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kordova

Learning z80/6052 ASM and BASIC

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I want to pick up BASIC (after years and years of inactivity) as well as a little of either z80 or 6052 Assembly in preparation of the XGS. I''ve found Programming the 6502 by Rodnay Zaks, Programming the Z80 by Rodnay Zaks and also Machine Language for Beginners by Richard Mansfield (a 6502 book, online and for sale, used). Which of the two should I choose and for what reasons? Also, does anyone have any link or book recommendations for BASIC?

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I owned the Z80 Rodnay Zaks book way back when and thought it excellent. (I used to program the Sinclair ZX Spectrum.)

I'd go for the Zaks books.

If you want to play with Z80 code, download one of the ZX Spectrum emulators out there; they're one of the few legal emulators available since Amstrad placed the Spectrum ROMs into the Public Domain. It's also a fun machine to program for and very easy to wrap your head around, as there wasn't any custom hardware. (Surprisingly, the Spectrum ROMs were open source; it was possible to buy a book with a complete, annotated disassembly listing of the ROM. I suspect it may be available online now, along with other documentation.)

If possible, use a cross-assembler, such as one of the GNU family. If you're feeling masochistic, you could use the apps I used and code directly on the Spectrum with the Picturesque or HiSoft assemblers, but this can be very frustrating.

*

As for BASIC, this isn't a 'standardised' language like C or C++: there are as many "flavours" of BASIC as there are flavours of soft drink. Frankly, you may as well wait for the XGS to be released and use the users guide in that.

If you're desperate, try something like DarkBasic or Blitz Basic. (I'm sure others will tell you which one of the two to go for; I've not used either, so can't recommend a specific flavour.)

Note that Microsoft BASIC--assuming there's a book for it still in print--was quite popular in the early '80s, but had minimal support for graphics at best, since graphics were platform-specific.

--
Sean Timarco Baggaley



[edited by - stimarco on November 14, 2003 8:21:19 PM]

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Ok, thanks a lot. About BASIC, I really just want to be familiar with the feel of the language, not so much ever nuance of any given version. Thank you very much for your input.

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quote:
As for BASIC, this isn''t a ''standardised'' language like C or C++



People sure are posting alot of CRAP around here; doesn''t anyone check their facts before spouting off like they know something?

quote:

ANSI Standard for Minimal BASIC (ANSI X3.60-1978 "FOR MINIMAL BASIC")
ISO Standard for Minimal BASIC (ISO/IEC 6373:1984 "DATA PROCESSING -


The toughest thing about learning/using basic is how much it ties your hands behind your back so you can''t do anything.

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quote:
Original post by sagwagon
As for BASIC, this isn''t a ''standardised'' language like C or C++


People sure are posting alot of CRAP around here; doesn''t anyone check their facts before spouting off like they know something?


ANSI Standard for Minimal BASIC (ANSI X3.60-1978 "FOR MINIMAL BASIC")
ISO Standard for Minimal BASIC (ISO/IEC 6373:1984 "DATA PROCESSING -


The toughest thing about learning/using basic is how much it ties your hands behind your back so you can''t do anything.


I find it easier to recommend implementations of BASIC that actually exist in the real world and are readily available.

Those Minimal Standards docs (written in 1978 and 1984, in case you missed it) are utterly irrelevant today; they talk about practices such as making line numbers optional.

In case you hadn''t noticed, we have moved on a tad since then.


--
Sean Timarco Baggaley

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Guest Anonymous Poster
Just learn a thing or two having a look at the samples included in the xgs basic alpha they released. Also check out the doc in there.

http://www.xgamestation.com/software/alphas/xgs-basic_06a.zip

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Yeah, I grabbed the emulator/compiler (which doesnt compile the assembly demos...) a few days ago, and .6 today, but I figured picking up a book on the subject might get me used to the syntax a little better with exercises etc. Cheers.

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