A 6502 with a Custom Language

The 6502 has a long history with hackers. The Apple computer (the one with no keyboard or even case) had a 6502. So did the Kim-1. [Dolo’s] version is a bit more refined, though. He started it a few years ago in response to one of our contests, but he’s been making improvements to it ever since. In particular, the custom programming language, Dflat, has many improvements lately, including true functions and high-resolution drawing.

The hardware has a CPU running at over 2.5 MHz, 44K of RAM, 16K of PROM, and 16K of video RAM. There’s plenty of I/O, including a keyboard, sound, and joysticks. An SD card provides mass storage and it all goes in a hacked BBC Micro case. You can see an overview video, below.

The hardware is on a breadboard, which is always tough for a circuit this size. However, the really interesting part of this is the structured language similar to Basic called Dflat. As far as we can tell, this has no relation to [Al Steven’s] D-Flat language from the 1990s. This Dflat has provisions for driving the 6502’s video, sound, and other I/O.

The language handles integers and strings and although there are line numbers for editing, they are not used as control targets. It also supports one-dimensional string arrays and two-dimensional integer arrays.

This would have been big iron back in the day, and the breadboard construction is neatly done. If you prefer a Z80, you can breadboard that, too. If you want even more breadboards, there is always this.

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