Previous 1.4 features NeXTdimension emulation!



It’s really cool!  And as an added bonus, it can now run in ‘Variable’ speed, meaning as fast as your machine can emulate the 68040.

OS X version here, and Windows version here.  For me, at least a bunch of DLL’s are missing, so I put together a quick package containing the Windows version with all of the missing DLLs here.

From the announcement:

Hello all,

I am happy to annouce the release of Previous v1.4! Simon did lots of work on emulating the NeXTdimension and he considerably improved timings and efficiency of Previous. Furthermore there is now a mode to accelerate the emulation beyond the performance of real systems. Other improvements and bugfixes are listed in the readme.

Emulating the NeXTdimension board was something i thought would not be feasible. But thanks to the i860 emulator from Jason Eckhardt and the work of Simon, who improved and completed parts of it, it finally came true. I hope you enjoy it!

NeXTSTEP in your browser!

Well, kind of.



It’s a Docker containers running Previous, that you connect to with noVNC in your browser.  So it’s a legacy system thing on demand!  I had tried to do something like this ages ago with SIMH on demand, but I broke it all when I installed apache on OS/2 to make the bbs url self hosting.

The mouse control is insanely offtrack, but this does present an interesting possibility of bringing back an OS museum / zoo thing.

Also worth mentioning that they do offer MacOS!

Quake on HPPA (Gecko) NeXTSTEP

So forever ago I had done a super bare port of Quake to NeXTSTEP.  It was based on a copy of UAE 0.6.0 source code that included hooks for NeXTSTEP.  So seizing on this I built a shaky framework and amazingly got it to work.  Well work enough I had trouble with the mouse part, and never did get around to fixing it, but I kicked it out into the world.  And amazingly the HPPA cross compiled version that I compiled but never tested runs!

My whole misadventure is on, and blakespot has a blog about finding the gecko and it’s 32bit video modes here.




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.

Previous 0.52 (trunk 391) + slirp

So I got this request to add in some SLiRP to Previous, the NeXT computer emulator.  Sadly work got in the way, and I trashed my windows dev machine.  To make it worse I also trashed my MacBook Air, but with a bit of screwing around I got X-code removed, and re-installed.

So Here is my wonderful work, some 50 lines of code + the SLiRP from Cockatrice all hacked up.

ICMP to seems to work fine, UDP seems to not work, so no DNS.  I don’t know why either.  I can telnet to my BBS just fine, which is about all the testing I’ve done.

Previous to the BBS

Previous to the BBS

Inbound TCP seems to be broken too, but I could be initializing slirp_redirect incorrectly too.

In case you want to follow up on this the NeXT computer forums is the place to be.  Networking with NeXTSTEP is involved.

And for anyone who want’s my files, the source is here, and an OS X 10.10.3 binary is here.  Be sure to install the SDL2 framework ahead of time!

I just played with NeXTSTEP 0.8



And I have to say, it’s pretty impressive!  Previous flies on my system, having owned a cube, I can say that the 68030 on this is WAY faster.  And I’ve always read about 0.8, and kind of figured it was basically lost to the winds of time.  It’s really cool to see it boot up!  And the emulated disks are so much faster than the magnetic optical drives of the day.

It’s amazing to think that in 1988, the current world of iThings had just started.

Previous boots NeXTSTEP!

So first we got AMIX, then A/UX now NeXTSTEP!


(I lost the original image, so here is OPENSTEP on 0.4)


NeXTSTEP 3.2 in single user mode

You have to grab the source from sourceforge, and build it yourself.  I haven’t attempted it yet, but wow!  Apparently the latest snap is capable of running 0.9 – OpenSTEP 4.0!

Package for Quake on NeXTSTEP

Ok, I’m getting nowhere quick on the sound thing so I’ll release what I have now. Thanks to the instructions here, I’ve setup a package which can be easily installed on NeXTSTEP.

All packaged up!


Simple, right? Just download the package, and you should be able to install it with no issues. I’ve built it for all the CPU types that NeXTSTEP supported so let me know if you have any luck…

Also I’m going to leave the quake server running on my server, the only issue is that the hostname is too long for Quake to deal with, so you’ll have to type in the ip address ( Also you’ll have to launch this from the command line… 😐

If anyone has any hints on audio streams on NeXTSTEP drop me a line…..

Multiuser on Quake for NeXTSTEP!

The picture says it all…

Its alive!


I took the unix timer code, and got that working (not surprising, NeXTSTEP still is 4.3 BSD at heart), and I fixed enough of the key bindings so it’s getting playable. In addition I went back through the WinQuake source and pulled out the BSD networking and that works great. There was a sound driver in there for the next, but it lacks the output functions…. So it would seem that’s the last thing to hack through for a more ‘complete’ Quake experience.. well that & the mouse.

I’ll probably dig around to find out how to make one of those nifty NeXT packages, and release a test version since it’s playable ‘enough’…

In other news, Qemu 0.12.4 has been released! I haven’t even tried it yet, but on my page “MIPS blast from the past” it’s said to be usable…