PLM80 V4 docs needed

Dave Mabry dmabry at
Wed Oct 15 03:54:51 CDT 2008

Jeff Erwin said the following on 10/14/2008 1:56 PM:
> The Starplex was the NS answer to the MDS, but was much more 'late 70's' in
> its design.  The prom programmer was built into the system, as was the
> screen and floppy drives.  All very modular.  I learned asm80 writing the
> editor and assembler for that beast.
> Version 4 was radically different from the 3.X and prior versions.  The
> earlier versions used the $X controls, version 4 used the controls that were
> then used in the PLM86 compiler.  Also, the DATA statement was eliminated
> and other language constructs were changed.  PLM80 V3 code would not compile
> without mods.  I remember it being released at about the same time the 8086
> and PLM86 was was released and the effort was to make PLM80 and PLM86
> somewhat similar.  The PLM80 3.x docs are pretty much worthless if you are
> using the 4.0 compiler.  4.0 was also one executable, a big change from the
> PLM81 and PLM82 2-pass method the earlier versions used.

I'm confused.  I have V4 of the "resident" compiler, that is, the one 
that runs on an MDS Series II or MDS-800.  Those machines had either an 
8080 or an 8085 cpu.  I'm putting in a very small screen shot below of 
the files.  Hopefully this is ok for the list.  It shows that there are 
6 overlay files to this compiler.  It is not one monolithic executable.  
Are you sure you aren't talking about the PL/M-86 compiler that runs on 
an MDS Series III?  That one is 8086-based.

If, indeed, you have an 8080-based compiler for PL/M-80 that is one 
large file, I would like to see that.  It is new to me.

> I'd love to get a copy of whatever you have relative to 4.0.  Emailing the
> PDF is probably easiest, I am more than happy to pay any costs associated.

I did a quick look for my plm docs and didn't find them.  I'll look more 
tonight.  I know they are in my "collection", just have to find them.

> Yes indeed!  The rumble of the 7Mb hard drive (14" across if I remember
> right) as it spun up.  My favorite, of course, is the famous "Error 7, User
> PC = xxxx" which covered almost every error you could make...
Mine has the "newer" technology hard drive.  It is an 8" winchester 
drive with 20Mb, partitioned into four sections.  I think ISIS-II was 
limited in drive size, so they split up the 20M into 4, :F0:, :F1:, 
:F2:, and :F3:.  And that drive really dims the lights when it fires up!

Don't remember Error 7, but Error 24 covered almost any error related to 
disk I/O and caused a full reboot.  That's the one that plagued the 
floppy disk based systems when the disk was wearing out.

Let me know more about your PL/M-80 compiler, if you can.


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