While I’m writing this, I’m listening to Neuromancer via WinAmp & the ancient Speex plugin I had updated about 8 years ago.
I took my Surface, and downgraded it to the North American 8.0 version without updates, added my MS ID, and from there ran the jailbreak and win86emu (sometimes called x86node) and from there I was able to run some simple Win32 exe’s.
Even though I had done a simple cut down QuakeWorld port with the GDI only display, using win86emu it’ll run the 80386 build as well. while I haven’t thrown much at it, I’m just amazed that so far things are working.
When you think that between the jail-break to unlock the ability to run programs combined with a CPU translator, and Win32 to Win32 thunk / translation program, why on earth did this thing ship without it? It’s amazing that between trying to launch a platform with no inertial for applications after Android & Apple were selling millions of hardware units, and billions of software units, and cutting the past applications. It’s just crazy.
And then Microsoft did their normal thing when something goes wrong, which is basically end it, and destroy all evidence it existed. There is no Windows 10 upgrade for the Surface, even though Windows 10 IOT has been hacked to run from a USB stick on the Surface, but it’s insanely slow.
I was able to port over some trivial stuff, the usual things like hello world, Infocom Interpreter, a f2c build of Dungeon, then I went with something I’d been messing around an old GDI driver for WinQuake that builds with the NT 3.5 SDK (finally got it!). So with a few minor tweeks here it is cross compiled from my x86_64 to the surface.
Last time I talked about the Surface was nearly 6 years ago… The platform’s fate was pretty much sealed on day one. With no open Win32 API it shunned traditional devs, and with some completely new and insane model it was such a hurdle for new devs, why put so much effort into such an old tired company like Microsoft?
I figured for the price of a good lunch it’d be a fun toy.
Too bad the speakers don’t work though.
I know the window on Windows 8.1 apps is closing soon. I should put something together for the dead platform. Maybe for phone too. But for tonight, it was kinda fun doing a copy/paste attack to then run unsigned EXE’s on the device.
I might upload the tool chain later, but at the moment getting Visual Studio 2012 Ultimate is a breeze.
Just before the tidal wave comes in on the Windows 8 launch, let me just spell out one thing… Windows 8 RT will *NOT* run any existing Windows applications.
I don’t know why we even have to go back down this road, but it’ll be Windows NT on the MIPS or PowerPC all over again.
And to be too honest, the price is just too damned high for what it is, and that is an evolutionary dead end. Expect there to be some kind of post Christmas fire sale, once people find out they can’t play minecraft or sims on it.
But apparently it comes with Microsoft Office (Word & Excel?) no idea if it includes PowerPoint & Outlook.. I guess the one safe thing is that it won’t run x86 exploits/buffer overflows, so maybe this is a good PHB, ‘mom’ device.