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README

DCPU-16 Playground

This is an emulator, assembler, and an implementation of the Forth programming
language for notch's DCPU-16. See http://0x10c.com/doc/dcpu-16.txt for details.

There are also a couple of useful scripts for swapping endianness of binary
images and dumping to hex in a format supported by some other emulators.


Quick Start

To build, just run:
  make
To run the goforth interpreter image:
  ./goforth
Other images can be run with:
  ./dcpu blah.img
For options, just try:
  ./dcpu


The Emulator

The emulator is written in C with curses for video display. It's well tested
and has a number of nice options. It builds on both Mac OS and Linux with gcc.

I think it's about as close to the current consensus specs as is achievable
with ncurses. Obviously bitmapped graphics aren't supported, so the terminal
driver doesn't do anything special with the 'character table' (0x8180-0x827f),
it just ignores the contents.

The emulator supports the 'standard' 16-word keyboard ring buffer at 0x9000.
I'm not sure what other emulators are doing, but this one will refuse to
overflow the buffer, so it's important that your program reset each word
to 0 after it's been read. If this is a problem for your program, it would
be quite easy to make this behavior optional.

For best colors, run in a terminal with good color support. You may have to
fiddle around to get curses to realize your colors are good. For example, 
try setting
  TERM=xterm-256color
if you're not having any luck. You can use
  ./dcpu colortest.img
to test things out. Apparently ncurses 5 doesn't really support 256 distinct
color pairs (well, it supports 256, but the first pair is reserved). So if
you have ncurses 5 (most Linux distros, it seems), white-on-white will probably
appear as your default terminal colors instead.


goforth

  'i figured i owned just dark skies, and that darkness fit me best.
   go, folks, go forth. trust your brain! trust your body!'

The real fun starts in goforth.dasm and goforth.ft. goforth is an
implementation of the Forth programming language for DCPU-16. There's still
plenty of work to be done, but it's already quite usable. For example, it
contains a built-in decompiler/disassembler and other amenities. (In fact, you
might take a look at the file disasm.ft for an example of some non-trivial code
written in goforth.)

The bootstrapped goforth image should run on any DCPU-16 emulator that
supports I/O. (It'll run on others, too, but won't do much...)

goforth has been tested on several other emulators:
  * Notch's 'official' prototype, from http://dcpu.com/highnerd
    goforth runs correctly in this emulator, and you can play with it
    online here: http://matt.immute.net/files/goforth
    (This gives some evidence that my emulator is in good shape as well!)
  * interfect's dcpu-emu: https://bitbucket.org/interfect/dcpu-emu
    Runs correctly.
  * DCPU Studio: http://badsector.github.com/dcpustud
    Seems to run correctly (with 'use big endian words' and 'use keyboard
    buffer' options), but keyboard input is broken. I get mostly the right
    keypresses, but something about the buffer management is screwy and I
    end up losing sync, having to press keys twice, etc. I don't want to invest
    more time in keyboard compatibility until there's actually a spec.
  * deNULL's web emulator: http://dcpu.ru
    Seems to run correctly here, too, but the keyboard input is significantly
    different (all letters are caps, punctuation doesn't work) so it's a little
    hard to do too much testing.
  * http://0x10co.de
    Again, everything looks good, but keyboard input is (again, but
    differently) broken, so it's hard to do much. And again, I'm going to wait
    for a spec.
I am most interested in hearing whether it works on other emulators.

In order to bootstrap the image, I've augmented the DCPU instruction set with 
three new instructions (all in non-basic format):
  img: dump ram to the file core.img, from address 0x0000 to (but not
       including) the address in the 'a' argument. if 'a' is 0, dump the
       entire heap (0x0000 to 0x10000)
  die: exit the emulator
  dbg: enter the emulator debugger
The latter two instructions are only used in special cases and are easily 
avoided. img is needed only to bootstrap the forth image.

ONCE AGAIN, THE BOOTSTRAPPED IMAGE WILL RUN ON ANY EMULATOR.


The Assembler

The assembler (masm) is in Python and has a number of idiosyncrasies. The
syntax has diverged from the consensus DCPU-16 assembler syntax in some
rather pointless ways, and it's quite limited. It works for my purposes,
but I don't recommend that you use it.


Credits

The built-in disassembler includes code from Brian Swetland's DCPU-16 emulator,
see the file disassembler.c for license and copyright info.

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