[Oberon] The Oberon answer to Arduino

Aubrey.McIntosh at Alumni.UTexas.Net Aubrey.McIntosh at Alumni.UTexas.Net
Mon Dec 24 23:29:25 CET 2012

I am getting some hard questions on my KickStarter

They are basically of the form, why would someone buy my item instead of an
Arduino.  These questions came from people I respect, whom I asked to
comment, so I want to have a strong and respectful answer.

I have done some reading, and I have read some pretty testy exchanges
between some PIC enthusiasts and the Arduino enthusiasts.  Basically, the
Arduino folks say that being able to use their wire it up user interface is
compelling and the PIC folks are in the past, and the PIC folks are saying
that the libraries are closed and have some critical design bugs and they
want an architecture where you can control stuff down to the bits.

At one level, my project is about a teaching tool.  However, just knowing
about the parts is not enough.  I want the project to also be a nicely
designed tool.  I suppose that I envision something like a programmers VOM.
 Something to program chips via ICSP, step through simple logic sequences,
safely accept user programs to do innovative things.

I suppose I have to add that it needs to fill a niche that the Arduino does
not fill.

So this brings to mind the question, should I go with a MIPS processor?
 They are available for about $5 each, and there is an Oberon compiler for
them.  There is a similar situation for the SPARC, the 68HC11, and other

It would be trivial to load commands in the Oberon environment to either of
these processors.  They would stay as part of the firmware, until they are
freed up.  There would have to be some small design change to have the code
in EEPROM and the volatile data in RAM, including the initialization flags.


So, does it make more sense to use the legacy, V4 Oberon system with a few
communication tools thrown in to accomplish this?  I am confident that I
can pull this off, and I have done a lot of the background work to do so.

Does it make more sense to update these compilers to the Component Pascal
environment, so that there is a product with a lot of modern cross
compilers, a nice IDE, and a custom made board that competes sort of
laterally with the Arduino?

I can envision an interface made out of something like Kepler and the
Hardware compiler language whose name I can't remember, to make a complete
system, but in the Oberon flavor.

I think this could be the killer app that I have thought Oberon needed for
the past 20 years.  I hope you guys have an enlightened moment about this
soon.  I'd love to see a community project come together.

Aubrey McIntosh, Ph.D.
211 E. 5th St.
Morris MN 56267
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