The tool DASM reconstructs assembler sources from binary CP/M .COM files.
Read the quotation from the original file:
; DASM is a TDL/ZILOG Disassembler derived from Dave Barker's
; ZZSOURCE and Ward Christensen's RESOURCE by Richard Conn. Refer to
; the documentation on RESOURCE and the built-in HELP data for information
; on the commands used for DASM. A Help file is also being planned for DASM.
DASM creates mnemonics for the Z80 CPU.
In fact using the ZILOG module for pure Z80 ZILOG notation and using the TDL module for extended 8080 notation.
The tool RESOURCE mentioned above was able to create „straight" 8080 code.
DASM's method of operation was as follows
(A non updated German manual of mine may be found here):
DASM creates three control files:
In a normal cycle all of the above files were created.
Maybe files had be be edited awhile.
The assembler file was created in conclusion1.
- .CTL: This file determines program code or data (as byte-, word-, string or reserved memory).
This is the most important file working with DASM because it controls the sequence of the source file.
DASM supports a simple automatic detection of ASCII characters.
Unfortunately many Z80-instructions lay within ASCII character range (e.g.
LD B,L) so in practice characters may be found within code, making no sense.
- .SYM: This file contains symbols.
Either defined by the user or by DASM automatically.
The latter in the form Lxxxx, where „xxxx reperesents the 16 bit address of the symbol.
Because the linker also creates a .SYM file writing symbols I changed it into .SMB.
- .CMT: This file holds comments assigned to addresses which may be very useful.
E.g. you may assign a description to a subroutine.
The original version of DASM managed the available TPA memory in a static way, i.e. for the control table, the symbols, comments as well as for the .COM file.
Static means constant which may be far away from real demands.
One of the first modifications I made was to manage the memory dynamically.
Step 2 was to load currently only one record — 128 bytes — from the .COM file.
This means there is more room for the tables.
Another expansion was to request the current state of the program counter while executing the commands (A, B and L) by typing the character '?'.
This may be a useful help analysing large programs.
A last expansion affects the load address for .COM files:
the command Vaaaa allows any address for loading it (defaults to 0100).
The program is compiled from two parts:
The kernel is always required while the program's function is determined by the mnemonic dependent part.
Compiling the ZILOG version requires the following command sequence if using the Microsoft M80 package:
- The mnemonic independent kernel — DASMKRN
- The mnemonic dependent part — DASM8080 or DASMZ80
M80 =DASMZ80 /Z
|Assembles the kernel|
M80 =DASMKRN /Z
|Assembles the ZILOG part|
|Builds the file DASM.COM|
Usually a lot of calls take place in such an assembler file.
A good help would be a list with such subroutine calls.
Initially I wrote a utility LABDASM in TURBO Pascal creating the labels in alphabetival order found in the |
This one bases upon dynamic routines by Rodnay Zaks book (German) Einführung in PASCAL (page 308).
Later I wrote the program LABDASM in assembler.
These dynamic routines base upon the article Binary Tree Manipulation mit dem 8080 by Mike Gabrielson.
Inspired by these routines I wrote a second TURBO Pascal utility – LABDASMB – based upon the Binary Tree.
Some programs may be relocatable followed by a bit map appended in the executable file.
It is important to know where the references do exist.
For those cases I wrote the utility BITADR.