DOS doesn't need drivers. It accesses hardware directly.
Fueh... If was so easy, Marvin section wouldn't exist at all 😜.
Scali talked about DOS .. And he's right. DOS itself relies on anything the BIOS/CSM provides (doesn't need drivers).
Games may or may not use the hardware directly. So at worst, you may get the compatibility level of a PC/XT 286. 🤣
or what is most important, APM. Without proper power management, a small machine like a Mac Mini will run very hot almost all time and probably would not last too much running in such conditions.
True, True, I've faced that issue with VMs a dozen times.. But you won't need APM at all in this case - just use DOSidle, it can also use HLT instruction as a substitute.
For Windows 3.1 there's also a device driver (WQGHLT) written by Weiqi Gao. It works on +486 machines.
Win3.0... Before Win3.1 there was Win3.0, on which Insigna software worked on. Older SoftPC/AT ran in older 68Ks and your could install Win3.0 on them, but wasn't a pleasant task. SoftPC/AT for the older 68Ks was optimized solely for DOS.
I once read a review about SoftWindows in an magazine (Byte, Jan '94, "Personality Plus").
They talked about Win 3.1 there, not a single word was said about Win 3.0..
But I have to admit that it was not enirely clear at which point they talked about the Unix and Mac versions. 😅
This is what they said about the Unix version, I think:
"[..]SoftWindows is actually Windows 3.1 and MS-DOS, recompiled for Unix[..]"
"[..]Because it uses authentic Windows source code, SoftWindows is able to run a far wider range of Windows applications than Wabi [..]"
To me, this indicates that Insignia was allowed to use or at least examine original Windows code (similar to IBM, which created Win-OS/2 this way).
Later SoftPC releases offered Win3.1 support, but them will not run in older 68Ks, only in the later models.
SoftPC/AT featured 286 emulation (hence the name). Wasn't this enough for Win 3.1 to be able to run in standard mode ?
Or did it work, but only wasn't officially suported by Insignia ? Please excuse my question, but I was 286 user
for a longtime so this makes me curious. 😀
SoftWindows is a PowerPC product, which has nothing to do with Motorola 68K series.
That's true for version 2.0, which I have a boxed copy of.
However, Version 1.0 was also available as a 68k binary if I'm not mistaken (or was it a FAT binary already ?)
I'm a bit confused now, because someone mentioned a "Softwindows 68K Demo CD" here.
About that rumor, i'm 99% sure it is false. You will see, Win3.1 codebase is 100% hand-crafted x86 assembler. System semantics and algorithms are very tied to how things are done in x86 CPUs, so porting it to an alien architecture wouldbe harder than crafting an new OS from zero. And that's exactly what MS did with NT. And ofc you can't mix 68K with x86, isn't magic you know.
Perhaps it is, but I never meant that. I thought of a much smaller scale. I talked about certain DLL files. Even though Win 3.1 was (widely) optimized
in assembler, it was largely based on the C code from Windows 3.0.
Besides, it is/was a common practice (generally speaking) to write important code in a high-level language
first, then to re-write certain parts of it (if necessary). So it's not unlikely that Windows 3.1 source code was also available (but never used)
in an un-optimized version in plain C.
And ofc you can't mix 68K with x86, isn't magic you know.
Not on native hardware, of course (excluding CPU cards). But what about virtualized/emulated environments ?
Isn't it possible to pipe certain instructions out of this environment to the OS or underlying hardware ?
I thought that Guest Additions work in a similar fashion nowerdays.
What is real truth is that Insignia worked closely with MS in order to create NTVDM and support DOS/Win3 apps in RISC CPUs through it. To accomplish that, NTVDM has built in a minimal SoftPC version as engine, which provides the virtual hardware environment to DOS/Win3 apps. In x86 NT NTVDM only uses peripheral and video code (while the rest runs in host as V86 task), but in RISC versions it also uses Insignia vCPU core.
Interesting. Would make sense, since they offered products for Unix driven RISC platforms. Thanks for pointing that out. 😀
Btw, IBM had similar ideas for the PPC version of OS/2. I think they called it EM86 or something like that.
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