Help, need help with an old 68hc11 assembler !!

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Howdy,

Hope somebody can help.......  

I'm working on a project with an old American Automation Inc 68HC11
assembler and linker, dating back to 1988. AS68HC11.EXE and AALINK.EXE

I tracked down the company, now American Arium, but they stopped
supporting the product and 'threw out all the documentation', about four
years ago.   Arrgghhhh

At any rate, I need the command line options for the Linker..... as I'm
trying to generate a symbol table.

Can anybody help me on this ??

Thanks

DennisB

Re: Help, need help with an old 68hc11 assembler !!
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When run with no params, any well designed .EXE should give options,
sometimes full help needs -H or ? the command line.

Failing that, you can look at the .EXE in an editor, and look for
the param string area, and that will give more clues.
-jg


Re: Help, need help with an old 68hc11 assembler !!

Thanks for the suggestions Jim, but I tried them all....
and spent another hour trying 'dummy' command line options.


DennisB


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Re: Help, need help with an old 68hc11 assembler !!
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You could try using the "strings" command (available under Cygwin) to see
what text messages are in the executable.

    Andrew



Re: Help, need help with an old 68hc11 assembler !!
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Thanks

I've tried that and even did a quick disassemble with IDA.

The program was written in assembler, using MASM 6 or 7.

The options are single letter and are combined with + - @ and
possibly with * and &. ie /ru-s @3200 -test.h

I've tried MANY combinations, but still no symbol table.....
which makes debugging a 10000 line file, a challange.

At any rate, I was hoping somebody had an old manual, with the command line
options hanging around.

Thanks for the help !!!

DennisB

Re: Help, need help with an old 68hc11 assembler !!

[...]
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   You could ask on the mailing list of the group in my sig below. While
the group is dedicated to the 6800 and 6809 FLEX OS, there are many
oldtime 68hc users in the group. Some of them have even ported FLEX to
hc11.
--
http://www.flexusergroup.com /

Re: Help, need help with an old 68hc11 assembler !!
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  You could also search for .MAP ( or whatever the HC11 convention is
for link symbol/map output - do you know if this SW is able to do this.
  Also, if you have full archived project directories, you might find
an example symbol file, and if lucky, the linker command line will be
reported in the top...
  Failing that, another pathway would to be find a HC11 simulator that
can read the absolute files, and report the symbols.

-jg


Re: Help, need help with an old 68hc11 assembler !!
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6811 Assemblers can't be rare. If you're not supported, sounds like time
to move to another assembler. You are simply going to relive this
pain over and over again until you move.

I did quick search on "68hc11 assembler", it lit up like a Chrismas tree.
Including free ones.


Re: Help, need help with an old 68hc11 assembler !!
On Thu, 19 May 2005 12:00:37 -0700, Scott Moore

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The OP said that it was a 10000 line program.  It is likely that
porting such a program to a different compiler is not likely to be
trivial.


-Robert Scott
 Ypsilanti, Michigan

Re: Help, need help with an old 68hc11 assembler !!
no-one@dont-mail-me.com (Robert Scott) wrote in

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Howdy,

Well, I ended up spending a few more hours with IDA (the disassembler)
and I'm on track to cracking the secerts of the linker.

I was hoping to not have to spend the time (and customers money), but
that's the way it goes. We are going to port the whole mess over to new
hardware/processor later this year, but some fast fixes need to be
incorporated.

BTW, the 68HC11 project is hugh, poorly written, maintained by many and
loaded with pot holes that I hope to not re-visit. The idea of switching
compiler is totally out of the question.

Some of the early coders had misconceptions about the use of DB and DS
so varaibles sit on top of each other. Later coders found ways to work
around these issues, without fixing the root cause...

Multiple ring buffers that don't check for space avaliable before
dropping data into it..... and the list goes on.....

And, it's all stuffed into a medical product that's been around for a
long time...... so don't get sick !!!

Thanks for the help and suggestions....

DennisB


Re: Help, need help with an old 68hc11 assembler !!
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Is it assembler, or a compiler ? Please don't call an assembler a compiler.
I have created several of both, and I assure you, there is a big
difference.

I'll assume you are talking about an assembler. These are easy to move.
Since you must eventually end up with a binary load file, you can move
it to a new assembler, then compare the two files for equality, old
and new assembler. The only difference should be the pseudo-ops, which
can be changed easily with a decent editor that has search and replace,
and preferably RE.

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Thats nothing. I once worked at a place where they decided that the "call"
instruction took too much execution time, so forbade all subroutines
in the code.

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Re: Help, need help with an old 68hc11 assembler !!
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I have seen commercial equipment with hidden hard and software
replace the thoroughly characterized homegrown systems I built in
the 70s and 80s.  My software generally ran with all run-time
checks enabled, including such things as arithmetic overflow, index
ranges, etc.  The replacements also had the advantage of requiring
expensive reagent packages from the vendors.

--
"If you want to post a followup via groups.google.com, don't use
 the broken "Reply" link at the bottom of the article.  Click on
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Re: Help, need help with an old 68hc11 assembler !!
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"assembler", in case that addresses your concern. In case it does not,
yes, I have moved that much assembler code from one assembler to another.
The only thing that should be different is the pseudo-ops, and those
can be searched-replaced by a decent editor.


Re: Help, need help with an old 68hc11 assembler !!
On Thu, 19 May 2005 18:20:43 -0700, Scott Moore

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   Sometimes (perhaps often) you get lucky like that, but I don't
remeber the 'easy' conversions. I was once given 6805 source code
(maybe only 2k lines, horrible code but the company made money selling
the product) and the assembler for it that ran on an older Macintosh.
I was able to run a Mac simulator in Windows and assemble it, but that
was a lot to go through. I converted it to 2500AD assembler, which
required substantial movement of things from the single-source-file
Mac version. I made separate sections of zero-page variables
(neccesary, else 2500AD would create code with two-byte addressing),
other ram variables, and code, as opposed to wherever they were in the
original. It's been a few years, I forgot doing this until reading
this thread. It took maybe a few days, including reading all the
sections about 'sections' or whatever they were in the 2500AD manual,
but I did get it to assemble to a binary that verified with the
original binary. It's not always trivial.

-----
http://mindspring.com/~benbradley

Re: Help, need help with an old 68hc11 assembler !!
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I'll believe that someone can write an assembly program so bad that
it cannot be ported.


Re: Help, need help with an old 68hc11 assembler !!
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If you have both the original source and the binary, to prepare to
modify and assemble on another assembler, simply disassemble with a
suitable disassembler and edit the result.  Most of the editing
will be replacing identifiers, such as "L0123" -> "foofaw".  My
id2id-20 package will be very useful for this.  You have an
absolute check by comparing the original binary with the
regenerated binary.

--
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 the broken "Reply" link at the bottom of the article.  Click on
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Re: Help, need help with an old 68hc11 assembler !!

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Indeed not. Gnu binutils supports the 6811/6812 architecture.
It's free (libre and gratis), and it's better supported than
anything other assembler I've ever used.  Gcc supports the
architecture as well, and does a far better job of code
generation that the (admittedly old) commercial compiler I used
to use.

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Yup.  It'll always be "just one more small change before we EOL
the project."

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--
Grant Edwards                   grante             Yow!  I've got to get
                                  at               these SNACK CAKES to NEWARK
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