[vcf-midatlantic] Steve Dompier's coding...

Herb Johnson hjohnson at retrotechnology.info
Thu May 5 16:34:47 EDT 2016

> [Cromemco Dazzler Dazzlemation...]
> .... Mr. Dompier hand wrote that program
> LITERALLY (hand, pencil, paper), no editor, no assembler.
> He then toggled it in (or maybe raw keyed it in with a
> primitive ROM monitor) and [used paper tape to save/restore it]

I agree, it's informative to look at such code, to see methods of 
coding. But that's normal activity, given the era.

When you don't have a computer with disk drives, an assembler program, a 
text editor...that's what you did, that's what we did in the era. Much 
of the earliest 8080 code (6502, 6800, 8008, 4004, 4040...) was hand 
coded. MOst of the early single-boards, didn't have resident assemblers.

There was no choice, but this is how one understood the operation and 
programming of these processors. They were little logic engines; the 
code is the logic. It would be a lecture, to explain that further, and 
the history behind it.

Some people today, still code by hand. Many 1802 COSMAC computer owners 
do that - I support some of that work.

Example: I spent a few days recently, disassembling an 1802 FORTH 
implementation. About 1/3 of it was 1802 assembler; I used a 
disassembler for that part. The rest was just words - 16 bit addresses, 
one after another - which represented FORTH definitions. Those, I 
hand-aligned, determined the dictionary location, and "decoded" which 
FORTH word was represented. I learned a lot about setting up FORTH with 
an 1802.


Herbert R. Johnson,  New Jersey USA
http://www.retrotechnology.com OR .net

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