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%% Emulation Rambler                                  by  Jason Compton  %%
%% Between Jobs....                                jcompton@bbs.xnet.com %%
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Well, I'm between jobs right now.  Actually, that's not quite true, as
I have MaxDOS sitting here waiting for me and there's a Vortex 486
board that needs my attention.

Both are giving me problems, though...MaxDOS' is probably minor,
while the 486 keeps locking up.  I haven't had a chance to explain
the problem to the necessary parties, though.  I have confidence that
they'll work.

In the meantime, here's a "first-impressions" review and overview of
MaxDOS V1.0.

From Media4 Productions, a company with some very nice stationery,
is MaxDOS, which provides Workbench/AmigaDOS access to 
Macintosh HD floppies and any Mac SCSI device, including CD-ROM
drives and the like through their Mounter program.  The catch is that
you need mfm.device (from the CrossDOS package, standard on 
WB 2.1 and above) for the Mac floppy access.

Installation:  Uses the Commodore installer.  Simple.  Quick.
Effective.

Operation:  Well, it all pretty much centers around the Mounter
program, which is straightforward.  The hardest part is telling it
the device you want to use to read the configuration from (such
as specifying mfm.device for floppies or your relevant SCSI
device for SCSI partitions and the like) and getting the unit
number right.  For floppies, it's 0-3, and for SCSI devices, it's
the SCSI unit number.  Take a floppy as an example.  Put it in
the drive and watch PC0: and your virus checker chew on it,
then run Mounter using mfm.device.  Hit "read configuration" and
immediately and conveniently, all of the relevant facts about the disk
come up (sector size, cylinders, sectors, surfaces, sectors/track and
capacity)  Then you can mount the volume and even create a mountlist
for future reference (thereby skipping the Mounter program altogether).
Not bad.  MF0:, as it is now known, appears and can be accessed as
a legal AmigaDOS device.  Mac files are split into forks: one is the 
filename of the program, the other is the filename with a superscript
2 (in other words, squared).  The data fork, the smaller one, is very
often less than half a k and only identifies the file and a few other
Mac-like things.  For self-extracting archives, it contains the extractor.
The main body of programs seems to escape unscathed.

Problems:  Well, at present, I've tested floppy and my Amiga-formatted
HD with an AMAX: partition.  MaxDOS is supposed to recognize it and
hasn't.  I've told Mr. Landwehr (blandwehr@bix.com) about it, and I
think I'll remind him again, since I haven't received a reply yet.

This, of course, isn't the end.  I plan to try a CD-ROM drive soon, and
to fix the hard drive problem.  I'm merely introducing the topic.

Speaking of introductions, Jim Drew has introduced himself to the Mac
magazines.  He's featured in MacWeek, or at least some quotes are...
like a 486 emulation for the PowerPC 8100 that will run faster than a
Pentium.  Sound incredible?  Sure it does.  He claims that it is based on
his work with emulators on the Amiga...meaning that we see our 486 
emulator before the PowerPC people do.  What will happen?  You'll
have to wait like everyone else to find out.  Insignia Solutions, the
SoftWindows (formerly SoftPC, but that was too scary of a name for
Mac users, apparently), don't seem to believe it's possible.

This is all rather like a soap opera sometimes.  Keep the emulators
warm.