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Aztec C - a programming language for a variety of platforms including MS-DOS, Apple II DOS 3.3 and PRoDOS, Commodore 64, Macintosh and Amiga. Software that is no longer current, but is still of interest.

The purpose of this website is to provide a free internet archive for various versions of the now-discontinued Aztec C Compiler for older now-obsolete platforms, and to provide related compiler documentation and Aztec C source code and samples that support the Fair Use of these discontinued compilers for educational purposes by programmers, researchers and enthusiasts.

If the aforestated is not your intended use, you may not download from this website.

Please email me (Bill Buckels) at bbuckels@mts.net if you can provide me with Aztec C Compilers, Documentation and Examples other than what is listed on this website.

Emulators for these older now-obsolete platforms have become popular with enthusiasts and hobbyists, and most emulators are free or almost free. As far as I know, no commercial market exists for programs or development environments that run on these older now-obsolete platforms.

However the native Aztec C Compilers for these platforms are still quite as usable as they ever were on their respective native platforms, and the MS-DOS Aztec C cross-development compilers for these platforms work under Windows XP and in other operating systems that provide support for MS-DOS either directly or through the use of MS-DOS emulators (like Linux).

This means that a C programmer-enthusiast can create programs in an emulator or in the MS-DOS or Windows environment then run them on an emulator or transfer them to a real (but obsolete) target computer using a serial cable, flash memory, or some other means.

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Brief History

Manx Software Systems of Shrewsbury, New Jersey, produced C compilers beginning in the 1980s targeted at professional developers for a variety of platforms up to and including PC's and Mac's.

Manx Software Systems was started by Harry Suckow, with partners Thomas Fenwick, and James Goodnow II, the two principle developers. They were all working together at another company at the time. Harry had started several companies of his own anticipating the impending growth of the PC market, with each company specializing in different kinds of software. A demand came for compilers first and he disengaged himself from the other companies to pursue Manx and Aztec C.

Harry took care of the business side, Fenwick specialized in front-end compiler development, and Goodnow specialized in back-end compiler development. Another developer, Chris Macey, worked with them for awhile on 80XX development and in other areas.

The name "Manx" was selected from a list of cats for no particular reason except that the name Harry wanted to use was taken by one of his other start-up companies.

One of the main reasons for Aztec C's early success was the floating point support for the Z80 compiler which was extended to the Apple II shortly after. Harry insisted on adding floating point.

During the move to ANSI C in 1989, Robert Sherry who was with Manx at the time and interested in the minutiae of standards represented them on the ANSI committee but left shortly after.

By this time Microsoft had targeted competitors for their C compiler and Aztec C was being pushed-out of the general IBM-PC compiler market, followed by competition with Apple's MPW C on the MacIntosh side and Lattice C on the Amiga after SAS bought them.

By the early 1990s Thomas Fenwick had left to work for Microsoft, and James Goodnow worked on Aztec C occasionally but was pursuing other projects outside the company and eventually left the company altogether. Harry employed about 20 people at that time. Chris Macey returned as a consultant but eventually left to become chief scientist for another company. Mike Spille joined Manx as a developer along with the late Jeff Davis (embedded systems).

Throughout the 1990s they continued to make their Aztec C. As their market share dropped, they tried to make the move to specializing in embedded systems development, but it was too late. They disappeared a few years back following the loss of market presence of some of their target platforms (various 6502 machines, Atari and Amiga 68xxx, etc.).

In the end, Jeff Davis and Mike Spille helped Harry Suckow keep the company going before Harry finally closed it. Harry Suckow is still the Copyright holder for Aztec C.

Many professional developers used Aztec C compilers from Manx Software Systems before they vanished from the planet.Despite the fact that these compilers are no longer of any commercial value, if those of us who still enjoy the art of programming in C on these old platforms can share this enjoyment by making Aztec C available to others, the excellence of Aztec C will live on.

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Copyright and Conditions of Use

Harry Suckow (the Copyright holder for Aztec C) has given permission for this website to redistribute Manx Software Systems discontinued Aztec C compilers for now-obsolete platforms for educational purposes by researchers and enthusiasts.

If you download from this website, your use must be Fair as it applies to Manx's Copyright on these compilers. If you do not agree, or if your use is not Fair do not download from this website.

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This website and the content available from this website unless otherwise noted are original or derivative works and as such the licencing by the original authors applies insofar as legal Copyright ownership applies. Bill Buckels makes no claims of ownership whatsoever for the content available from this website unless otherwise noted, and further assumes no liability for the results of its use.

You may use the content available from this website in any way you find useful (subject to all the aforestated conditions of use) and provided that you agree that Bill Buckels has no warranty obligations or liability resulting from said use in any way whatsoever. If you do not agree or if your use is not Fair then do not download from this website .

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Contributors and Acknowledgements

The Aztec C Museum would not have been possible without contributions from the following individuals:
Many additonal acknowledgements are on other pages and even in the documents bundled with the compilers themselves. But if you think I have missed someone please remind me. My memory is getting a little worse these days:)

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How This Website Came To Be

I first got the idea for the Aztec C website back in 2007 as a result of rediscovering a some of my old Apple II programs that had been written in Aztec C. This in turn was as a result of research that I did for my ClipShop Program rewrite which handles among other things conversion to Apple II Graphics.

One thing led to another with many detours along the way, and when I decided to put my old Apple II programs online, I wanted to offer the source code as well. That part is a little complicated, but I realized that I would need the permission of Aztec C's Copyright holder to provide the compiler that I had used to do these if the source code was to be of any use.

The Aztec C website went-up cautiously at first and began to grow as my adventure in search of Aztec C continued. When I finally found Harry Suckow who started Aztec C in the first place and who, as the Copyright holder gave permission for this site, I had already accumulated a modestly large archive of compilers from many sources.

Aztec C was a long time ago for Harry and his former partners, Thomas Fenwick and James Goodnow II. In the end my discovery for compiler source code and manuals from the orginal authors turned-out to be unsuccessful for many reasons and Harry eventually withdrew from the process.

By that time (mid 2008) the Aztec C website had become the Aztec C Museum and with the help of ongoing contributions from former users and other archives had grown and continues to grow.

I still remain cautiously optimistic that eventually the orginal authors will come forward with some of what was lost to this crazy software business that gave us Aztec C in the first place.

In the meantime I am grateful for what we still have from those Olde Tymes.

Bill Buckels - January 1, 2009

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© Copyright Bill Buckels 2009
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Unless Otherwise Noted.