Apple Mac VirtualRiscPC beta on salePublished: 17th May 2007, 17:23:08 | Permalink | Printable
But only for a lucky PowerPC fewA port of VirtualRiscPC to Apple Mac OS X computers will be released to a select number of beta testers, it was revealed this week. VirtualAcorn said it will sell the long awaited software to hand picked punters who are able test drive the RiscPC emulator. Only PowerPC G4 and G5 owners should apply, as the company want to focus on testing the PPC engine - Apple recently switched to using Intel processors for its glossy computers.
VA's Aaron Timbrell warned that the commercial program "may not perform as expected", users are expected to provide feedback but will be offered a free upgrade to a full release.
He said: "There are a number of machines we would like to test on - and once we have those ones on board we will wait for feedback before making any more copies available.
"At the moment we really need feedback on how the PowerPC JIT in VirtualAcorn performs 'in the wild'. The Intel JIT has been extensively tested and has been in use for five years in thousands of Windows machines. So we are happy with its performance.
"What we are releasing at this point is a build based on the components that we need more data on. The PowerPC code has gone through the normal testing phase but you know the sorts of things that can turn up once software is getting used in anger.
"I can't give a timescale for the 'Universal' binary that will support both PowerPC and Intel CPUs at this point as it will depend on the feedback we get."
The port was first demonstrated in public in 2005, and it's understood a Linux version will not be considered until the Mac conversion is complete.
VirtualRiscPC author Graeme Barnes, who develops the emulator in his spare time, said: "I do wish to apologise to those potential users for raising their hopes that there would be a Mac based VirtualRiscPC long ago.
"Luckily we are now just about in a position to release it as a product but for various reasons, including saving endless hours ours of difficult support calls for Aaron, we'd like to release it as a beta to a select few customers who know what they're getting into - ie. they know RISC OS and Mac OS X and are willing to help us turn it into a robust product which we are proud to sell.
"If everything goes to plan, the Intel version will hopefully be available for purchase very soon. Unfortunately the PPC version doesn't run properly under Rosetta, so we won't be able to distribute beta versions to non-PPC users."
• On the day the Mac VirtualRiscPC beta was announced, RPCEmu developer Tom Walker uploaded improved dynamic recompiler code for his open source RiscPC emulator. The project's logs claimed: "The x86-32 version now true dynamic recompiler - speed doubled over threaded interpreter, can outpeform VirtualRPC in some stuff, such as Dhrystone."
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