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Old 27 August 2018, 11:41   #1
Pheonix
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Decisions in MAC emulation...

I currently have an A-Max cartridge (with a MAC 800k drive,) & an Emplant card (with SCSI & e586.) Gave up on trying to sell them (only people interested were in Europe and didn't want to pay the shipping.) So I'm going to set up MAC emulation on my A4000 (68060@50Mhz - Emplant,) and/or my A2000 (68010 @7Mhz - A-Max.) From web research, it seems that the MAC II emulated by the Emplant is backwards compatible with the MAC Plus & MAC 512k emulated by the A-Max. So, dropping the A-Max is a possibility, but would prefer to avoid trying to go the other way around.


On to the questions:


1) From what I've been reading, even if I decide to go just with the Emplant, the A-Max would be extremely helpful for reading original MAC disks. The Amiga floppy, even with CrossMAC isn't capable of reading disks that use the variable speeds of the MAC floppy drive. I haven't been able to confirm that 100%, though, and don't have any disks on hand to test. Any details on this would be appreciated


2) Since the Emplant has a SCSI port, is it worth it to tear my system down pretty much completely to install a dedicated MAC SCSI drive? I don't, currently, have a drive of appropriate size (that can physically fit,) and is HFS compatible, but getting one doesn't pose that much of a problem. If push comes to shove, I have a 16GB drive, that isn't HFS compatible, and is too large anyway, that I can offer up in trade


3) Is there anything that pushes the Emplant or A-Max software over the others available (Shapeshifter, Fusion, etc..?) I would assume, an emulator designed to take advantage of the HW on the Emplant card would have an advantage over software that does it all in emulation. But the information I'm getting on the web seems to imply that, other than getting images of the ROM chips, both the Emplant & A-Max are pretty much completely unneeded. Anyone willing to give me the pros & cons of each.


4) Related to #3... Can any of the others use the HW of either the A-Max (real drive access,) or the Emplant card? The SCSI port on the Emplant is already available to the Amiga, & is autoboot capable (according to HW database.) But is there any other HW on the Emplant that aids in Emulation?


5) Will eventually start doing research on the e586 and it's pros & cons, but that's outside the scope of this particular thread.


That's about it. Other than the difficulty I'll eventually face installing this on my setup DVD. Using WinUAE, with as close a clone of my real systems as possible, to do a complete install of the OS and the utilities & such I'll want to always have on each system. Then the installer I'm also writing will walk me through setting up the drives & putting all the software on each drive it needs to go on
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Old 27 August 2018, 13:05   #2
Hedeon
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I think I read somewhere that Fusion also can make use of the emplant.

That's as much as I contribute :-) Maybe wrong info too :-)
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Old 27 August 2018, 17:56   #3
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I have AMAX-IV on my A3000, and having a dedicated HD or partition speeds up things considerably.
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Old 27 August 2018, 18:35   #4
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Where did you try selling? I have an A-Max cartridge and would love an Emplant board for my 3000.
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Old 27 August 2018, 19:27   #5
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Here, and on Amibay. I listed it on both, about a year ago... It was from here that I learned it had the SCSI header (I knew it was there, didn't know it wasn't on all of them,) and the e586 upgrade. I'm wondering how the e586 performs. I had so many problems setting up the 286 bridgeboard, that I gave up and just sold it (eventually.)

Whether I get a separate HDD and attach it to the Emplant or not, the MAC emulation will have a dedicated partition. Either through the Emplant or from the HDD I have attached now. Though, I'm still trying to work out how much to give it. This assumes, also, that the 16 GB drive installed right now is compatible (I'm told that not all HDD will work partitioned for the Emplant.) If it isn't, I'll probably go with finding a drive that is HFS compatible, and will fit on the mounting in my 4000. I have a 2 GB that is HFS compatible (I'm told,) but it's a full height drive, and doesn't fit. My 4000 already has 2 floppy drives, a DVD-ROM drive, and a 16GB HDD.
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Old 27 August 2018, 21:28   #6
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e586 is a software emulation, but it may not work on 060 http://eab.abime.net/showthread.php?t=85203
BTW, I have 3 original Emplant floppy disks, Mac Emulation module, MAC II, IIx, IIxc module, and e586DX Emulation module.
If someday Emplant board lends on my lap, then I'm ready.
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Old 27 August 2018, 22:17   #7
Pheonix
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I'd sort of like to get the actual disks themselves as well as a physical version of the manual. All I have is the card itself. Had to download everything else
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Old 27 August 2018, 23:43   #8
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How well do these work? My initial attempt at Mac emulation on my A2000 has been disappointing, my A2000 has a 40Mhz 68040 so I am hoping I can get it working better.
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Old 28 August 2018, 02:24   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wayne123 View Post
How well do these work? My initial attempt at Mac emulation on my A2000 has been disappointing, my A2000 has a 40Mhz 68040 so I am hoping I can get it working better.
MAC emulation runs full speed on Amiga using dedicated HD or at least SFS or PFS, never use FFS, it's too slow.
For 040 CPU, try to use Quadra ROM.
Fusion and Shapeshifer work great.
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Old 28 August 2018, 02:38   #10
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Thanks, I setup Shapeshifter but it runs very slow.
I will try your suggestions, my drives are setup as FFS now.

Last edited by Wayne123; 28 August 2018 at 02:44.
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Old 28 August 2018, 03:13   #11
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Do you have an RTG card?

1) If you need a Mac compatible floppy maybe Emplant or Amax are helpful. I seem to recall using Mac floppies with Shapeshifter with Cross Mac, but I could be wrong.

2) If you have an A4000, chances are you will have a fast SCSI drive available, use that instead of the SCSI port on the Emplant, it will be faster, but you need to use SFS or PFS. Otherwise you can dedicate a partition to this which should be fast.

3) Not really. Shapeshifter and Fusion are better alternatives, these cards are pretty much just ROM dongles, though if you want to network to an old Mac one or both of them have an Appletalk port, if that's something you want to do. If your old Mac has some form of Ethernet, then just use that instead with Shapeshifter or Fusion.

4) Pretty much just the serial or Appletalk ports might be useful, the SCSI is slow on these boards.

5) e586 is pretty much just a ROM dongle, you'd probably be better off playing with PC-Task or PCX or if you're running the Mac emulation, Softwindows or RealPC, on the Mac side.

Last edited by grelbfarlk; 28 August 2018 at 04:26.
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Old 28 August 2018, 07:09   #12
Pheonix
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OK, I admit to not knowing a lot about this, but I thought the Emplant card provided support for MAC specific chips that weren't in the Amiga. Though, it will also be needed when I finally track down ROM chips as well. Apple no longer sells them in either physical or binary form. They used to sell binaries of them when I last checked, 10+ years ago. While testing is one thing, but for long term use, I prefer everything to be completely legal.

Since I don't currently have any physical Apple HW, don't need the Appletalk port. But that is a "yet" statement. I plan to eventually get an Apple II (probably the IIg,) which can be set up for Appletalk as well. I'm told the Rom 1 Apple IIg's were almost 100% backwards compatible with the Apple II. If or when I get one, attaching it to the Amiga for network transfers would be nice

I had a Picasso IV for my 4000, but it had problems It would not work in 4MB Z3 mode. Worked fine in Z2 mode (which is 2MB limited,) or in 2MB Z3 mode. Figured there was something wrong with the RAM or MMU. Ended up selling it. Plan to get a replacement eventually. For now, I'm using an AGA MKII as the flicker fixer, and would sort of like to get a Cybergrafix 64/3D. There's a nifty little device that will link the AGA MKII to it, negating the need for an external switch box. Prices are rather steep on either of those, though So, for now, the MAC emulation will be limited to 256 colors. Which was the standard for the II series for most of it's run (from what I've been reading.)

My 2000 has a Picasso II installed, but I'd rather not move it to the 4000. First, it's Z2 limited. Second, it means more work if & when I get a Z3 RTG card for my 4000. Same thing with the network card. I have my Ariadne II installed into the 2000 with an eye to getting an X-Surf for the 4000 (eventually.) For now, my 4000 is going to have to get by with a null modem cable connection to on of my PCs (either my newer system - if it even has a serial port, or my classic Windows 98 system.)

As far as I can see, the A-Max cartridge doesn't have an Appletalk port. Maybe I have an older cartridge... more research coming up, it seems. About the only thing it will be good for, then, is reading disks that depend on variable speed drives. I still haven't found details on this, and if this affects CrossMAC or not. Maybe it only effected copy protected disks?

I'll probably start with the Emplant SW, and see if it can use the A-Max cart for reading MAC disks as well as how it responds to CrossMAC with MFS installed. I'll probably try the others as well, then start eBay (and Amibay, EAB, etc..) searching to get whatever I decide on (if it isn't the Emplant SW.)

I do remember reading that the Emplant had an option for putting RAM chips into some of the ROM sockets. I'll need to read up on what that was for and why it would be done. Might end up doing that as well.
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Old 28 August 2018, 17:05   #13
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I was recently gifted two Amiga 4000s from a friend. Both machines had battery leakage problems and so the motherboards are off to Acill for some TLC. In one of the machines was an Emplant card with some sort of Macintosh ROM chips. I have absolutely no interest in classic Mac so I'd be willing to sell the card if you want it. I can check later tonight which ROMs are in it.
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Old 28 August 2018, 18:35   #14
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All the hardware emulators were superseded by software solution after the author of A-Max also the author of Fusion claimed Shapeshifter was just a hack of A-max 4.

If you only have 68000 or 68010 ur limited to A-max but you can also use a cracked version without the hardware as there just hardware with Roms on that get dumped to Ram.
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Old 28 August 2018, 20:30   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by grelbfarlk View Post
Do you have an RTG card?
If you don't have one and have a CPU with a MMU I recommend one of the MMU gfx drivers. Even 256 colour mode is speedy, faster than Workbench as the driver only copies changed data to chip ram.
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Old 28 August 2018, 20:41   #16
Pheonix
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I'll have to look into that!!

Never heard of that. I see another search in my near future.
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Old 29 August 2018, 01:56   #17
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Here are pics of the board in case you're interested. I have no idea how old or new these chips are. I'm not familiar with Mac stuff.

Card Pic 1

Card Pic 2

As you can see the card isn't very populous. It lacks the SCSI chip and some other stuff.
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Old 29 August 2018, 02:17   #18
Pheonix
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Those are IIx ROM chips. If I had the money, I'd be interested in just the chips
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Old 29 August 2018, 06:29   #19
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Using the EMPLANT board with FUSION will give you a better/more accurate Mac emulation. The EMPLANT board is not merely a ROM dongle as some have suggested. I basically designed the Mac II motherboard onto a Zorro II card. So, the VIAs, SCC (serial), and SCSI ports are 100% identical to a real Mac. When you setup the Mac SCSI using one of the various driver programs it works exactly like a Mac's SCSI port - because it is.

Speed is slightly faster when using the EMPLANT board as well because the VIAs do not have to be emulated, they are real hardware on the EMPLANT board. The 060 works with last version of MAC II, but works hands down better with FUSION. The 060 does work with the e586DX emulation, but it also works better with PCx.
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Old 29 August 2018, 08:19   #20
Pheonix
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OK, so, I'll be researching Fusion primarily. Research, so far, has only gotten me to "Basilisk II" replaces Shapeshifter. I'll also need to look into PCx. Since I have the e586 chip installed, I'd sort of like to try & put it to use

Did find more details on the variable speed issue. MAC 400k & 800k disks used variable speeds to increase storage from 360k & 720k respectively. Up through OS 7.5.5, these disk can be read & written in the 1.44 MB drive, so I should be fine with my HD drive (maybe.) Otherwise it takes a 400 k (single sided,) or 800 k (double sided,) MAC drive to read the 400 k disks (and only the 800 k drive for the 800 k disks, of course.) My kylwalda attached drive "may" be able to read them as well. I'll need to get an appropriate disk & test it out eventually.

Found most of that HERE if anyone else want to check it out.
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