Musings about things that interest a "Geezer Gadget Geek" who also happens to enjoy some of the finer things in life that liberty in a free country makes possible.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Porting Progress: zForth -> ARM

I've made great progress in working to port my zForth system from the Intel Pentium world to that of the ARM world. The platforms that I use at present are the wonderful QEMU virtualization platform on my Linux workstation, and the T-Mobile G1 cell-phone. Eventually, my goal is to also get it working on my HP-50G calculator in time to present it to the HHC 2010 Conference.

ARM is a powerful and very "clean" processor and I love working with it. RISC machines in general have much to offer low-level systems programmers such as myself and this makes it a fun project to work on.

Porting to a new processor involves many phases which, like scafolding at a construction site, each step is built so that you can "stand on it" and work on the next phase. The first phase was (1) to complete an ARM assembler, after that, (2) to modify the metacompiler so that ARM code is produced, and then with ARM code being produced begins (3) the repeating cycle of run-test-edit on both an ARM simulation environment (QEMU and the Android Emulator) and on the actual ARM hardware (the G1). I've completed phases one and two, with both taking about 6 months of part-time work (roughly an hour a week) and am now in the run-test-edit cycle with threading working perfectly, and some I/O working, but not all. I still have many more weeks ahead of me, but I've "hit my stride" per say, and am enjoying the trip! :)

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About Me

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Hillsboro, Missouri, United States

I am a netizen of the world. I enjoy fresh air, fine wines, rural scenery, classical music, eBooks, and interacting with the other netizens of the world.

I look forward every day to waking up, writing code, and learning new things.