Questions tagged [emulation]

For questions about processes and software for emulating retro computer and console hardware (e.g. MAME, QEMU).

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60
votes
10answers
8k views

What makes accurate emulation of old systems a difficult task?

Thanks to a lot of passionate and skilled people, we can emulate pretty much any retro platform today. For most people they perform well enough, but in fact, a substantial amount of these emulators ...
50
votes
17answers
12k views

Simplest system to create an emulator for

Next year I'm going to teach a 2-semester microprocessors class to third-year undergraduate EE students. In order to sign up for the class, students need to have completed programming and digital ...
38
votes
5answers
5k views

Is it possible to make a ROM converter?

Based on my understanding, an emulator is necessary because the machine with the emulator on it (say Windows), doesn't execute the same machine code as the target platform (6502, for example). So what ...
35
votes
1answer
2k views

Did Windows NT 4 emulate x86 on non-Intel platforms?

I've been trying to find more information about non-Intel versions of Windows NT regarding x86 emulation but found very little about it. There is one sentence about it in the Wikipedia page but the ...
29
votes
1answer
11k views

Why is a BIOS dump not required to emulate Nintendo 64 games in most modern emulators?

In order to emulate some home consoles (Playstation 1/2, Sega Saturn/CD/32x, etc.) a dump of the system's BIOS is required to emulate the console. Out of the Nintendo 64 emulators I have found online,...
28
votes
8answers
9k views

NES cartridge ROM emulation with Arduino or Pi?

I'm looking to buy or make an NES cartridge that can be controlled by a microcontroller or small computer like the Raspberry Pi. I don't want to gut an NES cart and put an NES emulator inside it (as ...
27
votes
6answers
5k views

Is there still no “digital version of PCBs and ICs” software that all future emulators can use?

It strikes me that, in theory, it would be possible to skip the classic approach of emulation and instead literally build a NES, SNES, Nintendo 64 or any console with digital "components", ...
27
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5answers
5k views

Why are Windows 95 installation disks not uniquely bound to a single product key?

I was installing the OEM version of Windows 95 on VirtualBox the other day for reminiscence sake, and for some reason I had two different product keys. I tested both of them to see which one mapped to ...
26
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2answers
7k views

How does the Gameboy Link Cable work?

I've been looking into implementing Gameboy Link Cable compatibility into Bizhawk (which does not support it yet) using Lua. The problem is that I can't find any mention of how it works online. I ...
25
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2answers
2k views

Are there runnable Multics systems available?

I've always read that Multics was a failed precurser of Unix, and was interested in seeing how it looks (as in, what features did Unix remove that Multics had, and did more modern Unixen bring them ...
25
votes
4answers
10k views

What exactly is a cycle-accurate emulator?

Emulators such as Higan are cycle-accurate and thus have full compatibility with all existing software. In a 2011 Ars Technica article, much was said about cycle accuracy and how it preserves games by ...
24
votes
6answers
10k views

Can x86 processors run 8-bit applications?

I was wondering if it is possible to run 8-bit applications within QEMU. I know that the x86 architecture can run 16-bit applications, but can it also run 8-bit applications?
24
votes
3answers
2k views

Linux 68k Macintosh emulator

I'm currently using the absolutely ancient "Fusion" emulator to emulate a 68k Macintosh (specifically, a Quadra 700), but it only runs under MS-DOS, so I'm using a VirtualBox VM to emulate that. I'd ...
23
votes
1answer
1k views

Why are there two, different, Kickstart 1.3 ROMs with the same 34.5 version number?

The Kickstart 1.3 ROM file that is supplied with Cloanto's Amiga Forever (amiga-os-130.rom) is very slightly different to that which you'd get by dumping a real 1.3 ROM from an Amiga 500. ...
23
votes
2answers
4k views

How to convert Amiga DMS to ADF?

Our demoscene group managed to release only one demo before it fell apart, but these being the early days of the Internet in my country, and me getting lucky with obtaining access to it and creating ...
22
votes
6answers
5k views

How do arcade ROMs work

The way I understand it, ROMS are like virtual games, and emulators are like virtual game consoles, or handhelds. What I don't understand is how there are ROMs for arcade games, which don't have ...
20
votes
1answer
2k views

How to check the C64 graphics mode used by Maniac Mansion

I have been investigating the MS-DOS port of the C64's Maniac Mansion game. The original MS-DOS port used the C64-specific character map to draw the various backgrounds in the game. I noticed that ...
19
votes
6answers
5k views

How can I emulate MS-DOS on OS X?

I am looking for a emulator for MS-DOS for OS X to run old games on. Are there any free emulators for MS-DOS that run on an Apple machine with OS X?
19
votes
2answers
1k views

First computer emulator in Windows

I released my ZX Spectrum emulation Wspecem, and GPL sources first time publicly in the Internet at large, the 15th May 1996, for Windows 95. I am quite sure it was the first ZX Spectrum emulation ...
18
votes
4answers
2k views

Emulate smooth scrolling

One thing I really liked about the 8-bit (and even most 16-bit) games was that the frame rate was fixed to the vertical blanking. Games were smooth back then. I've been trying to recreate that feeling ...
17
votes
4answers
2k views

80286 real mode emulator for 8086

While trying to use a "modern" sound card (an Aztech Sound Galaxy Pro 16 II) in an XT compatible 8086 computer, I encountered the problem that the drivers and tools (like the mixer initialization tool ...
17
votes
2answers
2k views

Can I run a NES emulator off the original cartridges?

Every NES emulator I've found runs off ROM dumps. Would it be possible to run an emulator using the original cartridges directly? It's probably not the most practical way of doing things, but the "...
16
votes
5answers
3k views

Why are different emulators needed to run platforms that use 6502 assembly code?

To my knowledge, an emulator turns machine code for a console into something that your computer can understand. For example, assembly code from a Gamecube game is not the same as from a .exe file. ...
16
votes
2answers
9k views

Install Commodore 64 on VirtualBox

I have installed MS-DOS, FreeDOS and Windows 98 in Oracle VirtualBox. I want to try Commodore 64. How do I install a Commodore 64 emulator in VirtualBox?
16
votes
2answers
1k views

How old-computer emulators work?

I'm wondering how old-computer emulators work. I can think of two possible approaches: "hardware" approach - like a set of components that exactly act as low-level hardware elements. I mean a bus ...
16
votes
2answers
2k views

Is there a Commodore 64 emulator that can profile running code?

I am developing some software for the Commodore 64, and I am concerned about its runspeed. Is there an emulator that can report, after running my code, where exactly it spent most of its time? I'm ...
15
votes
3answers
1k views

What are the laws concerning emulation in the US?

Emulators have always been a gray area. Googling the laws on emulation reveals all sorts of different answers, often with people saying that it's ok because "it's old stuff anyways." Are there laws ...
15
votes
3answers
6k views

How can MS-DOS be installed on VirtualBox?

As part of the MSDN subscription I just got, I can download MS-DOS 6.22 (wow indeed). I want to install it to a VirtualBox VM so I can try old games and viruses (due to viruses, I can't install it to ...
15
votes
1answer
676 views

Unable to install Colonization in DosBox

I'm attempting to install Sid Meyer's Colonization in DosBox from the original floppies, and it gives me the error message "You have specified a drive that doesn't physically exist!" when I try to run ...
15
votes
3answers
704 views

Is there a line printer sound simulator?

To improve "authenticity" of a mainframe simulator and for an additional nostalgic effect, I'd like to add sounds of a line printer to it. They should be similar enough to the original sounds for ...
14
votes
2answers
783 views

Does the Z80 allow interrupts after processing and ignoring a 0xdd prefix?

I read here that if the Z80 encounters e.g. multiple 0xdd prefixes in sequence, for each 0xxdd except the last it acts almost like a NOP, but does not allow interrupts to occur immediately after "...
14
votes
1answer
368 views

Could suitably-written Apple-I software force bytes into the display shift register, and do modern recreations emulate that?

The original Apple I didn't use RAM to hold the contents of the display, but instead used a group of six 1024-bit shift registers to hold the display contents and a seventh 1024-bit shift register to ...
13
votes
7answers
2k views

Do any mainframe emulators exist with a functional FORTRAN compiler?

Similar to this question, but generalized to any mainframe computer from before the microprocessor era, does there exist an emulator and OS for a vintage mainframe computer that will run the output ...
13
votes
2answers
893 views

Emulate a text-mode DOS program using a Unix terminal

Is it possible to run a text-mode DOS program in an emulator under a Unix-like operating system (Linux/*BSD/macOS) such that DOS text-mode input and output is done on a Unix terminal instead of a ...
13
votes
5answers
5k views

Looking for a Z80 simulator/emulator for Linux

I've seen simulators for the 8085 (i.e., sim8085) but not the Zilog Z80. Is there a similar sort of editor/assembler/compiler/debugger simulator for the Z80?
13
votes
1answer
890 views

Does the Commodore CDTV-CR contain a 65C02 for some reason?

Browsing around the FS-UAE source code I discovered a 65(S)C02 emulation core, which appears to not be referenced anywhere outside of some CDTV-CR related source file. Apparently, a CDTV is ...
13
votes
1answer
1k views

Calculating the time for a CPU cycle

As a learning exercise, I'm writing an emulator for the 6809 CPU. I'd like to simulate the speed of the CPU. I know the Motorola 6809E runs at 0.895 MHz and 1.79 MHz on the Color Computer 3. How do I ...
13
votes
1answer
510 views

How to use virtual cassettes with Matthew Reed's TRS-80 Model III emulator? (TRS32)

I'm fooling around with Matthew Reed's TRS-80 Model 1/III/4 emulator for Windows (TRS32) and am have trouble using virtual cassettes. I am using it to emulate a Model III with Level II BASIC. I have ...
12
votes
6answers
1k views

Is there a C64(or any other) emulation that can be run in terminal?

I was looking for a C64 type computer that can be used in the terminal. Can I code one or is there one on the interwebs?
12
votes
4answers
4k views

Is there a cycle-exact 8086 emulator?

I'm trying to emulate programs from the 80s, but with an accurate clock-speed¹ (pretending its an 8086). Meaning that if a 8086 would take X ms/opcode, the emulator should take X ms (+- a bit of ...
12
votes
2answers
651 views

Where to upload the odd and rare emulators and related to them ROMs & software?

Over time, I collected some rare and interesting emulators and their roms and software for, for example, region specific computer machines, rare 1-2 gen consoles and what not. Many of these emulators ...
11
votes
2answers
941 views

How to convert Atari (65XE) tapes to ATR?

I still have some tapes for my Atari 65XE and I'd like to play some of the old games I got. But I don't have the Atari anymore. I have a tape recorder of quality surpassing the Atari one by quite a ...
10
votes
5answers
4k views

USB floppy drive emulator, is there such a thing? and if so, where can I get one

I'm aware of the floppy emulators that are installed to 3.5" bays where "disks" are stored on a flash drive. But what I need now is the opposite - essentially a USB dongle that emulates the floppy ...
10
votes
8answers
2k views

Emulators running on 8-bit personal computers

Were there emulators running on 8-bit computers (preferably "mainstream" personal ones), available to general public (as opposed to in-house developers only)? I am mostly after emulators running fully ...
10
votes
4answers
1k views

Trying to understand what an “address latch” is while emulating the NES PPU

I'm attempting to emulate the NES PPU and I'm implementing its registers. In particular, reading from the PPU status register has the following effects: Reading the status register will clear D7 ...
10
votes
3answers
1k views

Intel 8080 - Behaviour of the carry bit when comparing a value with 0

I'm in the process of writing an emulator for the Intel 8080. The description of the CMP instruction from Intel's 8080 programming manual (see page 20) says the following: The specified byte is ...
10
votes
3answers
2k views

What Commodore 64 emulator and assembler to use? [closed]

I'm about to do some assembly coding for the C64 but for sanity I would like to do the actual coding on my Mac with an emulator. My question is; which is the most maintained/up-to-date emulator/...
9
votes
5answers
1k views

C64 cartridge emulation with ATmega

As a personal project I had the idea to create a custom cartridge for my Commodore 64 and use an ATmega 1284p microcontroller to emulate eproms and/or custom chips. Basically my idea is similar to ...
9
votes
3answers
855 views

How to do I/O with emulation code?

I have a partly-written emulation program for the 8086 CPU. And I'm not sure how to go about adding I/O capabilities to it. The emulator implements a subset of the 8086 instruction set described here. ...
9
votes
2answers
527 views

How to obtain CPU and other hardware specs for emulator development

In order to write emulators for older systems, one has to know the "inner workings" of the original hardware and understand what makes it "tick". I've noticed that with some systems, proprietary ...