Saturday, 16 January 2016

Half time - state of play

Well, so far, I'm quite pleased with progress. I have:
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  1. Digitised the circuit diagrams
  2. Written an Emulator, running on the PC and "replica" hardware.
  3. Debugged the original monitor
  4. Written a Machine code monitor with a simple assembler
  5. Written a fair chunk of a "High Level" language

to finish ....

  1. complete the Language and test it a bit.
  2. write some sort of text -> MINOL translator - I whilst I could physically type the code into the emulator, well, that's the plan any way, it would be much easier to have it as a text file and convert it into MINOL format and load it straight in.
  3. write Star Trek - and testing the language
The Star Trek I was going to base it on was the one by Ian Powell published in Computing Today (a UK Magazine) in 1979 ; the reason is I have already ported this (it's for an obscure machine, the Transam Triton) to whatever computer I had at the time (Sharp MZ80K I think ....), so it seems appropriate.

Writing a program in a partly tested language is no fun. I've actually done it before, professionally, it was a BASIC owned by a Dutch company (but written by an Englishman). It was, well, interesting. You would enter GOSUB 3000 and it didn't. Variables would occasionally disappear or the program would crash altogether. I don't know what happened to that project (Hotel Management package) but it had disaster written all over it.... I did my best. On the up side, I did get to spend several months in Dordrecht in the Netherlands, which was fun. Even if all the girls (bar one) were taller than me. In fact everyone was taller than me. Even the five year olds.

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