Bugs With P&E ICS08GP Assembler

Back in 2000, there was free assembler software available for the 68HC08 microcontrollers through a third party, P&E Microcomputer Systems. Apparently these assemblers are available for the entire HC08 line of microcontrollers for $30 as of July 2010.

Unfortunately, back in 2000, I ran across bugs which are potentially in the assembler. Although I’ve dutifully reported these problems, I never received confirmation or fixes from P&E.

Long Line Crash:

As of May 2010, I haven’t received a reply from P&E Microcomputer Systems regarding this issue. I’m beginning to give up hope. ;)

It turns out this bug is documented under “Limitations” in CASM08Z - 68HC08 Assembler Help:

Make sure that the file you are assembling is no more than 102 columns of text in width. You may wish to set the word wrap on your editor to this width. If your file is wider than 102 columns, upon assembly you will receive the message “runtime error 202: stack overflow”.

Workaround: If the assembler crashes on a long line, split the line with a return and continue on the next line. It’s gotten to the point that I move the cursor down and press the “End” key for each line of each of my files to ensure that there aren’t extra spaces or anything else causing any line to exceed 100 characters.

Shifted Right Data:

I haven’t received a reply from P&E Microcomputer Systems regarding this issue.

Workaround: Code the data in hexadecimal or use binary in byte-size groups only. (Hardy har har.)

Braces and Preprocessed Math:

I received the following reply from P&E Microcomputer Systems.

From: Babak Kia
Sent: Wednesday, May 31, 2000 9:19 AM
Subject: Re: 68HC908GP20/GP32 assembler preprocessed math issue


Thanks for your email. I will look into this matter and write you back once we have resolved it.


Babak Kia

I haven’t received any other replies or follow-up from P&E Microcomputer Systems.

Workaround: Use shorter names or put braces around expressions with longer names.

Ten Years Later

I reviewed this web page in July 2010 as part of the Ten Year Anniversary update to the entire Robot Room site. At first, I was simply going to delete it. But, I don’t want to be too hasty. Any day now, I’m sure Babak will be sending me the fixes.