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Jeffrey Elkner

Altair 8800 Programming on Raspberry Pi OS


The Raspberry Pi project has transformed educational computing every since the release of the first Model B back in 2012.

I am using Kevin Cole's APPENDIX B: SETTING UP LINUX FOR ALTAIR 8800 as a guide, and given that some of my students will need to compile C source on their school issued MacBooks without admin rights, I wanted to see if I could deploy it into $HOME/.local. I found what looks to be an excellent guide in Building and Installing Software in $HOME.

With those two resources and an email from Kevin instructing me how to modify the Makefile as guides, I did the following:

  1. Installed the required debian pages with:

    $ sudo apt install texlive minicom gkermit simh most
  2. Downloaded asl-current.tar.gz and moved it to a Resources directory with:

    $ mv ~/Downloads/asl-current.tar.gz ~/Resourses/
  3. Extracted the archive:

    $ tar xzvf asl-current.tar.gz
    $ cd asl-current
    $ cp -v Makefile.def-samples/Makefile.def-x86_64-unknown-linux Makefile.def
  4. Edited the Makefile.def file, commenting out the following lines:

    #BINDIR = /usr/local/bin
    #INCDIR = /usr/local/include/asl
    #MANDIR = /usr/local/man
    #LIBDIR = /usr/local/lib/asl
    #DOCDIR = /usr/local/doc/asl

    and replacing them with:

    BINDIR = $(HOME)/.local/bin
    LIBDIR = $(HOME)/.local/lib/asl
    MANDIR = $(HOME)/.local/share/man
    INCDIR = $(HOME)/.local/include/asl
    DOCDIR = $(HOME)/Documents/asl
  5. Compiled and locally installed the code:

    $ make
    $ make test
    $ make docs
    $ make install
  6. Removed the broken German documentation:

    $ rm ~/Documents/asl/as_DE.*