VideoBrain Family Computer

F8 and VideoBrain Programming

VideoBrain Home/Index

Fairchild F8 Assemblers/Disassemblers

DASM Macro Assembler
F8 Tool Assembler/Disasembler


PS Pad Text Editor


PS Pad and DASM Set Up Tutorial

VideoBrain F8 Source Code / F8 Disassemblies

Fairchild F8 Assemblers

DASM Website

DASM Macro Assembler

By Matthew Dillon, Olaf "Rhialto" Seibert, Andrew Davie and Peter H. Froehlich.

DASM is command-line program, so it's not pretty to look at, but the job it does is absolutely fantastic! I use DASM with a Windows frontend called PSPad and it works very well. If you want a very capable assembler which has been in development since 1987 (!), then look no further. To see a full-size picture of DASM in action, then look at this (like I said, it's not exciting to look at).

Here is some general information about DASM from the program's webpage: "[Dasm is] a versatile macro assembler with support for several 8-bit microprocessors including MOS 6502 & 6507, Motorola 6803, 68705 & 68HC11, Hitachi HD6303 (extended Motorola 6801), and Fairchild F8. All versions of dasm are written in C and include the full source code, recent versions (since about 2003) also include selected target-machine runtimes (currently for the Atari 2600 VCS and the Fairchild Channel F VES)."

I've used DASM with success to create a binary from F8 source code. Other's have used it to create programs for the Fairchild Channel F (a game console that uses the F8 CPU). You'll be able to use it for your VideoBrain or other F8 programming needs.

Once you download DASM, then you can test it by assembling suitef8.asm, which is an F8 assembly test file that comes with DASM. The assembly file can be assembled simply by typing:

   DASM suitef8.asm -f3

To get more control over DASM, try using these other command line options:

   dasm suitef8.asm -f3 -osuitef8.bin -Lsuitef8.lst -ssuitef8.sym

It is highly recommended that the latest version of DASM is downloaded from DASM's homepage. If the DASM webpage isn't working, then you can download a local version of DASM 2.20.11 for x86 machines, here. This version works fine under Windows.

You can read the manual for DASM 2.20.11, here.

There is a separate README file for DASM's F8 CPU support, here.


F8Tool Assembler / Disassembler

By Peter Trauner

"One of the first available modern assemblers for the F8, although it unfortunately doesn't support the entire F8 programming set. Also includes a disassembler. Released under the GPL, no commercial use is allowed." The source code for this program is included.

Here are VERY brief instructions on how to use this command line utility for Windows.

      f8tool dis file.bin > file.asm org
      f8tool asm file.asm file.bin

F8Tool Download links:

      F8Tool Webstie (Channel F VES/Tools Directory)
      F8TOOL.ZIP (Local Copy)
      f8tool_(About).txt (Very Brief Instructions)

This is the only F8 disassembler that I'm aware of. If you know of any other one, for any operating system (including CP/M or other outdated/unusual operating systems), then let me know.


'PS Pad' Website

PS Pad Text Editor

By Jan Fiala

PS Pad is a text editor that can be setup to automatically assemble a Fairchild F8 CPU source code program using the DASM macro assembler, which is a command line only program. For this to work, DASM needs to be setup as the default "compiler." Working together, both PS Pad and DASM become more than just a text editor and assembler; they become a nearly complete Integrated Development Environment (IDE).

Download PS Pad from the PS Pad website. The latest version can be found there. Or, if the website isn't working at the moment, then PS Pad 4.56 (November 11, 2011) is available as a local file. Also required is the f8.ini setup file, which will allow PS Pad to "understand" that an F8 extension is for use with an F8 assembler. Place the f8.ini file into the Syntax directory of the PS Pad directory. (PS Pad Website, get latest version here.) (PS Pad 4.5.6, Local Version)
      f8.ini - Version .03 (May 15, 2020)
      f8.ini - Version .02 (May 18, 2012) - Archive purposes only.

PS Pad is a fantastic editor. Once you have it setup to assemble your F8 programs with DASM, then you will see that these combined programs are a true time saver. PS Pad allows quick switching back and forth between source code and listing files as well as plenty of customization for all your needs. Once you begin to use it, before long, you will wonder how you ever got along without it.


'PS Pad' Tutorial

PS Pad and DASM
Assembling F8 CPU Source Code

By Adam Trionfo

Setting up PS Pad to work with the the DASM assembler isn't difficult, but it does take some time reading through the documentation to figure-out how to do it. To speed things along, and remove possible frustrations that a new user may have, I have written a tutorial that explains, step-by-step, exactly how to make DASM the default assembler for Fairchild F8 CPU programs when using PS Pad. The tutorial can be read here:

      PS Pad and DASM Assembler Setup for F8 Tutorial