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Man Pages

Manual Reference Pages  -  PETCAT (1)


petcat - convert and display PETSCII or BASIC files


See Also
Thanks to


petcat [ -text | -<version> | -w<version> | -k<version> ] [ -l hexaddr ] [ -c | -nc ] [ -o outfile ] [ -skip offset ] [ -- ] [ file list ]


petcat converts input files from the most common CBM file formats into printable ASCII form and writes to standard output. The type of input file is determined automatically, if possible, and appropriate conversion is performed. Since a few of the BASIC versions have keywords defined differently, the right conversion has to be selected on the command line. Where such confusion cannot happen, automatical recognition of input is used. This is useful when expanding several files at once or if the program contains code for several versions, selected according to the hardware; eg. Simon’s Basic vs. Basic 7.0.
Please note that each input file is converted individually, but the output is produced as continuous flow. Also, all input files that are read trough a pipe, are concatenated before they reach petcat so any machine language section in between the BASIC programs causes all consecutive files to be taken as one machine language program. For that reason files containing machine language parts attached to them must be input separately, otherwise the remaining files won’t be expanded. petcat recognizes normal PETSCII text files (SEQ), program files containing directory listing, and BASIC programs. Both the original CBM files and files with a PC64 ‘P00’ header are accepted. The different BASIC versions are not automatically distinquished, but standard C64 and C128 versions are used as default.
In order to tokenize a text file into a BASIC binary file the desired BASIC version must be exclusively specified so that correct set of keywords will be used. If line numbers are not found in the beginning of each program line, the cruncher creates the missing line numbers by adding 2 to the numeric value of previous one. Since also line numbers deviating from strictly ascendind order are accepted, care must be taken when editing such a program on a C64 again.


Since CBM programs usually contain unprintable characters, a way to spesify them has been created. Normally, petcat uses the same codes as most printers, but for tokenizing programs scanned from magazines, it can use the following convention:
{DOWN} stands for single control code
{6 RIGHT} contains amout of consecutive codes
List of valid mnemonics:
  {wht} {dish} {ensh} {swlc} {down} {rvon} {home} {del} {esc} {red} {rght} {grn} {blu} {orng} {F1} {F3} {F5} {F7} {F2} {F4} {F6} {F8} {sret} {swuc} {blk} {up} {rvof} {clr} {inst} {brn} {lred} {gry1} {gry2} {lgrn} {lblu} {gry3} {pur} {left} {yel} {cyn}
List of alternate mnemonics:
  {wht} {up/lo lock on} {up/lo lock off} {return} {lower case} {down} {rvs on} {home} {delete} {esc} {red} {right} {grn} {blu} {orange} {f1} {f3} {f5} {f7} {f2} {f4} {f6} {f8} {shift return} {upper case} {blk} {up} {rvs off} {clr} {insert} {brown} {lt red} {grey1} {grey2} {lt green} {lt blue} {grey3} {pur} {left} {yel} {cyn}


-l load_address
  Specify load_address (in hex) for tokenized program.
-c Causes petcat to interpret also control characters. By default, these strings are the same as used by printers. However, an alternate set is attempted whenever none within the primary set matches. Default is ON, unless text mode is selected.
-nc Suppress control codes.
-f Force overwrite of existing output file. Default true.
-h Print filename and start address for each Basic file expanded. Default true.
-nh Suppress file header in printout.
-o file Redirect output to the specified file. This option overrules -h. When file has extension ‘.P00’ and also -w option is specified, the PC64 file header is written automatically. .P00 file cannot be written on stdout but to a file only.
-skip offset
  Skip offset bytes in the beginning of input file.
-text Force text mode even if the input file looks like a Basic program, i.e. the first byte in file is 01.
  Just prints all valid keywords for the specified Basic version. Without any version, all names of supported BASIC versions are listed instead.
  Tokenise program listing using keywords set from the specified Basic version.
-<version> Changes the set of keywords for the specified Basic version and expands tokenized input file. Without this option petcat uses V7.0 keywords in expanding.


1 Basic 1.0
2 Basic 2.0
a Basic 2.0 with AtBasic
t Basic 2.0 with Turtle Basic
super su se Basic 2.0 with Super Expander
simon si Basic 2.0 and Simon’s Basic
speech sp Basic 2.0 with Speech Basic v2.7
4 Basic 4.0
4e Basic 4.0 Extension
3 Basic 3.5
7 Basic 7.0
10 Basic 10.0


Line numbers must be less than 65536. Maximum line length is 255 bytes. Leading white space is ignored. Blank lines and line numbers not followed by any text are rejected. While expanding, Machine Language section concatenated to a BASIC program is ignored. While crunching, control codes that appear outside quotes are not interpreted. The low order byte of load address must be "01".


cat(1), tr(1), sed(1), fvcbm(1), petlp(1), cbmconvert, iso2asc(1), ASCII(7), CBM Tokens Documentation, CBM’s Programmers’ Reference Guide series


Jouko Valta (

Thanks to

Frederik Ekman (
Marko M�kel� (
Russell Alphey (
Andr� Fachat (
Onno Ebbinge (ebbin200@hio.tem.NHL.NL)
Frank Kontros (
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VICE PETCAT (1) 12 Dec 1996

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