Teaching kids about computers...

Dave McGuire mcguire at neurotica.com
Mon Nov 26 19:27:17 CST 2007


On Nov 26, 2007, at 1:11 PM, Roy J. Tellason wrote:
>> If one wanted to work with an extensible language, Forth is the most
>> flexible. It is also one of the best for understanding more complex
>> programming concepts. It isn't that it has them built in, it is that 
>> it
>> contains all the building blocks needed to create them.
>
> Forth is definitely one of the other things that I'm looking at,  but 
> it's
> style is rather putting me off.  I have a 68HC11-based board that 
> comes up in
> it,  and should probably hook it up and play with it one of these 
> days,  or
> get an emulator going,  or something,  just to try and get a handle on 
> it.
> If you know of any online resources for that language I'd sure like to 
> hear
> about them.  I did snag two of Leo Brodie's books,  for starters,  but 
> not a
> whole lot else.

   I really, really like FORTH.  Any old SPARCstation makes a great 
FORTH learning vehicle (OpenBOOT), but I opted to build a small Z80 
single-board computer and ported Brad Rodriguez' CamelFORTH to it as a 
machine on which to learn the language.  I've had great fun with it, 
and the language is VERY powerful.  I've extended it quite a bit; 
written a full-screen editor, drivers for new hardware (I2C flash, VF 
display, I2C tone generator, etc) etc etc.  I hope to add analog I/O 
sometime soon.

   I have a few Harris RTX2000 chips (essentially a native FORTH 
instruction set...very neat) but haven't done anything with them yet.  
I really need more free time.

   Brodie's books are good; they will serve you well.  Here are some 
URLs to get you going:

   General information and history:
   http://www.colorforth.com/HOPL.html
   http://www.ultratechnology.com/1xforth.htm
   http://www.ultratechnology.com/moore4th.htm

   Implementation:
   http://www.camelforth.com/news.php
   http://retroforth.org/
   http://forthos.org/
   http://www.taygeta.com/forthcomp.html

          -Dave

--
Dave McGuire
Port Charlotte, FL




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