Re: BASIC OS for the PC

From: Marko Mäkelä <>
Date: Tue, 20 Dec 2016 17:40:33 +0200
Message-ID: <20161220154033.alb4oemeykjjh5xo@hp>
Hi Ruud,

>"Basic OS for the PC" is a project that started three years ago just as 
>a fun project because I was a bit fed up with the 6502 at that  moment. 
>The idea was to make an OS that uses BASIC as base, just like the C64 
>does, and it should be able to run on an 8088 machine with only one 360 
>KB floppy, like the Commodore PC1. It still is an "in between" project 
>and therefore there is only a slow (but steady) progress.

This somehow reminds me on TempleOS, which is a 32-bit or 64-bit 
operating system, all written by a single programmer.

(This whole hobby also reminds me of,/ or something 

Now that virtual machines and also x86 emulators are common, it could be 
interesting to write own operating systems for x86. But I guess on this 
group we would want to concentrate on the simpler CPUs with no MMU or 
virtual memory, that is, at most 8086 or 80286. :)

>Commodore BASIC uses tokens to save the original code in memory and on 
>disk. One of my idea was to skip the tokens. Because I can skip the 
>conversion then, it simplifies saving the program lines and listing 
>them again. The greatest disadvantage however is that I will loose time 
>when running the program. So I will stick to the tokenizing. (unless 
>somebody has a better idea)
>Another advantage of using tokens is that IMHO I should be able to run 
>Commodore PRGs without any conversion.

Like Spiro, I would propose using a separate main-memory representation 
("byte-code"). There could be multiple serializers and deserializers for 
different on-disk formats (plain text, Commodore tokenized), chosen by a 
parameter to LOAD or SAVE. I am not sure if the interpreter really needs 
to incorporate an editor. (So, maybe there should not be a SAVE command 
either, except maybe when used for copying LOADed files.)

Speaking of cross-platform programming, did anyone else enjoy the CppCon 
2016 talks on YouTube? There were many interesting lectures. I posted to reduce the C64 
program file size of the toy Pong game presented in

On related news, I would like to help with to create a modern C/C++ 
compiler for the 6502, if only I had more spare time. I do not think 
that this is completely unreasonable, because there already is avr-gcc 
(targeting an 8-bit microcontroller family) and also in the works. Clang seems to be a 
little better at C++ and high-level code transformations and 
whole-program optimizations than GCC, which could benefit small 


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Received on 2016-12-20 16:01:49

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