Topics

Native 1802 assembler #Assembler

Terry Gray
 

Does anyone remember the assembler that ran natively on the 1802 using dual cassette tape drives? 

Way back in the late 70's and early 80's I started out with a wire wrapped Elf from the Popular Electronics article.  Later I purchased a Quest Super Elf.  I expanded this to an S100 bus motherboard with a wirewrapped 64K dynamic ram board and a wirewrapped TI9918 video graphics board.  I remember that it would literally take seconds to move a sprite across the screen.  Using Quest Basic I wrote a little app that could create custom fonts and sprites and upload them to the TI9918 board.  This was a blatant rip-off of an Apple II program that I had seen demonstrated at a local computer shop.  I went home and replicated it for my Super Elf.  Most of the software I wrote back then was in assembler using the 1802 assembler.  Unfortunately, all the hardware and software has been lost to several moves back and forth across the country.

I have retired now after 40+ years as an EE specializing in embedded hardware and software design.  I've been feeling nostalgic and thinking about rebuilding that 1802 system.  Does anyone know if that assembler is still around? 

Raymond Sills
 

I recall that there was an assembler written in CHIP-8... but I don't recall if it assembled machine code, or CHIP-8 code.  I think Udo Pernisz was the author.

73 de Ray



-----Original Message-----
From: Terry Gray <twgray2007@...>
To: cosmacelf <cosmacelf@groups.io>
Sent: Wed, Mar 27, 2019 6:49 pm
Subject: [cosmacelf] Native 1802 assembler

Does anyone remember the assembler that ran natively on the 1802 using dual cassette tape drives? 

Way back in the late 70's and early 80's I started out with a wire wrapped Elf from the Popular Electronics article.  Later I purchased a Quest Super Elf.  I expanded this to an S100 bus motherboard with a wirewrapped 64K dynamic ram board and a wirewrapped TI9918 video graphics board.  I remember that it would literally take seconds to move a sprite across the screen.  Using Quest Basic I wrote a little app that could create custom fonts and sprites and upload them to the TI9918 board.  This was a blatant rip-off of an Apple II program that I had seen demonstrated at a local computer shop.  I went home and replicated it for my Super Elf.  Most of the software I wrote back then was in assembler using the 1802 assembler.  Unfortunately, all the hardware and software has been lost to several moves back and forth across the country.

I have retired now after 40+ years as an EE specializing in embedded hardware and software design.  I've been feeling nostalgic and thinking about rebuilding that 1802 system.  Does anyone know if that assembler is still around? 

Lee Hart
 

Terry Gray wrote:
Does anyone remember the assembler that ran natively on the 1802 using
dual cassette tape drives?
RCA's own assemblers ran on their microboards with two cassette drives. That might be what you had.

CDP18S843 Assembler/Editor: Came in three 2716 EPROMs. They added an Assembler and Editor to the CDP18S693 Microboard Computer Development System (to upgrade it into a CDP18S694). The ROMs installed on CDP18S652 Microboard Combination Memory and Tape Control board, which is part of the system. Two cassette tape drives are required.

RCA had other assemblers that worked with a terminal having paper tape (Teletype ASR-33 with paper tape reader and punch) or cassette tape (T.I. "Silent 700" terminal with dual cassette drives).

--
Fools ignore complexity. Pragmatists suffer it. The wise avoid it.
Geniuses remove it. -- Alan Perlis, "Epigrams on Programming"
--
Lee Hart, 814 8th Ave N, Sartell MN 56377, www.sunrise-ev.com

Lee Hart
 

Raymond Sills via Groups.Io wrote:
I recall that there was an assembler written in CHIP-8... but I don't
recall if it assembled machine code, or CHIP-8 code. I think Udo
Pernisz was the author.
There were a couple of CHIP-8 assemblers. One I recall was written in Tiny BASIC. It worked, but was amazingly slow.

I can't imagine writing an 1802 machine-language assembler *in* CHIP-8. But I suppose anything is possible!

--
Fools ignore complexity. Pragmatists suffer it. The wise avoid it.
Geniuses remove it. -- Alan Perlis, "Epigrams on Programming"
--
Lee Hart, 814 8th Ave N, Sartell MN 56377, www.sunrise-ev.com

Timothy Stoddard
 

Are you just looking for any assembler now? I used an 1802 cross-assembler from 2500 A.D. on a CPM system back in the day... these days I use an open source assembler called naken_asm... It supports many micros, past and present, and the author just expanded the 1802 version to include the expanded op codes for the 1804/5/6.
--
Tim Stoddard
"Life with technology: It's a roller coaster ride!"

Terry Gray
 

Thank each of you for your replies.  To reply, in order:  Yes, I remember the Microboards but I did not own one of them.  All my original stuff was strictly homebrew and/or expanded on the Quest Super Elf.  I had never even heard of Chip-8 until this week from this group.  It sounds rather slow on an already slllooooow processor.  And, yes, I am aware of several cross assemblers for the 1802.  I have used several of the 2500 A.D. and Avocet cross assemblers through the years.  Even wrote a 6805 cross assembler using MASM macros.  What a pain.

I was really just trying to locate the resident assembler I used on my kludge years ago, mostly just for nostalgia's sake.  I remember those times as fun and innovating. When I got out of college, microprocessors were still a year away.  I remember learning to think in hexadecimal and the 1802 is the very first processor that I could hand code strictly from memory, without an assembler. 

After much web scraping I believe that I have remembered/determined that the cassette assembler I used was the one from Netronics.  I remember the one from Quest but it was limited by memory since it created object code into ram.  The one from Netronics assembled to a second cassette.

Does anyone know if the Netronics assembler is still around anywhere?  I don't expect to use it with cassettes; where would you even find one these days?

Dave Ruske
 

I had the Netronics assembler on cassette and tried to recover it some time ago, but the cassette is shot (not some minor data glitch, it is really and truly forever gone). I got in touch with Netronics quite some time ago and secured permission to post their assembler, disassembler, and text editor; of those only the disassembler survived, though I do have manuals for all three.

I'll see if I can dig up what I have and get it posted in the next week or so, when time permits. If anyone has the Netronics assembler and text editor binaries, I can get them posted on cosmacelf.com with George Meyerle's blessing.

Dave


On Mar 28, 2019, at 2:29 PM, Terry Gray <twgray2007@...> wrote:

Thank each of you for your replies.  To reply, in order:  Yes, I remember the Microboards but I did not own one of them.  All my original stuff was strictly homebrew and/or expanded on the Quest Super Elf.  I had never even heard of Chip-8 until this week from this group.  It sounds rather slow on an already slllooooow processor.  And, yes, I am aware of several cross assemblers for the 1802.  I have used several of the 2500 A.D. and Avocet cross assemblers through the years.  Even wrote a 6805 cross assembler using MASM macros.  What a pain.

I was really just trying to locate the resident assembler I used on my kludge years ago, mostly just for nostalgia's sake.  I remember those times as fun and innovating. When I got out of college, microprocessors were still a year away.  I remember learning to think in hexadecimal and the 1802 is the very first processor that I could hand code strictly from memory, without an assembler.  

After much web scraping I believe that I have remembered/determined that the cassette assembler I used was the one from Netronics.  I remember the one from Quest but it was limited by memory since it created object code into ram.  The one from Netronics assembled to a second cassette.

Does anyone know if the Netronics assembler is still around anywhere?  I don't expect to use it with cassettes; where would you even find one these days?



bill rowe
 

did it really work to two cassettes?  I have tapes i could look through but i'm sure i never had multiple cassette interfaces.


From: cosmacelf@groups.io <cosmacelf@groups.io> on behalf of Dave Ruske <dave@...>
Sent: March 28, 2019 6:00 PM
To: cosmacelf@groups.io
Subject: Re: [cosmacelf] Native 1802 assembler #Assembler
 
I had the Netronics assembler on cassette and tried to recover it some time ago, but the cassette is shot (not some minor data glitch, it is really and truly forever gone). I got in touch with Netronics quite some time ago and secured permission to post their assembler, disassembler, and text editor; of those only the disassembler survived, though I do have manuals for all three.

I'll see if I can dig up what I have and get it posted in the next week or so, when time permits. If anyone has the Netronics assembler and text editor binaries, I can get them posted on cosmacelf.com with George Meyerle's blessing.

Dave


On Mar 28, 2019, at 2:29 PM, Terry Gray <twgray2007@...> wrote:

Thank each of you for your replies.  To reply, in order:  Yes, I remember the Microboards but I did not own one of them.  All my original stuff was strictly homebrew and/or expanded on the Quest Super Elf.  I had never even heard of Chip-8 until this week from this group.  It sounds rather slow on an already slllooooow processor.  And, yes, I am aware of several cross assemblers for the 1802.  I have used several of the 2500 A.D. and Avocet cross assemblers through the years.  Even wrote a 6805 cross assembler using MASM macros.  What a pain.

I was really just trying to locate the resident assembler I used on my kludge years ago, mostly just for nostalgia's sake.  I remember those times as fun and innovating. When I got out of college, microprocessors were still a year away.  I remember learning to think in hexadecimal and the 1802 is the very first processor that I could hand code strictly from memory, without an assembler.  

After much web scraping I believe that I have remembered/determined that the cassette assembler I used was the one from Netronics.  I remember the one from Quest but it was limited by memory since it created object code into ram.  The one from Netronics assembled to a second cassette.

Does anyone know if the Netronics assembler is still around anywhere?  I don't expect to use it with cassettes; where would you even find one these days?




--
Bill Rowe
Olduino - an arduino for the first of us
https://olduino.wordpress.com/about-2/about/

Terry Gray
 

As best as I can remember it could use 2 tape drives.  Read source from 1 drive and write out to the 2nd one.  But, it has been 40+ years so I might be mis-remembering things.  

I was thinking, rather than start from scratch, and using Eric Smith's  500 MHz 1802 fpga, it might be fun to hack the Netronics assembler to use an mmc drive interface.  

Dave Ruske
 

Both the Netronics assembler and the text editor were set up to control two cassette recorders. I purchased these programs very late in Netronics’ time with the ELF II product line, and never ended up actually using them.

Attached is a page Netronics provided with the software that describes the cassette interface.

Dave


On Mar 28, 2019, at 7:35 PM, bill rowe <bill_rowe_ottawa@...> wrote:

did it really work to two cassettes?  I have tapes i could look through but i'm sure i never had multiple cassette interfaces.

bill rowe
 

Thanks Dave. I’m sure I never had anything like that!

On Mar 29, 2019, at 12:05 AM, Dave Ruske <dave@...> wrote:

Both the Netronics assembler and the text editor were set up to control two cassette recorders. I purchased these programs very late in Netronics’ time with the ELF II product line, and never ended up actually using them.

Attached is a page Netronics provided with the software that describes the cassette interface.

Dave


On Mar 28, 2019, at 7:35 PM, bill rowe <bill_rowe_ottawa@...> wrote:

did it really work to two cassettes?  I have tapes i could look through but i'm sure i never had multiple cassette interfaces.
<attachment 1.pdf>

--
Bill Rowe
Olduino - an arduino for the first of us
https://olduino.wordpress.com/about-2/about/

bill rowe
 

Just a thought, A while ago we resurrected the PLM compiler in the microDOS operating system running under Marcel’s Emma emulator. That has a native assembler ASM8. If somebody just wanted a native 1802 assembler to play with that’s easy to find. 


On Mar 29, 2019, at 7:58 AM, bill rowe <bill_rowe_ottawa@...> wrote:

Thanks Dave. I’m sure I never had anything like that!

On Mar 29, 2019, at 12:05 AM, Dave Ruske <dave@...> wrote:

Both the Netronics assembler and the text editor were set up to control two cassette recorders. I purchased these programs very late in Netronics’ time with the ELF II product line, and never ended up actually using them.

Attached is a page Netronics provided with the software that describes the cassette interface.

Dave


On Mar 28, 2019, at 7:35 PM, bill rowe <bill_rowe_ottawa@...> wrote:

did it really work to two cassettes?  I have tapes i could look through but i'm sure i never had multiple cassette interfaces.
<attachment 1.pdf>

--
Bill Rowe
Olduino - an arduino for the first of us
https://olduino.wordpress.com/about-2/about/

--
Bill Rowe
Olduino - an arduino for the first of us
https://olduino.wordpress.com/about-2/about/

thinkpast
 

Terry Gray posted, "I was really just trying to locate the resident assembler I used on my kludge years ago, mostly just for nostalgia's sake... After much web scraping I believe that I have remembered/determined that the cassette assembler I used was the one from Netronics."

Discussion continued about the Netronics resident assembler and who might have/had it. Meanwhile, Bill Rowe suggested a look at the PLM compiler under microDOS with its native assembler.

Along those lines: some time ago I spent time on a RCA Microboard development system:

http://www.retrotechnology.com/memship/cosmac_dev_sys.html

For those interested, I dumped the ROMS; the files are at the Web page given. Read the Web page for details, but it describes the ROM sets as BASIC3, MCDS TAPE EDITOR, MCDS ASSEMBLER, and UT62. I used UT71 source to recreate the source for UT62. And, the April 2017 version of EMMA 2 (the van Tongeren COSMAC emulator) emulates the Microboard development system and runs the ROMs. Such documents as I could obtain, attempt to document the ROM code and the Microboard system.

If anyone else makes use of these things, I'd appreciate knowing their results.

Herb Johnson
retrotechnology.com

Mark Abene
 

I don't remember if anyone mentioned, but Mike's Elf/OS has a native assembler. It's a module in Bob's elf2k firmware as well, if I remember.



On Sun, Mar 31, 2019, 4:55 AM bill rowe <bill_rowe_ottawa@...> wrote:
Just a thought, A while ago we resurrected the PLM compiler in the microDOS operating system running under Marcel’s Emma emulator. That has a native assembler ASM8. If somebody just wanted a native 1802 assembler to play with that’s easy to find. 


On Mar 29, 2019, at 7:58 AM, bill rowe <bill_rowe_ottawa@...> wrote:

Thanks Dave. I’m sure I never had anything like that!

On Mar 29, 2019, at 12:05 AM, Dave Ruske <dave@...> wrote:

Both the Netronics assembler and the text editor were set up to control two cassette recorders. I purchased these programs very late in Netronics’ time with the ELF II product line, and never ended up actually using them.

Attached is a page Netronics provided with the software that describes the cassette interface.

Dave


On Mar 28, 2019, at 7:35 PM, bill rowe <bill_rowe_ottawa@...> wrote:

did it really work to two cassettes?  I have tapes i could look through but i'm sure i never had multiple cassette interfaces.
<attachment 1.pdf>

--
Bill Rowe
Olduino - an arduino for the first of us
https://olduino.wordpress.com/about-2/about/

--
Bill Rowe
Olduino - an arduino for the first of us
https://olduino.wordpress.com/about-2/about/

bill rowe
 

Thanks Herb.  I'm not going to try to disassemble it but the binary of the edit_asm3.bin does look like a complete assembler in about 1.5K including all the mnemonics.  those were the days! 


From: cosmacelf@groups.io <cosmacelf@groups.io> on behalf of thinkpast <hjohnson@...>
Sent: April 1, 2019 3:48 PM
To: cosmacelf@groups.io
Subject: Re: [cosmacelf] Native 1802 assembler #Assembler
 
Terry Gray posted, "I was really just trying to locate the resident assembler I used on my kludge years ago, mostly just for nostalgia's sake... After much web scraping I believe that I have remembered/determined that the cassette assembler I used was the one from Netronics."

Discussion continued about the Netronics resident assembler and who might have/had it. Meanwhile, Bill Rowe suggested a look at the PLM compiler under microDOS with its native assembler.

Along those lines: some time ago I spent time on a RCA Microboard development system:

http://www.retrotechnology.com/memship/cosmac_dev_sys.html

For those interested, I dumped the ROMS; the files are at the Web page given. Read the Web page for details, but it describes the ROM sets as BASIC3, MCDS TAPE EDITOR, MCDS ASSEMBLER, and UT62. I used UT71 source to recreate the source for UT62. And, the April 2017 version of EMMA 2 (the van Tongeren COSMAC emulator) emulates the Microboard development system and runs the ROMs. Such documents as I could obtain, attempt to document the ROM code and the Microboard system.

If anyone else makes use of these things, I'd appreciate knowing their results.

Herb Johnson
retrotechnology.com




--
Bill Rowe
Olduino - an arduino for the first of us
https://olduino.wordpress.com/about-2/about/

Terry Gray
 
Edited

Herb Johnson, thanks for the link and your work dumping the MCDS files.  Is you disassembly of the MCDS roms in a format that can be be re-assembled, and by which cross-assembler?

Terry Gray
 

Have you had a chance to upload the Netronics Editor and Assembler documentation?  The MCDS emulation under Emma 02 appears to be virtually the same other than running from rom rather than ram.

Dave Ruske
 

I haven't had time to create anything special on the website, but I uploaded the manuals for the Netronics Assembler, Disassembler, and Text Editor, as well as the binary for the Disassembler. You can find these files on this forum here:
https://groups.io/g/cosmacelf/files/Netronics%20Software%20and%20Documentation

While I wasn't able to recover data from the Text Editor or Assembler cassettes, I did come across something surprising. For some reason only known to me minus 30 years or so, I apparently printed a hex dump and disassembly of the Text Editor binary, back when the cassette was readable. It'll take a little effort, but it looks like we have a path to recovering that. So far I haven't found anything similar for the Assembler, though.

Thanks to George Meyerle of Netronics Research and Development Ltd. for permission to share these. Sorry it took me so long to make this available.

Dave

Terry Gray
 

Is it possible that George Meyerle has a copy of these laying around?  Although, as I said, it looks like the MCDS version of these might be the same.

If you want/need help getting your editor listing reassembled I'm game. Just let me know.



Sent via the Samsung Galaxy Tab A, an AT&T 4G LTE tablet

-------- Original message --------
From: Dave Ruske <dave@...>
Date: 4/6/19 11:19 PM (GMT-06:00)
To: cosmacelf@groups.io
Subject: Re: [cosmacelf] Native 1802 assembler #Assembler

I haven't had time to create anything special on the website, but I uploaded the manuals for the Netronics Assembler, Disassembler, and Text Editor, as well as the binary for the Disassembler. You can find these files on this forum here:
https://groups.io/g/cosmacelf/files/Netronics%20Software%20and%20Documentation

While I wasn't able to recover data from the Text Editor or Assembler cassettes, I did come across something surprising. For some reason only known to me minus 30 years or so, I apparently printed a hex dump and disassembly of the Text Editor binary, back when the cassette was readable. It'll take a little effort, but it looks like we have a path to recovering that. So far I haven't found anything similar for the Assembler, though.

Thanks to George Meyerle of Netronics Research and Development Ltd. for permission to share these. Sorry it took me so long to make this available.

Dave

Terry Gray
 

BTW, Dave Rusk, I neglected to say thanks for posting the Netronics documentation. I appreciate the effort. I was looking at the Emma 02 MCDS emulation and just couldn't remember enough too even play with the editor and had forgotten most of the assembler as well.

So, thanks again.