Putting a PDP-10 on an FPGA

[dgcx] has been working on reimplementing a PDP-10/x on an FPGA for the last 2 and a half years. This surprised us because we’re only hearing about this project now.

After designing three versions, [dgcx] eventually ended up with a one-FPGA implementation of a PDP-10 and an awesome PDF writeup. Although PDP-10 emulators do exist, this project isn’t an emulation – the system actually has the 36-bit word length of the original, implemented on five 4096 kilobit SRAM chips. This is a fully functioning replica, and even has CHAOSNET implemented with a small Ethernet controller.

[Read more...]

Virtual Serial Bridge

When you are running emulators or virtual machines it may be sometimes handy to be able to connect a serial port from the guest machine to the host machine. [Aurimas] had that issue, and also had a fun fix for that using 2 USB <> Serial adapters, but as you can imagine that is not a ideal solution, enter the Virtual Serial Bridge.

Digging around Vmware it was found that the support for what he needed was there, but not really used. A little addition of a few lines to the guest OS vmx file and configuring the socat multipurpose relay package. Though the instructions revolve around the Mac platform as the host and Windows as the guest socat and Vmware you can probably mix it up with any software that uses the serial port and a *x or windows host.

Emulating Oric-1 floppy disk hardware

This device is called the Cumulus and it’s used to emulate the floppy disk hardware for Oric-1 and Oric Atmos computers. These 1980’s era computers included an expansion slot to which you could connect a floppy drive. That module, called a Microdisc system, also included the driver circuit which means you can’t just use a modern-day floppy drive as a replacement. [Retromaster] sidestepped the need for magnetic media all together by building an SD card interface which emulates the original module. We can tell by the use of a color screen and clean board layout that a lot of love went into the project. A CPLD implements the communications protocol used by the Microdisc system and creates all of the registers that would have been found on the original hardware. A PIC takes care of the SD card communications and the user interface.

With the exception of comforting noises, we’d bet there are few who have fond memories of using floppy disks. No wonder we’ve been seeing hacks to replace them quite a bit lately.

C64 emulator for iPhone approved — minus BASIC

c64

After a lengthy process that had previously met with rejection, Manomio’s Commodore 64 emulator for the iPhone and iPod touch has finally been accepted by Apple. This marks the first time a multi-purpose emulation title has been approved by the App Store. The $4.99 C64 app comes bundled with five fully-licensed classic games, and additional titles can be purchased and downloaded directly within the application.

App Store policies prohibit software that could run downloadable code, which barred most emulation attempts in the past. A couple of Sega titles worked around this by nature of being single-purpose emulators. The condition by which the C64 title was finally approved was the removal of the BASIC programming language (though ironically it’s still shown in screen shots, even on the App Store). Since only sanctioned programs can be installed and run from within the application, no user-alterable code is present.

The C64 emulator is neat enough in itself, but the really encouraging news here is that a precedent has been set; the business model may open the floodgates for developers to bring more classic gaming titles to the iPhone platform. So download that SDK and get hacking!

[via TouchArcade]

Update: The iPhone Blog has a simple work-around for accessing BASIC!

Update 2: App pulled, no surprise. If you jumped on the opportunity while it was available, [George’s] comment might be of interest.

Vista on a PS3


Apparently you can run pretty much anything on a PS3. [mopx0] has managed to get Vista running on his PS3. He used Qemu 9.0.1 to install Vista on a PC. He says it takes “about a day or so”, after using Vlite to speed it up, so be patient. You then make an image of the install and copy it to your PS3. Don’t worry though, your hard work will be rewarded by a speedy 25 minute boot time when you’re done.

Even though it is extremely slow, to the point of being nearly unusable, its good to see people pushing the boundaries of our hardware’s intended use.

[via PS3scene]

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