Emulators Beta Releases
(updated by Darek Mihocka on March 18 2015)
The beta releases provided on this page are current bleeding-edge builds of our products which have not undergone the same level of testing as past formal releases. It is recommended that before running beta releases that you back up any existing emulation files, such as ROM image files, floppy disk and hard disk virtual disk files, and settings files.
The tenth generation of our 680x0 emulation products Gemulator and SoftMac is now under development. Gemulator version 1.0 was first released at the 1992 Glendale Atari Fair. For the version 10.0 releases, high priority issues are being addressed, including:
From the functionality point of video, the 10.0 releases should be as compatible as earlier releases. The same disk images and ROM files supported by previous releases should continue to work.
Gemulator betas require a valid set of Atari ST, Atari Mega ST, Atari STE, Atari Mega STE, Atari TT, or Mac Plus ROMs. SoftMac betas require a valid set of Mac Plus, Mac SE, Mac SE/30, Mac II, Mac IIx, Mac IIcx, Mac IIci, Mac LC, Mac LC II ROMs, Mac Quadra (any), Mac LC (any 3 digit model), Mac Centris (any), or similar Macintosh ROMs. Fusion PC betas will require a 512K or 1M Macintosh ROM image file.
When sending beta feedback in order to avoid our usual spam filter. We welcome as detailed information as possible, including attached screen shots. Please, please, PLEASE, also make sure to include this information in your email:
It would also be very much appreciated if anyone is willing to help out with writing new online documentation for Gemulator and SoftMac, developing official test cases and benchmarks, or helping out with the porting effort to Linux and Mac OS X.
Stay tuned for official version 10.0 beta announcement in 2015.
Your feedback is greatly appreciated. You will help change the future of emulation.
And if there are three things in particular that you can provide, it is BENCHMARKS BENCHMARKS BENCHMARKS! Please install other past Atari ST and Macintosh emulators and compare the speeds of Gemulator and SoftMac with these past emulators. Use a stopwatch to time "real world wall clock" timings of such things as how long something takes to boot up or do some complex operation. Use canned benchmarking utilities and send screen shots of the results. Help us pinpoint what is slow and what is fast. Gemulator and SoftMac need to end up being absolutely the fastest Atari ST and Macintosh emulators on the planet.
Why go through all this trouble? The death of the 32-bit Pentium 4 and its replacement with new multi-core 64-bit processors such as the Intel Core 2 and the AMD Athlon64 represents a complete change in the way that microprocessors operate and in the way that software needs to be designed and written. Emulators are a terrific test case to use for learning the new tricks of the multi-core 64-bit world. But also, emulation itself can be used to analyze existing software in order to find bugs and performance bottlenecks thanks to the power of an emulator to trace and record every single operation. Emulation is not a toy for running old video games on. It is a powerful tool. And your help in beta testing Gemulator 9.0 and SoftMac 9.0 is but a small stepping stone.
The design work has already started on the 10th generation of these products, which is a bottom-up redesign to target multi-core 64-bit CPUs such as the Intel Core 2 found in today's PCs and Macs, and the PowerPC in the Playstation 3 and PowerMac G5. The design goal is to have a portable C-based emulation framework built with GCC that can emulate Atari, Macintosh, and PC virtual machines on 64-bit x64 and PowerPC host machines. The design changes being made in the Gemulator 9.0 and SoftMac 9.0 emulators serve as proofs of concept of the many design ideas being mulled about for that new emulation framework. So while these betas may look very similar to our earlier product releases, they're not under the hood. Your beta testing and benchmarking will help to prove or disprove these ideas.
Core parts of the new framework will be open sourced, which will allow others to do research relating to compiler optimizations, CPU architectures, and to improve the performance of not only Macintosh emulators but virtual machines in general such as Java. This in turn will mean that future software (having nothing to do with emulation) will be written better such that it runs faster and crashes less. And that will be a good thing for all computer users, whether Mac, Atari, Windows, or Linux.
Some things to keep in mind when running SoftMac and other emulators:
SoftMac 9.0 ("SoftMac 2008"): The SoftMac 9.0 Beta 4 release is bundled with the Gemulator 9.0 Beta download below. Notes for SoftMac 9.0 Beta 4: To create a custom virtual machine profile, set the Mode selector to an existing profile then click the "+Clone" button to duplicate that virtual machine profile. A plus sign in the name will indicate that you are working on the duplicate. Edit the name of the new configuration in the Properties dialog box to give it a more descriptive name. SoftMac 9.0 creates 3 default virtual machine profiles: Macintosh Classic (68000), Mac II (68020), and Mac Quadra (68040). Up to 13 more profiles can be created. Click the "-" button to delete a profile.
SoftMac Online Documentation page
Beginner's Guide to running Mac OS 8 on Windows
Gemulator 9.0 ("Gemulator 2008"): The Gemulator 9.0 Beta 4 with SoftMac 9.0 Beta 4 is subject to this End User License Agreement: The End User License Agreement is a legal agreement between you (the End User) and Emulators.com for the Gemulator product suite. By installing, copying, or using the Gemulator product, you agree to be bound by the full terms of the agreement.
Emulators.com grants the End User the non-transferable right to install and use the Gemulator product on the End User's computer.
Emulators.com expressly reserves to itself all other rights in the Gemulator product including, but not limited to, the right to reproduce and distribute the Gemulator software and hardware and the right to create derivative works based on the Gemulator product suite.
End User shall respect and not remove, obliterate, or cancel from view any copyright, trademark, confidentiality or other proprietary notice on the Gemulator software.
All copies of the Gemulator software in any form provided by Emulators.com or made by End User are the sole property of Emulators.com. End User shall not have any right, title, or interest to any such Gemulator software or copies thereof except as provided in this License.
Emulators.com shall not be liable for any costs, damages, fees, or other liability, nor for any direct, indirect, special, incidental, or consequential damages with respect to any claim by the End User or any third party on account of or arising from this License or use of (or inability to use) any portion of the Gemulator software.
Failure to comply with the terms and conditions of this License terminates all rights granted by Emulators.com to the End User.
If you agree with the above license agreement, click here to download Gemulator 9.0 Beta 4 (with SoftMac 9.0 Beta 4). Notes for Gemulator 9.0 Beta 4: Gemulator 9.0 uses a redesigned version of the 68040 flags emulation code to eliminate use of the x86 "LAHF" instruction which is known to be slow on certain x86 hardware and emulation architectures. The technique now used is a variation of the lazy flags scheme described here which now allows for easier portability to 64-bit Windows. Gemulator 9.0 uses a redesigned guest-to-host memory translation scheme so as not to rely on host page fault exceptions. There technique now used is described here. To create a custom virtual machine profile, set the Mode selector to an existing profile then click the "+Clone" button to duplicate that virtual machine profile. A plus sign in the name will indicate that you are working on the duplicate. Edit the name of the new configuration in the Properties dialog box to give it a more descriptive name. Gemulator 9.0 creates 7 default virtual machine profiles: Atari 800 (6502), Atari 800XL (6502), Atari ST (68000), Atari STE (68030), Macintosh Classic (68000), Macintosh II (68020), and Macintosh Quadra (68040). Up to 9 more profiles can be created. Click the "-" button to delete a profile.
Read the Gemulator online documentation
Download Atari ST formatted disk images
(contains 80 meg Atari hard disk and 100 meg Atari ZIP disk images for use with Gemulator 5.0 and higher)
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