8080 Assembler-Text Editor (ATE)
Roy J. Tellason
rtellason at blazenet.net
Mon Apr 17 15:59:31 CDT 2006
On Monday 17 April 2006 01:05 pm, Don Y wrote:
> > Does anyone remember the conflict between the MITS and IMSAI (actually,
> > the rest of the world) about using octal vs. hex representations of data?
> > It's very obvious just by looking at the two systems--the Altair 8800
> > spaces the front panel toggles in groups of 3, whereas the IMSAI 8080
> > color-codes the switches in groups of 4. I think that the early MITS
> > assembler used octal, although it's very hard to remember.
> When I was developing Z80-based products, an ongoing *battle*
> was the use of hex vs. "split octal" (e.g., 0xFFFF -> 0377 0377).
> The octal camp claimed the Z80 was an "octal machine" (oh, really?)
> and, for "proof", showed how so many of the opcodes could be
> committed to memory just my noting the source & destination
> register "codes" and packing them into an octal representation:
> xx xxx xxx (of course, I wonder how well their argument would
> stand up if Zilog had opted to encode the register fields
> as: xs dds dsx?? :> )
Hehe. I remember that "big controversy", dunno at this point if it was in
some of the magazines or what.
Me, I wish they'd made those common TTL 7-segment decoder/driver chips
display something more like hex when you got into codes past 9...
> Octal? Hex? Just give me a symbolic debugger and let *it*
> keep track of these minutae...
> Ah for the days of toggling in bootstrap loaders with front
> panel switches.. :-/ (at least bigger machines treated octal
> as "real" octal and not this "spilt octal" nonsense...)
As did that H11 that I got to type in the boot loader any time I wanted to do
something with it, which I did indeed find exceedingly tedious.
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