Z80 Runner by mi-chi

Z80 Runner by mi-chi

by mi-chi on 21-03-2019, 06:36
Topic: Development
Languages:

Have you ever wished for a rapid assembly testbed tool, where you can just hack-in some code and test it, then change some line and re-test at the blink of an eye?
Have you ever wanted an assembly source-level debugger?
Did you ever wish to enter an immediate instruction while debugging an assembly routine, just like you would do in Basic?
Did you ever wanted to see memory-changes in realtime, as well as the previous values that were just overwritten?
Did you ever wonder how many cycles an assembly routine consumes at runtime, incl. loops and conditional branches?
Did you ever wanted to have quick peek on the size of a selected code block?

Now you can do all of the above with the Z80 Runner! A cross-development tool that runs in Windows computers.

As a side-product of a project he's working on, mi-chi wanted to share this tool to quickly develop and debug assembly routines with the MSX development community.

As this is a Z80 assembly development tool, it is targeted at developers. The tool may be a bit rough at the edges, but it served its purpose for a couple of months now.

Be sure to read the included manual!

Happy coding!

(Many thanks for Louthrax for testing, commenting and proof-reading the manual!)

Relevant link: The package is available for free in the MRC download section.

Comments (10)

By ToriHino

Champion (383)

ToriHino's picture

21-03-2019, 19:52

Very nice! This sounds really helpful and i'm going to test it out for sure...

By MISXTOR

Champion (386)

MISXTOR's picture

21-03-2019, 20:16

Congratulations!!!!!!....

By MsxKun

Paladin (924)

MsxKun's picture

21-03-2019, 20:46

"Did you ever wish to enter an immediate instruction while debugging an assembly routine, just like you would do in Basic?"

No. why the he... Fuck yes! Wink

And the other features seems handy too. I'm going to check this Smile Thx.
(I mean, If I manage it to work in linux)

By Giangiacomo Zaffini 2

Master (167)

Giangiacomo Zaffini 2's picture

21-03-2019, 21:16

Is this inspired by REPL Read-Eval-Print-Loop idea of growing fame, extending up to jupyter notebook project territories ?
Pretty good idea. B-)

By santiontanon

Paladin (845)

santiontanon's picture

22-03-2019, 04:05

Looks really interesting! too bad it's Windows-only. Has anyone tried to run this on Wine? One a quick test it did not run, but I guess it's because I do not have those required DLLs on my Linux machine...

By mi-chi

Supporter (7)

mi-chi's picture

22-03-2019, 09:22

I spent some time to go back 4 generations of Visual Studio and make Z80 Runner build with VS 10. The result can be downloaded here: Z80Runner_0.9.1_vc10.zip

Can someone try this on Wine and post the results here?
(And as a side effect, this version should run fine on Windows XP too).

By santiontanon

Paladin (845)

santiontanon's picture

22-03-2019, 20:13

Thanks mi-chi! I just tried it with Wine and after downloading mfc100u.dll and z80asm.exe, it seems to run!! I'm at work, so I cannot test it too much, but the main window of the tool is launched, so I think it is working! Probably the "edit" button (which is mapped to notepad++ by default), and other external tools would not work, but will give it a try later this weekend and report back Smile

By dhau

Paragon (1557)

dhau's picture

22-03-2019, 20:45

Hello mi-chi, is your tool closed source? Do you distribute binaries only?

By mi-chi

Supporter (7)

mi-chi's picture

23-03-2019, 08:14

OK, I uploaded a new version that should run in Linux.

In my own tests, I found that it looks as if Wine has problems with the file Drag & Drop feature, which is required to load the assembly source file in the debugger and to inject binary and data files into memory.

This has been fixed by introducing two new file dialogs for each. They can be invoked via the following shortcuts:

  • CTRL+O to open the ASM file dialog
  • CTRL+I to open the binary / data file dialog

The manual has also been updated to reflect the requirements and installation on Linux and some notes on the usage.

Also, a new feature called "Auto-Breakpoints" has been added, which can set automatic breakpoints after the source file has been changed (and re-assembled), so it's easy to quickly run to the section of interest.

The new version is 0.9.2. The download link to 0.9.1 in the post above has been removed.

By mi-chi

Supporter (7)

mi-chi's picture

23-03-2019, 08:18

@dhau: So far, the tool is closed source with binaries only. The components it is using (see manual: z88dk assembler and the Z80 CPU simulator "chips") are freely available in source-form.