Data General Nova object formats

Toby Thain toby at
Sun Jun 12 22:19:29 CDT 2016

On 2016-06-12 11:02 PM, jwsmobile wrote:
> On 6/12/2016 5:39 PM, Mark J. Blair wrote:
>> Ok, I've found a description of the .rb format in manual 093-000081-02
>> for the Macro Assembler, and a description of the .ab format in manual
>> 093-000003-06 for the Binary Loader. Now, off to dig into Toby's
>> assembler some more to figure out how to make it emit absolute binary!
> Is there a linker included in his toolchain?  That is where you need to

No, there is no linker. It was intended to be compatible with the RDOS 
tools, but I never built a complete toolchain. I don't actually own a 
Nova, although I think it's a fun machine -- this was inspired by a Nova 
that I helped a friend obtain.

> look.  If it is designed to run for an OS, or with an smart loader, it
> will take in object modules and emit them with relocatable addressing
> resolution still required.
> There should be some linker control to do placement like you wish to
> have it do, which would be absolute binary with the loader directives
> other than object addresses and text gone.

It's pretty easy to hack up a tool to do that much, I think. There is an 
RB parsing utility in the source code.


> thanks
> Jim

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