NetBSD 1.5.1 follow up

I figured I’d share what I had, and allow people to download my disk image, and for win32 users, it has all the bits to go…

Just extract THIS zip file, and then run the mips.cmd file, and you’ll be in NetBSD ARC/MIPS land in no time!

Other platforms will need to build Qemu 0.12.3 and use the mips 64bit little endian emulator to run the disk image…

NetBSD 1.5.1 – arc

Well… I was looking around for another OS that’d run on a MAGNUM (ie ARC MIPS in little endian mode), and I found that NetBSD supports the ARC Magnum, unlike OpenBSD.

Sadly it’s *VERY* touchy…. The current version 5.0.2 crashes when unpacking the distribution… However 1.5.1 runs! … kind of.

NetBSD 1.5.1 for the ARC has no install program… So I had to prepare a system partition with Windows NT, then boot that disk under the i386 qemu emulator with NetBSD 1.5.1, setup the disk, and unpack the distro.

From there it was a matter of rigging the ARC loader to boot up an ecoff kernel.

There were a few files in the /etc directory to ‘fix’ to allow normal booting (fstab/rc.conf) and to make sure there is no /netbsd in the root.. For some reason while extracting symbols for the ps tables and whatnot it CRASHES.

So far I’m having issues with the networking, but it is running!

I may have to do some more experimenting with this to see if later versions of NetBSD can get their networking going… The ‘big’ issue at the moment is the ethernet reports a MAC address of all zeros… While the same nvram file in Windows NT works just happily……..

Oh well, here is a screen shot!

NetBSD 1.5.1 ARC on Qemu 0.12.3

NetBSD 1.5.1 ARC on Qemu 0.12.3

I guess it’s worth mentioning that once it boots up, it’s been stable enough for me to rebuild a kernel.. And the kernel even booted! (but transferring it out was such a major ordeal…)

Dungeon for NetBSD little endian MIPS

Dungeon for NetBSD little endian MIPS

Oh, and of course it runs dungeon!

Neko x64!

For no real reason today I remmeber that there used to be this cool program back in the Windows 3.0 days called Neko. I was trying to explain it to my girlfriend about this cat that would chase your mouse!  Click the picture above to play with neko in jdosbox.

I recall that Neko even made it to OS/2 as it was more interesting than the mouse trails alternative from Microsoft.

At any rate, I was wondering if there ever was a 32bit version of Neko… And much to my amazement I found there was a Neko95, and a Neko98! And they even ran on my x64 version of Windows… So after googling around, I found the source code to Neko 98!

So, I did the next best thing, which is download the source, fix a single casting ‘error’ in some square root function and I got it building under Visual C++ 2008. Then I figured, what the hell, added a target for the x64, and built… a 64 bit version of neko!

You can download the x64 binaries, and the source directory that I used here.

You may need some VC runtimes if your system is an old x64… At this moment it can be found here:

Or by searching for Microsoft Visual C++ 2008 SP1 Redistributable Package (x64)

Oh well at any rate, it’s cool to see Neko still kicking!

PS When I get back, I’ll have to see about an i386, MIPS, Dec Alpha and Itanium build… wink wink!


Neko98’s source code has been rescued, all saved here. and on github.

—years later

I just received this screen shot of Neko x64 rocking it on Windows 8 (Desktop mode)

Neko on Windows 8

Fun with SLIP

Back before the advent of PPP there was SLIP. And the main difference between the two is that SLIP was configured statically. For people with static devices (routers) etc this worked fine. After all SLIP was point to point by nature. And of course it sat behind leased lines, and dialups that were maintained in a 1:1 fashion so you knew you were dialing, and where they were….

Then the internet went all consumer based, and that was out.. the world needed a ‘dynamic’ protocol, and they took SLIP and taught it to auto configure… the results were PPP.

Anyways if you ever find yourself with some kind of legacy device…. SLIP is as good as it gets.

And that is where the fun begins…..

A friend of mine scored the tcp/ip kit for a certain venerable UNIX, and of course it being from the late 1980’s it only supports SLIP. Well thankfully it runs in Virtual PC 2007. So we can have some fun with it.

Windows 7, Vista, 2003 and XP have *NO* SLIP support… That means you’ll need a Windows NT 4.0 machine to make the magic work…

So first up install a copy of NT 4.0 . It wont matter if it’s workstation,server,enterprise or terminal server. While you are installing it, setup a single NIC, and then setup RAS on COM2 with any bogus modem you want… The next thing to do is make sure you have service pack 6… You may as well update it.

Once that is done, you’ll need to make a few registry changes. The first will enable unimodem support..

Make a DWORD key named “EnableUnimodem”, and set it to 1.

The next key to modify is
Make a DWORD key named “DisableOtherSrcPackets” and set it to 0.

Now with all that in place, reboot the NT 4.0 VM.

Next you’ll need the ‘new’ and improved driver for a nullmodem available here. thanks to Kevin Wells.

Now you can add the “RAS Serial Cable between 2PCs” on COM1, and set it up for dial out operations. While you are configuring it, be sure to uncheck all the flow control options, and all the header compression… Odds are your SLIP machine will be too old to support such stuff. While you are going thru your options, be sure to pick an ip address for your target & the NT machine…

Ok now with all that out of the way, then configure Virtual PC (or server) to use COM1 for some named pipes… \\.\pipe\slip1 works great.

Now what I do is I launch hyper terminal on the NT side, have it on COM1 running at 9600 baud (most old OS’s cannot safely do more then that because of issues with the originally 16550 UARTS). Then from the UNIX side, configure it’s COM1 on the same pipe, then try this from the UNIX side:

echo ‘a’ > /dev/tty1a

If you are lucky you’ll see an ‘a’ pop up on the serial program. If so GREAT!.. If not.. try turning off all the VM’s, and try it again…. Sometimes the pipe code for VPC/Vserver gets out of sync.

Assuming it worked, you can then initiate the ‘dialing’ part from the NT side, give it a phone number of 1 to satisfy the script and it’ll sit there waiting for *ANYTHING* on the serial port…

On the UNIX side I run this in a script…

echo ‘a’ > /dev/tty1a
slattach /dev/tty1A 9600
route add default 1

Then run the script, and NT 4.0 should beep and you should be in business!

Go ahead and ping and whatnot…

If that is working, then you can take the next step on your LAN and add some routing statements pointing the towards the LAN ip of your NT machine, and it should route!

I’ve managed to get the box on the internet so it does work!!!!!

The Commodore Amiga

I was enjoying that great site, stumbleupon when I came across a commented listing of the Amiga 1.2 ROM. Then it hat hit me, I’ve never really written about some of the great emulators for the Commodore Amiga.

Back when I was in highschool I wanted a Commodore Amiga, as at the time I was stuck with a Commodore 64. However the world was starting to accept the IBM PC swing of things. Windows 3.0 was out, suddenly the protected mode of the 80286 could be exploited for only a few hundred dollars, vs the thousands for a UNIX port, or what OS/2 cost. And of course the big appeal at the time was that you could build your own PC in a kit fashion (well it still is!). So I was toying with the idea of buying this 286 8Mhz board for $30 CDN when I saw this program that a kid had brought in… It needed VGA, but it could apparently emulate a Commodore Amiga!

You can still download it here.

Running it just simply threw up a picture of the Amiga’s insert a workbench diskette, and clicked the drive madly.. Passing it through a hex editor showed a copy of an Amiga ROM tacked on the end, but it didn’t actually emulate anything.

But I didn’t realize it at the time, and it cemented my decision to buy the 286.

Years later and the topic of m68k emulation came up, as there were simple cross assemblers and simulators, and I can remember in college searching to see if anyone had started an Amiga emulator… And there was one project!


Originally it stood for “Unusable Amiga Emulator” and well it was unusable. But then with enough people starting to flock to the project it suddenly could boot AmigaDOS. I used to use this on MS-DOS back in the day for ‘maximum’ speed. I was able to find one ancient version of this 0.65 that still has an MS-DOS exe. And it runs great under DOSBOX. You can find it here.

And for the heck of it, here is a screen shot with a 1.3 ROM.

UAE 0.65 under DOSBOX

UAE 0.65 under DOSBOX

Naturally transferring disks was a major pain in the butt… I luckily had a friend with a working Amiga and cross dos for AmigaDOS all configured so I could transfer some terminal emulator to my poor Amiga 500 I had picked up at a used hardware store in college. Then I used what I could of ramdisks, compression programs and whatnot to upload via some 50 foot nullmodem cable I had to transfer ADF’s of my workbench disks and an old favorite game of mine, Captain Blood. Even back at the time, Commodore was bankrupt their future was bleak. Getting spare parts then was becoming hard for my Amiga 500. And my 486SX-20 could almost run at an acceptable speed in emulation..

But time marches on.

UAE was then ported to Linux & X11, and the SVGA lib. I had some old RS232 terminal so I could keep on using my machine to ‘work’ and still play console vga stuff like doom for SVGAlib and of course UAE. Now with CPUs in the GHz++ speed range, emulation of a 8Mhz machine with 3 custom chips is more in software then raw cpu speed. The UAE project kind of died off, there hasn’t been any big updates in years, but the CPU core work lives on in all kinds of m68k derived work.

There is no doubt that there is still a few closeted Amiga users out there, but I suspect that we don’t kick up UAE all that much these days.. But it’s still cool to watch it in action.

And of course the demos! One of my favorites was the fairlight 242 demo. Which UAE with a Kickstart 1.3 ROM will run. Even the MS-DOS version!

fairlight 242 UAE for DOS on DOSBOX

fairlight 242 UAE for DOS on DOSBOX

I should add you can find more demos here, and a Win32 version of UAE here.

Qemu 0.12.3 win32 build available

Hot off the compiler….

I even remembered to strip the exe’s so it’s WAY smaller then the other versions….

Also for those *ONLY* interested in x86 emulation (ie regular PC) I’ve created a far smaller archive here, that only contains the pc emulator.

I figure the amount of people that run the non x86 stuff is few & far between.

Qemu 12.3 is out!

didn’t the time fly by?

Anyways scanning through the list I see that the SDL full screen/windowing has been fixed!

I’ll have to crank out some binaries later, but I had to write something here, otherwise I’d forget it.

Also on the topic of Qemu, I see this site has me listed as the latest win32 build site for Qemu on Win32…


The oldest CP/M ‘simulator’ out there.

I was surprised to come across this little simulator simply called ‘com‘ tonight. This program started out as a 8080 instruction simulator for a mc68000 machine running CP/M, back in 1984, and was written by one Jim Cathey.

‘Com’ was then later written up, and published in Dr. Dobb’s Journal.

From there it’s evolved it’s assembly core to some other 68000 cpu families and platforms, then the MIPS and PowerPC. Then in 2006 the CPU core was re-written in C.

For a while it’s primary platform was a 68000 based Unix, and it still has a lot of unix’isims buried in the source. I’m sure it’d build in MinGW though.

But in the meantime I figured it was yet another reason to fire up the old gcc 1.37.1 for Xenix to give this thing a go.

The biggest, and dumbest thing I fought was without realizing there was both a ‘Makefile’, and a ‘makefile’, and gmake kept running the lowercase one, while I was editing the Makefile in vain… But with that out of the way, and a few includes to fix, it was VERY straight forward to build. Not to mention running Xenix on Virtual PC 2007 on my new intel core i7 cpu, it compiles the C version just about as quickly as I can hit the enter key.

Because it’s on Virtual PC the last few lines of the console are garbled.. Oh well, at least the floppy controller works (as long as you hard code /dev/fd0 to 2,60).

So, here is a picture:

Xenix 2.3.4 with ccom zork1

Xenix 2.3.4 with ccom zork1

And a disk image. All I’ve really done is tweaked a few things, and built this with gcc so it includes a binary for Xenix systems. Also the ‘com.tar.gz’ package did include quite a few sample programs… is fun, along with zork 1,2 &3!

On a final note, I thought the Xenix thing was a good road to head down because in the 1990’s there was this BIG push for ibcs2 compatibility across all these Unix platforms on the i386 cpu. Well it’s been largely abandoned work, and the best I got was OpenBSD complaining that its always out of memory, and NetBSD kernel panics!.. Open Solaris has *NO* ibcs2 compatibility even left.

I suspect it doesn’t matter, esp now that you can run some real ibcs2 OS’s in a VM, who needs 3rd party emulation?

I guess I’m just too late to the party.

Frotz on Xenix

Well after having some fun with gcc, I wanted to try something a little more… “fun”. I’ve had good luck in the past with ‘dumb frotz‘ on the old BSD stuff (4.2/4.3 etc) but surprisingly I had no luck at all with gcc & xenix.

Well that was rather odd.

So in some crazed attempt I tried the regular version of Unix Frotz 2.32. Xenix was lacking the memmove procedure, but thanks to an old post here, I was able to get it running under Xenix.

Ok, fair warning it is SLOW. It’ runs the cpu into 1.0 levels… I don’t know why. My attempts at building gdb and using it from that old Soviet site hasn’t met with much luck.

Oh, and it was easier to massage some make files with gnumake.

But it does run!

If anyone want’s to give it a whirl it’s available here.

gzip for Xenix

sorry I didn’t realize that IIS was blocking the gzip download because of it haveing no extension…

I really need to redo that whole install.

Meanwhile you can download it here:


Also I found on some old “Soviet Union” website (no really it’s a .su!) a binary version of GCC for Xenix… I’ll post more later as I get a chance to go through the thing….

For the adventurous it’s here:  (now offline)

It’s kind of interesting to find such a thing, and if you see the dates, it’s from January 28th 1991… In the last days of the Soviet Union… Well lucky for us, someone in Russia is a packrat! I guess they were starting to switch out from homemade PDP-11’s into 386’s and they didn’t bother porting their ‘pirated’ versions of Unix v6…