Prompted by the recent Pi Pico thread which talked about FUZEix, then Unix, lack of C compilers, etc. I thought I’d just pop this here - for thought… Feel free to expand on it, or go off at a tangent as you need!
I have a little retro 65c816 SBC with 256KB of RAM which I’m writing a little OS for. It’s nothing special right now, just a few retro style things on modern (if period) hardware. There are 2 levels of OS; The native one is written in assembler and provides an Acorn MOS like interface to the hardware with a simple CLI. The higher level OS is written in BCPL and there is a small assembly shim to launch the BCPL system which uses the underlying OS to load from storage. My early thoughts were to re-imagine an OS on hardware from the early 80’s although my initial aim was older style hardware - the '816 was about in 1984 but we did have the 68K and 8086 by then and I used a fine multi-tasking command-liney OS on a 32-bit ‘mini’ with 256KB of core in the late 70’s that supported it’s own compiler…
(IMy OS is almost a 32-bit version of the BCPL that ran on the BBC Micro in the early 80’s)
While I did initially cross compile the OS, CLI & utilities on my Linux desktop it is capable of running the current BCPL compiler natively. It can’t yet compile the compiler (more due to an issue I have with floating point than anything else) Compiling isn’t fast though - my nano-like editor will compile in the blink of an eye on my desktop, but takes 25 seconds on the SBC…
But which direction to take the OS in? The commands are Unix like and my aim is to make a form of redirection and pipes and muti-tasking.
But then there already exists Fuzix… So why bother?
Or do I just plod on - it’s a nice little hobby, if nothing else - and do what I fancy? The issue is, is that just about everything resembles Unix these days (and I think that was a quote from Ken Thompson, or someone in that group of peers)
Thoughts or ideas welcome…