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HP-71: FORTH/Assembler Pac Rev.B - and the Ultimate HP-71 ROM Extension.
01-11-2021, 04:37 PM
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HP-71: FORTH/Assembler Pac Rev.B - and the Ultimate HP-71 ROM Extension.
I released a revision B of the FORTH/Assembler ROM for use with software emulators and hardware ROM emulators.
It is nothing as ambitious as my Enhanced Math Pac 2, but it mainly provides these improvements:
- FORTH LEX updated to version 1B to correct the problem of HP-71 bad crash in case the FORTH system is called when the hard-configured ROM part is missing,
- KEYBOARD LEX updated to version C,
- addition of the most common and useful HP-71 utility keywords, from the STRINGLX & CUSTUTIL LEX, to complement the two SCROLL/MSG$ keywords already provided by the original revision A,
- correction of the two main bugs of the Assembler (already published in 2015).

The reason of the inclusion of the keywords from STRINGLX & CUSTUTIL LEX is that these keywords are very common (especially the KEYWAIT$ function used almost in every serious application) and are a must in every HP-71.
It has even been supposed that the STRINGLX keywords were originally intended to be part of the built-in BASIC, but was left out due to memory constraints.
If you are not familiar with the advanced use of some of these keywords, you may refer to this article from Valentin Albillo.
As there was some unused space in the FORTH ROM, it was the opportunity to include this nice addition.

But the true cause of this update is that it was part of my "Ultimate HP-71 ROM Extension" project, that was to provide, in a single extension for the physical HP-71:
- the Math Pac 2,
- the JPC ROM,
- the FORTH/Assembler,
- a large part of the User Library keywords (ULIB).

I was developing a 128k ROM emulator to support this project when Mark Fleming coincidently announced his own ROM emulator, and it turned out that our solutions were not identical but quite close, using the same microcontroller for instance. Then Hans Brueggemann announced that the FRAM71 will be available again after several years of unavailability.
All this lead me to put this project on hold for the moment at the breadboard stage - I have other projects on going for which I'm now more motivated. I may propose my design later if I see a real need for it.

So I'm releasing this update as it is, it can be freely used in the FRAM71, Mark's ROM emulator when/if available, and of course in the Emu71 emulators.

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HP-71: FORTH/Assembler Pac Rev.B - and the Ultimate HP-71 ROM Extension. - J-F Garnier - 01-11-2021 04:37 PM

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