JavaScript Gameboy and x86 emulator
Written by Harry Fairhead   
Thursday, 19 May 2011

JavaScript emulation means you don't need hardware in order to do something - all you need is a browser. It seems the world has gone mad with software inside software like nested Russian dolls....

JavaScript really is becoming the most important language in the universe and to prove how capable it is we have recent news of two emulators written in JavaScript.

The first is a  an x86 PC emulator which is good enough to boot Linux.  This is impressive enough but it is only a command console, not a full graphical environment. There is no reason why you couldn't use it to run legacy software.  You could even extend it to boot MSDOS and run QBasic!

Now we have a GameBoy Color emulator written in HTML5/JavaScript and it will run ROM images stored locally. What is amazing is that it runs the games at a playable speed (well it does on my PC). If you want to try it out simply search the Web for GameBoy ROM images, there are lots, download and use the File, OpenAs, Local File menu option.  Instructions on key mapping are in the View menu.

 

gameboyemulator

The graphics are implemented using the Canvas object - but there is a bitmap image fallback if Canvas isn't supported. It saves game states using localStorage. You can get the source code from GitHub and even offer to help with the project.

What does all of this crazy insanity mean?

It's good fun yes.

It might even satisfy a craving to play classic GameBoy games when you have lost your original machine but...

We start out with a PC on a desk and then we invent the web. The browser is a security problem so we create the sandbox and put up barriers to access of the "outer world". Now the browser and JavaScript are powerful enough an environment to build the "outer world" within. It's like the Matrix reformed for operating systems.

So you cold have Windows running Chrome running Windows.... Or... this way insanity lies.

But before you do write it all off as some sort of ravings of a mad man consider the situation with desktop Virtual Machines. The idea the virtualization of workstations and servers was greeted with a similar sort of skepticism. Now we think nothing of installing a virtual appliance to try something out. Why not virtual appliances running inside a browser?

More information

GameBoy emulator
Project on GitHub

Originally spotted by: ReadWrite Web

 

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