NTLK Basilisk II for Windows success with Newton

From: Jon Shurtleff (jon.shurtleff@munich.netsurf.de)
Date: Sun Apr 23 2000 - 04:35:06 EDT

Someone a while ago was talking about using their Newton with the Mac
Emulator, Basilisk II running under Linux. I don't remember much about what
they said but I've had some success with the Windows port that I thought I'd
tell you all about.

I've got a Toshiba Sattelite 4090 XCDT from work with a 400Mhz Celeron, 64Mb
of RAM and 4Gb of hard disk. I use a Xircom RealPort Ethernet 10/100 + 56K
modem card. I've been playing with Basilisk for a few months now but
couldn't get the networking to work. A new build was just released, Build
119. Ethernet now works, at least with old style networking. OT still
doesn't work right. So I loaded up NCU 1.0 and sure enough, my Newton can
communicate with it using my Farallon card. You can set the screen size in
Basilisk to just about anything you want. I set it to 475 x 500 which gives
me a window just a little wider than the System 7.5.5 Smiley face logo. NCU
fits with a small border at the sides and a large border at the bottom for
convenient access to a few icons. I wanted to just put NCU in the startup
folder but found that this would crash Basilisk II. Basilisk doesn't retain
my network settings and defaults to LocalTalk on startup. When I switch to
EtherTalk first and then start NCU it works fine. So I start the Network
control panel in the Startup folder and switch to EtherTalk first and then
manually start NCU. Maybe there's a way to automate this with Applescript
or something. Anyway, Basilisk II lives in a 300Mb file on my Windows
formatted harddisk. This allows enough space for System 7.5.5, some basic
apps and utilities, and a backup of my internal store and 32Mb card with
lots of room to spare. I'm going to look into what the minimum disk
footprint of this setup is. But I can also run it with a larger screen
right up to the laptop's resolution of 1024x768 and other run real 68k
software. The mouse is a little jerky but it actually seems to run faster
than my real Quadra 950 which is sitting in a storage locker in California
right now while I'm working here in Europe. The actual executables and
other files for Basilisk take only a few megabytes. I have it set to
emulate the Quadra using a 1Mb Quadra 950 ROM. The emulator community is
VERY sensitive about ROM copyright issues. Basilisk is free but you have to
have a ROM image or it to work and that, technically, means you have to own
the Mac it came from. I was able to find one ROM image on the Internet but
it took several hours of searching. Since I have the Quadra 950 at home in
California I'm not too concerned about the legal technicality that the image
I'm using doesn't come from my machine. But that whole issue is a huge can
of worms. In any case, Basilisk is configured to think it has 48Mb of RAM.
It also seems to crash if you try to use virtual memory. I set NCU to use
25Mb. This allowed me to backup my Newt with no problem although it took at
least an hour. I don't know if that's typical for an Ethertalk backup. The
total size of the internal and card backups is about 33 Megabytes.
Ironically this is the first time I've been able to backup my Newt using
NCU. Serial backups using the Windows version of NCU or the Mac version on
my 5300ce over Ethertalk or serial consistently fail on the 32Mb card. I
just figured that my card was too big for NCU to handle and had given up and
have been using a 10Mb card to back up my internal store and data and
essential packages and figuring that if I ever had to restore I would
restore from this and then restore all the other packages from disk. I've
had to do this once and it was an arduous task. Now, I don't know if I
could do a successful restore. I'm don't think I'll run that test until
I've seen that it backs up consistently a few more times but it's nice to
know that it looks like I have a real backup option. So, the only
synchronization that I do is text files to Notes and back again and I do
this with NPDS which works great for my purposes. This means that all the
desktop integration that I need to do between my Newton and my laptop can be
accomplished by IP over Ethernet and Ethertalk to a Windows PC!


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