Re: What value emulators? - CP/M

This is a discussion on Re: What value emulators? - CP/M ; On Jul 3, 9:15*am, "John Crane" wrote: ... > I think I'm missing the picture on the emulators... ... > If someone is going to make a modern day "copy", I'd prefer a hardware one, > like the new Altair ...

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Thread: Re: What value emulators?

  1. Re: What value emulators?

    On Jul 3, 9:15*am, "John Crane" wrote:
    ...
    > I think I'm missing the picture on the emulators...

    ...
    > If someone is going to make a modern day "copy", I'd prefer a hardware one,
    > like the new Altair kits floating around. *Anyone can code these days. *But
    > maybe I'm just a traditionalist.


    John,

    I agree with everything others have said in this thread. Here are a
    couple more points.

    When I write an emulator for a machine, it is extremely educational to
    *me*. I learn a lot more about the system I am emulating because as
    the author I have to understand every little detail.

    Emulators are great for tire kickers. You can download an emulator
    and some disk images, play some games, write some programs, and then
    delete it all in an afternoon. One of my emulators is for the
    Sol-20. Within 10 minutes of reading this message you can be playing
    TARG, the most famous game for that machine. There are no modern day
    FPGA clone kids for it, so if you insist on having real hardware, it
    will probably set you back $1000 and a month or two of your time to
    buy a Sol and get it working again. Say you want to play with an
    Apple I -- you can't get the original thing short of $10,000. Sure,
    you can get one of the replica kits for a few hundred dollars, but is
    that really the authentic experience? I seem to recall one of them
    uses a PS/2 keyboard. I'm developing an emulator for the Wang 3300.
    The last one was probably destroyed some time in the 1980s.

    Dave Dunfield mentioned how developing on an emulator is often more
    convenient than developing on the real hardware. One reason, which he
    didn't state, is that the debugging environment on the emulator is
    often far superior. Besides having the software equivalent of an ICE,
    you can also do things like "single step" the disk drive or serial
    port transfers, since the emulator is emulating the peripherals too.

    I agree that emulators don't have the same feel as the original
    hardware. Some things like the sound and smell can't be duplicated
    even with a modern day replica. Nevertheless, an emulation is
    superior in some ways (availability, cost, reliability), and it sure
    beats having nothing.

    Finally, emulators aren't for everyone, apparently including you.

  2. Re: What value emulators?

    On Jul 4, 1:18*pm, "frus...@pacbell.net" wrote:
    > On Jul 3, 9:15*am, "John Crane" wrote:
    > ...
    >
    > > I think I'm missing the picture on the emulators...

    > ...
    > > If someone is going to make a modern day "copy", I'd prefer a hardware one,
    > > like the new Altair kits floating around. *Anyone can code these days.. *But
    > > maybe I'm just a traditionalist.

    >

    [snip]
    >
    > Dave Dunfield mentioned how developing on an emulator is often more
    > convenient than developing on the real hardware. *One reason, which he
    > didn't state, is that the debugging environment on the emulator is
    > often far superior. *Besides having the software equivalent of an ICE,
    > you can also do things like "single step" the disk drive or serial
    > port transfers, since the emulator is emulating the peripherals too.
    >

    [snip]

    Hi,
    I have to agree with Dave on this. When Howard added the N8VEM SBC
    support to the SIMH simulator, I found making updates to the software
    got tremendously easier. Just reducing the time spent on debugging
    cycle alone increased my productivity so that an update to an
    application which would have taken days, I could do in an evening.

    Emulators are great and are vital tools that really make some things
    with vintage computers possible, even practical. Dave's NorthStar and
    CPM utilities have proven invaluable in recovering legacy data from
    legacy hardware. I am sure the list of examples is almost endless.

    Sincere "Thank You" to all the emulator authors like Dave, Howard,
    Peter, etc. You are doing great and wonderful things!

    Andrew Lynch

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