Beginner Question: TMP or Cross Assembler?

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hellocld
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Beginner Question: TMP or Cross Assembler?

Post by hellocld » Wed May 27, 2015 3:29 pm

Hey all, first-time poster with a little question regarding ML dev. I've just started tinkering around with my C64 again, and started fiddling with ML stuff via Turbo Macro Pro. While I really enjoy writing assembly directly on the C64 with TMP, I do know that it really benefits from having an REU so it's not taking up memory on the machine. Since I've only got a stock C64 (no REU, no dual-C64 setup), should I stick with TMP until I run out of space, or would I be better off working with a cross assembler like DASM?



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Re: Beginner Question: TMP or Cross Assembler?

Post by merman » Wed May 27, 2015 5:25 pm

I've always used either

6510+ Assembler - was on Commodore Disk User, you edit the source as a BASIC program

Or

Turbo Assembler - got some good features, such as linking subroutines, but can be tricky when it comes to testing

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Re: Beginner Question: TMP or Cross Assembler?

Post by bjonte » Thu May 28, 2015 10:37 am

Assembling and emulating on a more powerful machine is more effiient than running on the real hardware for quick iterations. Especially debugging is way more difficult on the real hardware.

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Re: Beginner Question: TMP or Cross Assembler?

Post by dudz » Thu May 28, 2015 4:54 pm

i recommend toying around in a ML monitor on the real thing for a while to get familiar with the opcodes and how they relate to memory etc - and then switch to a crossassembler based setup as quick as possible.

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Re: Beginner Question: TMP or Cross Assembler?

Post by TMR » Thu May 28, 2015 5:47 pm

hellocld wrote:Since I've only got a stock C64 (no REU, no dual-C64 setup), should I stick with TMP until I run out of space, or would I be better off working with a cross assembler like DASM?
Well, i'd advise against Dasm because i've never seen a clunkier error reporting system; i'm a fan of ACME personally, but your mileage may vary and it's always wise to have a thrash at the tools yourself to see which one suits...

i'd also say there's no need to use a native assembler these days because cross assemblers will do everything they can and offer other features on top; however many minutes to assemble translates into seconds, you can build something that takes almost the entire memory and crunch it almost instantly for testing and, if your code completely spanners itself during a test run, your source is safely squirreled away outside of the C64 "sandbox" where it can't be broken by a rogue memory write sodding off through RAM.

A few people will always use the "it was good enough back in the day" line about native assemblers but honestly, most of us writing anything bigger than a crack intro would've feckin' killed for a cross assembler back then!
dudz wrote:i recommend toying around in a ML monitor on the real thing for a while to get familiar with the opcodes and how they relate to memory etc - and then switch to a crossassembler based setup as quick as possible.
This is also good advice, even if you were previously well versed with the hardware it'll help to have a prod around again before getting serious. =-)
Disclaimer: a message board post from this person shouldn't be seen as any kind of indication that a project has been started or is ongoing because as a programmer he has the attention span of... oh look, a squirrel!

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Re: Beginner Question: TMP or Cross Assembler?

Post by hellocld » Thu May 28, 2015 8:04 pm

merman wrote:I've always used either

6510+ Assembler - was on Commodore Disk User, you edit the source as a BASIC program

Or

Turbo Assembler - got some good features, such as linking subroutines, but can be tricky when it comes to testing
Haven't played around with 6510+ Assembler, but I've read into Turbo Asm a bit. I jumped on Turbo Macro Pro as it seemed like a logical next step, and so far I like it.
dudz wrote:i recommend toying around in a ML monitor on the real thing for a while to get familiar with the opcodes and how they relate to memory etc - and then switch to a crossassembler based setup as quick as possible.
Good call. I do have a HESMON 64 cart lying around, I should get more familiar with that. Thanks for the tip!
bjonte wrote:Assembling and emulating on a more powerful machine is more effiient than running on the real hardware for quick iterations. Especially debugging is way more difficult on the real hardware.
TMR wrote:i'd also say there's no need to use a native assembler these days because cross assemblers will do everything they can and offer other features on top; however many minutes to assemble translates into seconds, you can build something that takes almost the entire memory and crunch it almost instantly for testing and, if your code completely spanners itself during a test run, your source is safely squirreled away outside of the C64 "sandbox" where it can't be broken by a rogue memory write sodding off through RAM.
Yeahhh, I was starting to think this might be the better way to go about working on stuff. I'm looking into WLA DX right now, since it seems to work nicely with the NES and Game Boy as well (both of which I'd like to tinker with at some point too). Thanks for the feedback everybody!

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