Development Environments (Was:Starting a PCjr coding project

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Development Environments (Was:Starting a PCjr coding project

Postby jason » Mon Sep 01, 2008 3:02 pm

Does anyone have any documents or webpages that list what you need to setup a development environment for the PCjr? The idea of writing "hello world" for my PCjr is strangely appealing :mrgreen: .

All I ever did was write programs in BASIC, hehe.
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Re: Development Environments (Was:Starting a PCjr coding project

Postby Brutman » Mon Sep 01, 2008 4:21 pm

I haven't tried everything, but here is what I've used in the past.

BASIC - Cartridge BASIC counts, and it already is setup to exploit the sound and graphics on the machine. It is an interpreted language so it's going to be slow. Not much setup to do though ...

BASIC (compiled) - There are lots of BASIC compilers out there. I used the classic 1.0 version of the IBM/Microsoft BASIC compiler - it does the job, but it sucks. I'd like to find a copy of 2.0, but they are pretty hard to find even on eBay. Compiled BASIC is much faster than interpreted BASIC. Besides the IBM/Microsoft BASIC compilers there where others, such as Zbasic. (Zbasic 3.x was my favorite - I spent a lot of time hacking with that.) You might also look at early versions of Microsoft QuickBASIC, but I have no idea if they run on the Jr.

Turbo Pascal - Borland's Turbo Pascal 3.0 runs great on the Jr - I used it for years. Not sure about the later version - Trixter might know.

Assember - For hardcore programmers only. The good news is that most assemblers can run easily on such a small machine. (The later ones might not.)

C - Forget it. If you could find an old C compiler that would fit on a Jr, you wouldn't want to use it.


The best thing to do it to experiment and try things out. Back when I was doing a lot of programming on the Jr I used Zbasic as the compiler and WordStar 3.3 for editing source code.
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Re: Development Environments (Was:Starting a PCjr coding project

Postby Trixter » Mon Sep 01, 2008 6:54 pm

Brutman wrote:Turbo Pascal - Borland's Turbo Pascal 3.0 runs great on the Jr - I used it for years. Not sure about the later version - Trixter might know.


All versions work fine, but 3.0 is the only one that I could say you could comfortably fit onto a bootable disk and still have room for your source code and compiled binary. There's always the command-line TPC.EXE, but then you'd have to come up with your own editor (luckily, there are serviceable editors that fit into 4K, like T.COM.
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Re: Development Environments (Was:Starting a PCjr coding project

Postby Vorticon » Thu Dec 10, 2009 10:15 pm

Microsoft Macro Assembler 5.1 and Turbo Pascal 5.5 work just fine when set up on a zip drive.
Microsoft QBasic also works great although it is interpreted.

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Re: Development Environments (Was:Starting a PCjr coding project

Postby hyperfrog » Fri Dec 11, 2009 2:33 pm

Let's say I want to program for the PCjr, not necessarily on the PCjr. I understand that DOSBox can simulate the PCjr graphics adapter, so I guess some testing could be done on a modern PC, not just programming. What would be a good environment for targeting the PCjr? BC++ 3.x? Mike, what do you use?

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Re: Development Environments (Was:Starting a PCjr coding project

Postby Brutman » Fri Dec 11, 2009 3:37 pm

If I have to program on the PCjr, I use an ancient BASIC compiler called ZBASIC. It did structured BASIC with inline assembler long before QuickBASIC was available. Turbo Pascal 3.0 is also great on the Jr.

If I want to program for the PCjr (or any DOS machine), I use Turbo C++ 3.0 for DOS. Runs fine on a 386 .. I wouldn't run it on a 286 - I tried that, and it's just too slow. Other options are MASM 5.x or 6.x and later versions of Turbo Pascal.

All of the TCP/IP code I've done is in Turbo C++. The only thing wrong with it is that it has no knowledge of the PCjr graphics or special hardware, so you have to do that work yourself.
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Re: Development Environments (Was:Starting a PCjr coding project

Postby Trixter » Sat Dec 12, 2009 12:27 pm

For my PCjr coding, I use Turbo Pascal because the IDE+compiler+debugger+assembler is a single program. For projects that I only have to test on PCjr, I code on a 5160. For projects that definitely require a PCjr (graphics/sound), I try to code on a Tandy 1000 TX (the TX is a 286, so that's cheating somewhat, but it makes the editing/compiling go faster).
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