Author: Paul (220-244-144-143.static.tpgi.com.au)
Date: 12-18-2008 08:27
ok, even though the last 2 post are valid, this is not the best way to start out building a hardware project, by getting lost over what operating system the prototype needs to boot on...
.. the simple answer is that the source code should be portable to as many environments as possible.
To run true 68K code on a x86 machine will require a an emulator.
The is currently a GPL TOS in development called EmuTOS.
There is already a descent version of GEM for DOS, and it too is still being developed, the latest versions can multi-task. (from memory any GEM source is compilable across any GEM, x86 is little endian, 68k is big endian, which is part of the compile options for that platform)
There is the unofficial 4.92 TOS, and MultiTOS...
(where to start)
looking around at 68K/PPC cpu's and hardware, use a 68K compatible chip to build a "SuperTOS Box" with programmable sub parts that can emulate "classic" hardware, eeprom that can contain various "classic" roms, as well as a "new" bios (or quasi boot bios to reprogram the sub parts).
This hardware should be able to run BeOS, PPC linux, Debian & BSD 68K.
Base hardware should (initially) be a limited set of PCI, PCI-X, PCI-E hardware. Enough to make a budget machine and a "full on hell machine".
- Braphics should be 3D accelerated (say GeForce4 & newer R500 ATI boards).
- Drives should be SATA + EIDE-RAID plus specific modern SCSI chipset PCI/PCIE (covers most oprtions).
- Network cards should be certain common chipsets, including WiFi ones
- USB 1.0, 1.1, 2.0, Firewire (all versions) + eSATA
- specific and/or generic devices for the above (including say MythTV)
The above chipsets do not have to be the latest or greatest, but the most widely available, and just for the initial "stable" release.
There are a few base things at the core of "getting new hardware/OS" off the ground.
1) Driver and Device support.
2) Apps and Games.
3) quality and speed
prototype hardware should contain PPC or better, should have around 512Mb min, contain descent graphics hardware, have networking, USB, possibly firwire and wifi. Preferably limited to a predefined set of hardware (thats the same on every unit)
A native Linux version should run on this, and have access to "advanced" 68K development tools including point-and-click designers.
For PC development "top notch" emulator, stripped back (remove ALL ST chip emulation), should be used to create the new TOS/GEM.
The new TOS/GEM OS (possibly called (Semblence Of Tos) SOT/GEWEL (Gem Enhanced Windows Empower Linux) maybe, or not..) should be able to do the following:
- run "classic" ST GEM apps in a window (with a complete OS like WINE) while hooking the GDI
- run "classic" ST PRG/TOS apps in a window (with a complete OS like WINE) but allow fullscreen too
- run "classic" text based apps in a console or terminal window (like linux)
- should run recompiled linux-68k apps
a preliminary development could use the same WINE technique to run GEM apps in a window on a linux system, while hooking the GDI for continuity of the interface..
.. or just set the boot desktop to TOSbox running 1280x1024 under windows or linux by default
I like the simplicity of the original 3 color interface, with that green. However the it should just be a skin. Any new skins need to have round corners though, 3D effects, shadows, alpha blending...
I suggest having a look ZETA, BeOS, Haiku and Yellow Dog as a start point, at least to get code and solid drivers. For hardware check Fixstars products, genesi-usa Pegasos PowerPC and anything else that runs MorphOS, and finally Medusa's ColdFire (this could be a good place to start the first hardware alpha/beta when there is a some solid code to run on it).
IBM, AMCC & Freescale all currently make Power Architecture and 68K chips, upto 2.5Ghz in some cases.
.. Paul ...