[Oberon] Oberon bare metal on the Raspberry Pi

Paul Reed paulreed at paddedcell.com
Thu Oct 2 14:07:21 CEST 2014

Hi Chuck,

> I think it would be nice to have Oberon running on the bare metal of the
> Raspberry Pi.
> So I have been working on it and I have reached a milestone. I have
> retargeted the Oberon07 compiler sufficiently to create an ARM binary
> that, when placed on the rpi SD card, gets loaded by the rpi firmware and
> blinks the LED.

Fantastic!  Well done, I know the feeling.  There's nothing quite like
getting an LED to flash.
And for those who think that's a joke, I suggest the following challenge:

0. Select a 32-bit microcontroller/SoC (many can now be had for less than
the price of a pint of beer).
1. Select an evaluation board (many can now be had for less than the price
of a session of beer).
2. Download all required tools and documentation.
3. Build and run a program to make an LED flash on the board.
4. Explain what every single byte of code and data does.
5. Explain why it took so long.

The industry's dirty little secret is that (due to all the self-inflicted
complexity), the current state-of-the-art (with the only notable
exception, to my knowledge, of the Parallax Propeller) is shockingly bad,
which is why I admire and encourage your efforts.  Perhaps you might
publish your experiences in the form of a story, what you thought was
good, bad etc. and pitfalls, so that others may be encouraged to follow
you "In Sneffels Jokulis craterem"?  :)

Please note that for the avoidance of doubt, the 2013 update to the
Project Oberon book and the associated RISC software and FPGA hardware,
called correctly "Project Oberon, 2013 Edition" is a private project by
Prof. Niklaus Wirth and myself - not ETH Zurich.  (Having said that, we
both owe a great debt to Prof. Gutknecht while he was at ETH, and still,
for his ever-present support, corrections and encouragement.)


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