Best viewed in 800x600 resolution!

Maybe this program is not too interesting in itself, but it is a fact that this program comes from Bosnia and Herzegovina, from the city of Sarajevo which has been surrounded for more than three years (click at the picture below to learn more about surrounded Sarajevo). After reading this story, you will understand why this emulator has such strange name "Warajevo"...

Sarajevo Survival Map

Even in our secondary school days, about ten years before, we began to build an interest in computers thanks to the ZX Spectrum. For this reason, we are a bit sentimentally tied with this computer. This computer reminds us of all of the times when, in our neighbourhoods, the life was nice and normal.

Sarajevo before war
Sarajevo, in time of 14th Winter olympic games (1984)
Panorama from the air, with olympic mountains in the background

When we bought AT 286 computers at the end of 1990, we did not forget our Spectrums however. We had great interest when, in June 1991, we got a Spectrum emulator, which, without underestimating anybody's work, had very bad characteristics (it was slow, quite incompatible with the original machine, with unpractical emulation of the tape recorder etc.). It's origin is unknown to us (we suppose, in according to some newspapers, that the program is from the Slovenia Republic, and that the author is Peter Kroselj), and when starting it displays the copyright message '(C) 1991. Roman & easy inc.'. When the war started in our country, we wanted to remove the dark thoughts from our heads as much as possible. So, in April 1993, we started the development of our Spectrum emulator, symbolically called 'Warajevo Spectrum emulator' which should have much better characteristics. We should mention that we were known as quite good programmers, especially in assembly language.

Loris building
Loris building - the first front line
(1 km far from Zeljko's house)
The program was developed in horrible conditions. The grenades fell everywhere, there was little electrical power (at one time even the hospitals didn't have power for two months!). When we had electricity it was only for 2-3 hours during the night. However, we did not quit and caught every moment when the electricity was on to develop the program. Zeljko worked at home on his 80286/12 MHz, 1.44" floppy, 40 Mb hard disc, Hercules card and Citizen 180D printer. He used TASM assembler. It was very interesting waiting for days of electricity. Samir worked mainly in army camp barack on 80286/16 MHz, 5,25" + 1.44" floppy, 2400 bps modem, VGA mono monitor, WITHOUT HARD DISC because it crashed. The power generator in the army camp was an improvised generator, with a voltage that varied from 150 V to 300 V! It was in fact car engine without carburator, connected to natural gas pipeline. This car engine was tied with shunted electromotor giving about 30 kW for 100 rooms.

It was often situation that when one user switch caffe aparat on, Samir's computer resets itself. UPS? What is this??? As you can expect, such 'stable' voltage distroyed Samir's hard disc...

Vijecnica outside
Destroyed city hall - outside
Vijecnica inside
Destroyed city hall - inside

Zeljko's task was mainly writting of the emulator kernel, and Samir's task was to write conversion and tape file utilities. So, he used Turbo Pascal 5.5. First version of such utility was called ZXTOOLS, and existed up to release 1.5. In this situation, we decided that our tape file format will be compressed, as we had not enough diskettes, nor we belived that we will ever have money for puchasing bigger hard disc.

Vijecnica inside - detail
City hall inside - detail
As Zeljko has real Spectrum 128, we made cable for transfering Spectrum software using RS232. During times when we was free of army activities, Samir visited the last Spectrum software pirate in Sarajevo and borrowed casettes. But, this pirate was located in one of the most dangerous places in the city, practically on the first front line. He had to use a river bed (instead of streets) for moving, to skip continous sniper's fire. So, Samir risked his life to bring up Spectrum software! Later he transfered programs using RS232, mainly in the army camp.

The summer of 1993 was the worst period during the whole Bosnian war, 1 kg of sugar had price of even 60 DM, and about 3000-4000 grenades fall every day on the town. This was a period when only miracle saved Sarajevo of fall. However, we progressed very well...

Burning Vijecnica
Burning city hall
Zeljko catched every second of presence of electrical power to finish the emulator kernel, and Samir hed not even leave the army building during this period. While he waited for a new battle tasks, he developed the compression algorythm. He spent more than 30 days in developing algorythm, analysing of some archivers, optimizing compression speed (it is still slow, but acceptable), and he worked mostly on paper, because it was days mainly without any electric power, water and food. Keep in mind that in this period we lost about 1 kg weekly!

Oslobodjenje building
Destroyed building of Oslobodjenje,
one of daily newspapers in Sarajevo
(500 m far from Samir's house)
Destroyed tramways
Destroyed city transport
at the streets of Sarajevo
(so, our only transport was our foots)

In November 1993, reading some newspapers that came from the enemy's territory, we got some information about the emulator 'Z80', written by Gerton Lunter. The fact that we didn't hear about Lunter's 'Z80' earlier is a fortune for today Warajevo users, because we very probably would not even start this project if we have had information that a good quality Spectrum emulator already exists. But, in even worse winter conditions, we continued the development (in the rooms where we slept the water was frozen), hoping to get this emulator to compare our program and his program.
Tram inside
Inside of a distroyed tramway
In 1994, one Samir's friend who worked with him in the army put his own hard disc (40M) into the computer , and Samir developed ZXSHELL (the database program for the emulator written in Clipper). In April 1994, the foundation Sorosh opened the first electronic mail in Sarajevo. We sent a general request and in June 1994, we got Lunter's emulator. From documentation we got information about many Spectrum emulators around Europe, but we thought that our program was surely better than all the others, except maybe Lunter's program. We think that it is a great success, considering the conditions where the program was developed and the quality of Gerton's program. When we contacted Gerton, he had the same opinion about it.

The first public release of the Warajevo emulator was sent to the world at end of 1994 (release 1.0). Other releases made during war was 1.1 (March 1995), and 1.11 (May 1995). This was just a bugfixes of release 1.1 with slight improvements.

Main post office
Destroyed main post office
(First destroyed object of vital importance)
Marindvor - one of the main city crossroads
(The most dangerous place in the city during the war)

Dayton peace came (November 1995), and we was released from army. Release 1.2 was prepared for uploading. It was 1.1 with a new design of utility ZXTOOLS. This release was finished in December 1995. But, Samir decided to improve the emulator to be his graduate thesis (Zeljko already finished study, he graduated in January 1995), and he puchased 486SX-33 board, 4 Mb of RAM and 400 Mb hard disc. Zeljko continued development on his old 286 machine, but Samir had now enough power to compile programs using extended memory and we released version 1.5 (in July 1996) after Samir's graduating and getting job. In this release, utilities ZXTOOLS and ZXSHELL are not separate tools. Instead, they are integrated into the environment of the emulator.

The oldest part of the city
(rebuilded after the war)
Main street in the old part of the city
(rebuilded after the war)
Sarajevo cathedral
(rebuilded after the war)
Release 2.0 was developed in much better conditions. The war is finished, but the economical situation is terrible. Our payments was under 50 DM. However, Zeljko succeed to purchase faster computer, and he finally had goal to develop accurate speed version of the Warajevo kernel. So, we worked on Pentium 133 MHz/1.2 Gb disc and Pentium 100 MHz/1.6 Gb hard disc, both with 16 Mb of RAM, Sound Blaster cards and VGA graphic card (this is mainly our today configuration too). First real-time release of Warajevo, release 2.0, was uploaded in February 1998. As you can see, Warajevo 2.0 is uploaded after a long delay (about nearly 1.5 year) from previous release. This is mainly consequence of adaptation to post-war conditions. Finishing of the war brings a lot of new problems which took a lot of our time, so developing of the emulator was stopped for a while...

The last release of Warajevo is currently Warajevo 2.51. Recently, a number of new emulators have appeared. Some of them are very good, especially X128 by James McKay, and there are a number of emulators for the Windows platform (we want to point out ZX32 by Vaggelis Kapartzianis and MultiMachine by Paul Hodgson). However, we still think that Warajevo 2.51. is the best emulator for pure DOS. We want to tell you that the Warajevo emulator still does not have a good emulation of the video system like in the ZX32 emulator (although it is much better than in release 2.0. which was a considerable improvment itself over release 1.5.), perfect emulation of the bits 3 and 5 in the F register, emulation of the disc interfaces, Multiface 128, AMX mouse, full emulation of the RS232 socket or emulation of the Spectrum +3, which are supported in some other emulators. However, we want to emphasize that Warajevo still has a lot of features which make it unique. For more details see:

Features of the Warajevo emulator

Well, what do you think, after this story, about today MS Windows programs that require 100 Mb for relative simple task??? Obviously, the Spectrum times were the best computer times. Nowadays, for playing a game in a PC you need a Pentium 200 MHz, 32 Mb of RAM and a fast graphic card. If you haven't got these requirements, you can`t play the game. But, with the Spectrum everything was quite different. The Spectrum wasn't upgradeable and the programmers had to make big efforts to develope a very good game. And the games were also cheaper than the PC ones...

Sarajevo center
The center of the Sarajevo (rebuilded)
Sarajevo night
Sarajevo in the night - today
Sarajevo panorama
Panorama of Sarajevo today
New city
New part of Sarajevo in the winter
Mainly rebuilded, but still partially destroyed
(We are living in this part of the city)
Between April 1995 and December 1997 we received E-MAIL messages from 28 countries, from all 6 continents (Argentina, Australia, Austria, Canada, Czech, Croatia, Danish, France, Germany, Great Britain, Netherlands, Hungary, India, Italy, Latvia, Macedonia, Norway, Portugal, Romania, Russia, Slovakia, Slovenia, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, USA, Uruguay, Yugoslavia), with greetings, questions, new ideas and bug remarks. We apologise if any message remain unanswered because E-MAIL in Sarajevo is still sometimes unstable so it doesn't work from time to time.