Anyone had any luck loading Tiny BASIC?

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D Hassler

Jul 11, 2022, 8:25:14 PM7/11/22
to PAL 6502 computer
Hi all.  I spend a good chunk of this afternoon trying to load a low-memory version of TB into my "stock" PAL-1.  Hans O has a version that loads just such a way, and I thought I'd give it a whirl, but no dice.  No baud rate (tried 300-2400), no char/line delay combo, nor switching between Minicom on my linux box and TeraTerm on my Windows machine would produce a successful load.

And here's the weird thing: it barfed loading *each time*  at $00E0.  I examined the memory for a bad RAM bit right about there, and nada (wrote an $FF into 16 byte locations around that addy, then $00, then $FF again ... nothing bad).  Memory seems OK.

What am I missing?  Any ideas?  *Please* don't tell me I have to learn VTL until I can get a 32K RAM board going!!  ;^)

Otherwise, all is great!  Smaller programs load flawlessly.  This past week was fun getting reacquainted with the 6502 - I had not even *looked* at 6502 op codes and assembly language since '86....

Thanks in advance, Dave

Jim McClanahan

Jul 11, 2022, 8:34:03 PM7/11/22
to D Hassler, PAL 6502 computer
There is a "lightly patched" version on my GitHub site:

I know it works. It should not be writing much to Page Zero. I'd have to look at the code, but the monitor uses some memory that I believe is in the upper part of Page Zero. Trying to load something that overwrites pointers and such won't end well. :-(

Jim W4JBM 

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D Hassler

Jul 11, 2022, 8:48:59 PM7/11/22
to PAL 6502 computer
Thanks, Jim - I'll check that out and report back.  Yeah, not much good happens when programs start zapping locations in Zero Page for their own use and pleasure.

Dave - K7CCC

D Hassler

Jul 11, 2022, 9:33:51 PM7/11/22
to PAL 6502 computer
Yep, Jim, worked like a charm: I was able to save and load programs, as well, via text capture and send through the terminal.

Thanks, Dave

Jim McClanahan

Jul 11, 2022, 9:40:34 PM7/11/22
to D Hassler, PAL 6502 computer
Cool! I'll let Hans weigh in, but some of the stuff on his site is what I'd call "archival"--it came from real paper tapes and such. Some seem to have quirks that are probably from "back in the day". I tried to clean stuff up by hand in a text editor and also did some patches in places using the hex loader. His is probably more authentic -- mine tends to be a "ease of use" version. But without Hans awesome archives, this wouldn't be nearly as much fun.

Jim W4JBM 

Will Senn

Jul 11, 2022, 10:42:32 PM7/11/22
to PAL 6502 computer
Wow. What fun. I tried it out and it worked:

0200 4C G                                                                      
:?10 PRINT "HELLO"                                                            
!75 AT ?0                                                                      

Off to find and read the manual :).


Hans Otten

Jul 12, 2022, 4:07:42 AM7/12/22
to PAL 6502 computer
Jim is right, what I have on my site on the KIM-1 is from my archives. And it shows it origin.

It comes from the period I used y KIM-1 as main computer, doing hardware and software development, writing articles for magaiznes and even translating books.
Some of the software I used was bought from distributors in the Netherlands or imported from the USA (which was a bit different than nowdays with paypal, a letter was sent to a seller with dollar banknotes enclosed as payment!).
Being an active member of the Dutch KIM User club also meant software was exchanged. I did buy Microsoft Basic, Tiny Basic, Microchess and MICRO ADE, on cassette of course with booklets with manual and some with source code on paper.

First thing I did with new software was duplicate it on two new audio cassettes. Reading of the tapes was always a challenge, bad quality tapes, different speed, head alignment. All via my KIM-1 with memory growing from 5K to 40K in the end.
The original tape and a master copy tape were stored away safe, a working copy was used on a daily base. 

Then my KIM-1 got some really useful enhancements first with a  parallel ASCII keyboard and later on a double serial ACIA card. This means I patched the input and output routines to my own hardware and hypertape. Basic, MICRO ADE and own written software used that, instead of the bit banged serial I/O. Also a (bit banged!) serial printer was added and software patched to use that. The KIM-1 was still there but I used a VT100 serial terminal and a H14 Heathkit printer and dual cassette drive, the KIM-1 monitor or keypad/LEDs were not used anymore.  Dozens of audio cassette tapes, a binder with a page per tape, (name of file, ID, type, startaddress if applicable) handwritten as 'directory'.  One tape was the 'boot' tape for my simple CLI in EPROM. 

 In 1985 my KIM-1 as main machine was replaced with a  dual floppy CP/M system.  And in 1984 I had a homecomputer (MSX-1) also with audio cassette tape, and many of the KIM-1 cassettes with data files ended up as MSX-1 tapes.

The KIM-1 tape archive  and all the paperwork was stored away and forgotten. The KIM-1 itself was (and still is) in working condition, the tape drive belts melted over time and the system was not really operational.

In 2004 my interest in the KIM-1 was back. Vince Briel produced a Replica 1, which I bought. And we started discussing the MICRO-KIM as possibility, which needed software of course, in papertape format On the CD for the MICRO-KIM is a very early DOS version of my KIM Paper utility. 

So,  I looked at my KIM-1 cassette archive. Better said, what was left of it. With the then current PC and audio cassette drives that were still operational I made audio dumps  of all tapes. 
And used the KIM Tape utility of  Ed's DX-Forth and Utilities Page to convert this to binary files. 
Not all tapes were readable, and of the tapes that were readable, contained often my working patched versions. 
My early KIM-1 software archive is based upon these dumps. 

Since then the quality of the archive has improved. By checking the binary against the paper hex dumps or entering the assembler source from paper and comparing the binary produced by the assembler with the binary from tape.
MICRO ADE, MIcrochess, Tiny Basic are all checked now.   Or recreated from source paper, such as the Pascal-M compiler. Others, still need to check, that is why I wrote my KIM-1 emulator.

Microsoft Basic is thoroughly checked by Michael Steil ( . He took my binary and disassembled that and assembled it again. Together with all those 6502 early Microsoft Basic's. 
V1.1 is (and was) correct. V2 and V3 (not online anymore) were my patched versions.

Of course my archive was incomplete at the beginning. Software like the XPL0 compiler, other variants of Focal, the HELP software of The Computerist, I did not have it in those days.  
Also I am not a game person, so besides some chess software, not in my archive. Nills has resurrected many games and more programs, and Dave Williams completed the First Book of KIM archive in wave and papertape format.
And Jim did  a great job producing his ROM with new or adapted KIM-1 software. 

KIM-1 software was written under the assumption that there was no other software than the KIM-1 monitor and the hardware supported was what the KIM-1 supported: bit banged character I/O, tape handling via the KIM tape ROM.
So especially zeropage is assumed to be freely available besides the KIM-1 monitor usage. If you add your own code for e.g. devices this may conflict with the program.  
When you port software to the KIM-1, zeropage conflicts arise and the KIM-1 monitor routines may do other things with registers A, X, Y and flags than expected. Jim found out fighting the KIM-1 hardware echo, I found out patching the I/O routines for my emulator.   

D Hassler

Jul 12, 2022, 10:53:34 AM7/12/22
to PAL 6502 computer
Wow - what a tale, Hans!  Of course, the entire community is indebted to you, and quite thankful that you archived all that you did -- BEDANKT!  Sometimes, I find myself wandering around your site, just exploring and learning; often, it is a jumping off point to go explore topics on other site.

FWIW, I also have a background in early 8-bit home machines and writing.  After first learning about computers using the dial-in PDP-11 with RSTS and TRS Model I at my high school, I started "seriously" writing after I finally got a VIC-20 and a Datasette in '83 ("SpeedScript," anyone?)  Of course, I played a lot of Omega Race and Scott Adams adventures, as well!.  Anyway, that all eventually turned into a career in journalism, creative writing, and publishing (including a stint as an editor at a U.S. ham radio magazine). Now, I find I'm back where I started, with the PAL-1 and the old VIC-20 back out of its box and running alongside the 1541 (and a few old radios, to boot).

Cheers, Dave

Hans Otten

Dec 8, 2023, 7:44:15 AM12/8/23
to PAL 6502 computer
When I got a Superjolt  with Tiny Basic in ROM, I wanted to find out if that version works and is different from the versions I have dumped from my old KIM-1 cassette tapes.

So I started a research project into Tom Pittman's Tiny Basic.

Summary: the TIM/Superjolt version is OK, and nearly identical to the KIM-1 versions.

Project results:
- improved scanned manuals
- original KIM-1 binaries, high and low versions as dsitributed by Tom Pittman reconstructed, with assembler source
-patched practical version of Tiny Basic (backspace working, annoying padding characters removed, no separate breaktest binary required) for KIM-1 with assembler source
- Tiny  Basic for TIM/Superjolt patched practical version, with assembler source
- lots of information on Tiny Basic, such as sources of the IL Basic interpreter.

The patched versions work fine also in my updated KIM-1 and TIM/Superjolt Simulators.

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