Mini review: m48, another 48GX for the iPhone



#2

I just read about this on comp.sys.hp48. A new and much better 48GX for the iPhone was just released. This one is based on EMU48 (unlike i48 that is based on x48). The keyboard is dynamic (shifts/alpha change the keys) and A-F is merged in with the LCD. Looks like a Star Trek inspired setup. Quite usable. However the unshifed symbols are very hard to read. Something that could be improved. Right now I have to use shift to find things. If the 48GX was my daily calculator then I'd have it memorized.

Screen shots here: http://www.mksg.de/

Emulation performance is 4x faster (based on a single benchmark), whereas i48 was just a bit faster.

m48 is also more stable. i48 will crash if the clock is showing. i48 drops keys from time to time, but that may just be the accuracy of the user. m48 keyboard accuracy is much better. I have not missed a stroke.


#3

Hi Egan,

it's quite unfair to compare the x48 emulator sources with one of the later Emu48 sources. :)

The lastest version of the x48 sources I have is 0.4.1e from 1999. Comparing to a 2004 copyrighted Emu48 version from me, x48 is as old as Methuselah in HP48 emulation technology. AFAIK x48 was never able to run the Metakernel because of it's MMU emulation limatations.

A Emu48 version copyright from 2004 smells like, that the base for m48 was the Mac OS Port from Pierre Tardy, which base on the original Emu48 IA32 v1.25 version (this implicate the chance of getting a HP49G version).

We should be glad that there are people out there, remembering the advantages of open source software, publishing there own versions of software to the public. I think, without the influence of Eddie C. Dost (x48) and Sebastien Carlier (Win48 / Emu48) emulators for Saturn based calculators wouldn't exist in the form like now.

Regards,

Christoph


#4

Quote:
it's quite unfair to compare the x48 emulator sources with one of the later Emu48 sources. :)

Why? Both are 48GX emulators. I actually prefer x48 since it runs native on my Mac and Linux machines. However, if there were a current EMU48 port for UNIX/Linux, I'd use that because its faster and more capable. Since m48 uses Emu48 (EMU48MS116 to be specific) as a base we can expect more features.
Quote:
The lastest version of the x48 sources I have is 0.4.1e from 1999.

0.6.1 is the latest version. It was published Aug 1 2009.
Quote:
Comparing to a 2004 copyrighted Emu48 version from me, x48 is as old as Methuselah in HP48 emulation technology. AFAIK x48 was never able to run the Metakernel because of it's MMU emulation limatations.

Despite the recent updates, it is still limited. All updates since 0.4.1e have been mostly bug fixes, no real feature enhancements. I still use 0.4.3.
Quote:
A Emu48 version copyright from 2004 smells like, that the base for m48 was the Mac OS Port from Pierre Tardy, which base on the original Emu48 IA32 v1.25 version (this implicate the chance of getting a HP49G version).

Author told me EMU48MS116. Unsure why that version was selected.
Quote:
We should be glad that there are people out there, remembering the advantages of open source software, publishing there own versions of software to the public. I think, without the influence of Eddie C. Dost (x48) and Sebastien Carlier (Win48 / Emu48) emulators for Saturn based calculators wouldn't exist in the form like now.

Very grateful indeed for all contributors to open source emulators. Without them then I would not have i41CX+, 15C, 16C, 12C (nonpareil-based), or Free42, or x48/EMU48 on my iPhone. Thanks to Eddie I also have x49gp (50g ARM emulation) for my MacBook.

#5

Quote:

Very grateful indeed for all contributors to open source emulators.


Me too. I think the first emu I came across was emu48 and I was totally flabbergasted that someone had managed to achieve such a remarkable program. And it isn't just the calculators. Almost every computer I've ever used exists in emulated form (not sure about the pdp-8/e though but nothing can replace the real front-end) as well as numerous arcade consoles that otherwise would have been consigned to the deep distant remnants of my memory.

No hyperbole or exageration here - the emu programmers deserve special recognition for one of the most significant contributions in modern computing history.

Mark


#6

PDP-8/e has been done for Mac.

Author's homepage: A PDP-8/E Simulator for the Apple Macintosh

The screenshot on that site does not show the front end you mention, so I created a screenshot for you.

PDP8/e full size screenshot (1440x900).

Cheers.


#7

Thanks Pal! That looks great :) Sadly, I don't have a Mac though but some searching has shown up some leads.

The 8/e was the first computer I ever used and with its front panel flashing away, teletypes clattering and paper tape spooling everywhere, it completely dominated the room, almost as if it was alive. I was very lucky to have such an evocative introduction to the world of computing!

Mark

#8

At first glance - the keyboard should be reworked completely, it's cluttered to the stage of being useless for obvious reasons. I'd get rid of all shifted labels and make them visible after LS and RS. It's a small price to pay - only one extra keystroke if the wrong shift key was hit.

Display font is not sharp enough.

Needless to say - program/data storage, IO, memory increase, printing etc. ( the 42s is a good example) should be on the to-do list.

Pretty good start though.

Cheers


#9

Quote:
At first glance - the keyboard should be reworked completely, it's cluttered to the stage of being useless for obvious reasons. I'd get rid of all shifted labels and make them visible after LS and RS. It's a small price to pay - only one extra keystroke if the wrong shift key was hit.

Or user definable. e.g. I'd prefer to see the shifted. However, I would like to see the Alpha labels removed, especially if the native QWERTY keyboard will be supported similar to i41CX+ and 42s.
Quote:
Display font is not sharp enough.

Agreed, too small.
Quote:
Needless to say - program/data storage, IO, memory increase, printing etc. ( the 42s is a good example) should be on the to-do list.

The author has plans for most of this. The source should be posted soon. So, we can all lend a hand.

#10

I like the look of the keyboard, functionality aside. The blurry display is because the author is either creating an image with the display bitmap, or stretching the bitmap to fit the view, both give this kind of look. I went through this on the 42s, I found that drawing each pixel individually creates a better result, and also in many cases is faster. If source was available I would look at improving the display, already have the drawing routines.

What's the deal with the ROMs, does HP not care about their more contemporary ROMs being distributed like this anymore?


#11

Quote:
If source was available I would look at improving the display, already have the drawing routines.

Soon I'm told. It'd be nice to have your display code. BTW if you ON - or + you can cycle through different colors for the LCD. Plain white on black looks pretty good.
Quote:
What's the deal with the ROMs, does HP not care about their more contemporary ROMs being distributed like this anymore?

According to hpcalc.org, HP is allowing hpcalc.org to host the GX and SX ROMs. Unsure how this translate to others supplying the ROMs. Worse case i48 and m48 can just HTTP download the ROMs from hpcalc.org on initial startup.

All of this ROM business (nonpareil 12C, 15C, etc..., 41*, 48*, etc...) has always been a bit of a grey area to me. I suspect that there are no rights for redistribution. HP probably has the right to pursue any/all potential violators. I know that Atari, Nintendo, and other 70s/80s video game makers pursue those that illegally distribute their ROMs.

#12

Quote:
At first glance - the keyboard should be reworked completely, it's cluttered to the stage of being useless for obvious reasons. I'd get rid of all shifted labels and make them visible after LS and RS. It's a small price to pay - only one extra keystroke if the wrong shift key was hit.

Display font is not sharp enough.

Needless to say - program/data storage, IO, memory increase, printing etc. ( the 42s is a good example) should be on the to-do list.

Pretty good start though.

Cheers


Memory increase is simple (although nearly pointless without I/O) It includes a 256k card in Port 1. To double your available RAM you just do the following:
1
press ENTER
MERGE
press ENTER

To see your RAM available before/after just type MEM and press Enter

OR port 1 could be used for Libraries. If only we could.

I have successfully replaced the "ram" file in i48 with one from Power48 (x48 on PalmOS) to get files on, but have been unsuccessful doing this with m48 using modified files from Emu48.

Of course this is only possible on a jailbroken device.

Sadly, i48 doesn't come with a port 1 card inserted, so I run out of RAM quickly.


#13

My brother found out how to get files into m48 (with a jailbroken device)
1) Make sure you have installed Emu48 on your PC (include CardCopy tool when installing)
2) Save whatever you want to transfer to m48 in port 1
3) Save the whatever.e48 state and CLOSE Emu48
4) Copy the "data" file from the m48 application /Documents directory to your PC (I put it in the Emu48 install folder for ease)
5) at the command line type "cardcopy whatever.e48 data" and you will get the following:

HP48 Port1 Import/Export Tool for Emu48 V2.1
Copy successful

6) Copy the "data" file from your PC back to the m48 /Documents directory and overwrite. (i-FunBox is great for this)
7) run m48 and move them into the main RAM or port 0 if desired
8) rinse and repeat...



#14

So it should also be possible to load SpeedUI,

which will accelerate all user interface components;-)


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