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Technology (Apple) Businesses Apple Technology

PPC Emulators To Debut at MacWorld Tokyo 47

jx100 writes: "I've been following the Mac emulation community for awhile, and, apparently, Mac PPC emulators are about to be unveiled for the PC. says that Microcode Solutions and Emulators Inc. are planning on showing their emulators at MacWorld Tokyo 2002."
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PPC Emulators To Debut at MacWorld Tokyo

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  • Why haven't we seen any PPC emulation before this? I know that Apple uses the ROM so that it wouldn't be a threat to them. I particularly wonder why there has been no open source implementation of PPC, particularly as IBM is both a supporter of OS and creater of the PPC architecture. Unless the speed just hasn't been there, but it seem like it should be easier to emulate a RISC architecture with a CISC instruction set than the reverse. And Softwindows and the like for Mac OS have been around for ages.
    • Actually, you're off on two counts. [] There are both open PPC implementations sold by third parties (reference designs were created by IBM/Motorola), and Apple's reliance on their toolbox ROM isn't an issue with NewWorld Macs.

      I'm sure the issues surrounding Open Firmware et al will keep Mac OS X confined to native Mac hardware until Apple decides otherwise.

      • I didn't mean to imply that only IBM was part of the PPC group. I realize that several parties were involved, which makes sense with something proposed as a new standard :)

        The information about roms is new to me, however. As far as I knew all version of Mac OS had a special rom file, without which the OS would not run. I guess that has changed. What are the issues with open firmware? I hadn't heard about any particular issues. I thought the great thing about "open firmware" was that it ran on so many different hardware platforms. Sun uses it in their Sparcs, for instance, IIRC.

        • by Anonymous Coward
          Actually, as far as I know you were correct about the ROM issue.

          Although the other poster did have a point. The original iMac and all systems after it used the "new world ROM" which was different from the former "Mac ToolBox ROM". This is also part of the reason why the old Macs used slightly less RAM to run the OS (much of it was ROM). Now, however, we use BootROM and OpenFirmware. As you mentioned, Sun does use OpenFirmware in their Sparc systems (and what they have done with that is really quite amazing). However, the issue here is the BootROM. As many people probably know, this was the reason why you had to send back your daughtercard to the upgrade manufacturer when you bought an iMac CPU upgrade. This was because they needed to harvest the BootROM to graft it onto new upgrade cards. I am not sure, though, if this is relevant to the emulator since I am not sure what, specifically, uses it.

          Just thought I would mention what I knew.

    • Re:Why so long? (Score:1, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward
      "but it seem like it should be easier to emulate a RISC architecture with a CISC instruction set than the reverse."

      I don't quite see this. Emulating CISC on RISC should be comparatively easy, since you could just translate every CISC instruction into a specific group of RISC instructions. Going the other way around seems way more difficult, since there are many different groups of RISC ops that are functionally equivalent to one specific CISC op, so you'd have a hard time correctly identifying such groups in a program. Worse, there might be RISC ops in a program that just don't happen to be grouped in a form that translates into a specific CISC op at all, so you'd have to translate each one of them into a (unnecessarily complex and slow) CISC operation indiviually (-> overhead). Also, whereas emulating the limited x86 register set on the PPC should be pretty straightforward (with the possible exception of the FPU register stack), emulating the PPC's 32 GP registers on a processor that only has 8 of them is probably significantly more difficult.
  • interesting quote. (Score:2, Interesting)

    by quinto2000 ( 211211 )
    "Just because things have been practically dead for us for over a year doesn't mean Mac emulation's days are over ..."

    Your scope. So limited. Over a year? Heh.

    We've had 040 since 1994 or so.

    What's really happened since the first releases of Fusion, Executor and BasiliskII?

    I'll tell you what. Color graphics. That's it. That's the big thing. Thats the only 'milestone' that's happened since this whole 68k mac emulation thing began. Oh okay and the ability to run a shitty 040 at the equivalent of a 68040-9000mhz. Whoop-dee-fucking-doo.

    Up to now, what we've had has been a few useless toys that let us run Claris Works, Photoshop 3.0 and Escape Velocity. (Note to all of you guys out there who have a sincere need to keep running your 68k apps: you don't count. At all. I don't care what your excuse is. MOVE ON.)

    Do you guys REALLY think that it's all going to come together one month from now?

    Again, my point is, people who just discovered this scene a year or so ago don't realize how long it's REALLY been.

    I mean. If you get on the train right before the last stop, you wonder what all the passengers who have been on there for 3000 miles are complaining about!

    I'm not believing a goddamn thing until I see it running on my system.

    Has any other respectable site besides Emaculation uttered a word about this? If this was really going to happen, Apple would be on Drew faster than Sony on Bleem.

    Until I see it running - I'll have to conur with Duckie... "yawn".

    From what Jim Drew has said, this isn't just about Macintosh emulation on a PC. His PPC product, whatever it may be, seems to have a much broader scope than that.

    Y'all can start a countdown if you want, but I wouldn't be wetting my pants just yet.
    • I understand he wants to make a point but;









      And take up an entire page on my screen, its called a paragraph, learn to use them!!! And if I was alowed to moderate this collum I'd find something to mark you down for. I used caps for effect, I know quinto didn't.

      This sig is a virus, take it and use it.

  • Old timers can remember about Executor, made by a little New-Mexican company named ARDI [].

    It featured a quick 68k emulator, and it was the only 'legal' Mac emulator available on PC: they did re-write most of Apple's code (the ROM and the OS itself), allowing them not only to be free from Apple's code but to make it really fast too, by having rewritten the system calls in native x86 code.

    I'd sure love to see this little company putting together a G3/G4 emulator. Wishful thinking, I know.

    Anyway, if an iMac emulator appears, I hope those cheap multi-gigahertz AMD boxes will be able to emulate a little G3 on inexpensive hardware: finally all those x86 OS X curious, not wanting to buy a Mac because of its price will have a way to play with OS X... And to upgrade with the real thing!
  • No I'm not trolling, I've been to Emulators online web site before. I think it was a year ago, or darn close to a year ago. They've been saying they are close to a g3/g4 emulator for that long, about a year. As far as I can tell this is vaporware. I just gave up waiting for the emulator and got a G3 to play with OS X. As much as I would like this to be real, cuz I'd rather just emulate the G3/G4. I agree with the other post, I won't belive it untill I or someone trustable, sees it in person.
    This sig is a virus, take it and use it.
  • by Snowfox ( 34467 ) <> on Sunday February 24, 2002 @05:49PM (#3062044) Homepage
    This isn't PPC emulation, but it is PPC Mac emulation:

    For Amiga users with a PPC accelerator card, there's a product called iFusion [], which lets an Amiga emulate an iMac. It's reputed to work with most software, and to work more quickly than a Mac with the equivalent processor, just as AMax did with an Amiga emulating a 680x0 Mac in the late 80s.

    If you ever doubted the creative insanity of the Amiga community, let this put an end end your nonbelief.

    Think different? Think melting watches in half a man's derby hat on a fish.

  • I could see it going two ways. One, very opposed to it, cease and disist orders all over the place.

    Or, more likely, they will be completely silent about it. This would make sense from their point of view, suddenly people could start trying out OS X on their PC's. It won't be full speed or offer all the solutions that it will on a mac, but it will give people a really good "preview" of what they might be missing.
  • You mean E-Maculation makes PPC emulators now? Jesus W. Christ! I thought all E-Maculation did was make fun of Emulators, Inc. []'s Darek Mihocka, who claims that he's going to debut a PPC emulator at MacWorld. Hath Hell freez-ed over?
  • Really, what platform are these emulators being written for? Do they call x86 functions directly and reveal ppc instructions to the mac os or do they call direct x and windows apis and expose PPC to mac OS. Or,(pant-pant)does this run on linux/FreeBSD/*nix on x86? How hard to port OS X directly instead of emulating PPC?

Thufir's a Harkonnen now.