Lets Talk - Emulators!

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Do you want to know how the OS/2 Emulation Scene is these days? Come on and Read on! Check this new article column.

Who is Martín?

A short presentation of myself, I'm 22 years old. I've been an OS/2 user since 1996 (quite early). By starting at Universidad San Francisco de Quito to learn Computer Science, I graduated second of my class at 1999 (there were only three students of this major). Spent one year on the meditation paths and improving my OS/2 skills. I experienced a lot of pain and anguish using Windows systems and therefore started to use OS/2 more. That's why I always take time to publish news at OS2 World.com or to update this site. And from this day I will also have my own column at OS2 World.Com to tell you all about emulators.

I'm currently working for IBM in Ecuador, with nothing related to OS/2.

Emulation under OS/2

I'm not an Emulation expert; I'm more a user, that's why I'm more focused on Gaming Emulation and old systems. But Emulation can be used with serious objectives, like running AS/400 interfaces on a PC (5250-terminal using Personal Communications or Host On-Demand), MacOS on a Windows PC, the Win-OS/2 emulation that we all have in OS/2, or running OS/2 on an Apple computer using a X86 emulator.

At my point of view, Emulation has one problem, commonly if the technology is too new, the emulation will suck, and it will be emulated slow or without important features. These are the problems when trying to emulate the newer Risc Processors or the newer x86 processors.

Even though emulation is not illegal it is very controversial, for example Bleem is a Sony Playstation Emulator for Windows which was made without any kind of code from Sony. But Sony tried to sue them and of course lost.

What about OS/2 ?

Maybe the most known native emulation for OS/2 is the Win-OS2 session, which emulates Windows 3.1 almost perfectly (with some DOS limitations). I personally had my first emulation experience with Master Gear/2.But, on the other hand there are a few OS/2 Emulators Developers ( an extinction rage ) that have made a lot of quality software for OS/2, I'm going to talk further on the next lines.

I think that one of the most wanted emulators for OS/2 was some kind of Windows 95-NT emulator. But until this day, nothing of this sort has happened. There are x86 emulators that can run Windows under OS/2 with Bochs. I think the best solution to run Win32 application is going to be ODIN. It is not an emulator though, It's a conversion tool for win32 application to OS/2 native ones ..cool, isn't it ?

Little story about my Site

The OS/2 Emulation Site -http://www.os2world.com/games/...

My site started as an idea to put a OS/2 section at Zophar's Domain Emulation Site (this was my dark secret), but Zophar never agreed with that because my English spelling wasn't good enough, so I decide to put up my own OS/2 Emulators web page.

So I started looking for some hosting of the site. I wasn't going to put it on common free site like geocities. So I started to look for hosting on the OS/2 community and many doors closed in my face (I'm just being a bit dramatic here), the truth is that I asked for it at os2world.com and the webmaster told me, "Ok, put it on" on the first try.

Before building my web site I tried to contact every Developer of each OS/2 native Emulator available. There were different responses from the porters.

For example there was the people that had switched to other OS and didn't support OS/2 anymore, to those people I asked if they can set their software Open Source too see if someone else can keep working on the emulators. The response to that was really bad, many os/2-emulator developers had lost the source code or just simply refused to answer my e-mails.

I think that the more active developers still working under OS/2 and coding emulators are:

These four developers still support their software.

Maybe Klaus is one of the oldest OS/2 developer there is active (old using OS/2, I don't know his age). On his web site you can see that he had coded on OS/2 since version 1.0 beta. Klaus Breining had completed coding the CP/M emulator for OS/2. Even though this emulator haven't been updated in a while, Klaus told me that he haven't receive any feature, bug or suggestions about his emulator, but that the emulator is still supported.

T Bretz and his Vice/2. Bretz had coded a native Commodore emulator for OS/2. I'm pretty sure that Bretz had a lot of fans following his steps on the emulator, because the Commodore 64 had a great success on that times and people still remember it.

Darrel Spice is also a veteran on OS/2 Programming. I remember using his Master Gear/2 emulators the first time I used OS/2 Warp 3 ( I'm part ofthe new generation of OS/2ers). He had the Master Gear/2 ( Sega System and Game Gear Emulator), Stella/2 (an Atari emulator), Colem/2 (a Coleco emulator) and soon maybe more.

Marty Almodeo is one of the active OS/2 Developers and hardcore OS/2 Gamer I had found on the net. Marty had ported Snes9x (a Super Nintendo Emulator), RetroArcade and MAME (two arcade emulators) to OS/2. But he had a differential factor, he is using the MGL libraries used on the Scitech drivers for OS/2. With these drivers he has made excellent improvements making possible full-screen support for his emulators.

I just want to thank these four Developers for their activity in the OS/2 Emulation Community. I also don't want to miss the Bochs guys (GuiSoft Corporation) that still support his emulator and Gilles Tschopp that port KEGS and Christian Hennecke that compile it for OS/2.

I want to conclude that there is still much to do with OS/2. There are a lot of Open Source projects that can be ported to OS/2, there are Playstation, Nintendo64, Palm Pilot, Atari (all Open Source), etc. a lot of it is just waiting for an OS/2 developer to port it.

So, if you like to code under OS/2, porting an emulator will not make you rich, famous, or get you chicks. It will, however, give you the great sensation of making it possible !!!

Martin Iturbide OS2 World.Com

(just for the fun of it)


My own site

(I'm still a big Zophar's Domain Fan, don't get mad guys visit: http://www.zophar.net)

All trademarks belong to his respective companies. DO NOT SUE ME!