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Thread: programs that use the 8087

  1. #1
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    Default programs that use the 8087

    Anyone know of any games or programs that use the 8087 co-processor besides Lotus 123 and auto cad?
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    I believe the original version of MATLAB, which floats around on the Internet, would use a coprocessor if available (otherwise use software emulation).

    For those of you unfortunate enough to use it in your daily lives (like myself), as you might expect, the original MATLAB is something of a novelty on a modern computer compared to the product it is today, and is not compatible with scripts written on MathWorks versions.

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    Apparently, SimCity (original) does. I haven't done any speed comparisons though.
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    MS Windows supported the 8087 and would pass calls through the dll emulator to the physical coprocessor. Admittedly, that was just there for Excel support but I think some of the drawing programs also used it. Not many though.

    An old FAQ file done by Norbert Joffa lists some programs benefitting from a coprocessor though I believe a few of these require a 286 or better for the processor:
    - CAD programs (AutoCAD, VersaCAD, GenericCAD)
    - Spreadsheet programs (Lotus 1-2-3, Excel, Quattro, Wingz)
    - Business graphics programs (Arts&Letters, Freedom of Press, Freelance)
    - Mathematical analysis and statistical programs (Mathematica, TKSolver,
    SPSS/PC, Statgraphics)
    - Database programs (dBase IV, FoxBase, Paradox, Revelation)

    Mostly software that used the 8087 were scientific academic programs often written in Fortran. Not exactly exciting but it is out there.

    Oh, here is a Mandelbrot program that requires coprocessor http://www.bmeijer.com/software/mand...tal/index.html I hope this is related to one I remember that ran on an 8086 plus 8087. Also, maybe you can find a program called AVGAFRAK which supposedly was run on 8087

    I don't know of a single game that benefitted from the X87. Even software that did complex scaling tended to use brute force integer approximations to avoid the whole issue of numeric coprocessors up until the mid-90s or so.

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    There is an astronomy program called 'LodeStar' from Zephyr Services that used the 8087 to good advantage. LodeStar is a night sky type planetarium program that can calculate and plot a sky view, looking in any direction, for any date. I originally used the program as an observing tool with my telescope, and finally bought an 8087 ($100+) for my PC to speed up the results. The difference in performance was fantastic. Attached is a description listing. I still occasionally use this astronomy calculator program!

    LodeStar.jpg

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    FRACTINT will use a math coprocessor for anything other than a mandelbrot (and there are hundreds). And yes, the DOS version still runs on 8088.
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    IBM FORTRAN. The co-pro was a pre-req.

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    Also required for IBM PC APL 1.0.

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    I am going to have to try some of these, I have never even so much as tested my 8087 to see if it's real...
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    Quote Originally Posted by josephdaniel View Post
    I have never even so much as tested my 8087 to see if it's real...
    CheckIt Diagnostics software will check/test the 8087 maths co-processor.
    The particular check/test is done during the 'System Board' test within CheckIt.
    CheckIt refers to the maths co-processor as the "NPU" (numeric processor unit).

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