SMSQmulator v3 and the QLUB Adapter...

Discussion and advice about emulating the QL on other machines.
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martyn_hill
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SMSQmulator v3 and the QLUB Adapter...

Post by martyn_hill »

Hi everyone!

Not quite sure where to post this, but I'll start here...

With Wolfgang's recent announcement of the v3.0 release of his Java-based QL Emulator, SMSQmulator and its new support for the SERial Port, I thought to test it with the QLUB Adapter (QL LAN to USB Bridge Adapter).

To recap, the QLUB Adapter allows you to connect your QL Emulator running on a Host PC (Windows/Unix or Mac with Wine or similar) to the native QL network (or indeed, the ZX Spectrum+Interface-1/Disciple PlusD network) and share files etc between them. For more info about the QLUB Adapter, see viewtopic.php?p=49194#p49194

After installing a fresh JDK on my Windows 10 laptop, firing up SMSQmulator v3 and configuring the SERial port to attach to the COM Port to which my QLUB Adapter is fitted, I'm happy to say that it worked flawlessly!

What is even more surprising is that the performance of the QLUB running under SMSQmulator was actually better than on both QPC and (to a lesser extent) Q-Emulator. Obviously, the raw network bit-rate is not improved (that is a function of the firmware built in to the QLUB's microcontroller), but the 'inter-block Gap' is noticeably shorter, effectively improving overall throughput to a rate similar to that achieved with a pair of Q68s.

Here are some test results - all with a QZero (Q68-like FPGA) running the ND-Q68 driver at the other end:

Test #1:
Running FSERVE on a QZero (net station N7), connected to the QLUB Adapter (N8) on a Windows laptop (Lenovo Carbon-X1, 6th Gen), invoking

Code: Select all

LBYTES 'n7_win1_JP_scr',131072
on each emulator, I get the following timings:

QPC2: 9.88s
QEmulator (Minerva): 7.83s
QEmulator (SMSQ_QEM): 7.75s

SMSQmulator v3.00: 6.36s

Test #2:
Running FSERVE on the respective emulator/QLUB Adapter (net station N8) on the Windows laptop, invoking

Code: Select all

LBYTES 'n8_win1_JP_scr',131072
on the QZero (N7):

QPC2: 11.02s
QEmulator (SMSQ_QEM): 7.55s

SMSQmulator v3.00: 7.24s

Test #3:
By way of a base-line comparison, results between the QZero and a normal QL:

QL Serving/QZero as client: 7.2s (c.f. SMSQmulator serving: 7.24s)
QZero serving/QL as client: 12.1s (c.f. SMSQmulator as client: 6.36s)

Great work, Wolfgang - that's another QL Emulator we can add to the 'support matrix' for the QLUB Adapter. Next stop, Daniele's excellent native Q-Emulator for the Mac (which doesn't have SERial support as yet...)


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M68008
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Re: SMSQmulator v3 and the QLUB Adapter...

Post by M68008 »

martyn_hill wrote: Tue Feb 27, 2024 11:37 pm Great work, Wolfgang - that's another QL Emulator we can add to the 'support matrix' for the QLUB Adapter. Next stop, Daniele's excellent native Q-Emulator for the Mac (which doesn't have SERial support as yet...)
SER is supported on Mac... you just need a 68000-based Mac :D


martyn_hill
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Re: SMSQmulator v3 and the QLUB Adapter...

Post by martyn_hill »

Ciao Daniele!
M68008 wrote: Tue Feb 27, 2024 11:57 pm SER is supported on Mac... you just need a 68000-based Mac :D
Yes, apologies - I should have been more precise in my terminology :-)

I myself still have a PowerBook 190cs somewhere (68LC040) - but no USB port for the Virtual SERial port connection to the QLUB - I don't suppose any of the 68k Macs supported USB...


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M68008
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Re: SMSQmulator v3 and the QLUB Adapter...

Post by M68008 »

martyn_hill wrote: Wed Feb 28, 2024 12:38 am I myself still have a PowerBook 190cs somewhere (68LC040) - but no USB port for the Virtual SERial port connection to the QLUB - I don't suppose any of the 68k Macs supported USB...
I think the first Macs with USB were PowerPCs, Apple used ADB before that.

Btw, do you think it would make sense to add the QLUB code natively to emulators? Or rather keep it as QL code for easier updating? A native version integrated in the emulator's driver (assuming that's possible) would allow to use the NET device directly without loading code or using QL memory.


martyn_hill
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Re: SMSQmulator v3 and the QLUB Adapter...

Post by martyn_hill »

Hi Daniele!

Interesting idea...

It would certainly be helpful to potential QLUB users to have more ready access to the driver, rather than searching for it here and having to pull it off the Forum or else Dilwyn's site, but I think it does belong on the 'QL' side rather than part of the Emulator - it is, after all, just another QDOS/SMSQ driver, piggy-backing off of the SERial driver, as it's written today.

What I am part-way through doing is to prepare/tidy the source to be fit to be hosted alongside SMSQe, as Wolfgang has kindly offered to host it there. If you'd ever peeked at the source, you'd see why I'm a bit embarrassed - at least 60% of it is a conversation with myself by way of comments! Even I don't find the little jokes I wrote funny any more :-)


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