[Oberon] Re: Some questions about BB evolution.

eas-lab at absamail.co.za eas-lab at absamail.co.za
Sun Feb 2 18:13:58 CET 2003

Yuri M. Skripkah wrote:
> So Linux is more conventional, has drivers for very poor hardware, and
> cyrillic, it win in education in my country. I don't know anybody near,
> who trying study programming with BB, like me.

Did you make a Cyrillic font set for n-o ?
Please post it to me.

I made about 15 characters, just to confirm that it is not too difficult.
It's an 'art' job, not a technical one.

I'm in contact with people writing various fonts for indian languages
- linux projects.    But this seems very problematic.

I though I could just take a machine (eg. 4Mb ram portable) to a school
in india and show 2 bright kids how to 'play' with the FontEditor.Panel .
And they could show their freinds, and after 3 days they would have a
font set completed, and after 13 days they would have written a book.

Now I find that some of the characters have 5 different horizontal
levels. And if you allow for different line thicknesses, this implies
at least 20 pixel heigh.  And some of the chars are twice as wide
as high.  So you could fit perhaps 10 chars. where latin/Cyrillic
would fit 4 lines of 80 chars. !!  Not good ?

BTW. when I was in India in 1985, I could SEE that I would be an
ideal 'software factory'.

Even with 'zero cost' hardware (redundant machines from 1st world)
usage will not grow without applications.  Net-working (email &
newsgroups: fidonet is strong in ex-soviet countries) would drive usage.
I remember the days when 300 Baud connection speeds were OK.
I believe that a minimumal cost modem - manchester modem perhaps -
could suffice for < 2400 Baud.  I've tested the transmit side driver from
a par.port via a few resistors: D to A; and speculate/hope that the 
receive side is doable with minimum cost.   Since the ex-soviet countries
have functioning telephone networks with low charges, minimal cost
networking could build oberon user base ?

Can any one remember when data was stored to audio cassettes ?
I had a cassette version of a subset of Pascal from Microsoft, with a
10 page A4 pamphlet, for the Z80 based TRS. The software consisted
of a small p-code interpreter, and the compiler was directly from 
Wirth's book.   It was better than n-o, because as the source was 
scanned it was written to display, and just stopped at the error!
I really think 'smart compilers' that claim to find multiple errors are 
a bluff. 

-- Chris Glur.

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