[Oberon] The Oberon answer to Arduino

Jan Verhoeven jan at verhoeven272.nl
Tue Dec 25 17:43:39 CET 2012

On Monday 24 December 2012 23:29:25 Aubrey.McIntosh at alumni.utexas.net 
> I am getting some hard questions on my KickStarter

Which was to be expected. Easy money is gone down the drain since the 
americans sold out-of-control-mortgages to european banks. And they 
believed them!

> why would someone buy my item instead of an Arduino.  

They won't. Your project breaths just one thing: hobbyist. Nobody will 
invest a penny in it.

The arduino was at the right time in the right place among the right 
kind of people using the right kind of tools.
I was there long time ago. And was too soon (and the wrong audience). 
You are too late. You cannot catch up with Arduino. Arduino is a mature 
system with a large installed user base. Websites, wiki's, third party 
suppliers, available on dealextreme. Yours is a nice idea, at most.

The days of designing your own hardware to sell to others are over (for 
over a decade). Arduino was in the nick of time and within the right 
(braindead) audience.
Have you seen this: http://www.futurlec.com/ET-PIC_Stamp.shtml

ETT have a lot of affordable MCU circuits, off the shelf. These boards 
work. No need to debug the hardware (as is still the case in your 
Controls, I guess), just focus on the software.

AVR : PIC = Cat : Dog

> 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.

Ah, you mean http://www.futurlec.com/ET-ARM_Stamp_Board.shtml

Try to beat that at USD 25. You don't want to know how ridiculously 
cheap airmail rates from Thailand are. http://www.ett.co.th/

> So this brings to mind the question, should I go with a MIPS
> processor? 

Go with Futurlec. They supply working boards for the price of the CPU 
plus the bare board.

> compilers to the Component Pascal environment, 

Nope. There used to be a Mod51 Modula-2 compiler for the 8051. Not sure 
if they sold a single copy of it.

> board that competes sort of laterally with the Arduino?

Not in your life time. It's not very polite to say so, but if I would 
say the opposite I would be gambling with your money. 

> I think this could be the killer app that I have thought Oberon
> needed for the past 20 years.  

The days of Oberon are over. If Oberon HAD days at all. It's a fun issue 
reading about and talking about. But nobody wants to program a 
controller in a safe way. A controller is programmed in assembler so 
you can do whatever you want.
If things get hairy, you buy a creditcard sized PC and there Oberon may 
come in handy.

> I hope you guys have an enlightened moment about this soon.  I'd love
> to see a community project come together.

Look at embedded artists. Can you come up with something like this?

I know the answer to my question. No single developer can. Look at the 
price and the features. 

Met vriendelijke groeten,

Jan Verhoeven

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