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Review: SIGMON (Rainbow 1981-08)
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SIGMON< from DataSoft, Inc., is a very well thought-out machine language monitor, "mini-assembler, disassembler and debugger all rolled into a single tape. It was designed especially for the Color Computer and shows some well tholght out ideas.
In effect, there are a total of 18 commands you can use to access the memory of your computer, allowing you to do everything from reading the contents of the memory locations to setting breakpoints and examining the contents of the registers in the 6809 CPU. Moreover, after you do all these things, you can run the assembly language program you cresate ... either on a real-time basis or step - by -step. The last option gives you the change to examine the contents of the CPU registers and see how your program is affecting them.
A really nice feature of SIGMON is its ability to turn your printer on or off so that you can trace your program and have a. record of what happened. by keeping the printer on all the way through the process, you will be able to see what you did and what the result of it was. You can also set SIGMON up to operate in either decimal or hexidecimal modes, as far as input is concerned. For those trying to cope with both assembly language and hexidecimals for the first tille, that can be a. bonus. However, SIGMON's output is always in hex, so it can be confusing if you don't remember what you are using to input.
The DataSoft people have put together a. very nice package, and a. very attractive booklet of documentation. The little drawings of "SIGMON" do help the novice assembly language programmer understand the text a little better.
I would say SIGMON is a perfect program to help someone get into the complicated area of assellbly language. One of the reasons for this is simply because it is a heIpful-type program that sort of guides you. However, in view of that, I do with the documentation were a. little more complete for the novice. A couple of short prograls worked through step - by - step using the SIGMON commands wouIld go long way toward helping the beginner understand a little more about all the mysterious stuff.
With that one complaint, its relly a fine program. And, with a $29.95 price tag, its in the perfect spot for someone who wants to see what all this assembly language stuff is all about.
Remember, though, SIGMON is a MINIAssembler and disasserbler. In short, it trys to be -- and succeeds -- in being a lot of things packed in one tape. Because of that, its not Iike a full-blown assembler, and doesn't pertend to be. But it is a good place to start and the price is certainly right for anyone who wants to see what assembly language is all about.