IBM 5150 PC
cclist at sydex.com
Wed Jul 15 10:45:56 CDT 2009
On 15 Jul 2009 at 9:51, Dave Dunfield wrote:
> Just curious - I don't know if I ever saw a Microsoft branded
> version of MASM 1.0 - I have the complete IBM "Macro Assembler
> by Microsoft" package, which is packaged in a pink PC format
> binder with about an inch thickness of paper - I've saw a lot
> of products in that era with much worse documentation.
That's the one I'm talking about. I'm not sure if MS ever sold the
1.0 version as a retail product.
> There are two assemblers in the package, ASM which is without
> macros and requires 64k and MASM which does support macros and
> requires 96k - someone scoffed at this, but it seems reasonable
> to provide a limited version for a very small memory footprint
> system (many vendors did this in the days of limited memory).
> It does state that if you have 96k you can run either assembler,
> so I don't think it has anything to do with needing to architect
> if differently for different amounts of memory.
Correct. ASM was useful if you had the original fully-populated 64K
5150. I found that so limiting, I purchased a Quadram Quadboard
> We used this package a lot in some early PC product development,
> and I do recall that it was slow and had a number of quirks, but
> we did produce a lot of working code with it. I also recall that
> when we upgraded to MASM 4 is was *much* better (in fact I still
> have it installed and use it from time to time).
What's remarkable is that MASM 2.x and 3.x versions can be hard to
find nowadays. I think 1.0 scared the dickens out of the market for
a time. I recall that MS/IBM released a corrective service pack
with something over 100 bug fixes.
It's interesting that Microsoft's Z80 assembler, M80 was fairly
robust--I used it extensively, even later under emulation, even
though I also had the Avocet Z80 cross-assembler.
Now, if someone would bring the microcontroller assemblers (PIC, AVR)
up to the level of MASM 6.x (or even the F level S/360 Assembler, or
CDC COMPASS) in terms of flexibility, I could die happy. What's
insane is that the current PIC assembler (MPASMWIN) executable is
over 8 MB. I know--welcome to the 21st century--nobody writes
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