Just made a drunk purchase… Not too mad


I’ve been a hidden long time fan of non x86 NT, I’ve owned Alphas and PowerPC (still sadly no MIPS), and when it came to the arm platform, ive since picked up the Surface RT and the Surface 2 RT. YouTube works fine on both, although the 2 is far faster and overall nicer user experience. I use the 1st Gen as a winamp player as it’s easier to jailbreak and cross compile to and mess with. But locked down Windows 8.0 for arm is insanely limited.

Enter Windows 10 and another botched shot at Windows on ARM for the general consumer. These ship with a S limited version of windows, which apparently can be easily unlocked to full 10 pro. I chose the Asus as it’s a laptop, and has more ram than the HP. Both however should be enough for casual day to day usage of office and edge chromium. I’ll have to see how it goes for either cross or native compiling.

Although the arm in these machines is 64bit, is there 32bit user land at all? Is it still possible to maintain a 32bit userland of gcc 1/2 and binutils for legacy compiles? How terrible is x86 qemu on arm emulation? DOSBox native? I guess SDL should be a simple rebuild like NT MIPS?

I’m also curious about WineVDM and MS-DOS player.

Oh well, I’m just waiting for a flight in the airport, going slowly insane.

UPDATE on the ASUS here:

My conclusion is really that the biggest problems with the physical machine is the lack of a backlit keyboard, and the tiny storage. Windows on ARM feels like a solution looking for a problem, but the obtuse problem is non x86 diversity. And in those regards it’s pretty much working fine.

But looking forward to a non x86 usable machine. I even have an unlimited chip for Hong Kong. It’ll be interesting if it can keep up for me, and if I’ve finally hit Ted Smith FORTRAN Maximum usage. Although this has no floppy drives.

7 thoughts on “Just made a drunk purchase… Not too mad

  1. I haven’t used one of these myself, but AFAIK there is an ARM32 userland (see https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/surface/surface-pro-arm-app-performance for example.) I don’t know if that means it will run some of the Win32 jailbroken RT software that was targeting Win8; I think the goal was to run ARM32 based store applications to avoid needing to do ISA translation of Intel binaries. This is somewhat expressed at https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/uwp/porting/apps-on-arm .

    If you haven’t tried yet, the free Visual Studio Build Tools includes ARM32 and ARM64 cross compilers. AFAIK there are no natively hosted compilers though, which seems a tad lame. Nonetheless porting from AMD64 to ARM64 was incredibly straightforward – since I don’t have a device I haven’t tested that the code works, but it was the fastest port to compile I’ve ever done.

    • It’ll be interesting to see how it compares to the other ARM thing I have, the Microsoft 950 phone. It had a great desktop experience when docked, continium.

      But the lack of native tools really was a bummer.

      I’m looking forward to see how this desktop/laptop pans out.

  2. Windows 10 on AArch64 can run not only 32-bit ARM binaries made for the jailbroken WoA devices (well, most of them – some complain about missing DLLs), but also runs x86 programs in emulation.

    You can boot Windows 10 ARM64 on RaspberryPi 3, but the experience is pretty awful, due to slow SD card access and only 1 GB RAM; the required bits to run it on RPi4 aren’t available yet, but you can run it inside KVM (and it works much better there than on RPi3).

    • I recently got a 4, and was disappointed to see there was no 10.

      I wasn’t thinking of kvm, but it’s probably the best way short of getting an arm laptop.

      Is there a real list of arm windows devices? There must be something else more capable than the rpi3

  3. Nothing that I could find. There’s been some effort on some RPi clones, but nothing that could boot into installed system that I’ve seen (some did get as far as WinPE booting).

    • It’s these weird half starts Microsoft does that is so strange. The only way to compete is showing up, and they are seemingly half hearted when it comes to windows on arm. It’s like they don’t want fully capable machines or support m

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