PCem 0.7 and beyond

Checking out that javascript PCe made me want to check out PCem.  And good reason too, as its latest version 0.7 can run OS/2!

At first I tried version 2.0 and it just reboots once it is going to start the installer, (I haven’t tried a pre-installed disk image yet) but for the heck of it I shoved in an OS/2 1.1 boot diskette, and it came up!  So all excited I tried 1.21 and it worked as well!  The caveat is that OS/2 cannot partition or format the disk.  I didn’t try giving it a HPFS volume, but rather setup for a DualBoot with MS-DOS, and that worked fine.

OS/2 1.21 on PCem 0.7

OS/2 1.21 on PCem 0.7

Some of the cool things about PCem is that it runs REAL firmware, so you get the real XT/286/386/486 experience.  Also it is cycle accurate so things are SLOW like they were back in the day.  I’ve noticed that disk IO is really slow.  Again just like it was back then.  Things like DOOM take forever to load on a 386.  Just like the real thing!

If you have the ROMs the CGA/EGA & SVGA emulation is pretty good.   Again this is largely from running the actual firmware.

Work has slowed on PCem, but there is a source repo here.  I haven’t tried to build it yet.

The only thing I’d say is missing is some kind of ethernet adapter.  It would be cool to get this onto the internet.  But at the same time I’ve got to say this is pretty cool, especially if you want to enjoy the PC experience from 20 years ago, this is the way to go!  Although after a few minutes of running a 286 at 6Mhz, you’ll want to push for the fastest 486 it can emulate!

13 thoughts on “PCem 0.7 and beyond

  1. There is an ongoing thread about PCEm over on VOGONS. Nothing beats being able to emulate an AMI WinBIOS. It can also load just about any BIOS image you find online(handy for BIOS hacking), but mostly for testing purposes since the emulator only simulates certain chip sets.

    • yeah I loaded the winbios, and shook my head in horror remembering what a POS those things were. Or funny on that thread that the winbios crashes on warm reboot, just like the real thing! 😀

  2. while OS/2 1.1 can boot the installer, it doesn’t really boot to the PM, OS/2 1.2 (not 1.21) doesn’t work as well, it does not even boot to the installer.
    Although, it can fully run IBM OS/2 1.0 (the one using only the 286 tricks)

    • well that is interesting. Did you try MS OS/2 or IBM OS/2? I’m beginning to think the MS OS/2’s were more.. non IBM friendly….

      Then again there is an IBM AT in PCem… But maybe the BIOS matters as there were several revisions for the 5170.

    • I tried the 286 (crashes a lot), 386 (mda/ega no PM) and 486 mda/ega/vga) no PM for OS/2 1.1c …

      Oh well it boots 1.21 just fine in VGA! .. I haven’t tried MDA/EGA though. or CGA for that matter.

  3. Sorry for being such a dick. I was browsing for an new build of PCem. I didn’t mean any harm.
    Let me make amends, or possibly make it worst: Schoonschip was a early computer algebra system used in particle physics. It was invented by Martinus J. G. Veltman to calculate Feynman diagrams and helped Veltman and Gerald ‘t Hooft win the Nobel prize. [Frank Close, The Infinity Puzzle] It’s completely obsolete now. Utterly useless. Here’s the thing. Source and binaries are available for the Amiga and Atari ST (and Mac, but that would be too easy). I tried to get it to work on Hatari, but I don’t have the skill set. Just thought you might be interested.

  4. OS/2 1.1 gives me:
    TRAP 000D
    AX=001A BX=0000 CX=0003 DX==000A BP=0790
    SI=0000 DI=001A DS=0000 ES=03A3 FLG=3283
    CS=3433 IP=06B0 SS=0067 SP=0776 MSW=0015
    ERRCD=0000 ERLIM=**** ERACC=**TRAP 000D

    The system detected an internal processing fault at # 0228:0797.

    The system is stopped.

    Can you help me?

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