Just the signal, not the noise

Hello 8bit'ers,

It's been a colorful week and strangely enough it ends on a Friday again!

However, this also means that with this issue a number of potentially interesting topics hit your inbox again.

The mix is as colorful as the week itself, and we hope there is something for your taste.

Enjoy Issue #40!


Pascal for BE6502

Pascal selfsustained on a BE6502
Imagesource: https://eater.net/

It has been unusually quiet around Ben Eater for a long time. Statistically, a next video is already overdue. But instead of speculating, let's just assume that, as always, something great is waiting for us. 

For those who are running out of time and possible experiments, Nick Gammon is here to help.

What Nick currently presents, really gives the BE6502 a run for its money.

Via FTDI cable the breadboard machine is connected serially to a computer, which serves as a terminal. From then on, an assembler and a Pascal compiler are available, which run on the BE6502, making the small computer self sustainable!

Nick extends the memory by 8kB with the help of a modified memory mapping and an additional NAND gate, and he recommends the use of a faster clock chip. But if you've assembled the original BE6502, you'll be fine with the hardware update.

Mega exciting project for the small machine and the recommendation of the week!

Share the signal:

6809 Cross Compiler

Last week we already talked about the possibilities of the LLVM backend for the MOS 6502. A universe of possibilities ... 💫

This week we get to go one better, but this time for the Motorola 6809 CPU and with it machines like the Tandy Color Computer, the Dragon, the Vectrex and a number of consoles.

Pierre Sarrazin just presented CMOC - a C cross compiler for the 6809.

Of course there are trade-offs to be made. Unfortunately simply compiling existing C code for the 6809 is not possible. On the one hand, the compiler only supports a subset of C, on the other hand, only a minimal replacement version is available instead of a standard lib. And float operations can only be implemented on the Tandy.

Still, an interesting option to implement more complex algorithms much easier in C instead of Assembly. The 6809 is your thing? Here you go.

Share the signal:

Emulating Mac Compilers

Emulating Mac Compilers
Imagesource: https://wuffs.org/

This week Ninji came up with an interesting story, which actually digs very deep into Classic Mac OS, compilers and emulation of the latter on modern systems.

To be able to produce software for the 68k variant of Mac OS on a modern system nowadays, you are left with emulators at first sight. But these limit you, if you want to use a modern code editor for example.

Ninji goes a completely different and super interesting way. With the help of the Unicorn CPU emulator, Rust and an own standard lib she/he brings old compilers to life on modern systems.

Mega impressive, especially when you assume that someone invests so much time for an such an edge case scenario. The project as well as the article about it are more than worth reading, but go much deeper than the otherwise often so common surface scratch.

Share the signal:

Atari SubStack

Goto 10 - Atari Newsletter
Imagesource: https://goto10.substack.com/

For historical reasons, our focus is unfortunately too often on Commodore and Apple devices and the hardware or software that goes with them. But of course there are so many other colorful worlds out there, some of which we illuminate far too little.

So it's all the more gratifying that Paul Lefebvre decided to set up an Atari-centric newsletter here on SubStack a few days ago.

Most certainly a great addition to Twitter, Facebook and 8bitnews 😜 but of course you can also read it directly on the web, in case you don't want to give away your email address.

A welcome addition for all friends of Atari machines.

Share the signal:


Golden Age Podcast

Golden Age Podcast
Imagesource: https://www.teddabneyexperience.com/

Quality content is the key to success. If the 3 names Paul Drury, Tony Temple and Richard May mean something to you, then you also know that exactly this quality content is now waiting for you here.

The three (without telling us) set up a podcast series under the pseudonym The Ted Dabney Experience. They already started way back in April 2020.

The topics are fairly broad across the retrocomputing landscape, and listening is just plain fun. Our first but hopefully not last recommendation of a podcast: The Ted Dabney Experience Podcast

Lovely! Head over.

Share the signal:

Atari Sprite Editor

Atari Sprite Editor
Imagesource: https://bocianu.gitlab.io/spred/

Complete change of subject, but at least we'll stick to Atari this time. You regularly build software for one of the homecomputers or consoles? Besides coding, pushing around pixels plays a role. And designing sprites pixel by pixel is an art, but can also a real pain in the back.

Bocianu Boczansky has decided to remedy this and recently released his Atari Sprite Editor spred.

The announcement and more details about the project can be found here. The editor runs directly in the browser, and since Bocianu provides the source code, nothing stands in the way of using it on localhost.

Helpful little project for every pixel pusher. 🟥🟨🟩

Share the signal:

MS BASIC Opensource

Microsot BASIC - Opensource
Imagesource: https://unsplash.com/

The last news of the day is not mega exciting, but at least interesting. Rich Turner from Microsoft announced on the Microsoft Dev Blog that the source of Microsoft GW-BASIC from 1983 is now available as opensource here on GitHub. 

Build scripts and tools are missing, but with the assembly source for the 8088 a wonderful example of a BASIC implementation finally becomes available.  Lots to learn. 🙇‍♂️

Share the signal:



MAELSTROM on modern Hardware
Imagesource: https://macsourceports.com/

The ladies and gentlemen of Mac Source Ports are dedicated to the idea of getting old games running on new Apple hardware. That includes keeping them alive.

Who hasn't always dreamed of Maelstrom (1992) on their brand new M1 Ultra (2022). (Well me personally since Tuesday this week ... 🍏) Now that dream is finally coming true. (The Maelstrom one … not the Ultra.

The universal binary of Maelstrom makes the bytes bounce through memory on both Apple Silicon and 64-bit Intel Macs, and those who know the game will have a lot of fun after the short download.

Thanks Mac Source Ports. What would life be without Maelstrom. 🙂

Share the signal:

Impossible RAM

Impossible RAM
Imagesource: https://youtu.be/G4LMqCb6jPM

3096.01066 bytes free on a Commodore PET? What does that even mean? Well, there were different variants of the PET and depending on whether you have a machine with an integrated CRT controller in front of you, the thing can do some weird things that don't become transparent at first sight.

But Adrian has taken on the subject on his channel, and as usual there is not only a lot to learn (about the PET), but also a 28 minute and 17 minute entertainment package waiting for you. 

Enjoy. 📺

Share the signal:

HiRes Adventures

HiRes Adventures
Imagesource: https://retro365.blog/

Sometimes a title promises something that the content can't deliver. It's always a matter of definition. Especially when you talk about HiRes in 2022, terms like 8K and HiDPI tend to come to mind. 

But what is meant here, is something completely different. HiRes of the very early 80s and especially graphic games. Ernst Krogtoft, who was our guest already a few issues ago, has produced videos of some very special gems of early gaming history and published them on Youtube.

The special thing about Ernst's videos - he doesn't have anything to say about them, you just get to watch the gameplay. The summary of the games can be found in his blog

In any case, trips this one or to other of his articles are more than worth the time. 

Share the signal:

CPC 464

CPC 464
Imagesource: https://youtu.be/V09jadgp-gM

The Retro Shack has not been with us for some time. But now he gives us a reason to change that. His latest video is about the Amstrad CPC-464, a machine that is often underestimated.

All the more amazing are the facts and details about the machine that The Retro Shack has compiled and, as always, attractively presents.

Share the signal:

C64 @ MiSTer

C64 @ MiSTer
Imagesource: https://youtu.be/zjMBMRp0pwg

Wolfgang Kierdorf should not be an unknown quantity. He runs his own consulting company full-time, writes and publishes books and is active in the modern digital world.

His year of construction 1973, however, suggests where his personal penchant for retrocomputing comes from. And so you can find videos on retro topics on his Youtube channel every now and then since 2021.

This time it's about the MiSTer Cores for the C64, VIC 20 and the PET. If you're thinking about buying dedicated hardware for a MiSTer console, there's certainly a lot to read and watch, but Wolfgang's overview is definitely helpful and entertaining.

Share the signal:

This was the 40th issue of 8bitnews. Hopefully there was a topic for you.

If you have a tip or a recommendation for interesting content, please contact us anytime. We are grateful for hints and can always be reached by email. Feel free to reply directly to this email.

We are also happy about any support. If you think of someone who might enjoy 8bitnews, just forward this issue. We will gladly take care of the rest.

We will be back next week. You guessed it, Friday. 😁

In the meantime, build something. And speak about it.

Take care.

Jan & Bastian

This email was forwarded to you? You can sign up here to receive it directly.

View our privacy policy here.

Made with 🍉 in Berlin

More content like that - only for subscribers. Free of charge. Free of SPAM. Rich in retro.