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Author Topic: Enterprise programming options in 2022? (Read 282 times)

Offline Wysardry

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Enterprise programming options in 2022?
« on: 2022.August.04. 13:35:42 »
It has been more years than I want to think about since I did any programming on an Enterprise, but I used to enjoy it and would like to start again. What are my current options?

I don't currently have access to a physical machine, so I would need to use an emulator. I would also prefer to use a PC or possibly a Raspberry Pi to write the code and then cross compile for the Enterprise and other machines.

I prefer BASIC or Pascal style syntax to C style.

I'm hoping to create some text adventures, so any specialised tools that can target the Enterprise would also be useful.

Also, are there any utilities to convert files intended for emulators into audio files that a real Enterprise can load? I'm guessing that people use digital recorders and MP3 files these days.

Offline geco

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Re: Enterprise programming options in 2022?
« Reply #1 on: 2022.August.04. 17:13:43 »
EP128emu is the best choice for Enterprise emulation, it has a great debugger, but it is nearly useless if the code is not machine code :) , this emulator is 99,999% hw perfect.

Best option for programming to select a TAPE_FILEIO memory config, and tick enable virtual file I/O in machine configuration (shift+F10)

Basic: you can write your code also in a pure pc text editor, it can be loaded into the Enterprise, just load time is longer.
Turbo Pascal: the same as Basic, load time does not increase
There is C option also if i remember well, but i do not recall any of them :D
I converted CPCTelera to EP, it could be used for C programming, but it has limitations, because it builds screen with CPC addressing.

There are more programs whith you can create TAP files, and load them as audio to real EP.
TAPir Tape emulator, it can create and play TAP files as audio.
TAPEEDIT is part of EP128emu, as i see it can not play back TAP files, but the TAP file can be loaded into the emulator, and parallel to the real HW
EPTE This program creates a WAV file into \WINDOWS\temp during TAP creation.

Offline Wysardry

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Re: Enterprise programming options in 2022?
« Reply #2 on: 2022.August.04. 23:45:49 »
Interesting. I didn't realise that you could load BASIC programs in text format, as I thought they were tokenised. How are line numbers handled? Are they just typed in as a number followed by a space?

I also didn't know that Turbo Pascal was available for the Enterprise. Is that via CP/M? I never owned a disk drive.

Offline geco

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Re: Enterprise programming options in 2022?
« Reply #3 on: 2022.August.05. 08:16:59 »
Yes, the basic programs are tokenized, i think this is the reason why loading basic program is slower, because basic converts it.
Yes, as i remember normal numbers can be typed as line numbers and at least 1 space is needed after them.
I tested now, there is one important thing last line should be closed by ENTER also, otherwise it will be skipped.

Yes, it is via CP/M, but you can find more options here
« Last Edit: 2022.August.05. 08:21:23 by geco »

Offline szipucsu

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Re: Enterprise programming options in 2022?
« Reply #4 on: 2022.August.05. 10:59:27 »
You can use load command to load a basic program from a .txt file. Do not use Start (F1) to load from a .txt file because it can cause problems with the program. You can load and run a tokenized program by pressing F1 (Start). As Geco mentioned press enter at the end of the last line in the .txt file so one more empty line should be seen at the end.
You cannot use merge with a .txt file.
If loading from a .txt file should take a long time press alt+W for max. speed.

In the emulator tick Machine - Configure - Enable File IO, so you can use your PC folder to save and load files.

If you type save "filename" you can save in tokenized format which cannot be read in a .txt editor. If you want to save a .txt file of the program use this:

OPEN #1:"file:filename" ACCESS OUTPUT
LIST #1
CLOSE #1

On UK machines # is replaced with pound sign (shift+3 in the Enterprise) but it will appear as # in the .txt file.

You can set faster CPU frequency to make your editing more effective. You can save your faster and slower config to the key PageUp and PageDown.

Here you will find a short manual for the EP128Emu.
100 SOUND SOURCE 2,STYLE 128,PITCH 25.2,SYNC 1
110 SOUND PITCH 25,SYNC 1
120 ! Videos

Offline Wysardry

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Re: Enterprise programming options in 2022?
« Reply #5 on: 2022.August.05. 13:02:39 »
geco: Thanks for linking to that list of software. I didn't know most of that was available.

I noticed that HiSoft Pascal 1.2 is dated 2013 and there is a file called Zzzip SRC dated 2010. I didn't think they would still have been sold in those years. Were they officially updated and/or released as freeware?


szipucsu: Thanks for the clarification. I was wondering if it was possible to transfer existing BASIC programs to a PC.


I'm not sure if anyone here is aware of it, but I found Decimal BASIC for Windows, Mac and Linux which is an interpreted version of ISO Full BASIC. It is quite similar to IS-BASIC, which IIRC was a version of ANSI Full BASIC.

I'm hoping it would be possible to write and test programs using Decimal BASIC and then transfer to the Enterprise for final tweaking.

There's also a Decimal BASIC to Pascal converter, so it might be possible to convert IS-BASIC to Pascal.

Offline szipucsu

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Re: Enterprise programming options in 2022?
« Reply #6 on: 2022.August.05. 13:31:16 »
there is a file called Zzzip SRC dated 2010. I didn't think they would still have been sold in those years. Were they officially updated and/or released as freeware?
The author of the Zzzip found this forum in 2010 and shared us what he had had on his computer.

I'm hoping it would be possible to write and test programs using Decimal BASIC and then transfer to the Enterprise for final tweaking.
It sounds interesting. The Enterprise has a lot of special graphic and sound features so tweaking is really necessary.
100 SOUND SOURCE 2,STYLE 128,PITCH 25.2,SYNC 1
110 SOUND PITCH 25,SYNC 1
120 ! Videos

Offline Wysardry

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Re: Enterprise programming options in 2022?
« Reply #7 on: 2022.August.05. 13:45:26 »
I should still have Zzzip on cassette in my parents loft (300 miles away), but I doubt it would still load. It's good to know that the original author made it available online. I try to avoid using software that isn't legitimately free.

I haven't looked closely at what graphics and sound features there are in Decimal BASIC as my main aim is to create text adventures. Until I came here I wasn't sure I could transfer source text from a PC to an emulator, let alone a physical machine.

Offline SlashNet

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Offline Wysardry

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Re: Enterprise programming options in 2022?
« Reply #9 on: 2022.August.05. 16:34:43 »
Thanks. I've bookmarked the ZXBASIC site.

One thing I did notice from glancing through the manual is that it doesn't seem to have as many commands as IS-BASIC. For example, I couldn't find an equivalent of the SELECT ... CASE block. IF ... ELSEIF seems a lot more longwinded to me, and used to be slower in other BASIC dialects.

Offline geco

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Re: Enterprise programming options in 2022?
« Reply #10 on: Yesterday at 09:49 »
i think the easiest way if you prefer basic, write the program in IS-Basic on PC and load the text file into the emulator to test, and use ZZZIP to gain speed, it has limitations, ex basic program can use only integers in 16 bit range, but i think for a graphics adventure it is enough :-)

Offline szipucsu

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Re: Enterprise programming options in 2022?
« Reply #11 on: Yesterday at 11:51 »
Here, in the Basic program pack (download here) you can find a lot of text adventure programs. They may give you inspiration and idea how to use IS-BASIC.
Zzzip can be also useful. However, a text adventure may not need more speed than a normal basic game.
100 SOUND SOURCE 2,STYLE 128,PITCH 25.2,SYNC 1
110 SOUND PITCH 25,SYNC 1
120 ! Videos

Offline Wysardry

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Re: Enterprise programming options in 2022?
« Reply #12 on: Yesterday at 15:56 »
I prefer BASIC or Pascal style syntax to C. The curly brackets in C annoy me and I don't want the hassle of managing memory myself.

Although I would enjoy using IS-BASIC directly (with an emulator), I was also hoping to write for other machines at the same time if possible. Level 9 had a system for that after all.

The Enterprise was my favourite home computer, but the number of users is likely to be very small these days. If I can also create games for other 8-bit machines without too much extra effort, I would like to do that.

With that in mind, I've been doing a lot of research on possible options. Most recently (since my last post in fact), I've found that it should be possible to set up Nim to use SDCC or z88dk as a compiler.

Another option might be to compile for Z80 with FreePascal, although that would take a lot more work to set up as there are very few existing configurations.

There is a tool for Decimal BASIC (which I mentioned before) to convert its BASIC source to FreePascal source, which can then be compiled for multiple platforms.

As I'm only intending to create text adventures (without graphics or sound), I'm hoping that will make the process easier.

I have a crazy idea for a text adventure system that can produce source code for multiple programming languages and platforms, but producing games for the Enterprise has the highest priority.

Offline geco

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Re: Enterprise programming options in 2022?
« Reply #13 on: Yesterday at 17:59 »
I have a crazy idea for a text adventure system that can produce source code for multiple programming languages and platforms, but producing games for the Enterprise has the highest priority.
I think it is possible, since text adventures uses basic Basic commands, which exist in all Basics with small differences, so if you do not plan to use PRINT AT, it can be converted even into Commodore 64 Basic, just you have to write a converter if it is needed, but i guess there is text to Basic for a lot of platforms.

Offline Wysardry

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Re: Enterprise programming options in 2022?
« Reply #14 on: Yesterday at 18:30 »
I'm reasonably sure it's possible, but it will likely need a lot of different tools.

There is also existing IF creation software that targets retro machines, but very few that work for tape-based systems and none of those are for the Enterprise.

Most people these days just use Inform or similar tools to create Z-machine games that need a disk drive. If you're using an emulator, whether software is designed for tape or disk makes little difference.

There is someone at the intfiction forums that is working with Mike Austin to restore and update the Level 9 tools and games, but they do not know how long that will take. The project is currently still active though (I asked yesterday).