Installing Windows Insider beta Windows 11 ARM on a Macbook Pro M1 with UTM/QEMU

I downloaded the Windows Insider beta of Windows 11 for ARM, and took a look at what’s involved to get it installed and up and running under UTM?QEMU on a Macbook Pro with an M1 CPU (ARM).

First, since the download is a .vhdx disk, I used the import option in the UTM frontend to import from the downloaded file. I also checked the option for the Spice drivers:

After starting to boot, the installer requires a network connection and it appears to get stuck:

Articles such as this one recommend to press Shift-F10 to get to a command prompt, and then enter this command to continue with the install skipping the requirement for a network connection: oobe\bypassnro

At this point the installer reboots and restarts, and this time you get an additional option on this dialog allowing you to skip the network requirement during installation:

After a short setup of a couple of minutes, Windows 11 desktop!

Next, the resolution seems to be fixed at 800×600, so knowing I checked the box in UTM for the Sprice/virtio drivers, I noticed there was a CDROM iso mounted on drive D:

Running the installer, it started up, and keeping all the defaults for now, installed without any issue:

All in all, pretty easy, only about 20 mins setup and it seems pretty snappy so far!

Windows audio drivers for Windows 10 on a Mac Pro 2008

Windows 10 runs surprisingly well on my (new) Mac Pro 2008. The Bootcamp driver download from Apple though is no longer supported on a 2008:

The main feature I’m particularly missing is the Bootcamp systray app in Windows to allow you to pick your boot drive, i.e. to select to boot back to MacOS from Windows. As long as you can get to the boot screen and pick which partition to boot from then this is ok (although since I’ve also added a PC version (unflashed) of an Nvidia 750 Ti, whenever I want to switch OSes, I have to switch my monitor cable between the stock Mac ATI card, and then switch it back to my 750 Ti after I’ve picked which OS I want to boot).

Without getting all the Windows drivers installed in one go from Bootcamp, the only other thing I missed initially (before finding this post), was Audio drivers. Windows 10 had installed some default drivers but the volume control didn’t have any control over the speakers plugged into either the front or rear audio out. Downloading the Realtek drivers direct from this site fixed this though. After installing the drivers, the names of the audio out devices changes on the volume control too:

Now I’m all set ūüôā

Digital Research – Pacific Grove, California

Gary Kildall and his company Digital Research played a pivotal part in the history of the development of the IBM PC. IBM approached Bill Gates and Paul Allen to provide a number of programming languages for the original IBM PC, and later returned to Microsoft to ask if they could also provide the operating system. Not having anything available at the time, Gates suggested they talk with Gary Kildall at Digital Research, who had developed the CP/M operating system for 8080 based computers at the time.

The history of exactly what happened during the meeting with IBM and Gary’s wife at Digital Research may never be clear, but for whatever reason, Kildall was unavailable to discuss with IBM. When IBM returned to Gates and Allen, they decided to go talk with Rod Brock and Tim Patterson at Seattle Computer Products (SCP) and licensed their QDOS operating system for the 8086 for $10,000 and $15,000 for each company that licensed the product from Microsoft. This became the basis for MS-DOS, The rest, is history.

(If you’re interested, I highly recommend the book Fire in the Valley, a great book which covers the story of the IBM PC in detail, as well as earlier and later history)

The original location of Digital Research is at 801 Lighthouse Ave, in Pacific Grove, California. The building is now a private residence. On a vacation to Pacific Grove earlier this month, I looked up the location where the office was, and as it was only a couple of blocks from where we were staying, so we stopped by:

 

 

 

This IEEE have installed a plaque on the sidewalk outside the building to commemorate the contributions of Gary Kildall, Digital Research and the CP/M operating system:

 

Windows History: DOS vs NT sourcecode heritage

As a software developer, I’m fascinated by computer and IT history. I grew up with 8 bit home computers like the Sinclair ZX Spectrum, and developed my first applications in Sinclair BASIC which most likely kickstarted my interest in software development.

I find it interesting when developers have very little interest or knowledge in even recent history of the tools and platforms that they work with every day. For example, statements like “I’m glad Windows 10 no longer has any dependence on MS-DOS like Windows 8 did”, or “Microsoft completely developed Windows 10 from scratch, you know”, – neither statements which could be further from the truth.

Up until Windows XP, Windows was developed as two parallel code lines, the MS-DOS based code line, Windows 1.x through 3.x, 95, 98, and ME, (95, 98 and ME aimed at home consumers) and the Windows NT code line for enterprise users. After Windows ME, Windows XP was developed based on the NT kernel from Windows 2000, with some features taken from ME and it’s MS-DOS code line.

There’s a great history¬†of the parallel code lines in this article on the¬†History of Microsoft Windows¬†on Wikipedia, and clearly illustrated in this diagram:

(From https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Timeline_of_Microsoft_Windows, shared under Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license).

Windows ME was the last release of the MS-DOS based Windows code line, and Windows 10 is the next release in the Windows NT code line, which as you can see from the timeline above, shares it’s heritage with 8, 7 and Vista before it.