View Full Version : SCELBI 8B IDE Trial (Integrated Development Environment)

September 16th, 2015, 04:34 AM
Since I have my SCELBI cassette interface working, I was able to take a trial run of the SCELBI integrated development environment otherwise known as MEA. This environment has a editor, assembler and debugger that is pretty smoothly integrated.

I would say the editor is pretty clunky, even by most vintage standards. However the integration with the assembler and mass storage (cassette interface) worked very well. I was able to enter source for my small SCELBI boot loader, assemble it, and then use it to load another program with my 2400 baud serial interface dongle. Saving source to tape is trivial, as is saving or loading an assembled program. Relocation and reloading the boot loader was very easy by simply changing the program origin and reassembling and reloading. I'll try to make a video of the system operating within a few days.

So far, I am impressed by the reliability and ease of use of the cassette interface, much less trouble than the later Apple 1/Apple II implementation. It's very insensitive to cassette output volume levels and rarely reads data starting from the wrong place on the tape.

Mike Willegal

September 19th, 2015, 09:13 PM
I would really like to see your video when it's ready, Mike.

As a frequent cassette user in the early eighties, I would have to say that my experiences with the Apple 2 were mostly favorable, with very few incidents. The same can not be said for my experiences with the TRS-80 Model 1 cassette storage and retrieval system ... 35 years later, I still wince when remembering all the lost time and effort caused by that slow and flaky interface. My Commodore 64 cassette system fell in between those two, so I would give the Apple system an A-, the Commodore system a B, and the TRS-80 a D. I'm uncertain whether or not the quality of the cassette player and/or the media itself were contributing factors in my journeys and horror stories, but I noticed a huge difference in reliability between those systems.

Mike B.

September 22nd, 2015, 10:03 AM
I have a (poor quality) video putting the SCELBI 8B through it's paces on my blog.


My initial impression of the SCELBI cassette interface is very favorable. I feel that it is that it's easier to use than Apple 1 and Apple II cassette interface, though speed is substantially slower. I have no good way to confirm, but my gut says the encoding of the Apple interface is likely to be less reliable than the implemenation of the SCELBI.

Mike Willegal