snicklin, on Mon Dec 26, 2011 5:14 PM, said:
I've never understood the nostalgia for developing on an A8.
Well... it is rather easy to understand. My Hobby is spending time with my Atari
... so when I program something to run on the Atari, I want to write that ON my Atari. The writing on the XL keyboard... the assembling with the Mac/65 cart.... wachting my old CRT television screen... debuggin the code with my BlackBox and/or the DDT debugger in the Mac/65 cart... it's all fun.
Back in 1995/1996, I was writing my one and only released item of software, Football Fantasies. The amount of time it took me to save the code and then reboot, load Turbo Basic and then run all my routines was way too slow, it was painful.
First of all. I do not use Basic. I'm using Mac/65 and/or my Synassembler cart. Both brilliant assemblers, even compared to Crossassemblers they are great. Next to that: I have an Atari with a huge ramdisk. It's amazing how fast this is. Next to that: testing some code on the real thing is really as fast (or perhaps even faster) compared to crossassembling. I write a routine... I jump to my debugger (DDT) or to DOS and I give the RUn command. Boom... there I see the result of my code. I jump back to my code. I make some changes, assemble (lightning fast) and BOOM there I'm testing my code AGAIN. Even complete data blocks (like background music, or screen data) can remain in memory all the time, and don't need to be loaded every time.
That Mac/65 cart is a genius thing on it's own too btw. You can switch it on and off by software command (with Qmeg OS it is even more easy to do that); it has Assembler AND debugging tool on one cart.
Ofcourse: extremely large projects... they probably are easier developed on Crossassembler. But not everything is that big!
Yesterday I wanted to write a tool that downloads the Time and Date from the RTC in the Ultimate 1MB upgrade. Well... to write a tool for this specific hardware... hmmm it is definitely easier to write this on the real thing! I succeeded within 1 hour. From scratch!
And again: this all fun is spent behind the real thing. First class Atari 8bit quality time. I do not like to trade this for even more time behind my PC or Mac.
My point is, that when you would simply try to learn Mac/65 or Synassembler. Upgrade your Atari 8bit with some stable ramdisk, Qmeg OS. Get yourself a Mac/65 cart (or a MaxFlash 1MB cart to flash it with Mac/65 or Synassembler). You'll be VERY surprised how versatile your own Atari Development Enviroment is!