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ZX-81 Development

In a lot of ways iOS development feels like the spiritual successor to ZX81/Spectrum development from the 80s - row cost, easy to develop for, easy to distribute.  I thought it would be fun to revisit ZX development, starting with the ZX81.

Back in the day I was a ZX Basic programmer, and I never really got the hand of machine code. ZX Basic was fine, and I created loads of games, but it was very slow. This time I thought I'd go back and have a look a Z80 machine code.

I started by trying Artic's Assembler, which worked fine.  It's dead easy to crash the ZX81 in machine code though, and loading everything is a pain!  I'm a Mac user, and I tried an emulator instead, but for some reason the .p files weren't saving reliably. A bit more Googling brought me to ZX-IDE:

http://www.sinclairzxworld.com/viewtopic.php?f=6&t=795

It's a ZX-IDE, which runs on windows. It was only released in March 2012, and is still under active development. And it's great!  It's basically a cross-assembler.  Your write you code in a modern GUI, press F8 and it runs it in a ZX81 emulator, and when you are ready, it creates a .WAV file that you can load into a real ZX81.

OK, it's Windows only, so I've had to run a Windows virtual box on my Mac, but other than that it's pretty much perfect.  I'm just completing my first (very simple!) game - I'll post details at some point.

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