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Universal Emulators Return

Hemos posted more than 10 years ago | from the and-soon-lead-to-helium-3 dept.

Technology 546

webmilhouse writes "Wired has an article about Transitive Corporation that claims their software "allows any software application binary to run on any processor/operating system" without any performance hit. That would allow any program written for Windows to run on Linux or Mac, and vice-versa, which Wired likened to digital alchemy. The Transitive software is supposed to be released today. What do you think, vaporware or miracle?"

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Not Vapor and not the arrival of Christ (4, Insightful)

AKAImBatman (238306) | more than 10 years ago | (#10235037)

Like many hyped up concepts, I don't think this product is really all they're making it out to be. At the same time, however, I don't think it's vapor. Instead, it's probably something in between that performs as advertised, but mitigating factors (300MHz CPU?) result in it not being everything everyone expected.

Re:Not Vapor and not the arrival of Christ (5, Interesting)

Nos. (179609) | more than 10 years ago | (#10235086)

Okay, but for a product that really is this good, why is the newest news on their site dated March 2003? (There's an article in 04, but it has nothing to do with what they're releasing)

Re:Not Vapor and not the arrival of Christ (5, Funny)

Atreide (16473) | more than 10 years ago | (#10235195)

maybe because it's not vapor anymore ?
it's already evaporated !

Re:Not Vapor and not the arrival of Christ (5, Funny)

Kierthos (225954) | more than 10 years ago | (#10235265)

So if it went from glossy brochues to vaporware, would it be product sublimation?

Kierthos

You mean like classic Mac OS's mixed-mode? (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 10 years ago | (#10235092)

Instead, it's probably something in between that performs as advertised, but mitigating factors (300MHz CPU?) result in it not being everything everyone expected.

I remember a product for the Mac called SoftWindows that broke out to native code when accessing hardware, producing somewhat of a speedup. Some versions of Classic Mac OS did the same thing during the transition from 68LC040 to PowerPC instructions.

Tortoises all the way down. (5, Insightful)

Libertarian_Geek (691416) | more than 10 years ago | (#10235137)

Sounds like an emulator equivalent of a perpetual motion machine. I can't say if this is real or vapor for certain, but it sure sets off my BS alarm.

Re:Tortoises all the way down. (2, Insightful)

Cylix (55374) | more than 10 years ago | (#10235253)

Danger Will Robinson! Danger!

Robby seems to think these claims are a bit outrageous.

Just think of how much work would be involved in something like this. Maybe it's a compiler and their own widget set. Emulate APIs? Not quite an emulator really. Perhaps its a java emulator? Who knows what twist is really there, but we know from past experience this is tricky stuff.

Boisterous claims are often given by boisterous men... neither of which have any solid value.

I think... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#10235041)

That this is first post!

Not vapor (3, Insightful)

BoldAC (735721) | more than 10 years ago | (#10235042)

If it's going to be released today, I am assuming it is not vapor...

Re:Not vapor (5, Interesting)

Davak (526912) | more than 10 years ago | (#10235109)


Yeah, obviously! :)

QuickTransit fully supports accelerated 3-D graphics and about 80 percent computational performance on the main processor. It requires no user intervention: It kicks in automatically when a non-native application is launched.

It sounds like it is software that translates one machine language to another? Pretty sweet idea!

It will still have some java-ish problems with each different form of hardware needing a unique version to translate. And then updating each of those versions as each change in the operating systems occur, etc.

Davak

asdfasf (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#10235044)

fi44rstasdf4

I'll believe it ... (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#10235045)

when I see it.

Remember... (5, Funny)

Steve G Swine (49788) | more than 10 years ago | (#10235046)

... if nothing runs at all, everything runs equally well.

Re:Remember... (2, Interesting)

hype7 (239530) | more than 10 years ago | (#10235138)

very true :)

take a look at what they're demonstrating, too. Linux Quake 3 on a Powerbook... and Linux GIMP on a Windows machine. These aren't really things that can't be done already today.... but that may be just that the article doesn't go into a lot of depth. Show me Windows Quake 3 running on a Powerbook, now that would be something a little more impressive.

It will be interesting to see the software in any case, and see whether it really does live up to the promise. Because if it does, they're right, it's comp sci's equivalent of turning base metal into gold.

-- james

Re:Remember... (1)

paullush (767354) | more than 10 years ago | (#10235154)

Can anyone say "Duke Nukem Forever"

Vapour. (0, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#10235047)

Seriously.

Let me be the first to welcome... (0, Redundant)

bobetov (448774) | more than 10 years ago | (#10235053)

... our vaporware overlords!

No f'n way this is legit.

Games Games Games (4, Insightful)

Gr8Apes (679165) | more than 10 years ago | (#10235054)

If true - we'd have any game worth playing on Linux or Macs, and life would be good, most likely, too good to be true.... :(

Re:Games Games Games (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#10235121)

There is NO F-IN way that BIG BUSINESS would have EVER let this even GET to the starting gate, much less be this close to release.

Think of it....

This would put a date-of-expiration on MS's BILLIONS.

I predict:

1 - Windows will team up with hardware vendors (Dell, HP, IBM) and give them incentives to make this NOT work
2 - Office prices will skyrocket (don't know how that's possible, but it will to prevent this) UNLESS you have a valid Windows license

There are so many GREAT things that can happen with this, but I predict that too many politicians and big-business big wigs are wise to what this will do and will NEVER let this happen.

Just my .02.

Re:Games Games Games (1)

BobTheAtheist (805111) | more than 10 years ago | (#10235200)

Do you think MS honestly cares if you ran Windows on a different processor? You still do or don't pay MS for Windows depending on your idealogy but I can see why MS would want to stop this.

Antitrust; shunning the Mac users (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 10 years ago | (#10235256)

Windows will team up with hardware vendors (Dell, HP, IBM) and give them incentives to make this NOT work

Antitrust. Microsoft has been convicted before in multiple jurisdictions and will be convicted again. A repeat offender should draw a real penalty.

Office prices will skyrocket (don't know how that's possible, but it will to prevent this) UNLESS you have a valid Windows license

Do you mean Microsoft will raise the price of Microsoft Office for Mac OS X? In that case, watch Mac users flee from Microsoft MBU products to competing products such as products built on top of OpenOffice.org.

Re:Games Games Games (1)

BoldAC (735721) | more than 10 years ago | (#10235164)

In demonstrations to press and analysts, the company has shown a graphically demanding game -- a Linux version of Quake III -- running on an Apple PowerBook.

Quake, linux, and Apple--all at one time. It's like a slashdot user's nirvana.

QuickTransit fully supports accelerated 3-D graphics and about 80 percent computational performance on the main processor. It requires no user intervention: It kicks in automatically when a non-native application is launched.

20% performance hit is not all that painful even... especially the way that CPUs are ramping up all the time! I'll keep my fingers crossed.

Re:Games Games Games (2, Funny)

nkh (750837) | more than 10 years ago | (#10235201)

and maybe we could install WindowsXP on Linux and it would be fast and reliable!

P4 Hack anyone? (1)

XMyth (266414) | more than 10 years ago | (#10235060)

Hehe.....

no performance hit? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#10235062)

Yeah right, that's not possible, just translating to another set of instructions takes some of the cpu's resources... that alone would debunk the claim of no performance hit...

Re:no performance hit? (5, Informative)

AKAImBatman (238306) | more than 10 years ago | (#10235114)

that's not possible, just translating to another set of instructions takes some of the cpu's resources

According to TFA, this is a pre-compiler/translator, not an emulator. i.e. The entire program is recompiled for another platform using only the binary data as the source. This is theoretically possible and has been attempted many times, but such compilers often trip over levels of indirection that programmers add.

For example, a programmer might place the video address in a variable, then reference that for screen paints. Such a trick would be impossible to detect at compile time, and would only be properly handled by a true emulator.

Legal status (pretty OT) (5, Insightful)

Maffy (806058) | more than 10 years ago | (#10235277)

Does anyone what the legal status of running this operation over commercial software would be?

The reason you need a licence to use software is because your CPU makes a copy of the program (in RAM) and this would otherwise violate the programmer's copyright. I believe that the licensing terms are generally pretty strict, e.g. one copy, to RAM only. Therefore, I'm not sure you'd be permitted to take a copy of their program, mangle it and dump it back out to disk.

Does anyone know of any reason why this would be permitted, or how people intend to get round this problem?

I appear to have been reading too much groklaw.

Re:no performance hit? (2, Insightful)

sketerpot (454020) | more than 10 years ago | (#10235115)

How about, "no performance hit on the order of what you get with CPU emulation? CPUs are generally fast enough that you can accept a relatively small performance hit on all but the most demanding programs.

Re:no performance hit? (5, Insightful)

Firehawke (50498) | more than 10 years ago | (#10235147)

Unless it's a static or dynamic recompilation technique-- it could translate before execution, dumping a new binary which it executes. You'd have a much longer start time, obviously, but it'd run at the full speed possible. Assuming, of course, that your recompilation techniques are 100% perfect.

Doubtful, but possible.

Sod you ID (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#10235064)

Keep your Linux client binaries!

Both. (-1, Troll)

pb (1020) | more than 10 years ago | (#10235065)

I bet it makes great fries too...

Any program? (5, Insightful)

vistic (556838) | more than 10 years ago | (#10235077)

Wouldn't you still need a bunch of supporting files and APIs to run a Mac program on Windows, vice versa, and for other operating systems? Programs make specific calls to the operating system, like windowing toolkits... this emulator must be huge to ensure everything works and they must have done massive successful reverse engineering of closed source files in the Windows architecture.

Re:Any program? (2, Informative)

BobTheAtheist (805111) | more than 10 years ago | (#10235097)

Run the whole OS... The device drivers will just work by magic

Re:Any program? (0, Redundant)

skraps (650379) | more than 10 years ago | (#10235259)

Let's see.. I want to word this carefully. After careful review of the claims, I have determined:

VAPROWARE!
VAPROWARE! VAPROWARE!

Re:Any program? (2, Funny)

GileadGreene (539584) | more than 10 years ago | (#10235299)

Did you mean VAPORWARE? Perhaps you should have taken some more time on your careful wording... :)

Re:Any program? (5, Insightful)

little_blaine (126227) | more than 10 years ago | (#10235212)

Well said. I can see a program that does on-the-fly translation of assembly code, but the first time you try to access a windows .dll on a mac, or a linux .so on windows (for example), or make any kind of system call on a foreign platform, you will hit problems.

Now here's an interesting thought: MacOS X on x86. Or windows on PowerPC.

ooooooh, yawn! (3, Interesting)

mrpuffypants (444598) | more than 10 years ago | (#10235079)

In demonstrations to press and analysts, the company has shown a graphically demanding game -- a Linux version of Quake III -- running on an Apple PowerBook.

I'm sorry, but that's just not impressing me. Not to mention that there's already a native Mac OS 9/X port of Quake III, but it's not even the most system-dependent code that I can think of.

When I can run Office 2003 natively inside Linux then we can talk.

Re:ooooooh, yawn! (4, Informative)

swillden (191260) | more than 10 years ago | (#10235151)

When I can run Office 2003 natively inside Linux then we can talk.

Define 'natively'. Because Crossover Office can run Office 2003 on Linux just fine, today.

Re:ooooooh, yawn! (3, Informative)

isolation (15058) | more than 10 years ago | (#10235284)

If you can get it to install it will run but I dont know how well. At this time we dont support Office 2003 but we are working on it.

Any processor? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#10235083)

In Soviet Russia, software application binary runs you!

Today's Poll (4, Funny)

eSims (723865) | more than 10 years ago | (#10235084)

Transitive Software:
1. Vaporware
2. Miracle
4. Coyboy Neal

Personally, I vote it's just Coyboy Neal at it again.

hoax (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#10235085)

i call hoax. rob enderle is apparently involved.

I'll be impressed if... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#10235089)

I can run MechWarrior 4 on my Redhat 9 Dell insperon. Do that, and I will buy myself a copy today!

Like java's HotSpot? (4, Interesting)

tunah (530328) | more than 10 years ago | (#10235091)

They're talking about recompiling sections of critical code, like java's HotSpot. It'll be interesting to see how fast it ends up - the startup time is a pain in java, but it's pretty decent after that. I can't find a source for the "no performance hit" bit. It looks real, and quite impressive, but not exactly what the summary indicates ;-)

Re:Like java's HotSpot? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#10235188)

"One of the key breakthroughs is performance," Wiederhold said. "You can't tell the difference between a translated application and a native application."

Misleading (1)

The Grey Clone (770110) | more than 10 years ago | (#10235093)

The blurb posted is misleading. The Wired Article states "with almost no performance hit."

Probably vapor ware (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#10235098)

The CPU translation is nothing new, however, what about all the operating system calls? The APIs and what not? Their software would have to make Unix and Windows system calls, like Wine.

Welcome (0, Redundant)

h00manist (800926) | more than 10 years ago | (#10235099)

hope it works /me performs rain dance

what do I think? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#10235101)

extraordinary claims require extraordinary proof.

Taos (4, Insightful)

mirko (198274) | more than 10 years ago | (#10235102)

A few years ago, while I was still primarily using my Acorn ARM-based RiscPC, I remember being in contact with TAOS people, they were making an heterogeneous processor operating system on which they claimed they emulated a virtual processor on which the whole environment would run, regardless of the hardware.
So, this idea reminds me of this project...
It could still be possible, we've got Java classes instantiated and running on many architectures, after all...

It runs on magic (1, Redundant)

funkdid (780888) | more than 10 years ago | (#10235103)

I'm calling bullsh!t on this one. Processor differences being what they are I don't see this working. All other attempts at this have been so-so, to make a product like this "whithout a processing hit" sounds like this was written in some new programming language, perhaps one based on Magic.

Re:It runs on magic (5, Funny)

no reason to be here (218628) | more than 10 years ago | (#10235226)

sounds like this was written in some new programming language, perhaps one based on Magic.

So how much mana would I need tapped to run Photoshop in Linux?

Vaporware (5, Funny)

g0bshiTe (596213) | more than 10 years ago | (#10235107)

Does this mean I can finally get WINE to work under Windows?

Re:Vaporware (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#10235240)

No, but you might be able to get it to run under Linux ;)

No performance hit? (4, Insightful)

theluckyleper (758120) | more than 10 years ago | (#10235108)

If there's no performance hit, there must not be true "emulation" going on... it would be impossible to emulate another OS and architecture without a few extra cycles!

The only way I can imagine this happening is if the software reads your executable and then does a one-time translation into a native executable. That way the native executable wouldn't be emulating anything, it would be the real deal. But... the complexity of such software would be staggering.

Here's hoping it works!

Re:No performance hit? (1)

Tyndmyr (811713) | more than 10 years ago | (#10235293)

In such a case, developers everywhere will be immensely grateful. However, I still think its vaporware.

VAPOREWARE (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#10235111)

VAPOREWARE. Just like how a transmeta chip was supposed to run x86 code as fast as a dedicated x86 chip

Vaporware, Miracle, ORrrr... (2, Funny)

Sgt_Jake (659140) | more than 10 years ago | (#10235116)

Gag order, lawsuit, violation of the DMCA and/or Patriot Act and theft of 'Intellectual Property'.

And SCO will sue. Think about it.

Arch or Library/API ? (2, Insightful)

Gherald (682277) | more than 10 years ago | (#10235124)

"Emulating" architectures and "Emulating" native OS libraries/APIs are very different things.

Is Transitive claiming to do BOT universally!? If so I am very skeptical, because even doing 1 of the 2 would be impressive.

Write once, run everywhere (2, Funny)

slaad (589282) | more than 10 years ago | (#10235128)

Pfft. That's already been done [sun.com] .

Easy refutation (2, Interesting)

Yartrebo (690383) | more than 10 years ago | (#10235133)

Just take Alan Turing's original Turing Machine. It can be proven that certain algorithms, like a binary search, will take an algorithmically longer time on a Turing's machine than on your standard x86 processor.

Binary search is logarithmic time on a normal processor, but it is at least quadratic time on Turing's machine.

Therefore, I have found a counterexample to their claim.

PS: Turing's machine used an infinite tape and that tape could only be moved 1 space per cycle. Most of the time spent in the binary search will be moving the tape around.

Re:Easy refutation (1)

gUmbi (95629) | more than 10 years ago | (#10235243)

It can be proven that certain algorithms, like a binary search, will take an algorithmically longer time on a Turing's machine than on your standard x86 processor.

Okay, it's Monday morning and my brain isn't floating in coffee yet...but what the hell is does 'algorithmically longer' mean??

I doubt it. (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#10235140)

Will it run software written for my Wang 2200? Will it run VMS? No. Please do not make such broad claims if you can't even begin to back them up.

She wanted a reason..... (4, Funny)

SomeoneGotMyNick (200685) | more than 10 years ago | (#10235141)

allows any software application binary to run on any processor/operating system

My wife said, "Give me a good reason why you need to keep those things! There's not enough room in the closet to put my shoes."

Now I can use this as an excuse to hold on to my Commodore 64 stuff.

Re:She wanted a reason..... (3, Funny)

savagedome (742194) | more than 10 years ago | (#10235250)

If you start giving her good reasons to keep Commodore 64 stuff, you might have to give her a good reason to keep YOU eventually ;)

Just a thought.

Re:She wanted a reason..... (1)

ZoolTheNinja (780596) | more than 10 years ago | (#10235261)

No, your wife is right. email me and I'll send my mailing address so you can ship it to me.

Re:She wanted a reason..... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#10235283)

But not as a reason to hold on to your Commodore 64. :D

Re:She wanted a reason..... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#10235286)

Cool, maybe you'll stop beating her up then.

Yeah, that's what I'd say to you, if I was a troll.

Also, I like your pseudonym.

Ooops. I'm not good at this trolling thing I guess.

wow, that takes some nerve (2, Funny)

John_Allen_Mohammed (811050) | more than 10 years ago | (#10235144)

to name your new company the "tranvestite corporation." I guess it makes sense considering the product they're selling but, sheesh

Were cross-platform ports shown? (5, Insightful)

Cus (700562) | more than 10 years ago | (#10235146)

a Linux version of Quake III -- running on an Apple PowerBook
...and...
Windows laptop running the Gimp image editor for Linux

Funny how those applications are already available for those platforms, hmmm? I'd like to have heard about something being shown that isn't already available natively.

what about (2, Interesting)

xmple (704367) | more than 10 years ago | (#10235149)

what about api calls which are native to windows, or even directx applications, I don't think that they will be able to "emulate" all this without a performance hit (or at all for that matter).

Or are they just talking about the processors and their native instructions?

If it is real... (2, Interesting)

Talonius (97106) | more than 10 years ago | (#10235153)

...they'll soon be sued away by the likes of Microsoft and Apple, both of whom have an established interest in maintaining the status quo.

It sounds like a virtual machine they've created for each host operating system and "virtualized" operating system. While possible - see WINE and the lately not heard from David project - this would require quite a bit of work. Hell, trying to emulate Linux in this way would be a hoot. Which window manager do you want to emulate today?

I think it is mostly vapor. Enderle, the famed SCO analyst, has his hands in it and I immediately distrust anything he works with and endorses.

(I just found out that my sister's ex-boyfriend's brother is one of the major financers of the Phantom. How's that for being close to slime?)

Re:If it is real... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#10235281)

1) Find relation to sucker.
2) ...
3) Profit!

Sheesh - this is a good thing: he's stupid slime, and you're not even related to him!

Looks like their web site running on this... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#10235172)

...software. It's already down.

Riiiight (0, Redundant)

Gyorg_Lavode (520114) | more than 10 years ago | (#10235175)

"What do you think, vaporware or miracle?"

Is that a rhetorical question?

Kinda ironic isn't it... (5, Funny)

arock99 (612650) | more than 10 years ago | (#10235186)

That they claim their software is fast but yet their web site is reaaaaaaaaaaly slow

Great Success Story! (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#10235192)

Given the illusive nature of their product, it is especially incredible that they were able to get five of the world's largest computer OEM's on board so early.

Now you can run any software, anywhere, with no speed hit (relative to a 4.77 MHz PC XT or a C= 64 or a 512K Mac) on hardware from these everyday major name brand OEM's:

Billy-Bo's Bayou's only Computer OEM
Wang Tu Short Compuder OEM of China
DR CLEMENT OKUN NIGERIA BUSINESS COMPUTER MANUFACTURERS
San Rio Hello Kitty Laptop Division
TransitivePC & Electronics

Act now, because supplies of this software are very limited, and once this run is completed, no more can be made (because their damn drunk coders crashed a pickup truck into their RAID array)!

Game piracy? (2, Insightful)

tepples (727027) | more than 10 years ago | (#10235194)

From the article:

"We try and avoid the word," said Wiederhold. "When people think of emulators they think of things that are very slow."

When some people think of "emulators", they also tend to think of the arcade and console game ROM piracy scene that goes along with it. The company may have dodged more bullets than it's letting on to us by not using that word.

Xbox 2 (1)

Loadmaster (720754) | more than 10 years ago | (#10235197)

The article says that this software will allow Xbox 2 to play Xbox one games even though Xbox 2 uses a PPC instead of Intel. Correct me if I'm wrong, but isn't the main problem with backward compatiblity for the Xbox the Nvidia graphics chip? How do they plan on doing their translation of code without violating Nvidia IP? Seems to me like their being too simplistic.

well (1)

TheAxeMaster (762000) | more than 10 years ago | (#10235198)

Sounds like complete BS, but on the other hand if it even works reasonably well it would be a step up from anything we've got now.

Say it took 10% of your resources to run this thing, and the rest could be devoted to the program, that's only a big deal in the most absolutely recent high load games and programs. The rest of the midrange stuff where we normally work would run great. So it is possible that this could be a great thing, some will just have to try it and report back.

Impossible (0)

marcovje (205102) | more than 10 years ago | (#10235199)


E.g. assume that the application is a game. The exact timing must then also be duplicated, a quite difficult process. (see e.g. the various Mac, Amiga emulators and Dosbox)

Did anyone note... (4, Informative)

cavac (640390) | more than 10 years ago | (#10235204)

...that they seemed to run only processor-native code. Even Linux-Quake: Linux IS ported to the Mac ;-)

And the example of the XBox: Xbox is essentially a PC anyway.

This looks more like the technique the WINE project is using: Run a program on it's native hardware platform on another OS by making library- and systemcall-wrappers.

If that is indeed the case, "translating the code page-wise" can be translated to "re-linking dynamically loadable code page-wise".

Just my 2 cents

Hello, I am in write-only mode (1)

Mauvaisours (660152) | more than 10 years ago | (#10235208)

QuickTransit fully supports accelerated 3-D graphics and about 80 percent computational performance on the main processor. It requires no user intervention: It kicks in automatically when a non-native application is launched.
"80% computational performance" == "almost no performance hit", of course. And I will start dancing on the moon tomorrow with "almost" no equipement.

There company website server. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#10235210)

Is probably running on a 64bit compiled version of apache for xinix run under contiki OS on a spectrum ZX that also doubles as there primary VMS server.

iow, It's down !.

Hints in the adv...I mean, article. (1)

Howzer (580315) | more than 10 years ago | (#10235211)

Unlike most other emulators, QuickTransit translates blocks of code rather than a line at a time. In addition, it identifies and stores the most commonly executed code.

This seems to me to be saying that the emulator's got to be HUGE, rather in the fashion of the fake-o compression software that comes up every couple of years promising 1,000:1 compression. And then you find out that at each end is a store of "templates" and the compression application is literally a couple hundred GB in size. Maybe in this case a lot of standard libraries have already been ported?

And since that line is the most informative in the article, I'd be keen to hear other opinions on how this could work...

Software choices.... (4, Interesting)

kidgenius (704962) | more than 10 years ago | (#10235213)

Turley said he watched a Windows laptop running the Gimp image editor for Linux.

In demonstrations to press and analysts, the company has shown a graphically demanding game -- a Linux version of Quake III -- running on an Apple PowerBook

Does this company realize that proper existing ports of each of those particular pieces of software exist in some kind of native form for those architectures? I've used GIMP in Windows w/ no problems. Also, as mentioned previosuly, Quake III already exists for the Mac as well. What good are they doing by using software that already exists in ports? I want to see a copy of some DirectX game running on a Mac/Linux w/o a performance hit. This company so far has not proven anything by using the two comparisons cited in the article.

Fine print (5, Funny)

archeopterix (594938) | more than 10 years ago | (#10235223)

It runs everything (1) on everything (2) without performance hit (3).

(1) Uhm, err, the current version only runs Pacman, which required some modifications to the binary
(2) only on Windows XP, but we're working on the Win 98 version.
(3) The technology used allows for theoretical performance equal or even exceeding the native hardware. This will work in next version, "FlyingPig 6.0".

Any on ANY ?? (1)

Ancient_Hacker (751168) | more than 10 years ago | (#10235225)

Any on ANY?? I think I still have a CDC Cyber 172 system dump tape under the raised floor.... So if they're right I can run NOS 1.3 and PLATO on an old Apple ][ ?

Apple to move to Opteron? (0, Troll)

9uG (813048) | more than 10 years ago | (#10235234)

Maybe this is Apple's chance to jump ship from PPC/IBM/Motorola and use the Opteron? There was a rumor they were developing an intel versin of OSX next to the PPC version, so why not move to AMD64 and ditch PPC? This emulator could be just what the doctor ordered.

lead to gold (2, Funny)

bodrell (665409) | more than 10 years ago | (#10235236)

What do you think, vaporware or miracle?

Is this a survey? Then I vote vaporware. Is digital alchemy kinda like Wicca?

Shifty Business (2, Interesting)

jorenko (238937) | more than 10 years ago | (#10235239)

The "pretty darn impressive" examples given are GIMP under Windows and Quake 3 on Mac. Both of those have completely native versions available. I smell something not quite honest about these demos.

On their "technology overview" page... (5, Interesting)

Kippesoep (712796) | more than 10 years ago | (#10235242)

there is mention only of unices. Operating System Mapper. Dynamite supports operating system mapping between any two Unix/Linux-like operating systems, as well as mapping between mainframe and any Unix/Linux-like operating systems. Don't see "Windows" mentioned in there. I assume it would be a lot easier to run a Linux version of Quake 3 on BSD-based Mac OS X than to convert stuff to/from a rather more different OS such as Windows.

Tivo? (1)

cat_jesus (525334) | more than 10 years ago | (#10235249)

So I can emulate my Tivo on a PC that I build myself?

You have to be very careful with claims about being able to emulate ANY hardware, or being able to run ANY code.

But if they can, I'll use it.

Now I'll go RTFA and see how stupid I am.

My guess.. (2, Interesting)

k98sven (324383) | more than 10 years ago | (#10235254)

The summary should almost be modded flamebait for making such an obviously impossible statement like that.

So what's really up here? TFA says they demonstrated running a Linux Quake III on a OS X powerbook.
(And they quote Rob Enderle praising this technology.. this is the guy who thinks SCO will win [eweek.com] , which speaks loads for his credibility.)

Now, I haven't seen the source for Quake III, but I'm pretty certain it uses OpenGL, which the Mac has. OS X is also POSIX-compliant. So, most of the API calls done by Quake can already be done natively on OS X.

So what I guess they're doing here is translating API calls (like Wine) while emulating the processor core (like a real emulator).

That isn't anything new. For instance, I've written similar code for an Atari emulator [sourceforge.net] , which can emulate an Atari hard-disc filesystem as a local directory through translating OS calls.

(Note: And that was far from the first time it'd been done either.)

Had me until "no performance hit" (5, Insightful)

visionsofmcskill (556169) | more than 10 years ago | (#10235258)

Bottom line, a porcessor essentialy comes down to several basic comparisons and read/write add/subtract operations.

so it is technicaly feasible that if you map out a fair amount of the pipelines of most of the popular chip sets, you could technicaly have a command chain to allow binaries the same calls through a sudo-emulation layer of the software.

fundamentaly possible, and even do-able.... but without a performance hit? no way. Each processor is geared towards a particular way of solving a physcial and mathmatical set of problems... some processors are designed for massive loads of database driven calculations (XEONs)... some for multimedia (G5)... some for science (PPC, Sparc?)... some for power savings (ARM)....

depedning on which archetecture your using, the performance will be greatly hindered if your trying to do something designed for a radicaly different chip. Such as trying to run some expansive G5 optimizied photoshop plug on a ARM chip.

"no performance hit" = total bullshit

Reminds me of... (1)

Astadar (591470) | more than 10 years ago | (#10235262)

that IBM "Universal Business Adapter" commercial. The one for which to interface with system "xyz" you need an ADDITIONAL adapter.

So, all you need to run:
- a Windows app on Linux is our software and Wine
- a Linux app on Windows is our software and cygwin
- ...

Clearly vaporware (5, Insightful)

hopethishelps (782331) | more than 10 years ago | (#10235264)

without any performance hit. That would allow any program written for Windows to run on Linux or Mac, and vice-versa,... What do you think, vaporware or miracle?

This is vaporware. What they're claiming - "without any performance hit" - is impossible. Accomplishing the rest of what they claim is not impossible, but it's very difficult, and since the "without any performance hit" claim establishes conclusively that these people are bullshitters, I don't believe they can even come close to doing it.

What was it they said... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#10235275)

about Marijuana getting stronger?

Security Implications? (1)

niiler (716140) | more than 10 years ago | (#10235300)

If it's not vaporware, does this mean that us Linux users will be able to benefit from the plethora of windows viruses too? Of course this is probably a stretch at best.

Things that make you go hmmmmm....

Transparent with little overhead... (1)

DrXym (126579) | more than 10 years ago | (#10235304)

... is impossible. Unless of course their emulator / JIT compiler starts in 0 seconds flat and recompiles / emulates the native code in 0 seconds with 0 byte memory footprint and 0 disk activity with 0% affect on performance.


If in fact, their software doesn't all of the above things the performace will take a hit. And not just a small hit either since it's not just the app that has to be translated at runtime but everything running underneath it - the C runtime, any system libs & APIs, X windows / Aqua / GDI etc. If that's the case, you might as well stick with an emulator and be done with it, or use something like WINE where it is appropriate.


Comparisons to WINE also begs another question. What's the point of running your Mac OS X application (e.g. Photoshop) on Linux if it requires you also have a large chunk of OS X to do it? Is a Linux user meant to buy an OS X licence in order to run this one app on their machine? Is an XP user meant to have yank half a Linux dist from somewhere to support the GIMP through X Windows?


It sounds like a recipe for licence hell and lawsuits to me.

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