Dungeon on the DEC Alpha

I forgot to mention this, but f2c built, although there is probably some error with the floating point… I’ve had issues building f2c on OSF/1 on Alphas a while ago….

Anyways it can be found here.

One day I’ll have to try to debug the floatlib on the Alpha to see why f2c freaks out….


But then again, who still uses DEC Alpha’s?

Well today I got my new Dec Alpha running!

Ok, my friends say I’m insane to have bought this… but I couldn’t resist.

It’s a DEC Alpha 221164 machine, with 64MB of ram, and a 4GB disk!

It’s the best technology of 1996-1997!

So I’ve gone ahead and installed Windows NT 4.0 on the beast… at 600Mhz it’s pretty dammed fast… considering how old it is. Although I suspect a Pentium III I found in the garbage with a 1Ghz cpu is 2x faster…..

But at any rate, this is a DEC Alpha, the long time geek cpu of dreams etc…
What makes this slightly useful for me, is that I do have Visual C++ 4.0 & 6.0 for the Alpha. So at least I can build *SOME* stuff to run on the thing….

So I’ve been fighting the compiler, and it seems it’s default blended optimizations do *NOT* work on my machine.. I’m sure this will be fun down the road. However it seems setting the target cpu to the 21064 produces ok code.. I’ve got to bench the stuff, but at least my exe’s are not crashing.

So what have I manage to produce today so far?


unzip is a major one.. It’s hard to use a machine today without it.

The other thing I’ve manage to get running, is Quake! I’ve included my source & project trees as it was a feisty little thing to build..

I’m currently building & testing over terminal services so I don’t know what the speed is on the console… Also, this build does not include networking… I’m sure the winsock code will work just fine, I’m just not in a good position physically to test it, as Quake1 will *NOT NAT* correctly.. Also the SDL sound doesn’t actually output anything, so I’ve built it with the null sound driver..

I’d love to get that m68k->C build of frontier elite to go on the Alpha but I’m afraid my 64mb of ram will be a major constraint..

I know this isn’t much of an emulation thing, as the only emulator that possibly can run Windows NT for the Alpha costs upwards of $16,000 USD… It’s cheaper to score an alpha on ebay for $100 USD.

Well here is the screen shot…

Quake on the Dec Alpha


I know it’s not much to ‘look’ at, but the pallet is correct, because it’s a real Alpha!.. Unlike the MIPS thing.

More ports… more tradewars…

more etc…

Some of the stuff is getting ironed out, it plays better for sure.

I had to start separating things out to make some older C compilers happy…

I still do not understand how ‘float’ types keep changing sizes between 16bit/32bit compilers…. Was there ever ANY consistent floating point types in C between 16/32bit? It really sucks to have binary data and find out you cannot ‘read’ it…..

Did people just force people to dump their data into ASCII, and reload it into 32bit formats, and tell everyone to ONLY use 32bit?

I know I’m like 15 years late to this party, as everyone is going through the win32 to win64 thing… Although I’m surprised Tradewars C’s win64 version runs happily with a win32 generated data file…….

Oh and ports in this version:

MS-DOS (realmode)
Win16 (QuickC for Windows’s QuickWin)
Win32 (Visual C++ 1.0’s CLI libc.lib exe… )
Win64 (Visual Studio 2008 cli)
Linux (x86 built with debian -static…..)
OS/2 (16 bit built with Microsoft C 6)

Although it supports multiple users, it’s still a single player game… I suppose it shouldn’t be too hard to constantly check the user record & sector record of where they are with stuff changing…..?

Anyways my work is here: https://sourceforge.net/projects/tradewarsc/

Boring weekend…

Ok so I had a boring weekend…. And it’s spilled over to today.

I’m getting burnt out but what happened is I found out that Turbo Pascal 5.5 is now FREE!

Which I thought was VERY cool.. So after a while of googling around for neat & interesting Pascal stuff, I came across this BBS door game, called TradeWars, that included the source!

While going through the source it seemed it could be easily ported to C so I started late Friday (or was it Saturday AM?)…

Anyways I’d feel safe with a tentative ‘public’ release of the source..

My C is based on the Pascal, which is in turn based on the BASIC code.. I’ve tried to keep it true to the pascal so there is a LOT of 2 letter variables, and a lot of WTF’s? BUT I did add comments as I was going through it.

It *SHOULD* be somewhat portable C, and I haven’t included binaries just yet… It’s still a work in progress, but I wanted to let out a WIP thing…

You can find the project here: https://sourceforge.net/projects/tradewarsc/

Oh and a screenshot:

Trade Wars C 0.7 on Windows 3.0
Trade Wars C 0.7 on Windows 3.0

It builds on both 16bit & 32bit machines… Once I get it far more fleshed out & running then I’ll sanitize the data as for now it’s using the same data & message files…

Zork via FORTRAN

I don’t know why I even started down this path, but anyways I felt the urge today to break out some Fortran.  The problem is that I acquired Microsoft Fortran 5.0 in university, however… it’s on 5 1/4” diskettes!!!

So that wasn’t going to happen.

So I figured there had to be some kind of GNU Fortran compiler, and there is.. G77.  However it needs to be tied into a release of GCC.  Which sounds great, but I was hoping to build this on a few different platforms, and on my AMD 64 platform it’s GCC 3.3 (SUA), and on my NeXT it’s 2.5.8..  Even in the notes it says you’ll need about 100MB of space to build it, which is also a nice way of saying it’ll take FOREVER.

Then I remembered something we used on the RS/6000 because it was more ‘combatable’ then the Microsoft stuff, as it was derived from the first Unix Fortran compilers… f2c.

First you’ll need the source, which thankfully is still up on the original site  This part is a bit tedious as the source is not in a single easy to get file.  You’ll need to get the source from here.  Once you’ve downloaded the files, I’d recommend saving them somewhere else.. You don’t want to have to right click like wild to get them…  Alternatively I’ll host them all here to save someone all that effort.

Building f2c is really quite simple on any UNIX’like platform.  First you’ll need the f2c source, and unpack it somewhere….  Then you *MAY* have to adjust the makefile.u for the CC/CFLAGS variables as your C compiler may not be gcc or cc, also you may or may not want the –O flags (optimize).  On my NeXT I turned off the optimizations, since this is a 33Mhz machine, and I don’t want to wait all day, and I ran it with –O0 -pipe.  Then just simply run

make –f makefile.u f2c

bash-2.01$ make -f makefile.u f2c
cc -c -O0 -pipe main.c
cc -c -O0 -pipe init.c
cc -c -O0 -pipe gram.c
cc -c -O0 -pipe lex.c
cc -c -O0 -pipe proc.c
cc -c -O0 -pipe equiv.c
cc -c -O0 -pipe data.c
cc -c -O0 -pipe format.c
cc -c -O0 -pipe expr.c
cc -c -O0 -pipe exec.c
cc -c -O0 -pipe intr.c
cc -c -O0 -pipe io.c
cc -c -O0 -pipe misc.c
cc -c -O0 -pipe error.c
cc -c -O0 -pipe mem.c
cc -c -O0 -pipe names.c
cc -c -O0 -pipe output.c
cc -c -O0 -pipe p1output.c
cc -c -O0 -pipe pread.c
cc -c -O0 -pipe put.c
cc -c -O0 -pipe putpcc.c
cc -c -O0 -pipe vax.c
cc -c -O0 -pipe formatdata.c
cc -c -O0 -pipe parse_args.c
cc -c -O0 -pipe niceprintf.c
cc -c -O0 -pipe cds.c
if cc sysdeptest.c; then echo ‘/*OK*/’ > sysdep.hd; elif cc -DNO_MKDTEMP sysdept
est.c; then echo ‘#define NO_MKDTEMP’ >sysdep.hd; else echo ‘#define NO_MKDTEMP’
>sysdep.hd; echo ‘#define NO_MKSTEMP’ >>sysdep.hd; fi
ld: Undefined symbols:
rm -f a.out
cc -c -O0 -pipe sysdep.c
cc -c -O0 -pipe version.c
cc  main.o init.o gram.o lex.o proc.o equiv.o data.o format.o  expr.o exec.o int
r.o io.o misc.o error.o mem.o names.o  output.o p1output.o pread.o put.o putpcc.
o vax.o formatdata.o  parse_args.o niceprintf.o cds.o sysdep.o version.o  -o f2c

All being well, you’ll have a new & exciting f2c executable.  I manually just copy the f2c into /usr/local/bin & the f2c.h to /usr/local/include.

Next you’ll need the f2c io library.  Thankfully this one IS zipped up and it’s available here.  Alternatively I’ve got a copy here (better). *NOTE that the ‘official’ version of the lib doesn’t extract to a sub directory… Grr  Extract the library source, and again you may need to modify the makefile to suit your compiler (CC/CFLAGS).  Then go ahead and make the library.

make –f makefile.u

cc -c -DSkip_f2c_Undefs -O0 -pipe etime_.c
ld -r -x -o etime_.xxx etime_.o
mv etime_.xxx etime_.o
ar r libf2c.a f77vers.o i77vers.o main.o s_rnge.o abort_.o exit_.o getarg_.o iar
gc_.o getenv_.o signal_.o s_stop.o s_paus.o system_.o cabs.o ctype.o derf_.o der
fc_.o erf_.o erfc_.o sig_die.o uninit.o pow_ci.o pow_dd.o pow_di.o pow_hh.o pow_
ii.o pow_ri.o pow_zi.o pow_zz.o c_abs.o c_cos.o c_div.o c_exp.o c_log.o c_sin.o
c_sqrt.o z_abs.o z_cos.o z_div.o z_exp.o z_log.o z_sin.o z_sqrt.o r_abs.o r_acos
.o r_asin.o r_atan.o r_atn2.o r_cnjg.o r_cos.o r_cosh.o r_dim.o r_exp.o r_imag.o
r_int.o r_lg10.o r_log.o r_mod.o r_nint.o r_sign.o r_sin.o r_sinh.o r_sqrt.o r_
tan.o r_tanh.o d_abs.o d_acos.o d_asin.o d_atan.o d_atn2.o d_cnjg.o d_cos.o d_co
sh.o d_dim.o d_exp.o d_imag.o d_int.o d_lg10.o d_log.o d_mod.o d_nint.o d_prod.o
d_sign.o d_sin.o d_sinh.o d_sqrt.o d_tan.o d_tanh.o i_abs.o i_dim.o i_dnnt.o i_
indx.o i_len.o i_mod.o i_nint.o i_sign.o lbitbits.o lbitshft.o h_abs.o h_dim.o h
_dnnt.o h_indx.o h_len.o h_mod.o h_nint.o h_sign.o l_ge.o l_gt.o l_le.o l_lt.o h
l_ge.o hl_gt.o hl_le.o hl_lt.o ef1asc_.o ef1cmc_.o f77_aloc.o s_cat.o s_cmp.o s_
copy.o backspac.o close.o dfe.o dolio.o due.o endfile.o err.o fmt.o fmtlib.o fte
ll_.o iio.o ilnw.o inquire.o lread.o lwrite.o open.o rdfmt.o rewind.o rsfe.o rsl
i.o rsne.o sfe.o sue.o typesize.o uio.o util.o wref.o wrtfmt.o wsfe.o wsle.o wsn
e.o xwsne.o dtime_.o etime_.o
ar: creating libf2c.a
ranlib libf2c.a

This will take longer then f2c.. Or at least it did on my NeXT.

Then I just copied the library libf2c.a into /usr/local/lib then ran ranlib over the library again.

Ok now we should be able to build a FORTRAN program.  Let’s try something small.

      program hello
      print *, ‘Hello!’

I’ve tried to preserve the leading 6 blank spaces.  You should be able to copy the above program, and save it as hello.f  Now we should be able to translate, compile and run the program!

bash-2.01$ f2c hello.f
   MAIN hello:
bash-2.01$ cc hello.c -lf2c -o hello
bash-2.01$ file hello
hello:  Mach-O executable (for architecture m68k) not stripped
bash-2.01$ ./hello

Awesome!  Now let’s try something much bigger, say some old Fortran source to the old ‘dungeon’ game, better known as Zork!  This source is available all over the place as dungeon-2.5.6.tar.gz, and I’ll provide a link as well here.

Download, and extract the files (gzip –dc dungeon-2.5.6.tar.gz|tar –xvf –) and you’ll have your dungeon directory.  Building this should be pretty simple, if the above program built and ran without errors.  On my SUA (Vista) machine, I had to force the –I/usr/local/include flags to find the f2c.h..  So you may need some tweaking it all depends.

Again on my NeXT I changed the CFLAGS to –O0 –pipe.  On my Vista SUA I had to specify that CC=gcc.

Once done, go ahead and run make.

\ar d libdungeon.a dmain.o np2.o
\ranlib libdungeon.a
cc -s -o dungeon dmain.o np2.o -L. -ldungeon -lf2c -lm
f2c -A -C -Nn802 textcnv.f
cc -O0 -pipe -c textcnv.c
cc -o textcnv textcnv.o –lf2c

If all went well that should be how the last lines look.  We should now have a dungeon executable!

bash-2.01$ file dungeon
dungeon:        Mach-O executable (for architecture m68k)


So let’s enter the game, shall we?

bash-2.01$ ./dungeon
Welcome to Dungeon.                    This version created 30-AUG-90.
You are in an open field west of a big white house with a boarded
front door.
There is a small mailbox here.

So, now we have built the f2c translation package, and managed to build a trivial hello world program, and something a little more complex like Dungeon/Zork.

Now I can play with my numerical recipes book with my pseudo Fortran kit.

Quake for the MIPS (NT4)

Well I started this off hoping I could get Quake running on Windows NT 3.1 … I’m almost there I have the null version running just fine. However I’m not all that great with DIB programming so I was looking thru SDL and saw that it has a WINDIB driver!

So with a LOT of tweaking through SDL 1.2.13 I got it to compile with Visual C++ 1.0!! However it is lacking one critical call, the CreateDIBSection api call in GDI is not present in NT 3.1. So remembering all the MIPS stuff as of late, and that I have Visual C++ 4.0 which should easily support this call, I first got it running with Visual C++ 2.0 on the i386 (Under XP of all things). So it was just a matter of building the source, and making sure there is no errors, uploading it to the emulator, and rebuilding for the MIPS.

And after 30 minutes, I got my exe, and it ran!

Quake 1.06 on the MIPS/NT
Quake 1.06 on the MIPS/NT

I’ve included a link for any other MIPS people out there that want to play quake. I haven’t built the networking as I was having issues with my network earlier and couldn’t get it working…

The exe is available here.

And the source code with all the bits is right here.

In this build I’m not building SDL as a DLL or static library, but rather compiling Quake right into the source. Now that SDL is running on the MIPS, and possibly other Win32 OS’s (I have yet to test Win32s… I suspect the inherent threading in SDL will prevent it, but could the DBI calls be made directly stripping out SDL…?) but who knows, I think anything past 3.51 would work.

SoftPC –AT Version 3

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?

doom under MIPS NT (1)

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?

SimpleIRC & ROIDS for the MIPS!


Well I’ve been looking for an IRC client for the MIPS and I’ve come up with nothing… And looking for source to much of anything win32 is LONG past something that will compile with Visual C++ 2.0 …

However I did find this simple library built by Andrew Cater: http://www.rohitab.com/discuss/index.php?showtopic=33056

So with very little understanding of how IRC actually works I was able to build a SUPER simple client.  Please note that it’s so simple the / commands that you’ve come to love are not implemented…!  You get one shot for your name/nick/server & channel.. But hey the exe is like 70kb for the MIPS/x64 and 35 for the i386.

sirc and roids MIPS in action
sirc and roids MIPS in action

You can find it’s source & binaries right here.

Also Antoni Sawicki has given me a BUNCH of leads on old public source, and binaries, namely ROIDS the first real graphical game we seem to have now for the MIPS.  The source was a part of a PDTools thing that Dec had put together, however a lot of it will build for both i386 & MIPS. I’ve extracted the source for roids here.

I don’t want to over promise but I’ll see if I can get quake to build some time in the next week.. I don’t know if I can get any graphics out of it, but it’d be fun for a server at least…  Windows NT 4.0 sp1 should have DirectX 2.0 …  The pinball game is quite playable (although the colors are all screwed up, due to a pallet glitch in the emulator) so we shall see.


FWIW I was checking links, and Tom’s site has moved to

http://tom.noflag.org.uk/glfrontier.html, which of course itself is now gone.  However with a lot of leg work, I did manage to snag the source to a few versions, and put them onto my CVS server, linked here: on unix.superglobalmegacorp.com.  And of course you can replicate it via CVS.

As mentioned over here, the steps basically are:

cvs -d:pserver:[email protected]:/frontvm login
cvs -d:pserver:[email protected]:/frontvm checkout frontvm
cvs -d:pserver:[email protected]:/frontvm log -h | grep -P '^\t' | awk '{print $1}' | sort|uniq| sed -e 's/://g'

With the last step showing you the various commit levels….
In this case they are:

  • frontvm-20040517
  • frontvm2-20061120
  • frontvm3-20060613
  • frontvm3-20060623

So to checkout the first and oldest code I’ve found, you would execute:

cvs -d:pserver:[email protected]:/frontvm checkout -r frontvm-20040517 frontvm

And there you go.

The Frontier wiki is still here.

Packages so far on Uwisc 4.3BSD

I’ve been compiling quite a bit of stuff.. Looking back it was something I intended to do back in October of 2007… Well no time like the present then! I’ve done my best to include all the relevant bits for each of the following packages. It’s entirely possible I’ve missed stuff, so feel free to re-build the stuff as you wish. Some of the packages require you to build them with GCC as the default CC won’t work. However if you are going to build it yourself you won’t be able to jump to gcc as it requires gperf which in turn requires a working c++ compiler. So far here are the following packages:


All of these can be downloaded from here. I’m keeping all the source code (unaltered) in tap format for the SIMH emulator right here.

To get the C compilers going I had to build gcc 1.42 with the system compiler (cc/PCC) then use that version of GCC to build the next version. Once I had gcc 2.5.8 building, then I was able to build binutils 2.8.1 without issues, then rebuild gcc 2.5.8 to use binutils instead of the default system assembler so that I could build lynx and it wouldn’t barf because of the massive switch statement…

And no, -J didn’t help.

Speaking of lynx the search ability is broken because the function simply isn’t in 4.3 BSD (bsearch), and for pine, I had to make a fake tmpfile function that uses the /tmp/pinebox directory.

The gcc 2.5.8 package includes the C++ components, and I’m pretty sure I did with as well. I’m not sure if GCC 3.x kept the VAX cpu so I haven’t pushed forward, but seeing that the cc1 exe is over 1mb it doesn’t seem worth it to push ahead.

I’ll have to see about including more games. The selection in this 4.3 release is kind of weak,

aardvark* boggle* [email protected] monop* snake*adventure* ching* hangman* quiz* snscore*backgammon* cribbage* hunt* robots* teachgammon*battlestar* doctor* lib/ rogue* trek*bogdict* fortune* mille* sail* zork*

I’ll have to see what’s missing from where.. Also I notice that the arrow key bindings in terraterm are not working… I’ll have to dive into that as well. It may end up with a new re-relase of the emulator or a patch thing. I’ll have to see.

I should add a quick note on how to unpack these tap files. First you will need bzip2 on your native pc. You should be able to get one here.

Now just uncompress the file..

C:\Program Files (x86)\uwiscbsd>bzip2 -d lynx-2.8.2.binary.BSD-4.3.Uwisc.tap.bz2

Now you need to go to the SIMH console window. It will say something like this in it:

VAX780 simulator V3.8-1
Listening on port 42221 (socket 376)
Waiting for console Telnet connection

Hit Control+E and it’ll interrupt the simulator. Then we need to attach the tap file like so:

Simulation stopped, PC: 800018A3 (MTPR #0,#12)
sim> att ts0 lynx-2.8.2.binary.BSD-4.3.Uwisc.tap
sim> c

the att command will attach the tap file to the ts0 device. the c will tell the simulator to continue. Now just switch to a tty windows (or attach a pty), then it’s a simple matter of running the following commands:

myname# cd /
myname# mt rew
myname# tar -xvmf /dev/rmt12
x /usr/local/bin/gzip, 66560 bytes, 130 tape blocks
x /usr/local/bin/lynx, 949248 bytes, 1854 tape blocks
x /usr/local/lib/lynx.cfg, 97203 bytes, 190 tape blocks
myname# rehash

Thats about all it takes, now you can run lynx. If you so wish, you can run back to the SIMH console, and tell it to “det ts0” which will detach the tape image.