April 2011 Meeting Notes

Compiled by Dave Jaffe

Contributions from Kevin Appert and others


Coffee and a Chat


MSP-430 LaunchPad and eZ430 Chronos - CH Ting
The MSP-430 LaunchPad uses the MSP430G2231 chip. Its limited memory, 4 Kb Flash and 128 bytes of RAM, is too small to make it a good Forth platform. Nevertheless, Luke Chang of the Taiwan FIG implemented a tinyForth, based on TCOM. Ting demonstrated the board and the Forth he wrote for it.

The eZ430 Chronos uses the CC430F6137 chip, which has 32 Kb of flash memory and 4 Kb of RAM in addition to bluetooth RF communication, a 3-axis accelerometer, a pressure sensor, and many other peripherals. These capabilities can make the watch a complete Forth computer, perhaps with an RF serial port. Ting is in the process of writing and debugging a version of eForth for it.

eForth for MSP430s (Slides) - 132 Kb pdf file
  • MSP430 is the 68000/PDP-11esque processor family from TI
  • CC430 - an MSP430 with a communications core
  • EZ430 is the prefix TI uses for their development/education/demo kits
  • eZ430-F2013 - possibly the first MSP430 development dongle, an MSP430F2013 microcontroller on a detachable prototyping board connected to USB
  • eZ430-RF2560 - a complete TI Bluetooth evaluation and demonstration tool for the MSP430 and CC2560 that includes all the necessary hardware and software in a convenient USB stick
  • eZ430-RF2500 - a complete USB dongle, wireless development tool for the MSP430, and CC2500 2.4 GHz transceiver
  • eZ430 Chronos - a wristwatch with a processor and bluetooth wireless, based on the CC430F6137
  • MSP430G2231 - a member of the MSP430 ultralow-power mixed signal microcontroller family with a 16 MHz clock and 8 channel 10-bit ADC
  • MSP430 Launchpad - a development board with an onboard flash emulator, USB, 2 programmable LEDs, and a programmable push button, $4.30


We will walk to The Treehouse by Tresidder Union. Here is the menu.


Introductions, announcements, and discussion - All assembled
Everyone introduced themselves and briefly mentioned something about their Forth experiences.


MIT Symposium - John Rible
John talked about the MIT150 Symposium he attended: Computation and the Transformation of Practically Everything.


Interesting Items - Volume 16 - Dave Jaffe
Dave continued his survey of interesting newly-introduced microcontrollers, I/O peripherals, sensors, products, and gadgets that can provide useful and unique capabilities to Forth embedded systems.

Slides - 466 Kb pdf file




eForth on Gameduino - James Bowman
James discussed the version of eForth he added to the Gameduino.


Graphical Haikus in Forth - Brad Nelson
Counter intuitively, constraints often enhance art. Brevity and minimalism are particularly effective in freeing the artist. Brad presented a vocabulary structured to transform short Forth compositions into complex images.

Forth Programming Salon - does not display images in IE or on iPhones
Graphicals Haiku in Forth



Other items:

Movea Miniaturized 9-axis inertial measurement unit
Massa M3 Zigbee wireless ultrasonic level sensor
Forth Programming Books
Forth Jobs
Data Acquisition and Control System Engineer at Johnson Matthey in Taylor, MI
Forth Developers Needed at CTG in Austin, TX
Firmware Engineer at IntelliPower, Inc. in Orange, CA
Embedded Software Engineer, Communications
Telecommunications Design Engineer
Senior Systems Engineer at Science Systems and Applications, Inc. in Hampton, VA
Course Lectures
What's New

Meeting Announcement

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