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%% Emulation Rambler                                    By Jason Compton %%
%% Trying to keep on top of everything.             ( %%

In the wake of Apple's PowerPC announcement (wow, they're FINALLY
releasing them?) I just thought I'd remind everyone of a few things
pointed out about the entire PowerPC line, in a recent MacWorld

" won't be able to install a PowerPC Mac's version of System 7
onto a non-Apple PowerPC computer."

And they say PowerPC is a cross-platform OS setup?

"...any 680x0 application that requires an FPU will not run on a Power-
PC;  you'll have to get a PowerPC-specific software upgrade or
use a slow software FPU emulator."

"Other PowerPC-based computers won't run Mac software."

I'll take a fast bridgeboard, an Emplant, and a 4000 any day.

Now, off to the races...

A-Max IV setup...and you thought Emplant was fun.

My A-Max IV is up and running now.  I took the ROMs out of a friend's
A-Max II (thanks Stacie!), plugged them in, and went to work.  On booting
up the software, I got an Error 7 preventing the System from loading 
itself up.  "Great!" I'm thinking.  Just when I get Emplant figured out, 
A-Max is going to bring its own barrels of joy.  So I went ahead and tried
playing with the various configurations, but got the same error.  Fine, 
fine, I'll re-install the system software.  THAT worked, and now A-Max IV
and Emplant live happily together.  Much to my surprise, neither company
programmed in a clause that melts the slot with the competitor's board.

Running A-Max IV

Someone made a comment on CSAE that A-Max IV has a more 
"professional-looking" front-end than Emplant.  I'm not sure I see more
"professionalism" shine through in the configuration screen.  A-Max IV
brings up a Workbench window with 8 option categories, significantly
less than Emplant's 12.  The A-Max control panel is, in general,
more powerful, but I'll get into it in depth next week.

First impressions...after all, they only get one chance.

So far, I like it.  In terms of its "Mac-ness", the A-Max and Emplant are
to this point indistinguishable.  It's the difference in setting up the 
Mac that makes the difference.  The most obvious thing is that 4 color 
mode doesn't exist on A-Max, it's 2 or 16 for me and nothing inbetween.  
That's not a colossal loss, but I could see where 4 color mode would be 
missed. Other than that, neither board loses in the face of the other 
right away.

Emplant Updates:

I've got a couple of VERY interesting programs sitting on my Mac
partition right now.  One is a C-64 emulator, the other is (from what
I'm told) a very good image manipulation program.  Unfortunately,
I'm having difficulty finding something that will appease the "This
file requires BinHex 4.0" requirement at the top of the files, so they're
sitting as large chunks of text at the moment.  (I'm making a lot of
excuses, aren't I?)  Maybe I'll talk about Emplant 4.1 a bit.

Emplant 4.1

Well, for one thing, Jim removed the screen fade from the emulation
main menu.  That was rather nice, I never realized how much TIME it
took.  The sound routines have been modified slightly, in case a Mac
program decides to bang on the Mac hardware in a very nasty 
fashion.  Serial WORKS, however I'm having a hard time getting my
modem to like the new handshaking, and no devices other than plain old
serial.device seem to work with the emulation.  Any others come up with
an error from the emulation menu.  Parallel support still works.  My 
Emplant serial ports still don't, but a lot of that blame goes to me for 
not actively pursuing UU about it.

Full Emplant Mailing List?

Remember that Emplant new-software-release mailing list at  Talk is going on of making it a full-
blown mailing list (although the guy who organized the whole thing
hasn't commented yet) and interest seems to be running high of forming
a general-information Emplant mailing list, basically for the people who
are tired of the C.S.A.Emulation material.  If anyone is interested in
forming one, let me know, and I'll put the word out here.

Another program that just doesn't work well...

For reasons I can't figure out, Despair, a PD game,
does not work with the Emplant.  I've tried just about every situation I
can: nothing in the Amiga background, 2, 4, and 16 color modes, nothing
running in the Mac background...all for nothing.  Despair, a Populous
spinoff in which people run around on a Donkey-Kongish world waiting
for you to kill them in interesting ways, bus errors as soon as I try to
kill someone, unless I wait and do nothing, in which case it bus errors
shortly anyway.  The game is recent enough that I don't feel confident
that it is System 7.1 causing the problem, but it may well be, since a
Mac associate says that bus errors tend to mean System incompatibility.
The only Mac error messages I've ever seen on Emplant have been
bus errors, and I KNOW it's not all incompatibility.  Word's old crash 
problem often involved bus errors.  This only makes two programs that 
work below satisfactory levels.

Apple2000:  Kevin Kralian's masterpiece

Ok, ok, so emulators don't look like masterpieces to everyone.  To me,
however, Kevin Kralian's Apple2000 emulator is about as close to complete
as software emulators get.  The Apple II+ emulation provides a 
multitasking Apple II+ with 64k, all video modes, keyboard (good thing, 
too), joystick, and sound support.  The disk drive is emulated using DDD 
compression files which the emulator automatically recognizes and 
dissolves.  Saves can be made in the form of memory snapshots or full 
disk storage, although most of it is at yet unimplemented in my version.
Kralian included about 40 programs for the purposes of my emulation.

So how does it taste?

Pretty good.  I hadn't played Karateka in a LONG time, and I have to 
admit that it plays pretty authentically on my 030/25 Amiga while letting
the rest of the system run as well.  I remember playing Apple Karateka
on an Apple many, many years ago, and this looked just the same.  The
disk access is incredibly faster than a real drive would be (I would hope,
it's loading off the Amiga hard drive), and the screen updating is 
concrete. I hadn't played Choplifter in an even LONGER time.  It was there
in all its splendor, too.  (Of course, I'm more inclined to the 64 version
of these programs, but that's a matter of history.)  ProDOS and AppleDOS 
3.3 are both supported.  Multiple disk software works, because the 
emulation allows you to "insert" a disk without booting off of it.  
Karateka plays acceptably fast while Terminus downloads at 1620 cps.  It 
looks, for all the world, like an Apple II, the first real computer I ever
used.  I don't know how he could come much closer to authenticity without
replacing the "A" keys with apples. (incidentally, he provides for 
resetting the Apple from the keyboard, too) The joystick support either 
lets you use a two-button joystick or allows the right alt key for the 
second button.  It's not the greatest solution, but it works.  He even 
includes a "calibration" method using the keyboard if the joystick behaves

Ok, so what good is it?  How am I supposed to get the Apple software 
to the emulator, anyway?

Well, Kralian gives detailed instructions for obtaining an Apple II ROM
image, in the event you

A. Own an Apple II or set of Apple II ROMs you can use with the program.

B. Figure Apple has better things to do than track down illicit Apple II

It involves the Apple's built-in monitor mode.  Nothing too hard, he tells
you exactly what to do.  This is the tricky part: you need a modem.
You've gotta somehow send those ROMs to the Amiga.  From this
point, obtaining software works in one of two ways...

A.  Obtain the memory image or DDD file from somewhere and put it
directly on the Amiga hard drive.

B.  DDD compress it on the Apple side and send it over.

He's obviously done a lot of it, because I've got a nice sampling of games
and a few utilities (Music Maker is a riot) on my emulator.  Works fine 
for him.

WHY would I want to do such a thing?

If you're reading my column, you probably have SOME measure of interest
in emulation.  That's the first, and most vital, step.  Just to run the 
thing, say:

"Wow, neat, an Apple II whose screen I can yank up and down", show it to
a friend who'd care and put it aside would be enough for some people.  I,
personally, find it VERY neat and that's why I sit here week after week
rambling on and on about emulators.  Historical value is a consideration, as
well as the mere act of saving space not needing an Apple II+ lying 
around. If those things don't interest you, you probably won't be too 
interested in ANY emulator.

Ok, I'm interested.  Where do I get it?

Good question.  Apple2000 hasn't been released anywhere yet.  It may be
shareware, it may appear on magazine cover disks, it may go straight into
PD.  It may do none of the above.  Kralian hasn't decided yet.  He has
nailed out AGA support and is now working on better DDD and AppleDOS
support, as well as solving a bug I've located that nobody else can
duplicate.  As always with these things, I'll let you know when I find 

That's it for this week.  Until next time (one or two weeks), just 
remember: "multiplatform" is more than having a fast processor.  Keep the
emulators warm.