BoxedWine

Not this kind!

I got a tip in another post about this fantastical project, boxedwine!  It’s Wine + a 386 processor emulator, and it’s been targeted to SDL.  What does this mean? Wine on Windows!

Sim Earth for Windows 3.0

I went ahead with one of the oldest Windows games I have around, SimEarth, for Windows 3.0.  I don’t have Balance of Power, although I guess I may procure a copy one day.  Anyways it’s Windows in it’s 1990 glory 16bit, 286 protected mode, and sure as heck won’t run on Win64.  Oh sure you can run this on MS-DOS + Windows, but where is the fun in that?

Now that’s all good fun, sure Wine can run stuff, sure, but it’s still wine.  Well remember all that noise about android running Wine?  Yeah, well here we go.

Wine + x86 emulation +SDL in javascript!

Here we go.  Games, and the BoxedWine project page.   And yes, it can run stuff like Quake 2, and other far more intense applications.  Just like Wine.  It’s really great stuff, check it out, if only in a browser.

If you want to run ancient Win16 stuff in a pinch, it may actually run.  I had issues with win87em.dll stuff, but just like Wine it’s a moving window of compatibility.

Microsoft C KnowledgeBase articles online

PC Mag, January 1989

It’s weird I was discussing putting this online in a more human readable format, and then  Jeff Parsons over at the incredible full system emulation in javascript site, pcjs.org just did it.

As you may or not be aware of, Microsoft hit it big as a computer languages company, before they added operating systems into it’s portfolio.  And for some weird reason after the whole OS/2 divorce thing, someone decided that everything that had been painfully learned in the earlier eras should just be expunged from history.  Which is a real shame to anyone interested in Basic, Fortran, Pascal, C and MASM.  Years ago I had gone through the steps of extracting the text the only way I could figure out easily, by writing a simple TSR that would dump the contents of the text video buffer, and write it to a file, then press the page down key, and keep repeating the process. The end result being that I had then dumped the MSPL aka the Microsoft Programmer’s Library.  I had put the text into an archive, aptly named Microsoft_Programmers_Library.7z, and pretty much used grep whenever I wanted any information, and left it at that..

It’s really cool to see it slowly transitioning to more useful information.  You can read Jeff’s article Corporations Are Crappy Archivists about his quest for seemingly simple information about ancient Microsoft mice, and the archive of KB’s for Microsoft C.

One thing that is annoying is that information on CD from the late 1980’s seems to be darned near impossible to find.  I know that each generation of machines until about 2005 was exponentially larger than the previous one (post 2007 we hit the iThing world, along with most machines being ‘good enough’ for day to day usage).  I know this ad may seem insane, but Microsoft really was trying to push people to CD distributions.  As we all know that internet thing didn’t quite tickle their fancy.    Did they ever put resources like this online?  Like on BIX or Compuserve?  It seems like an ideal resource.  But I was a kid, and didn’t have that kind of money.

Awesome CD-ROM collection and drive, starting at a mere $899!

So in the interest of a bad idea, here is MSPL, aka qemu/curses in action.

Oh my god, what I have I done!?

Well as an addendum I thought it’d be cool to put MSPL online, via shellinabox.  First off I needed a 5MB MS-DOS disk, basically enough MS-DOS too boot up, run smartdrive, idle and the CD-ROM driver, along with the minimal MSPL install.  And to button it up, I added a reboot.com from the autoexec, so when you exit it’ll reboot the VM.  Great.

The reboot command was input via debug, as it’ll let you assemble code directly.  Although it isn’t a MACRO assembler, so you have to know exactly what you are doing.

DEBUG RESET.COM
A
XOR AX, AX
NOT AX
PUSH AX
NOT AX
PUSH AX
RETF
(return on a line by itself)
RCX
9
W
Q

And with that saved, now I have to setup Qemu.  Since I’m taking the shellinabox approach that means I need something text mode, and I was thinking this was light weight. Qemu has a curses output so that’ll work.  I set it up to use qcow2 and a backing store image so that way every forked user doesn’t eat 5MB of disk space, it’s more like 100kb.

#!/bin/sh
set -m
PID=$$
mkdir /tmp/$PID
cd /tmp/$PID
qemu-img create -f qcow2 -b /usr/local/mspl/MSPL.qcow2 MSPL.qcow2
qemu-system-i386 -m 4 -cpu 486 -hda MSPL.qcow2 -cdrom /usr/local/mspl/Microsoft-Programers-Library-v1.3.iso -curses -no-reboot
cd /tmp
rm -rf /tmp/$PID

Then to tie it into shell in a box, it’ll just need the flag:

-s /mspl:nobody:nogroup:/:/usr/local/bin/mspl.sh

and this will run it as nobody, and kick off the above bash script.  Now that’s great and all, but what about stale/abandoned sessions?  I wrote this quick script to clean them up.

#!/bin/bash

FIND=”find /tmp -type d -regextype sed -regex ‘.*/[0-9]*’ -mmin +30 | sed ‘s/\/tmp\///’>/tmp/kill_out.txt”
eval $FIND
while read process; do

KILL=”kill -9 ${process}”
eval $KILL
RMDIR=”rm -rf /tmp/${process}”
eval $RMDIR

done < /tmp/kill_out.txt
rm -rf /tmp/kill_out.txt

So it’ll find numerical directories that are at least 30 minutes old, kill them and remove their directory.  Probably very dangerous to run, but it’s isolated so Im not too worried.  Then just have root add that script to it’s crontab, and run it every minute, and it’ll kill the old stuff hanging around.

I’ll add a video later on how to use MSPL via this setup.  And maybe I’ll rig something to have RDP access as well, depending on how I’m feeling.

8 bit boy & JS-DOS

A long while ago I had combined both 8bit boy & a JAVA port of DOSBox for a run in your browser extravaganza featuring a Russian version of Windows/386 and tetris (along with other Russian adapted games).  But time moves on, and flash apps fall out of favor, and well Oracle did their thing and Java is basically dead in the browser.  I had been trying to go with a javascript solution for a while, but js-dos looks better than the last few iterations.

However I haven’t figured out how to boot into a disk image, and attempting to loop to loop causes it to hang.  So I’m stuck with a simple zip of tetris and using the newer 8bit boy javascript port to hammer out some MOD’s of various theme music.  It’s not perfect but it’s better than being dead, which is where it was before this.

You can see it here.

I though this same tech would be a great way to take my GCC 1.27 build of DooM, and shove it in DOSBox and get it out into the world.  Although its far too slow for me, but it could be this crap laptop.  (my new one should be here in 7 days, but I have to travel again in 5…..).  I had also updated my DJGPP cross project to include 1.27, and rename the v1 as gcc_v139 to at least reflect what it is.

You can check out this super early GCC compiled version of DooM here.

I’ll have to try to convert over all I can.  I hated having all this stuff basically configured, but then thanks to SUN going bust, and Oracle being Oracle it all got screwed over.

 

NetHack in your browser via Moxie CPU

I saw this many years ago, but for some reason never finished writing about this. Moxie was a virtual CPU designed to be as simple as possible for the GNU toolchain to target.

Perhaps one of the more interesting things was a port of RTEMS to the Moxie CPU, and a port of Nethack to that architecture. And of course there was a javascript simulator environment allowing me to easily embed it into this post.

Terminal uses canvas

So yes, it’s a virtual CPU, OS & Game, running in java-script and on the page.

Multiplayer Macintosh Plus via Javascript/

I found this fun page over on retroweb.maclab.org  What is interesting is that it encorporates PeerJS and WebRTC to allow for a virtual network, letting you play multiplayer AppleTalk.  Just enable the network, and scan for other users.

It’s pretty cool, in a zero config kind of way!

PCE-MacPlus

And for coolness it’ll embed in a snazzy picture of a Mac Plus.  Although you can magnify the screen, so you don’t have to squint so much.

Scripted Amiga Update & hosting at archive.org

I saw this awesome link over at archive.org’s software Library featuring the Amiga

Behind it all is the Scripted Amiga Emulator.  What is more interesting is that there has just been a MASSIVE update/rewrite to the project and it is now boasting far more features!

Looking at the features page, there has been quite a number of updates since the last version.  The big ones (to me) is that the CPU core has been rewritten, and now supports not only the 68000, but the 68010, 68020, and 68030 (only with fake MMU). OCS, ECS and now AGA as well!  Preset models include the 1000,500,2000,500+,600,3000 and 1200.  IDE disk files can even be mounted for the 600 & 1200!

In addition is support for the Amiga 1000 velvet prototype, and even now has the ability to have an AMAX (Macintosh emulation) cartridge port.

R-Type on SAE

R-Type on SAE

I’d highly recommend the internet archive link, you can jump right into some great Amiga action with nothing to download or install!

NeXTSTEP in your browser!

Well, kind of.

NeXTSTEP

NeXTSTEP

It’s a Docker containers running Previous, that you connect to with noVNC in your browser.  So it’s a legacy system thing on demand!  I had tried to do something like this ages ago with SIMH on demand, but I broke it all when I installed apache on OS/2 to make the bbs url self hosting.

The mouse control is insanely offtrack, but this does present an interesting possibility of bringing back an OS museum / zoo thing.

Also worth mentioning that they do offer MacOS!

Scripted Amiga updated to version 0.82

Captain Blood on the SAE

Captain Blood on the SAE

It’s really amazing to see this in action, and knowing it’s all in javascript of all things.  The Scripted Amiga Emulator now in version 0.83 fixes sound on Chrome, bringing back that Amiga experience with next to no pain.  By default it’ll boot up AROS and various demos or game demos, but you can substitute it with any 68000 compatible kickstart ROMs, and whatever diskettes you have lying about.

Even better the source code is up on github, and now under the GNU General Public License v2.0.

Click here, and give it a shot!  Any modern browser with good javascript support is all you need to get going!