On Dec 24, 2011 6:44 PM, "Robin Laurén" <ro...@lauren.fi> wrote:
> I suppose one problem with modern computers is that you can do so damn
much with them. And that is why microcontrollers resonate with me. It's a
pity these things, and the whole enthusiast movement weren't around in the
way they are now back 1990s when i was supposed to study electronics
engineering. Actually making circuits would have been so much more
The great thing is that the resurgence of interest in these simpler/smaller
systems is not driven by simply nostalgia, but by the potential for
application in uses such as IoT and physical computing.
So, whilst there is fun to be had by those of us who remember the simpler
days of computing, there is also a big opportunity to create something that
is highly relevant today, and that is accessible to kids and those just
starting out etc.
Retro has certain appeal, clearly, but relevance today, I would suggest,
has much more mileage in it.
> On Dec 24, 2011 3:08 PM, "Ken Boak" <ken.b...@gmail.com> wrote:
>> Exactly - maybe it's a 40's mid-life crisis, to return to simpler stuff,
or its the ideal opportunity to have a very low cost platform that 7 year
olds upwards can learn the foundations of programming.
>> On 24 December 2011 12:50, Robin Laurén <ro...@lauren.fi> wrote:
>>> Scary! It's like the return of the VIC-20, or maybe rather the Picaxe!
>>> Maybe i'm getting old here, but it just thrills me that you can put all
the computing power from my youth into a matchbox and get it all for a few
tenners. Well, apart from the keyboard and the television.
>>> I hope i can start opening up the world of microcontrollers to my kids
soon! My six year old son has done his first solder joint (better solder
joints than marihuana joints :)
>>> On Dec 24, 2011 10:01 AM, "Ken Boak" <ken.b...@gmail.com> wrote:
>>>> This is something I have wanted to do for some time - run an
interpreted Tiny Basic on the Nanode - so that newcomers can program it
quickly and easily.
>>>> The latest Nanode really is evolving into a small computer system,
with it's 32K SRAM and the micro SD card. There should be the means to run
programs out of these memory devices, and use the SD card like a hard disk
for file storage and retrieval - and tasks such as datalogging.
>>>> The first task was to find a program which can be used like an
operating system - in order to tie all the various hardware functions
together. The opportunity to do this happened when I found a working port
of Tiny Basic - written in C, which compiles into just under 7.8K on a
>>>> As it's written in C, and uses simple tables of tokens or keywords, it
is easily extendable to write new keywords and functions which exercise the
>>>> Whilst it currently executes code from internal RAM, this could be
redirected to the external 32K SRAM - into which we can TFTP a simple
basic program listing - or access the SD card - which we can use as a local
repository or "juke box" of our favourite sketches.
>>>> Extending this Tiny Basic and including the common Arduino libraries
to form an nanode operating system will be an interesting but achievable
>>>> With the Tiny Basic is a means to list the program, so that lines of
code can easily be edited with a terminal program. - or probably a whole
file loaded using a file transfer program such as Hyperterminal or whatever.
>>>> A simple text editor could also be used to edit and manipulate html
text, stored on SD or SRAM - so that web pages could be locally edited and
then displayed on a browser.
>>>> The Tiny Basic is certainly fast enough to be usable, especially with
the baudrate at 57600 - I did 10,000 iteration loops of
>>>> 10 For A = 0 to 9999
>>>> 20 Print "My Name is Joe"
>>>> 30 Next A
>>>> In just 30 seconds - anyone who remembers the early 1980s machines
like the Spectrum will appreciate this is several times quicker.
>>>> It should be straight forward to get the Nanode (Arduino) I/O pins
accessible from basic keywords - perhaps something like defining each pin
as a keyword
>>>> to set Digital 4 High. As there are only 20 I/O pins on a ATmega -
it's not going to take much program space to code them up. eg
>>>> 10 Let D4 = 1 // Set Dig 4 High
>>>> 20 Let A = AN1 // Get input from Analogue 1
>>>> Lots of simple hacking fun for the Christmas holiday - and if you are
old enough to remember the Spectrum - this should be like child's play again