ARNOR C (Amstrad Action)ARNOR C (Amstrad Computer User)Arnor C (ASM)
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Pat McDonald tests C, the new language from Arnor. Will it match the version from HiSoft?

When you just start programming, the task of becoming fluent in Locomotive Basic seems tough enough. Who wants a new language? Alter a time though, you begin to see Basic's limitations it's rather slow, not very compact can't handle last graphics and so on.The language C is relatively new and one which many people preler to use For one thing, there is a definite standard set out in Kernighan & Ritchie s book "The C Programming Language" It is also last in operation, almost up to low-level machine code speed, and yet is easy to write and debug (like high level languages which include Basic, Pascal and Cobol).

Amor's implementation is packaged to their usual standard, and is supplied on a 3 inch disk together with a 200 page manual This is split roughly in half, dealing with the various C programming modules - the compiler linker joiner and run time system — and then the editor in turn.

The manuals, descriptions and explanations of the programming language assume you already have a working knowledge of C However a bibliography of suitable books which can help a beginner to learn is supplied.

Now you C it

Amor's Programming Editor (APED For short) is a cut down version of the highly successful word processor Protext. as used by the AA team Not surprisingly, it is of an excellent quality for writing C source code.

Computers cannot understand programs as anything other than a series of number coded instructions hence the term, machine code Few people can grasp the meaning of these sets of numbers — this is the reason why computer languages were developed in the first instance.

Now high level programming languages come in two mean types First are the interpreters — these convert the human code (which a human can easily read) into machine code while the program is in operation So you can write your program and set it going at once stop it. edit it. then set it going again. The mean drawback of such languages is their slow speed of operation.

Compiled languages do all the« human to machine conversion before the program is run This means that although editing and debugging are slightly more difficult and time consuming to carry out. compiled programs tend to run much faster than interpreted ones.

Amor C is quite an interesting hybrid of these types. It compiles programs to an intermediate code and then runs these programs with an interpreter.

Protective details

The reason why I'm going into all this detail is that ll you write a program using Arnor C to use it the interpreter must be on the disk with the program.

However. Amor state that no programs may be copied except loi the use of the programmer So even il you use Arnor C to write an incredible piece of software you will have to refer to Amor before you can sell it.

As C versions go. Arnor's is very complete You may use tractions and all the standard functions of C are included as well as many extras tailored to the 6128 and PCW The importance of this feature lot using C programs written on other machines cannot be overstressed — it was why Kernighan and Ritchie sat down and wrote their book, so implementations of the C language would, by and large, be compatible.

In comparison with the established C compiler — HiSoft's — Arnor C is streets ahead in terms of programming power The editor is also superior to that of Hisoft Mind you Hisoft C is generally twice as last, due to the lad that it can only deal in whole numbers (at least in its present form). Code generated with the Hisoft C compiler is significantly mote compact and Hisoft C is compatible with the CPC 464, 664 and 6128 machines.

Final conclusions are these Amor C is aimed at those owning a CPM+ machine who want a full C language to do some heavy duty programming, possibly number crunching — probably the student a the business programmer It is accurately priced, with a good, no nonsense manual and excellent editor. However, if you want to program on the CPC machines in general, taking full advantage of AMSDOS then Hisoft C is your best bet


★ YEAR: 1987
★ CONFIG: 128K + CP/M+(CPM plus only)
★ PRICE: £49.95 (disk only)


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L'Amstrad CPC est une machine 8 bits à base d'un Z80 à 4MHz. Le premier de la gamme fut le CPC 464 en 1984, équipé d'un lecteur de cassettes intégré il se plaçait en concurrent  du Commodore C64 beaucoup plus compliqué à utiliser et plus cher. Ce fut un réel succès et sorti cette même années le CPC 664 équipé d'un lecteur de disquettes trois pouces intégré. Sa vie fut de courte durée puisqu'en 1985 il fut remplacé par le CPC 6128 qui était plus compact, plus soigné et surtout qui avait 128Ko de RAM au lieu de 64Ko.