Other Compilers

Anything Sinclair ZX Basic related; history, development, tips - differences between BASIC on the ZX80 and ZX81
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swensont
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Other Compilers

Post by swensont » Sat Jun 21, 2014 5:26 am

After tinkering with MCoder II, I started thinking about other ZX81 Basic Compilers. I have found the .P file for the Silversoft ZXCompile, but is no manual. I've tried it out but I have not got it to work. I've seen other compilers advertised, like ZX Autocoder (by Control Technology), ZXpress (by Non Trivial Solutions), "The ZX Compiler" (by Bob Berch), and Z-99 (by Kopak Creations). Has anyone had any experience with these other compilers?

swensont
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Re: Other Compilers

Post by swensont » Sun Jun 29, 2014 7:10 pm

It's been over a week with no replies, so I can safely say that no one on the Board can answer my questions. I did some research on the different ZX81 compiler and here is what I found out:

The first compiler advertized was ZX Autocoder, produced by Control Technology of Hyde, Cheshire, UK, in the April 1982 issue of Sinclair User. The compiler sold for 6.95 pounds "including cassette and manual." They ran a few more ads, but by the end of 1982, no more ads were running.

In the June, 1982, issue of Sinclair User, PSS of Coventry, ran an add for "ZX Compiler." Cost was 6.95 pounds. By September , 1982, PSS had bundled the compiler with "Enhanced-Basic" as the Programmers Pack #1 for 4.95 pounds.

November, 1982, issue of Sinclair User, Silversoft was advertising a "ZX81 Compiler", selling for 5.95 pounds.

In the Nov/Dec. 1982, issue of Sync (US) magazine, there were two compilers advertized. One was by Non Trivial Solutions of Amarillo, Texas. Their compiler was called ZXpress and was sold for $29.95. This was only advertized once in Sync. The other was PSS advertizing MCODER, which is a renaming of their earlier compiler. Selling for 7.95 pounds.

In the January, 1983 issue of Sinclair User, PSS ran their first advertizement in the UK for their renamed compiler, MCODER. Selling for 7.95 pounds.

In the March/April 1983 issue of Sync, there is an ad for "The ZX Compiler" from Bob Berch of Rochester, New York. Cost $25.00.

In the May/June 1983 issue of Sync, Kopak Creations of Union City, New Jersey, advertized "Z-99 Compiler" for $19.95.

July/Aug 1983 issue of Sync, Data-Assette of Oxford, PA, ran an ad for "ZX-Compiler" for $24.95.

Sept. 1983 issue of Sinclair User, PSS ran an add for MCODER II. Cost of 9.95 pounds.

For some of the US vendors advertizing compilers, it is unclear of this is a compiler of their own writing or if they renamed an existing compiler and resold it.

poglad
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Re: Other Compilers

Post by poglad » Mon Jun 30, 2014 11:15 am

Sorry for the lack of reply... the reason I didn't reply is because MCODER 2 is the only one I ever used. I ordered it the day I saw the advert in Sinclair User, and never looked back. It tided me over nicely during the period I learned Z80 coding, and it gave really zippy performance as long as you were happy with the integer-only maths. PSS were a great software house to order from, I can vividly remember the excitement when it arrived bang on time and I opened up the jiffy bag and there was the extremely professional-looking cassette box. After that I ordered Kong from them too - a great game. Happy days! :)

PS: MCODER 2 referred to itself internally as 'ZXGT' - no idea what that stood for. This has brought back such positive memories that I'm inclined to look up who the director of PSS was, find them on the internet, and tell them - 30 years late - what a satisfied customer I am.

sirmorris
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Re: Other Compilers

Post by sirmorris » Mon Jun 30, 2014 2:57 pm

I seem to remember that a compiler was documented and presented in the amazing Your Computer magazine as a type-in. It may have been something related to the PSS version. I might have to look it up.

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GCHarder
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Re: Other Compilers

Post by GCHarder » Mon Jun 30, 2014 8:37 pm

ZXGT from Your Computer Jul-Sep'83 (p.77) is the pre-cursor to MCoder 1 (maybe it is MCoder 1). As the article states in the last paragraph, if you didn't want to type in the listing you could order a copy from PSS.

The only other compilers I've been able to download are Silversoft's ZX-Compiler and something called BASIC-I compiler (written in BASIC !). Unfortunately, no docs for either one so I haven't tried them. I'd really like to see the Berch Compiler though.

A bunch of MCoded games and other programs can be found at...

http://zx81.reids4fun.com/

for those interest.

Regards;

Greg

Moggy
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Re: Other Compilers

Post by Moggy » Wed Jul 02, 2014 3:34 pm

I have ZXGT and unlike MC2 no string arrays are allowed and single dimension numerical arrays only.

poglad
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Re: Other Compilers

Post by poglad » Wed Jul 02, 2014 4:41 pm

Yes, sorry I think it's ZXGT I have... a bit confusing when it said MCODER on the box lol. It definitely says "0 REM ZXGT" when you type LIST, and you compile with RAND USR 17432. That's the original MCODER/ZXGT version I think.

Moggy
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Re: Other Compilers

Post by Moggy » Wed Jul 02, 2014 5:07 pm

Thats the one poglad and USR 17300 for MC2.

The original ZXGT for any one interested, the instructions are for the original MCODER but should suffice as I believe ZXGT and MCODER are one and the same thing roughly speaking with the compiler activated by USR 17389 being the only difference I can see at first glance.
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ZXGT Compiler (1982)(Personal Software Services).rar
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mrtinb
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Re: Other Compilers

Post by mrtinb » Wed Jan 31, 2018 12:05 am

GCHarder wrote:
Mon Jun 30, 2014 8:37 pm
ZXGT from Your Computer Jul-Sep'83 (p.77)
One of the few issues not on archive.org
Martin
ZX81, Lambda 8300, Commodore 64, Mac G4 Cube

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