My language of choice is C and I am currently getting more involved with the CP/M operating system. I have therefore decided that it would be nice to have a C compiler working under CP/M. There are a number of options available in the archives, but I have found that HI-TECH are allowing their CP/M C Compiler to be downloaded for free. This is a very good product, has good documentation, is almost ANSI C compliant and can be used for commercial and non-commercial use. This, therefore, is the one I have chosen.

Downloading the HI-TECH Z80 CP/M C Compiler

At one time this could be downloaded from the HI-TECH site, however the best place to get it from now is z80.eu.

The files are self-extracting lharc’ed archives so I installed lha, which is part of my Debian distro. To extract the contents of the main compiler archive, I created a subdirectory called z80v309. I entered it and ran:

$ lha e ../z80v309.exe

The extracted contents comes to 413k which is too large for the 8” SD disks that my emulator supports, so I used Cpmtools to create a 4Mb HDD image to put the files on. Hopefully however, this should fit on your disks.

Using the C compiler

To test the C compiler I went to the B: drive, where I’m storing my development work, and created a file called hello.c containing the classic “hello, world” source code:

void main(void)
{
   printf("hello, world\n");
}

To compile the source (hello.c on my B: drive) in verbose mode, using the compiler on my I: drive, I run the following:

I> c -v b:hello.c

This leaves the executable hello.com on the I: drive. Now all we need to do is run it to ensure that it has compiled properly:

I> hello

Which gives the correct output as below:

hello, world

Where Now?

The next step, if you haven’t already done it, is to extract the documentation file, z80doc.exe. This is an extensive document that should really help you get to grips with using the compiler. Now all you have to do is start tinkering and see what you can create.