CBM Basic

I found this repository by accident, cbmbasic which is a ‘portable’ version of the old Microsoft Basic for the Commodore 8bit computers in C which can run on any manner of machine.

Really cool, right?

So for the heck of it, I fired up the x68000 toolchain, and in no time after gutting the file open operation as some stuff isn’t defined, and I wanted to see it run, I had a working executable.


CBM Basic

All the commands MUST BE IN UPPERCASE… Then again the Commodore did default to upper case, so I guess that isn’t a surprise.  There is no ‘system’ command to take you out of basic, but Control-C works just the same.

The other intersting thing, is that on the authors blog, pagetable.com, the original source code for the 6502 basic has been found.  Notably this version includes portions written by Bill Gates.  It is a very fascinating read.

8 thoughts on “CBM Basic

  1. Wow. Thanks for sharing!

    My first (hand-me-down) computer was a C64-SX. I credit this version of BASIC, the manual that came with the computer and another spiral-bound book (which I’ve been unable to track down) for giving me the programming bug at like age 7, and of course starting me down the path till today.

    • Wow that’s a nice Commodore 64 hand me down! Especially with the built in disk drive! I had a 1541, and until recently didn’t realize that most Europeans only had the tape drive.

      I don’t suppose this is the manual?? Its been a while but I recall this one that at least came with my C64, which has a programming section.

      • Well, it was a hand-me-down in the late 80’s when there were some better options available :-).

        And thanks! That’s the one. Reading through the sprites section (which taught me binary) confirmed it :-). I also recall this one being the main manual for the system: http://www.lemon64.com/museum/manuals/commodore/sx-64_users_guide.jpg

        Someday I will have to dig both of these up from my parents’ attic :-). Thanks again for the nostalgia. Reading through the old source code for my first BASIC interpreter definitely qualifies as achievement unlocked.

  2. Hi!
    Interesting find. Could you please explain what you mean with “X68000” toolchain? On which type of machine (emulated?) have you tried it out?

    Best regards

    • toolchain to include a C compiler, or in this case a gcc cross compiler from Windows to the Sharp x68000. I was using a CLI only, emulator run68. The x68000 is a 68000 based machine from Japan that uses a very MS-DOS like OS, HumanOS.

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