Emu42 for IoS / Android


Hi all, (and especially Christoph, if you are reading ;))

Emu42 is a wonderful program, but as far as pocketability is concerned it only runs on an outdated platform (Windows Mobile).
Today, most PDAs/Phones you can buy are either Android or Ios-based...

Would you consider porting Emu42 to one of or both these platforms ?
Both support C++ programming (unlike Windows Phone 7 which is supposed to be a Windows Mobile successor but only supports F# or C# !). So My guess is that the porting effort, while non trivial, would ne require a complete rewrite.

Of course you could not include the ROMS. On Android it is pretty easy to transfer them (if you own them) from your PC to your mobile device; on IoS it is more complicated, you need to fetch them from within the application, but it is not impossible to do - Marcus has done it for m48+ ! :)

That would be sooo nice to enjoy this accurate emulator on a "modern" portable device... please.... :)

Thanks and regards,



While waiting for the port you can use Free42.

Edited: 2 Nov 2011, 9:12 a.m.


I have been a faithful user of Free42 since 2004, on PalmOs, Windows Mobile, Iphone and Android :)
While I really love it, it is not a replacement for the 27S/17BII/28S that Emu42 emulates.
Also, there are some situations where it is nice to have the real emulator, to compare tricky behaviour for instance.


EMU48 was ported to iOS and the source per the GPL is available. So the hard bits (UI) are done and can be used for EMU42, (and 71 :-).

Another thought is to use Javascript. Javascript emulators are very impressive. I can boot x86 Linux on my iOS devices in Safari.

Javascript versions of EMU* could run on any platform. Tools like Enscripten can take LLVM C binaries and convert to JS. This may speed up development.


As you know my Emu development is a non commercial business, so I have no income from the published software. Everything I need for the development I have to pay for.

In past I developt programs and features I want to have and published these to the public. So I bought a Windows Mobile device in 2004 for personal use, and found Emu48CE unuseable. So it was my decision to make a new port base on the actual Emu48 Win32 sources. Because it was easier to do, in fact Emu42 PPC was my first Mobile port.

2nd I have carefully watch about my free time. The last two years were extremly stressing: ILPer port, Virtual HP-IL, Emu71/Win, HP82240B printer simulation and integration into the Emu's. Especially this point is responsible that I ignore most feature wishes on the emulators.

I recently got another request about a "Single Instance" option, I decided now it's time to do it. Forthcoming versions will have this feature, but yesterday I spent about 3 hours to make a new Settings dialog design on Emu48. The current one growed massive in height, so I had to make sure that the dialog still fit on a 800x600 (netbook) screen.

Especially the iOS port m48 which base on Emu48PPC brought me to some sleepless nights. Apple's strong restrictions in regards to redistribution breaking the GPL! So I was asked why I, as one of the copyright owners, don't deny further distribution?

There are other copyright holders which also can deny further distribution.

I'm also not glad about that you only get the sources of m48 from the author when you "buy" the App over iTunes.

In respect to the users who are looking for such a program on iOS I decided to hold the Status Quo.

In fact the emulators Emu28, Emu42, Emu48, Emu71 and also m48 (!!!) are published under the GPL. So you have the rights to use the sources to make an own application also published under the GPL.

Maybe there will a time that I buy a new Mobile device and that I'm interested to run some of my emulators on this device, maybe than I think about porting. But be sure, at the moment it will definitely not be an iOS or Win Mobile >= 7 device. It must be a system where the manufacturer accept that I'm the owner of the device and want to run every software I want.




Hi Christoph,

I fully understand your view on ios.

Could Android qualify as the open system you are looking for ?

Thanks and regards,



Let me say it like a politician: "If a closer look into licence details satisfy, Android maybe a system which is worth to think about it." ;-)



Well, running Emu42 with an HP28S ROM on Android, would be my ideal mobile platform (no more floppy hinges or fragile battery doors to worry about). The Android application model certainly seems more oriented to open software standards. I gather that the Android operating system is itself open-source.


Edited: 4 Nov 2011, 3:39 a.m.


Personally I'd rather you continue to work on the emulators. You made them open source and I thank you for that. If others want other platform support then they can contribute that back to you.

Thanks again.


Ditto what Egan said.

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