Lisp Badge – Self-contained ATmega1284 Lisp computer

(technoblogy.com)

129 points | by lispm 73 days ago

9 comments

  • mmjaa 59 days ago

    I want this but for Lua. Its my favourite language. I wonder how difficult it would be to get Lua running on this thing - anyone got clues?

    • detaro 59 days ago

      Not sure about exactly this thing, but there's a few embedded Lua's, e.g. http://www.eluaproject.net/ or https://github.com/nodemcu/nodemcu-firmware

      • mmjaa 56 days ago

        Sure, there are tons of embedded Lua's (that's where it started life after all.. as an embeddable language) - but what I'm really interested in is a one-language mini-computer designed for the thing. I guess I could get this Lisp Badge and put my own Lua on it .. ;)

    • maxkrieger 72 days ago

      There is something very whimsical about a pocket-sized lisp machine.

      I wonder what the experience of (junior?) high school would have been like if students were given something like this instead of a TI-84. Math and science classes could focus on constructing playable models that answered the questions posed by the instructors a la "Structure and Interpretation of Classical Mechanics" [0]. Obviously there are some ergonomics issues but I'm still going to daydream about the concept.

      If people are interested in these kinds of ideas I highly recommend "Mindstorms" by Seymour Papert [1].

      [0] https://mitpress.mit.edu/sites/default/files/titles/content/...

      [1] https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mindstorms_(book)

      • pjmlp 73 days ago

        Love the availability increase in tiny boards with higher level languages.

        Many of today's microcontrollers, were the PC, Atari, Amigas, Apple of yore and have enough computing power for the same higher level languages we used to develop on.

        Best wishes of a successful project.

        • zokier 73 days ago

          I do have to question the choice of microcontroller here; for the same price you could get ARM Cortex M chips (eg Microchip/Atmel SAM) with order of magnitude more RAM, or at quarter of the cost a chip with similar size.

          AVRs can be useful for tiny stuff, but they do not really scale to bigger things like this.

          • Lerc 73 days ago

            I believe anyone who is capable of making one of these is well aware that there are more powerful devices available. Perhaps this might indicate that computational power per dollar is not their driving influence.

          • pjmlp 73 days ago

            I would say that AVRs are actually a bit bigger than something like an IBM 709. :)

            • zokier 72 days ago

              Depends on how you look at it; according to wikipedia 709 had (up to) 32k * 36b main memory, while ATmega1284 has only 16k * 8b of RAM.

              Funnily also wiki says that 7090 can do about 100k FLOPS; based on quick googling 16 MHz AVR can do roughly 200k FLOPS. So not that dramatic difference there either :)

              (in case anyone is wondering, AVR is so slow here because it doesn't have fpu. It would probably be much faster for any non-fp code. also any modern 32bitter with fpu would probably crush both)

              • microtherion 72 days ago

                ATmega1284 has 128K8 of Flash and 16K8 of RAM, so if you have the right balance of readonly data, you can have the same number of bits as on the 709 (and if you count eeprom, you're slightly ahead ;-)

          • znpy 72 days ago

            Tangentially related: I see that the board in question use an array of push buttons to implement the resemblance of a keyboard... Does anybody know of a better way to get a kinda-full keyboard (for example: https://www.tuexperto.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/01/Samsung...) in a custom embedded project ?

            • nanomonkey 72 days ago

              Blackberry 9700 replacement keypads can be placed over metal metal dome switch arrays built into the pcb, similar to what https://greycat.co/goods/ offers.

            • shaunxcode 73 days ago

              I would for sure order a finished product with some basic enclosure.

              • jonathanstrange 73 days ago

                Me too, it's awesome. I would pay at least 200 EUR for this device in a sturdy case if it also came with a built-in watch and a little beeper. Provided that the battery lasts long enough - if not, a simple character display would also do.

                Unfortunately I don't know how to build something like this for myself. :(

                • vilts 73 days ago

                  That was exactly my first thought - I should make a case for it, that'd be cool. Black anodized aluminium would be nice, but then the pushbuttons will look unsightly and having some printed covers for the buttons would make the scope much too big.

                  • kamaal 72 days ago

                    +1

                    It would also help if something like this came in an App.

                    That brings me to the point, are there are any Android apps with builtin paredit, rainbow delim, autocomplete features for something like scheme?

                    • dangirsh 72 days ago

                      Yes, Emacs.

                      • _emacsomancer_ 72 days ago

                        I'm not sure there's an app version of Emacs that works on recent versions of Android, but certainly Emacs can be installed in (the Android terminal app) Termux [`pkg install emacs`].

                    • chj 73 days ago

                      If there is storage. And I wonder about its battery life.

                      • pjc50 72 days ago

                        There is storage: you get 1024 cells, which should be enough for anybody.

                    • fu86 72 days ago

                      Thats very nice! I've built a similar thing a couple of years ago: https://aaron-fischer.net/tdn (german)

                      • nanomonkey 72 days ago

                        Anyone looking for something similar with a better keyboard, may want to look at the board designed by GreyCat (https://greycat.co/goods/) which comes with a screen, blackberry keyboard, trackpad and LORA module for long range communication as it uses an ATmega2560, so uLisp should work on it also. Personally I wish they'd put a esp32 instead so that wifi would also be available.

                        • noman-land 61 days ago

                          Hi, have you ordered one of these personally? I checked out the site and ordered one cuz it's exactly what I need for a project but I've heard absolutely no word from them for over a week. Not a good look.

                        • aasasd 73 days ago

                          I wonder if some sort of little 4-way sticks could be used to make the keyboard more compact: each direction would correspond to a separate key.

                          Though I guess it would mean more moving parts to break.