  • When a key is pressed, the keyboard sends a keyPress event.
  • When a key is released, the keyboard sends a keyRelease event.
  • Each key is assigned a different keycode.
Nothing more, nothing less.

ADB Keyboard Mis-design

  • When the key to the left of the 'A' (CapsLock) is pressed, the ADB keyboard sends both a keyPress event and a keyRelease event.
  • When the CapsLock key is then released, the ADB keyboard sends NO events.
  • When the CapsLock key is next pressed, the ADB keyboard sends NO events.
  • When the CapsLock key is then released, the ADB keyboard sends both a keyPress event and a keyRelease event.
  • The above cycle repeats over and over.
This is WRONG ! Apple's ADB keyboards are broken by design.

Unix Users Cannot Use Apple's ADB Keyboards

What this means is that unix users who need the key to the left of the 'A' to be a Ctrl key cannot use Apple ADB keyboards. You can easily reprogram the CapsLock key to be a Ctrl key and get rid of the badness of the CapsLock key, but you can't get the required goodness of the Ctrl key to the left of the 'A'. Early Apple USB Keyboards Can't Tell Right from Left.

Apple USB keyboards do not have the CapsLock<->Ctrl problem, but some have another minor problem.

Early Apple USB keyboards (without the full-sized cursor keypad) did not distinguish between the left and right sides of the keyboard; the Shift key on the right side of the keyboard reported LeftShift events just like the Shift key on the left side of the keyboard. In other words, the duplicated keys (like Shift, CapsLock, Ctrl, and Command) on the right side of the keyboard had the same keycodes as the keys on the left side of the keyboard. -->

Apple Loses Sales to Unix Users

All Apple laptops have the horrible broken-by-design ADB keyboards which are unusable to unix users. I want to buy an Apple laptop, but I cannot and will not until Apple builds input devices usable by unix users.

Why not to emulate PPC on x86 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3065432)

Why not? Well, because of the biggest difference in the two processor types. The PPC uses Little Endian encoding. Basically, every binary number is flipped. A PPC processor interperets "10000000" as "1" whereas an intel based processor sees "128" in decimal. That process requires a lot of processor overhead. It's not enough to stifle emulation of low-end Little Endian systems, like the original 68k Macs or even a Sega Genesis. The real problem is that the OS and applications of modern PPC systems are far more complicated. There would be so much binary conversion going on that no CPU time would be left for running the applications!

Bzzzzzzzt! Wrong, try again... (2)

LenE (29922) | more than 12 years ago | (#3068990)

The other way around.

I'm only responding to this AC, because he/she is SO wrong, that I would hope that their thought processes won't poison too many people.

PPC is Big Endian (the right way!) in it's Mac application, while x86 and other intel crap is little endian. There is no overhead in processing one way or the other, although the PPC is much more adept at handling endian issues than the antiquated x86.

From the beginning, the PPC architecture has featured bi-endian ability. Natively, it is Big Endian, like all real processors, favoring the Most Significant Bit (MSB) at the lowest adressed data line. Unlike almost all other processors though, the PPC can switch to Little Endian mode favoring the Least Significant Bit (LSB) at the lowest addressed data line. Big Endian is how we (westen culture humans) read binary numbers, while Little Endian is the other way arround.

The endian issue is only an issue when dealing with things like memory space and floating point numbers. Important problems, no doubt, but not so large that it would incapacitate most modern processors. The memory space issues are usually handled in hardware (PCI is little endian even in the Mac), while transform functions (think MMX, SSE, 3DNow) could easily deal with endian data issues.

Connectix Virtual PC actually switches the endianness of the PPC chip in execution, to help emulate the x86. This does make the emulation much faster. Unfortunately, the same trick cannot be used on x86 to emulate the PPC, as MMX and friends would cause a context switch and register flush on both sides of execution. If the code were to be dynamically recompiled though, the endian issue could be greatly reduced by only doing the conversion when absolutely necessary. Unfortunately, the differences between CISC and RISC code (ignoring AltiVec) would make this a very difficult proposition. RISC's ability to emulate CISC instruction sets is why both intel and AMD have RISC cores in both the P6 family and the Athlon, and not the other way around.

-- Len
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