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PCEm. Another PC emulator.

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First post, by Zup

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I've read in Emulatronia about a new PC Emulator, PCEm. It currently emulates PC and XT computers. It seems it is in early stages, so some devices are not emulated (some PCs fail to pass test). Have anyone tested it?

Web page: http://pcem-emulator.co.uk/

Source code: https://bitbucket.org/pcem_emulator/pcem

Last edited by Zup on 2014-04-25, 19:03. Edited 3 times in total.

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Reply 1 of 1032, by eL_PuSHeR

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I am going to test it just for the sake of it. Too bad it doesn't emulate EGA/VGA (yet).

Thanks for the link.

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Reply 2 of 1032, by butterfly

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I tried it and after the interface started and the emulation started (got into the BASIC thing) I couldn't do much else. It got my computer stuck 3 or 4 times.

AMD Athlon XP 2400+ 2.0GHz
1.50MB RAM
Windows XP Professional

Had to hard reset my computer each time in order to regain control of the machine.
Doesn't look bad though but I guess it's resources hungry.
Waiting for further tests

Reply 3 of 1032, by eL_PuSHeR

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Same here. I started as AMSTRAD PC1512, did the POST sequence, and after the message "Insert a SYSTEM disk" showed, the emulator got stuck as soon as I press an option from the menu.

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Reply 5 of 1032, by butterfly

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Now it doesn't freeze anymore. I tried only a game on the fly to test it after the author updated the emulator and it seems to run quite fast (playable).

immagineca3.th.jpg

According to the author, the bug only affected non-dual-core machines.

Reply 7 of 1032, by butterfly

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bubblebobblerecognizesdcu2.th.jpg
Bubble Bobble, one of the hardest games to make work in Windows XP (Only DOSBox had made it so far), not only works, but the game also recognizes an inferior processor and/or a lesser amount of RAM, making you face a few less enemies on some levels, which happens if you play it on an actual 8086/8088.
Needless to say that it's playable, although some almost imperceptible delay occurs between keystroke and reaction of the character but currently I'm testing it on my notebook which, obviously, doesn't have the same performance as my desktop PC.

Scopa, an Italian card game, on the other hand, doesn't work. It's an extremely "simple" version of the game since it works on CRT, without a graphics adapter. When I have to select the necessary points to win a game (usually 21, 11 or 37) it doesn't hang but it looks like it won't accept any value. http://anonym.to/http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scopa

cpm86onpcemvz0.th.jpg
CPM/86 operating system seems to work. I couldn't do much testing because I didn't learn how to use it yet. Anyway as you can see it succeeded in booting!

Reply 8 of 1032, by Neville

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Now this is interesting. We have a new PC emulator in town, and it's been made by Arculator and SneM creator Sarah Walker.

PCem is an emulator for old XT/AT-class PCs. It emulates : - IBM 5150 PC - IBM 5160 XT - Tandy 1000 - Amstrad PC1512 - Sinclair […]
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PCem is an emulator for old XT/AT-class PCs. It emulates :
- IBM 5150 PC
- IBM 5160 XT
- Tandy 1000
- Amstrad PC1512
- Sinclair PC200
- Amstrad PC1640
- IBM AT

with 640k of RAM (4mb for AT), 2 floppy drives (up to 2.88mb), 2 hard drives, CGA, MDA, Hercules, EGA (PC1640 only) or VGA, SoundBlaster, GameBlaster, and a mouse. It can run both DOS-based games and booter games.

Visit Website.

You can grab the required Amstrad BIOS from his page, as for the rest they're all the same dumps used by MESS, so you shouldn't have much trouble finding them.

I'm interested in hearing other people's experiences with this emulator. I have a very limited knowledge of these machines, so help on how to use the emulated Trident VGA or how to set up a hard drive would be very welcome.

As far as compatibility goes, this emu seems to have been created with booter games in mind. It even supports the WinImage IMG format! However, the screenshots section on his website show some interesting pics of games such as "Dune II", "Lotus" or "Monkey Island", which I'm dying to test.

Reply 12 of 1032, by SarahWalker

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Isn't this just a stripped down version of MESS? I don't see what is so special about it.

MESS works fine and requires little to make it do so. This is just a 'DOSBox compatible' emu....hehe

Thanks for that, guys. That's really helpful right now.

Just to make it clear, PCem has no relation to MESS whatsoever. Besides, the AT emulation here actually works, whereas it didn't in MESS the last time I checked.

I have a very limited knowledge of these machines, so help on how to use the emulated Trident VGA or how to set up a hard drive would be very welcome.

The Trident ROM needs unzipping into the 'roms' directory. It only works on the IBM models - the other machines all have built in video and can't have external cards.

To set up a hard disk, go to the hard disk configuration, and enter some combination of sectors/heads/cylinders for drive C:. It doesn't matter what's entered, just that the size total is what you want. Then you obviously need to fdisk/format it.

Reply 16 of 1032, by Jorpho

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Never much cared for Winimage, what with it being shareware.

Fortunately, there is one freeware alternative:
http://hp.vector.co.jp/authors/VA013937/editd … sk/index_e.html

Reply 17 of 1032, by leileilol

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I'm bumping this old thread because there was a release in July of this year and this emulator is interesting just for emulating the AMI BIOS alone! I think it needs more attention because although the 486 emulation is very broken, it's noneoftheless very promising.

How the July release missed anyone's radar here I don't really know.

by the way, DOSBox is not for running Windows 9x

Reply 18 of 1032, by butterfly

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Oh but there's news about that as reported by emulatronia
Feb,01

From the author's site

PCem v0.41 released. This fixes some embarassing bugs in v0.4, as well as a few games.