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Old 15 December 2015, 05:17   #1
superfrog
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x86 Bridgeboard PC Speaker/SoundBlaster support?

Is there any chance of getting PC Speaker and SoundBlaster support for x86 bridgeboards?
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Old 15 December 2015, 06:46   #2
Sandro
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according to Toni some day will be supported
while you can use PCX emulator it works very fast on winuae and PC speaker works fine there
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Old 05 October 2016, 11:24   #3
superfrog
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PC spekaer in WinUAE Bridgeboard support?

I know it's stupid, but I really want the PC speaker emulation to work for the Bridgeboard. The PC speaker was just so obnoxious and loud and intolerable, I want it to be a part of my Amiga Bridgeboard emulation experience so I can curse at it the way I did back in the PC days. But I want to do it in Amiga emulated environment with all the other stuff, so I can show off to my friends how the truly great emulated Amiga can emulate the awful PC sound experience in an Amiga PC window. It would be so cathartic for me somehow. Is it that difficult to implement? I really would love to be able to have more sound options for the WinUAE Bridgeboard experience. To contrast just how awful PC sound was at the time compared to Amiga. And to bring the terrible early PC sound experience to Amiga Bridgeboard environment would be a dream come true please.
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Old 05 October 2016, 18:29   #4
Toni Wilen
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Usual problem: no one has said which open source PC emulator has best and easiest to use SB support. (or PC speaker but I am quite sure no one want to hear that painful sound. Standard use case is to disconnect the speaker IMMEDIATELY!)
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Old 05 October 2016, 19:18   #5
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What about PCem?
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Old 05 October 2016, 21:47   #6
Toni Wilen
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Quote:
Originally Posted by amigoun View Post
What about PCem?
PCem does it correctly (emulates hardware, not documented behavior) but has anyone actually compared speaker/SB emulations of existing PC emulators?

I only do one choice. It won't change later. It needs to be correct choice.
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Old 05 October 2016, 23:30   #7
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I agree that PCem is probably a very good contender, in that it strives to emulate physical hardware that actually existed, and not just provide a DOS-like experience like DOSBox. I have tested PCem fairly thoroughly and verified that it actually does a very good job of emulating a surprisingly broad array of PC video and sound cards, like Hercules, the original IBM MDA, CGA, EGA, and VGA cards, and many third-party variants. It also emulates several different versions of the SoundBlaster, as well as AdLib, AdLib Gold, Gravis UltraSound, and GameBlaster. And the detested PC speaker. The PCem PC speaker emulation is so accurate, it even claims (I haven't verified how well it works yet) to emulate RealSound, which was a very clever software hack that got the PC speaker to actually play a reasonable facsimile of sampled sounds and multi-voice instruments, though at an almost inaudible volume. Still, it is a great example of how early engineers cleverly got cheap hardware to do things their original designers never intended them to do.

While PCem is a great effort so far, it is still at a somewhat beta stage of development, and the overall stability of the more basic aspects of the PC experience, especially the emulation of floppy drives, still needs some work.

Overall, I'd say that Bridgeboard within WinUAE is actually a more stable PC emulation than PCem, but PCem is really whizbang in the features department.

I am not aware of any other PC hardware emulator that approaches the accuracy and breadth of PCem. The only other one I'm aware of is PCe. But the focus with PCe seems to be emulating 8- and 16-bit platforms more generally, as it also does Mac 68k, Atart ST, and others. For PC emulation, it only emulates the original IBM PC (not even an XT). I've tested it and verified that it does this reasonably well, but it is very lacking in features, and configuring it is an awkward experience at best.

Is anyone aware of any other original PC hardware emulators out there?

I'm happy to test out any other emulators, but I've looked around and PCem seems to be the best available in terms of both accuracy and breadth of different types of hardware emulated.
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Old 05 October 2016, 23:43   #8
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I guess MESS also emulates various 8- and 16-bit PC machines, but I don't know how well it does so at this point. I haven't tested it at all, but from what I have read, MESS has a pretty good handle on 8-bit platforms, but 16-bit is still pretty rough around the edges. And I have no idea as far as emulation of peripherals, which is what is really at issue here. My guess is that because MESS is so broad in scope, it might be easier to integrate emulation of PC video and sound peripherals from PCem into WinUAE, just because it is a much more focused and self-contained project.

My perspective on this is purely from a user experience perspective, as I'm not much of a programmer. So I can't speak to which project would be better from the perspective of code integration.

But if you have any other questions for me, or if there's anything out there you'd like me to test or investigate that would help you with the task of possibly integrating PC video and sound card emulation into WinUAE, let me know and I'll do whatever I can.

If it were possible to integrate the PC video and sound card components of PCem into WinUAE for use with the Bridgeboard emulation, that would be really stellar.
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Old 06 October 2016, 08:22   #9
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There is also 86Box which is a spinoff of PCem and has much more features (JIT compiler, ethernet support, Pentium emulation, and much more supported hardware), and seems to be more actively developed.

https://emulation.miraheze.org/wiki/86Box
https://github.com/OBattler/86Box
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Old 06 October 2016, 12:42   #10
Toni Wilen
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I guess it still is pcem (or forks)..

Yes, the plan is to use pcem (or something else) to replace current dosbox bridgeboard emulation parts. dosbox just won't work with anything that needs actual chipset behavior. (especially Windows 3.x and A2386SX that uses actual VLSI PC chipset and BIOS expects it)

Floppy emulation already uses my own code. (Nothing else worked with bridgeboard BIOS drive type detection tricks and interfacing any existing with UAE floppy code would have been very difficult)

MAME/MESS code has lowest priority, there is no guarantee whatsoever that some module actually is designed for generic emulation or just to support games x, y and z from system ö.
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Old 06 October 2016, 23:14   #11
superfrog
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PCem actually emulates the Commodore PC30-III, a Commodore-manufactured 286 clone that uses a BIOS that appears to be functionally almost identical to the modified Phoenix BIOS used by the Commodore-Amiga Bridgeboards.
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