New MSX emulation paradigm

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By karloch

Prophet (2159)

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23-09-2008, 23:45

I was browsing the web when I got into this website:

ARAnyM is a virtual machine that runs AtariST software on any architecture or operating system, following a similar approach to JavaVM or .NET CLR.

We already have (and I consider very fortunate to) advanced rich MSX emulators like openMSX and BlueMSX. Wouldn't be nice to take MSX emulation to another step and have a similar Virtual Machine approach?

Just suggesting...

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By mjgsantos

Expert (94)

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24-09-2008, 00:58

I'd rather have one bash-like shell that could execute MSX binaries as if they where made to run under the OS. For this, I don't care if it's 100% compatible with the platform, with all the bugs and limitations. I just want to play the damn game! or application, whatsoever...

By karloch

Prophet (2159)

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24-09-2008, 10:45

Well, that would be the approach. The very same emulation engine that current emulators have (no need to rewrite a single line of emulation code), but integrated with the OS like a VM, so an user could execute MSX binaries without having the feeling of running an emulator.

I think cross-development could benefit *a lot* of that.

By AuroraMSX

Paragon (1902)

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24-09-2008, 12:33

Frankly, I don't quite get it. What would be the benefit of this VM approach? Where is the difference compared to a 'normal' emulator?
I'd rather have one bash-like shell that could execute MSX binaries as if they where made to run under the OS. That should be possible: a shell i nwhich you can jump around in your directories and when you enter the name of an MSX executable, the shell just spawns an emulator to run it. Challenge will be to figure out how the emulator should be configured in order to run the executable properly: which MSX model to use, which extensions to plug in, whether to plug a mouse or a joystick etc etc.

By nikodr

Paladin (750)

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24-09-2008, 12:41

I think what he means is to integrate msx binaries into the os,you simply call the exe or com file and automatically it runs without the emulator to show up,like it is running in the background or something.Imagine it like E-uae that runs under aros operating system.

Aros does not have direct support for 680x0 exe files that were made for amiga computer system,but with the integrated E-uae emulator on aros you can click on amiga old exe files and are executed on the fly on the host operating system.

Maybe something like that?

By Manuel

Ascended (19321)

Manuel's picture

24-09-2008, 13:55

Sounds more like associating the MSX files with an emulator and running them with it. I think this already works with most (self-contained) files. Could be improved a bit with DirAsDsk, but it's already very close, I think.

This may not be what you meant, but the net effect is quite similar!

By turbor

Hero (519)

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24-09-2008, 14:46

Also, doing this with msx isn't that useful as mixing atari/amiga with current linux/windows/mac systems.
Atari and Amiga had already an official own GUI system and knew about longer filenames and subdirs.

Trying to match all this with an MSX (which by default has textbased or fullscreen applications) and in its unexpaned form doesn't even know about subdirs (not to mention the 8.3 filenames limitation) is unnervingly complicating matters.

Manuel's suggestion is most likely the way to go if you want this...
Associate the files with a small launcher program that starts the (openWink)MSX emulator with the working directory as DirAsDisk.
If you really want to map your real HD onto an MSX view then you'll have to develop your own diskrom+dos2-hack which can perform these translations into a native msx internal BDOS format. Good Luck!

By Yukio

Paragon (1540)

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25-09-2008, 00:20

Actually I think that it is possible to implement some sort of Virtual Machine ... the difference from a real Emulator is that there is only one MSX emulator available in the market, the FPGA One Chip MSX machine in Japan. Most of the other solutions even the ones on disc Magazines are just simulators !!!

By turbor

Hero (519)

turbor's picture

25-09-2008, 09:49

No, they are all emulators!

They mimic the internal workings of the MSX machines, thus resulting in the same external behavior.
With simulation you are only trying to have the external reactions of the system to be as realistic as possible, without caring for the real internals guts of the system!
This allows simulators to get away with looking at the system from a much higher level.For instance, a flight-simulator doesn't do the internal workings of calculating all the movements of air-molecules being pushed aside by the plane etc

Of course, it kind of depends on where you draw the border between internal systems and external behavior.
If you want to draw the border at the electric signals (connecting a real TV, real cartridges and all) then maybe the FPGA OCM is the only real emulator.
However you can not connect a real external MSX keyboard,cassette player or MSX printer and the V9958 "emulation" is not completely working as the real stuff, so even with your border definition it is a crippled emulator . Tongue

By Yukio

Paragon (1540)

Yukio's picture

26-09-2008, 02:03

Does anyone knew the difference between accessing Virtual Disks and Real Disks? There are a lot of programs that could implement the use of Virtual Disks on Windows 9x and Windows XP ... There was even the possibility of use some MSX simulator to run the programs, maybe using a Z80 simulator or a Mobile Phone simulator to find the results. After all there are plenty of simulators to play computer games on it ...

On the other hand, Nintendo Virtual Console could be a profitable option for hard core developers !!!

By erikd

Master (255)

erikd's picture

27-09-2008, 15:17

Blue/Open/fMSX etc are all emulators. Usually people use the word 'simulator' if it doesn't mimic the underlying hardware, which all MSX emulators do. For example these old LCD handheld game simulators are simulators because the hardware is not emulated, they just recreated the game and made it look like the original.
Where you draw the line between simulator and emulator is just a theoretical (and to be honest quite uninteresting) discussion.

And an emulator IS a virtual machine!

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