The BD Software C Compiler (BDS C)
An 8080/Z80 C Compiler:
Now Open Source and Public Domain!
Initial Commercial Release: August,
Released into the Public Domain: September 20, 2002
This Distribution Last Updated: October 10, 2002
In 1979, I wrote a compiler for a subset of the pre-Standard ("K&R
Classic") C Programming Language. The package was developed
on, and targeted for, CP/M-80 floppy-based systems with as little
as 32K of available system RAM. Originally intending to publish
the source code in BYTE, I was eventually persuaded to turn the
project into a retail product. Version 1.0 was released in August
of 1979. The full package sold somewhere in the neighborhood of
25,000 copies domestically, and a stripped-down version for Japanese-market
MSX machines (distributed under the name Alpha-C) probably
sold somewhere in the 50,000 copy range.
Now BDS C's commercial potential is well in the past. Until recently,
I had not been aware of the continuing international interest in
8-bit CP/M (and derivative) systems... upon this discovery, I found
no reason not to render BDS C, along with all of its source
code (including the 8080 assembly language compiler/linker sources),
free to the public. For the record:
I, Leor Zolman, hereby release all rights to BDS C
(all binary and source code modules, including compiler,
linker, library sources, utilities, and all documentation)
into the Public Domain. Anyone is free to download, use,
copy, modify, sell, fold, spindle or mutilate any part of
this package forever more. If, however, anyone ever
translates it to BASIC, FORTRAN or C#, please don't
Plus, as Al Stevens graciously points out in his DDJ
online C newsletter, BDS C may be used to produce 8080/8085/Z80
embedded systems code (it generates CP/M-resident code by default,
but the runtime package can be configured easily enough to run in
the absence of an operating system.)
To see the main README file, with change log information and some
additional historical notes, click here.
To download a combined ZIP archive containing the CP/M-80 and ZCPR3
retail distributions of BDS C, the complete 8080 assembly language
source code for the compiler and linker and a PDF of the User's
Guide, click here (1.5 MB).
For compiler/linker source code only, click here (153K).
The code archives are also available on Gaby
Chaudry's CP/M site in Germany.
Two PDF flavors of the BDS C User's Guide are available. A short
version with full text content, but without the scanned color cover
and title page, has already been incorporated into the full archive
above. For this short version alone: click here
for the ZIP file (570K) or here
for the straight viewable PDF.
For the long version, complete with title page (in front) and the
"C Tree" cover in its full glory (at the end), click here
for the ZIP file (1.5M) or here
to view the straight PDF.
BDS C on the SIMH Altair 8800 Simulator
Peter Schorn has built a distribution of BDS C and its sources
that plays nice with his SIMH
Altair 8800 simulator package. From just this link, I was able
to have BDS C running in the simulated CP/M environment on my XP
machine in about ten minutes. All you need are the two simulator
files labeled "Executable for PC" and "Documentation"
in the "Simulator Executables and Sources" section, and
the "BDS C 1.60" download in the "Software Packages"
section. Unzip everything to the same directory, and enter the command:
You'll then be in a virtual Altair machine...but faster than any
actual one ever was! Now, if I could just remember those WordMaster
Many thanks to Brian Hess, Fritz Chwolka, Gaby Chaudry and Craig
Finseth for their help in reviving the User's Guide and finessing
it into PDF format for this distribution. Truly a global effort!
A very special thanks to Jay Sage for his contribution to ZCPR3
development, his guardianship of BDS C during its last incarnation
as a Z-System application, for his configuration of the distribution
files as they now exist, and for salvaging the compiler/linker source
files...making it possible for me to distribute them.
What's Leor up to now?
These days I do on-site IT
training, and occasionally still produce useful software such
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