Author Topic: Virtual PC some info  (Read 10972 times)

Offline teroyk

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Re: Virtual PC some info
« Reply #20 on: June 10, 2022, 10:55:33 AM »
And I wrote little more about VPC history:

Virtual PC 2:
- Virtual PC 2.1.3 is first version to work with Mac OS 8.6 and 9.2.2
- Only reasons use this versions:
  - If you need Sound Blaster Pro support not SB16, example game Dreams to Reality.
  - It force only use 8-bit 22khz sound. That gives some speed.
  - Smallest memory need, you can go under official preferred minimum size:
    - with 6000 KB you can get PC with 2 MB RAM, 1 MB VRAM, with small code cache
    (- with 148000 KB you get max PC with 126 MB RAM, 4 MB VRAM, with big code cache)
  - With DOS you can try it with even under 180 Mhz Mac.
  - Works with VPC 1 HD-images.
- FSHARE.EXE minimum is DOS 5.00, no harm if use older DOS version, it just give warning about that.
- When installing Sound Blaster Pro drivers, don't use test..just install. And remember install DOS drivers, before install Win 3.0 if you install that.
- Compatibility reasons is better set VRAM to 1 MB or 2 MB, not 4 MB. Remember that 2 MB is enough for 1600x1200 with 256 colors or 800x600 with 16M colors.
- CGA/EGA-emulation sometimes sucks, but not always.
- Virtual PC 2.1.1 with Win 95 Win version is Win95C with DirextX 5 preinstalled. Win95C supports USB, but USB support come to Virtual PC in version 3.
- Virtual PC 2.1.1 with Win 98 Win version is Win98(FE)
- Virtual PC 2.1.1 with PC-DOS DOS version is 7.0 rev 0.
- There is update from 2.x.x version to 2.1.3.

Offline teroyk

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Re: Virtual PC some info
« Reply #21 on: June 19, 2022, 09:20:04 AM »
Common with VPC 2 and VPC 3 only (I ignore VPC1 here):
- Emulates something like Pentium MMX (to be exact ConnectixCPU family 5 model 3 step 5) with Intel TX-chipset (that have 126 MB max RAM) with DEC DE435 EtherWORKS Turbo PCI Combo Adapter (Intel 21041-chip (Does somebody have DOS drivers?))
- Support for 3dfx Voodoo 1/2 cards, if installed it to your Mac.
- Good support for real floppy disks. Image-write-softwares works fine.
- HDD-image is really full HDD-image, so you can use partition software and make more partitions than one in image. Don't use Virtual PC hard disk extender after that.
- Max 2 GB HD-image. Remember you can have two of them in one virtual machine.
- You can use small HD-images from RAM-disk, so don't make them too big.
- You can mount HD-images in Finder, but don't do that when VPC is running, use share-folder when VPC running.
- HD-images doesn't auto expand.
- If you have problem with games try these versions.
- There might be possibly make MIDI-out through Mac serial port with DOS with software called SoftMPU (with COM1 out parameter), but I never tested it.
- Does not support boot from CD-ROM also real PC with Intel TX-chipset motherboard didn't. But you can use Plop Boot Manager 5.0.15-floppydisk to boot almost all bootable CD-ROMs. Plop Boot Manager flickering if Mac colors are set to 256 colors, so thousand of colors is better with Plob Boot Manager.
- There is configurable BIOS setup, but I don't remember anymore how to get there.
- Might crash when installing PC software from CD…try copy first to HD-image. Reason unknown to me, because it should work even with some copyprotected CD-ROMs.
- Some random crashes with faster G4 Macs..especially with reading real CD.
- Good to know: DirectX 5 is much faster than DirectX 6 without Voodoo.
- Can use Mac joysticks and gamepads in Windows with Virtual PC joystick driver.
- Use floppydisk-images putting them to eject-floppy button (not so good UI-design).
« Last Edit: June 19, 2022, 09:34:25 AM by teroyk »

Offline teroyk

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Re: Virtual PC some info
« Reply #22 on: August 13, 2022, 06:56:07 AM »

Virtual PC 3:

- Sometimes little slower than VPC 2 with old software.
- With version 3.03A you might get little speed boost with G4. That is first version that is programmed also G4 in mind.
- First version that emulates Sound Blaster 16.
- First version that support USB (it emulates USB PCI card with 15-port USB-hub, but Win98 doesn't let use 15 usb devices, Win98 has bug :))
- First version that officially support Windows 2000 and Red Hat Linux.
- Last version that support 3dfx Voodoo-cards.
- Still only Virtual PC version for some "DirextX 6.1-7"-games (with Voodoo-cards only)
- There is also upgrade CD-ROM from VPC1/2 to VPC 3.
- Last version for low-end Macs (pre G3)

Offline Jubadub

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Re: Virtual PC some info
« Reply #23 on: June 30, 2023, 01:29:59 AM »
Just to pump some more life into the whole idea of virtualizing OSes to serve OS 9, even though, as far as Windows is concerned, we can only go as far as Windows XP or Server 2003, we can use One-Core-API to get it to run Windows Vista and 7 apps, and do crazy things such as installing i.e. .NET Framework 4.8 (!) on XP. We can even install the Snipping Tool, which is crazy useful. It's kinda like what KernelEx is to Windows 98 and Windows ME, for running Windows 2000 and Windows XP programs. (And wasn't KernelEx 2000 also a thing, for running Windows XP programs in Windows 2000?)

We also did not explore the ReactOS route at all. This might potentially be even better than Windows itself for us to run Windows programs on VPC, arguably. The same might go for whatever version of GNU/Linux or BSD we can slap WINE into, for running Windows programs that do not run in Windows XP and earlier.

Of course, I'm talking of only Virtual PC here. Bochs has far greater emulation potential, at the cost of a lot of speed, if we get it compiling, and using compile-time features. But in the speed department, like Virtual PC, I recently realized we completely neglected to look into Neko Project, which IIRC is available on OS 9, as a NEC PC-98 Japanese PC emulator not just for running its exclusive games, which is what most of us generally associate the emulator with, but to boot (Japanese-only?) versions of Windows (up to 98?) and, of course, ReactOS, which HAS been booting on at least the modern versions of Neko Project, and ReactOS is usable even in English in that case.

So another question is, which one is faster for us in OS 9: Virtual PC or Neko Project? This might be quite useful.

Offline teroyk

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Re: Virtual PC some info
« Reply #24 on: July 04, 2023, 01:36:53 AM »
Just to pump some more life into the whole idea of virtualizing OSes to serve OS 9, even though, as far as Windows is concerned, we can only go as far as Windows XP or Server 2003, we can use One-Core-API to get it to run Windows Vista and 7 apps.
...
So another question is, which one is faster for us in OS 9: Virtual PC or Neko Project? This might be quite useful.

I think biggest limit in Virtual PC for Mac OS9 is that PC CPU that it emulates is between Pentium MMX (Virtual PC 2) - Pentium II MMX (Virtual PC 6). Some problems even arise with Virtual PC 4-6 because they fake identify processor to Pentium III and that is reason why some Linux installations froze. Second biggest problem is 512 MB memory limit (it emulates Intel BX-motherboard limit), would be patched easily?. But that One-Core-API might be interesting for tests to run some Win7 software in VirtualPC. Have you tested?

But it would be interesting know if some emulator run any program or OS better than Virtual PC.

I hope that some Linux guru try compile Debian Linux for Virtual PC 6.

Offline Jubadub

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Re: Virtual PC some info
« Reply #25 on: July 06, 2023, 11:56:13 AM »
@teroyk I haven't tested One-Core-API yet, but it is in the plans. As for Neko Project II, the OS 9 version is available on the official website from here: https://www.yui.ne.jp/np2/

Direct download link for OS 9 ("Classic" version): http://www.retropc.net/yui/np2mac/np2_classic_081a.sit
Carbon version (intended for PPC OS X I think, but perhaps it might also work in 9): http://www.retropc.net/yui/np2mac/np2_carbon_081a.sit

Newer versions are for non-PowerPC platforms, unfortunately. But these versions here should already be excellent. We have Mac Garden page here: https://macintoshgarden.org/apps/neko-project-ii

One side note about the PC-98, they are Intel-based machines, but they are NOT "PCs", as in, not IBM-PC-compatible, where the term "PC" comes from (other than the obvious "personal computer"). Even Intel "Macs" are generic IBM-compatible PCs. That means that Windows OSes, and even React OS, targeting PC-98 is a different build/version of the OS. I found a Windows 95 pre-installed image on archive.org: https://archive.org/details/win95-pc98-hdi There should also be a Windows 98 version, up to 98SE I think, but I don't think there was was a Windows ME for PC-98. I know that there were also some earlier versions of 16-bit of Windows for it, as well, and also some early Windows NT versions. But very famously PC-98 and Neko Project II are both compatible with Windows 2000.

Here's Windows NT 3.5 Workstation: http://www.mediafire.com/file/326ker48rk69lqv/Windows_NT_3.5_Workstation_%255BNEC_PC-98xx%255D_%255BNEC_OEM%255D.rar/file
Scans: http://www.mediafire.com/file/1g3prcl7hivlw07/Windows_NT_3.5_Workstation_%255BNEC_PC-98xx%255D_%255BNEC_OEM%255D_Scans.rar/file

I couldn't find Windows 98 or 98SE yet. It might be somewhere in BetaArchive website/forums.

Boot disks and some other stuff can be found in these threads:
https://www.betaarchive.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=35758
https://www.betaarchive.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=40066
https://www.betaarchive.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=17026
https://www.betaarchive.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=37891

Video of ReactOS being compiled for and running on Neko Project II:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OJbzxvqoj6o

We also got a version of the ever-handy FreeDOS, ported over to the PC-98:
https://github.com/lpproj/fdkernel/tree/nec98test/nec98

Offline teroyk

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Re: Virtual PC some info
« Reply #26 on: July 10, 2023, 02:29:23 AM »
We also got a version of the ever-handy FreeDOS, ported over to the PC-98:

btw..FreeDOS works fine also with VirtualPC 4-6..it also works VPC2-3, but you have to install with floppy (or images) (or use Plop Boot Manager floppy image to boot from FreeDOS 1.3 Live CD-ROM).

Offline Jubadub

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Re: Virtual PC some info
« Reply #27 on: July 14, 2023, 11:44:30 AM »
One final thing I forgot to mention: aside the PC-98, there's also the 68k-based competitor known as Sharp X68000, aka x68k. Originally equipped with the 68000, the final revisions shipped with the 68030. This is noteworthy, because aside the usual set of Japanese OSes, we also have an official, up-to-date port of NetBSD for it:

https://wiki.netbsd.org/ports/x68k/

Check out the "Release Info" links in the URL above. It includes, among other things, the direct ISO download: https://cdn.netbsd.org/pub/NetBSD/NetBSD-9.3/images/NetBSD-9.3-x68k.iso

There might be some Sharp X68k emulators for Mac OS, but I don't know if enough is emulated to make the latest, or even an older, release of NetBSD compatible with them, but it might be worth a try. In particular, I half-suspect 68k-based emulation on Mac OS might be faster and/or more mature than us emulating x86 via Virtual PC, Neko Project and all the others. I don't know of all the emulators for Mac OS, but there is at least one I came across years ago:

https://macintoshgarden.org/apps/x68000-emulator-japanese

Incidentally, the following links are very useful for Japanese computer emulators for Mac OS:
https://www.zophar.net/macintosh.html
http://macdegame.blog.jp/archives/15327442.html

And one final thing with regards to PC-98: I don't know of official ports of NetBSD for it, but looking around I see a lot of sites that seem to suggest there has been some work on a port for it in the past. Just throwing that out there for completion.
However, it seems that FreeBSD has had official releases for it in the past, which I honestly find fascinating:

https://www.freebsd.org/releases/5.1R/installation-pc98/
http://www.freebsd.no/platforms/pc98/

Well, that's enough "off-topic" from me (this is a Virtual PC thread). I just thought I would put some attention on the "new friends/rivals" of Virtual PC from Japan, since most outside Japan haven't come across them.

So back on topic, I'm trying to run Debian on VPC 6, paying close attention to the built-in kernel's version, since @teroyk found out that the GNU/Linux additions we have are more appropriate for version 2.6 of the kernel, rather than the very-different version 2.4 (which, from what I understood, can also be made to work, but with even more steps). The last version of Debian to ship with kernel 2.4.x was Debian GNU/Linux Sarge 3.1_r8 (it also ships with a 2.6.x kernel, but it uses 2.4.x by default). So I am going with a later release between Debian 4 and 6. I don't expect it to be an easy install, but I am pretty intent on not giving up on that so easily.

The additions are in RPM format, which is not the standard for Debian which uses DEB / DPKG instead, but on top of it being perfectly possible to install them as RPM anyway, it is also possible to convert it to DEB first with a utility called Alien (previously called Converter or something, if I'm not mistaken). So we are covered on that: we can even use Alien to get the DEB packages in any given Debian or GNU/Linux install, then copy the DEB files to our VPC-hosted guest Debian instance.

Offline teroyk

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Re: Virtual PC some info
« Reply #28 on: July 16, 2023, 12:21:17 AM »
So back on topic, I'm trying to run Debian on VPC 6, paying close attention to the built-in kernel's version,

There is separate thread about Virtual PC with Linux:
http://macos9lives.com/smforum/index.php/topic,5481.0.html
lets continue this there.

Offline teroyk

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Re: Virtual PC some info
« Reply #29 on: November 07, 2023, 12:57:06 PM »
Let's continue history of Virtual PC.

Virtual PC 4:
- First version when Connectix stops recommend Virtual PC for games. Voodoo-card support dropped. But games works like in real PC:s with slow not 3D-accelerated graphics card.
- It is not so much slower than VPC 2 or 3, but Windows versions that come with it are newer and slower. And actually it is faster with G4 machines.
- First with easy memory setting.
- First with easy new PC-settings wizard.
- Expandable drive images (is there 16 GB size limit?)
- Support booting from CD.
- Cannot disable soundcard FM-emulation to speed up some games (like with older VPC).
- Version 4.0.2 fixes at last fixes some random crashes with faster G4 Macs and support for some Powerbook Titanium graphics resolutions.

Offline teroyk

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Re: Virtual PC some info
« Reply #30 on: December 17, 2023, 02:38:55 PM »
Virtual PC 5
- DVD-ROM support (no DVD boot)
- Easy Windows resolution changes with window resize.
- Official support for Windows XP
- Also works with OS X
- Version 5.0.4 adds Type-CTRL-ALT-DEL to menu.