Monday, 11 January 2016

Monitor completed.

Definitely not a cheese-eating surrender monkey
Monitor is now at version 0.90, e.g. it is basically finished and works well enough.

Every byte is actually used, but I could easily scrape up about 80 bytes ; I put a text message in the ROM just to fill up space really, and there are things I could trim if I needed to.

The chap on the right is Evariste Galois, a French mathematical genius who died at the age of 20 as the result of a duel. The random number generator I have added comes from his work on feedback shift registers.

The other addition is an ASCII to Integer conversion routine, which takes a string of ASCII digits and converts it to a 16 bit integer.

It struck me that much of the code written in the last couple of days is basically FORTH – arithmetic operations on a stack, and I was quite tempted to use FORTH as a High Level Language.

The thing that has sort of taken my eye, though is a language called VTL-2 ; this was a very tiny language, a sort of cut down BASIC with some interesting features.

It originally came with an Altair 680B (the 6800 based follow up to the original Altair), and was designed to fit into 3 PROMs – these things were horribly expensive then, these are 256 x 8 byte PROMs.

I will spend a little time pondering what to use for Star Trek (the 680B manual actually has a Trek listing in it which would be cheating a bit …..)

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