6 - So why do this?

There are several reasons. First, I personally have a great deal of interesting 6809 source code around from the early 1980's when I was designing 6809 based arcade games, and I wanted to be able to experiment with that code. I have some of the actual game machines also, so by experimenting I mean making changes and playing about with the actual games themselves.

Second, although I was able to get an SS-50 based machine up and running FLEX, I had a serious concern that if the hardware failed, I might be unable to get it running again due to a lack of available parts. With this emulation, FLEX has a new lease on life.

Third, the emulation itself makes available a very powerful (and fun!) "small" computer system inside the Host which is actually a very nice, very safe environment for playing around with assembly language programming. You can't hurt the Host at all no matter how bad a mistake you make within the emulation, and as a computer, the 6809 sports extremely powerful addressing modes, a decent register set, and a solid instruction set which makes experimenting with it very enjoyable. Since the disks are cached in the Host's memory, even if you foul up the disks, you can still abort the emulator and you're 100% safe — the disk information prior to that use of the emulator will remain intact.

Finally, it was a challenge to write, and then to port, the emulation and get it all working. Overall, it's been a task which provided me with a great deal of personal satisfaction.

The results — the complete emulation — provide something quite special for a select group of people. The vast majority of the companies that produced the software which run within the emulation are long gone, no longer supporting the operating system or its utilities in any way. Motorola has given up on the CPU, the MC6809. Without this emulation, the alternative is to have FLEX fade away into the past, forgotten, which would be a shame — FLEX was an important part of the computer revolution.

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