My side-by-side C64 ROM disassembly/commentary page has been completely redone!
Over the years, the ROM source code of many Commodore computers and peripherals has appeared. I have been collecting them in a git repository here:
Murdlok is a previously unreleased graphical text-based adventure game for the Commodore 64 written in 1986 by Peter Hempel. A German and an English version exist.
The Commodore 64 ROM has been subject to immense reverse engineering. Many commented disassemblies were published over the decades, scattered over different media such as books, magazines, disks, and later, the internet – and there are even some commentaries that apply to the C64 ROM, but were written with other systems in mind that shared Microsoft’s BASIC interpreter.
On my quest of collecting as many commentaries on the Commodore 64 ROM at pagetable.com/c64rom, we have gathered Lee Davison’s excellent commentary, the German de facto standard by Data Becker, and an adaptation of Bob Sander-Cederlof’s Apple II ROM commentary, all in the same cross-referenced HTML format.
This is the original 1978 source code of Microsoft BASIC for 6502 with all original comments, documentation and easter eggs:
Whenever I need to look up some code in the ROM of the Commodore 64, I have the choice of the commented disassembly by Marko Mäkelä, the one by Ninja/The Dreams, or the one by Lee Davison – or I can just use my paper copy of “Das neue Commodore-64-intern-Buch“, an excellent line-by-line commentary in German.
You might remember the hassle about the Commodore 64 emulator in the iPhone App Store about a year ago: First it was approved, but then pulled again, because it allowed access to the C64’s BASIC – general-purpose interpreters were not allowed. After Apple relaxed this restriction, BASIC was added again.
It is a good time for statically recompiled versions of BASIC from old computers.Â First there was Apple I BASIC.Â Then came Commodore BASIC.Â Now, due to overwhelming demand, we’re proud to release TI-99/4A BASIC. For those unfamiliar the TI-99/4A was a home computer by Texas Instruments released in 1981. Unusually for the time it had a 16-bit CPU: the TMS9900.
If you disassemble any version of Microsoft BASIC for 6502, you’ll find this code in a function that normalizes the (simulated) floating point accumulator:
If you type “WAIT6502,1” into a Commodore PET with BASIC V2 (1979), it will show the string “MICROSOFT!” at the top left corner of the screen. Legend has it Bill Gates himself inserted this easter egg “after he had had an argument with Commodore founder Jack Tramiel”, “just in case Commodore ever tried to claim that the code wasn’t from Microsoft”.