About emulation... hmm, no, "hardware virtualization"

pbpb
Posted:
in Mac Software edited January 2014
This seems to be real. Software that can run on almost any modern CPU and provide emulation at 80% of native speed. Oh, and accelerated 3D graphics. Too good to be true?

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 16
    The more I read about it, the more I am skeptical that it truly is a big thing. From what I can tell the "80% of native speed" is 80% of the speed of legacy hardware, since the new hardware it is running on is so fast. If you look at it that way (the wording is ambiguous both ways... who knows?) then this is a non-event.



    The company is starting off on mainframes exclusively, and has said that it will eventually make it to desktops. I am interested, but not going to hold my breath.
  • Reply 2 of 16
    kickahakickaha Posts: 8,760member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by Karl Kuehn

    The more I read about it, the more I am skeptical that it truly is a big thing. From what I can tell the "80% of native speed" is 80% of the speed of legacy hardware, since the new hardware it is running on is so fast. If you look at it that way (the wording is ambiguous both ways... who knows?) then this is a non-event.



    Clarifications over at /. have indicated that it means 80% of the speed one would see for an app compiled specifically for the platform you're running on. So (very roughly) a 2.0GHz G5 running a copy of Word for Windows would be like running a copy of Word for Mac on a 1.6GHz machine.



    Still not sure I buy this, but other supposed technical details leaked make me think it's at least *possible*.
  • Reply 3 of 16
    johnqjohnq Posts: 2,763member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by PB

    This seems to be real. Software that can run on almost any modern CPU and provide emulation at 80% of native speed. Oh, and accelerated 3D graphics. Too good to be true?



    Not for Apple. Those millions of PC owners will just run Mac software on their PCs and never buy Mac hardware. Bang, FCP on a Dell. iLife on an HP. All gotten over fileswapping.



    The benefit to Mac users being able to run Windows/etc apps will pale in comparison to Apple's losses.
  • Reply 4 of 16
    Quote:

    Originally posted by johnq

    Not for Apple. Those millions of PC owners will just run Mac software on their PCs and never buy Mac hardware. Bang, FCP on a Dell. iLife on an HP. All gotten over fileswapping.



    The benefit to Mac users being able to run Windows/etc apps will pale in comparison to Apple's losses.




    While this provides hardware emulation, the couldn't run iLife or FCP without having OS X or at least all the libraries and frameworks OS X provides - easier said than done.
  • Reply 5 of 16
    kickahakickaha Posts: 8,760member
    Create a bootmap that simply hoists OS X on top of this little gem, and voila... OS X on Intel. In theory, there's no reason why you couldn't.
  • Reply 6 of 16
    mr. memr. me Posts: 3,219member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by PB

    This seems to be real. Software that can run on almost any modern CPU and provide emulation at 80% of native speed. Oh, and accelerated 3D graphics. Too good to be true?



    From my reading of the article, Transitive is a binary code compiler. However, much of what is claimed about the product is simply not possible. Modern applications--and many not so modern--call external libraries at runtime. If my Windows application calls a Windows library, then that Windows library or a substitute had better be there. Else, the application will not run. You cannot just install a third-party emulator on a Mac and expect it to run Windows applications or those of any other operating system without the underlying infrastructure. Virtual PC requires an installation of Windows to run Windows apps on the Mac. WINE is a set of substitute libraries that allow Windows apps to run on Linux. The same applies for every other application/OS combination. I don't know what is going on with Transitive, but I do know what is not going on.
  • Reply 7 of 16
    Quote:

    Originally posted by kiwi-in-dc

    While this provides hardware emulation, the couldn't run iLife or FCP without having OS X or at least all the libraries and frameworks OS X provides - easier said than done.



    Umm, if this emulator is for real, wouldn't getting OS X be as easy as walking into an Apple store and buying a copy? The real question would be how would they connect OS X drivers to PC hardware like VPC does for Windows.
  • Reply 8 of 16
    kickahakickaha Posts: 8,760member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by Mr. Me

    From my reading of the article, Transitive is a binary code compiler. However, much of what is claimed about the product is simply not possible. Modern applications--and many not so modern--call external libraries at runtime. If my Windows application calls a Windows library, then that Windows library or a substitute had better be there. Else, the application will not run. You cannot just install a third-party emulator on a Mac and expect it to run Windows applications or those of any other operating system without the underlying infrastructure. Virtual PC requires an installation of Windows to run Windows apps on the Mac. WINE is a set of substitute libraries that allow Windows apps to run on Linux. The same applies for every other application/OS combination. I don't know what is going on with Transitive, but I do know what is not going on.



    So install those libraries.



    I hear what you're saying, that there a lot of low level details that start to look crappy - the library loading, object linking, etc, etc... but it's not *impossible*... just grody.



    The easiest approach would be to make a dual-boot Windows/MacOS X box by going the route I outlined above - a boot partition that loads the emulator (sorry, hardware virtualizer), then starts booting the proper OS. In addition to that, provide a Classic-esque approach that offers a HAL in the first place, and you could run Windows inside MacOS X, ala Classic.



    In theory.
  • Reply 9 of 16
    mr. memr. me Posts: 3,219member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by Kickaha

    So install those libraries.



    I hear what you're saying, that there a lot of low level details that start to look crappy - the library loading, object linking, etc, etc... but it's not *impossible*... just grody.



    The easiest approach would be to make a dual-boot Windows/MacOS X box by going the route I outlined above - a boot partition that loads the emulator (sorry, hardware virtualizer), then starts booting the proper OS. In addition to that, provide a Classic-esque approach that offers a HAL in the first place, and you could run Windows inside MacOS X, ala Classic.



    In theory.




    I understand your point, but Transitive is not claiming to have an idea. It is claiming to have a product named QuickTransit. As I understand it, you are supposed to be able to buy QuickTransit, install it, and have just about any app that you install to run on your computer. Transitive does not say that the user has to provide anything beyond QuickTranit and his favorite non-native applications.



    QuickTransit is supposed to be released first on mainframes. This, I find suspicious. Mainframes apps don't provide much user interaction. My guess is that QuickTransit is a sorry @$$ Windows emulator. Running it on a mainframe will hide QuickTransit's flaws while Transitive milks its customers for all they are willing to pay.
  • Reply 10 of 16
    kickahakickaha Posts: 8,760member
    I disagree. Running multiple OSs is a huge win for servers - it's the entire (well most of the) reason MS bought VirtualPC - it's not for the ability to run Windows on a Mac, I assure you. They bought it for the ability to run multiple versions of Windows concurrently on a single chunk of big iron.



    For those customers, it's not being bilked, it's a serious problem that they will pay good money for. It's also an *easier* problem than apps that are dependent on many libraries, OS hooks, etc, as you point out.



    IF the base technology works as advertised, this is actually a very smart route to take, hitting mainframes first, then PCs later as the tech matures.
  • Reply 11 of 16
    pbpb Posts: 4,231member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by Kickaha



    IF the base technology works as advertised, this is actually a very smart route to take, hitting mainframes first, then PCs later as the tech matures.




    And this is the critical point:



    Quote:



    QuickTransit for x86: with support for MIPS, POWER/PowerPC and mainframe binaries





    Would Mac sales and Apple get a serious hit by this technology, if it works as advertized on Windows PCs? I can hardly make any prediction.
  • Reply 12 of 16
    Quote:

    Originally posted by PB

    Would Mac sales and Apple get a serious hit by this technology, if it works as advertized on Windows PCs? I can hardly make any prediction. [/B]



    Probably...but the chances of it working as advertized is next to zilch.



    The only apps I can see working as advertized are self-contained command line apps.



    If they're going to make me believe this thing is going to magically slap on a GUI (Aqua) and find ways to interact with the needed OS frameworks (QT, Rendezvous, CoreImage/Video) and mysteriously 'emulate' (is there any other way? hardware virtualization won't work here) needed SIMD-chips and GPUs at decent speeds, and make everything work like a charm on Windows or Linux, I'd have to be pretty fuckin' stupid.



    But if it does work...then yeah, Apple might start shitting its pants. It's so highly unlikely though that I only worried for about a second and then realized how ridiculous the whole thing is.
  • Reply 13 of 16
    Quote:

    Originally posted by Kickaha

    Create a bootmap that simply hoists OS X on top of this little gem, and voila... OS X on Intel. In theory, there's no reason why you couldn't.



    Easy to circumvent on Apple's part - you would be violating the OS X license agreement after all. e.g. keying the install to a hardware ID on the mobo.



    The other big issue would be drivers - especially video since the Mac cards use unique ROMs.



    I agree that it's doable, but not at all easy, especially if Apple chose to make it much more difficult.
  • Reply 14 of 16
    Linux PC users have already run OSX on their hardware using PearPC - creating an OS X install that takes 45 minutes to boot. Pear PC may actually increase Apple's marketshare... run your PC apps on an iBook instead of a dell brick.



    I think this is an amazing breakthrough. I'm guessing it virtualizes the guest operating system like VirtualPC does, so as to handle libs/drivers/etc.
  • Reply 15 of 16
    If this software comes to the mainstream desktop users, organizations will challenge them in court in my opinion. They are targetting mainframe to Unix migration in the corporate world at the moment, though I have no clue how they are going to emulate IMS DB/DC and 4TB of data being accessed by applications running on multiple MVS instances on a mid range system running Unix.



    If I am not mistaken, you don't own mainframe applications, you license them on an annual basis from IBM. In which case, how does this license work out if the product is moved to a Sun box?



    It will be a long time before this product becomes cheap enough to be used for emulating different desktop environments on the PC / Macintosh.
  • Reply 16 of 16
    mr. memr. me Posts: 3,219member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by talksense101

    If this software comes to the mainstream desktop users, organizations will challenge them in court in my opinion. They are targetting mainframe to Unix migration in the corporate world at the moment, though I have no clue how they are going to emulate IMS DB/DC and 4TB of data being accessed by applications running on multiple MVS instances on a mid range system running Unix.



    If I am not mistaken, you don't own mainframe applications, you license them on an annual basis from IBM. In which case, how does this license work out if the product is moved to a Sun box?



    It will be a long time before this product becomes cheap enough to be used for emulating different desktop environments on the PC / Macintosh.




    Not all mainframe applications come from IBM. Many come from third-party developers, just like those which run on smaller systems. But, your larger point is well taken. Mainframe skills and infrastructure are very different from those required to operate desktop computers. How would you go about installing your company's payroll system on a maxed-out Pentium or Opteron?
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