[Oberon] The Oberon answer to Arduino

Jan Verhoeven jan at verhoeven272.nl
Wed Jan 2 21:42:01 CET 2013

I've  been looking around on kickstarter. Kickstarter is the place to be 
for the crackpot engineer looking to raise money for his own (mostly 
silly) ideas without having to smash his piggy bank.

My reason for not spending money there: if the developer does not trust 
himself enough to shell out the money for a first prototype, then why 
would I need to do that? It's YOUR product, YOU are going to harvest 
the revenues later so why don't you dare invest in it NOW?
One could argue: but 6000 people spending a single credit will 
not 'feel' it. That's true but then Kickstarter looks like the local 
beggar asking for a credit for his daily crack.

"You" wanna be a big man when collecting funds?
Then "you" gonna be a big man now too, when you need to invest.

"You" as a matter of generally speaking.

> I also note that there is a MIPS based part, PIC32MX250F128B, that
> has USB-OTG in a 28 pin SPDIP package and costs about USD $4.05,
> according to their Part Selector
> <http://www.microchip.com/maps/microcontroller.aspx>. It has 2 high
> speed UARTs, a 10 bit A/D, 32 bit timers.

It costs 4 euro in quantity one in a 44 pin TQFP.


Add 3 euros for a PCB and some small parts and you are at 7 euro's for a 
proven processor on an untested board. The board will be exactly what 
you ordered, but my experience is that the first prototype always has 
at least a minor design flaw.

Calculation based on the assumption that you can resell the other 49 
PCB's at EUR 2,50 each.

Compare that to the Olimex MX220 board at 10 euro. (Olimex are low cost. 
low feature, producers).

Compare that to the ChipKit UNO32: 

Watch it with MIPS cores. 128 Kb of flash is a mere 32 K-instruction 
word (Kiw) since each instruction is 4 bytes. 32 Kiw is enough for a 
BASIC interpreter, but I doubt if it would fit anything resembling 

Unless one would create a killer application in that the processor works 
as an interpreter of obc bytecode programs. The obc oberon compiler 
(Mike Spivey) creates byte code files. So the oberon compiler is 
already done. The obc code will run on Win and Lin. And on the MCU.

Met vriendelijke groeten,

Jan Verhoeven

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