Maybe create a set of recommended system profiles?

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j1forPandE
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Maybe create a set of recommended system profiles?

Post by j1forPandE » Mon 11 Feb, 2019 1:16 pm

What I would like to see in pcem is a set of default system profiles, at least for the most important PC configurations. I would be willing to help if there is an interest in this.

This would be a set of pcem cfg files, which are kept as close to the real hardware as possible. So, if a user creates a new system in the pcem gui, he or she gets a proposal for it. The original PC would have 640 K RAM and two double density floppy drives. A late area-pentium would get lots of RAM, a big IDE harddisk, maybe a 3D graphics card, etc.

The reason for this is that I have noticed that very often you can use settings with the different configurations which make no sense or, worse, seem to work but confuse the operating systems. Like chosing a S3 Virge graphics card with a 386 PC. It may work, but it should not be your first choice and it could create unforeseen problems.

Best way to increase copatibility would be to make a set of default system profiles, which are known to work with the broadest range of software. The user can then go onward from there. There should be at least a recommended configuration for PC, XT, 286, 386, 486 and Pentium 2 "high end".

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SarahWalker
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Re: Maybe create a set of recommended system profiles?

Post by SarahWalker » Mon 11 Feb, 2019 5:37 pm

The problem with this is most people will probably only have a few ROMs available. So either you have a vast number of default configurations to cover every possible combination (which would probably defeat the purpose of doing this), or you come up with some system to dynamically adjust the preset configs based on the available ROMs. If you can come up with a sane way to implement the latter then I'm all ears!

Zup
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Re: Maybe create a set of recommended system profiles?

Post by Zup » Tue 12 Feb, 2019 6:16 am

I guess the only standard profile would be an XT with MDA/CGA with or without IDE hard disk, because this are the only roms available in PCem web (and everybody should have them), at least if you try to distribute them.

For other "standard" computers, I'll mimic existing PCs. For PC/XT/AT computers it may be easy, because you can refer to ads to get your config (i.e.: an "standard" XT could be a mimic of an Amstrad 1640HD, that's Intel 8086@8Mhz, 640Kb, CGA, 5.25 inch floppy, 20Mb HDD, DOS 3.2).

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SarahWalker
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Re: Maybe create a set of recommended system profiles?

Post by SarahWalker » Tue 12 Feb, 2019 6:31 pm

The specs listed in readme.txt since v14 do try to give a rough idea of what's realistic on each machine. It's been well established that no-one reads readme.txt though.

j1forPandE
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Re: Maybe create a set of recommended system profiles?

Post by j1forPandE » Wed 13 Feb, 2019 3:52 pm

Well, I see no obvious solution to the ROM problem. Except handling it as if everybody had all of them. Or - another idea - really create a standard configuration for all of the different models.

I.E. when the user selects "create new machine", he can select the machine model and then we populate all hardware settings for it with default settings. If a rom is missing, well, then he has to select another one.

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leilei
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Re: Maybe create a set of recommended system profiles?

Post by leilei » Thu 14 Feb, 2019 3:55 pm

That's........already what it does. A lot of this is frankly overkill for dragging the video card from CGA and sound card from none in their combo boxes.


The only preset profile I can realistically see is one for an Xi8088 PC for downstream convenience/compliance of a basic open XT clone.

j1forPandE
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Re: Maybe create a set of recommended system profiles?

Post by j1forPandE » Fri 15 Feb, 2019 10:23 am

Well... no :-) Using PCem to create a machine with Intel Premiere / PCI chipset, the default graphics card is CGA, sound card is "none", and I get two 3,5"-floppys. The same is true when creating a 8088 machine - which is especially bad,since floppy images will be on 5,25" for such a machine, espeically early booters.

But I agree that PCem obviously started out wiith the idea to use reasonable default settings. After all, the amount of memory IS set according to historical specs. So why stop there? Just use reasonable settings for floppy and graphics card, too.

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SarahWalker
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Re: Maybe create a set of recommended system profiles?

Post by SarahWalker » Sat 16 Feb, 2019 9:35 am

PCem limits settings to what is actually possible, not what is reasonable. The latter is quite subjective.

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