ArcEm ported to Amiga OS 4By Chris Williams. Published: 12th May 2006, 01:10:27 | Permalink | Printable
In a tussle of obscure OS on obscure OSThe Archimedes emulator ArcEm has been ported to Amiga OS 4. Chris Young of Unsatisfactory Software brought the open source project to the closed source PowerPC powered Amiga OS, and says RISC OS runs a "little sluggish" on his 800MHz G4 system. Games, on the other hand, reportedly run at a reasonable pace.
Chris discovered ArcEm after a discussion of RISC OS was brought up on an Amiga OS 4 mailing list; he previously tried running Archie on DosBox without success as it took an hour to reach the ROS 3.11 desktop. It later took Chris, who regards RISC OS as having a "good user interface design", about a week of coding to complete the Amiga OS port.
He said: "After some more searching, I came across ArcEm and took a look at the source code, noting that it had already been ported to a few platforms and the platform-dependent code was limited to only a couple of files for reading input and displaying the screen.
"I initially didn't understand what all the functions did, but a very helpful Peter Howkins explained exactly what needed to be done to port ArcEm to a new platform, and a lot of the code could be stolen from other platform ports with little or no alteration. I had a working port of ArcEm after about a week of more-or-less solid coding."
Chris admitted that the currently available version of the port has a few minor issues, although these have been mostly addressed.
He added: "The current version on my hard drive is recompiled with GCC 4 and runs much better than the previous release.
"It only runs full screen, partly because I've never understood the need to run emulators in a window - especially on AmigaOS, where you can switch screens with LAmiga-M - and partly for speed reasons. I can open a screen identical to the emulated one, assign the same palette, directly change the 'drawing pens' etc on an 8-bit screen."
The ArcEm team are currently working on the next formal release of the emulation software, which as well as the recent Amiga OS 4 and GP2X ports, should also include sound support and an updated HostFS.
Are RISC OS and Amiga OS so dissimilar?
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