Vanfanel
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Re: rpix86 (Raspberry Pi x86 emulator) version 0.13 released

Wed Dec 18, 2013 9:12 am

Then maybe you can fix Lemmings Sound Blaster detection using another method.
Maybe (just maybe) fixing Flashback SB detection will fix Lemmings SB detection, too. These things are often seenn in emulation :P

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Oldbitcollector
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Re: rpix86 (Raspberry Pi x86 emulator) version 0.13 released

Wed Dec 18, 2013 5:14 pm

Patrick,

First of all, thank you for your efforts in this program! It runs lean and fast compared to the alternatives. I'm definitely a fan!
A request.. Any chance of getting Virtual Memory support in the near future which would allow Command & Conquer to work?

Jeff
My Ongoing Raspberry Pi Reference: http://www.ledgerlabs.us/raspberrypi

Pate
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Re: rpix86 (Raspberry Pi x86 emulator) version 0.13 released

Thu Dec 19, 2013 8:36 am

Thanks Oldbitcollector!

Sorry, but the Virtual memory support will not happen in the near future. I am not happy with the way I attempted to implement it into DS2x86, as it was far from robust and needed specific changes and adjustments for every single game that uses VM. An alternative would be to change all code to support virtual memory (specifically page faults), but that would probably make the code run at half speed compared to current performance, or even slower.

I am waiting for a new and better idea to occur to me before attempting to implement this. :-)

Pate
Now working on piro: http://piro.patrickaalto.com
See my rpix86 project at http://rpix86.patrickaalto.com

ancorgs
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Re: rpix86 (Raspberry Pi x86 emulator) version 0.13 released

Mon Dec 23, 2013 11:36 am

Maybe (just an idea) an option to control how many CPU cycles per second are being emulated would be helpfull for these.
Not sure if it's useful for your use case, but to slow down the rpix86 emulation I simply temporary slow down the Pi itself. Very easy by performing these commands before running rpix86 (adjust the speed -300MHz in the example- to your own needs):

Code: Select all

echo "300000" | sudo tee /sys/devices/system/cpu/cpu0/cpufreq/scaling_min_freq > /dev/null
echo "powersave" | sudo tee /sys/devices/system/cpu/cpu0/cpufreq/scaling_governor > /dev/null
To restore default values:

Code: Select all

echo "700000" | sudo tee /sys/devices/system/cpu/cpu0/cpufreq/scaling_min_freq > /dev/null
echo "ondemand" | sudo tee /sys/devices/system/cpu/cpu0/cpufreq/scaling_governor > /dev/null
Not sure whether it causes some undesired effect in rpix86, but does the trick for me.

Pate
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Re: rpix86 (Raspberry Pi x86 emulator) version 0.13 released

Sun Dec 29, 2013 7:21 am

rpix86 version 0.14 released!

This version contains the following fixes and improvements:
- Fixed the screen resolution problem in the game Flashback.
- Fixed Sound Blaster detection problem in the game Flashback.
- Fixed AdLib detection problem in the game Lemmings (VGA mode).

You can download the latest version directly from http://rpix86.patrickaalto.com/rdown.html (be sure to read my blog post about the changes in this version at http://rpix86.patrickaalto.com/rblog.html).

Thank you for your interest in rpix86, let me know of any bugs you encounter!

I have not worked all that much on rpix86 for the past week or two, so this version does not have all that many fixes.
Now working on piro: http://piro.patrickaalto.com
See my rpix86 project at http://rpix86.patrickaalto.com

Vanfanel
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Re: rpix86 (Raspberry Pi x86 emulator) version 0.14 released

Sun Dec 29, 2013 12:04 pm

Is there something better in front of the computer than coming to raspberrypi.org and finding a new version of RpiX86 to test? I doubt it! :D

Lemmings now has music, yay! But game seems "sticky", somewhat slow when there are 3-4 lemmings on screen. Have you noticed, Pate?
I believe it's also a timing problem. If this could be fixed, we would have the biggest puzzle game ever perfectly playable on the Pi.

Flashback is just PERFECT now. It's as if Flashback was actually released for the Raspberry Pi, period. Incredible work shows it's face here. What an enjoyable experience!

I have been also reading you KEEN1 rant on the blog, Pate: WHAT IF we could be running the game on a 70Hz physical video mode? Since you depend on the host's video timming, gles_swap() would be taking place with the same frequency as the DOS vsync event.
In general, running in 70Hz mode should fix many games with scrolling problems (like Lost Vikings, maybe Lemmings timing problems), if I understand it well. And it seems to me that setting a 70Hz mode over HDMI should be possible, since it's a legacy DOS mode.
According to the table here (http://elinux.org/RPiconfig), group 2 mode 3 is what DOS used to run. It says 85Hz there (I don't know why), but I'm almost sure it's what we need.

EDIT: I tried that mode and fbset says I'm still in 640x480. Maybe the Pi resorts to basic VGA mode if the specified mode doesn't work.

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antiriad
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Re: rpix86 (Raspberry Pi x86 emulator) version 0.13 released

Sun Dec 29, 2013 1:38 pm

Pate wrote:rpix86 version 0.14 released!
...
Hi Patrick / Pate,
THANK YOU for your work on rpix86!!!

Unfortunately I'm unable to download 4DOS from your website:
first link is not working for me, second link ask for some usr/pwd and I can't use third link 'cause I'm on Mac and GNU Linux... maybe there is some other mirror? :oops: :D

Thank you very much and please keep it going!

P.s. on the website still says "0.13 version"... maybe it is 0.14?

Pate
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Re: rpix86 (Raspberry Pi x86 emulator) version 0.14 released

Sun Dec 29, 2013 3:02 pm

@Vanfanel: I did not notice the slowdown in Lemmings, but I did not compare the speed to DOSBox so it may very well run slower than it should in rpix86. Have you checked whether giving the -f0 parameter (no filtering) has any effect? It looks to me like sometimes that makes the game run slightly faster, even though it should only affect the hardware OpenGL ES filtering...

Running in 70Hz screen refresh mode will probably affect the scrolling sync, but it may not help enough. I believe I just need to figure out a better way to "lie" to the DOS game when the vertical sync is supposedly happening. :)

@antiriad: Thanks, you are welcome! You can get the 4DOS.COM temporarily from my web site at http://rpix86.patrickaalto.com/4DOS.COM or you can simply let rpix86 download it for you.

I did not immediately notice where on my web site it still says 0.13 version? But I have noticed that sometimes browsers do not update my web pages quite as fast as they should, so I need to press refresh on my browser when checking my web page after I have updated it.
Now working on piro: http://piro.patrickaalto.com
See my rpix86 project at http://rpix86.patrickaalto.com

Vanfanel
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Re: rpix86 (Raspberry Pi x86 emulator) version 0.14 released

Sun Dec 29, 2013 3:19 pm

@Pate: Lemmings is not slow. It simply "stalls" for a moment every second or so. It's not a speed problem: the game runs at the right speed.
You just have to let some Lemmings appear on screen, watch them walking, and you will notice.

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Oldbitcollector
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Re: rpix86 (Raspberry Pi x86 emulator) version 0.14 released

Sun Dec 29, 2013 3:30 pm

@Pate

Amazing! (and I had work to get done today!)

Feature request: Any chance we could get a -s command to hook us to /dev/ttyAMA0?

Jeff
My Ongoing Raspberry Pi Reference: http://www.ledgerlabs.us/raspberrypi

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antiriad
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Re: rpix86 (Raspberry Pi x86 emulator) version 0.14 released

Sun Dec 29, 2013 3:39 pm

Pate wrote: @antiriad: Thanks, you are welcome! You can get the 4DOS.COM temporarily from my web site at http://rpix86.patrickaalto.com/4DOS.COM or you can simply let rpix86 download it for you.
Hi Patrick and thank you, rpix86 is now up and running on my rPi!

If it is OK for you, I will test some DOS games reporting bugs or other issues.
I'd like to test especially the freeware or liberated games that can be downloaded for free (and legally) on the Internet.

Pate
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Location: Finland

Re: rpix86 (Raspberry Pi x86 emulator) version 0.14 released

Sun Dec 29, 2013 7:15 pm

@Vanfanel: Ah, OK, I will test Lemmings more thoroughly to see what causes the intermittent slowdowns. I also need to test Prince of Persia and the other games with occasional slowdowns as well. Hopefully all of these problems are caused by the same thing. :)

@Oldbitcollector: Sorry to ruin your work day. :) You can give -sA parameter to make rpix86 use /dev/ttyAMA0 as a serial port. I thought this was mentioned on my FAQ page? I haven't actually heard from anyone confirming that it works, though, and I can't properly test it myself as I don't have anything hooked up to the GPIO headers on my RPi.

@antiriad: Glad to hear you got rpix86 running! Yes, please test as many games as you wish, I greatly appreciate any test reports I get!
Now working on piro: http://piro.patrickaalto.com
See my rpix86 project at http://rpix86.patrickaalto.com

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Oldbitcollector
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Re: rpix86 (Raspberry Pi x86 emulator) version 0.14 released

Sun Dec 29, 2013 10:28 pm

@Pate

Ah, I completely missed that! I'm not sure if it's working correctly.

I've created a simple loopback wire between GPIO TX and RX. In minicom I can echo my characters with no problem.
(Anyone who does this will also need to adjust initab and cmdline.txt to make sure /dev/ttyAMA0 is open)

In Procomm under rpix86, characters are echo'ed only after more characters are typed, then at some point it simply quits working. I'll hunt down another terminal program and see if it is limited to procomm only.

Jeff
My Ongoing Raspberry Pi Reference: http://www.ledgerlabs.us/raspberrypi

jamesrimmer.it
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Re: rpix86 (Raspberry Pi x86 emulator) version 0.14 released

Tue Dec 31, 2013 6:41 pm

Hi Pate,

Deeply impressed by your work and thought I would discuss my experience of playing X-Wing on rpix86.

Firstly, I chose to use FastDosBox and spent many hours tweaking the .conf file with very little joy due to stuttering graphics, and poorly emulated controller input. I then turned my attention to rpix86 to play X-Wing, which, after being run with -a0 and -f0 gives smooth operation, well rendered sound and massive speed increases over [not so] FastDosBox. Oddly, the X-Wing install.exe doesn't work on RPIX86, meaning I had to run that in nsFastDosBox to configure speed and sound settings, but then I was treated to the familiar sound of early digitised voices - 'Welcome to the Flagship Independence' (You must register!) - and it was a genuine joy to see and hear this old game running on my TV, since I spent so much time aged 10 - 20 playing X-Wing and it's sequels.

The combat simulation does require the graphics detail to be turned down to minimum, and even then there is a little choppiness, however the game is playable, albeit without the digital sound in the simulation itself - enabling the digital sound there causes severe slowness and the sounds just do not play, which is odd as they work perfectly on the menu screens (Flagship Independence, etc.). Clearly, something inside the simulation does not like the Sound Blaster Emulation, although I'm not sure why in-game and in-menu sound would differ.

Generally though, rpix86 is by far the best DOS emulator for Raspberry Pi, and does a great job of making me all nostalgic and giddy.

Many thanks for your work, and I hope that it may continue (specifically so I can get X-Wing working great, lol)

Cheers,
Me.

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Oldbitcollector
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Re: rpix86 (Raspberry Pi x86 emulator) version 0.14 released

Wed Jan 01, 2014 12:27 am

James,

Nice find!

I tried it over here, using dosbox to run install.exe. Choosing Adlib only provides a very nice playing experience. I'm overclocked to 900mhz (if that makes a difference) but I didn't need to use the -f0.

The digitized speed does really add to the game, so I'm also hoping to see improvements as we go along.

Jeff
My Ongoing Raspberry Pi Reference: http://www.ledgerlabs.us/raspberrypi

jamesrimmer.it
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Re: rpix86 (Raspberry Pi x86 emulator) version 0.14 released

Wed Jan 01, 2014 5:14 am

I guess it's a matter of "wait and see."

I've very little knowledge on emulation and I don't want to be one of those guys that says "please make it faster", and I'm uber paranoid about overclocking, but I'm so excited about the possibility of getting a little more out of the pi x86 emulation, and getting those lovely old digital "wenk, wenk, wenk, wenk" laser sound effects back.

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Jessie
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Re: rpix86 (Raspberry Pi x86 emulator) version 0.14 released

Wed Jan 01, 2014 8:29 am

Trust me guys Patrick has done an amazing job with this emulator. I'm sure there will be improvements but I wouldn't expect anything groundbreaking at this point. I played the Quest for Glory games out with rpix86. The only way to get this thing going faster is to move some of the work onto the GPU and that seems too be a pain.

welshy
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Re: rpix86 (Raspberry Pi x86 emulator) version 0.14 released

Wed Jan 01, 2014 8:35 am

jamesrimmer.it wrote:I'm uber paranoid about overclocking
Don't be! As long as you keep to the pre set levels in the raspi-config (up to Turbo 1GHz) the effect in minimal and to get the best results from most emulators overclocking is generally a prerequisite. In a previous discussion with a user on this subject dom (one of the Tech moderators here) stated it only has a minimal effected on the life expectancy of the SOC (See below). The latest drivers are also much more stable, reducing the problem of SD Card corruption at higher Overclock levels.

mrpi64 wrote:
Overclocking can also reduce the lifespan of your Pi.

dom
'Our best guess is with maximum overclock and running the Pi 24/7 that the lifespace may be reduced to 2 or 3 decades.
I wouldn't consider that a big concern.'
"The list of things I have heard now contains everything!"

Pate
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Location: Finland

Re: rpix86 (Raspberry Pi x86 emulator) version 0.14 released

Wed Jan 01, 2014 9:01 am

Happy New Year guys!

@Vanfanel: Ok, I was able to reproduce the Lemmings stalling problem. I had not noticed it because I usually test rpix86 with -w640 -h400 parameters (as I have some debug printfs scrolling on the bottom of the screen when I work in it), and the problem is far less severe on that resolution. This is somewhat curious, as after some debugging I found that glTexSubImage2D() (which refreshes the screen contents) takes 1.5 milliseconds at 640x400 resolution, but it takes 25ms when running at 1920x1080 resolution! That does not even allow the game to reach 60fps, which probably wrecks havoc with all of my timing routines. I had thought that OpenGL ES 2.0 does the texture scaling in hardware, but looks like that is not exactly the case.

Anyways, I am currently experimenting with letting the dispmanx (instead of OpenGL) do the scaling in hardware, and that seems to improve things considerably. The next version will probably have a new -f2 parameter to perform screen scaling in dispmanx hardware. It may look a bit ugly but will run much faster.

@Oldbitcollector: The problem with /dev/ttyAMA0 sounds like possibly some flow control issue, or perhaps that device just needs to be handled somewhat differently than the USB-RS232 dongle I have. I'll see about acquiring a GPIO serial port hardware myself at some point.

@jamesrimmer: Thanks for your test report about X-Wing! I'll look into the digital audio problems and check why the install program does not work in rpix86.

There is a chance I will still get slightly more performance out of rpix86, but as Jessie said, there probably won't be any really major speedups available any more. The upcoming -f2 parameter may be one of those unexpected speedups, but the effect of that depends a lot on what size screen you currently run rpix86 on.

Thanks again for your interest in rpix86!
Now working on piro: http://piro.patrickaalto.com
See my rpix86 project at http://rpix86.patrickaalto.com

jamesrimmer.it
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Re: rpix86 (Raspberry Pi x86 emulator) version 0.14 released

Wed Jan 01, 2014 11:53 am

Hi Pate,

Thanks for the reply, I shall set my overclock to 1 GHz as recommended by other people in this forum. I shall also play with the running resolution and see what I get out of it there.

Thank you for informing me of limitations in regards to speed, I truly appreciate your work here, and hope the image of a 30 year old man giggling away like a child whilst shooting up Tie Fighters makes it seem worthwhile.

jamesrimmer.it
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Re: rpix86 (Raspberry Pi x86 emulator) version 0.14 released

Wed Jan 01, 2014 6:34 pm

1 GHz seemed too much for my Pi so it's running at 900 MHz instead and 640 x 480 res. Now x-wing runs beautifully, bar install.exe and in-mission digital sound, which may be appearing soon.

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antiriad
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Re: rpix86 (Raspberry Pi x86 emulator) version 0.14 released

Wed Jan 01, 2014 9:32 pm

Hi Patrick,
"Halloween Harry" (aka "Alien Carnage") is a wonderful platform game recently declared freeware by Apogee/3D Realms:

http://www.3drealms.com/carnage/

I've tested it on rpix86 but unfortunately, after the intro and the selection of levels, the game crashes and exits to DOS.
Maybe can you take a look?

Thank you very much!

P.S. Of course I've tested other games like Commander Keen 4, Spider-Man (GREAT game!), Stellar 7, Star Goose and they all works perfectly! So I report only games with some issues. ;)

Pate
Posts: 115
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Location: Finland

Re: rpix86 (Raspberry Pi x86 emulator) version 0.14 released

Thu Jan 02, 2014 7:50 am

@jamesrimmer: Okay, I managed to fix the X-Wing INSTALL.EXE problem. It used a CD-ROM detection system that I had not implemented yet, and in addition to that, I found a bug in my extended keyboard DOS emulation routines. The cursor keys did not work in the INSTALL.EXE until I fixed that problem. So, in the next version you will be able to run the INSTALL.EXE in rpix86 for sound configuration etc.

However, the digitized audio issue seems to be simply because the game does not want to use digitized sound effects on SoundBlaster, it only uses them on SoundBlaster Pro. At least this is what the INSTALL.EXE selections seem to indicate. Since rpix86 only emulates the plain SB, this is probably why the game fails to play digitized sound effects. I might look into emulating SB Pro eventually, but that will not be in the next version, at least. I have been a bit reluctant to support any sound devices that will take more CPU power to emulate, as that will slow down the actual game emulation.

@antiriad: I downloaded and tested Alien Carnage, but did not encounter the crash. I did not set the game to play music, though, as it sounds like it uses the SB Direct DAC audio method, which does not sound very good in rpix86. Or perhaps my other fixes in the upcoming version have fixed that dropping to DOS problem, but in any case it is difficult for me to fix something that does not happen for me, sorry...

Thanks again for your test reports!
Now working on piro: http://piro.patrickaalto.com
See my rpix86 project at http://rpix86.patrickaalto.com

jamesrimmer.it
Posts: 9
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Re: rpix86 (Raspberry Pi x86 emulator) version 0.14 released

Thu Jan 02, 2014 10:52 am

Hi Pate,

No problem, I've been enjoying tinkering with my Pi.

I've been having a look at TIE Fighter, but that had much higher requirements that X-Wing so I think that'll not go too far but I'll let you know if I get anything decent out of it.

Thanks for the explanation about X-Wing in game sound - it makes sense from what I read (and remember) about Sound Blaster development.

I've been raiding the old abandonware sites and will let you know what works and what doesn't in my field of interest.

Cheers,
Jim.

jamesrimmer.it
Posts: 9
Joined: Tue Dec 31, 2013 6:26 pm

Re: rpix86 (Raspberry Pi x86 emulator) version 0.14 released

Thu Jan 02, 2014 8:27 pm

Hi there,

Got Tie Fighter working smoothly, although all sound had to be disabled within the Tie Fighter install.exe as adlib sound causes the game to stutter unplayably. However, if all sound is disabled and with all detail set to minimum and if you hide the cockpit during battle then dogfighting is very smooth.

Aces over Europe crashed when loading the simulation, however it is a French version and so I wasn't 100% confident on the settings.

Secret Weapons of the Luftwaffe played very well... Except I flew into a B17... Oops.

I'll come back with more as I play.

Cheers,
Jim

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