Smith Corona teletype conversion

While converting your typewriter into a teletype may not be all the rage, nor may it be all that … ‘new’ of a project, this one was sent in to me by Stefan (thanks!).

Not only is it in Toronto ( Site 3 coLaboratory ), but yes……

It runs ZORK!

I suppose at some point, somone will have to find the smallest machine with an ethernet & USB port, some rs232/usb cables and a few real terminals for a real ‘micro’ vax…. Or at least, that’s what I envision… 🙂

Notes on fat binaries & OS X

I suppose this also applied to NeXTSTEP/OPENSTEP but I didn’t cross build that much between the m68k and i386…

So let’s start with a 3 way compile…

$ gcc -arch i386 -arch x86_64 -arch ppc7400 dhrystone.c -o dhrystone
$ file dhrystone
dhrystone: Mach-O universal binary with 3 architectures
dhrystone (for architecture i386): Mach-O executable i386
dhrystone (for architecture x86_64): Mach-O 64-bit executable x86_64
dhrystone (for architecture ppc7400): Mach-O executable ppc

This builds the single file for all 3 machine types of OS X..

For anyone that cares, this is my quad core box..

$ ./dhrystone
Dhrystone(1.1) time for 500000000 passes = 83
This machine benchmarks at 6024096 dhrystones/second

Ok, now let’s pull out the PowerPC executable, and run that….

$ lipo -extract ppc7400 dhrystone -output dpc
$ file dpc
dpc: Mach-O universal binary with 1 architecture
dpc (for architecture ppc7400): Mach-O executable ppc
$ ./dpc
Dhrystone(1.1) time for 500000000 passes = 214
This machine benchmarks at 2336448 dhrystones/second

Which isn’t too bad, seeing the emulator runs at 1/3rd speed of the native exe.. It’s no wonder that IBM bought transitive, and shut them down. This kind of technology would make it far too easy for everyone to move away from expensive CPUs…!

Now let’s extract the 32bit i386 exe.

$ lipo -extract i386 dhrystone -output di3

Nothing to really see here.

And for the final part, let’s combine the extracted PPC & i386 executables.

$ lipo di3 dpc -create -output dip
$ file dip
dip: Mach-O universal binary with 2 architectures
dip (for architecture i386): Mach-O executable i386
dip (for architecture ppc7400): Mach-O executable ppc

And there we have it.. Using this I guess I can try to find versions of Qemu that will hopefully cross build on my machine that I can stitch together so that some platforms (PPC) have *SOMETHING* to run at least…..

Or maybe it’ll help someone at least make a stub ‘we are sorry, nothing to see here’ vs an exe error.

Qemu & the PC98

I have only seen one NEC PC-98 in my life, and naturally it was in Japan.. Wiki has a great article, (naturally), basically it was an intel powered IBM incompatible system, that ran an adapted version of MS-DOS localized to Japanese. It wasn’t until the introduction of Windows 95, did these machines die out, as 95 could be localized pretty well..

Anyways, after googling around to see who linked my builds of Qemu, I found this site, by Takeda Toshiya that includes patches and binaries for PC-98 emulation via Qemu!

I understand the PC-98 had quite a following for all kinds of games as people shifted away from the Sharp X68000.. Who also announced last week that they would exit the PC market all together.


Qemu 0.13.0 for Win32

Another thing to ‘fix’ in addition to the 0.13.0rc1 is this..

qemu-char.c:2092: undefined reference to `qemu_chr_open_fd’

I just commented out line 2092. I’m not sure what the deal is, as the sparc boots up solaris 2.6 just as it always has (with the same syslog/vold issues… )

Anyways, as always the i386/x64 ONLY binaries are here:

And the whole package is here, which includes the i386/x64 support.

Let me stress for those of you clicking like wild that if you are just emulating a typical pc you only need the much smaller download… As for the rest, well you know the deal.

I’ve also built this out on my mac, but it’s x86_64, so you 32bit people would be out of luck.. I’m not sure if I could do a multiple arch build in one shot, or use lipo to just glue them together???

I donno.

Qemu-0.13.0 MIPS - NT 4

Anyways, I’ve tested Solaris 2.6 (SPARC) and NT 4.0 (MIPS) so I imagine everything else is ok….

CP/M & Zork in Java Script!!!

Yes, it’s finally happened!!!!

This morning, I got an email from Stefan Tramm, informing me of his work.. Basically he’s combined ShellInABox’s vt100 commands, js8080’s Intel 8080 emulator, along with z80pack’s disk format, and CP/M port to provide a CP/M emulator that works in Java Script!!!


It is that cool.

Now the emulator is one of these new fancy HTML5 applications, which means you’ll need either Google Chrome 5, or Safari 5.. I would imagine Internet Explorer 9 and a later Firefox ought to work….

One thing that you’ll want to do is configure your popup blocker to allow the domain to open up popup windows, as that is how you mount disk images into the VM..

To get going though it’s real simple. Just click and hit the “Start Emu8080” link, and you’ll get to the console.

Next you’ll have to download a copy of CP/M 2.2 from the server into your local browser datastore by type in:



r 0 cpma

Then load in the bootsector…




Then start executing at 0



g 0


Then you’ll be in CP/M

All running in a browser!

So taking it one step further, I downloaded and built the Cpmtools 2.13 on OS X, used the cpma.cpm disk image as a template, deleted it’s contents and then inserted the ZORK 1 data & program into the disk image… Giving you a zork1.cpm.

So if you’ve turned off the popup blocker on Chrome, you can type in the ‘dsk’ command before you boot up CP/M. This way you can load it into the disk 1 position (B:) then boot up CP/M and play….

CP-M Zork1 on Javascript


All and all, I have to say this is really impressive for something like javascript to actually be somewhat usable… Naturally a 3Ghz+ CPU makes it all possible…. lol GWBasic users back on the 4Mhz machines ought to cringe every time thinking about the level of speed required to pull this off…!!!!

And thanks to Stefan for emailing me about this!

— edit

Stefan has added the zork1 disk image onto his server, so you can now simply load it via:

r 1 zork1

And that’ll place Zork 1 into the ‘B:’ drive.

Acer ONE (ZG5/AOA150)

So a few years back, my laptop died, and I was on the road. I swung into a Wal*Mart, and picked up an Acer One for under $300 USD… Nice machine, but it’s loaded up with Windows XP home.

Which is ok, for being in a panic and on the road, but wasn’t all that hot for a full time laptop. So fastforward, and I’m looking for a machine to run some low level ASP.NET stuff on, and while looking through my old machines, I’m thinking if only this Acer One could run 2003, or even XP Pro. But I don’t have a USB CD-ROM on me, and I’d like to format the drive, obliterating all the bs I had on there before. That’s when I came across this great program, Win Setup from USB.

What a lifesaver, a minute downloading 2003 from MSDN, and a spare 2GB flash drive, and I’m installing 2003 on my Acer One.

Not to mention I can load Virtual Server 2005 (not the r2 version or the service packed one, that’ll load nextstep!).

Oh well that’s my random thing for the day.

Qemu version 0.13.0 rc1

Qemu version 0.13rc1 has now been released!

I’ve found two issues so far when building on Windows… In the file vnc-enc-tight.c I’ve had to add the following line to the top:

typedef unsigned int uint;

And the next being in the file ui/sdl.c

The MinGW environment doesn’t seem to allow the setenv call, so I just remove the lines…

if (!full_screen) {

One other thing I’ve done is modified the hw/pc.c and removed the 0x300/irq 9 NE2000 NIC, as there is some IRQ conflict on number 9…

At any rate, I’ll provide binaries for Windows users, a x86 only package is here, while the larger ‘full’ package is here.

Formatting disks for Solaris

This applies to Qemu and real SPARC’s… Anyways, every disk that Solaris uses has to be tagged with a special ‘format’ and disk label for use. When you buy disks from SUN they did this at the factory. However if you go ahead with a 3rd party disk, you’ll have to do this yourself.

Luckily it’s not all that hard.

So in this quick example we’ll add a 36GB disk to Qemu for use with Solaris 2.6

Now I’ve had issues with Solaris 2.6’s format program so I also use a Solaris 8 CD for that portion. I’m going to assume you’ve got all the bits to make Solaris on Qemu work.

The first step is to create the hard disk.

$ ./qemu-img create -f qcow2 36GB.disk 36GB
Formatting ’36GB.disk’, fmt=qcow2 size=38654705664 encryption=off cluster_size=0

I’m running this on OS X, however the steps are all the same for Linux & Windows users.

Now the next step is to fire up Qemu with the Solaris 8 CDROM.

$ ./qemu-system-sparc -bios ss5.bin -nographic -L . -hda 36GB.disk -m 256 -M SS-5 -cdrom sol-8-u7-install-sparc.iso

Then the ROM will initialize:

Power-ON Reset

$$$$$ WARNING: No Keyboard Detected! $$$$$
MMU Context Table Reg Test
MMU Context Register Test
MMU TLB Replace Ctrl Reg Tst
MMU Sync Fault Stat Reg Test
MMU Sync Fault Addr Reg Test
MMU TLB RAM NTA Pattern Test
ERROR : Address= 000000fc, exp= 07ffffdc, obs= 00000000, xor= 07ffffdc
initializing TLB
initializing cache

Allocating SRMMU Context Table
Setting SRMMU Context Register
Setting SRMMU Context Table Pointer Register
Allocating SRMMU Level 1 Table
Mapping RAM
Mapping ROM

ttya initialized
Probing Memory Bank #0 32 Megabytes
Probing Memory Bank #1 32 Megabytes
Probing Memory Bank #2 32 Megabytes
Probing Memory Bank #3 32 Megabytes
Probing Memory Bank #4 32 Megabytes
Probing Memory Bank #5 32 Megabytes
Probing Memory Bank #6 32 Megabytes
Probing Memory Bank #7 32 Megabytes
Incorrect configuration checksum;
Setting NVRAM parameters to default values.
Setting diag-switch? NVRAM parameter to true
Probing CPU FMI,MB86904
Probing /iommu@0,10000000/sbus@0,10001000 at 5,0 espdma esp sd st SUNW,bpp ledma le
Probing /iommu@0,10000000/sbus@0,10001000 at 4,0 SUNW,CS4231 power-management
Probing /iommu@0,10000000/sbus@0,10001000 at 1,0 Nothing there
Probing /iommu@0,10000000/sbus@0,10001000 at 2,0 Nothing there
Probing /iommu@0,10000000/sbus@0,10001000 at 3,0 Nothing there
Probing /iommu@0,10000000/sbus@0,10001000 at 0,0 Nothing there
screen not found.
Can’t open input device.
Keyboard not present. Using tty for input and output.
Probing Memory Bank #0 32 Megabytes
Probing Memory Bank #1 32 Megabytes
Probing Memory Bank #2 32 Megabytes
Probing Memory Bank #3 32 Megabytes
Probing Memory Bank #4 32 Megabytes
Probing Memory Bank #5 32 Megabytes
Probing Memory Bank #6 32 Megabytes
Probing Memory Bank #7 32 Megabytes
Incorrect configuration checksum;
Setting NVRAM parameters to default values.
Setting diag-switch? NVRAM parameter to true
Probing CPU FMI,MB86904
Probing /iommu@0,10000000/sbus@0,10001000 at 5,0 espdma esp sd st SUNW,bpp ledma le
Probing /iommu@0,10000000/sbus@0,10001000 at 4,0 SUNW,CS4231 power-management
Probing /iommu@0,10000000/sbus@0,10001000 at 1,0 Nothing there
Probing /iommu@0,10000000/sbus@0,10001000 at 2,0 Nothing there
Probing /iommu@0,10000000/sbus@0,10001000 at 3,0 Nothing there
Probing /iommu@0,10000000/sbus@0,10001000 at 0,0 Nothing there

SPARCstation 5, No Keyboard
ROM Rev. 2.15, 256 MB memory installed, Serial #0.
Ethernet address 52:54:0:12:34:56, Host ID: 80000000.

Boot device: /iommu/sbus/ledma@5,8400010/le@5,8c00000 File and args:
Internal loopback test — Wrong packet length; expected 36, observed 64

Can’t open boot device

Type help for more information

Now we boot off the CD-ROM, but into single user mode, with the verbose flag…

ok boot disk2:d -vs

Now the kernel will boot up, and dump us into single user mode. Take note about the disk having a “corrupt label – wrong magic number’ error.

Boot device: /iommu/sbus/espdma@5,8400000/esp@5,8800000/sd@2,0:d File and args: -vs
Size: 259712+54162+47510 Bytes
SunOS Release 5.8 Version Generic_108528-13 32-bit
Copyright 1983-2001 Sun Microsystems, Inc. All rights reserved.
Ethernet address = 52:54:0:12:34:56
Using default device instance data
vac: enabled in write through mode
mem = 262144K (0x10000000)
avail mem = 258383872
root nexus = SUNW,SPARCstation-5
iommu0 at root: obio 0x10000000
sbus0 at iommu0: obio 0x10001000
dma0 at sbus0: SBus slot 5 0x8400000
dma0 is /iommu@0,10000000/sbus@0,10001000/espdma@5,8400000
/iommu@0,10000000/sbus@0,10001000/espdma@5,8400000/esp@5,8800000 (esp0):
esp0 at dma0: SBus slot 5 0x8800000 sparc ipl 4
esp0 is /iommu@0,10000000/sbus@0,10001000/espdma@5,8400000/esp@5,8800000
sd0 at esp0: target 0 lun 0
sd0 is /iommu@0,10000000/sbus@0,10001000/espdma@5,8400000/esp@5,8800000/sd@0,0
WARNING: /iommu@0,10000000/sbus@0,10001000/espdma@5,8400000/esp@5,8800000/sd@0,0 (sd0):
corrupt label – wrong magic number

Vendor ‘QEMU’, product ‘QEMU’, 75497472 512 byte blocks
sd2 at esp0: target 2 lun 0
sd2 is /iommu@0,10000000/sbus@0,10001000/espdma@5,8400000/esp@5,8800000/sd@2,0
root on /iommu@0,10000000/sbus@0,10001000/espdma@5,8400000/esp@5,8800000/sd@2,0:b fstype ufs
obio0 at root
obio0 at obio0: obio 0x100000, sparc ipl 12
zs0 is /obio/zs@0,100000
obio1 at obio0: obio 0x0, sparc ipl 12
zs1 is /obio/zs@0,0
cpu0: FMI,MB86904 (mid 0 impl 0x0 ver 0x4 clock 1200 MHz)
Configuring /dev and /devices
pseudo-device: devinfo0
devinfo0 is /pseudo/devinfo@0
ledma0 at sbus0: SBus slot 5 0x8400010
le0 at ledma0: SBus slot 5 0x8c00000 sparc ipl 6
le0 is /iommu@0,10000000/sbus@0,10001000/ledma@5,8400010/le@5,8c00000
pseudo-device: fssnap0
fssnap0 is /pseudo/fssnap@0
sbusmem0 at sbus0: SBus slot 0 0x0
sbusmem0 is /iommu@0,10000000/sbus@0,10001000/sbusmem@0,0
sbusmem1 at sbus0: SBus slot 1 0x0
sbusmem1 is /iommu@0,10000000/sbus@0,10001000/sbusmem@1,0
sbusmem2 at sbus0: SBus slot 2 0x0
sbusmem2 is /iommu@0,10000000/sbus@0,10001000/sbusmem@2,0
sbusmem3 at sbus0: SBus slot 3 0x0
sbusmem3 is /iommu@0,10000000/sbus@0,10001000/sbusmem@3,0
sbusmem4 at sbus0: SBus slot 4 0x0
sbusmem4 is /iommu@0,10000000/sbus@0,10001000/sbusmem@4,0
sbusmem5 at sbus0: SBus slot 5 0x0
sbusmem5 is /iommu@0,10000000/sbus@0,10001000/sbusmem@5,0
NOTICE: SBus clock frequency out of range.
pseudo-device: winlock0
winlock0 is /pseudo/winlock@0
pseudo-device: lockstat0
lockstat0 is /pseudo/lockstat@0
pseudo-device: llc10
llc10 is /pseudo/llc1@0
NOTICE: audiocs0:Couldn’t set value (../../sun/io/audio/sada/drv/audiocs/audio_4231.c, Line #1738 0x00 0x88)
audiocs0:audio may not work correctly until it is stopped and restarted
audiocs0 at sbus0: SBus slot 4 0xc000000 SBus level 5 sparc ipl 9
audiocs0 is /iommu@0,10000000/sbus@0,10001000/SUNW,CS4231@4,c000000
pseudo-device: lofi0
lofi0 is /pseudo/lofi@0
pseudo-device: fcp0
fcp0 is /pseudo/fcp@0
Using RPC Bootparams for network configuration information.
/sbin/rcS: manual_find_and_mount_cdrom: not found


I now issue the drvconfig/disks commands. This is more useful for adding disks to a live system..

# drvconfig
NOTICE: SBus clock frequency out of range.
inst_sync failed for /etc/path_to_inst.66: Read-only file system
drvconfig: WARNING: failed to update /etc/path_to_inst
# disks
disks: mkdir failed for /dev 0x1ed: Read-only file system

Now for the fun part of ‘formatting’ the disk. Looking at this page, they give the geometry of a SCSI disk with a capacity of 36 GB as:

24,622 cylinders
27 heads
107 sectors

As a note the format program likes to reserve the last 2 cylinders, so you must answer this appropriately.

So using the above information, I run the format command like this:

# format
Searching for disks…WARNING: /iommu@0,10000000/sbus@0,10001000/espdma@5,8400000/esp@5,8800000/sd@0,0 (sd0):
corrupt label – wrong magic number

Vendor ‘QEMU’, product ‘QEMU’, 75497472 512 byte blocks

0. c0t0d0
Specify disk (enter its number): 0

0. Auto configure
1. Quantum ProDrive 80S
2. Quantum ProDrive 105S
3. CDC Wren IV 94171-344
4. SUN0104
5. SUN0207
6. SUN0327
7. SUN0340
8. SUN0424
9. SUN0535
10. SUN0669
11. SUN1.0G
12. SUN1.05
13. SUN1.3G
14. SUN2.1G
15. SUN2.9G
16. Zip 100
17. Zip 250
18. other
Specify disk type (enter its number): 18
Enter number of data cylinders: 24620
Enter number of alternate cylinders[2]:
Enter number of physical cylinders[24622]:
Enter number of heads: 27
Enter physical number of heads[default]:
Enter number of data sectors/track: 107
Enter number of physical sectors/track[default]:
Enter rpm of drive[3600]:
Enter format time[default]:
Enter cylinder skew[default]:
Enter track skew[default]:
Enter tracks per zone[default]:
Enter alternate tracks[default]:
Enter alternate sectors[default]:
Enter cache control[default]:
Enter prefetch threshold[default]:
Enter minimum prefetch[default]:
Enter maximum prefetch[default]:
Enter disk type name (remember quotes): Qemu36GB
selecting c0t0d0
[disk formatted]

disk – select a disk
type – select (define) a disk type
partition – select (define) a partition table
current – describe the current disk
format – format and analyze the disk
repair – repair a defective sector
label – write label to the disk
analyze – surface analysis
defect – defect list management
backup – search for backup labels
verify – read and display labels
save – save new disk/partition definitions
inquiry – show vendor, product and revision
volname – set 8-character volume name
! – execute , then return

Finally we just slap down a label and we should be good to go. I run the command twice to make sure that it took, as it should only mention the corrupt number one more time, then it’ll be ok.

format> label
Ready to label disk, continue? y

WARNING: /iommu@0,10000000/sbus@0,10001000/espdma@5,8400000/esp@5,8800000/sd@0,0 (sd0):
corrupt label – wrong magic number

Vendor ‘QEMU’, product ‘QEMU’, 75497472 512 byte blocks

format> l
Ready to label disk, continue? y


Now we can quit, and reboot the VM.

format> q
# reboot
syncing file systems… done
Resetting …

And that’s it!

I’ve since then booted it up under Solaris 2.6, and now in the bootup it shows up like this:

sd0 at esp0: target 0 lun 0
sd0 is /iommu@0,10000000/sbus@0,10001000/espdma@5,8400000/esp@5,8800000/sd@0,0

And even in the Solaris 2.6 install…

Disk Device (Size) Available Space
[X] c0t0d0 (34730 MB) 34730 MB (F4 to edit)

Total Selected: 34730 MB
Suggested Minimum: 487 MB

And that’s about it.