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/// Emplant Update!
A message received from Jim Drew...
Updated June 26th, 1993
EMPLANT received class B FCC verification August 24th, 1992.
Information reguarding the product "EMPLANT" from Utilities Unlimited,
Inc. This information is freely re-distributable and may be used in any
form as long as the contents are not altered.
What is EMPLANT?
EMPLANT is a hardware/software product that is designed to allow the
emulation of virtually any computer using the Amiga. A simple software
driver and ROM(s) from the computer to emulated are all that is required.
Features and software compatibility will depend on the software driver.
About the hardware
The hardware holds the key to emulation speed. Every effort was made to
make the hardware virsatile enough that we should never have to upgrade
it to handle the emulation of forth comming computer systems. For this
reason, we have included components that may never be used, however,
this does insure the fact that we are prepared for the future.
The MAC series of computers, although different from one another, share
the same basic technology. We can replicate this technology by emulating
the MAC's custom chips through a reliable hardware system. All timers,
interrupts, and clocks are handled on a hardware level so that speed is
identical (or even faster) than the real computer being emulated.
Support for custom EPROMs, static RAM, and SIMM modules makes our hardware
compatible with all existing methods of storing a computer's operating
system. This versatility also allows us to create adapter boards if some
new method of OS storage becomes available. The EMPLANT hardware has four
empty 32 pin ROM/RAM sockets provided for use with operating systems that
are stored in DIP format (such as 128K MAC+ ROMs are). These sockets
can also be used to store your own utility software in EPROM format. We
plan to release a utility package that will be literally "at your
fingertips". Another option is to fill the four sockets with static
RAMs, giving you up to 2 megs of extra RAM that you could write protect and
make auto-booting, which would be handy for floppy-only customers.
The hardware comes in two forms: a plug in card that occupies one of the
Zoro II/III slots on your A2000/2500/3000, and a plug in card that fits on
the expansion bus on your A500/1000. For the A500/1000 version, there is
a pass-thru that allows you to plug in your existing equipment.
The Apple Nu-Bus expansion ports are not emulated through hardware because
they are now RAM-based device drivers which operate faster than a MAC's own
hardware. We will be producing NuBus adapter sockets that allow the
use of standard MAC NuBus products to work in a Zoro II/III slot.
HIGH SPEED MAC SERIAL PORTS/APPLE TALK SUPPORT
The MAC serial port is not emulated, it is duplicated - using the exact same
standard dual high speed serial interface IC. Apple Talk is completely
supported through this port like the MAC, via a 8 pin mini-din connector.
This dual high speed serial port can be used on the Amiga side as well,
allowing the connection of two serial devices operating independantly.
Communication speed on these ports are a maximum of 230.4K baud, which is
the speed at which Apple Talk runs. Maximum modem speed is generally
limited to 57.6K baud.
A simple, autobooting SCSI controller using NCR53C80 high speed
controller IC. Capable of pseudo-DMA transfers up to 1.1 megs per second.
Support for up to 7 SCSI devices including CD ROMs, tape backup units,
and hand scanners. This SCSI interface can be used on both the Amiga
side and the MAC side, independantly or simotaneously.
About the MAC II emulation software
FULL COLOR, MULTITASKING, MAC II EMULATION!
Up to 16 colors can be displayed using the standard OCS/ECS Amiga video
output, and up to 256 colors can be displayed when using an AGA capable
Full color can also be emulated with various 8bit and 24bit video boards.
Support for the Retina video board allows up to 16 million colors to be
displayed!! We are current working on other video drivers for boards such
as: Merlin, Resolver, Domino, Rainbow and others!
ALL emulation modules created for the EMPLANT system will share one
very important feature...they will multitask with the Amiga's
environment. That's right, just pull down the MAC screen, or flip to the
back with LEFT-AMIGA-M/N and you still have complete access to your
Amiga! ...and the MAC stays running at full speed! Speaking of speed,
a 25Mhz A3000 runs the emulation at exactly twice the speed of a *real*
MAC IIx computer!
The MAC IIx emulator software is relatively simple since the majority of
the emulation is done on a hardware level, giving both better compatibility
and equally important, emulation speed.
The software reads the MAC ROM SIMM module that is installed on the EMPLANT
board, dumps the ROM image into a block of memory, and patches the image
to run on your Amiga. One intelligent move on the part of Apple was to
define "global" variables for their operating system. This makes it
relatively simple to move the code around without a lot of hassles.
Since the MAC IIx is a 68030 based machine, it has a AMU or PMMU to map
memory into various locations. Using a 68020/30/40 with an MMU allows
virtually 100% compatibility when running MAC software on the emulator.
Another big advantage of having a MMU is the tremendous speed increase
of the video display drivers. The MAC's video data is in 'CHUNKY'
format, and the Amiga's video data is in 'PLANAR' format. These two
formats are completely different, so the emulation converts the MAC's
video data into data that the Amiga's display hardware can use....all
in real time, thanks to the MMU.
Support for virtually ANY SCSI device such as hand scanners, Ethernet
cartridges, hard drives, SyQuest units, Magneto-Optical units,
DATs, film recorders, CD-ROMs, etc. is provided via the EMPLANT's
SCSI port. You can also use AmigaDOS formatted devices (which
become MAC formatted by the emulation). Amiga devices such as
hard drive partitions, recoverable RAM drives (RD0, RAD, VD0, etc.),
and MS-DOS partitions can all be used under the emulation. Up to
14 different devices can be used at the same time.
The MAC 400/800K disk format is emulated by using the already successful
SYBIL hardware package. High density (1.44mb) floppys are supported via
the CBM 1.76mb drives.
Since the EMPLANT's hardware is so versatile, a completely new and
different computer can be emulated by just changing the emulation
software patch and the ROM(s). MAC QUADRA, Mega ST, and IBM AT
(386/486) emulators are planned in the future.
Price and availability
Current retail price for the basic EMPLANT system is $279 + shipping.
Basic EMPLANT system with High speed serial ports/Apple Talk support
is $349.00 + shipping.
Basic EMPLANT system with high speed SCSI interface is $349.00 +
Deluxe EMPLANT system with both high speed serial ports/Apple Talk
support AND high speed SCSI interface is $399 + shipping.
All EMPLANT packages described above come with the MAC IIx emulation
software and necessary device drivers.
The EMPLANT systems are shipping now, however, we are in a back order
situation with shipment priority based on the order date.
To be placed on a mailing for more information, please contact
Utilities Unlimited at:
1641 McCulloch Blvd. Suite #25-124
Lake Havasu City, AZ 86403
(602) 680-9004 Orders Only
(602) 453-6407 FAX
(602) 680-9006 Technical Support
(602) 453-9767 24 hr support BBS