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Thread: What are you guys using for retroprogramming?

  1. #61

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    Quote Originally Posted by Trixter View Post
    BASIC is the correct choice if you're starting from ground zero. In fact, "a simple recipe database program" is the most common beginner BASIC example I saw in the early 1980s in books and magazines.
    Thanks for the advice.

  2. #62

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    For my current retro programming project (a DOS game for 8088/86 or higher) I'm using these:

    Operating system:
    - Windows 10 on an Intel i5 laptop from 2014

    Emulators:
    - DosBox 0.74-3. Immediate results, fast compiling, direct file communication between it and Windows... It's the one I use for the daily work
    - PCem and 86Box. For testing on something more or less closer to the real hardware.
    - DosBox-X. Just wonderful for testing features not present on the official DosBox.

    I used to own an 8086 machine when I was a kid. Unfortunately I no longer have it.

    Programming languages:
    - Turbo C++ 1.0 and Turbo Assembler 1.01 for the main program
    - Power Basic 2.1 for an auxiliary program
    - Turbo Pascal 6.0 for another auxiliary application

    Code editors:
    - Visual Studio Code. Pros: It has a time saving autocompletion feature, it has (to me) nice code coloring, it has a well organized workspace and the ability to read/write on DOS 437 charset. Cons: it's slow and heavy to load the first time, it's buggy and on many versions it hanged all the system, leading it to blue screen of death. The latest versions seem more stable... I wish...
    - Notepad++: very fast, it does coloring, many languages... My tool of choice for quick editing.

    Graphics manipulation:
    - Macromedia Firewoks 8.0
    - Gimp

    Digital sound manipulation:
    - Audacity. It has a very nice VOC saving option, and it also allows to convert/save files to 8 bit and any frequency.

  3. #63

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    I thought I'd update the retro stuff I've done. I've use a 4004 emulator, that I wrote, to create a working piece of code written for the 4004 in 1973. It was printed on what I believe to be a ASR33 with either a worn platten or poor registration on the print head. Things like 0 and C looked the same, as well as P and F.
    It was 4K of code. The code was for an electronic maneuver board ( used for steering a ship ). I use the simulator to figure where the code expected which. I then created a board using a 4289 to go from the 4004 PMOS levels to TTY levels ( the original uses a 4008/4009 pair ). It has a display and key entry similar to the original.
    So, as a retro project, I recreated a design and debugged the code to be a maneuver board calculator. It is relatively complicated as it need to track up to 10 ships and calculate the closest point of approach. A desired thing if you don't want to run your battle ship into the aircraft carrier.
    I'd recently picked up on another 4004 project. I was expecting to need to debug the EPROMs I had because the 4th 1702 looked to have broken code. As it turned out the code was actually functional. This was 4004 code written to run on a SIM4-01 ( and early development card for the 4004 ). I used some help from a friend in the UK.
    The code is an assembler, that assembled 4004 code, that ran on the SIM4-01, in 1K of code, originally written by Tom Pittman in 1973. It is a remarkable piece of code. It is a complete two pass assembler with labels and + - address calculation, all fitting into 4K of 4004 code.
    I expect to begin working on some of my other lagging projects. I need to get the 6502 setup I have with early Rockwell boards going ( not AIM, these were development boards ).
    I also need to get back to my Nicolet, that has stopped reading and writing disk, working again. I was made around 1969 or so, with core memory and a mix of DTL and TTL logic.
    Dwight

  4. #64
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    Well, I've been guilty of running CP/M MAC, RMAC and ASM under a DOS emulator under DOSEMU under Xubuntu x64.

    Could probably do the same with DOSBOX under Armbian, but have no reason to try.

  5. #65
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    Recently when I was hacking together a couple assembly-language boot-time fixes to run on my Tandy 1000 my positively dreadful workflow ended up being something like this, since I have *no* experience with whatever editor comes with with MASM and it was driving me nuts that I couldn't have both DOS EDIT and a command line onscreen at the same time was:

    1: Loaded up my Ethernet packet driver on the Tandy 1000
    2: Made edits to the source file on my Macbook Pro using bbedit.
    3: Ran "nc -bin listen 1234 > testfile.asm" on the T1000, then "nc {ipaddress} 1234 < working_file.asm" in a terminal on the Mac to push it over.
    4: Assembled it with Microsoft MASM, and tested if it got that far.
    5: Wash, rinse, repeat.

    Not the most efficient thing in the world, but it did mean it was convenient to check the code into github when I was finished. Using DOSbox (at least for the testing part) wouldn't have really worked since these widgets were intended to run from config.sys, and an emulator would have been about as awkward as the netcat thing.

    I've actually gotten a fair amount of use out having the Tandy 1000 sitting there next to my "real" computer as I've been working on a project to build a video card targeted at 8-bit applications like S-100 machines. I've been generating test bitmaps to burn into Flash ROMs, and several times I've used NC to copy them over to the Tandy and there written a trivial BASIC program to load the contents of the .bin intended for ROM and poke it into a graphics screen to make sure I get what I expect.
    My Retro-computing YouTube Channel (updates... eventually?): Paleozoic PCs

  6. #66

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    Quote Originally Posted by PgrAm View Post
    I feel like I don't hear enough about how other retro-programmers work, I was wondering what you guys were all using for your retro-programming needs.

    What hardware are you targeting?
    What kind of compiler/interpreter software do you use?
    Do you program on old-school systems themselves or do you use a modern editor?
    And (hopefully without starting a flame war) what language(s)?
    In the past I did some Z80 and a lot of 6502 asm, but these days I'm taking a break from that and doing 16/32-bit stuff. I'm using my own compiler/assembler for my own language, and I use my own text editor running on a newer PC. Occasionally when I'm testing something on the 286/486/Amiga then I will make small changes and recompile right there to avoid running back and forth

    The text editor and the earliest version of the compiler (before it became self-hosting) were written in FreeBASIC. I've never released the editor due to a massive albatross of bugs and unfinished features. At one time, it was going to be a web browser... and every time I think about cleaning it up, I start leaning toward a complete rewrite instead.

  7. #67
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eudimorphodon View Post
    3: Ran "nc -bin listen 1234 > testfile.asm" on the T1000, then "nc {ipaddress} 1234 < working_file.asm" in a terminal on the Mac to push it over.
    If your Tandy 1000 has a hard drive, it seems faster to edit/compile/test on the Tandy and then push the finished file back to the Mac when done.

    I use Turbo Pascal 7 as my Pascal and Assembler IDE. You can assemble from the IDE, and if there are any errors returned, the IDE will let you jump to the line of each error. The only drawback is that TP7's IDE won't syntax-highlight assembler files, so if I want that and I know I'll be writing code for a while, I use the Aurora editor. (Aurora can also be configured to shell+assemble+jump to errors, but I found it convoluted, so I haven't set that up yet.)
    Offering a bounty for:
    - A working Sanyo MBC-775 or Logabax 1600
    - Music Construction Set, IBM Music Feature edition (has red sticker on front stating IBM Music Feature)

  8. #68

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    Reading some of this thread is hard. The idea of using modern hardware/software at all already gives me chills but to use it for doing something that an older computer is BUILT TO DO?!?!? I couldn't. My Windows 2000 PC is my friend in all computer things I do. I use Windows 7 rarely for some stupid google "apps" but that's it.

  9. #69
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alabamarebel1861 View Post
    The idea of using modern hardware/software at all already gives me chills but to use it for doing something that an older computer is BUILT TO DO?!?!?
    One of my projects that is geared towards older systems is 50,000+ lines of code. It takes my older system 3+ minutes to compile it, and that's with smart compiling/linking. My modern Windows 10 system running an emulators takes 2 seconds to make the entire project. So yeah, I'm going to develop the majority of it on the modern system, and only develop on the older system when it's absolutely necessary (like a speed-sensitive or hardware-unique section).
    Offering a bounty for:
    - A working Sanyo MBC-775 or Logabax 1600
    - Music Construction Set, IBM Music Feature edition (has red sticker on front stating IBM Music Feature)

  10. #70
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    Quote Originally Posted by Trixter View Post
    If your Tandy 1000 has a hard drive, it seems faster to edit/compile/test on the Tandy and then push the finished file back to the Mac when done.
    The key there is having an editor and IDE you know and are proficient in, of course.

    Shooting the file over to compile does take literally five seconds or so including issuing the commands, so there is that.
    My Retro-computing YouTube Channel (updates... eventually?): Paleozoic PCs

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