Executor (software)

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Executor (software)
Executorbrowser.jpg
Executor's "browser" Interface
Developer(s) Clifford Matthews
Initial release 1990
Stable release 2.1
Development status discontinued, unmaintained
Operating system Microsoft Windows, Linux, Mac OS X (x86)
Type Emulation/Compatibility layer
License MIT license

Executor is software for x86-based PCs that allows older 68k-based Apple Macintosh programs to be run under various x86-based operating systems. Executor was created by ARDI (Abacus Research and Development, Inc.). As of 2005, Executor development has been indefinitely postponed; as of 2008, it was made available as open source software.[1]

Overview[edit]

Unlike other true Macintosh emulators, Executor requires no startup ROM images or other Apple intellectual property.[2] Executor, much like Wine for running Windows applications on Unix-like platforms, translates Macintosh Toolbox API calls and QuickDraw routines into equivalent Win32 or POSIX API calls. The MS-DOS version of Executor runs using the CWSDPMI protected mode DOS extender.

Executor translates 68k big-endian binary code into x86 little-endian binary code.[3] Executor can only run Macintosh programs designed to run on 68000-based Macintosh hardware. Executor can mimic either Macintosh System 7.0.0 or System 6.0.7 for older applications that do not work in System 7.0.0 mode.

Due to the GUI-oriented nature of classic Mac OS applications, Executor has its own GUI environment known as Browser. Browser attempts to somewhat mimic the classic Mac OS desktop and the Finder application without having features such as the trash can or Mac OS control panels.[3] The default Apple menu also does not exist in Browser but is replaced with a rough-equivalent; running Mac applications will have Apple menu functions available. Executor does not have support for networking of any type, including AppleTalk support. Executor also lacks the ability to run components (such as extensions or control panels) that are highly integrated with classic Mac OS versions.[3] Due to the differences between the actual MacOS ROM and the emulation provided by Executor, other compatibility issues may exist.[4] For example, heise Magazine reports issues with installation of many programs, and running early versions of StarWriter and Adobe PageMill. However, once installed, Microsoft Word and Excel, and BBEdit Lite are usable.[5]

Executor can run on x86-based PCs running Microsoft Windows and various specific Linux distributions. All versions of Executor require a minimum configuration of a 90 MHz Pentium processor, 32 MB of RAM with 4 MB available to Executor, and a minimum of 8 MB of hard drive space for installation.[6] However, the Unofficial Macintosh Emulation Pages reports successfully running Executor with 24MB of RAM under Windows 95.[7]

The Linux version of Executor has been tested under Red Hat Linux 5 through 7, SuSE 6, Caldera OpenLinux 2, Debian 2.1, and Yellow Dog Linux.[8]

Older versions of Executor also run under MS-DOS and NeXTSTEP.

Current status[edit]

Currently, Executor isn't being supported or developed. Clifford Matthews, ARDI's Founder, released serial codes that worked until December 31, 2006, and again until the end of June 2007. On July 23, 2007, a new working serial code with no expiration date was released,[9] while the status of Executor remains unchanged.[10]

After considering an open source release of the source code for some time, Matthews released the source code for executor and syn68k on October 5, 2008 under a very permissive MIT-style license.

External links[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "ARDI website". Retrieved 2009-02-24. 
  2. ^ "Setting up Executor For Windows". E-Maculation. January 2009. Retrieved 2010-08-30. 
  3. ^ a b c Leszek, Pawel (2000-05-04). "Emulate Mac OS on your Linux box". CNN.com. Retrieved 2009-02-24. 
  4. ^ "Open source ROM replacement? in Mini vMac FAQ". Retrieved 2010-08-30. 
  5. ^ Kühnel, Stefan. "Executor - using Mac applications under Linux (The Executor)". heise Magazine. Retrieved 2010-08-30. 
  6. ^ "ARDI website - Executor For Windows Overview (Internet Archive)". Archived from the original on 2007-09-27. Retrieved 2009-02-24. 
  7. ^ "Executor/DOS under Win32". Unofficial Macintosh Emulation Pages. Retrieved 2010-08-30. 
  8. ^ "ARDI website - Executor For Linux Overview (Internet Archive)". Archived from the original on 2007-09-27. Retrieved 2009-02-24. 
  9. ^ "ARDI,an Emulation and Reverse-Engineering Company". Retrieved 2009-07-13. 
  10. ^ "ARDI website". Retrieved 2007-07-24.