Maxam is a popular assembler for the CPC, made by the British company Arnor. It was available in three versions.
Maxam was the original version, available on tape, disc or ROM.
Assembly language programs could be entered either using the built-in editor, or 'inline' in a BASIC program (in a similar fashion to that permitted by the BBC Micro), and then assembled by Maxam.
The program also contained a disassembler plus a number of simple memory management and debugging tools, such as a hex editor and graphical memory overview. These were available by typing |MAXAM or |M, and (unusually) could be run in either MODE 1 or MODE 2.
- Maxam documentation (PDF)
Maxam 1.5 (available on ROM only) omitted the editor from the original Maxam. Instead, users were expected to write their program in Arnor's highly capable word-processor, Protext, which included a special PROGram mode for such tasks. A simple ASM command from Protext would assemble the current program.
The assembler part of Maxam 1.5 was similar to the original Maxam, but some significant improvements were made, principally in the area of breakpoints and debugging.
Maxam's clear syntax, reliable operation, and instant access via ROM made it the standard assembler for the UK market. In particular, the excellence of the Protext editor combined with the reliability of Maxam made the Protext/Maxam 1.5 combination the single most commonly used assembler in the CPC's latter years.
But although significantly faster than most of its English-language competitors, it was much slower than DAMS, the leader in the French market. Today, the Maxam syntax lives on in WinAPE's built-in assembler/disassembler.
- Maxam 1.5 documentation (PDF)