[NTLK] MPW simulator to run ARM6asm etc.

Matthias Melcher mm at matthiasm.com
Mon Aug 5 02:23:16 EDT 2013

On 05.08.2013, at 03:40, Tony Kan <tony.kan at clear.net.nz> wrote:

> Hi Matthias
> For those of us laypeople in the Newton world, what do these new
> developments mean?
> Cheers
> Tony Kan

Hi Tony,

when developing new software or modifying or fixing old software for the Newton, there are a bunch of tools that we need. The most important one is NTK, the Newton Tool Kit. This is not about NTK.

For programming drivers (the Bluetooth driver Blunt for example, or the Ethernet Card driver), ROM extensions (needed bei the Einstein emulator), or the Newton ROM itself, we need C compilers, an assembler, a linker, and some conversion tools that are only available for Macintosh computers from 1993.

In order to develop drivers or ROM extension, we always have to have to keep an old Mac around, or at least a virtual Mac. This is annoying, because modern developer tools have many useful new features, like IDEs, integrated version control, etc. etc. .

The simulator that I wrote creates a little environment that takes one of these 20 years old Macintosh tools and pretends to ba a Macintosh. The Norcraft Compiler then runs happily in this little sand box, reads some "C" source file and outputs a perfect ARM -CPU Newton object file, just as it would have in 1993. 

To the developer, the tool looks exactly like a modern Unix tool. This makes it possible to integrate the tool into modern IDEs and development setups.

For Einstein, I need to modify the ROM Extension to improve network card support. The new tool will make development faster, because I do not need to boot MacOS 7 anymore to make changes to my program.

 - Matthias

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