October 2010 Meeting Notes

Compiled by Dave Jaffe

Contributions from Kevin Appert and others


Coffee and a Chat


eForth for eP32 - CH Ting
"eP32 is a Forth engine, but it still needs a Forth operating system to interact with the user. This eForth implementation returns to the original simple design, but leaves room for the user to make the best use of the underlying CPU. I will discuss the metacompiler, eP32 assembler, kernel, interpreter, compiler, tools, and simulator in this eForth suite."

Slides - 185 Kb pdf file


At each lull in the action, between talks or before breaks, there will be an opportunity for short 5-10 minute 'quickies'. If you'd like to present something, let Kevin know at the meeting and he'll reserve the time for you - or take your chances that nobody else will grab the slot.


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


Introductions, Announcements, Discussions, Rumors, and Gossip - All Attending
This month we'll go around the room and introduce ourselves. If you're willing, tell us how you got started with Forth.


Forth Meets SmallTalk - Doug Hoffman
Doug will give us a look at his ANS Forth object extension via Skype.

Slides - 96.7 Kb pdf file
Forth Meets Smalltalk (FMS) material:
About FMS 3.0 - 35.4 Kb text file
Dispatch - 28.4 Kb text file
Linked - 26.8 Kb text file
Lib - 14.9 Kb text file
Tester - 3.6 Kb text file
Temporary objects - 2.0 Kb text file




A Logical Piano Keyboard in F# - CH Ting
"Piano keyboards were designed incorrectly from the very beginning. Assigning white and black keys to musical notes should have been done logically, not physically. I will show how piano keyboards should have been designed. F# can call all Windows GDI functions, and build a custom graphical user interface for specific applications. I will demonstrate how to draw a keyboard on screen, and dynamically change its design when shifting keys."

"At the July SVFIG meeting, I was trying to explain how and why the sharps and flats on music staff cause change of keys. Piano keyboards hard coded the key of C, and this makes it very difficult to change keys. A logical keyboard I constructed in a window is the best means to show the change of keys."
Slides - 114 Kb pdf file


Gforth on eCos - John E. Harbold
John will give a give an update on his effort porting Gforth to the eCos platform. He has gotten Redboot to boot under GRUB and may have Gforth built to run under eCOS and integrated into Redboot by meeting time.

eCos is the embedded configurable operating system. It is open source, POSIX-compliant, real-time, multi-threaded with your choice of scheduler.

RedBoot is a complete bootstrap environment for embedded systems. Based on the eCos Abstraction Layer, RedBoot inherits the eCos qualities of reliability, compactness, configurability, and portability.

Slides - 48.3 Kb pdf file

Benchmarks on Modern Forth Compilers - Jeff Fox

Jeff picked up some of those $1.99 Linux computers fronm Surplus Computers and offered to give a few away to people who are willing to try them out and help figure them out.


Clean up



Other items:

RS232 Interface Scavenges Energy for Connected Devices
Saleae PC Logic Analyzers
USB Scopes and Logic Analyzers
SIIG USB Micro-SD Reader - $6.99
Virtual USB Port for AVR Microcontrollers
STMicroelectronics STM8L-Discovery Board
DARPA-Funded Chip Calculates with Probabilities, Not Hard Binary Logic
LPC236x mbed module from NXP
Better Embedded System Software by Phil Koopman
Excess Solutions
Forth Jobs
Hardware Developer 2 - Test Generator Technologies - Santa Clara
AMD Product Development Engineer 2 - Austin, TX
Teaching People How to Fix Everything
Edmund Evans bootstrapped a compiler from raw machine language to a Frankensteinian hybrid of Forth and C.
Bootstrapping a simple compiler from nothing
Source files

Meeting Announcement

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