Aemulor demo within next couple of weeksBy Chris Williams. Published: 15th Jan 2003, 23:55:52 | Permalink | Printable
All on schedule, all much faster, all closing on releaseThe Aemulor.com team dropped drobe.co.uk an email today to tell us how things are going with their 26 bit emulator, which was nice because we like producing content and you like getting up to date information.
Aemulor is a nifty bit of software that runs on 32bit Castle Iyonix machines and enables the user to run old 26bit software. The development team strongly believe they're still on target for a January 2003 release and they've literally jump started the emulation software in terms of peformance. We're told Aemulor will also be attending the RISC OS Southwest show at the end of February and they also have a (time limited) demo version planned for an online release in "the next couple of weeks".
The proof is in the pudding, er, apple
Aemulor.com likes using the classic Artworks apple graphic to informally benchmark their software as Artworks is a 26bit legacy application still used by many users employing their RISC OS machines for graphics work. In November last year, Artworks running over Aemulor would take 20 seconds to render the graphic. In December, they re-wrote the emulator and Artworks was rendering in 11 seconds (about RPC600 speed). Now according to Aemulor.com, with MW Software's 32bit Artworks rendering modules, the emulated Artworks takes 2 seconds.
"As you can see the speed of applications running under Aemulor isn't going to be a problem! This is also using our 'worse case' test application (Artworks) which doesn't use any of the OS in its redraw code", the Aemulor.com team explained in their email. "Most other applications which use more of RISC OS to do their redrawing, will run at almost full 600MHz native speed."
This is using a developmental build of Aemulor which only emulates processor instructions that are 32bit unsafe and allows all other code to be natively run by the 32bit XScale processor. The development team admit whilst it provides significant speed ups, it's also incompatible with software that used to work on previous versions of the emulator. Oops. Therefore, this recent superfast emulator core might not make it to the first release this month but they insist that it will eventually make its way to end users, such as a free downloadable upgrade.
The current performance of the Aemulor software has been posted on the aemulor.com forums; this editor particularly enjoyed the forum topic "Who needs hardware emulation?" Indeed, who really cares about a hardware solution anymore?
Give 'em yer stuff
"We are keen to get as many applications as possible (and different versions of the same application) into our online compatibility database", the email continues. "To this end, we are offering to test any software you wish to send us under Aemulor."
Now, the idea of people FTPing software for the Aemulor team to play with has alarm bells ringing in our ears but the team assure us all software will be deleted post-testing to comply with licensing rules. To send your (ie: the author or someone able to redistribute the software) 26bit software, FTP to ftp.aemulor.com with the username 'anonymous' and your email address as your password into the 'incoming' directory and upload your program for them to test and hopefully sort out any incompatibility issues.
The other good news is StrongEd, Photodesk and Eureka (besides others) are in the Aemulor compatibility chart as working. Old timer web browser ArcWeb is also listed too, because that's obviously a priority piece of kit you'd want to run on your fancy new XScale machine.
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