Possible to run Acorn BBC Micro Language ROM on another 6502 system?

bbc micro/electron/atom/risc os coding queries and routines
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Bobbi
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Re: Possible to run Acorn BBC Micro Language ROM on another 6502 system?

Post by Bobbi »

I have been tinkering with this a bit more and have BASIC working in a usable way on the //e now. My 'MOS' is still rather basic so I just support 80 column text mode for now - no graphics, no sound. I implemented OSFILE (for A=&00 and A=&FF) so programs can be LOADed or SAVEed. I haven't implemented the other filing system calls yet, so file I/O in BASIC will not work yet. However it is pretty usable, with 32KB of available space (PAGE at &0E0, HIMEM at &8000). Anyhow, not bad for a few days work.

COMAL also seems to be working. I also tried a few other language ROMs with less success.

- FORTH appears to accept commands and perform computations but the results are not printed on the screen. It does not crash, just displays ? for everything.
- LISP also is able to show a prompt and accept commands, but doesn't seem to be able to evaluate and print anything. I haven't investigated yet.
- BCPL blows up spectacularly writing crap all over the screen at $800.

So a few questions ...

1) Any ideas on what MOS calls FORTH and/or LISP use that BASIC does not? It seems on the face of it that I should be able to get these going too.
2) What other single ROM languages should I try? I think Pascal is two ROMs and Logo too. Is BCPL just one ROM? Maybe that is my issue with BCPL!
3) Do any of the languages need memory above $800 as internal workspace? If so I will have to go 40 cols for those ones.
4) Finally, who does error handling for OSFILE? It seems regardless of what I return BASIC never prints an error, so is it OSFILE's job to print info about load or save errors?

In the longer term I think I am going to beef up the file handling and then improve the VDU drivers so maybe we can have a glorious 280x192 high resolution graphics mode :)
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Re: Possible to run Acorn BBC Micro Language ROM on another 6502 system?

Post by sweh »

Bobbi wrote:
Wed Jul 14, 2021 8:42 pm
4) Finally, who does error handling for OSFILE? It seems regardless of what I return BASIC never prints an error, so is it OSFILE's job to print info about load or save errors?
For OSFILE 0/255 (ie SAVE/LOAD) the error messages like "File not found" and "Bad filename" should be generated with the BRK instruction to cause the BASIC error handler to trap them.
eg

Code: Select all

BRK
EQUB 214
EQUS "Not found"+CHR$(13)
OSFILE 1->6 generally return (e.g. with A=0) unless the error is "Locked" (err 195) in which case that's also raised with a BRK.

Unexpected issues ("write protected", "disk error" etc) also cause BRKs.
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Re: Possible to run Acorn BBC Micro Language ROM on another 6502 system?

Post by Lardo Boffin »

BCPL is a single ROM but has various tools you run from disc to edit files and compile programs etc.

The ‘compiled’ programs require the ROM to be present to run (unless you use the Stand Alone Generator) as they are not compiled to machine code but an intermediate format.
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Re: Possible to run Acorn BBC Micro Language ROM on another 6502 system?

Post by jgharston »

Bobbi wrote:
Wed Jul 14, 2021 8:42 pm
So a few questions ...
2) What other single ROM languages should I try? I think Pascal is two ROMs and Logo too. Is BCPL just one ROM? Maybe that is my issue with BCPL!
View? :)
3) Do any of the languages need memory above $800 as internal workspace? If so I will have to go 40 cols for those ones.
Languages are not allowed to use memory above &800, that's not language memory. Languages are only allowed to use memory at &00-&8F, &400-&7FF, MEMBOT (PAGE) - MEMTOP-1 (HIMEM-1).
4) Finally, who does error handling for OSFILE? It seems regardless of what I return BASIC never prints an error, so is it OSFILE's job to print info about load or save errors?
It's the current error handler's job to deal with errors, regardless of who generated them. The current error handler will be whoever set up BRKV at &0202/3. When in BASIC, BASIC will be the current error handler.
In the longer term I think I am going to beef up the file handling and then improve the VDU drivers so maybe we can have a glorious 280x192 high resolution graphics mode :)
Yay! :D

Remember, graphics uses logical pixels which are number_of_characters multiplied by 2 repeatedly until you get above &2FF, so a 20/40/80-column screen is 1280 logical pixels wide. The Apple uses "US" screen sizes, a quick glace at the AIIe reference manual confirms the text display is 24 lines, so that's 768 logical pixels high.

280 pixels??? 4.57 points per pixel??? Yerwot? Ok, (pixel * 7)>>5. Dig out your fast multiply_by_7 code. ;)

(Hint: n*7 = n*8 - n, so n<<3 SUB n)

Code: Select all

$ bbcbasic
PDP11 BBC BASIC IV Version 0.36
(C) Copyright J.G.Harston 1989,2005-2020
>_
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Re: Possible to run Acorn BBC Micro Language ROM on another 6502 system?

Post by jgharston »

sweh wrote:
Wed Jul 14, 2021 10:37 pm
For OSFILE 0/255 (ie SAVE/LOAD) the error messages like "File not found" and "Bad filename" should be generated with the BRK instruction to cause the error handler to handle them.
eg
BRK
EQUB 214
EQUS "Not found"+CHR$(13)
EQUS "Not found"+CHR$(0)
or more conventionally:
BRK
EQUB 214
EQUS "Not found"
BRK
or:
BRK:EQUB 214:EQUS "Not found":BRK

Errors from sideways ROMs are generated by copying the error into the end of the stack in main memory, typically with this code.

Also, you must use the correct error numbers, don't make them up, otherwise you'll knacker any program that ever uses ERR to make any decisions.
OSFILE 1->6 generally return (e.g. with A=0) unless the error is "Locked" (err 195) in which case that's also raised with a BRK.
No, only OSFILE 6,7,8 (Delete,Create,CDIR). What would be the point of ReadInfo (OSFILE 5) not actually giving you the file info if the file was locked? How do you know if the file is locked if it refuses to tell you what the locked status is when the file is locked? ;) Or the WriteInfo (OSFILEs 1-4) not actually writing the info? How can you unlock a file if being locked means you can't unlock the file?

"Locked" is generated if you try to SAVE on top of a Locked file, Delete a Locked object, or Create on top of a Locked file.
"File exists" is generated if you try to CDIR and there's already a file with that name
"Is a direcory" is generated if you try to LOAD a directory, SAVE on top of a directory, or Create on top of a directory.
Creating a directory when the directory is already there is not an error. CDIR is ensure directory exists, not complain if directory exists. Some filing systems get this wrong.
Read an object's info (OSFILE 1-5) never errors from the filing system (the device driver may generate an error, eg Disk Error XX at D:YYYY). In particular, if any component of a path is missing, the call returns &00. ReadInfo("fred.jim.sheila.bob.mike") when only fred.jim exists does not generate "bob not found", it returns &00.

Your pathname format must match the platform you're running on, not the language you're using. Just pass on the pathnames from the API call to the underlying host, don't attempt to mangle them or impose any external preassumptions on them. ProDOS uses /directory/filename.ext pathnames, just pass on pathnames to the host. Let the underlying system validate things, don't impose your own expectations of what the underlying system might think is valid.

Make OSBYTE 0,1 return &0A for "Apple/Mac/etc", which will also tell programs that the host uses "/directory/file.ext paths".

We'll have to work out an appropriate INKEY-256 value.

Code: Select all

$ bbcbasic
PDP11 BBC BASIC IV Version 0.36
(C) Copyright J.G.Harston 1989,2005-2020
>_
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Re: Possible to run Acorn BBC Micro Language ROM on another 6502 system?

Post by Bobbi »

I have been meaning to write some documentation but I haven't yet.

Code (work in progress) lives here: https://github.com/bobbimanners/Applecorn

There is a disk image if anyone with an Apple //e (or emulator) wants to try it!
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Re: Possible to run Acorn BBC Micro Language ROM on another 6502 system?

Post by sweh »

jgharston wrote:
Sat Jul 17, 2021 1:35 am
OSFILE 1->6 generally return (e.g. with A=0) unless the error is "Locked" (err 195) in which case that's also raised with a BRK.
No, only OSFILE 6,7,8 (Delete,Create,CDIR). What would be the point of ReadInfo (OSFILE 5) not actually giving you the
file info if the file was locked? How do you know if the file is locked if it refuses to tell you what the locked status is when
I said error. Reading a locked file isn't an error so no error is generated or returned.
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Re: Possible to run Acorn BBC Micro Language ROM on another 6502 system?

Post by Lardo Boffin »

Whereabouts on the Git site is the downloadable disc image?
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Re: Possible to run Acorn BBC Micro Language ROM on another 6502 system?

Post by Richard Russell »

jgharston wrote:
Sat Jul 17, 2021 1:01 am
Remember, graphics uses logical pixels which are number_of_characters multiplied by 2 repeatedly until you get above &2FF, so a 20/40/80-column screen is 1280 logical pixels wide.
Logical pixels being related to the number of characters? That can't be right, since a character cell isn't necessarily a power-of-two pixels wide (and if using a proportional-spaced font characters won't even all be the same width). Surely the number of logical pixels is the number of physical pixels (not characters) multiplied by a power-of-two.
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Re: Possible to run Acorn BBC Micro Language ROM on another 6502 system?

Post by jgharston »

Richard Russell wrote:
Mon Jul 19, 2021 2:03 pm
jgharston wrote:
Sat Jul 17, 2021 1:01 am
Remember, graphics uses logical pixels which are number_of_characters multiplied by 2 repeatedly until you get above &2FF, so a 20/40/80-column screen is 1280 logical pixels wide.
Logical pixels being related to the number of characters? That can't be right, since a character cell isn't necessarily a power-of-two pixels wide (and if using a proportional-spaced font characters won't even all be the same width). Surely the number of logical pixels is the number of physical pixels (not characters) multiplied by a power-of-two.
I'm not talking proportional characters, but fixed characters. Characters are nominally 8 pixels by 8 pixels, which is a power of two, so the full screen size will be a multiple of 8 pixels.

Of course, in Zebra MODEs, characters are visually nominally 10 pixels tall.

But the main point is that all screen MODEs that are the same "shape" must have the same number of logical pixels regardless of physical pixels. 20x32, 40x32, 80x32 screen MODEs must all have the same number of logical pixels, 20/40/80/etc-col screen MODEs must be 1280 logical pixels wide regardless of physical pixels or what you draw with them, and 32-line screen MODEs must be 1024 logical pixels high regardless of physical pixels or what you draw with them, all 80x25 screen MODEs must have the same number of logical pixels, all 112x60 screen MODEs must have the same number of logical pixels, etc. In an 20/40/80x32 MODE MOVE 0,0:DRAW 1279,1023 must draw a diagonal line from corner to corner, etc.

Not only is it specified, but a lot of code depends on it to do things such as
PRINT TAB(x,y);message$:PROCdraw_rectangle(coords relating to x,y)
to drawn boxes around text.

There are some known rule breakers. RISC OS MODE 22 comes out wrong. It has 36 text lines, and 576 logical pixels, but all other MODEs with 36 text lines have 1152 logical pixels.

The other day I was trying to track down some code/maths for how many logical pixels a certain physical MODE shape should have, it's probably somewhere in my Hong Kong stuff somewhere. (After wondering for ages where it was, yesterday I happened on the US MOS 1.20 specification by accident.) From memory and imperical testing it was something along the lines of:
gfx%=txw%*4:REPEAT:gfx%=gfx%*2:UNTILgfx%>=&400
gfy%=txh%*4:REPEAT:gfy%=gfy%*2:UNTILgfy%>=&300

Code: Select all

$ bbcbasic
PDP11 BBC BASIC IV Version 0.36
(C) Copyright J.G.Harston 1989,2005-2020
>_
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Re: Possible to run Acorn BBC Micro Language ROM on another 6502 system?

Post by jgharston »

Lardo Boffin wrote:
Mon Jul 19, 2021 11:59 am
Whereabouts on the Git site is the downloadable disc image?
It's applecorn.po isn't it? It looks like a PrOdos disk image.

Code: Select all

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Re: Possible to run Acorn BBC Micro Language ROM on another 6502 system?

Post by Richard Russell »

jgharston wrote:
Mon Jul 19, 2021 8:17 pm
Characters are nominally 8 pixels by 8 pixels
They are on the Beeb, but this thread is about non-Acorn 6502 systems. Even if 8x8 characters were common on other machines, it can't be right to say that graphics coordinates are somehow connected with character widths, which might for example be 6 pixels if a 5x7 font was used.
But the main point is that all screen MODEs that are the same "shape" must have the same number of logical pixels regardless of physical pixels.
Agreed. It's a great shame, however, that Acorn didn't settle on a much higher logical resolution, for example 10,240 logical pixels across the width of the screen rather than 1280. That would still have been compatible with 16-bit coordinates (which is what the VDU stream assumes) but would have allowed the same coordinate system to be used for anti-aliased graphics. A rare example of lack of foresight.
Not only is it specified, but a lot of code depends on it to do things such as
PRINT TAB(x,y);message$:PROCdraw_rectangle(coords relating to x,y)
to drawn boxes around text.
Even on Acorn machines there isn't a consistent relationship between vertical graphics coordinates (with the origin at the bottom) and vertical text coordinates (with the origin at the top), for example between UK and US models of the BBC Micro. So code which "depends on it" won't be portable.
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Re: Possible to run Acorn BBC Micro Language ROM on another 6502 system?

Post by Lardo Boffin »

jgharston wrote:
Mon Jul 19, 2021 8:33 pm
Lardo Boffin wrote:
Mon Jul 19, 2021 11:59 am
Whereabouts on the Git site is the downloadable disc image?
It's applecorn.po isn't it? It looks like a PrOdos disk image.
Yep. :oops:

1295CB3C-E698-4F00-B1C1-0E0D1793AFB3.jpeg
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Re: Possible to run Acorn BBC Micro Language ROM on another 6502 system?

Post by Bobbi »

With the latest version on Github, as of today, COMAL is also working (if you rename the COMAL rom to BASIC.ROM .. there is no fancy selector yet.)

There is also a rather primitive *CAT / *. command so you can list the current directory. I plan to add *DIR shortly so one can navigate the ProDOS filesystem from within Applecorn (as I am calling this thing.)
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Re: Possible to run Acorn BBC Micro Language ROM on another 6502 system?

Post by FourthStone »

Bobbi wrote:
Tue Jul 20, 2021 1:31 am
With the latest version on Github, as of today, COMAL is also working (if you rename the COMAL rom to BASIC.ROM .. there is no fancy selector yet.)

There is also a rather primitive *CAT / *. command so you can list the current directory. I plan to add *DIR shortly so one can navigate the ProDOS filesystem from within Applecorn (as I am calling this thing.)
Looks like a very interesting process, well done =D>

My thoughts on the name: Abble :lol:
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Re: Possible to run Acorn BBC Micro Language ROM on another 6502 system?

Post by Bobbi »

Latest version I just pushed to Github has basic functionality for the following '*' commands:

*QUIT - quit to ProDOS
*HELP
*CAT or *.
*DIR (for example *DIR /H1/APPLECORN)

BASIC and COMAL are working and you can LOAD and SAVE files.

Use BRUN APPLECORN to start the code. It will load whatever ROM is in the file BASIC.ROM.
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Re: Possible to run Acorn BBC Micro Language ROM on another 6502 system?

Post by Lardo Boffin »

I tried BRUN APPLECORN from the disc image from last night and got an A and then a U and back to ProDOS I think:

0582D985-9FFD-476A-B299-034CB6D37D8C.jpeg
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Re: Possible to run Acorn BBC Micro Language ROM on another 6502 system?

Post by Bobbi »

Hmm that is weird - not seen those symptoms. Just to check, your //e is enhanced, right?

Looks like you are getting the first chars of the messages ... 'U' is probably "Unable to load the ROM ..."

Try setting the PREFIX explicitly before running: PREFIX /APPLECORN
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Re: Possible to run Acorn BBC Micro Language ROM on another 6502 system?

Post by Bobbi »

New version just checked in. Now I can also run Forth (so BASIC, COMAL, Forth all working now.)

Forth was very picky about the exact way OSWORD(A=&00) was implemented so I ended up having to steal some code from the real MOS 1.20 to make it happy.

Next challenge is to get Lisp going!

https://github.com/bobbimanners/Applecorn
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Re: Possible to run Acorn BBC Micro Language ROM on another 6502 system?

Post by Lardo Boffin »

Bobbi wrote:
Wed Jul 21, 2021 4:52 am
Hmm that is weird - not seen those symptoms. Just to check, your //e is enhanced, right?

Looks like you are getting the first chars of the messages ... 'U' is probably "Unable to load the ROM ..."

Try setting the PREFIX explicitly before running: PREFIX /APPLECORN
Ahh. Mine isn’t enhanced. Looks like time to order a kit!
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Re: Possible to run Acorn BBC Micro Language ROM on another 6502 system?

Post by Bobbi »

Yeah, order the kit from Reactive Micro. I upgraded mine a few years ago.

Sorry it needs enhanced just because I prefer writing 65C02 code over plain 6502.
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Re: Possible to run Acorn BBC Micro Language ROM on another 6502 system?

Post by Lardo Boffin »

Bobbi wrote:
Wed Jul 21, 2021 2:59 pm
Yeah, order the kit from Reactive Micro. I upgraded mine a few years ago.
Thanks. Funnily enough I emailed them this morning asking which ROM I need to select.
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Re: Possible to run Acorn BBC Micro Language ROM on another 6502 system?

Post by Bobbi »

Henry (Reactive Micro) is a great guy ... he will help you out!
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Re: Possible to run Acorn BBC Micro Language ROM on another 6502 system?

Post by Bobbi »

I added a README.md to the Github repo, so there is some documentation now:

https://github.com/bobbimanners/Applecorn
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Re: Possible to run Acorn BBC Micro Language ROM on another 6502 system?

Post by Bobbi »

Oh, and MicroProlog appears to work, as best I can tell from 5 minutes with the manual.
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Re: Possible to run Acorn BBC Micro Language ROM on another 6502 system?

Post by Lardo Boffin »

Great logo! Is BCPL next? [-o<
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Re: Possible to run Acorn BBC Micro Language ROM on another 6502 system?

Post by Bobbi »

The two on my target list right now are Lisp and BCPL. I think the BCPL will require me to implement the rest of the I/O syscalls (OSFIND, OSGETB, OSPUTB etc.)

I have also been wondering about the two ROM languages like the ISO Pascal. If the code uses the OSRDRM call to access the 'other' ROM then it may be possible to support these too.
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Re: Possible to run Acorn BBC Micro Language ROM on another 6502 system?

Post by Bobbi »

I just played with BCPL a bit - I think it is basically working but useless until I implement the remaining syscalls so it can access the disk. It will be interesting to see if the disk based portions of BCPL (such as the compiler) can be made to work also.
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Re: Possible to run Acorn BBC Micro Language ROM on another 6502 system?

Post by Lardo Boffin »

Enhanced kit ordered so hopefully in a few weeks I can give it a go.

I assume the compiler will be in CINT code (otherwise it would be run with *BCPL and not just BCPL) and therefore if any programs can be loaded and run it should also be able to be run. Might just be being mindlessly optimistic though!
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Re: Possible to run Acorn BBC Micro Language ROM on another 6502 system?

Post by danielj »

This is great work Bobbi!
Lardo Boffin wrote:
Wed Jul 21, 2021 6:36 am
Ahh. Mine isn’t enhanced. Looks like time to order a kit!
It is possible to just swap the 6502 for a 65C02 and you'll be away. Then, if you've got an eprom programmer you can just program the relevant ROM and plop them in :) That's how I did it.

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