Emulación de Palm OS para programas de ajedrez

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Emulación de Palm OS para programas de ajedrez

Notapor berger » 12 May 2016 06:57

Hola,

Tibono ha compartido en "La Máquina Preservadora. Programas de Ajedrez" su experiencia a la hora de emular PalmOS con la intención de jugar con programas de ajedrez antiguos para esa plataforma. Me ha parecido interesante crear un hilo propio:

(tibono dijo...)
Hi all,
talking about "La Máquina Preservadora": I use an old Sony Clié to run Openchess, Pocketchess, Chess Tiger 2010 Palm, Naum 1.8 but my device is reaching end of life: weak battery and craddle now unable to sync with host. This means I will be unable to reload it from backup nor able to install apps again if I loose them.

Thus I searched a way to emulate it on my Windows 7 64bits ... And I would liketo share the solution.
First of all you will need an emulator and Palm OS ROMs. Not that obvious to find. I found the stuff here. I have chosen the Palm OS 5.4 version, it is great.
Apps (.prc files) are obviously easy to install (drag & drop) and this version includes a storage tool to export databases (save/load of storage snapshots does not work unless within the same run of the emulator).
So once apps installed, set any required parameters (such as preferred level...) and then export the updated databases (saved preferences is an obvious one, ctgui.ini for chess tiger gui parameters, and so on). Those are to be exported with .pqa extension.
Put your apps (*.prc), opening books (*.pdb) and parameters (*.pqa) in a Autoload named folder within the emulator directory: starting the emulator will automatically load all your usual configuration, ready to use.
You can name the load directory Autorun instead of Autoload to automatically launch the last app in alphabetical order, this avoids going thru usual setting screens from the Palm OS. My choice was to keep the Autoload name and select the launched App by command line option (Palmsim.exe -appcreator:CTig will launch Chess Tiger at startup). I use a simple shortcut linked to this small batchfile.

Up to this point I get a fully working and comfortable to use emulation with my beloved chess programs, but it runs more or less 7 times faster than my Clié. And no way to throttle it in any of the emulator settings. Not bad, but not what I wanted.

The second link I share is a very nice little tool able to limit a specific process to a tunable amount of CPU: BES. Very efficient, low CPU usage from itself, and able to force the target process (several ones if needed) to stay below the declared CPU %. This is done with sleeping/running periods forced (in a fast pace) for the process which are dynamically monitored. Comparing the resulting emulator speed with my original Clié (Chess Tiger includes a speed test benchmark, but I also used fixed ply search to compare move times) has resulted in a target % to be set.
The BES tool includes command line options and minimized mode, thus I included it's startup in the small batch file I already wrote about. The tool is smart enough not to start itself again if already running, and instead add the new process in it's watch list.
I can now start several instances of the emulator, each using a few limited percent of CPU, and consistent with the original hardware performance.

I am sure such a smart tool may be usefull with any emulator using all available host computing power, to restore the obsolete performance we may want: La Máquina Preservadora!!
regards, Eric
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Re: Emulación de Palm OS para programas de ajedrez

Notapor tibono » 13 May 2016 20:16

Here is a snapshot of the result: emulator running with chess programs installed.

Imagen

Views of the launched programs:
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Note all 4 apps are freely download-able from internet. Chess Tiger 2010 for Palm is surely the best free one to have. Apart from using any real Palm device, you may choose to instal the emulator to discover it. I am not so sure it is that close to the claimed ELO level, but surely above 2000 ELO according to my tests on my Clié device (my cpu is a 68000 category, accurately a 68VZ328 @33Mhz, and I set 1,5mb for hash table, 40 moves in 10 minutes).

Eric
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Re: Emulación de Palm OS para programas de ajedrez

Notapor tibono » 13 May 2016 20:40

Setting databases to be saved and restored:
use right-click/Storage/Export Database ... from the emulator window, once all parameters you may want to save have been setup.

Export the following databases:
- global ones: Saved Preferences and Unsaved Preferences
- Chess Tiger ones: ctgui.ini, ct1.tga, ct.tga, ct.ini
use .pqa extensions and locate the exports within the Autoload or Autorun folder.
Repeat the whole process whenever you change settings and want to get them back for next emulator runs.

Add the .prc and .pdb files in the same folder (these files are the installation package you may have downloaded from internet, or may have from any other source).

Here is my full Autoload directory:
Imagen

Eric
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Re: Emulación de Palm OS para programas de ajedrez

Notapor tibono » 13 May 2016 21:02

The BES - Battle Encoder Shirasé effect:

I have successfully tested both 1.6.2 version and 1.7.1.1 latest one. I choosed to run the 1.7.1.1 as it can watch after more than 3 process.

Let's use Chess Tiger for demo purpose. Using the naked emulator, it is steady calm while not thinking nor pondering. But as soon as the engine is working, the CPU is stuck to 100% of the host core. Here is a speed-test run without BES, and resulting CPU use:

ImagenImagen
Imagen

and now with BES instructed to cut out 75% of CPU for the emulator process:

ImagenImagen
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Imagen

Eric
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Re: Emulación de Palm OS para programas de ajedrez

Notapor tibono » 13 May 2016 21:36

If it can be of any help, here are 2 batch files I use with the emulator:

Clie_CTig.bat --> to launch Chess Tiger from a Windows shortcut; from starting folder "C:\Eric\Programmes\Palm OS 5 Garnet\PalmOS_Garnet_54_Simulator\Release" (replace with your own install root :#29: ):
@echo off
Clie CTig


Clie.bat --> to launch the emulator with any App and launch the BES (replace paths as well :grin: ).
@echo off
start Palmsim.exe -appcreator:%1
start C:\Eric\Programmes\BES_1.7.1.1\Bes.exe "C:\Eric\Programmes\Palm OS 5 Garnet\PalmOS_Garnet_54_Simulator\Release\Palmsim.exe" 75 --delay -m

BES options are:
- the full path to the process-to-be-monitored file
- the CPU percent to be cut-off (you must tune it according to your own host CPU speed, and this can be done with an easy-to-use cursor while BES is in window mode)
- one second delay to avoid both emulator and BES process starting together (resulting in a faster start of the emulator)
- minimized mode for BES

That's all!
Feel free for any questions...
Kind regards, Eric
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