A new Lisp-based OS that hearkens back to the old days of comprehensible computers
scaron at umich.edu
Tue Sep 29 12:18:04 CDT 2015
That's neat ... I promised myself I'd finish my 6502 SBC before I moved up
to building a 16 or 32-bit machine :O Just gotta finish my ROM monitor ...
My aim is much simpler ... just "deposit", "examine", "fill", ... Looking
forward to learning and moving on to more complex systems :O
On Tue, Sep 29, 2015 at 1:06 PM, SPC <spedraja at ono.com> wrote:
> Very interesting. I must do an end-of-training project this year involving
> Rapsberry Pi devices. Perhaps I'll give it a try.
> 2015-09-29 14:20 GMT+02:00 Liam Proven <lproven at gmail.com>:
> > A little offtopic but I hope of some interest.
> > I rather miss the days of small, simple, 8-bit computers which a
> > single non-specialist could really get inside and understand.
> > The latest OS I've seen which addresses this longing is Interim.
> > http://interim.mntmn.com/
> > This is most of the introduction from the explanatory paper:
> > «
> > Computers, networks and the software running them today are shrouded in
> > mysteries and corporate secrecy. As miniaturization progresses in the
> > of mobility and energy-efficiency, an increasing amount of complex
> > functionality is crammed into ever smaller System-on-Chip dies.
> > The so-called "Home computers" of the 1980s contained comparably larger
> > and simpler circuit boards with blocky, easily discernible DIP (Dual
> > in-line package) components and circuits that could be visually
> > by the human eye. The central processing unit (CPU) was easily identified
> > by its size and exposed placement. The separate memory chips were neatly
> > arranged like terraced houses. The computers worked in pedestrian
> > single-digit-Mhz speeds and memory was measured in kilobytes. They
> > with handbooks that taught a novice reader how to program the machine,
> > a circuit diagram of the whole machine – useful for repairs – was easily
> > available.
> > In the 1980s home computer era, operating systems where typically stored
> > in read-only memory (ROM) chips. As in modern proprietary operating
> > systems, the source code was not directly available, but this was not
> > strictly necessary, as they were written in assembly language and not
> > "compiled" from a higher level language. Commented "dis-assemblies",
> > machine code listings, were available in printed book form [Schineis1984]
> > for popular computers like the Commodore 64 and its "KERNAL" OS and BASIC
> > language interpreter.
> > Today, we have Linux, probably the most successful open source Unix-like
> > operating system and the BSD family of OSes, but these systems and most
> > the platforms they run on (PCs, ARM-based telephones) are so complex and
> > contain so many obscure components that no single book can describe their
> > operating principles in full detail, and trying to understand and master
> > them is a task that takes many years of study.
> > With "Interim", I try to describe a computer and operating system that
> > takes advantage of modern-day hardware technology while ideally being
> > fully comprehensible in a couple of days. My strategy is to use
> > and generic, reusable patterns wherever possible while learning from
> > historical, ultimately unsuccessful but valuable attempts like Lisp
> > machines or the operating system Plan 9 from Bell Labs [Pike]. The
> > system is supposed to be a pointer in the right direction, not a perfect
> > blueprint, and a documentation of my own experimental attempts. Others
> > build upon these ideas.
> > »
> > (Yes, it's Lisp-y.)
> > The previous OS with this view being TempleOS: http://www.templeos.org/
> > This is a nice explanatory quote:
> > «
> > The main reasons TempleOS is simple and beautiful are because it's
> > ring-0-only and identity-mapped. Linux wants to be a secure,
> > multi-user mainframe.
> > That's the vision for Linux. That's why it has file permissions. The
> > vision for
> > TempleOS is a modern, 64-bit Commodore 64. The C64 was a home computer
> > mostly used for games. It trained my generation how to program. It was
> > simple,
> > open and hackable. It was not networked. The games were not multimedia
> > works
> > of art, but generated programmatically with innocent, programmer
> > (non-artist)
> > quality graphics. It was simple and unsecure. If you don't have malware
> > and you don't have bugs, protection just slows things down and makes the
> > code
> > complicated.
> > »
> > Source: http://www.templeos.org/Wb/Home/Wb2/TempleOS.html
> > --
> > Liam Proven • Profile: http://lproven.livejournal.com/profile
> > Email: lproven at cix.co.uk • GMail/G+/Twitter/Flickr/Facebook: lproven
> > MSN: lproven at hotmail.com • Skype/AIM/Yahoo/LinkedIn: liamproven
> > Cell/Mobiles: +44 7939-087884 (UK) • +420 702 829 053 (ČR)
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