Restoring 80's assembly code

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By S0urceror

Master (137)

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22-08-2020, 23:02

In the 80's I developed a lot in assembly. I came across a couple of disks with source-code of old demos that I made and want to restore it. See if I can make it compile, etc.

Somehow I cannot find out with which program I edited this code. Below some screenshots.

and

At first I thought it was WB-ASS2 file format that I could SAVE /A as ascii and then work with more modern editors. But unfortunately WB-ASS2 it says 'bad file mode/foute file mode'.

Do you have ideas? I also checked COMPASS but that doesn't load it either. So I'm a bit stuck here.

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By Latok

msx guru (3785)

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22-08-2020, 23:33

In the 80s you did this? Then it must be something like tasword? What did you use to compile? gen80?

By santiontanon

Paragon (1092)

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22-08-2020, 23:34

I am not sure, but from the screenshots above, it seems that it should not be too hard to write a quick scripts that loads those files, replaces #e6 (which seems to be used for new lines) with new line characters, and discard all other characters larger than 127 (10 lines of Python code at most). After that, you would just have text files you can open with any editor, no?

By S0urceror

Master (137)

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23-08-2020, 00:25

Yes I could write a script but I’d rather have the old editor back to do this.

Have been thinking it was WB-ASS, the first version, perhaps. I didn’t use Gen80 at that time. I believe that processes ASCII.

By Grauw

Ascended (9340)

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23-08-2020, 00:47

Because it is "tokenised" it must be an IDE like WBASS2 or Compass, I don't know of any others that did that...

By Briqunullus

Master (175)

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23-08-2020, 09:36

Well, the first byte is FF, which leaves me to a wild guess that they are basic listings. The Z80 assembler in MSX Computer Magazine 38 worked like that.

By Arjan

Paladin (718)

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23-08-2020, 09:55

santiontanon wrote:

I am not sure, but from the screenshots above, it seems that it should not be too hard to write a quick scripts that loads those files, replaces #e6 (which seems to be used for new lines) with new line characters, and discard all other characters larger than 127 (10 lines of Python code at most). After that, you would just have text files you can open with any editor, no?

Each line starts with 7 characters which can be discarded (first two are the address of the next line, don't know about the other bytes), then the text and #00 is used as the end of line marker.

S0urceror: Do the files have a file extension that is specific for the assembler you used? Or are they just generic file extensions (.asm or .txt)? Did you check this page to see if there's an MSX assembler you recognize?

By NYYRIKKI

Enlighted (5595)

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23-08-2020, 12:35

Indeed try to load these sources with "LOAD"-command in BASIC... I also remember seeing a compiler that compiled assembly written behind REM-commands in BASIC on some book, but unfortunately I can't remember what book. Maybe indeed good idea to check out the MSX Computer Magazine 38 that Briqunullus suggested... How ever you don't need the compiler to view the sources. For that the MSX-BASIC is enough... Maybe you'll find even some tips from some of the source comments when you type LIST(?)

By NYYRIKKI

Enlighted (5595)

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23-08-2020, 12:49

BTW I also think, it is relatively likely that the compiler is on the same disks, but you just can't recognize from your own compiled sources... Try to look the file sizes. It is likely some 8k-16k file... maybe has ".BIN"-extension... At least starts with #FE byte.

By Briqunullus

Master (175)

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23-08-2020, 13:15

Did a quick test and I'm 100% sure it's just plain old basic.

FF will start a basic file
2 bytes with the address of the next line
2 bytes with the line number, 3E8 will be 1000
3A 8F E6 for an apostrophe (funny, just a regular REM will only be 8F, so two bytes less)
the rest of your line in plain ASCII
00 to end the line

By Briqunullus

Master (175)

Briqunullus의 아바타

23-08-2020, 13:27

By the way, if you want to batch convert your files, maybe you can try the list utility made bij Vincent van Dam.

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