Hello World on the NCD XTerm

Posted by Maki on Monday, May 29, 2023

After several days of work, I finally managed to get “Hello world” to print on the NCD 88k XTerm. This is a significant milestone because it means I have a working assembler and linker. I cross developed from the OpenBSD Luna 88k running on the nono emulator running on my Linux laptop. On the OpenBSD I used built-in as and ld, and then TFTP boot from the NCD.

I have reached this same milestone once before maybe about 15 years ago. Back then I built a cross develpment environment binutils and that had it’s challenges. I took some notes back then, and to my surprise I was able to use a few tid bits from those notes this iteration.


I’ve spun up a repo to capture technical info about the NCD 88k XTerm. If you want to run the hello world yourself, there should be enough info there to follow along.

I plan to write some test programs and tools next to discover more details about the NCD. I may port Forth or similar language to use as a discovery tool. Of course I have to try getting a C program to compile and run on the NCD. That is a milestone that previously I’ve only dreamed of, but hopefully it won’t be too hard because I have a working C compiler this time.