It took more than three hours entering in almost 4Kb worth of 2-digit HEX
instructions into my teletype, and a good 20 minutes or so to punch a tape,
but I was successfully able to save TSC BASIC on my SWPTc 6800 to
papertape. And the freakin thing actually worked the first time. The
documentation for TSC BASIC told me how to modify the program for my
system, etc. Saving me a lot of debugging time.
There is a write up about TSC BASIC in the January 1978 Kilobaud (comparing
4 6800 CPU BASICs), and fortunately I found a copy of the papertape program
I downloaded the papertape program as a text file and then parsed the data
in MS Excel. This way I could separate the data from the checksum at the
end of each line of papertape, and to see the address value.
There is a point when entering in that much data that you kind of become
one with the machine. I was entering instructions in synch with the
teletype output of the memory values, etc. Kind of crazy I guess. Kind of
I will be brining this to VCF East as part of my exhibit.
A Tale of Four BASICs - Which one for your 6800? - Good article comparing TSC BASIC with three others.
Here is how to load TSC BASIC onto your SWTPc 6800 from your laptop/desktop without disk drive, cassette or teletype, and for some reason you're having trouble sending a papertape image the normal way (papertape image link below). With this method you can slow down down enough to watch the download and use the log capture function of the termainal program to locate a RAM location.
1. You need a working SWTPC 6800 computer with 8K RAM set to 0000 - 3FFF, and a MP-S serial card set for RS232 communications.
2. You need a copy of TeraTerm or similar terminal program installed on your laptop. Also download the specially-prepared TSC BASIC to your laptop. This version is made for a system with MIKBUG or SWTBUG monitor running and an MP-S serial card, only.
3. The SWTPC 6800 with MIKBUG or SWTBUG should be able to communicate with your laptop using the terminal program. From the prompt you should be able to check and edit memory (M 0000), etc. without problems.
4. Set your terminal program to use N/8/1. Baud rate is not important as long as you're able to communicate with your SWTPc. Change the character delay time setting used by your terminal serial port to at least 100 msec, so you can watch for errors while TSC BASIC is being downloaded. You can then adjust more / less of a delay until optimal for you.
5. With your terminal program displaying the MIKBUG or SWTBUG prompt, send the file TSCBASIC.txt. Leave binary UNchecked.
6. Watch as the file is downloaded. Basically what you're doing is simulating the keystrokes entered into the monitor program as if you were typing in TSC BASIC by hand incredibly fast. The character delay is necessary to allow the computer key input buffer to keep up with the simulated keystrokes.
7. When complete, the display will freeze waiting for input. Hit enter on the keyboard to return to the monitor prompt if not already there.
8. Type the command J 0100 [Enter]
The computer should respond with the " > " prompt.
(I changed the code to use a different prompt than the default ! mark).
You can now enter BASIC commands. You can use also use this method to download BASIC programs. You can save BASIC programs by turning on the log capture feature in your terminal software and then LISTing your code.
In addition to the file link above, you can also download a copy of the TSC Manual, and MP-S adapted S1 tape file here.