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Berch's assembler

Posted: Fri Oct 10, 2008 10:29 am
by floydbloke
Now that I'm nearing the age of mid-life crisis I'm wanting to re-live some of my eighties days and have discovered the world of ZX81 emulators. Always having wanted to dabble in a bit of machine code/assembly programming I have come across Berch's emulator. I'm keen to use it and have found some documentation on the various keyboard functions but I can't for the life of me figure out where/how to enter and store the mnemonics, and where/how it organises the memory for the assembler itself and the user's code. Please can anyone help me out with this, a set of written instructions would of course be even better.

Many thanks

Re: Berch's assembler

Posted: Fri Oct 10, 2008 12:24 pm
by sirmorris
Hiya and welcome.

I'm an '81 old timer and I've had a hard time tracking down info on this program - all I've come up with is a scan of an advert. You should probably make it easier on yourself and use a more widely available toolkit - like ZXAS/ZXDB http://www.zx81stuff.org.uk/zx81/genera ... yped).html. You'll have access to a wider range of experience.

Nostalgia is all well and good - but if it's Z80 coding you want to do then save yourself the pain of working in an emulator and do some cross-assembly from the comfort of your PC!

Get hold of TASM http://home.comcast.net/~tasm/ and when you've had a chance to familiarise yourself I'll be glad to help out with some templates that will allow you to directly assemble binary images that load straight onto your zeddie either through an emulator or by conversion to a WAV that you can LOAD"".

Re: Berch's assembler

Posted: Sat Oct 11, 2008 12:32 am
by floydbloke
Thanks sirmorris

It's indeed a fine line between nostalgia and torture. I'm just working with an emulator at the moment (EightyOne) so I've got the benefit of snapshot saves and TZXs. I might ring my dad and see if he's still got the original hardware.

Some useful info and tools there. ZXAS seems to be functional and effective so I think I'll run with that. Had a quick go with TASM and that looks good also. It'll need a bit more of my time to get to grips with it some more and work out how to get the code loaded in the emulator (I'm hoping the templates you mentioned could well help me out here). Not sure I can justify US$40 to register it though.

What are the general views on VB81XUR?

Re: Berch's assembler

Posted: Sat Oct 11, 2008 5:12 am
by floydbloke
Update, I 've just discovered how to load .obj files into EightyOne (stunning piece of work ,that emulator).

Re: Berch's assembler

Posted: Tue Oct 14, 2008 4:27 pm
by sirmorris
Agreed. :D

Unless you have a 2 stage process which involves exporting the object code out of '81 it would still be beneficial to use a template which generates .P files. These can be distributed widely and used on a real machine.
temper.zip
Here be the files
(48.75 KiB) Downloaded 345 times
Let me know how you get on.

Re: Berch's assembler

Posted: Tue Oct 14, 2008 7:31 pm
by XavSnap
Hi floydbloke!
What are the general views on VB81XUR?
Artic ASM2 is inclued in the XuR...
But, you can debug your codes in real time using a the Disassembler Window.

Have a look to :
new web page on Zx81 machine codes...
http://zx81.vb81.free.fr/ASM2.html

I use it all time i can... and i use EO to test my codes compatibilities ;-)))
You can also use the excellent No$cash too.

Have fun.

Re: Berch's assembler

Posted: Wed Oct 15, 2008 12:59 am
by floydbloke
Thanks all

Really good stuff here. It will take me some time (which is, due to work commitments, rather scarce at the moment) to get my head around it. Hopefully you won't mind answering the odd query trickling through from me in the next few weeks.

Re: Berch's assembler

Posted: Wed Oct 15, 2008 8:56 pm
by sirmorris
Not at all.

It's good to have the noise :)

Re: Berch's assembler

Posted: Thu Oct 16, 2008 5:18 pm
by XavSnap
Hi,

Just a littlle question !

What's "Berch's assembler" ? :oops:
...

Re: Berch's assembler

Posted: Thu Oct 16, 2008 9:26 pm
by floydbloke
An assembler program (not an emulator as I mistakenly referred to in my initial post, my bad) for the ZX81 written in 1983 by someone called by Bob Berch. See attached. It caught my interest when I first started trawling the InterWeb for ZX81 material prior to being steered toward other tools by yourself and SirMorris.
BERCH16K.P
(8.97 KiB) Downloaded 155 times