SoftPC 3.1 for MacOS

SoftPC 3.1 for MacOS

SoftPC 3.1 for MacOS

I had purchased this a while back on ebay for $15, and used it occasionally but ever anything that involved. Mostly because it’s dreadfully slow on an 030, and ever since the intel cpu has won out, it’s not all that needed in this day in age. But at the same time, its interesting to check out various emulators through the ages.

Installing it was way easier under Basillisk II, then running it is more smooth under mini vmac. Mostly because of it’s 68881 emulation, and also it just seems faster.

An 80286 in every box!

Running MSD shows that it does in fact emulate a 80286 processor!

So doing the only natural thing, I installed Microsoft C 5.1 but configured it only for OS/2 development, then used a old 286 dos extender I found, and blamo, it works!

Hello from protected mode!

The sad thing, is that it seems the 80386 & 80486 stuff was RISC (MIPS/Alpha/PowerPC) or 80486 based only. I’m pretty sure the version of SoftPC for NeXTSTEP did a 80386… I’d love a real copy of that, but I know there was a demo out there somewhere.

Anyways for it’s age, SoftPC seems to be about as annoying as any 286 computer was at the time. And as a bonus running emulators under emulators makes it about as slow as a 286..

SoftPC –AT Version 3

Ok, so I’ve been on this MIPS kick as of late.. Me & Antoni just split the cost of Visual C++ 4.0 for the MIPS…  All being well it’ll arrive on Wednesday and we can do some more stuff.  As I understand it, Visual C++ 4.0 was THE compiler for Windows 95 people at the time, and it will have all the controls & stuff that Visual C++ 2.0 simply does NOT have.

Anyways while I was playing with my virtual MIPS machine, I decided to try the MS-DOS emulation out..  I had heard that they had a pretty advanced emulator to run stuff.  So I downloaded a new version of MSD, and was really surprised at the CPU that it was emulating… a 486!  And this is on a MIPS machine, I had to wonder why they couldn’t have continued this for the x64 product…

486!

486!

Anyways ok so it’s a 486, but can it play DOOM?

doom under MIPS NT (1)

Much to my amazement, the answer is YES.  Ok the pallet is all screwed up, and yes it is SLOW.. It reminds me of a 386, but it’s actually running!

Now I was interested, I opened up the ntvdm.exe in notepad to reveal it’s origin:

SoftPC-AT Version 3

(C)Copyright Insignia Solutions Inc. 1987-1992

@(#)sun4_a3cpu.c    1.2 5/24/91 Copyright Insignia Solutions Ltd.

Now what is really interested is this bit.. It only appears in the MIPS binary:

This version is subject to confidentiality provisions and should not be distributed. %s %s%s Copyright %s, an unpublished work by Insignia Solutions Inc.%s %s %s Copyright %s by Insignia Solutions Inc. All rights reserved.

Otherwise there is a LOT of mentions of D:\nt\private\mvdm\softpc.new  I guess it’s about their build process since the DDK is nt\public.

Anyways I thought it was really interesting to see just how involved the NTVDM was on the RISC cpu’s.  I think there is no doubt that the Connectix product was faster, and of course on Ghz+ machines its usable.  Not to mention once Connectix made a native version of Virtual PC for Windows… It’s really not that surprising why Microsoft snatched the product up!

Somewhere around here I have SoftPC 3.0 for the Apple Macintosh… I wonder if it can load doom?