modern.ie Virtual Machines

(this is a guest post by Tenox)

Ran across this curiosity today: Microsoft Edge Dev Center provides a bunch of ready made virtual machines with different versions of IE web browser. But they can be used for different purposes if you need to quickly spin up a specific version of Windows quickly.

http://dev.modern.ie/tools/vms/windows/

This is whats available:

modeirnie1Different hypervisor type images on Windows, Mac and Linux are available:

modeirnie3Very handy stuff. This is beloved Windows XP after it booted first time:
modeirnie2Very handy and not only for browser testing.

There also is a Remote IE which opens IE window straight from Azure. I wonder what are implications of it for censorship in some countries as well as piracy etc.

VenturComm Venix/86 on MESS/MAME

(This is a guest post by Tenox)

This is follow up to a previously posted challenge to virtualize VenturComm Venix/86 so that it can be run on a modern machine under an emulator. The competition was a huge success and the rest of this post is an entry by the winner – Jim Carpenter. Enjoy!

Install MAME/MESS 0.164 and get the “at386” machine running. Standard issue ROMs.

Create a new hard drive image with “chdman createhd -chs 615,4,17 -c none -o hd.chd“. This is only 20MB. You can certainly use larger drives but make them a standard type, something that is a defined drive type in the BIOS. I’d stay away from user defined types.

Start the emulator, configure the first floppy drive to be DD and the second to be HD. Restart so it takes effect. Attach XFER.IMG to the first floppy and your hard drive image to the hard drive. Restart again. (Venix uses the BIOS for *everything*. So if you attach without rebooting, chances are the BIOS missed your hard drive which means Venix won’t see it either.)

Go into the BIOS and configured the floppy and hard disk types. The command above creates a type 2 drive:venix1Save and exit and let it reboot.

We wish to prepare the winchester hard disk:
venix2 Continue reading

Venix/86 Challenge

(this is a guest post by Tenox)

I’m extremely busy with some matters and unable to spend much time with computer archaeology. I would like for some much overdue projects to progress independently of myself, so hopefully the community can participate and help out.

Let’s start with Venix/86 which has been awaiting my attention for a while. I have been recently contacted by Alex aka uav1606 who wanted to get it to work. I have since decided to open this up to anyone else interested.

To my knowledge actual install media did not surface so far. However a while ago I came in to possession of a boot disk and a backup of a live system, in form of nine floppy disks which look like a tar archive. In theory it should be possible to boot the xfer disk, format a hard disk and restore the backup system to get a working system.

VenturCom Venix/x86

VenturCom Venix/x86 running on a real AT/286

I’m offering $100 prize via PayPal to the first person who will run Venix/86 on an emulator of any kind (PCE, PicoXT, QEMU, Bochs, Vbox, MESS/MAME, etc NOTE: it doesn’t have to be strictly XT emulator as long as the system works), compiles Aclock and sends me a binary + complete working virtual machine. I will also of course publish it on this blog featuring all your hard work! It will be awesome to see your progress and collaboration in the comments 😉

Everything I have is here: http://www.tenox.net/get/venix21.zip

Update #1: From Frode van der Meeren who is the owner of the floppy disks: “The disk images are not corrupted, the disks only use a different track arrangement. The disks image format arranges the tracks by cylinders, storing head 0 and then head 1, while the actual disks arrange tracks by all cylinders on head 0 then all cylinders on head 1. If you want to mount the images into something else than Venix/86 then you need to rearrange the tracks in the image file.”

Update #2: the competition has been won by Jim Carpenter! Congratulations! Jim has just received the $100 prize. I have received detailed install instructions and will post it in a follow up post :)

Venix running on MESS/MAME

Venix/x86 running on MESS/MAME by Jim Carpenter

It was a real pleasure to see great community response, participation and most importantly to see Venix/x86 run again!

Stay tuned for another one 😉

Darkmatter

Darkmatter

Darkmatter

The NeXT community has been about this old Mac emulator, daydream making a comeback onto NeXT hardware.  Branded as darkmatter it runs on the bare metal of the NeXT cube/stations and can run MacOS in much the same way that Basilisk II does.

System 7.0 running on a NeXT cube!

System 7.1 running on a NeXT cube!

What makes this interesting is that the 68040 is cycle set, and uses a much more mature CPU emulation core than Basilisk II, so it should give more accurate emulation. However it will run at 68040 25Mhz speeds, so it won’t win any speed records.

Naturally programs (Space Quest I) that blit directly to the display probably expect Mac/Plus/Se dimensions so the NeXT display won’t be ideal.  But good old SoftPC for MacOS runs great!

SoftPC 3.1 for MacOS

SoftPC 3.1 for MacOS

And again, being set to 68040 speeds, it’s nowhere near as turbo as Basilisk II/SheepShaver.

For anyone interested, you’ll want Previous, the latest build and a test disk.  Set the emulation for either a NeXT Computer (68030), or NeXTcube (68040), add the test disk as SCSI disk 0, and either type in ‘bsd’ at the firmware prompt, or have it automatically boot in the options.

WinDooM on SoftPC, on SheepShaver

So I was hammering out something with SheepShaver (more on that later!) and I thought a quick test of just how fast SheepShaver is vs a real PowerMAC would be interesting.  So I was playing with my old copy of SoftPC, which is 68000 based, but There were PowerPC versions, years ago when I bought a G4 to run OS X to only find out that it wasn’t supported (the dark days of OS X Server 1.0, before the 10.0 public beta) I used to run Windows NT 4.0 on SoftPC on MacOS 8.6.  Ugh, dark times indeed!

So with some luck, I got SoftPC 3.0 up and running on MacOS 7.5.3 using SheepShaver for Windows. Then I noticed that unlike SoftPC for the 68000, SoftPC for the PowerPC emulates a 486!  So how does DooM run?  A little slow, it’s kind of dream like.

But since there is Windows and a 32bit processor, I thought this would be a great time to load up Win32s, Video for Windows, WinG, and WinDooM!

WinDoom on SoftPC

WinDoom on SoftPC

And much to my amazement it runs!  And I was further impressed that there is a shim sound driver, and it works!

So I made a quick video to compare DooM for Windows vs DooM for MS-DOS on this setup.

Yes it’s pointless, but I kinda think it’s really cool.

As a bonus, here is E1M1 under MacOS 8.0.  The MIDI support in 8.0 is MUCH more stronger than 7.5.3!  And I should add, it actually feels faster on 8.0 than 7.5.3

Update to Windows 10

x

Get ready!

I know I’m crazy, but for some reason the update didn’t kick off automagically on my 7 box, so I fished around and found the direct download here.

From what I’ve read VMware Player 7 updates should work with 10.

Time to see what breaks, and what works!

The first issue I had is that after the upgrade, VMware Player couldn’t connect to the bridge adapters.  Luckily the fix is really easy.

Bring up your network connections, go to your physical Ethernet adapter, bring up it’s properties, and add in a ‘service’.

add

Restoring the VMware Bridge service

Then select the VMware Inc, vendor and the VMware Bridge Protocol.  Now with that done, all I had to do is then bind the bridge to the Ethernet adapter.

x

Configuring the Bridged virtual interface

And now my VM’s can talk to my network without any of that NAT nonsense.  And I didn’t have to re-install VMware Player to fix this either!

Some real fun came from upgrading my wife to 2015.  She uses Outlook 2013 to talk to an IMAP server.  No big deal right?  Well after upgrading when she tried to send an email she would get the ever so helpful error 0x800CCC13 .  So her server is setup to use SSL to talk to the outbound SMTP server.  It even has a valid certificate!  The best part is that verifying her account and IT WILL SEND THE TEST EMAIL.  Yes, that is right, Outlook 2013 cannot send to SMTP servers, but the test and diagnostics work.  And in the age of multigigabyte installations all the user is left with is a hexidecimal error code of 0x800CCC13.  Frankly this is totally inexcusable in 2015, let alone in the 1990s.  Hell even OS/2 had a system to look up cryptic error messages.  I guess that was an IBM thing.

So anyways, the best part is the ‘fix’.  Apparently according to here, the upgrade to Windows 10 corrupts some DLL’s that are a part of Outlook 2013, and they need to be repaired.  Simply run the following command as administrator:

sfc /scannow

It can take upwards of 10 minutes to complete.  After we ran this, we re-ran Outlook 2013, and all of our dozens of attempted test messages sent.

Another possible problem is that the Exchange server pluggin is interfering with the IMAP/SMTP plugins, and it needs to be disabled/deleted.  I haven’t had to go there since she can send emails now.