Tech Notes, Tips & Reviews

TRS-80 Emulator for Linux

Jan 272009

undefinedI got a little nostalgic when my son started writing a game in Fenix that looked a lot like Robot Attack (Even though he's never seen it). So I thought I'd show him the original, but rather than try and setup the old System 80 (TRS-80 clone from DSE) I decided to use an emulator.

I've used Tim Manns excellent TRS-80 emulator xtrs before which I remember worked well. Unfortunately when trying this now it seems that Linux has evolved a fair bit and as a result I noticed a few issues when running xtrs.

  • xtrs would not work on my new distro without removing the -DHAVE_SIGIO from the makefile. (See Tims page for details on this).
  • Sound on xtrs would not work unless I stopped or removed the pulseaudio process.
  • To allow -autodelay to work on xtrs I had to remove the optimizations from the compiler (-O0).
  • Keyboard input tends to be flakey on newer distros also.

After a little research I came across sdltrs which is based on xtrs. The benefit of using the sdl version is that it works around the problems associated with new linux distros. Many thanks to Mark Grebe for his work on this.

So here's a summary of what I did to get sdltrs running:

  • Download the tarball from the Browse SVN under the Code menu
  • Extract the tarball tar zxvf src.tar.gz
  • cd src, cd linux, make
  • this will create a sdltrs binary file, you just need to execute this, enter ./sdltrs
  • I created a new directory with sdltrs, the level2.rom file and various disk files.
  • Once sdltrs has booted the level2.rom press F7 for configuration options.
  • Put a disk operating system into the Disk 1 slot (ie NEWDOS 80)
  • Press F10 to reset the system and it should boot the disk.
  • For those a little rusty like me try DIR :0 to show contents of disk 1 and DIR :1 for disk 2.

Works Great :)

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