JSOC-2009: Updating MACRO SPITBOL/386

My next order of business is to update MACRO SPITBOL for Windows/386, 32-bit words and 8-bit characters.

I sent an email to Mark Emmer asking how he built MS/386 and got the following reply:

There were three different 32-bit compilers. At various times I used a 32-bit compiler from Intel, HighC with Pharlap’s DOS Extender, and finally Borland 5.0 32-bit compiler because it came with a freely redistributable DOS Extender. The DOS Extender was used to run under 16-bit DOS and Windows 95 (and maybe 98 – I can’t remember). I paid $1000 for HighC and $1500 for Pharlap. I think the Intel compiler was $500. Finally Borland showed up with a decent 32-bit compiler at a reasonable price and a free DOS Extender from 4G. The nice thing too with Borland is that it used the Win32 API as the interface to the DOS Extender, so on anything later than Win98, the spitbol.exe file ran in native 32-bit mode without the DOS Extender. Or you could toss in the DOS Extender and run it under 16-bit DOS.

I use that old Borland compiler now if I have to rebuild the 386 Windows version.

I think somewhere along the line I got it to build with Microsoft’s Visual C++, but there was no DOS Extender to distribute with it. You have to remember this was in the early 1990s, and lots of folks were still running 16-bit Windows and DOS.


I will start work on the port/update shortly.



  1. Posted August 26, 2011 at 17:01 | Permalink | Reply

    Dear Dave,

    I am wondering what progresses SPITBOL for Linux is making. Wouldn’t it be a helpful thing if Mark Emmer could contribute his old 386 code generator programs to your http://code.google.com/p/spitbol/downloads/list page in order to facilitate the translation from MINIMAL to 386 assembly? Translating either tokenized MINIMAL statements or SPARC assembly into 386 assembly does not seem to be an easy thing to achieve. The old cod386.spt converter could help with this process, so I would very much appreciate this piece of software being added to the downloadable material.


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