Retrochallenge 2018/09, 2019/03

SD Card Initialized

I took my old 'raw' sdcard driver which manipulated SPI directly, and ported it to kittyOS. All the reads and writes to the SPI port is now done thru the SPI chardevice. So far, the SD card be be initialized and the capacity read. Which means, commands can be send to, and replies recieved from, the SDcard. The existing sector read/write code should also still work, so I will stop for now

The plan to finish off the retrochallenge is to add the bytecode interpreter. I have one that I've developed in simavr over a year ago. I'm going to add this to the kittyOS project. The plan is for the computer to read the first sector off the SDCard, and run it in the bytecode interpreter. Then, it's 'done', in the sense that the user can put programs on the sdcard and run them in some fashion. There are many syscalls that need to be made from the interpreter, but for the retrochallenge, there are only a few critically needed to make this a 'computer' that can do 'useful' work:

The above would create a minimal, bootable system that can control the hardware. Now, the question is, for reading/writing files on the memory card, and dealing with dynamic memory allocation, and things like that, should that be written in C and exposed as high-level syscalls? Yes, I want file and memory management to be done in C, where it is compiled to AVR code and as effecient as possible. But for the retrochallenge goal, having a minimal BIOS-like environment that reads raw sectors I think is a more appropriate goal. As long as the system can boot and run a user-provided program on SDcard that can control most of the hardware, its a 'computer'. No reason why the SD card program can't be a shell, or assembler, or bootloader, or whatever. Even a full CP/M or DOS like environment could be made inside the VM with raw sector commands. But, I will stop short of that. The minute a program needs to do more than load itself from the sdcard, it will be time to implement the high-level calls that split the sdcard block device into multiple char devices.

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