December 29th, 2012, 01:42 Posted By: wraggster
Merry Xmas and a Happy New Year! To celebrate Xmas, Raiden Legacy for Android is now on sale (40% off) until December 27th! Get it now from Google Play!
I have a two week Xmas vacation starting now, and during this time I plan to make up my mind about what I will do with DSx86. At the moment it looks like it might make sense to port DSx86 to Android. I looked at the various x86 emulators available for Android, and there does not seem to be a free and fast version available. There is a free aDosBox, which however is not optimized for Android at all, so it runs really slow. The other DosBox ports and other x86 emulators seem to not be free, so there might be room for a free DSx86 port. My port should be considerably faster than aDosBox (and might even be faster than the commercial ports), but it will most likely lack in compatibility. But in any case there seems to exist a niche where my x86 emulator might fit into nicely.
Another interesting hardware for porting DSx86 to would be Raspberry Pi. It is considerably slower than current Android devices, so there would be a greater demand for a fast x86 emulator. This device would also need no keyboard (or mouse) emulation via touchscreen, so I would not need to spend time working on those. This device runs Linux (which is not all that far removed from the Android platform), so it might also be possible to target both Android and Raspberry Pi (and possibly even other Linux-based hardware running on an ARM processor) using mostly the same emulator core.
In any case, the first step would be to rewrite all hardware-specific stuff (mostly timer and interrupt-related) in DSx86 to be compatible with an underlying operating system that prohibits direct hardware access. I believe it will take me several weeks just to do that, so only after that I will need to look into actual hardware to port DSx86 to. After I make the decission, I will probably create a new subdomain and begin writing a completely new blog under that subdomain. The name of the port might be something like ax86 (for Android) or Pix86 (for Raspberry Pi) or something similar.
Happy New Year to all of you reading this blog, next year I will probably have something more specific to tell about the future of DSx86. :-)
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