This week we will begin using the BD Software C Compiler to write programs in C on our Altair 8800 simulator.
Friday, October 27th
This was my orginial plan for today:
Today we will begin learning C programming on the Altair 8800. As befits our whirwind tour through PC programming history, we will begin this journey with K&R C, using the first edition of the classic book The C Programming Language.
Download Altair8800.tgz, in which you will find both the Altair 8800 simulator environment with BDS C compiler and a copy of two books, The C Programming Language and BDS C User's Guide.
Alas, to quote Robert Burns,
The best-laid schemes o' mice an' men
Gang aft agley, An' lea'e us nought but grief an' pain, For promis'd joy!
After spending my allotted 90 minutes of
homework time trying to get
simple C programs to compile on the Altair, I realized that the environment is
too challenging, and Nate's suggestion that we abandon our dear Altair 8800 at
this point and move to a modern Unix platform for our study of C sounds like a
Today in class I will give you a PDF of The C Programming Language, 2nd Edition, and we will begin working our way through it. This little book makes an excellent text, and will provide us with both direction and accountability.
Julissa, Edward, Cyrus, and Joseph will read Chapter 1: A Tutorial Introduction from The C Programming Language, 2nd Edition. Julissa and Edward will prepare a summary of sections 1.1. through 1.4, and come to class next Tuesday prepared to show us a complete working version of the Fahrenheit to Celsius conversion program developed in those sections.
Cyrus and Joseph will prepare a summary of sections 1.5 through 1.8 and come to class Tuesday with the counting programs and power function developed in those sections.
Jeff will prepare a summary of Section 1.9: Character Arrays, and come to class Tuesday with the getline and copy functions developed in that section, as well has a few other example programs using character arrays.
Nate and Sheel will work continue to work with me on trying to get C programs compiled for the Altair. Liam shared several working programs with me, which provided a much better sense of the differences (which are significant, but not terrible) between Unix C and BDS C.
Wednesday, October 25th
We will begin class by checking that each of you can assemble and run the
ACC.ASM program assigned last Thursday
on your laptop.
After that I will introduce the BD Software C Compiler and share the experiments I did over the weekend using it, inviting you to help solve a mystery I encountered.
Get a working BSD C developing environment setup on your laptop.
Monday, October 23rd
Classwork / Homework
I am out sick today, so unfortunately, the plan to demonstrate your
ACC.ASM programs will have to wait until Wednesday.
Use today's classwork and homework time to read about the BD Software C Compiler , which we will begin using when I return.