Z88 Developers' Notes
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27. Developing software for the Z88

Although it is possible to use the BBC BASIC as a development environment for Z88 applications, the limited memory capacity of BASIC make this task somewhat arduous. Moreover during development the Z88 is likely to crash fairly often, so much time would be spent in backing up source files to EPROM or another computer. The Z88 however, is not easy to break down. We've managed to work for several months on software (using both a native Z80 assembler and a cross assembler) with plenty of soft resets and without loss of files. It depends on the type of crash. Software should always be developed on the original computer - this is our philosophy!

Finally, it is needed to have a unique application card id, if you are going to produce EPROM card application software. When Cambridge Computer still were manufactoring the Z88, they administrated the card id's. Since they moved their office to Scotland (and have stopped production and interest of Z88), the card id registrations were lost.

InterLogic have made a substantial effort to produce a fully featured Z88 Assembler Workbench containing a native Z80 modular assembler and a Z80 cross assembler written in ANSI C, linker and library manager to compile large assembler application projects. The cross assembler has been compiled for MSDOS & LINUX (IBM) and QDOS (QL) operating systems. Further, a Z80 machine code debugger have been developed to support single stepping, tracing, breakpoints and many other features to analyse your applications both on EPROM or in RAM. Finally, an application EPROM programming utility has been implemented to produce your own application cards. To simplify your development work, we have supplied a PCLINK II compatible transfer software and over 80 different standard library routines to use in your applications - all as well documented source files.

The Z88 Assembler Workbench have been made to give the Z88 users new possibilities. Our work comprising of more than 40000 lines of assembler code and C programming have been difficult, but fun. We hope that you will enjoy our software.

If you have any suggestions to these notes or would like to report bugs on software (hopefully not!) please feel free to contact us:

            Att: Gunther Strube
            Gl. Kongevej 37, 4.tv.
            DK-1610 Kopenhagen V

            by phone (+45) 33 31 75 70 in daytime!
            e-mail gbs@image.dk
Further reading: The user manual for the Z88 Assembler Workbench is a collection of PipeDream files, that are identified with the entry document "wbench.doc". You can load the "z88workb.l" file to link all related documents together.

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Z88 Motherboard Hardware Developing software for the Z88 Glossary