Tuesday, April 14, 2009

If a tree falls in the forest... (SwiftX Forth)

I just finished an initial targetting of SwiftX Forth to the MSP430F5438.  I had to massage the older MSP430 configuration files that already existed to the "new" MSP430Fx architecture.

I am sure I didn't get everything right, although I managed to at least resize the interrupt vector table and define all of the major ports/registers.  Nothing too impressive, but I managed to get a blinking LED app running :-)

My original intent for playing with SwiftX Forth was to see if I could utilize it for board level testing within one of my day job projects. We don't have an effective way of poking/peeking all of the peripherals without writing a C app.  With SwiftX Forth we should be able to write a host (PC) resident test app that pokes and peeks through JTAG.  When I say "app" I really mean a handful of Forth words that test various aspects of the board.  Plus there is the added benefit of the interactivity of Forth.  Forth isn't resident on the MSP430, its just on the PC side doing JTAG.

One thing led to another and I found myself doing an actual "port" of SwiftX to the MSP430F5438 this evening.  It is an eval version of SwiftX I am messing with, but if it proves to be a useful tool for work we will be giving Forth Inc. some money.

I haven't done this much Forth in over 20 years! 

Friday, April 10, 2009

Quote of the day

"I am a design chauvinist. I believe that good design is magical and not to be lightly tinkered with. The difference between a great design and a lousy one is in the meshing of the thousand details that either fit or don't, and the spirit of the passionate intellect that has tied them together, or tried. That's why programming---or buying software---on the basis of "lists of features" is a doomed and misguided effort. The features can be thrown together, as in a garbage can, or carefully laid together and interwoven in elegant unification, as in APL, or the Forth language, or the game of chess."

-- Ted Nelson

Nuts, renegades and visionaries

The world needs more of them.  If not to force innovation, then to keep the world an interesting place.

Damn that smug Road Runner...