Ok, so I’ve been on this MIPS kick as of late.. Me & Antoni just split the cost of Visual C++ 4.0 for the MIPS… All being well it’ll arrive on Wednesday and we can do some more stuff. As I understand it, Visual C++ 4.0 was THE compiler for Windows 95 people at the time, and it will have all the controls & stuff that Visual C++ 2.0 simply does NOT have.
Anyways while I was playing with my virtual MIPS machine, I decided to try the MS-DOS emulation out.. I had heard that they had a pretty advanced emulator to run stuff. So I downloaded a new version of MSD, and was really surprised at the CPU that it was emulating… a 486! And this is on a MIPS machine, I had to wonder why they couldn’t have continued this for the x64 product…
Anyways ok so it’s a 486, but can it play DOOM?
Much to my amazement, the answer is YES. Ok the pallet is all screwed up, and yes it is SLOW.. It reminds me of a 386, but it’s actually running!
Now I was interested, I opened up the ntvdm.exe in notepad to reveal it’s origin:
SoftPC-AT Version 3
(C)Copyright Insignia Solutions Inc. 1987-1992
@(#)sun4_a3cpu.c 1.2 5/24/91 Copyright Insignia Solutions Ltd.
Now what is really interested is this bit.. It only appears in the MIPS binary:
This version is subject to confidentiality provisions and should not be distributed. %s %s%s Copyright %s, an unpublished work by Insignia Solutions Inc.%s %s %s Copyright %s by Insignia Solutions Inc. All rights reserved.
Otherwise there is a LOT of mentions of D:\nt\private\mvdm\softpc.new I guess it’s about their build process since the DDK is nt\public.
Anyways I thought it was really interesting to see just how involved the NTVDM was on the RISC cpu’s. I think there is no doubt that the Connectix product was faster, and of course on Ghz+ machines its usable. Not to mention once Connectix made a native version of Virtual PC for Windows… It’s really not that surprising why Microsoft snatched the product up!
Somewhere around here I have SoftPC 3.0 for the Apple Macintosh… I wonder if it can load doom?