See my early work: X-Debug from 1992

I recently discovered a floppy containing the source to a program I wrote in 1992: X-Debug, a debugger for the Atari ST. Coincidentally I also received an email via this blog from someone asking if I had the source and rights to the Atari version of HiSoft Devpac, which I wrote in the late-80s. I couldn’t help with Devpac, but I have posted the full source to X-Debug on my personal site.

Its interesting to look at my code from way back then: it was mostly in C, which a bit of assembler for the low-level stuff (screen access, MMU hackery, debugger hooks). Apart from the formatting, and the fact it is C and not C++, it’s not too bad, though I say so myself.

Somewhere I have a 10M (yes thats megabyte) SCSI hard-drive that contains everything I did for the Atari. If I could find it, and if it still works, I could dig up some more old stuff from this period of my life, as it is FAT-formatted so a PC should read it. I even have an Atari ST emulator somewhere so I guess I could even run the stuff on my PC too.

Comments (7)

  1. George Nakos says:


    Thank you for this!

    BTW: You shouldn’t have said the bit about the old hard drive 🙂 Anway, if you ever find it and want some help accessing it please do not hesitate to contact me!

    Best regards and again thanks a lot,


  2. Stuart Dootson says:

    That’ll have been the last version of DevPac I ever used – I used the Spectrum version as well. Didn’t HiSoft do a C compiler for the Spectrum – I seem to remember using that as well – possibly not quite the compilation times I’m used to now…

    The 10M thing is scary as well – I look at the .pch file and I’d be doing well to get one of those on a 10M disk!

  3. lp says:

    Very cool!  I still use Devpac.  It’s nice to see old source code released.  Hope you find the old HD.  ;o)

    Thanks for donating the source to the Atari community, it’s a very nice gesture.

  4. andypennell says:

    Before someone (Tim?) posts another example of my early work, I will: this is probably the worst picture ever taken of me, plus it was published too. It was during my Bill Gates period, and you can see it, in context, at

  5. andypennell says:

    I forgot to say: to actually build X-Debug you’ll need Lattice C and a version of GenST that can do 680×0 instructions. The makefile and scripts in the zip are for a Unix-ish shell I used to use, whose name escapes me but it was Scandinavian.

    Stuart: yes, HiSoft did a C compiler for the Spectrum. I didn’t work on any of their Spectrum stuff, I was just a customer of those. I helped them add Microdrive support to their tools one summer, and then they hired me to do the 680×0 stuff (on the QL originally).

  6. Rob says:

    That is funny, for the last 20 years I assumed you wrote all HiSoft’s stuff.

  7. andypennell says:

    Thanks Rob! Way to make me feel real old…