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Some architectures (6502 and 6809 for now) include an emulator,
allowing you to run foreign code on any host. The loader word
follows the same pattern as the assemblers: it lives in ARCHM
and ends with "E". Examples: 6502E 6809E

All emulators require the corresponding disassembler to be
loaded first.

Once loaded, the following words are supplied, regardless of
the arch:

cpu.  --   Print CPU register values
run1  --   Run a single instruction
runN  n -- Run n instructions
run   --   Run until CPU is halted

You can define breakpoints through the "'BRK?" VALUE, which
points to a word with a ( -- f ) signature. If it returns
nonzero, the run loop halts. If 'BRK? is zero (default value),
there is no breakpoint.

Breakpoints are checked after having run an op. This means that,
after your run is interrupted by a breakpoint condition, you
don't have to disable breakpoints to resume, resuming will
always run at least one op.

There is also the "VERBOSE" value, defaulting to 0. If set to
nonzero, every run step will also execute "cpu.".

"MEM" points to the area of memory allocated for the emulated
machine. Usually, 2048 bytes are allocated there. Each emulated
memory operation are done relative to "MEM".

Each emulator have an "initializer" word which initializes
registers that need it (PC, DP, etc.). It has the name of the
loader word + $. Examples: 6502E$ 6809E$

6502 init: PC: $200
6809 init: PC: $100 DP: 0

"run" words don't initialize CPU registers.

Each emulator supply pointer words for each register. For
example, 'D in 6809 would point to a 16b value, 'A to the exact
same space (but we have to use it as a byte), etc. 16b registers
are in target byte order, which means that 'D points to a big
endian value regardless of the host architecture.

6502 registers: A X Y S P PC
6809 registers: D X Y U S PC A B CC DP


These emulators are designed to debug small pieces of code. You
could use them to emulate complete machines, but you'd have to
develop quite a bit of tooling around it.

For example, if you just want to run a few ops and see how it
goes, you could do something like this:

HERE MEM $200 + 'HERE !
$02 # LDA, TAY, $12 # ADC, 1 <> SBC, BRK,

If you want to debug Collapse OS ports within context, things
get a bit more complex. One option is to emulate a full COS
binary. You can do it by identifying the address of the part
you want to debug and use BRK? with a word that checks the
value of PC. Then, you single step to your heart's content.

However, this is slow: it can take a while before your emulator
gets where you want. Also, you have to develop tooling around
the emulator because you'll need a (emit) and (key?) word that
feeds content to the interpreter loop.

But it doesn't need to be super complicated. It could be as
simple as mapping (emit) to $700 and (key?) to $780. If, for
example, you want to test the "." word, you write "42 . BYE"
+ CR to MEM+$780, call "run", then verify that you end up with
"42 ok" + CR in MEM+$700.

One thing I favor, however, is working with partial binaries.
That is, I copy Collapse OS code around and keep only the bare
minimum for the word I want to test, and then I run the code I
want to run in BOOT. Quicker to build, quicker to emulate.

Collapse OS and its documentation are created by Virgil Dupras and licensed under the GNU GPL v3.

This documentation browser by James Stanley. Please report bugs on github or to

This page generated at 2023-12-05 21:05:04 from documentation in CollapseOS snapshot 20230427.