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Thread: TARBELL BASIC: Source Code found on old 8 inch floppy disks

  1. #1

    Default TARBELL BASIC: Source Code found on old 8 inch floppy disks

    What you can find on old floppy disks!

    Two months ago I bought about 70 old 8 inch disks for little money. They were all used and not erased. On the labels date information from the early 80's were to be recognized. The recognition of the disk format went quite fast, since on nearly all disks the designation "Record Length 128 Byte" appears. Under UniFORM I selected the standard CP/M format SSSD: 77 tracks, 26 sectors, 128 bytes/sector. And ... It worked immediately. That was almost too easy. There wasn't a single one of the old 8-inch disks that wasn't readable. These disks are about 35 years old! Since about 1980 no one has probably read these disks.

    tbasic.jpg

    Two disks were labeled TARBELL 24K BASIC. These two disks contain a few CP/M programs, 17 assembler files (TBASIC1.ASM to TBASIC17.ASM) and a file named TLABELS.DOC (label description).

    Code:
    * TARBELL BASIC SOURCE MODULE #1
    * COPYRIGHT (C) 1978, 1979 TARBELL ELECTRONICS
    * LAST CHANGE TO MAKE 11.8 FROM 11.7 MADE 3-15-79.
    * LAST CHANGE TO THIS MODULE MADE 3-13-79.
    YES	EQU	0FFFFH
    NO	EQU	NOT YES
    	ORG	0A00H
    * DESIGNED BY TOM DILATUSH AND JIM BARNICK OF
    * REAL TIME MICROSYSTEMS, CHULA VISTA, CALIFORNIA
    * CODED BY TOM DILATUSH, WITH A LITTLE HELP
    * FROM TOM GALLANT, BOB BROWN, AND SAM SINGER
    *
    * COMMON MODULE
    START	JMP	STARS
    	DW	CHANL	;POINTER TO CHANL
    	DW	TRMNL	;POINTER TO TRMNL
    	DW	SSSS	;POINTER TO SSSS
    	DW	CNVRA	;POINTER TO CNVRA
    	DW	USER	;POINTER TO USER ADDRESS
    
    ...
    ...
    I assume that this find is nothing special, but it was a lot of fun to rediscover old things: Retro-Computing (https://retrocmp.de)

  2. #2
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    Very nice! Make sure that it's been archived somewhere; otherwise please image them with ImageDisk or at least grab the files and make an archive available. It's hard to tell when a copy might be the *last* copy of something.

    I recently found the Tarbell utilities to read/write CP/M files to the Tarbell S-100 tape interface, on 8" disks as well. I'd heard these programs existed (Tarbell mentions them in some of their advertising literature) but I'd never actually found a copy. Don Maslin's disk archive has a disk that claims to have them, but those two utilities are missing.

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    Quote Originally Posted by glitch View Post
    Very nice! Make sure that it's been archived somewhere; otherwise please image them with ImageDisk or at least grab the files and make an archive available. It's hard to tell when a copy might be the *last* copy of something.

    I recently found the Tarbell utilities to read/write CP/M files to the Tarbell S-100 tape interface, on 8" disks as well. I'd heard these programs existed (Tarbell mentions them in some of their advertising literature) but I'd never actually found a copy. Don Maslin's disk archive has a disk that claims to have them, but those two utilities are missing.
    The Tarbell utilities source code was long available through the CP/M Users Group. See Disk 1. Retroarchive has a copy.

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    Quote Originally Posted by krebizfan View Post
    The Tarbell utilities source code was long available through the CP/M Users Group. See Disk 1. Retroarchive has a copy.
    ...well, then!

  5. #5

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    The files of TARBELL BASIC are of course all completely backed up.

  6. #6
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    Documentation of Tarbell BASIC is in archive.org:

    https://archive.org/details/bitsaver...ellTar_4162785

    but seems to be of an older version, though. I cannot see source code archived anywhere.

  7. #7

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    The source code I found on my two 8 inch disks is not the same one published in the CP/M User Group (No. 31 & 32). It is "only" a newer release.

    CPMUG: .... RELEASE 5.2 AUGUST 16, 1978
    My disks: .. RELEASE 11.8 MAR 15, 1979

    The documentation in archive.org seems to belong to the 1978 release.

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    No matter - getting files off an old floppy or several is an accomplishment in itself, it feels quite rewarding.
    In my experience, 8 inch floppies are much more resilient than newer floppies. There might be technical and or other reasons for that, but still.
    Torfinn

  9. #9

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    You're right. It's a bit like treasure hunting or looking into ancient bookcases. Just like when you were a child, just be curious and browse everything.

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    Quote Originally Posted by haglebu View Post
    You're right. It's a bit like treasure hunting or looking into ancient bookcases. Just like when you were a child, just be curious and browse everything.
    Do you intend to release this, or just brag about having it?

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