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Old 13 November 2005, 16:04   #1
D-Dan
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Would this be possible?

Sitting around doing nothing on a Sunday morning, I had an odd thought.

Given the number of emulators available, that are taking binaries intended for one machine, and converting them on the fly to run on a different platform, would it not be possible to use the same code to make a permanent conversion of an executable that will run natively?

I know there may be problems with other resources (eg - you couldn't convert an MUI app to run on x86 unless all the MUI libraries etc were converted too), but is there some other barrier that I'm completely missing.

Bear in mind, I'm not talking about porting here, I'm talking about making what an emulator does on the fly permanent.
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Old 13 November 2005, 18:18   #2
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I've just written a complicated answer to this, changed it into an even more complicated answer to make it more accurate, and now deleted it because it's going to take weeks to explain it all fully. So, the simple version:

No. It's not possible, at least not for computers which are more than superficially different (I've seen a utility that claims to do an ST -> Amiga conversion, but that would only work as the two computers share the same CPU. However, I've never seen the utility working, and it would have trouble translating anything beyond simple console utilities). The simple answer is that an emulator does not actually convert anything. It does not change the program itself; it just intercepts all of the instructions that the program sends to the CPU and replaces them with other functions. It works as layer between the host computer and the foreign program and translates between the two.

The original program always expects to be running on the original hardware, and it simply isn't possible completely to take that hardware away. It can be simulated, but it cannot be removed.
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Old 14 November 2005, 01:50   #3
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Another rather short way to explain why the answer is "no" is simply to point out that the assumption that an emulator converts binaries from a form that runs on one maching to one that runs on another is incorrect. Emulators simulate the machine that the code was written to run on, and then run that same (unconverted) code. Converting code might be possible, but it isn't what emulators actually do.
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Old 14 November 2005, 05:06   #4
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As stated by the others, The code from the source machine, say an amiga is not converted.
If you think of an emulator as a program that creates a bubble on your PC that thinks it is an amiga. Think of it as a virtual amiga. That will execute amiga code . as far as your amiga code/programs are concerned it thinks it is running on a real amiga
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Old 14 November 2005, 22:40   #5
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Have they been spiking your medication with LSD D-Dan? Got any going spare?
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Old 15 November 2005, 02:13   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Severin
Have they been spiking your medication with LSD D-Dan? Got any going spare?
I always thought that it should be possible too, until I actually did some research into how emulators work. I was surprised at how ridiculously simple the concept of an emulator is; I wasn't surprised at how ridiculously difficult they are to write.
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Old 15 November 2005, 07:04   #7
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Good point. Emulation is something that is elegantly simple in concept, but which can be excruciatingly complex to do properly, especially when emulating a platform with a fairly complex architecture. Emulating an Apple II series is relatively straight forward compared to an Atari 800 or Commodore 64, and both of those are considerably simpler to emulate than an Amiga. Actual translation of the binaries that run on one machine into binaries that would run on another may sound as if it would be easier to do, but in reality, I suspect that the complexity of that task would be enormous, which goes a long way towards explaining why emulation has long been the favored approach.
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Old 15 November 2005, 08:46   #8
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Amithlon was able to run 68k and x86 code on the same box and as far as I can remember, the x86 code was able to call 68k libraries, etc.

It's a pity it died.
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Old 15 November 2005, 23:17   #9
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@Severin
Look, it's been a while since I had a daft idea, and I coded the last one in AmiBlitz if you remember. And yes, something spiked for free would be nice

@Everyone else
OK - that's me told then
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Old 22 November 2005, 05:27   #10
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Seams like the issue is not just the emulator point. The AMIGA has different chips and technologies that requires special programming. I would love to see this kinda dream machine, but we'll have to wait until the AROS is finnished before we can run Amiga software on PC's.
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