Megamax C

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Megamax C is a K&R C-based development system originally written for Macintosh and ported to the Atari ST and Apple IIGS computers. Sold by Megamax, Inc., based in Richardson, Texas,[1] the package includes a one-pass compiler, linker, text editor, resource construction kit, and documentation.[1] Megamax C was written by Michael Bunnell with Eric Parker providing the linker and most of the standard library.[citation needed] A circa-1988 version of the compiler was renamed Laser C, while the company remained Megamax.[2]

In the early days of the Atari ST, Megamax C was the primary competitor to the Alcyon C compiler from Digital Research which was included in the official developer kit from Atari Corporation, and the documentation covered Atari-specific features. The ST version also included the source code and assets for a polished Asteroids clone, Megaroids, credited to Mike and Mitch Bunnell.[3]

Technical details[edit]

On both the Atari ST and Macintosh, the size of a compiled module is limited to 32K of code, and arrays have the same 32K restriction.[1] The limitation stems from a requirement on the Macintosh which was carried over to the Atari.[4] This is despite the 68000 CPU in both machines having a 24-bit address range.


According to a review of the Atari ST version in Antic by Mike Fleishman, Megamax C compiled a small benchmark program six times faster than Digital Research's compiler.[1] In a comparison of C compilers for the Atari ST, STart magazine wrote, "For a development compiler, Megamax C is, without question, the best available on the Atari. It will reduce your compile/test turn-around time by at least a factor of five."[4] They also pointed out that the $200 price may be steep for hobbyists and students.

The compiler was used for development by Batteries Included and FTL Games.[5]


  1. ^ a b c d Fleishman, Mike (September 1986). "Megamax C Review". Antic. 5 (5).
  2. ^ Darek, Mihocka (November 1988). "Review: Laser C (Megamax, Inc.)". ST-Log (25): 78.
  3. ^ "Megaroids". Atari Crypt. February 2, 2016.
  4. ^ a b Anders, Arick; Bendio, Michael (1986). "Which C for Me?". STart. 1 (2).
  5. ^ "Megamax C print ad". Atari Mania.