Archive for the ‘6502’ Category

 

CBM prg Studio v3.0.0 has been released. The main new feature in this version is support for the 65816 processor, both in the assembler and debugger. This was a large piece of work which is why there has been a much longer wait than usual. Other new features include:

  • Some support for the VICE debugger (transfer of labels and breakpoints),
  • Bitmap import/export for character editor,
  • Binary file import to Assembly source,
  • Line and rectangle drawing tools for the screen designer,
  • TASM support added to Source Converter tool.
  • Also there’s a ton of bug fixes from v2.9.0, see CBM prg Studio website for details.

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In my journey to learn everything about the Commodore 64 I did some experiments in BASIC and I managed to finish a complete game. Although I believe the final product was pretty good, every article I read in magazines like Compute Gazette keep saying that you can get most of the machine if you code in its native language: 6502 machine language. This kind of bothered me a bit because I never had a chance to program using any assembler. I did a quick training on Z80 back in 1984 but I never use it – and to be honest, it didn’t click on me – I was way more comfortable using BASIC.

BASIC has a lot of problems, like the lack of functions and better structured statements, but it is easy to learn and you can see the immediate results of what you’re coding, which is probably the reason of its huge success. I know I can still do amazing things using plain BASIC!

To answer the title question, I say a big “yes”! Learning to code for the 6502 will make you a better developer, even if you don’t actually have a reason or use for it right now. Here are my reasons: (more…)