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 PostPost subject: Virtual Computer - An emulator for the true PC historians!        Posted: Fri Dec 14, 2018 7:00 pm 
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Today, a new world of possibilities was opened up with the ground breaking release of Virtual Computer.


Virtual Computer is an extremely advanced, highly capable PC emulator capable of emulating a wide variety of PC systems, products, and components. With a heavy focus on name-brand computers and technology, this emulator's collection spans the history of a large and growing number of brand names and system manufacturers, from the most common of PC models to the rarest.

The emulator itself is based largely upon the latest code from PCem, 86Box (including 86Box Manager), and VARCem, but with heavy changes to many areas of the emulator, including major updates to the CPU core as well as early development of emulation of many Intel chipsets used by many of the machines that are going to be added to it in the future.

This emulator project has a heavy focus on name-brand PC models and computer manufacturers, and so has likewise also added a series of new machines from a number of system manufacturers, some of which were quite common at that time, and others of which are anywhere from being quite rare to being nearly unheard of even among the best of PC collectors. Either way, however, all of these machines are quite special and as such are equally worthy of preservation as far as the project itself is concerned.

While this project is still in its early stages, it has been made available here first before the website for it is finished being set up. A proper website will be set up for this emulator project in the future, however, it is already available to anyone reading this forum topic.

All parts of this emulator may be freely used and redistributed for any project and for any purpose, private or public, and commercial and non-commercial.

Details regarding the use of this emulator may be found in the V100README.TXT file which has been supplied with it.

Download links:

v1.00:
Emulator (copyright-free release): https://mega.nz/#!z5B2nSbJ!zPUe3ATyDwCDoOIBc8poIJyxrHiyt1BLmrFd0WOpWhI
Source code: https://mega.nz/#!agI0VITA!yZ2gCILqgBx0KdL4oE-mDSdRB27Byip2S51GLScqStQ

EDIT: Links updated to include license and copyright information as well as missing source code from 86Box Manager that was accidentally omitted.
Compiler for source code: https://mega.nz/#!fwpw2CYT!rlMTlfYQnnXqWRHtBoaOh-X0dg_66E59yTv6GdgJrcM

EDIT 2: COMPAQ Portable III is working again after latest changes to source code. Screenshot is provided below:
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EDIT 3: Future versions of the emulator source code will be moved to Github following feedback below once source tree is re-organized to meet community standards.

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Latest release of Virtual Computer emulator available here:
https://www.betaarchive.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=72&t=39197


Last edited by SoftPCMuseum on Sat Dec 15, 2018 12:57 am, edited 2 times in total.

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 PostPost subject: Re: Virtual Computer - An emulator for the true PC historian        Posted: Fri Dec 14, 2018 7:58 pm 
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As the developer of 86Box Manager, I have to tell you that you are violating the MIT license under which 86Box Manager is licensed. The license clearly states you must include it and the copyright notice with every copy of the software, whether it's in binary or source code form. In fact, this is the only condition of the MIT license. Simply saying you derived your work from existing MIT-licensed works and mentioning my name in a long list does not absolve you from the license clause.

Aside from this, it looks like you may also be violating licenses of other projects you've used, so I highly recommend you sort this out immediately.

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Last edited by Overdoze on Fri Dec 14, 2018 10:23 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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 PostPost subject: Re: Virtual Computer - An emulator for the true PC historian        Posted: Fri Dec 14, 2018 8:02 pm 
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This is an interesting idea. I've always wanted better emulation of actual systems in 86box, rather than generic example systems. While they do have specific PS/2, Compaq Portable, etc. emulation, it would be nice to have more. I'll give it a try!

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Aside from this, it looks like you may be violating licenses of other projects you've used as well, so I highly recommend you sort this out immediately.


I was kind of worried this might be the case when I saw this post. Hope OP sorts this out. It would be a real shame for this to go down in flames because they weren't sufficiently diligent in sorting out the licensing.


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 PostPost subject: Re: Virtual Computer - An emulator for the true PC historian        Posted: Fri Dec 14, 2018 8:09 pm 
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Do you have a bug tracker setup for this? You've got a good amount of them. Also, you might want to disable systems that don't work from showing up in the "System board" list. Your Compaq Portable III emulation is broken in the same way 86box's is. As such, it's unusable. Unless you've done some real good FPU emulation fixes, I'd assume your PS/2 Model 70-486 is also broken (as it is in both PCem and 86box). Should hide that as well.

EDIT: Yup, error 12903 on boot. The Model 70-486 is broken here as well.


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 PostPost subject: Re: Virtual Computer - An emulator for the true PC historian        Posted: Fri Dec 14, 2018 9:29 pm 
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Very capable emulator! I was able to install 98SE flawlessly and even the speed was acceptable in reverse mode. (which is way better than 86box itself)
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Too bad you've got problems with copyright though :( .

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 PostPost subject: Re: Virtual Computer - An emulator for the true PC historian        Posted: Fri Dec 14, 2018 9:56 pm 
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thunderbird32 wrote:
This is an interesting idea. I've always wanted better emulation of actual systems in 86box, rather than generic example systems. While they do have specific PS/2, Compaq Portable, etc. emulation, it would be nice to have more. I'll give it a try!

His emulation is not better at all - I looked at the code and there's not much improvement over 86Box.

ATeamInc wrote:
Very capable emulator! I was able to install 98SE flawlessly and even the speed was acceptable in reverse mode. (which is way better than 86box itself)

What's reverse mode?
And his CPU emulation etc. are identical to 86Box's, so I can't see why they would be much difference.

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 PostPost subject: Re: Virtual Computer - An emulator for the true PC historian        Posted: Fri Dec 14, 2018 10:07 pm 
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Oh god please not another PCem/86box/VARCem clone...

...mainly based on an old PCem source, with lots of the fixes from the last 3 months or so of both VARCem and 86box missing, and lots of leftover junk files from the developers' machine...

The README in the source archive was taken 1:1 from 86box, including links to the official support channels (I wonder what the 86box devs think when people end up there, asking for support for this Virtual Computer). It even still includes the 86box donation link...

So, this looks like a crude hackjob that re-introduced many of the machines/systems that were removed from 86box and VARCem for a good reason (because they were mostly guesswork, never worked according to the original machines' specs, and/or were simply not stable enough to release), and all that without even acknowledging the original authors' copyright.

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 PostPost subject: Re: Virtual Computer - An emulator for the true PC historian        Posted: Fri Dec 14, 2018 10:11 pm 
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It's actually based on relatively recent 86Box source it seems, and adds a whole lot of machines that get initialized with potentially wrong chips, etc. It also makes a mess of the machine, etc. lists.

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 PostPost subject: Re: Virtual Computer - An emulator for the true PC historian        Posted: Fri Dec 14, 2018 10:17 pm 
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hm, I looked at the headers of some source files and many came from PCem with version numbers that were far below what 86box and VARCem are at, currently.

But the source release is a mess. He slapped a copy of the Bochs source code in there, as ZIP file, and freetype as tgz file (are we supposed to unpack these somewhere?), he left the binary file from his Visual Studio installation in there too (the *.VC.db file with 50 mb, the .vs directory, things like that) and he has multiple copies of FluidSynth's CMake build file sprinkled all over his source tree (what's that supposed to be good for?).

Oh, and all that without any form of source code revision control system, of course, which is an instand no-no for any "true historian" in my opinion (well, that, and the obvious license violations, of course)

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 PostPost subject: Re: Virtual Computer - An emulator for the true PC historian        Posted: Fri Dec 14, 2018 10:30 pm 
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Darkstar wrote:
hm, I looked at the headers of some source files and many came from PCem with version numbers that were far below what 86box and VARCem are at, currently.

He probably combined old and new 86Box sources, including files that originate from PCem. No file in the PCem tree has any sort of header or version number (on the contrary, Sarah Walker even removed the mini-headers from the few files I committed with them, go figure), so any PCem files with headers in his tree can not possibly be directly from PCem.

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 PostPost subject: Re: Virtual Computer - An emulator for the true PC historian        Posted: Fri Dec 14, 2018 10:31 pm 
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Battler wrote:
thunderbird32 wrote:
This is an interesting idea. I've always wanted better emulation of actual systems in 86box, rather than generic example systems. While they do have specific PS/2, Compaq Portable, etc. emulation, it would be nice to have more. I'll give it a try!

His emulation is not better at all - I looked at the code and there's not much improvement over 86Box.


No offense intended! I hadn't tried it yet when I said that. I would still like "better" emulation of specific machines (PS/2 particularly), but what he's got isn't that.


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 PostPost subject: Re: Virtual Computer - An emulator for the true PC historian        Posted: Fri Dec 14, 2018 10:46 pm 
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thunderbird32 wrote:
I would still like "better" emulation of specific machines (PS/2 particularly), but what he's got isn't that.

I understand what you mean, but starting a new fork, especially when it's this poor and with little chance for improvement (based on the author's past projects), is just not the right way to go in my opinion. We already have two PCem forks that have introduced nice improvements, but I really don't think we need another one at this time. I was curious to see how his PCE fork from a year or so ago would turn out, it really wasn't much of anything, and this is just the same thing all over again.

As DarkStar and Battler have mentioned, this whole thing is just a big mess that looks as if it was created without a proper understanding of software development or programming, instead relying upon Find&Replace for changing strings and similar hackjob methods. And he managed to break at least one license in the process.

So if the author insists on developing this thing further, I'd recommend the following steps in this order:
1) sort out your licensing issues
2) actually learn to develop things in the language and environment you're using
3) get a version control system, preferably something that's widely used today
4) clean up the source tree and try to actually make some useful changes
5) publish again only once you've done the above steps and you have something to show

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 PostPost subject: Re: Virtual Computer - An emulator for the true PC historian        Posted: Fri Dec 14, 2018 10:48 pm 
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Battler wrote:
It's actually based on relatively recent 86Box source it seems, and adds a whole lot of machines that get initialized with potentially wrong chips, etc. It also makes a mess of the machine, etc. lists.
All of the new Intel chipset-based machines that I added are based on the correct Intel chipsets, since I have definitely looked at reliable component listings from PC Magazine articles. For example, all of the Gateway 2000 machines are based on the actual Intel chipsets and system boards that they shipped with when first new, and I also tested each new machine to make sure that it was able to boot up, and I also put down a list of issues in the V100README.TXT file.

Also, if you checked the entire directory tree of the CPU code, you will see that I actually made quite a few changes to the CPU code. There are many new CPU models, for example (including the UMC 486 CPUs), and even the base CPU core has changed in many ways to be more accurate to how the original CPUs actually worked (especially for Pentium and higher CPUs). It is still far from perfect, but at the moment I am currently working out all of the bugs in it such as the compiler warnings (because of the indentation which somehow throws off the compiler for some reason) and other issues.

The machine listings are mainly reorganized in the order of brand name or system manufacturer (such as IBM, COMPAQ, Intel, et...) instead of in the order of the CPU socket type. I also tried to clean it up a bit by using hopefully more accurate product names and model numbers.

The new machines that are extremely incomplete were also disabled in the source code anyway. You could theoretically re-enable them yourself but I am not at all guaranteeing that they are going to even be usable, unlike with the machines that were actually enabled for this release.

Overdoze wrote:
As the developer of 86Box Manager, I have to tell you that you are violating the MIT license under which 86Box Manager is licensed. The license clearly states you must include it and the copyright notice with every copy of the software, whether it's in binary or source code form. In fact, this is the only condition of the MIT license. Simply saying you derived your work from existing MIT-licensed works and mentioning my name in a long list does not absolve you from the license clause.
Would it be possible to simply include the license file with the emulator itself, or would I need to have the copyrights shown in the program itself? I'm fully willing to comply with any such requirements either way, and I'll also update each download accordingly. I never intended to knowingly violate any such license, but if there were any additional requirements then I will be fully willing to comply with them.

Overdoze wrote:
Aside from this, it looks like you may also be violating licenses of other projects you've used, so I highly recommend you sort this out immediately.
I thought that all of the other code was released under either the GPL v2 (GNU Public License version 2), which allows such code to be freely used with no restrictions on redistribution, or the BSD license, which has similar provisions. I also left in all copyrights to the PCem, 86Box, and VARCem projects in the source files.

Darkstar: I admit that the source code tree leaves much to be desired, however, I am already planning on correcting a lot of the issues that you mentioned. And the reason for why the Bochs source code was included was that I included the BXIMAGE program for use with creating disk images, and for that I was simply required to provide the source code for it since it is released under the LGPL (Lesser GNU Public License) which requires that the source code be made available under all circumstances.

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 PostPost subject: Re: Virtual Computer - An emulator for the true PC historian        Posted: Fri Dec 14, 2018 10:55 pm 
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Overdoze wrote:
thunderbird32 wrote:
I would still like "better" emulation of specific machines (PS/2 particularly), but what he's got isn't that.

I understand what you mean, but starting a new fork, especially when it's this poor and with little chance for improvement (based on the author's past projects), is just not the right way to go in my opinion. We already have two PCem forks that have introduced nice improvements, but I really don't think we need another one at this time. I was curious to see how his PCE fork from a year or so ago would turn out, it really wasn't much of anything, and this is just the same thing all over again.

Indeed. I don't see any reason why couldn't OP contribute to any of the three instead of maintaining their own fork of questionable quality.

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 PostPost subject: Re: Virtual Computer - An emulator for the true PC historian        Posted: Fri Dec 14, 2018 10:56 pm 
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I am just a spectator in all this, but wouldn't it be better that you all cooperated with a single fork instead of making yet another fork? You would only be reinventing the wheel over and over instead of collaborating and focusing your skills and knowledge making a better single fork....?

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 PostPost subject: Re: Virtual Computer - An emulator for the true PC historian        Posted: Fri Dec 14, 2018 11:01 pm 
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SoftPCMuseum wrote:
Would it be possible to simply include the license file with the emulator itself, or would I need to have the copyrights shown in the program itself? I'm fully willing to comply with any such requirements either way, and I'll also update each download accordingly. I never intended to knowingly violate any such license, but if there were any additional requirements then I will be fully willing to comply with them.

There already was a copyright notice in the program itself and a license file included with both the binaries and the source code, so I'm not sure why you thought it was a good idea in any way to change/remove those. You'll have to bring those back, though since the license file also includes the copyright info, only including the file would probably satisfy the legal requirements of the MIT license as well.

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 PostPost subject: Re: Virtual Computer - An emulator for the true PC historian        Posted: Fri Dec 14, 2018 11:08 pm 
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mrpijey wrote:
I am just a spectator in all this, but wouldn't it be better that you all cooperated with a single fork instead of making yet another fork? You would only be reinventing the wheel over and over instead of collaborating and focusing your skills and knowledge making a better single fork....?
The reason why there are all of these separate forks is that we all have significant disagreements on which direction that this emulator should be heading in, and so a lot of the changes that one "fork" makes might not be considered acceptable by the developers of another fork.

Take my latest changes to the Intel chipset emulation for example. I have already made major changes in order to accomodate new features for future versions of the emulator such as numerous new Intel chipsets and even the AGP bus, especially for machines that were available/current on the same day in 1998. However, the developers of 86Box and VARCem seem to find that to be "too modern/new" for those emulators to handle, leaving only my own emulator fork.

Also, there are a lot of new machines which I am personally interested in adding from a whole series of brand names (some quite rare and others much more commonplace back when they were new), but I'm not really sure as to whether they would be of any interest to the developers of the other emulator forks. Like many of my program's new machines, for example. Lots of these machines used similar Intel chipsets and even Intel system boards, and so I'm not exactly convinced that the other emulator forks would find them to be of any use to their projects considering that they already have basic emulation of standard Intel boards.

Long story short, we have different views on what would be approprate for a PC emulator. True, in an ideal world as you pointed out, it would be far better if we could all share in the development of one emulator, but unfortunately this is not an ideal world, and so that's why there are all these forks. Even DOSBox has lots of forks for similar reasons.

Overdoze: Thanks for the clarification, I'll be sure to update all of the emulator download links accordingly. You're right, I probably should have asked you about it first though.

EDIT: Apparently I made a mistake with the original upload since I forgot to include the source code from 86Box Manager. All issues have hopefully been corrected, and I also made a quick update to the "About Virtual Computer" dialog box to include the copyrights to 86Box Manager. It was a bit of a rush job, though, but I at least included the original developer's copyright notices. I also updated the V100README.TXT file to point to the 86Box Manager code being credited to the original developer and being released under the MIT license.

EDIT 2: The COMPAQ Portable III is working again! All links have since been updated to reflect this update. Please see first post for screenshots and new download links.

EDIT 3: Future versions of the emulator source code will be moved to Github following feedback below once source tree is re-organized to meet community standards.

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 PostPost subject: Re: Virtual Computer - An emulator for the true PC historian        Posted: Sat Dec 15, 2018 4:38 pm 
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Hello. I've tried new version of emulator but have issues with Compaq Deskpro 2000. During POST Deskpro's BIOS gives errors 1155, 611 and 162. inserting Diagnostics diskette (SP2330 and SP4711) gives nothing.
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 PostPost subject: Re: Virtual Computer - An emulator for the true PC historian        Posted: Sat Dec 15, 2018 4:52 pm 
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ArtiomWin wrote:
Hello. I've tried new version of emulator but have issues with Compaq Deskpro 2000. During POST Deskpro's BIOS gives errors 1155, 611 and 162. inserting Diagnostics diskette (SP2330 and SP4711) gives nothing.
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This system unfortunately has issues as described in the V100README.TXT file. I'm still trying to investigate them, but I was at the very least able to get MS-DOS 6.22 installed on it by using another machine to install to a 500 MB hard disk image, then switching back to the Deskpro 2000 and using XT/IDE. I'll also try Windows 98 later and see how that works out. I should probably change the machine listing to say "INCOMPLETE" or something like that if this continues by the next update.

There are many other brand names that you could try though, such as the AST Premmia GX that I added using one of the ROM BIOS images that you sent me.

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 PostPost subject: Re: Virtual Computer - An emulator for the true PC historian        Posted: Sat Dec 15, 2018 4:56 pm 
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Hmmm... This emu seems interesting. I hope the program gets better as time goes on. Good luck!


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 PostPost subject: Re: Virtual Computer - An emulator for the true PC historian        Posted: Sat Dec 15, 2018 5:58 pm 
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SoftPCMuseum wrote:
All of the new Intel chipset-based machines that I added are based on the correct Intel chipsets, since I have definitely looked at reliable component listings from PC Magazine articles. For example, all of the Gateway 2000 machines are based on the actual Intel chipsets and system boards that they shipped with when first new, and I also tested each new machine to make sure that it was able to boot up, and I also put down a list of issues in the V100README.TXT file.

Sure, you got the Intel 4*0*X chips right, but have you got the Super I/O chips right? Have you got any other auxiliary chips right? Your readme even openly admits that you went and used the existing emulated chips in place of the correct ones, even though the correct ones might operate entirely diffrently.
Also, testing each new machine to make sure it boots up is not enough - you need to test more extensively. You need to make sure that reconfiguring COM ports, etc., all works as intended. It doesn't, you've given the word a wrong chip or the chip is impoperly emulated.
And your readme says a lot of stuff that are basically "the board has problems, I have no idea why, so use a workaround instead". That's not an acceptable standard, sorry.

Quote:
ake my latest changes to the Intel chipset emulation for example. I have already made major changes in order to accomodate new features for future versions of the emulator such as numerous new Intel chipsets and even the AGP bus, especially for machines that were available/current on the same day in 1998. However, the developers of 86Box and VARCem seem to find that to be "too modern/new" for those emulators to handle, leaving only my own emulator fork.

They are not too modern/new - they need Pentium Pro/Pentium II emulation, which as you can see, I already started, but it's not as easy as you think it is.

Quote:
Also, if you checked the entire directory tree of the CPU code, you will see that I actually made quite a few changes to the CPU code. There are many new CPU models, for example (including the UMC 486 CPUs),

Did you get their timings anywhere close to the real ones? Did you add any manufacturer-specific instructions? Were you able to find official datasheets for any of the new CPU's?

Quote:
and even the base CPU core has changed in many ways to be more accurate to how the original CPUs actually worked (especially for Pentium and higher CPUs).

I'm doing this with the 808x emulation these days, and even that took me over two weeks to port from reenigne's cycle-accurate XTCE emulator. You're telling me you did the same work on the Pentium (which is much more complex than the 808x) in less time, from scratch? Sorry, but I find that hard to believe.
And no, as reenigne, Scali, trixter, etc. have already explained to you on the Vogons forum before, just blindly copying the cycle counts from a datasheet is not it.

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The machine listings are mainly reorganized in the order of brand name or system manufacturer (such as IBM, COMPAQ, Intel, et...) instead of in the order of the CPU socket type. I also tried to clean it up a bit by using hopefully more accurate product names and model numbers.

For the end user, organization by CPU type/socket type is much more relevant, as it allows them to find machines of a given period more easily. Your list also has a lot "categories" and "separators" which are really machines - if you want actual categories and sepatators in the list, you need to use something more advanced that a standard combo box, which is going to mean have to write a lot of your own code to handle the stuff.

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The new machines that are extremely incomplete were also disabled in the source code anyway. You could theoretically re-enable them yourself but I am not at all guaranteeing that they are going to even be usable, unlike with the machines that were actually enabled for this release.

No, a lot of your branded machines that are enabled in the source code, use the existing machines' init functions, even though they probably use entirely different Super I/O chips, etc.

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The reason why there are all of these separate forks is that we all have significant disagreements on which direction that this emulator should be heading in, and so a lot of the changes that one "fork" makes might not be considered acceptable by the developers of another fork.

I'm going to respond to that in PM.

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Also, there are a lot of new machines which I am personally interested in adding from a whole series of brand names (some quite rare and others much more commonplace back when they were new), but I'm not really sure as to whether they would be of any interest to the developers of the other emulator forks. Like many of my program's new machines, for example. Lots of these machines used similar Intel chipsets and even Intel system boards, and so I'm not exactly convinced that the other emulator forks would find them to be of any use to their projects considering that they already have basic emulation of standard Intel boards.

They are of interest, but often it's difficult to find out which Super I/O chip, etc. they use, and sometimes their BIOS'es flat out don't work (eg. any Phoenix 486 or Pentium BIOS'es I've tried so far). That's why they're not there. You also never asked me at all about any of it. I believe that I had invited you to directly contribute to 86Box. I think I'm one of the few emulator developers that is actually willing to sit down, have a talk, and find a compromise acceptable to both sides.

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 PostPost subject: Re: Virtual Computer - An emulator for the true PC historian        Posted: Sat Dec 15, 2018 6:10 pm 
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Battler wrote:
I'm doing this with the 808x emulation these days, and even that took me over two weeks to port from reenigne's cycle-accurate XTCE emulator. You're telling me you did the same work on the Pentium (which is much more complex than the 808x) in less time, from scratch? Sorry, but I find that hard to believe.
And no, as reenigne, Scali, trixter, etc. have already explained to you on the Vogons forum before, just blindly copying the cycle counts from a datasheet is not it.
Actually, these changes were done earlier this year over the course of many weeks. I didn't simply do it all in a day, nor did I say that I did.

Also, I can at the very least tell you that all of the AST, AT&T (NCR) and Gateway 2000 systems are infact using the correct Super I/O chips since I was able to match them to the correct types of Intel system boards, and I also tested them to make sure that no such conflicts actually occurred. Those systems don't appear to have any issues at all from what I've seen, and I even tested them with various versions of MS-DOS and Windows. The same is also true of all of the other machines which use Intel system boards and similar versions of AMIBIOS.

As for the other systems, I'm still working those issues out, but I'm going to need more time in order to sit down and try to correct each issue one by one, especially when documentation for some of these components is hard to find.

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 PostPost subject: Re: Virtual Computer - An emulator for the true PC historian        Posted: Sat Dec 15, 2018 6:24 pm 
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SoftPCMuseum wrote:
Actually, these changes were done earlier this year over the course of many weeks. I didn't simply do it all in a day, nor did I say that I did.

Reenigne took 3 years and a half to get his cycle-accurate XTCE to the point it's at now. You're telling me you've done the same with Pentium emulation in less than one year? I'm sorry, but it's impossible to believe because it makes absolutely no sense. The Pentium is much more complicated to emulate than the 8088, so if cycle-accurate 8088 emulation took 3 and a half years to write and it still has some inaccuracies in it, to do the same for the Pentium is most likely going to take at least twice as much time.

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Actually, these changes were done earlier this year over the course of many weeks. I didn't simply do it all in a day, nor did I say that I did.

Also, I can at the very least tell you that all of the AST, AT&T (NCR) and Gateway 2000 systems are infact using the correct Super I/O chips since I was able to match them to the correct types of Intel system boards, and I also tested them to make sure that no such conflicts actually occurred. Those systems don't appear to have any issues at all from what I've seen, and I even tested them with various versions of MS-DOS and Windows. The same is also true of all of the other machines which use Intel system boards and similar versions of AMIBIOS.

I am sorry but this post shows you have no idea what you're talking about. Super I/O chips != Intel system chips. I'm talking about the SMC, UMC, etc. chips. There were a lot of them.
You also did not consider any IDE boards - a lot of the branded machines had the PIIX/PIIX3's IDE bus master capability disabled and replaced with a different PCI IDE controller. And often they had proprietary modifications done to the Intel system chips they used - look at what I had to do for the Packard Bell PB640's version of the 430FX and PIIX. And I was lucky that D00nicus (the guy who requested said machine's emulation) was willing to sit in my IRC channel and probe his real board's chips for that. Smaller brands (Asus (which was smaller back then), Epox, etc.) usually kept their chips close to standard ones, but big brands tended to customize them as the PB640's chips show.
And you also never considered the Flash (BIOS EEPROM) chips, not every board back then used the Intel Flash chips currently emulated. Some used other Intel Flash chips for which no datasheet is currently available, others used other vendors' Flash chips, etc.
And in the end, you have the serial and parallel ports, etc., often part of the Super I/O chip, but nothing guarantees an OEM did not disable the Super I/O chip's components and added others that were better (or sometimes, worse).

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 PostPost subject: Re: Virtual Computer - An emulator for the true PC historian        Posted: Sat Dec 15, 2018 6:36 pm 
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Battler wrote:
I am sorry but this post shows you have no idea what you're talking about. Super I/O chips != Intel system chips. I'm talking about the SMC, UMC, etc. chips. There were a lot of them.
Actually that was what I was talking about in the post that you quoted. The reason for why the systems with the Intel boards were by far the most trouble free was that I was using the code for the equivalent standard Intel system boards, meaning that those machines should be using the correct Super I/O chips in addition to the chipset itself. At the very least, all of the systems with Intel chipsets plus AMIBIOS fall into this category. I should probably have made a list of those systems though.

I have also had to keep track of various Super I/O chips that different types of boards used even across the same chipsets, and for this reason I have also often been forced to look at pictures of the boards online just to see exactly what chips were being used in them. This is also why I try to find reliable manuals and specifications for each system board, since those often have listings for the Super I/O chips (both brand name and model) in addition to the basic features and chipset.

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 PostPost subject: Re: Virtual Computer - An emulator for the true PC historian        Posted: Sat Dec 15, 2018 6:45 pm 
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SockPCMuseum wrote:
Actually that was what I was talking about in the post that you quoted. The reason for why the systems with the Intel boards were by far the most trouble free was that I was using the code for the equivalent standard Intel system boards, meaning that those machines should be using the correct Super I/O chips in addition to the chipset itself. At the very least, all of the systems with Intel chipsets plus AMIBIOS fall into this category. I should probably have made a list of those systems though.

You can't just assume that, Super I/O chips varied a lot, even among "similar" boards. :p

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