Tuesday, January 05, 2010

SwiftX Forth and 8051 and Linux

Maybe 3 other people in the world would probably be interested in hearing that I have gotten the evaluation copy of SwiftX Forth running under Linux (Wine) talking to Silab's USB Toolstick's C8015F931 daughter card.

I had to steal the daughter card UART and re-route it to a separate USB->UART bridge for SwitfX's XTL (programming still works through the Toolstick), but it all works (so far) under both Windows and Linux (Ubuntu!).

I am playing around with 8051s because I am feeling retro and a bit weary of the TI MSP430 family. The C8015F931 has some impressive low power numbers and some neat features to make even a lowly 8051 appealing.

I have to remember to do a post on my newest interest: Augmenting sensors with tiny low power MCUs to make them smarter.


  1. Cool!

    How does it compare to Dwight Schauer's 2005 howto? Has it gotten easier since then?

  2. Well, I can only speak for the 8051 SwiftX but it pretty much worked "out of the box". I had to do the USB/UART hack in hardware, but as far as linux was concerned I just installed under Wine and added: "dev\ttyUSB0=COM1" to system.reg (just adding COM1 to .wine/dosdevices didn't do the trick).

  3. Interesting,

    only a question... can you program your uC in Linux using the Toolstick?

    If yes, could you give me some instructions to use the Toolstick in Linux?

    I'll really appreciate it.

  4. If I remember correctly... I did the initial programming of chip through Toolstick under Windows. SwiftX can then be utilized under Linux through the serial port (via Toolstick).

    I've moved on since this post. I am doing Silabs 8051 under Linux but I am not using Toolstick. I use the EC2 serial adapter which works fine under Wine/Linux.

    I spin my own boards these days, so I don't use the Toolstick anymore.

    So, sorry, but I never got the Toolstick debug/programmer protocol working through Linux.