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Thread: Development tools on DECmates

  1. #1

    Default Development tools on DECmates


    I've been quite interested in picking up a DECmate for a while as one of my more favorite examples of microcomputers built around miniaturized implementations of larger systems. They don't seem quite as common or inexpensive as they used to be, so if I end up looking into a nice example I'd like to be able to use it as more than just a word processor. After reading through a couple of FAQs, prior threads here and looking for DEC documentation, I can't seem to find anything too obvious that mentions what kinds of tools were actually available for developing on the platform, particularly on OS/278. Did DEC officially offer any languages like BASIC, FOCAL or FORTRAN as on the "real" 8s?

    Thank you for reading!

  2. #2
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    May 2009
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    IIRC, OS/278 was the official modification for the DECmate and shipped with both Fortran and BASIC.

  3. #3


    There are only very minor differences between the DECmates and the other 8's. As long as you do filesystem I/O via the system calls it all pretty much should work. Other languages available are ALGOL, LISP, Pascal, Tiny C and much more recently B. I feel like I am blanking on some important ones.

    I did a Pascal Z implementation in a couple of weeks as a cross compiler a while back and using lower case to write PDP-8 programs certainly seems odd. That compiler still needs a lot of work before I would show it off. It was pretty easy to write programs that would generate code that crossed page boundaries at inconvenient times.

    Everyone should have some kind of 8 in their collection!
    Doug Ingraham
    2nd owner of Straight 8 SN1173
    5 other PDP-8's including an 8/i and a DECSet 8000

  4. #4


    Check out this archive: There are a lot of decmate software there including programming related


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