I think the emulator even supports multiplayer…. pretty cool!
I think the emulator even supports multiplayer…. pretty cool!
(this is a guest post from Tenox)
I had a really bad weekend associated with floppy drive failures. Either all my floppy disks or all my drives decided to jump the ship. Nothing worked! Worse, I could not buy any “new” floppy disk anywhere. Office Depot still stocks floppies but not in stores and you have to order online and wait. Neither Halted nor Weirdstuff had them as well. Seriously?
A major disaster! Something had to be done to make it future proof. So I went to research floppy drive replacement solutions. And this is what I found. There are several Floppy Disk Emulators on the market.
Here is the list and a little bit of research on every one of them. They do have major differences to be aware of.
I have ordered two units for testing: HxC, SD revision F from eBay and Gotek Rev F from the manufacturer. I guess testing of the units will be subject of part 2 of this post. I’m planning to try to install some of the weirdest operating systems with wildest disk formats.
Also as a final note, for more modern computers with USB support there are some more mainstream options. I have used following two professionally:
First off it doesn’t do sound… I’ll have to search further for something that will let me do something more.. involved, but for now, this works well enough.
First I’m going to use Qemu 0.14.0 for this, earlier ones will work, but if it’s too old, there isn’t any support for VNC output. I figured I’d start with something simple, Lemmings, from the Win32s demo a while back. Now VNC doesn’t like it when you change resolutions, so I find it’s best to start out in the video mode you plan on recording. So once the VM is fired up I go ahead and load Windows. Qemu can support multiple outputs so I’m going to specify that it listens on the default VNC port (TCP 5900), and bind it to my IPv4 loopback. I’m also going to open up the SDL Window, because I like to see what I’m doing. If you want to get more sophisticated, you can even use a multiplexer program like VNC Reflector which will allow multiple people (or programs) to connect to the VNC port.
qemu -L pc-bios -m 32 -hda win31.qcow2 -vnc 127.0.0.1:0 -sdl -soundhw sb16,adlib
Now a minor word about audio.. I am currently having issues aligning this up.. no doubt I’m doing something wrong, or I should just break down and use some proper editing tools but it kind of works for now. Also to get a ‘clean’ capture of the audio from the VM, I use Virtual Audio Cable. By simply changing my default sound device to a VAC, and my default Mic to the same VAC I don’t have to worry about background noises, or anything else. Not to mention in Vista or Windows 7, you can mute other programs so you won’t have instant pestering bleeding into it.
I’m using the awesome program vnc2flv to record this. Now it is a python program, but thankfully us windows users don’t have to go through too much hell to run this, I just downloaded it from ‘RT’s Free Software‘.
I just kick it off like this:
flvrec -C 640×480+0+0 -o video.flv 127.0.0.1:0
And it’ll start recording. I then kicked off sox to record the audio like this:
sox -4 -b 16 -d audio.wav
Then once I’m done doing what I’m going to record, kill both programs.
While sox can record mp3’s if you find libmad, or build it yourself, I found it was just easier to use lame.
lame -r -x -s 44.1 –bitwidth 16 audio.wav
And yes, you *DO* need to output at 44100Hz or 44.1Khz for the audio. Any other level and you can’t combine the flv & audio. Yes I tried and tried, but don’t fight it, and thank me for finding the flags to pass to lame.
Then use flvaddmp3 to combine the audio and the flv video into a final.flv.
flvaddmp3.exe video.flv audio.wav.mp3 final.flv
Now you can upload it to youtube, and from there embed or share it as you wish.
I had originally used pyvnc2swf, which will create a flash file directly, however it doesn’t deal that well with screen refreshes. But if anyone wants to use it, remember the default VNC port is 5900, and you must pick a file to ‘save as’ first then you can start the recording. Also in things like windows, I found having notepad open to full screen then minimizing it was a good way to force a screen redraw.
Now with WAMP installed Let’s go on to flashterm.
Download the latest version of flashterm, which will include the flashsocket.php file.
Now the first thing I’d recommend is to extract the flashsocket.php file into it’s own directory, I’ve put mine in the d:\policyserver directory. Next I create a flashsocketpolicyserver.bat file in that directory that contains the following:
c:\wamp\bin\php\php5.3.3\php.exe -c php.ini flashsocket.php
Save it, and then we need to provide a php.ini for this server. Just copy the php.ini from c:\wamp\bin\php\php5.3.3\php.ini and copy it to your policyserver directory. You will need to edit the ini file to enable php sockets, so un comment this line:
Finally, we need to edit the flashsocket.php file.
alter the following at the top as needed:
$host = “192.168.X.X”; // CHANGE TO HOST IP
$port = 843;
I keep the port the same, as it makes the rest of this.. uncomplicated. I don’t think this binds well to 127.0.0.1 so use the primary IP address on the host that you want to use…
the next thing to look for is the string:
This controls which port the flashterm will connect people on. You can also have multiple ports specified like this:
which would allow all of these ports to be accessible to Flashterm… This is the big advantage of the php server version, as it can have multiple ports.
For now though, I’m just going to use the default which will allow connections on the standard telnet port of 23.
Run your batchfile, and you should see something like this:
D:\policyserver>c:\wamp\bin\php\php5.3.3\php.exe -c php.ini flashsocket.php
[2010-12-28 18:03:40] Server started at 184.108.40.206:843
Now copy the following files into your c:\wamp\www directory, from the flashterm zip file:
Now we just need to edit the settings.xml to point to the correct location.
In my example, I have a 386BSD 0.1 machine sitting on port 23
Then we load it up in a browser, hit the connect button, and there we go!!
And that’s it!
You can always play around with the info_graphic, by overlaying a picture, but I’ll leave that up to you.
I came across this the other day.
And I must say, it’s an excellent way to make older machines more ‘accessible’ to everyone. I know it’s only going to encourage ‘kids’ to get into VAX’s etc, and of course as many are aware, Vista and beyond have removed the telnet client.. (and hyperterm for that matter!!!).
We are now living in a world devoid of telnet & rs232.
Flashterm, is one of those fancy GCC for flash projects that uses the flash socket API to create a telnet client! Right now they are focused on ANSI emulation geared towards BBS’s. But if you’ve got a firewall to redirect ports, or if you are running the ‘policy’ server directly you can let people into your machine, and all they need is a modern browser/flash combination which you can safely say all ‘kids’ machines will have (and yes even my parents, as they LOVE those silly flash games, and dancing cats).
Anyways, the control key is NOT captured, so there is no control+d to kill your session, but a ‘reload’ of the browser, or closing the tab will do it just as well. Robots doesn’t work correctly, but all & all it’s a super simple way to get back to your machines…
I’ve set one up in the meantime as a test…
Although I don’t know how long I’ll keep it online. But it does create the possibility now of having not only information on various ancient UNIX but to allow others to use them!.. And for most internet users, with no real downloads as that flash thing is EVERYWHERE…..